Mormon meetinghouse demolished by Joplin tornado

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • windsor City, Ut
    May 25, 2011 8:53 a.m.

    While we're talking about LDS Buildings, anybody know how the Oklahoma City Temple fared in the tornadoes of last night? (Tues. May 24)

    From the map, one of the really big ones (from El Reno to Piedmont) couldn't have been much more than a mile away. There must be dirt and debris on the Temple and grounds.

  • kwright Rogers, AR
    May 25, 2011 8:22 a.m.

    In UT, (where I enjoyed living for 18 years), a meetinghouse may be just another building. If it is destroyed, there is another a block or two away that will supply the need. It is something different here. It is the center of our LDS community, and a place through which we endeavor to strengthen the larger communities in which we reside. It is a place where we try to build strong relationships with those of our own faith and those who are not, and try to overcome deeply held animosities and prejudices. It is a place of refuge and peace, of learning and love. We want to know that place is still there for our brothers and sisters in Joplin, LDS and otherwise.

    In UT, some people get cranky because there are so many Mormons, and some LDS people become complacent for the same reason. Here, we feel a deep connection with others of our faith regardless of where they live in part because there a so few of us. Because of this, the loss of a building that causes pain to the people in Joplin also causes pain in us.

  • kwright Rogers, AR
    May 25, 2011 7:46 a.m.

    Another headline from the day this article was posted: Layton pastor gathering help for hometown Joplin victims. There have also been several other articles about the Joplin tornado that have nothing to do with the LDS church. But I have not come here to add to the contention.

    I am from Rogers, Arkansas, an hour south of Joplin. I am grateful for the Deseret News coverage. I would not have known about the meetinghouse without it; it was not reported on here.

    Why is knowing about the meetinghouse important? Perhaps a perspective from here would help. I'll have to add it in another comment.

  • nehimomma Parsons, KS
    May 24, 2011 10:46 p.m.

    This is my stake center. I live in the Joplin Stake. There was a singles ward meeting going on when the tornado hit and thank goodness they all made it out alive. on FB several local members on FB Joplin tornado pages were asking if there stake house was still standing. As soon as branch members in my branch posted the pictures that you are seeing...I posted them I could "confirm" that the building was a total loss.

    If you were living in this nightmare that Joplin is living in you would understand that confirmation is very important. Knowing what truly has happened and not a rumor means a lot.

    I very much appreciate the Deseret News putting an article with the pictures of the building. Not only because it makes us here in the Joplin Stake feel loved and prayed for but it's a good reminder of what Tornado's can do. Maybe for those that are bickering or slamming the DN you could grasp that and move on.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    May 24, 2011 11:31 a.m.

    By the way, did anyone notice that this article was in the LDS News Section? Hmmmm, maybe if it is a section about the LDS church, they have all the right in the world to write about LDS people. Just as any church owned and published newspaper would write about people from their churches.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    May 24, 2011 11:18 a.m.

    WOW, Lets take offense that people care about those who they call brother and sister every week. Lets take offense that a newspaper that is owned by their religion posts stories about their brothers and sisters. As for other religions, all but one church building was destroyed in Joplin, and bless that Pastors heart, he is providing help to all that he can and if the LDS building had survived, they would do likewise.

    There are 117 people that died, many they have not been able to identify. I do not know about other religions, but the LDS church does have a system in place to account for every home and every member and this gets reported back to the local leaders. I live in Missouri, and I do care about my brothers and sisters in the Gospel and I care about those that are not LDS, but I am glad to get an account for church buildings, members and missionaries that are away from home. Whatever news does happen, be it relief or sadness, then my heart is still 100% focused on the whole town and all the people, as it was before.

  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    May 24, 2011 11:03 a.m.

    Actually, it isn't a "mere building". To me, it's almost like my home...familiar, safe, I see people I love there. (Actually, I DO spend a lot of time there with my calling!)

    I appreciated this article.I do not believe it takes anything away from the people in Joplin who are suffering, it just adds another dimension.

    Seems to me we should be directing our thoughts and prayers toward helping them instead of complaining about a newspaper article.

  • FarnsworthPMacGillicuddy Layton, UT
    May 24, 2011 10:50 a.m.

