Comments about ‘Carbon monoxide leak suspected in death of 2 Mormon missionaries in Taiwan’

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Published: Sunday, Aug. 24 2014 5:30 p.m. MDT

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Virginia Beach, Va

My heart breaks for these families though I don't know them. I'm praying for these families tonight.

Provo, UT

My thoughts have been for the families of these two young men. Each I am sure was diligently doing their best in The Lord's service.

Having sent out 2 sons and a daughter I know the hear-ache they must be feeling with this tragedy.

I think if I were sending out anymore as a father I would supply each with a co2 detector to travel with them.

Cedar Hills, UT

I have to say that as a missionary we never had our appartment inspected and some of the places we lived in were pretty low budget and broken down. The one thing the Church should do is have someone from the area in the stake be assigned to inspect the apartment regularly. This is something that should never happen.

Big Bubba
Herriman, UT

My prayers are with the families.

Whenever I travel I take my portable, battery-powered CO detector along. CO deaths can be prevented with a $25.00 detector.

Northern, UT

I know the church wants these missionaries living in the local communities, among the local people (I did that in a big eastern US city as a missionary and lived in some very questionable apartments) but if they want to send out 80,000 missionaries then they should be able to cover the cost of putting them in cars, not bicycles or even reliant on public transportation, and should put them in nicer, middle class apartments with security and more modern safety features.

I traveled to Africa on a business trip, into a remote area, and stayed in nicer, secure locations. It doesn't have to be first class, luxury apartment living, but they can be better, more secure and safe accommodations than what missionaries currently have.

I think the church needs to seriously look at this and upgrade their current standards, even if that means missionaries have to live outside their area and travel in everyday.

NotInMiami, FL

@patriot Our apartments were inspected every month or two (this was within the past 20 years). It was mostly for cleanliness but was also done to make sure things in the apartment were working correctly. The problem is that leaks like this can develop rapidly and are not easy to find without CO monitors.

UT Brit
London, England

I stayed in some pretty rough apartments, some were out right dangerous. The church needs to make sure that apartments are of a decent standard and that they have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Peoples lives should not be put at risk so that the church can save a few dollars.

Leo Clear
Las Cruces, NM

Patriot... I live in the Albuquerque New Mexico Mission and yes there is a High Council member who is charge of procuring and inspecting missionary apartments. This is a tragedy too loose two young missionaries. Their mission continues on the other side of the veil. I have to think that prayers for the families will be the only solace to this tragic ending of two young lives.

Kuna, ID

Apartments have always been inspected by a person in the mission. This sort of thing is avoidable, and I would be upset as a parent. The church needs to tighten up the safety issues now. Thanks

Fort Collins, Colorado

My heart is broken for the families of these missionaries. I am absolutely sick to hear this! As a mother of a missionary I agree that it should be standard procedure for the church to MAKE SURE that our missionaries apartments be inspected for safety by professionals when at all possible. For all the horrible stories we hear, there are many that we don't, since there were only injuries and not deaths involved. My niece saved her companion's life with CPR after she was electrocuted by a clothes washer (in Chile) There was water on the floor of the laundry room, and there were no GFCI's in the wiring! I understand that we can't prevent every bad thing that could possibly go wrong, and that many countries have sketchy, NON-updated wiring for instance. However, I'm curious to know if any safety procedures are ever discussed with missionaries in the MTC for possible eventualities that they might face (esp. in countries that are not "up to code") or for regional dangers that they should be aware of. I truly hope that we will learn lessons from these tragic experiences, especially those which have caused fatalities.

Phoenix, AZ

Many lives could be saved if a comprehensive safety and safety training program were put in place. Professional inspection of each living quarter would only be a part of it; young missionaries would also be trained to identify and avoid potential hazards. There would be full time employees with professional backgrounds in safety watching out for the missionaries. We are asking families to sacrifice a lot to send their children on missions; at a minimum they should be able to expect to see their child return safely home.

