Mormon missionary critically injured in Idaho car crash


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    Nov. 6, 2013 12:37 a.m.

    My heart goes out to Elder Floyd and Joshua Morris. This is going to be very hard for both of them.

    Concerning safety for missionaries--considering the countries, neighborhoods, and homes that missionaries serve in, I can only conclude that the Lord spends a great deal of time watching over our missionaries. Frankly, were it not so, we would be seeing vastly more fatalities. I served places no woman, especially as a Caucasian American, should have been safe. I was robbed and mugged on my mission, but never physically injured. One of my children served in an area where he frequently saw dead bodies, the results of crime. Another served in an area where drug deals went down in broad daylight. Missionaries do get hurt and injured and beat up on missions, but not in anywhere near the frequency that should be expected for their ages, or where they serve.

    It is the Lord's work. Most he sends home to their families. Some return home to him. That's never easy, no matter when it happens.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:37 p.m.

    It is interesting that people attack the lower missionary age in an article about an accident that involved a 20-year-old missionary driving and his 19-year-old companion being injured. These are people who would be on a mission no matter what the age is.

    We need to focus more on driving safety for missionaries, but I do not think the answer is primarily in the hands of church leaders. Like other good practices, it needs to start at home. Parents need to teach their children better to be good drivers, not expect this skill to be inculcated in their child's mind on the mission.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    Sept. 8, 2013 7:35 p.m.

    Has there been an update since this article was published?

  • Jazzledazzle Provo, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    If this truly is the Lord's work, which it is, we have no reason to doubt. It doesn't mean our hearts don't break, but who are we to second guess the Lord?

    If He is calling 18 year olds to all parts of the world, then that is the way it needs to be. My heart goes out to the families involved.

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 3:03 p.m.

    Thorn Bird of St. George....

    Doubt and fear generally do not enter into the mission factor with dedicated LDS missionary families. It is more often the spirit of sacrifice and obedience to the Lord's work that see the missionary work move forward.

  • Einar Carson City, NV
    Sept. 5, 2013 1:50 p.m.

    Nice to see that Deseret News corrected all the many mistakes I pointed out in the original article. The update to the article corrected them.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 1:42 p.m.


    Not sure why you think that China will soon be seeing missionaries. They said that when I served a Chinese-speaking mission back over 25 years ago that the church would be in China...soon.

    On another matter...the article quotes that the mortality rate of LDS missionaries is 1/20 of their age across the globe. A more accurate measure would be the mortality rate of LDS 18-24 year olds who DO NOT go on missions versus those who are serve LDS missions in their age group.

  • Vincent Mrykalo Provo, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 12:30 p.m.

    My wife grew up in Mesa, Arizona. Sometime in the late 60's or early 70's there was a shooting death of a missionary. The companions were driving by an elementary school across the street from an LDS church. The car in the next lane had gang members who saw the young men in the car next to them and opened fire. One of the missionaries was killed. There has always been danger in any place and at any time. One of many good reasons to pray for the missionaries and our military.

  • CF Mom Sandy, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 10:22 a.m.

    I agree with the comment about inaccurate new reporting. My daughter was involved in a serious accident just over a year ago. She was at my home, in my care, for two days while both the newspapers and TV were reporting that she was in the hospital in critical condition. We sat and laughed but then had to answer all of the worried phone calls from family and friends checking in on her condition.

  • bw00ds Tucson, AZ
    Sept. 5, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    I do not understand all this debate about 18-year-olds. The 18-year-old was the passenger. According to the article, the driver was 20 years old. The other tragic deaths of missionaries except for one, I believe, were those of older missionaries.

  • Grandma 20 Allen, TX
    Sept. 5, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    The number of missionaries injured or killed pales compared to the number of unborn babies killed, which numbers in the millions every year.

  • LittleStream Carson City, NV
    Sept. 5, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    We surely didn't think that Satan was going to take the huge increase in missionary work in the church with no reaction. This work is vital, this work will roll on. I have the missionaries in my prayers all the time, as I'm sure all the parents and families do. Our church is truly unique in our young missionary force. They make the stripling warriors proud.

  • Old Scarecrow Brigham City, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 5:44 a.m.

    Since the driver of the missionary car in Idaho was 20 years old, the new younger age of departing missionaries had nothing to do with this accident. The other recent deaths were all widely varied in circumstances and can't be assigned to any single cause, except as numbers increase there will be more events.

    I pray that the families of these good young men who have recently been taken from us will be comforted by all who know them, and by their Heavenly Father.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 4:54 a.m.