    In every place we've lived in this country, (with the exception of Utah) LDS church buildings are referred to as "the Chapel" or the "Church Building". "Meetinghouse" is a holdover from the pioneer days and one of those Utah cultural euphemisms. While I am thrilled that no one was injured or killed inside the demolished stake center, I could care less IF the building was demolished or not. It can always be rebuilt. I would prefer to see a story based on what the church members are doing there to assist in relieving the suffering and what WE can do to assist, rather than a puff piece about a mere building.

  • Johnson72 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2011 10:47 a.m.

    I'm sure there is more than One church helping all the people in Joplin.. Army of many.

  • SLCWatch Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2011 9:35 a.m.

    FYI=Editors write headlines and space is premium. I suspect they will discuss it following those comments about the title.

    Tornado's, Hurricane's, Earthquake's, Tsunami's and other disasters happen...if the conditions that cause them didn't exist, Life on this planet would also not exist.

    However Charity, Christ like love, is how they are dealt with. We as God's Children must bring that about.

  • CT98 Saint George, UT
    May 24, 2011 9:27 a.m.


    Relax! At no point are we suggesting that we don't care for ALL those affected by this tragedy. We care for all victims, regardless of who they are. We are simply interested to know how members of the Church faired simply because we share a commonality with them. But we certainly care for all those affected. When the LDS church delivers aid to the region it will be for ALL victims, not just reserved for Church members.

    I applaud the DesNews for this article. I was anxious to know the details.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    May 24, 2011 8:48 a.m.

    I see another article on DN about 2nd Punch Storm may be looming. Oh, I hope that doesn't happen which no one would want to see again. Anyway, hope for more survival to find.

  • Just Thinking II Roseville, CA
    May 24, 2011 8:36 a.m.

    l used to live in the Joplin stake. we were at a stake meeting on a thursday night. we heard the warnings that a tornator were near us. one of the old time members was quite upset and wanted all of us to get inside the heating closet. l was worried what happened. thank you DN for the news.

  • Zoniezoobie Mesa, AZ
    May 24, 2011 5:48 a.m. is my best source for the latest information relevant to the well-being of fellow Latter Day Saints. Where else would this information become available so soon after?

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    May 24, 2011 1:20 a.m.

    @jemod, Mr. Taylor probably doesn't write his own headlines, but he did recently write an article which someone titled "LDS or Mormon? It depends" which explains why the Deseret News, which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, regularly uses the word "Mormon" and even the phrase "Mormon church". Look it up and give it a read. Maybe you won't agree with DN's reasons for using the word "Mormon", but at least you will understand what those reasons are, and that they are sanctioned by the church's Public Affairs director.

  • Jeff in Missouri Billings, MO
    May 23, 2011 11:10 p.m.

    I live very close to Joplin. We got there a couple of times every month. As a member of the church in this area it does seem strange that everyone is arguing about the name of the church. For those who have asked the church that had the large cross standing was a Catholic Church. In addition there were many other church building damaged or destroyed. There are eight Assembly of God buildings in Joplin and four of them were leveled. I live in the Springfield Stake which is immediately east of Joplin. Of course you are concerned first about those you hold something in common with (family, friends, acquaintances) I think church members would fold into that affiliation. Of course all of our hearts are turned to everyone in Joplin who lose family, friends or homes. The devastation is unbelievable.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    May 23, 2011 10:48 p.m.

    @ army

    I suspect that maybe some Lutherans did lose their life in this trajedy. And for that I feel a sense of sadness for them, their families and their community.

    I can tell you that the safety of LDS missionaries weighs heavily on the minds of people in Utah because not only their family knows and is close to them, but many persons are that are members of their ward and stake as well as friends from seminary classes in high school, etc so it isn't just a few missionaries that are affected by a local event such as this.

    If being concerned about them is a problem, then I'm sorry, but I wish to know about them as well.

  • Spencer L. Jensen American Fork, Utah
    May 23, 2011 10:21 p.m.

    I have some family from the area, one of whom reported that the members found a pass-along card with Christ's photo on the ground among the rubble where the supply closet used to be.

    Truly, "God has not ceased to be a God of miracles." Have miracles ceased? Behold, I say unto you, Nay!

