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No more U.S. Mormon missionaries to be allowed in Switzerland?

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  • Suede british columbia, 00
    June 5, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    I wish we could remember that the church is in other countries outside of Europe besides the US! The article doesn't say, but I am assuming Canadians would be banned from serving there as well under this policy, or a missionary from Japan, or Australia. Lets just be mindful when reporting that this is a world wide church when reporting these stories, and that it affects members outside the US as well.
    (on a side note, my son coming from Canada wasn't able to get a visa to serve the mission he was called to in Fresno California. He is certainly not alone with missionaries from our area being denied entry often, We were never given an exact reason, but we understand it had something to do with him "working" in California for 2 years, so... it's hard to point a finger at Switzerland when they are making policies they feel are best for their country, when the USA is certainly doing the same.

  • FaifeauSam Lehi, UT
    June 21, 2012 8:08 a.m.

    Although I'm a little late with this comment (since the story originated in 2010 and I don't know the outcome), it reminds me of what happened in Samoa back in 1960 when the government placed a quota on the number of foreign missionaries allowed into the country (Western Samoa). It really backfired on them as we were able to have missionaries called from Hawaii, California, New Zealand, etc. who were of Samoan descent and in many cases were children and grandchildren of Samoans called to serve in their home land. The Samoan missionaries were knowledgeable in the language, customs and had a built-in love for the people and the country which most of us Papalagi had to learn in the 2 1/2 years we served. I know this will or has happened in Switzerland as it did in Samoa. Now 30% of the Samoans are LDS and it is the second largest per capita percentage of LDS in any country in the world.

  • johnnylingo62 Gray, TN
    June 6, 2011 1:05 p.m.

    The LDS Missionaries are not intending to "Immigrate" to Switzerland. If anything they are "tourists or students" spending money from abroad. As has already been pointed out, they are not taking away a job from a local Swiss person. However, I'm sure we would love for the Swiss to apply for these "jobs" and accept the same pay and work ethic that the missionaries provide.
    The topic in this article should not be associated with any IMMIGRATION policy since these missionaries are not seeking citizenship or incomed employment in this foreign country.

  • michaelm Waukesha, WI
    Dec. 20, 2010 10:52 a.m.

    The Swiss taken this action because they are over run my Islamic intolerance, attacks by immigrants on locals, strong pressure to enact Sharia laws, and an Islamic presence trying to take over EU nations.

    People who defend themselves and their way of life have every right to enact laws to try and put things in order the way they want it.

    Americans have that same right to fight for our way of life, protect our jobs, stand up for equal freedoms rather than laws enacted to give illegals extra benefits. Bleeding heart apologests won't comprehend the destruction they are causing until it's too late.

    America welcomes legal immigration, glad to help and welcome those who come legally, pay taxes, work and contribute.

    The Swiss are fighting back against a people bend on enslaving them and who are making a deliberate effort to overrun them and take over, openly committed to doing it with violence if not by minority manipulation of the laws.

    It may negatively effect the LDS church but what is happening there is also going on in France, England and others. We are seeing Islam do what Hitler failed at without firing a shot.

  • Vanka West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 5:08 p.m.

    "a mutually acceptable solution to the problem"??

    The LDS Church and its missionaries have no standing or claim here! They are allowed into the country purely as guests, and that welcome can be revoked at any time. There is nothing to negotiate because missionaries are little more than parasites on Swiss society - like fleas on a dog's back. Now the fleas are upset because the dog wants to shake them off?

  • MollyUK Manchester, UK
    Dec. 16, 2010 3:53 p.m.

    As a European I find it interesting to read the comments that have been made about a political decision by a sovereign country. The EU has a complex decision making body, much more complex than the the USA. Therefore, a common immigration policy is a hard-won achievement; whether it will achieve what its purpose is remains to be seen. It has been a long time in the making; as has been pointed out, things take a lot longer in the EU, precisely because of the number of countries, and languages (!), and cultures, and interests, etc involved. I am not sure how many contributors there were on this comment page, but there has been some division in opinion. This is the 'EU' in a nutshell. A country such as Switzerland has its own agenda but wants to live with its neighbours, indeed, must do so to survive; it does want to remain sovereign, therefore wants to guard its population from too much foreign influence. The perceived 'threat' from LDS missionaries is obscure, is there any evidence of these missionaries staying beyond their time? Who or what is the real perceived threat is the question.

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    Dec. 16, 2010 12:59 p.m.

    Things will work out. Those who have a desire to hear the gospel and are prepared to receive it, and the missionaries who have a desire to serve and are prepared to teach the gospel, the Lord will provide the way to make things happen.

  • bjdoc Vilnius, Lithiuania
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:00 a.m.

    To Rassel Dazzel.
    I do live in Europe. The excuse that the Europeans already have a church doesn't Hold. With the fall of Communism, they suddenly found the New God (the Euro)
    They also suffer from fear of big Brother still watching. They prefer to just hide in their own secluded apartments, rush to work, rush back home, and work at collecting more Euros.
    The point is also well taken, that members don't speak up about their faith, as President Kimbal would ask. The work is indeed difficult, especially in the economic well developed countries. Marriage is discouraged by the governments providing free housing and medical care, if the single mother, does not list the babies father.
    On the positive side, those members who are very committed, are some of the best in the world.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 10:02 p.m.

