LDS Church in Japan: Moving missionaries, making donations

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  • SJ Bobkins Gilbert, AZ
    March 22, 2011 12:22 a.m.

    The devil is in the details. I offered to pay my way to extend any help I might give, as a medical professional/certified in emergency rescue; helping in the Sendai area. I certainly would not hold anyone responsible for any health risks I may have to deal with, better me than a guy who is very young and hasn't experienced life, marriage, raising children. This was the embassy response, in other words US and Japanese leaders don't want missionaries in the area, nor other US citizens. BY US LAW, we are not allowed to take such risks even voluntarily. ("state" address means state dept)

    From: "JapanEmergencyUSC"
    Date: March 19, 2011 3:07:29 AM MST
    To: -----------------
    Subject: RE: Offer to assist in the Sendai area

    Dear Mr. Bobkins:

    Thank you for your inquiry.

    Our number one priority is the safety of U.S. citizens overseas, and we
    take the risks of exposure to radiation very seriously. While your
    offer to assist is appreciated, there are strict guidelines that prevent
    us from accepting such an offer.


    Japan Task Force

  • Kiwi Gisborne, NZ
    March 18, 2011 1:13 p.m.

    As Parents of a missionary in Sendai, we were very grateful that our daughter has been transferred out of the sendai area, so that the japanese could focus on their own needs without having to worry about others who are less needy. We feel the church has acted on the concerns of parents of missionaries and now they can concentrate aid for Japan.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    March 17, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    I like bobkins idea that we should fast for everyone in Japan, from their leaders who are making terribly difficult decisions almost hourly; to all the people sleeping in freezing conditions.
    And certainly, send money or commodities to the greatest extent possible.
    I think times like these bring out the best and worst in all of us.
    May we search out our very best in behalf of all of the people of Japan.
    I suggest we fast this coming Sunday and show our love and concern for everyone suffering in this disaster.
    It could easily be us next time!

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    March 16, 2011 5:30 p.m.

    For those who did not hear the press conference, including Mr. Taylor, the simple little quote "We express our sympathy and support for all of the people of Japan," completely fails to capture the REPEATED emphasis Elder Holland placed on the concern and help for ALL the people of Japan. Elder Holland specifically said, "I cannot emphasize enough that our concern and assistance is for all the people of Japan, without regard for religious affiliation, not just LDS missionaries and members." He repeated this sentiment at least 4 more times throughout the press conference. As his former home teacher, I can assure you, Elder Holland is aware of how myopic and tribal the members of the Church get, and how concerned he is that we expand our vision and cease giving preferential treatment, attention, and concern to only "our own" members. I repeat, the one little, obscure quote provided by Mr. Taylor completely missed the message Elder Holland was trying to convey.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 16, 2011 2:33 p.m.

    It is good to see the Church sending donations to the Japanese Red Cross. I wonder if the Church will send in a medical team as it did in Haiti and later in a slightly different situation in New Guinea? My guess is probably not, and if it does it would try to use medical professionals already in Japan.

    I would like to thank the DN for keeping us posted on the LDS response to this developing disaster. I hope Elder Holland is right and the nuclear threat is less than what some are suggesting.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 16, 2011 2:22 p.m.

    I have to thank Brother Taylor for the specific nationality break-down of the missionaries in Japan. It is nice to get concrete figures instead of general statements.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 16, 2011 2:20 p.m.

    I checked the time stamps before writting this, and I am sure IMLDS2 is responding to the same article I see. That means that it is the article that contains the quote from Elder Holland about being concerned for all the people in Japan.

    This is a good article. Beyond anything else we must realize it is written under a tight deadline, and so we should appreciate that the DN is seeking to keep up with the most recent developments in this ever changing sotry, where the biggest threat is nuclear metldown that may or may not occur.

  • SanzSez Rivertn, UT
    March 16, 2011 12:33 p.m.

    I am grateful to all who have commented about this article. Each person seems sincere and without question, concerned about the multitudes of Japanese citizens who no longer know life and it's comforts, as we do, in this very moment, at our computers.

    The concern and caring that is the underlying thene, comforts ME. I am still surrounded by people who care for and about one another. That is really what all this crazy life is all about, my dear neighbors. Thank you for reassuring me that YOU are still good and willing to reach out to those trully in need!

  • In My Humble Opinion South Jordan, UT
    March 16, 2011 9:59 a.m.

    David in CA | 9:54 p.m. March 15, 2011
    Livermore, CA
    Let's All keep praying for the People (All the People) in Japan.

    Let's also send a little help (sometimes as $$) when we can.
    The article said the LDS Church will have a system in place soon
    to send some $$. I'm sure the LDS Church Humanitarian Program
    will get the $$ where it can do the Most Good.

    God Bless...

    As the article stated, the Church has donated to the Red Cross. The Japanese Red Cross website directs people to donate to their own country's Red Cross, which will in turn send the money to Japan. (You can designate your U.S. donations to go to tsunami relief.)

    The Red Cross DOES have the expertise to help in situations like these. The Japanese Red Cross actually owns and operates hospitals in Japan, and has both professional disaster relief staff and hundreds and hundreds of trained volunteers.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    March 16, 2011 6:42 a.m.

    Scott Taylor:

    Please discount any whining in these posts about your reporting--and by extension, your implied inadequate concern for the Japanese people who have been so effected by this earthquake.

    Many of us HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN your wonderful service to the Haitian people and the pictures of you with the little children when you were sent by the DesNews to cover that earthquake.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    March 16, 2011 6:23 a.m.