    The Church should be held morally, legally, and financially responsible for the safety of these missionaries and the effects their deaths or harm has on their families.

  • bw00ds Tucson, AZ
    Sept. 5, 2013 12:15 a.m.

    Why all the debate about whether 18-year-olds are old enough or smart enough or wise enough or developed enough to serve a mission? The missionary driving the car was 20 years old!

  • Americanvet Ivins, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 11:43 p.m.

    @Coug93 and Strider303

    I am sorry to hear of the situations you both have had happen. I can't imagine how hard it would be. I hope there has been, and will continue to be healing from what's happened and many blessings in your lives. I'm also always so sad to hear about both missionaries and service men and women that make the ultimate sacrifice while serving God and country. These men and women are all heroes to me and I hope God will bless the families left behind.

  • mconner OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
    Sept. 4, 2013 11:10 p.m.

    I have no fear of my children serving missions wherever in the world they may be. I know that my children and even their parents can accidentally run a stop sign a block from home just as easily as in Idaho or New York or anywhere else. Accidents happen. I do believe the Lord watches over his missionaries and many accidents are averted. There is no other group of people that have more people praying for them than our missionaries. I preferred my mission 30 years ago when we only had our feet and public transportation. No cars, no bikes. That was in Italy. Prayers and thoughts with the families and friends of those missionaries recently injured and killed.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Sept. 4, 2013 11:08 p.m.

    Several zone conferences had segments were they discussed driver safety in cars. Many were missionaries were tragically killed by those breaking rules. Most instances though are accidents. Tragic anything like this happens. That is why it is important to pray for Lords protection If it is his will and do all we can in our power to drive safe. Even in those incidents however tragedy will still strike us. Hope all goes well there.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Sept. 4, 2013 10:21 p.m.

    I agree with the person reminding all of us we have men and women serving who are 18 in the military.

    If they are 18 and home or 18 serving a mission they are just as likely to be in a car accident or bike accident. There was a senior couple a few years and one of them died in a fire. Same numbers of fires per year. Statistically they could have had a fire in their own home as easily as their mission lodgings.

    I do have one small issue. The rules missionaries live by are not exactly ones adults live by. In many ways their movements and experiences are micromanaged as if they are children and not the adults they are supposed to be.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 10:12 p.m.

    Too bad there is no story on the number of deaths averted as Missionaries are miraculously spared every day. I can think of a number of times myself, when I was unharmed in dangerous situations. One Elder told me of having been shot at, point blank, from an ally-way, and the gun did not discharge...I asked why it did not discharge, and he replied that he didn't hang around to find out. We lament those who lose their lives in God's service, for missing them, but at the same time admire their commitment, and do not doubt their missionary work will continue in the Spirit World.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 8:41 p.m.

    Einar has a good point. My wife was killed in a car accident, I spent about twenty minutes with a reporter from DesNews answering background questions. Read the article and the reporter totally mis-reported basic facts given to her. From this experience I have concluded newspapers cannot be relied upon for totally accurate information.

    I used to have confidence in what I read in the paper, sort of like Will Rogers, and now I regard what I read as interesting and maybe true or factual but nothing to bet the farm on.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Sept. 4, 2013 8:27 p.m.

    Lets take a personal challenge to over train our young ones at home about car safety. Lets be apart of the answer instead of the complaint.

  • Coug93 OREM, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 8:05 p.m.

    I am one of those parents whose missionary was critically injured while serving. She has never been the same since and will require constant care the rest of her life. I can say that the church has a daunting task of taking care of the missionaries and dealing with these awful incidents. They do their best I am sure. In my case I was pretty bitter for a while, and was very reluctant to encourage my other children to serve missions (I served a mission)... It is tough to deal with, and my heart goes out to those parents. No matter how many hearts go out and prayers are offered, it really hurts for a long, long time..

  • texor Round Rock, TX
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:36 p.m.

    I'm sensitive to an Elder's life lost in a car accident on his mission because on my mission in the late 60's, I was transferred to replace an Elder killed in an accident in North Dakota, some 46 years ago. I still to this day remember his name and often think about the work he is doing now. May the Lord bless his family with knowledge to somehow mitigate the loss of their son.

  • justmesal MOUNTAIN VIEW, WY
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:23 p.m.

    The reporter was reporting what the police had reported. Police had also told reporters that the young man was already dead when he had not yet died. So it might not be a new reporter who is needed but more accurate police reports.