    I don't think the comments dissing the Europeans came from people who have actually been there. I find many spiritual people all over Europe even though most are not LDS. Many do not join because they ARE already faithful in their own church.

    If you are a teenager growing up in little Switzerland; you do not hope to get a mission call to Switzerland. That's like a US missionary being called to his own state.

  • F,Harris Blanding, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 7:43 p.m.

    The population of Switzerland is approx. 7.54 million. The number of LDS members in Switzerland is just under 8000. (Approx .001%) The percentage of LDS members living in the countries that make up the European Union is under .003% of the EU total population. The numbers are quite disproportionate, given that over 50% of the EU population subscribes to Christian Faiths other then the LDS Church. Thought the restriction applies to all missionaries from all faiths outside the EU, it seem obvious to me the restriction limits the number of LDS missionaries to Switzerland far more than most other faiths. Im sure this was not the intent however it is a result. The LDS Church has significantly less of a population base of missionaries to draw from as only EU citizens could be called to serve.

  • Timj South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 7:05 p.m.

    To those who thing Europe is "burned over,"--you're wrong. There are plenty of good Europeans there, and plenty of people willing to hear the gospel. As long as people keep saying "the church won't grow in Europe," it won't grow. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If missionaries sent to Europe, and the members in Europe, are convinced the church won't grow, it won't. Stop being so negative, and stop hating Europe because they're more liberal than we are, and the church will see more growth there.

  • Truth csar Colorado Springs, CO
    Dec. 15, 2010 6:00 p.m.

    Good and rational Church members will work with the good and rational Swiss people and arrive at a good and rational agreement -- it will work out fine.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 5:24 p.m.

    Maybe this is a blessing in disguise. It would cause more Swiss young men to be called to serve as missionaries in their homeland, which means maybe more of them would serve. That would be a direct fulfillment of Spencer W. Kimball's vision of countries supplying their own missionaries. It might also cause the church to expand faster in Switzerland with native missionaries teaching their own people.

    I do have to take issue with "gainfully employed". I know that I didn't work for money on my mission. Maybe in Switzerland, blessings are considered pay and getting these blessings directly competes with the current Swiss state religion and their blessings. Eh?

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 4:38 p.m.

    The irony...the only unfortunate ones here are their own citizens. The Swiss LDS members will have to fill the Swiss missionary quota before they will have an opportunity to serve internationally.
    I like the Swiss missionaries at temple square too.

  • mcdugall Layton, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 3:20 p.m.

    Switzerland is a sovereign country and we should respect their right to enact their own laws. I am sure many people in Switzerland find out laws objectionable, ie the death penalty. The law is not a bigoted law, more of a Nationalistic/EU preferential treatment law, which the United States has plenty of laws which show preferential treatment to US/Canadian/Mexican citizens rather than EU citizens.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 15, 2010 3:01 p.m.

    I have yet to meet any Church member who would advocate the US government restricting foriegners coming here on religious worker visas.

    While I have not asked anyone particularly, my general guess would be most Mormons would favor allowing the Catholic Church to bring in as many foriegn priests, religious brothers (monks) and nuns as they want. If their are Mormons who would oppose such provisions in the law I would say they need to rethink their positions on such.

    Current US immigration laws that provide a special category for religious workers are largely the result of efforts of Orrin Hatch.

    If anything I would favor revision of the law to make it easier for religious organizations to bring in foriegn nationals for their purposes. I will support any Mosque in bringing in a foriegn Imam, Qadi or other religious leader it choses. I will also support any recruitment of foreign religious leaders by Buddhist or Hindu groups, and think all of these religious leaders should be entirely outside of national quota counts so as to in no way limit the number of other people coming from what ever nation they come from.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 15, 2010 2:52 p.m.

    One reason Switzerland has such a high "foriegn" population is they make it very hard for people to become citizens. If you are born in the US you are a citizen of the US, with the lone exception of children of foriegn diplomats. In Switzerland if both your parents have to have been born in the country for you to be counted as a national, and I am not ever 100% sure it is that lenient of a policy.

    Inherently the Church seeks to be able to have recognition of its ability to chose where its own missionaries go. There is actually a very long list of restrictions placed on the Church on what sorts of foreigners it can send to various nations as missionaries and another long list of security precaustions in place that are self-imposed. However, it is still the goal of the Church to be able to send as many missionaries as it wants everywhere, thus seeking to work with various governments for a change of policy is always the best course of action.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 15, 2010 2:47 p.m.

    The Swiss Temple being the first temple outside of North America is debatable. By most definitions of North America it does not include Hawai'i. The Laie, Hawai'i Temple was dedicated in 1919, long before the Swiss Temple.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 15, 2010 2:43 p.m.

    Is this part of the same xenophobic tendency that inspired the ban on minarets?

  • bjdoc Vilnius, Lithiuania
    Dec. 15, 2010 1:24 p.m.