    To K: I don't know if you know it or not but missionaries are more than 19 year old kids. Many are young adults and yes they are victims. They are being ministered to by members of their wards and branches as well as by their Mission Presidents who have been called to look after them. Currently, these Mission Presidents know these young adults possibly better than their own parents and can do what is needed. Many are victims and will need care later in life. Some won't and will continue to carry on. They are in God's hands and will be given much.

    The move into safer areas is a good move and one directed b the Lord. Do you know better for them than the Lord?

  • mountain man Salt Lake City, UT
    March 16, 2011 3:02 a.m.

    I want to express my heart felt sadness to the wonderful Japanese people.
    While living in japan as a missionary, we were very much aware of tsunami.
    My prayers are with you.

  • SJ Bobkins Gilbert, AZ
    March 15, 2011 10:24 p.m.

    How about a special fast with donations specifically dedicated to helping the country of Japan and its people recover, thus expanding what the church can do?

  • K Mchenry, IL
    March 15, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    These are 19-21 year old kids, most of which are in a foreign country. They have been through countless earthquakes as many aftershocks have been over 6.0. They were happening hourly. Some missionaries from there have family there who still may not have heard from them directly if they are in a shelter in another part of the country, and certainly not knowing about countless relatives at this stage. Some may have been close to the tsunami and certainly under threat of the warnings. There were a few. Also under threat and perhaps exposure to radiation and meltdown. They are victims.

    They were trained for going out to share the scriptures and do a few community service projects weekly. They were not trained for emergency response. This isn't a hurricane that is over with roads clear and green light to truck in supplies to pass out. Reassigning to other mission areas other than to get them into safer areas but actually to minister without having been ministered to should be carefully considered. Fresh folks going in. Who aren't survivor's themselves and special skills may be wiser.

  • Phillip M Hotchkiss Malta, Mt
    March 15, 2011 9:58 p.m.

    I M LDS 2: you might want to re read the news article. It states
    "We express our sympathy and support for all of the people of Japan," in the news article in the second paragraph

  • David in CA Livermore, CA
    March 15, 2011 9:54 p.m.

    Let's All keep praying for the People (All the People) in Japan.

    Let's also send a little help (sometimes as $$) when we can.
    The article said the LDS Church will have a system in place soon
    to send some $$. I'm sure the LDS Church Humanitarian Program
    will get the $$ where it can do the Most Good.

    God Bless...

  • Brian the engineer Columbus, OH
    March 15, 2011 9:35 p.m.

    While we understand there is a very real risk of radiation contamination, let us not let that detail eclipse the very real tragedy that arose from the earthquake and tsunami. Thousands have already died, and from current radiation measurements, it is not expected that anyone will die or become severely ill from the radiation exposure. Let's hope it stays that way.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    March 15, 2011 9:26 p.m.

    For pity's sake! This is an article specifically about the missionaries and their safety and where they are. Of course the church is concerned about all the people of Japan...and Haiti and Thailand and Louisiana and every place that has had a disaster. Aid gets sent immediately! And NOT just to the members. This is a newspaper owned by the church- read mostly by church members. If people are really so bent out of shape about our concern not being mentioned at every turn, they can go to the church's website and look into the hunaitarian efforts being made all over the world- NOT just for members.
    IMLDS2 and merc- relax! Really! It's OK!

  • Rickety Kaysville, UT
    March 15, 2011 9:20 p.m.

    The reporting was fine. The Church can't move out millions of people and relocate them but it can move the missionaries. The title also says, "...making donations." The news article was primarily to inform about the status of the missionaries.

    Mission accomplished.

  • mecr Bountiful, UT
    March 15, 2011 8:29 p.m.

    I don't think IMLDS2 is overreacting. I've read very nasty comments from people criticizing even the fact the DN was reporting for the welfare of the missioners. I would ask the author of the article to be more accurate. As members of the church, we have enough of nasty comments not only from boards but from friends or acquaintances.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    March 15, 2011 8:08 p.m.


    As if you would know anything about it?

  • dtday2003 Monterey, CA
    March 15, 2011 7:49 p.m.

    As someone who served in the Tokyo North Mission (back when there was one), I know these missionaries are broken-hearted to hear they are leaving those areas and people they have grown to love. But I certainly understand why the church leaders are moving them away from the damaged areas. I wish them the best of luck in their new missions.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    March 15, 2011 7:33 p.m.

    I think the word is "utmost," not "upmost."

    @I M LDS 2 - I think you are overreacting.

  • Aggie84 Idaho Falls, ID
    March 15, 2011 7:11 p.m.

    Please make sure that the missionaries have help with counseling and the medical needs necessary. I had a son who was in Katrina and suffered some great mental difficulties as he was sent in to help clean up.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    March 15, 2011 6:38 p.m.

    Scott Taylor,

    Your reporting is horribly incomplete. I listened to this press conference, and from the beginning, as well as several times throughout the conference, Elder Holland emphasized and double emphasized that they (Church leaders and members) are concerned "not just for LDS missionaries or LDS members" but for ALL the people of Japan. They are committed to helping ALL those affected, not just LDS, and without regard for religious affiliation. Elder Holland went out of his way to make this point repeatedly, almost as if he had read the ego-centric, ethno-centric, religio-centric comments many members have made in these comment sections and was trying to remind members who their neighbors really are (Luke 10:25-37).

    Yet, your article does not mention this very important point even ONCE! That is unconscionable.

    At least Elder Holland recognizes that giving preferential interest, concern, and care for those of your own faith is not consistent with Jesus' teachings.

  • DR Hall Clearfield, UT
    March 15, 2011 5:24 p.m.

    All the people in that area will have already affected with radiation poisoning to some noticeable degree. This will affect them the rest of their lives.