Comments about ‘Mormon missionaries robbed in Russia’

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Published: Sunday, Feb. 16 2014 9:45 p.m. MST

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J in AZ
San Tan Valley, AZ

I can actually empathize with the people asking why this particular event is newsworthy. I ask that all the time about things that I read and watch in the news. After all, why do I care about a traffic jam in Miami or some other bit of news that gets out. But, I can also understand that an occasional human interest story catering to DN customers outside of the Salt Lake Valley is good business. That being said, this story is immensely newsworthy to my family because one of the missionaries involved is one of our nephews. We are glad that he's safe. And, it may be better that we heard about it now rather than a couple of years from now at a family reunion.

Alexandria, VA

It is unfortunate, wrong but not particularly surprising, yet the work goes on.

St George, Utah

Hundreds of missionaries are mugged and robbed everyday. My neighbors son is in Brazil right now and has had his watch and wallet stolen 4 times. three of those were at gunpoint. One of my best friends was robbed during a transfer in Guatemala and lost all of his belongings, including precious missionary journals.

There is no benefit in writing and posting an article like this. It causes parents and future missionaries needless anxiety and worry, and is also discrediting to the hundreds of missionaries that have similar experiences and don't have articles written about them, but just carry on with the work. I know that the Lord is with all his missionaries. Thank goodness no harm came to these young men.

Dave Wilson
Phoenix, AZ

Bummer. But it was only money. I'm sure they and their families are counting their blessings that they are physically unharmed. I wish them a speedy emotional recovery so they can continue working.


So they were uninjured and yet this is on the front page of the the paper. If you took all the missionaries that ever served I would wager 90 percent all have a story similar to this. I was car-jacked and had to pull into a grocery store parking lot when the car-jacker told me to drive 15 miles out of town. As soon a pulled in he jumped out and ran. Never made the news.

The funny thing about this story is that they knew the guy and he actually gave them some things back.

Crestucky, FL

Further investigation determined the robbers made off with what is considered a 'prized haul' - a Book of Mormon, 30-Rubles (86-cents), consecration oil, an appointment book and a well used pocket sized Preach My Gospel!


I am glad the Deseret News ran the story. It was interesting and I'm glad the missionaries involved are safe. As others have posted, other missionaries have suffered worse -- many have been robbed, a few have been kidnapped, some have been raped, a few have been murdered, others have died of natural causes or accidents, and some paralyzed in tragic incidents. However, the vast, vast majority go through their missions with none of those horrible tragedies. I have two children serving missions right now -- one in Germany and other in Southern California. I pray for their safety and the safety of others serving. Thanks again to the Desert News for running the story.

G L W8

Old, but not stupid, your point is well taken. Anybody can cherry pick. Personally, I prefer to pick the abundance of ripe, red cherries at the top of the tree rather than those scattered half-green sour cherries from the bottom. Seems like the LDS critics like to pucker up their taste buds with the latter; they've all got a bad case of indigestion.

Louisville, KY

On my mission I was robbed, stoned, chased, threatened with murder. Its part of the mission experience for many that is not often discussed. It's more common than most people realize. But that's part of life in many situations and we don't talk about it. We don't talk about the abuses many Peace Corp. workers face, military, nurses, cops, even teachers. For some it just comes with the territory, serving people who are often the bottom feeders in life comes with risk. Jesus came to save the sinners not the saints. Missionaries are sent to teach the sinners, and your going to run into some bad ones sometimes.

Regarding the person who did not understand why God did not stop the robbers. You seem to have no clue how free agency works. God has always allowed bad people to do bad things. They have a choice, stopping them would be satan's way. God can protect us from evil while allowing us to be tested by it and growing through it.

West Jordan, UT

My son was robbed on his mission in Mexico but not injured. Ironically in one area the local gang leader decided he really liked my son after my son's reaction to him during a chance meeting on the street. The gang leader showed him the ultimate respect, or what is considered the ultimate respect for gangsters, when he offered to assassinate anybody that bothered my son or who he didn't like. So in that area he was protected by the "bad guys." He wasn't seeking out their company, but at least he hadn't rubbed them the wrong way. There are some scary people out there all over the world but we put our missionary children and parents into the Lord's hands. My parents had some close calls in Guatemala but my father was guided on how to keep himself and my mother safe. When they were stalked by young men who saw their expensive laptop bags my father felt inspired to look into their faces and do the "I'm watching you sign." They saw my father's courage and felt his priesthood power and were warned off.

