Mormon missionary, musician killed in Guatemala accident


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  • Gringo Chef Phoenix, AZ
    July 30, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    having served in Guatemala on my mission in the 90's I can visualize exactly what happened. We would ride in the back of trucks all the time, even though we were advised by the mission president not to. But it was so much easier than taking the "chicken" busses and being squished and sat upon (really they cram them like sardines!)The roads out there are terrible full of pot holes, etc. I can only imagine up in Coban, the jungle area how bad the roads are. My heart and prayers goes out to the family of this missionary. It makes me remember how easy this could of happened to me too when I was serving and my disobedience in riding in back of trucks. I am not saying that this elder was being disobedient riding, it was just the policy in our mission. But living out there in Guatemala is noting like living here in the States.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    July 28, 2013 1:11 a.m.

    Silverprospector: Your questions all revolve around man’s narrow and limited view of time, space, life and death. Thirty years ago Rabbi Harold S. Kushner wrote a book entitled, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” since people everywhere struggle with the same questions.

    The millennia-old fear of death has been answered and overcome through the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ! His church today, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, contains the answers to all your questions, and more, about the purposes of life. I urge you to meet with our missionaries so that you can learn more. If you are a member already, there is always more to be learned through the process of study, faith and continual revelation, which is the unique doctrinal difference between the LDS church and all others in the world today.

    You will find that belief can turn into knowledge when faith is exercised, and that exercising faith is one of the key purposes of this life. Best wishes to you in your search for truth.

  • Silverprospector SAN ANTONIO, TX
    July 27, 2013 8:54 a.m.


    I must correct you. None of the things you stated are known. They may be believed, but how would you know that? Of course, you can't. Why would god allow a young man to be taken before he grows old. Why does got let children of any age die? If he knows us all, and knows what our choices will be anyways, why can't he stop tragedies from happening? Why does he allow children and young men to die daily?

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    July 27, 2013 7:19 a.m.

    @lasvegaspam....are you kidding? You just listed opinion after opinion. I for one don't believe in a thing you just mentioned and I've been a member for 61 years.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    July 27, 2013 1:15 a.m.

    The Burton family is truly an exemplary family. Elder Burton was known and loved by so many in our two entire stakes here in the Cardston area. A huge funeral on Monday is anticipated as he touched so many lives. Tonight as we attended the Carriage House Theatre we viewed a tribute in the theater lobby that has been created in Elder Burton's honor. He may even perform at his own funeral if clips of his performances are shown.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    July 26, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    Brahmabull, The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches that our Heavenly Father resides in a place and in a time outside of this earth. He is able to see things before they happen, when they happen, and after they happen; and all at the same time, if He so chooses. He already knows each choice you and I will make. He comprehends the impact His missionary’s passing will have on all connected to this young elder. Thus, He is able to make ALL things work for His good. Who are we to say that this is not the best way for this young man to have passed over? We have been promised that no blessing (marriage, children, posterity) will be denied those in this young man’s situation.

    These things are not known to the majority of people in the world today, but to the Latter-day Saints they are known! Who’s to say that this Elder’s passing will not have an immense impact on those he worked with and on behalf of.

    Let us rejoice in this knowledge, and use our faith to carry us through the challenging days ahead before the Savior returns.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    July 26, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    If they were protected by heavenly father then why do any of them die? That is a flaw in logic.

    "He extended Josh Burton's mission call to the other side of the veil. This was His plan for Josh."

    This statement is pure speculation. You do not know that, and I don't know why anybody would assume that. We have no idea.

    Your stats may be correct that missionaries are 20 times less likely to die... Don't you think that has something to do with them not doing dangerous activities during their missionary years? They don't swim, hunt, motorcycle, fight, go to bars, drink, smoke, ride bulls, join the military, etc. that is why the death rate is less. they spend their nights in members houses or in their house. There is your reason for missionaries being 20 times less likely to die.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    July 26, 2013 8:19 a.m.


