Comments about ‘Mormon missionary critically injured in Idaho car crash’

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Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4 2013 9:45 a.m. MDT

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Christopher B
Ogden, UT

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.

Cedar Hills, UT

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.

Provo, UT

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.

Buena Vista, VA

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.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

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.

St.George, Utah

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?

Atlanta, GA

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.

Florissant, MO

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.

Nashville, TN

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.

Cedar City, UT


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.

Kaysville, UT

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.

metamora, IL

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.

Cedar City, UT

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

Denton, TX

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.

Eastpointe, MI

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.

Orem, UT

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.

Idaho Dad
Pocatello, ID


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.

Cedar Hills, UT

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.

West Jordan, UT

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.

Montesano, WA

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.

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