    I served a my mission in Switzerland when the Swiss Temple was dedicated. Even then missionary work was not allowed in some narrow minded narrow valleyed villages. Remember that Switzerland is still very much a Federation, with strong local Government, and a central government leaving issues in the Kantons to the local people.
    Please note, that the Swiss-Zurich mission was recently closed, due to lack of converts, and is now directed out of Germany.
    I view it as okay, that Americans will not be admitted. Good let us send the missionaries where their efforts are appreciated and the harvest is great.
    The Saints there are strong, and this will just motivate them to serve local stake missions. Besides the Swiss will appreciate having missionaries that can speak Sweiter Dutch.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 1:19 p.m.

    What a lot of hype for a non issue.

  • ADN Weiser, ID
    Dec. 15, 2010 12:26 p.m.

    Have more faith, and trust that the Lord has more power than a government, and that He can further his purposes with any man made decision. He can do all things, there is no fear here and the Lord will work His work, and if He has to, by miracles and wonders. My guess is those wonders won't be reported and might not be able to be seen by mortal eyes.

  • EgbertThrockmorton Layton, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 12:16 p.m.

    Doesn't seem to me that this is a "crisis" at all, there are plenty of EU missionaries available, let them go to Switzerland. Problem solved.In my home/native state, we were always disappointed by the number of ill-prepared Utah (natives) missionaries that came into our missions. Would that we could have requested ones that were not so lackadaisical.This is a world-wide Church, in spite of Utah.

  • I say this Emery, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 11:40 a.m.

    I am certain the "work" will continue in Switzerland. It is such a wonderful country. One way or another the church will be just fine. I was there on a mission and cherish my memories.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 11:30 a.m.

    No big deal IMO.... There are PLENTY of Mormons living in Europe to keep the needed work moving along.

    Don't worry... be happy...

  • Michelle Z Blanchester, Ohio
    Dec. 15, 2010 11:31 a.m.

    It is always political these days. Of course they are volunteer and non paid and have an extended history..Swiss know that and that the regulations therefore wouldn't pertain. As I said they have an agenda and maybe pressuring other countries to support and belong to there organizations and treaties.. So political preesure they use and this is as good a way as any.. Too bad maybe our Senators and behind the door friendships can soften hearts.. Let's add this to our prayers also.

  • donn layton, Ut
    Dec. 15, 2010 11:07 a.m.

    tracer,"Ithink this may be a harbinger of things to come. Many European countries are struggling with a stranglehold that radicals of certain religions are putting on societal norms. LDS may get caught up in the "total ban", probaly true.
    European countries are very tolerant of various small religious sects and cults. Mormons,Chritian Science and Jehovah's Witnesses are considered mainline cults and There is a better awarness by the Christian Churches: Catholic,Reformed and Lutheran Churches.

  • Connell O'Donovan Santa Cruz, CA
    Dec. 15, 2010 11:04 a.m.

    When I went on my mission to Brasil in 1980, it was technically illegal for the church to send missionaries there. So we were coached at the MTC to lie to the customs officials. When our group landed at the São Paulo airport, I was interrogated by Customs for two hours. And I lied through my teeth "for the Lord's sake". I swore to them that I was there "para estudar a lingua e cultura brasilera" - to study the Brazilian language and culture, as I had been carefully taught to say at the MTC. The man knew I was lying but since I stuck to my lies, he eventually had to let me in. What a violation of my personal integrity! It still makes me sick to my stomach that I did that.

    I'm sure the church will do something similar in Switzerland if need be - just have the missionaries lie when they enter the country. After all, the end always justifies the means in God's eyes, right?

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 10:45 a.m.

    First of all the minnert ban was to preserve the architechural heritage and to ban the excess noise of the seven daily calls to prayers. The masques could still be constructed if they conformed to the zoning laws. LDS have to face the same type of zoning restrictions around the world. Second the EU bureochracy is noted for its ponderous attempts to make one shoe fit every every one. Sounds like a health care bill we only got to read after it was passed.

  • Poqui Murray, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 10:35 a.m.

    Pull most missionaries out of Europe, its "burned over" already. Send those missionaries to Africa and Latin America where there is a ton of work to be done.

  • tracer Paradise, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 10:10 a.m.

    I think this may be a harbinger of things to come. Many European countries are struggling with a stranglehold that radicals of certain religions are putting on societal norms. LDS may get caught up in the "total ban" strategy since other mitigations don't seem to be working for integrating religious ideologies into their respective society. Just another bump in the road to the mission of missions.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Dec. 15, 2010 10:05 a.m.

    Heck, we have sent missionaries from Canada to the Salt Mission.

  • kriss El Cajon, ca
    Dec. 15, 2010 9:54 a.m.

    This is one of the most stupidest things I've heard. I'm not LDS but to ban a certain people because of their faith is absolutly absurd. "We don't want to let you in you might work". NO I think its more about intollerance. Over the last 150 years y'all been traveling over their to do a mission I don't think y'all went out and got a job. Hello look at the track record hear ppl.

  • JRJ Pocatello, ID
    Dec. 15, 2010 9:51 a.m.