Moab, UT

Much was not reported concerning this incident. Only what was deemed appropriate was shared with the public. Thank you to all who shared their concern for the many, many elders who serve.

Highland, UT

@ Patriot
Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of missionary work, to screen or refuse to go to areas that may be a little risky or teach people who we perceive to be a potential threat? Missionaries have great faith and so should we all. Don't forget Ammon the missionary in the Book of Mormon and the sons of Mosiah who wanted to go serve among the Lamanites their long time enemies. Ammon and Mosiah had a hard time letting their sons go to those areas, yet put their trust and their boys in the hands of the Lord. My son is currently serving in Honduras, a mission that is sometimes shut down and missionaries re-routed to other countries during times of political unrest and danger. I can't do anything about that but pray for his safety daily and trust that he will we wise and the Lord will protect him from serious harm. Even if he were killed, he says he'd be happy to lay his life down for the Lord. I pray it never comes to that, but I understand his desire to go and serve where he's been asked to go and serve.

Mike in Sandy
Sandy, UT

Times have changed. I never had any money as a missionary.

Bakersfield, CA

Thank you for this story, DN. It needed to be reported for many/differing reasons, much of which have been shared here. Satan is the prince of darkness and always seeks to obscure the light of truth. The bare details of the initial theft reveal a deeper level of malevolence than just pick-pocketing. These young men had a noble response to a potentially hideous outcome.

The postings were quite enlightening also. Why the editors continue to allow the annoying, attacking hate-posts is offensive, because it violates their post rules. Valid differences can be expressed without smug haughtiness; but unchecked these sites will devolve into rude rants from intolerant people.

IMHO: Patriot had the best defensive plan for risky areas.

There are non-LDS and ex-LDS interested also. Many of us pray for the safety and protection of all missionaries, regardless of our theological differences. Jesus died for a lost and dying world, and His last mandate was to "make disciples". The obedient trust in the Lord's protection, knowing the risks, using prudence and heeding His warning about the one who roams the earth "looking for whom he can destroy".

I will pray harder for my nephews...

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I would like to add to the dozen or so other comments...

I was robbed (4 times), had rocks thrown at us, dogs let loose on us, mugged, had knives pulled and waved at us, and shot at twice on my mission...

all right here in the good 'ole U.S. of A.

God Bless America...

Stafford, VA

@ RustyMommy: ... Yes, what is life without a little drama??!! ;-D

Filo Doughboy
Bakersfield, CA

LDS Lib- Wow! What missionfield were you on? I'm guessing the Bible Belt, where they know the Book and suffer no replacements...

My brother in Asia- no probs. (Polytheism, not a threat.). The one in our South- dogs, shotgun warnings. They protect their religion of 2,000 years of heritage and ward off newcomers alá usurpers, scripture make-overs or revelation reversals. They don't distinguish or prejudice against any particular denoms: Just any that mess with the original need to keep the distinctions real clear.

At least they fired warning shots. The thieves are just out for greed.

Proscelytizing is a dangerous game on many levels. God help them all!

Bountiful, UT

What makes this story interesting and unique is that the perp was acquainted with the missionaries. This is far different than being robbed and threatened by strangers. Glad they are safe, God bless.

Cedar Hills, UT


No it wouldn't defeat the purpose of missionary work whatsoever. There is a practical side to doing missionary work just like a faith based side. Both need to be employed. The old saying "fools go where angels fear to tread" applies here. As members of the Church we should expect every measure to be taken to first protect our young missionaries. No parent should have to send their son or daughter out in fear. My son served in Miami and did have some close calls with gangs but the mission president was alert and proactive and closed areas that were extra dangerous or restricted the areas to NO TRACTING. That action alone probably saved a few missionary lives according to my son. Laying down a life should NEVER be a preventable sacrifice for a missionary. We aren't sending these kids off to Iraq to fight...we are sending them out to preach the gospel and we live in the 21 century where civilized behavior can and should be expected in most areas not 2500 years ago among the savage Lamanites.

BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA

It is a dangerous world out there folks. Wasn't it last year that the Des News reported on one of the Tweleve and his wife were robbed in Africa while on Church business?

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