Martin Handcart Descendant
Azusa, CA

We are presently serving a mission as a senior couple and one of our assignments is to inspect all the living quarters of our very loved missionaries. My sister is also serving in another country and is doing the same thing. By direction of church authorities, we have purchased and installed CO detectors in the bedrooms of all our missionaries. Those who ridicule the church and the missionary program are very mistaken. We love our missionaries and very much appreciate their love and sacrifice for their fellow man in preaching the gospel of peace throughout the world. We do everything we can to keep the missionaries safe and healthy. We love them as much as our own children. Our hearts are broken because of this tragic accident. Our love and prayers are extended to their families and friends.

Bedminster, PA

We are all forgetting one very important thing here. Each and every one of our lives have an "expiration date" stamped on it. We all pass through the veil when that time on earth is up. None of us can escape it or negotiate for more time with Heavenly Father. Unfortunately it was just these missionaries time to die. My heart breaks for those left behind but thanks to the sealing power given to us by Elijah, they will be together for ever.

Kaysville, UT

Thanks for this format of social network that Elder Bednar spoke about last week. This can be a time to evaluate what mission presidents can and should do for their missionaries. Not all have the same type of background to think of safety from their work experiences and cultural backgrounds or country experiences. Safety and welfare are important factors as expressed in Section 134. There are not always codes but there can be a person to look at safety, especially overseas in housing, transportation, etc.


God protects the faithful Saints until their journey in mortal life is through. Consider Paul, Abinadi, and Joseph Smith, Jr. Consider William Tyndale, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln and more. While the passing of a loved one is surely treacherous, at least the deaths of these two fine young men came without violence from others or in rebellion to God. Peace comes from doing our best to live God's commandments and trusting His timetable for ourselves and our loved ones.

Salt Lake City, ut

Horrible, horrible story. My prayers go out to these two young gentlemen and their families.

@Big Bubba, excellent advice. Thanks.

Kaysville, UT

Vests for missionaries on bicycles,, day and night, depending on location, keeps them more visible. Combination carbon monoxide and smoke detectors can allow missionaries an alert, if batteries are changed out every six months. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer and does not discriminate. It causes malaise and one doesn't realize it is happening to them. An alarm can help as it doesn't suffer malaise and can be an advance warning there is a problem. A vest costs a couple of dollars and weighs next to nothing and can be put in a backpack or even stored on the bike. We have seen missionaries riding bikes in their dark suits at night on a narrow heavily trafficked road with multiple trailers in-tow. Having rode with a man who would ride to downtown SLC on his bicycle who got hit by a truck with multiple-trailers in daylight on Beck street and survived due to his protective clothing and helmet. I seen others not so lucky. These elders had helmets but no vests and in dark suits and no reflectors. There are ways to highlight these elders. Carbon monoxide/smoke detectors are worth their costs .

Salt Lake City, UT

With 5-10 LDS missionaries dying/killed every year, the odds of your missionary dying on a mission are roughly 1/10,000. If you serve your mission for two years, the probability of losing your child is 1/5,000. I'm sure the Church is concerned about these incidents and will spend money, thought and time to ensure (as much as possible because none of us are guaranteed another day) the safety of the missionaries. Frankly, given where many missionaries serve and drawing on my own experiences 20 years ago, it's a miracle more missionaries aren't harmed.

Robb C
Salt Lake City, UT

An awful lot of assumptions are being made in these comments. A water heater could go on the blink at any time. Apartment inspections would not have necessarily prevented this. And we don't know from the evidence presented so far that the apartment was substandard in any way.

But I do agree that this incident should prompt the Church to make sure all missionary apartments are equipped with CO2 and smoke detectors. With the Church's purchasing power they should be able to obtain them cheaply. Then it's just a matter of making sure the batteries get changed on schedule.

UT Brit
London, England

To all those saying apartments are inspected regularly, that is not true of every mission. I remember 1 apartment inspection during my 2 year mission. It consisted of them making sure it was clean and that we had not put any holes in the walls. 0 safety checks were done.

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