    What a great opportunity for the Swiss to rise to the occasion of providing missionaries from within their borders. It can only help the church membership get stronger by taking on these new responsibilities. They are not the only ones who are "answering the call"...Russia is using home-grown missionaries now as well.

  • ciaobello Concord, CA
    Dec. 15, 2010 9:43 a.m.

    Madison: you left out Swiss German.

  • activ2004 Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 9:33 a.m.

    WOW! Stop the presses. How hypocritically,predictably irrelevant!? (Especially considering how socially progressive Switzerland is)

    Make no mistake about it, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will continue to roll forth in spite of some political irrelevancies.

  • ciaobello Concord, CA
    Dec. 15, 2010 9:25 a.m.

    I never expected this. It's like going back to the dark ages. I worked in Zermatt one winter as a chambermaid and dishwasher and have traveled in the country before returning to the States. I hope something can be worked out.

  • tonyloaf New York, NY
    Dec. 15, 2010 9:13 a.m.

    I'm surprised we still have missionaries in Western Europe. They've become a hard-hearted people, not interested in spiritual things. The day of the Gentile is almost over. They have had their chance and its time for us to move on. We have bigger fish to fry in Eastern Europe, China, India, Africa, and SE Asia where there are people who want the Gospel.

    I have a friend who served a mission in Germany three/four years ago. He didn't teach, much less baptize, a single native German his whole mission, only foreigners. That's the only reason I can think of to keep missionaries in Western Europe: to teach visitors from countries who don't yet allow us to proselyte in their native lands.

    This is just the beginning of European protectionism and xenophobia. They have finally woken up to the danger they are in from an Islamic takeover brought about by their own materialism and rejection of procreation.

  • jemod Bedford, WY
    Dec. 15, 2010 9:13 a.m.

    Just a thought.
    I am a descendant of Swiss imigrants to the United States. Would the Swiss government make any special allowances for me, or for my son, to serve a mission in Switzerland, the home of our forefathers.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 8:20 a.m.

    Mormon missionaries are noticeably different in dress, language, and behavior. That scares people. I don't blame the Swiss as much as I pity them. They are having a surge of anti-foreigner sentiment just as France is, having expelled large numbers of gypsies lately in violation of their own EU laws.

    How is the US doing in that regard? I hope we continue to lead the way in seeing what we have in common with other cultures instead of being spooked by superficial differences.

    The Church of Jesus Christ will, of course, respect the rule of law. And thoughtful citizens will, of course, seek to change such short-sighted laws.

  • kiapolo Provo, MA
    Dec. 15, 2010 7:58 a.m.

    Their choice, not your's. respect it. Maybe they don't like their people being harassed.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 7:56 a.m.

    I would like to reiterate....

    Stop playing the martyr, and crying discrimination and vitcimhood.

    The Swiss are not banning or restricting Mormon Missionaries at all, just non-European Missionaries [Mormon and NON-Mormon] -- now get over it.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Dec. 15, 2010 7:45 a.m.

    So what, US missionaries now can't go on a European tour? Big deal. The lack of work was hardly sufficient to justify an entire mission in Switzerland anymore. At most, this impact 10-20 US missionaries a year. They can now go to Brazil instead. Or Alabama. Or Provo.

  • StevenS Oceanside, CA
    Dec. 15, 2010 7:08 a.m.

    Instead of the US Government pressing forward alone in this matter, it would serve those living in Switzland (Saints) to appeal to their own government.

  • RoboRider Heber City, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 5:24 a.m.

    It's interesting that so many of you believe that Mormons have the "right" to go to any country you want to. You don't. You also don't have the right to go to any house you want to, or talk to any person you want to. If countries choose to put you on a "do not visit" list, that's their right. If I choose to put you on my "do not call" and "do not knock on my door" list, I have that right.

    This "I deserve" feeling is elitist in and of itself. It would be very different if you were saying that Switzerland is limiting religious freedom - but they're not. They are limiting temporary immigration, period.

  • My2Cents Kearns, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 4:42 a.m.

    Why does everyone think this is a religious issue? The Swiss just decided to enforce its sovereignty as a nation and country to preserve its rights and its peoples rights. Suck up and get out, foreign nationals not wanted.

    The church is blowing this all out of proportion as religious discrimination for a country to control its borders.

    Sovereignty is the enemy of socialism and foreign controls. The Untied States could take a lesson from the Swiss, it would unites us as a nation with some kind of pride in our selves.

    I can't believe how offended this country and our leaders are that a county has said enough is enough, we are our own destiny.

  • Timj South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 3:32 a.m.

    All these comments about "the Swiss members need to step it up" are hilarious.

    First point: many Swiss members have immigrated to Utah instead of remaining in their homeland. This isn't an issue anymore, but about 100 years ago it was quite common. The church back then didn't discourage this. The church would be stronger in Switzerland had those members stayed.

    Second point: if you're living in a Mormon-rich area (meaning pretty much anywhere in the Western U.S.) chances are any active member living anywhere else has done more missionary work than you have. I'd recommend, before criticizing Swiss members for "not growing fast enough," you consider the beam in your own eye and move (at least for a few years) to some place where your opportunity for missionary work will be greater, such as the Midwest, the South, the East coast, or another country.

