Comments about ‘All LDS missionaries in Philippines now 'safe and accounted for'’

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Published: Monday, Nov. 11 2013 7:20 p.m. MST

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CentralUtah
Alpine, UT

A modern day miracle.

D. Call
El Paso, TX

I am thrilled that all the missionaries were accounted for. But I wish the article would have focused more on the tens of thousands of locals who are missing and presumed dead.

Brother Benjamin Franklin
Orem, UT

Thank God that the missionaries in that area of the world are safe and accounted for. Our faith and prayers have been answered.

With that having been said, I think the time has come for Church leaders, missionaries, and members to consider some things.

There were people that died and buildings destroyed. The Church was fortunate to have known about this storm ahead of time.

To its credit, 72-hour kits were handed out and missionaries were moved. No lives were lost and it appears no missionaries were injured. But it still took several days to reach at least 24 missionaries.

The Church must improve communications and contingency plans for the future. What if there had been no prior knowledge of the disaster--like with earthquakes, fires, and flash floods? What if it was just grab and go?

I realize these are what if's, but these things happen. I think the time has come to require 72-hour kits in missionary apartments, equip missionaries with radios, develop Plan A, B, and C plans to communicate and so forth.

We have to do better. We owe it to the missionaries and their families who are sacrificing time, talents, and finances.

pat1
Taylorsville, UT

Wonderful news!

caf
Bountiful, UT

Brother Ben. You have some valid suggestions. I sent my daughter a 72-hour kit when she attended BYU-H. After she graduated, she passed on what was left of it to one of her friends who still had time left before graduating. It was nice for her to know that she was prepared for a hurricane and I felt more peace of mind as well. During hurricane warnings when power was out and phones didn't work, the students would move to higher ground. I could keep contact with my daughter via texting.

Roundtrip
Thomasville, GA

I agree, Brother Ben and Caf, but I also think it's time for all members abroad and in the states to have an alternative way of communicating in case we all lose power from black outs, civil turmoil, etc. I love our church. We're so organized for disasters such as this.

The Reader
Layton, UT

GOOD NEWS!!

Coach Biff
Lehi, UT

My daughter is in the Angeles mission north of all this devastation. We were able to contact her through normal email. She let us know that there are several native missionaries in her mission from these central islands who have no idea how their families have fared. She plead with us to pray for the Filipino people. What a tragedy. Hope we are all up for service and donations to this struggling country and it's beautiful people.

ThornBirds
St.George, Utah

The Mormon Church could gain great acclaim should they teach, share, and help finance families around the world in their constructing 72 hour kits for all.
Emotions are mixed when reading articles such as this. So many people have perished and continue to throughout the world with the many calamities taking place on earth.

Vladhagen
Salt Lake City, UT

When I was a missionary in Korea 5 or so years ago we had 72 hour kits and plans and maps of where to go in case of a sudden disaster. The Church does a really good job of keeping their missionaries prepared I feel. Good news to see that the preparations paid dividends.

David
Centerville, UT

Bro. Ben Franklin,

I served in the Philippines Davao Mission 1988-90. My mission president, Jovencio Ilagan, instructed all missionaries to keep a 72 hour supply of food and water with us in our apartments at all times. We also had a communication system developed (no cell phones, of course) to notify missionaries if an evacuation was required. We kept a reserve of money with us to fund an evacuation.

In short, I believe the church has been teaching this level of preparation for decades.

Thornbirds,

From my perspective, Thomas S. Monson, as God's prophet, is not only the prophet for the LDS Church but for all people. Unfortunately, not all people follow the prophet's admonitions and counsel.

The LDS website is available for anyone with internet to access. On it, anyone will find counsel regarding 72 hour kits, self-reliance, and other valuable messages, which if followed, will bless every life.

Additionally, missionaries, church members and church leaders try to share the good news of the gospel, with its attendant warnings and admonitions, with everyone, everywhere. All are invited to "come" and enjoy the blessings of the church.

Not everyone can survive these events. We can only try.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

David,
Poverty around our world, on many levels limits many human beings at what they are able to afford to do. We know many are living on the brink of doom with next to nothing let alone funds for extras. Most likely, these people work every single day of their lives to try to find and develop some sort of self reliance to keep themselves and their families alive. They may appreciate your Prophet's words, but....

grandmagreat
Lake Havasu City, AZ

What a blessing that the Missionary's are all safe. Having been a Missionary mom and Grandma i know how each family relyed on the Lord to protect these wonderful servants of our Heavenly Father. The Saots om the Phyllipines are in our prayers as well as other's who were effected by this horrible storm

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

It's a relief and good news regarding the safety of the missionaries.