    How do you know what god's plan is for him? How would you know that his call is extended to the other side? How would anybody know that.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    July 26, 2013 12:58 a.m.

    When injury or accident occurs, God blesses and is aware of ALL our missionaries; those who pass to the other side and those whose lesser injuries allow them to stay on this side. May His spirit continue to be with us all.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    July 25, 2013 6:08 p.m.

    Condolences to the family, and Best Wishes that you'll find peace in remembering your loved one.

  • LisaRatz Orem, UT
    July 25, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    The mortality rate for people ages 15-24 in the US is 0.0792%, as opposed to the mortality rate of LDS Missionaries world-wide of 0.0042%. LDS Missionaries are 20 times less likely to die than their peers.

    Missionaries are protected by our Heavenly Father.

    Heavenly Father is in charge. He is in control of the lives of our Missionaries. He extended Josh Burton's mission call to the other side of the veil. This was His plan for Josh.

    On Facebook, Josh's mother wrote, "Please know that our faith is intact. We are certain Josh was in God's care even as he died. We fully believe we will see Josh again when it is our turn to be called Home." "All will be well."

    May we all follow her example.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    July 25, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    Joey D, oldschooler

    Why would you make predictions on what kingdom somebody went to? How would anybody know that?

  • oldschooler USA, TX
    July 25, 2013 7:24 a.m.

    For sure in a celestial world, bless his family and tribute to a young man dying in the service of God. Thank you for your service.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    July 24, 2013 7:03 p.m.

    Anytime we hear of something like this happening it's always deeply tragic. My heart goes out to the Burton family and pray the Lord will bring peace and comfort to their grieving hearts.

    It's times like this though that makes me wonder and question what it really means when the the Lord said, "...for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and your left...and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." D&C 84:87-88. Truly the Lord's ways are not our ways and our minds cannot comprehend his will so we are left to just trust that He knows what's best for us. Sadly, often times it doesn't really ease the pain.

  • kimnprovo Orem, UT
    July 24, 2013 5:09 p.m.

    7dawg, I believe if I were in the place of the Burton family your comment would definitely be what I would need to hear! A kind word of tribute to this young man and I'm sure one of thousands they will hear and will NEED to hear to help comfort them.

  • Kelliebelle66 West Jordan, UT
    July 24, 2013 4:22 p.m.

    Brother Benjamin Franklin, things like this happen even when young people stay in their hometowns. We can't hide under a rock and refuse to send our children out into the world to serve or to be educated. When my son left for his mission to Mexico I was very worried about his safety due to the amount of violence that was happening and being reported in the news. I constantly stewed over what might happen. Then not long after my son left a friend lost her 20 year old son to murder on the streets of Salt Lake City. After that I realized how unreasonable I was being and that I needed to have more faith. I know my friend would have been grateful at that time to have her son on a mission not to mention alive and here I was letting fear take over my heart. Fear is the opposite of faith. I learned to put the things I couldn't control into the Lord's hands and was able to have peace until my son returned. This young elder is an inspiration and despite his short life was able to touch many people through music and service.

  • 7dawg Norman, OK
    July 24, 2013 2:31 p.m.

    I visited family in Cardston one year and Josh and his brother came to the house I was at to visit the teenage daughter there. While there they put on a mini concert on the spot and just for fun. I was blown away by the talent and spirit of those boys. I told my wife that I wouldn't mind if our daughter married a young man like either of them. God bless to this family at this most difficult time.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    July 24, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    This is a tragic story. Such a young man killed doing service. I am thinking of his family.


    Lets not say that this is the best way one could pass away. I don't think the family or the victim himself would agree with you. I bet he would have much rather been able to get married, have kids, and grow old then be in an accident when he was young. We tend to glorify those who pass away on missions as if those taken were somehow meant to be taken. I don't believe that. That may be a way for us to cope with the loss, but I believe it happened only because it happened. No reason for it. Still very tragic.