  • vic Colorado Springs, CO
    Dec. 15, 2010 12:41 a.m.

    Ok, so what; the church can't send missionaries to the Swiss from the states. Is the implication here is that only missionaries from the states has a testimony and can preach the Gospel.

    This ban doesn't include missionaries from the EU. or is the uproar implies that missionaries in the EU doesn't have a specific testimony.

    What difference does it make how a person is taught the Gospel and than baptised, or is there?

  • thelogicalone salt lake city, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 11:30 p.m.

    Dear Apache1

    If every member is a missionary then we have no need for missionaries in Arizona right?

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 14, 2010 11:17 p.m.

    Fine. Send more missionaries to Africa. The Euros don't care about religion.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Dec. 14, 2010 11:04 p.m.

    Where's my comment?

  • apache1 Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 14, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    I would think that after 150 years of being in the country that the Swiss should be able to have enough members able to carry on the established missionary program. The need to send in missionaries from outside the country should not exist after 150 years, with some 7,939 members (2010 Church Almanac) and if it is true that EVERY member is a missionary why is there any need at all for outsiders to be sent in to do a 2 year mission? The Swiss may place a ban on missionaries being allowed into the country that should not in any way be a hinderance of the work, it simply means that the swiss members need to be much more active in sharing the gospel with their neighbors.

  • abf Rexburg, Idaho
    Dec. 14, 2010 10:05 p.m.

    Switzerland is a party to the Schengen agreement. As such, U.S. citizens may enter Switzerland for up to 90 days (consecutive or combined, within a six-month period) for tourist or business purposes without a visa. (See State dept. website)

    It appears that a non/EU missionary assigned to the Germany Alpine mission could serve 1-2 transfers in Switzerland every 6 months. That works for young missionaries, but not so well for senior couples who serve in one area for their whole mission.

    If somehow they interpret missionaries in Switzerland to be "working" for the LDS club in Switzerland (The church is legally recognized as a club in Switzerland) then they would need a permit, but if they are interpreted to be working for a multi-national organization based in SLC, then the Schengen should apply.

  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    Dec. 14, 2010 8:09 p.m.

    I do think that the 12th Article Of Faith would apply here.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Dec. 14, 2010 7:10 p.m.

    Why must they accept anyone from the US in their country for 18 months to 2 years or more?

    Aren't there LDS there? Besides you have missionaries there who speak the language. Won't you more clearly get your message across if they don't come from the US?

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 7:04 p.m.

    I wonder if the mormons will obey this law or start sneaking into the country justifying the end to use the means. My guess is unlike the liberals and illegal immigrant criminals the mormons will respect the law

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 6:59 p.m.

    You guys are crying like the ONLY MOrmons on the Planet are from Utah....get over it.

    Stop thinking that the Swiss are only our to get YOU!!!

    Did it EVER occur to some of you that perhaps the Swiss might passing this sort of restriction due to the growing number of Muslims in that part of Europe?

    Get out of your little Utah-bubble, I'm a victim mind-set, please.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 6:20 p.m.

    @Rick
    "Religious bigotry is alive and flourishing in Switzerland."

    I'm thinking this policy has more to do with a different change that has this as a side effect rather than it being based on religious bigotry unlike the minaret ban a year ago. After all, if it were religious bigotry then there wouldn't be the option to use missionaries from EU nations.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 6:01 p.m.

    Take Note Illegals.....this is what enforcing the border looks like!

  • my slc Newport Beach, CA
    Dec. 14, 2010 5:12 p.m.

    Question?

    As the family pays the church the monthly fee which makes it a religious donation / non taxable and the church then pays the missionary expenses: are the missionaries employees?

    Just wondering?

  • prunoid San Diego, CA
    Dec. 14, 2010 5:12 p.m.

    Switzerland lives off blood and drug money made from illicit operations around the globe. They need to start doing some real work and earn their keep honestly besides just hiding money from corrupt thieves.

  • dave31 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 4:57 p.m.

    "madison | 10:14 a.m."
    You missed "Romansch," the language spoken in Graubunden. That is also an official language in Der Schweiz.
    I hope the Swiss authorities soon come to realize the love that continues in the hearts of former Swiss missionaries long after they have returned home. I've been home for nearly 60 years and still consider myself to be "ein Schweizer Knabe."

  • Justmythoughts Richfield, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 4:53 p.m.

    I served my mission in the Switzerland Zurich Mission many years ago. I grew to love and adore the culture and the people. They are some of the best people in the world. I feel sad that many young missionaries will now miss that opportunity. Switzerland is a "blessed" country. Sure the work was hard and converts were few but I wouldn't change anything about the experience that I had there. I hope something gets worked out....Switzerland is a wonderful land. The Swiss people are amazing.

  • Alex 1 Tucson, AZ
    Dec. 14, 2010 4:29 p.m.

    JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt | 11:59 a.m.:

    "Thank goodness there are inspired, intelligent and rational people behind the scenes working on behalf of the LDS Church to work with the Swiss government to maintain good relations and NOT some of you that are quick to let fly ugly Swiss bashing comments because of your self righteousness."