It's disappointing that there are those willing to criticize the Church and basically say the Brethren are out of touch and then need to do thus-and-so.

The time to evaluate preparedness is not right now. Now is the time to provide relief efforts, which the Church is doing. Their buildings are being used as shelters and they are sending in supplies.

Be grateful you haven't had to endure such a tragedy, or your family, either.

justmesal
MOUNTAIN VIEW, WY

David I think you said it best. The Church Leaders have for years advocated preparedness and don't say it should be only the members who follow that advice. They've been sharing for many years.
I know a couple of former missionaries who have been in areas that had been hit by earthquakes and there were plans in place. Unfortunately no matter how prepared you try to be, sometimes, things happen in a way that that makes plans not work according to those plans. It would be hard to have better communication than the government of the country they are in (USA included) or general population has. But I do know that in an emergency the home teachers and visiting teachers are to help the Bishop by contacting their families any way possible. If going out and walking to find those who have been affected by a disaster is the only way they can contact missionaries and members, then that is how it will be done, even if it takes 3 days or more.
My prayers are for all those affected by the storm. I know the Church's Humanitarian Service will work to help anyone who needs it.

David
Centerville, UT

no fit in SG,

Believe me, I know the poverty you speak of. I lived in the Philippines for 2 years and visited directly with people who were very poor. As a missionary I tried to teach plain, true principles that will elevate and improve life. I can only hope I was a good missionary and did my best.

While there we helped improve houses, we built churches, we donated blood, we donated food and clothing. We taught of faith, repentance, forgiveness, love, compassion, and so many other things that Christ taught. I think of the Filipino people all the time, hoping and praying for them.

In Mark 14:3-9 we hear Jesus state that "…ye have the poor with you always". In my mind it is an acknowledgment that despite our best efforts, there will always be poor among us. But we still try to help.

Read President Uchtdorf's conference talk titled "Providing in the Lord's Way" on lds.org. I believe that although too many live as you described, destitute with not enough to save and build a 72 hours kit, that situation can and will change if we follow the prophet's counsel.

ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

I appreciate the sentiments as well as the sincerity behind Benjamin Franklin's suggestions. When I was on my mission, we had emergency evacuation plans and so on and so forth; just as I am sure they do now.

However, as I see it, the church could not only have plans A, B, C, D, E, F, G and all the way to Q, and still there could be a situation that would have required plan 'R'. You could also tie a leash to each missionary and load them down with 100 pounds of supplies, flares, water purification kits; in addition to their tracting materials.

We can't avoid every tragedy. Sometimes the best we can do is to try and be prepared and then press on and remember that life is a growing experience and we do our best to deal with each and every obstacle and challenge.

justmesal
MOUNTAIN VIEW, WY

To no fit in SG:
I am trying to understand what you are saying. Do you feel that the church should be supplying the billions of people on earth with 72 hour kits? The Church already does go into countries that have the poorest of poor and help them by teaching them how to build wells for cleaner water supplies, and other things that will help the people. Yes they could go in and build those things them selves, but they teach the people because then if they break down, the people will know how to fix it. The Church has many programs through the Humanitarian Service to help others be better prepared to help themselves. Another program, the Perpetual Education Fund is used to help raise people out of poverty by helping them gain an education. Instead of thinking the Church is not doing what it should be doing by supplying the world with 72 hour kits, maybe you should look around and see what the Church is doing to help those with "nothing let alone funds for extras."

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Good news. Prayers Answered, Miracles.
No. Thousands died. Is god just an exclusive country club?

bjdoc
Boise, Idaho

40 years ago, I lived in the Philippines, and knew all fifty of the church members. Now with the church located in thousands of small towns, just think of your duties as a Bp. in Tacloban City. Please let this disaster get us mobilized and send more help to the thousands of members restoring their homes, their schools, and their food supplies. I am sure you will soon be reading stories of the huge efforts of our church members, getting involved in the rebuilding that will be now required. I am so relieved that all missionaries have been contacted. Just think of the great work that has occured in the Philippines,:: from 50 members to almost 700.000 in just 40 years.

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