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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San Diego
Orem, UT

A correction should be noted that the winds reached 295 Kilometers per hour (183 mph) not 295 mph.

Concord, NH

Correction: The article mistakenly stated the winds were 295 mph. It should read 295 kph, which is 183 mph.

Terrie Bittner
Warminster, PA

For the person who wondered why the article didn't include all the other missing people: As a writer, I can tell you an article is only supposed to be about one thing. I went to Mormon Times to learn about the Mormon angle of the story. I went to the World News section to learn about everyone else.

The Church and private Mormons have been teaching about 72 hour kits for a very long time. So has the Red Cross. People have to choose to follow through. While it's true many are quite poor, I read about a Relief Society (LDS women's organization) in a developing nation that taught the women to put one spoonful of rice into a jar every night when they made their rice. When the jar was full, they sealed it. Eventually, they had food storage. We don't have to build the entire kit at once. A small piece at a time will eventually make a kit. Experience has shown me, though, that most people think it can never happen to them. The hard part is convincing them it can.

Athens, GA

My daughter in laws brother was one of the missionaries unaccounted for until a day ago. The church did an excellent job keeping communications open with family and,it sounds like, preparing these young people to weather out the storm a safely as possible. Now the real work begins for these elders and sisters and they prepare to assist those around them.

Carson City, NV

Thank you Heavenly Father for keeping your missionaries safe from harm!

Woods Cross, UT

I will fast this Sunday for the Filipino people and make a special fast offering donation. I am sure that the Church could use the money at this time to help these people in the near future. Would anyone care to join me?

Kaysville, UT

After living in the Philippines during dozens of typhoons and even some earthquakes and in Mississippi and Alabama and Arkansas during hurricanes and tornadoes, the Church's message of if you are prepared you have less of a need to fear. It is fearful, none the less and prayers can help sustain those even prepared.

It is wrenching to see those people who don't have food and shelter in the sun of the day without shelter overhead with another storm approaching.

The Church is always so willing to help with humanitarian service.

Iowa, Iowa

No doubt the missionaries in Tacloban will be evacuated.

Our son was one of the 3 missionaries in Grenada when hurricane Ivan hit. It took days for them to reach him but they made arrangements to get them out immediately.

Tacloban is much worse and it would not be safe for them to stay.


No missionaries died as a result of the typhoon. Sadly, we've seen a number of reports this year of missionaries losing their lives in other parts of the world. Out of respect for the families who have lost loved ones serving missions, I can't attribute the outcome in the Philippines to a miracle of God.


@Terri Bittner,

You talked about the Relief Society teaching the women to put one spoonful of rice into a jar every night when they made their rice. What do they feed their children on a night that they have no rice? Do they open the jar or go hungry? What about the next night?

My filipino wife remembers many, many nights going to bed with no food. Days with one meal. She remembers going to relatives and asking for a cup of rice.

It's a nice thought to save a spoonful of rice every night. Now, there's also the issue of the jar. You know some people don't have a jar? Seriously.

Salt Lake City, UT

Ulvegaard, I appreciate your comment. Some commentors have served missions, some have not. Speaking only for myself when serving my mission in Europe, I felt strongly that I was in the Lord's hands; I came close to death twice in accidents while riding a bicycle on wet, slick cobblestone streets amid thick traffic. Some would think I should have been fearful; I was not in the least. I felt entirely content to be preserved or taken, as the Lord might determine. In neither accident was I hurt beyond a couple of light bruises. My suit even survived the first instance!

Many missionaries in the Philippines may feel as I did. They would want their families to trust in the Lord and not worry unduly over their well-being. What an adventure to serve as a missionary in the midst of the most intense hurricane in recorded history! What an opportunity to serve God's children, members and non-members alike! I would have been highly annoyed had my family at home worried themselves so much as to appear on television news, expressing their anxiety over my survival. Trust in the Lord; wait upon the Lord.

Puyallup, WA

Having lived in the Philippines I can see what you are saying. The poverty there is soul crushing. The first month I was there as a missionary I couldn't think of much else besides what these people didn't have. Eventually I learned that I couldn't change that situation but I could help them in other ways and let the gospel change their lives. The great thing about the church is that it teaches people to be self reliant. This doesn't happen overnight but in time it can change how people live. The church can't solve the poverty problem in the Philippines and neither will the government there. People may not have a spare jar or spare rice now. The church teaches people to become more self reliant and save up a little bit as they can. This same principle should apply to every person from rich to poor.

Bakersfield, CA

Were the Biblical Jesus on earth, it is probable that He would direct all believer's donations to food and shelter for the poor. Massive building programs of all denominations, elaborate temples, ornate cathedrals, huge Kingdom Halls and printing complexes, etc., might be seen as excessive to those truly concerned about the hungry children and families who live in daily squalor and poverty.

Having been in many poor countries, most of us know the truth of the axiom- "Few care about what you know until they know that you care".

Our churches and worship houses are special and meant to glorify our God. But excess leaves less for the disastrous times. I personally don't want to see one more $5 million Baptist complex from my own denom either. Per the book of Hebrews, Christ is the final High Priest (no more needed for sacrifices) and His priesthood unchangeable/non-transferrable (7:7-28) and thus no need for a sacrificial altar in a man-built temple (Hebrews ch 7-13).

God bless all efforts to rescue and restore what has been destroyed.

Kent, WA

I have a daughter serving in the Tacloban Philippines mission, Sister Sarah Ralph. She was assigned to Carigara and roomed with Sr. Webber, though they were not companions. We spoke with her this morning from Manila after a very difficult 4 days. Her greatest concern was for the people she left behind without food and water, members of the church and others. She had some frightening experiences but was protected by the Lord's Hand in many ways. I paraphrased her comments in her missionary blog. We are grateful to the Missionary Dept and the Asia Area Presidency who called us and kept us updated on their progress in getting in contact with and evacuated all the missionaries from the area. Sarah wants to return to those people that she has grown to love and we hope that she can soon.

Esther Simpson
Mesa, AZ

I do not believe they are all safe. David Grommet is missing and presumed dead. And both Tillie and William Horton remain unaccounted for.

Careful reporting in a crisis! Please!

Maryville, MO

Oatmeal: I respect your fast and agree wholeheartedly for it. However, Fast Offerings stay in the unit where as Humanitarian Offerings will go in support of the Philippines and around the world. That is where you need to make your donations. Go ahead and do the fast offering but also place a generous offering in the Humanitarian fund.

Mesa, AZ

My sister and her husband are serving in Manila and heard this morning, Wednesday Nov 13, about how the missionaries (the 22 missing ones) were located and were able to get on flights back to Manila. A priesthood leader who had been helping care for 3,000 members who were taking refuge in a church building went out and located the missionaries. He did this after losing his home and all of his possessions. The missionaries were able to get to the airport in Tacloban by walking several kilometers. Even though they had electronic tickets they were not able to get on their flights in all the confusion. A US marine saw the missionaries at the airport and asked how he could help. He was a member, Brother Clark. He was able to get them on flights to Manila. He later told the leaders there that he was wondering why he was here, but he knew after he was able to help the missionaries.

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