    Ugly Swiss bashing? Would you mind getting specific about whose comments you find so nasty and self-righteous? I really am curious.

    Look, we have no obligation to bend over and apologize for wanting to share the gospel in Switzerland. Our willingness to comply with the law is not the issue. Nobody is advocating that we NOT comply with the law.

    However, we don't need to be so hypersensitive to this change that we are afraid to let our feelings known. We don't need to flog ourselves for not being thrilled.

    Look, I love Switzerland. I've been there and have a healthy appreciation for the stability and longevity of their nation.

    Let's see what we can work out before we give up sending missionaries from out of the EU. There is no sense in rolling over, before we even try.

  • Just Thinking II Roseville, CA
    Dec. 14, 2010 4:16 p.m.

    this same thing happened in brazil in the 80's brazilians missonaries filled in an the work grew. no big deal.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 14, 2010 4:13 p.m.

    Patriot.... do you even have a clue what foreign students need to do to get visas to come to the states to study? If foreign governments did likewise to our missionaries it could cost the church millions in escrow accounts before they could enter the country.

    I am surprised my earlier comments got censored out... they were harmless. Mr/Ms Moderator must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 4:11 p.m.

    'Thank goodness there are inspired, intelligent and rational people behind the scenes working on behalf of the LDS Church to work with the Swiss government to maintain good relations and NOT some of you that are quick to let fly ugly Swiss bashing comments...' - JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt | 11:59 a.m.

    All this talk recently of immigration reform.

    The kind we didn't get from previous presidents.

    And now, when other countries do exactly what some in America want, keep their country their own...

    some get upset about it.


    Yes, I would call that self righteous.

  • Timj South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 4:01 p.m.

    "Ok so no more swiss citizens coming to the US for college... STARTING NOW."

    Uhh--free quality college education versus costly college education? The Swiss aren't exactly swarming to the U.S. to go to college. They have perfectly good schools there. And their schools are far, far less expensive.

    I hope the Swiss will reconsider their decision. It's a great country with some wonderful people.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 3:16 p.m.

    Ok so no more swiss citizens coming to the US for college... STARTING NOW.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 2:20 p.m.

    No one seemed concerned when the Swiss banned minarets on mosques last year. No, everything was fine and dandy then.

    Well, I was concerned and I voiced my concern in my adult sunday school class. I specifically said that someday the swiss could ask the Mormons to remove the angel Moroni from the Temple there or begin restricting missionary work.

    But, as suggested, more Dutch, German, French and Italian kids will have to pick up the slack in Switzerland while more Americans go to the Netherlands, Gemany, France and Italy. Tot ziens.

  • Belching Cow Sandy, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 2:20 p.m.

    @JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt
    You are right, we shouldn't be making ugly anti-Swiss comments. We should respect their laws. I don't have an issue with their laws and didn't say anything to that effect. However, what I did have issue with is you saying LDS people are always 'barking' about the US being able to allow or disallow who we want. I'll stand by what I said. I personally don't know a single LDS person who is against immigrants of any race coming to America LEGALLY. I do know many who are against ILLEGAL immigration which is just plain common sense. I am always confused as to how people can interpret anti-ILLEGAL immigration to mean anti-LEGAL immigration.

  • Granny St. George, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 12:58 p.m.

    @Third try screen name..I think you have it right.

    You quoted...
    "It is both a right and a responsibility of a democratic society to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest."
    "...The European threat of immigration is Islam. We see what is happening in the UK. Perhaps the Swiss are merely protecting themselves."

    Good for the Swiss. If they make allowances for LDS missionaries, then they have to do similar for others...and some of the "others" are frightening. In the U.S., we should do similar to protect ourselves!!!!!!

    Lest you think I'm anti-LDS, I'm very active LDS and proud to be of Swiss heritage. This may affect my opportunity to serve a senior LDS mission in Switzerland, which I had really hoped to do. But I'd rather seem them, and US, maintain our borders.

  • Waterton Edmonton, Alberta
    Dec. 14, 2010 12:56 p.m.

    Could this new Swiss policy simply be political maneuvering with the USA or could it be in retaliation for some US policy towards Switzerland? I know that it takes on average 6-12 months for Canadian LDS missionaries to obtain a visa to serve as missionaries in the USA. Maybe there is some type of problem between the US and Switzerland.

  • Barack Obama Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 14, 2010 12:41 p.m.

    It's regrettable but it won't stop anything. It will just mean that French, German and other local missionaries will go to Switzerland while US missionaries will go to France & Germany. Problem solved. Next!

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Dec. 14, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    Thank goodness there are inspired, intelligent and rational people behind the scenes working on behalf of the LDS Church to work with the Swiss government to maintain good relations and NOT some of you that are quick to let fly ugly Swiss bashing comments because of your self righteousness.

    M. RUSSELL BALLARD Oct 2001 Conference: If we are truly disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we will reach out with love and understanding to all of our neighbors at all times.

    (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [1997], 661, 665). We must work harder to build mutual respect, an attitude of forbearance, with tolerance one for another regardless of the doctrines and philosophies which we may espouse. Concerning these you and I may disagree. But we can do so with respect and civility

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 11:39 a.m.