    Many of the comments here said that there are more accidents because of lowering the age, and therefore they have not had enough driving experience. Thing is most of those who have been injured or killed are in the past few weeks are in the older age group. The missionary driving in this car accident was 20. One of the missionaries killed a few weeks ago was 23. I do agree that with the higher # of missionaries there is the potential for higher percentage of accidents, but right now the accidents are not caused by younger drivers.

    Also as has been pointed out, a young man 18 to 26 (top age for male missionaries) is still safer on a mission than in the general population of 18 to 26 year olds.

    Sept. 4, 2013 7:17 p.m.

    Blackfoot's Morning News correctly reported the accident - the missionaries were traveling on 100 South and failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection with Highway 39. Highway 39 has no stop sign at that intersection. They were broadsided by the southbound truck. Condolences to all involved.

  • Dadof5sons Montesano, WA
    Sept. 4, 2013 5:14 p.m.

    with two sons out in the mission field. my heart breaks every time I read a story like this. doing good and a young life with dreams hopes and aspirations snuffed out like a lit match in a wind storm. My prayers to this Elders Family may they have the arms of the savior around them.
    On a side note I would be more then happy to pay a little extra for the church to set up a defensive driving class for each mission and only the elders and sisters who go through it can drive. It might save a few lives . Just a thought.

  • Kelliebelle66 West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 4:26 p.m.

    I bet if you take the statistics of the deaths of young men who have accidents and compare them to young men in the mission field they are comparable and maybe even less on the side of the missionaries. Brave Sir Robin thinks it might make parents think twice about sending their kids out. Not me. In fact, if you look at the activities of young men between the ages of 18 and 21 you hear a lot about binge drinking on college campuses that kill, or goofy stunts that go wrong. My son in law's good friend was the young man who was killed in the accident down at the arch. Young men love to thrill seek. Missionaries are not thrill seeking and they have strict mission rules they have to abide by. Most of the accidents in the mission field are transportation accidents that can just as easily have happened with them in a vehicle or bicycle in their own home town. My friend's 20 year old son was shot walking around in Salt Lake City. It made me feel ungrateful for being fearful for my missionary son in Mexico who was where I wanted him to be.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    I actually think that there are some valid points being made here regarding the new age reduction to 18. Add to this the adding of many of these young 18 year olds into new and exotic places in the world ...like China soon... or Russia etc... there is going to have to be some re-evaluation of the rules of proselyting. Car accidents can happen anywhere to anyone so those tragedies are with all of us unfortunately but things like stray bullets and biking accidents need to be addressed ...and perhaps result in some significant changes to some parts of the world. My son reported after his mission to Miami some really close calls he experienced. His mission president and wife were great people who did their best but overseeing 200+ missionaries spread out over very large urban areas is difficult at best. It comes down to maturity and 18 years old is pretty green. Many kids haven't even been outside their state at that age.

  • Idaho Dad Pocatello, ID
    Sept. 4, 2013 4:11 p.m.


    With my 18-year-old son on a mission, these reports certainly cause me concern. However, they do not cause me to doubt his service. For us as parents, it has been very much like Hannah delivering Samuel to God by leaving him at the temple with Eli. I still, in your words, feel very good about sending my son on a mission.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    Unfortunately, more missionaries will mean more accidents. If we are experiencing a spike in missionary deaths right now, it will average out over time.

    Unlike Christopher B, I don't believe that God "stays out of our lives". Miracles happen, but that does not mean that He will always intervene and prevent tragedies from happening.

    I feel sad when anyone dies prematurely, whether from sickness, accident, or as the victim of a crime or war. You never know what life will bring you next. You just try to be as careful as you can and thank God for every day that you, your family, and friends make it through safely.

  • 1FatherGod Eastpointe, MI
    Sept. 4, 2013 3:25 p.m.

    While the loss of life is a sad event, if God is calling more of these young Missionaries home while they are in their prime, I like to believe he has a much bigger plan for them. They have a mighty path to walk. 18 is not too young to do ANYTHING unsupervised, we send 18yr olds to fight and die for our causes everyday. The only answer would be to stop fighting for causes. Though in this case, better drivers training would have helped, the article said the driver ran a stop sign. But again we don't get to choose the time, or how, when we are called home.

  • ssuzan Denton, TX
    Sept. 4, 2013 2:58 p.m.

    He wasn't 18...

    Either way, our days are all numbered. The Lord knows what he is doing. It will take a lifetime and then some to catch up and understand His ways.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 2:33 p.m.