    July 24, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    Brother Benjamin Franklin

    You know death is part of life, you can't hide under a rock. This young man is now in the Celestial Kingdom! God bless his family in this time of grief. Thank God for the young men and women who choose to serve the Lord.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    July 24, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    My heart feels great empathy for the Burton family, even moreso because my oldest son just returned safe and sound from his mission to Maryland just last Thursday. In every single family prayer for 22 1/2 months we prayed for his safety, both physically and spiritually. Picking him up at the airport and seeing him "home" was a joyous experience, indeed.

    No doubt Bro. and Sis. Burton and their children offered sincere prayers of safety to the Lord as well. However, the Lord knew it was Elder Burton's time to return home and we must all humbly submit to the wisdom and will of our loving Savior.

    May the time of your separation feel brief, and may the joy of that eventual reunion, through the Master, be more joyous and wonderful than you can ever imagine.

    God lives. May He bless and comfort you in your time of need.

  • CB Salt Lake City, UT
    July 24, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    Each time we sent a missionary off, the thought that they might not return was always there.
    After listening to his music, his talent was 'awesome' as his generation might say, and he
    will be remembered for who he was and what he has done in his short life. God bless his family with understanding and treasure what he has left of himself before he returned to his celestial home.

  • Steven11421 AUSTIN, TX
    July 24, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    The number of missionaries that die while serving is very low (each one is tragic, and no disrespect goes to any family). The church does a lot of training on safety for the missionaries.

    US average is 10 vehicle deaths per 100,000 population per year. There are 70,000 missionaries currently serving. This means that on average 7 will pass away this year because of vehicle accidents.

    We do not live a in perfect world. The Lord allows things to happen for his purposes. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

  • DHuber Palmyra, NY
    July 24, 2013 7:36 a.m.

    One thing we do not often teach our sons is how precious life is and how short it can become. Protecting yourself from hazards is not something than comes with just experience but can be taught. In this case details are few but we can only surmise as 4 people were injured that they likely were riding in the back of the truck. No service project is worth your life.

  • Juan E. Otaiza J. BROAD BROOK, CT
    July 24, 2013 7:14 a.m.

    My oldest son will return from the mission in less than a month. I understand how you may feel. The investigation of accidents in the mission and the church can help minimize them.

  • Jazzledazzle Provo, UT
    July 24, 2013 6:34 a.m.

    As a devoted active member of the LDS church one of the things I struggle with is a missionary dying on a mission. I always ask why the Lord would let this happen.

    The conclusion I have drawn is that it must be their time to go. Moving on from this life while in the service of the Lord is about the best way you can go.

    My prayers and thoughts to this young man's family.

  • Hunam Layton, UT
    July 24, 2013 6:07 a.m.

    Very Sad. All I can say is he died in the service of God, and that no other cause is more worthy of salvation. No doubt he is doing what he loves with his loved ones that passed on before him, among the celestial musicians.

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    July 24, 2013 5:57 a.m.

    It is sad and unfortunate when things like this happen - but it is also well to remember that hearts that were touched and a legacy left by the music that Elder Burton composed and shared.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 23, 2013 11:45 p.m.

    This is tragic. The family needs all of the combined kindness and prayers possible. It does seem that accidents on missions seems to be increasing. I would hope the church would take steps to make missions safer...a parent shouldn't have to worry about their son or daughter. Accidents happen and some times there is no way to prevent them but as I said it seems like the rate is climbing.

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    July 23, 2013 11:15 p.m.

    This is the worst kind of thing anyone can ever have happen. My heart goes out to this family and they will be in my prayers.

    I cannot understand why missionaries bother to serve when these are the sorts of things we have to deal with. People should just stay and serve missions where they lived and we would see far less of this.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    July 23, 2013 10:36 p.m.

    So sad...

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 23, 2013 8:28 p.m.

    Any missionary dying in service is a difficult thing. Yet, there is also something sacred about death in the service of God.

    May his family and friends be blessed in their time of grief.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    July 23, 2013 7:44 p.m.

    My heart goes out to the family of this young man. Words cannot heal your pain but know there are people praying for you.