    I doubt these laws were tailor-made with Mormon missionaries in mind. You have to consider this policy change in the context of Swiss demographics. A whopping 22% of the people residing permanently or temporarily in Switzerland are not Swiss citizens. I'm sure the Swiss are just trying to do what they can to rein that situation in a bit, and I don't blame them.

    The church deals with visa issues for missionaries on an ongoing basis, and I'm sure they'll find a way for missionary work to continue in Switzerland in one form or another. If anything, this situation may provide an impetus for more young European saints to choose to serve missions.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Dec. 14, 2010 11:28 a.m.

    I think this just provides a great opportunity for European saints to raise the bar and provide enough missionaries for the work in Switzerland on their own. It's probably the direction the church wants to go anyway.

    I can understand why a country would be concerned about a constant flow of Americans coming into their country and would prefer that missionaries come from their native land. I served a foreign mission, and at times I was just as uncomfortable being an American in a foreign land as the natives were of having an American walking around in their neighborhood. My desire to spread my faith and sense of duty to the Lord certainly trump any sense of comfort in a foreign country, but if there are sufficient numbers of people who can serve missions in their native lands, or nearby and culturally similar places, why not?

    Now, if Switzerland wants to ban missionaries altogether, regardless of whether or not they come from Europe, then I think we have a problem. I understand that the concept of a missionary can seem quite condescending to some, but I would rather risk offending some than deny others the opportunity.

  • donn layton, Ut
    Dec. 14, 2010 11:07 a.m.

    Rich for Truth: Switzerland is basically Catholics and Reformed Christians home of the reformer John Calvin. Martin Luther and Calvin knew the Protestant reformation would open the door for cults and different religions but thought it necessary. Unfortunately Christians, Catholics and Protestants dont study the Bible like Luther and Calvin and are easy target for Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses etc.

  • prunoid San Diego, CA
    Dec. 14, 2010 10:58 a.m.

    JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt is right! Utahns cry and whine all the time about immigrants. Switzerland is a sovereign country and they have a right to set their own immigration policy whether that might be detrimental to mormon missionaries or not.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Dec. 14, 2010 10:29 a.m.

    John Stewart Pill | 10:02 a.m. Dec. 14, 2010
    SLC, UT
    No one seemed concerned when the Swiss banned minarets on mosques last year. No, everything was fine and dandy then.

    AMEN!

    This is what I mean, the same fellow Mormons that are anti-immigrant I was talking about loved it when the Swiss clamped down on other religions but are upset now that Switzerland has done it to Mormons.

    WHile I don't agree with the Swiss policy, they are a sovereign country and they decide their own laws. We can send European members as missionaries and send US based ones to other places. Plenty of places to send missionaries. No need to get ugly and criticize the Swiss.

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    Dec. 14, 2010 10:15 a.m.

    Is it religious intolerance or political bureaucracy? Either way, the Church will make adjustments to comply with the law.

    @JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt

    Well ... you're consistent....

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    Dec. 14, 2010 10:15 a.m.

    Didn't something similar happen a couple of years ago in Russia? I'm not sure how that was or if it was resolved.

    The reality is that the church (in terms of a formal missionary program) still is not in a large percentage of the world when you look at much of the middle east, China, India and the visa issues with some other places.

    Let me ask in advance that people refrain from saying - it is the "work of Satan" or a sure "sign of the times" or "the caravan will roll on". It seems to simply be a political issue that the church is very well equiped to work around and negotiate about.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Dec. 14, 2010 10:15 a.m.

    First of all, I am LDS, proud of it. Secondly, being in Utah I do know plenty of LDS people who are intolerant of any type of immigration legal or not. My comments are aimed at them the one who have a problem with Switzerland, a sovereign nation setting their own laws by a democratically elected lawmaking boy. The US can impose it's own rules of who comes in and out of our country but Switzerland is criticized for doing it just because it conflicts with missionary work?

    The LDS Church does excellent work complying with local laws. They will need to send European based missionaries. We as Mormons need to respect the sovereign laws that Switzerland is requiring, not criticize it.

    There is no shortage of places where we can send missionaries, no need to bash on another country for limiting it. It is unfortunate but not grounds for ugly anti-Swiss comments by LDS CHurch members.

  • madison Magna, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 10:14 a.m.

    Just send the missionaries from Europe. There are three languages spoken in Switzerland, I believe. They are French, German and Italian, depending on which section of Switzerland.

    French, German, Italian and Swiss missionaries would be the most obvious choices. Saves on airfares too, as well as avoiding 'faux pas' with regard to the local culture and idiomatic speech.

  • John Stewart Pill SLC, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 10:02 a.m.

    No one seemed concerned when the Swiss banned minarets on mosques last year. No, everything was fine and dandy then.

  • Belching Cow Sandy, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 9:46 a.m.

    Mr JingleHeimer your intolerance is showing. I personally don't know any LDS people against immigration, however I do know some that have issue with ILLEGAL immigration which is totally different. LDS missionaries are not entering Switzerland illegally. In fact they are not even immigrants, so your point is... well I guess you really don't have one.