    18 is still an adult. And many 18 year old aged men and women are out driving without supervision.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    Sept. 4, 2013 1:07 p.m.

    Brave Sir Robin: It doesn't happen very happen, but I agree with your assessment. It is unfortunate, but having so many more missionaries -- and having them being even younger then before (thus, the frontal lobe -- the seat of judgement -- even less developed) is likely to result in increased risk of accident.

    My prayers for the injured missionary and his family.

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 1:06 p.m.

    Maybe 18 is too young for these kids to be out making decisions without supervision...

    Isn't this like 3 or 4 killed in the last 7 days??

    I truly feel sorry for the parents of these kids.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 1:06 p.m.


    More missionaries in the field unfortunately means more missionaries in danger. This is very unfortunate. However, statistically, missionaries are much more safer than those in the same age group.

  • twinb Nashville, TN
    Sept. 4, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    Well, we do hear about them more, I think, however if you think about it, with such a larger number of missionaries serving, the numbers of tragedies is bound to climb as well. Let's just hope it's a fluke that so many have died this year, and the numbers of deaths will drop.

    And I trust my son who is currently serving will be safe--I pray for it everyday. However, if something were to happen, I'd have to trust in the Lord, and know perhaps it was my son's time to go-we never know. I'm just hoping to not have to test that theory! But my heart goes out to these families.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Sept. 4, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    The early saints of the church made great sacrifice to bring the church forward, and their lives were part of that sacrifice. We are seeing many more missionaries serving, but the increase of death far exceeds the increase. I so admire these young men and women who are willing to serve and their parents for their support. I also admire them for being willing to even sacrifice their life or limb to serve. I can't answer for these young missionaries, but I would not be surprised that for all those who have had their lives cut short, each one of them would say they would still be willing to serve. I do hope and pray for the comfort of their loved ones and as with our military, I thank them for their spiritual soldiers that are serving.

  • milhouse Atlanta, GA
    Sept. 4, 2013 12:28 p.m.

    Others have noted that there seems to be more missionaries hurt or killed. This is entirely unsurprising given the reduction in age and accompanying increase in service rate.

    If a given missionary will die on his mission with probability P, then increasing the number of missionaries will inevitably increase the number who die. Further, 18-20 year olds are perhaps more likely to die in accidents than 19-21 year olds, increasing P. In the case of this missionary, an extra year of driving experience (meaning a 25-33% increase in total) *might* have made some type of difference, but we obviously don't know who was at fault or if the accident was avoidable in any way.

    Others (not on this comment thread) have observed that historically, the P for missionaries seems to be lower than the P for the comparable general population. This may indeed remain true, but there is likely to be some sort of regression to the mean, with the low P|missionary being somewhat a factor of randomness. *Engineer Done*

    As Sister Todd said, any missionary lost is felt by the Church, and my prayers are with the families.

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    Sept. 4, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    Parents have felt very good in the past about sending their children on a mission for the LDS Church.
    Personally, seeing families loose sons on Mormon missions......
    Will this change now?
    Doubt, fear?

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Sept. 4, 2013 11:42 a.m.

    Three reasons you're hearing more about missionary injuries:

    1. They're being more widely reported. When I was a missionary my comp was shot in the back by a stray bullet from a nearby gang battle - it wasn't in the Deseret News.
    2. More missionaries drive cars than before. As you know, cars are by far the most dangerous form of transportation around.
    3. There are more missionaries in general. When you double the number of missionaries, you can expect to double the number of injuries.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Sept. 4, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    From the photo, it looks like the passenger side of the car was hit by the truck, rather than the car hitting the side of the truck. In other words, the car entered the intersection slightly first, and the front of the truck hit it. This would explain why the passenger in the car was so much more injured than the driver.
    Having said that, it is a terrible thing as have been several missionary deaths recently. I can't remember how many there have been in say the last 6 months, but maybe the DN could remind us.

  • abtrumpet Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    I have heard about way too many missionaries being injured lately. It used to be that you'd hear maybe one a year, now it's like 2 a week.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    what in the world is going on with missionary safety? Every week we read about some new tragedy. If he is on life support it looks grim ...but miracles do happen. Hope for a miracle here.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    Sad for all involved.

    Unlike others, I don't blame God for this.

    I think God mainly stays out of our lives and lets things happen according to our decisions AND the decisions of others.

    Similarly, if all had survived with no injuries it would not have been due to God, but simply how the actions of those involved played out.