Comments about ‘LDS officials say missionary deaths are 'rare,' missions are 'inherently safe' (+video)’

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Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4 2013 7:00 p.m. MDT

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Murrieta, CA

I would expect the death rate among missionaries to be substantially less than for those 19-21 living a normal life. What are the dangers of going out and visiting people compared to all the other things that young people that age are doing? There seems to be a larger than normal number of deaths recently but I imagine it will be followed by a lull. All these deaths are tragic and unfortunate but not unexpected with such large numbers of missionaries.

Alpine, UT

As the mother of a missionary currently serving I can tell you I worry about my son's safety. What parent doesn't? I pray for his safety daily. My heart breaks for the families of the missionaries who have been hurt or have died recently. I pray that the families can be comforted at this time. I think it is admirable that the church has released these statements. I think we could best serve the families of those left behind by being good neighbors and showing kindness or praying for their comfort at this tender time.

Cardston, Alberta

These deaths are not occurring in crime-ridden areas. They are occurring in peaceful areas for the most part. On a roof in Guatemala, helping an LDS member move to another residence in Guatemala, on a road in somewhat rural Idaho. No, these are not in gang lands of ghetto Detroit as has been referred to. Yes, missionary work IS inherently safe. LDS Church issuing a "disclaimer"; not at all the case! I served in Europe over fifty years ago. Six of my seven children have served(Philadelphia, Knoxville, Las Vegas, SLC, Montreal, and Halifax). They drive, they cycle, they walk, they bus. They do not go to bars, do not hang out in party crowds where booze and drugs are present, and otherwise are firmly directed to obey ALL laws of driving etc. Bad stuff happens even to us law-abiding folks. NO, there is no "disclaimer" needed or requested by any of us parents or LDS members. Just the gentle re-assurance that we are known to our Savior, He loves each of us, and certainly to those who lose their life in His service gives He His peace and comfort through the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.

Cougar in Texas
Houston, TX

According to the CDC in 2009 (most recent year I could find), the US death rate for the 20-24 year old age group was about 1 per 1,000. That is still 10x the death rate of full-time young missionaries. Yes, overall it is safer to be a missionary than to do whatever it is other young people in the same age group are doing.

sandy, ut

Would god really take a missionary life early? Not the god I know. If he does it is the cruelest thing he could do. We hear many people here say that the victim is serving his mission on the other side. Nobody knows that, they are just guessing so that theory is just a wild guess. In my mind, god wouldn't ever cut anybody's life short so they could serve on the other side. The biggest question for me is why doesn't he protect his missionaries?

Cardston, Alberta

For you folks who have no clue about such matters, why do you persist in embarrassing yourselves on LDS topics? Are we now to keep these same 18 yr old young high school graduates home from college too? Can we not sent them to Harvard, Stanford, or Oxford?? How about USC? Hardly a safe place. Knock yourselves out. Your logic makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Pittsburgh, PA

A majority of these unfortunate deaths are in car accidents. That could happen anywhere whether third world country or state-side.

Salt Lake City, UT

Given the number of missionaries and the dangerous places they serve, it is an absolute miracle more are not hurt or killed.

I have great empathy for the pain and sorrow of these families. Prayers and respect to you all.

Cedar City, UT

I went on a mission and my fellow missionaries were between 19-21. Not exactly the most responsibly cohort. With all they good they did, many did get up to mischief, pull stunts, break rules of safety etc. It is little wonder that more out in the field have been seriously hurt.

However, when someone is hurt or the end result is tragic, my thoughts and prayers go out to those families and friends who have been deeply impacted by any one of these fatal accidents.

Salt Lake City, UT

"The Church does everything it can to ensure the safety of its missionaries, ..." I guess we are supposed to take this to the bank. I have two close friends who had sons on missions in Bolivia and Brazil respectively. They say had they known
the circumstances their kids were dealing with they would have gone to those places and taken their kids out. My son who went to a dangerous part of United States on his mission won't talk about it for fear of scaring us. Let's just say I'm glad he's home and dry.

Cedar City, UT

"...two close friends who had sons on missions in Bolivia and Brazil respectively. They say had they known the circumstances their kids were dealing with they would have gone to those places and taken their kids out."

Did they talk to anyone who had served in these countries or used the Internet to do any due dilligence? I don't anything about Bolivia but I would have checked into it.

Cardston, Alberta

For anyone interested: I recently attended the funeral for a deceased missionary. The Church did indeed send a representative with condolences from the First Presidency. Most of us already know this to be the case. Others might find this information valuable. To Brother Ben: no one owes you anything. You are displaying a curious attitude of entitlement vis-a-vis The LDS Church, and related issues. If you need some counselling, LDS social services is there for you.

Providence, UT

Several comments in this thread have referenced the fact that LDS missionaries work in poor crime-ridden areas of the world. While this is true, the repeated inference that missionary deaths (the subject of the article) have been due to criminal activity in these areas is mostly false. Contrarily, most LDS missionary injuries and deaths have been a result of traffic or other accidents, which by the way happen to young (and older) adults everywhere with comparable or greater frequency/rate.

Perhaps "inherent" is the wrong word to use, but statistically, 18-20 something LDS missionaries have and will continue to post a safety record that far exceeds the norm - - especially given the areas of the world in which they operate.

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