  • Utes21 Salt Lake City, ut
    Dec. 14, 2010 9:35 a.m.

    To bad but the Church will continue to grow no matter what as long as the members are willing to be missionaries. Hope they work something out.

  • John Stewart Pill SLC, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 9:33 a.m.

    TC: Mormonstudent

    You lived "there" for a year? You thought it was bad "there?" Where exactly did you live? Or are you trying to lump the most diverse place on the planet into one simple package?

  • Resident Spanish Fork, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 9:30 a.m.

    @johnjacob..

    There's no need to turn this into what it isn't. The church will be respectful of the laws. It wouldn't be the first country that has had to have adjustments made by the church. I don't mind people coming to the US, I just want them to do it legally. Missionaries aren't trying to go illegaly, nor are they trying to become permanant citizens.

    Your point is way off the mark on this one.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 9:22 a.m.

    How do you equate immigration with performing volunteer religious work? Mormon missionaries are not seeking permanent residence or status in the country. They are there for two years or less at thier own expense and then gone.

  • John Stewart Pill SLC, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 9:17 a.m.

    I seem to recall not so long ago, a certain group that was happy about the Swiss decision to ban minarets on mosques. Interesting.

  • thelogicalone salt lake city, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 9:15 a.m.

    Very interesting development in light of the fact that the Zurich mission was closed this summer and its missionaries assigned to the Germany Alpine mission. When I served in Switzerland, I found the people to be warm and friendly and very tolerant. I haven't returned to Switzerland so I can't speak to the current climate. We all know how neutral and tolerant Switzerland has been regarding politics, religion and immigration; clearly there is opposition to the work.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Dec. 14, 2010 9:09 a.m.

    Interesting how many fellow US Mormons I know constantly bark about the USA's right to allow or disallow who they want in their country but when another country decides on it's own then it is "religious bigotry". It is hypocritical for US people to criticize another country's immigration policies if we are immigrant bashing and keeping people out. They have our policies, we have ours and all are passed by a democratic process.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 9:02 a.m.

    Yes, missionaries can be sent from other EU countries but it is a missed opportunity for good kids here in the US to serve there. EU citizens complain all the time that Americans need to get out more and experience the world outside our own borders and then the Swiss adopt a stupid policy like this. I have friends who have served in Switzerland and they make the best ambassadors for that country when they return. They spend their own hard earned money while there thus helping the Swiss ecomomy. This makes no sense to me. I think this policy is like swiss cheese. It is full of holes.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 8:53 a.m.

    "It is both a right and a responsibility of a democratic society to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest."
    US Commission on Immigration Reform 1994
    It's funny that the Swiss are following that counsel and we are not.
    Let's change the names. The European threat of immigration is Islam. We see what is happening in the UK. Perhaps the Swiss are merely protecting themselves.
    It isn't an ideal solution, but it works. Remember when East High banned ALL clubs as a result of the request for a gay club?

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 8:40 a.m.

    It doesn't matter. The Church is still in Switzerland, and they can still send missionaries, they just may have to get them domestically vs. importing them, as LDSguy pointed out.

  • BoomerJeff Saint George, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 8:36 a.m.

    Just a suggestion, instead of pulling a 2008 photo from your mtc file, couldn't someone e-mail the Swiss Mission President and get a more thoughtful photo of missionaries who are currently serving in Switzerland? With today's technology, it would just be a click away.

  • Mormonstudent Rexburg,, ID
    Dec. 14, 2010 8:28 a.m.

    Come to think of it, this might have more to do with European paranoia towards non-majority religious groups who practice what they believe. 'Sects' they call them. Europe doesn't have nearly the sense of individuality that the US does.

  • Mormonstudent Rexburg,, ID
    Dec. 14, 2010 8:26 a.m.

    Oooh this so so typical. European bureucracy with no real reason behind it. 'Gainfully employed?' Right, because missionaries are rich and the Swiss people are just clamoring to get that job. Oh well, the Church will just have to send more native EU missionaries there. Seriously, though, this is the kind of senseless way policies are made in Europe. I lived there for a year. Small government is a foreign concept. And I thought it was bad here...

  • Rick for Truth Provo, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 8:22 a.m.

    Religious bigotry is alive and flourishing in Switzerland. It will only be time before any LDS missionaries will be allowed in, from any country. It will take a change in Government and time to reverse the direction of this one. Very similar situation we experienced in Singapore a few decades age. In the end, the gospel will go forth unimpeded from man.

  • Mayfair Claremore, OK
    Dec. 14, 2010 8:06 a.m.

    "We have several similar cases from other countries, and to make an exception for the Mormons would create a precedent."

    They have several similar cases from other countries??

    Even if that were true--that other churches
    from other countries send missionaries to Switzerland who "are unpaid volunteers, serving...without compensation and not competing for employment with other workers"--
    its hard to see what they find objectionable about those who serve others, pay their own way, do not compete with others for employment, use no public services without paying for them, and require nothing of any Swiss person or entity.

  • SLCguy Murray, UT
    Dec. 14, 2010 7:59 a.m.

    So wouldn't an obvious fix be to have European kids serve those particular missions? (Instead of sending them to Utah, for instance?)