  • NW LDS Battle Ground, WA
    May 23, 2011 9:57 p.m.

    There are articles all over the Internet that give the bulk of the story. I read articles on DN to get specific LDS information. You will find other articles on DN that also give more info, as well.

    I'm thankful for the information found here, but, of course, am saddened to know of the lives that were lost. I say we all pray for those affected and see what we can do to help, instead of spending our time being offended and finding fault.

  • Munk Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 23, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    The article was titled the way it was due to the fact that it is a special interest story, especially as SLC is the home of the LDS Church. Simple as that. I do not see this as offensive or partisan in anyway even as non-LDS. So lay off the bashing, I don't care who you are and never be ashamed to call yourself LDS or Mormon. My prayers go out to Joplin.

  • Serenity Manti, UT
    May 23, 2011 8:47 p.m.

    @armyofone: well, personally, I believe you are entitles to read the Des News, and you are also entitled to your own opinion. Des News does not publish things which are considered inflammatory and they published your comment.

    But, FYI, the Church publishes if the missionaries are safe because their families are at home, sitting on pins and needles to hear if their sons or daughters are safe. These missionaries are usually young men and women, just out of high school, who go on missions for the LDS church. The parents sacrifice greatly to send their precious sons and daughters to serve the Lord for up to two years.

    Now, if it were your child in a strange place, wouldn't you want to hear that they were safe especially if all other communications are down? I think you would, as soon as possible. It is an extremely kind act of the LDS Church to take care of its young missionaries and put their families at ease, dont you think? If you were one of the parents, you would expect no less. Hope this explains things a little more.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    May 23, 2011 7:27 p.m.

    @ Mayfair

    Good point! When I first heard about this I immediately thought of the LDS chapel as an evacuation center, as they often are in disasters like this. So it's all the more sad and frustrating that the LDS church now can't offer that building to help so many, non- members of the church included that are desperate for help. I doubt there is another meeting house very close.

    @ Army- There are far more people who survived this tornado than people killed. The living are in more need of our concern and help than the deceased at this point. An LDS chapel could have been a great help to them.

    @ Clark Kent Outside of Utah, especially in areas where church members are fewer and farther between, the loss of a chapel is a really big loss. Having a chapel at all is such a blessing, so to lose one for whatever reason is cause for heartache. It's a part of all the loss people are experiencing out there. Feeling sad that a chapel was destroyed in no way diminishes the sadness they must feel in losing so many people in their community.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    May 23, 2011 7:00 p.m.

    Like clockwork, here comes the ArmyofOne types, complaining about a Newspaper article referencing the safety of our missionaries and fellow LDS.

    This is indeed not unique to the LDS. Every time there is a disaster overseas we do indeed see reports of the safety of our Military and US Citizens. Japan being the latest example.

    It's so interesting to witness the "Hyper Critical Attitudes" of all things Mormon by some people.

    Sorry, guy, these people are our Family. The Church is tightly connected, seperation by miles does not negate that. I gaurantee you, that many of the LDS in KC, have relatives in Utah.

    We want to know. We are connected.

    Local Newspapers are reporting on the tragic loss of the locals in the KC area.

    Relax, we're all looking out for each other.

  • nottyou Riverton, UT
    May 23, 2011 6:20 p.m.

    Wow...there are a few bitter people commenting on a story of local (Utah) interest. Thanks for covering the story and feel free to inform us about Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists or atheists...does offend me because I know offense isn't intended.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    May 23, 2011 6:02 p.m.

    ArmyofOne: "The headline and peg of the news story should not be about a building"

    Many LDS members in disasters such as this grab their non-member friends and head for their local LDS Building-for shelter, for information, for food, to bring supplies, or volunteer.

    In this case, knowing the condition of this major LDS building in the Joplin area--oftentimes by checking the Des News directly, or by cell to members who read it--now know that there is no need to converge on the building for those things. Saves time, effort, travel,etc. and lets people know to seek others venues for these things.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    May 23, 2011 5:33 p.m.

    Hey we can't help it if we take care of our own! (as well as others)

    I would be asking, why doesn't my religion provide the same
    information on my church or it's members.

  • ArmyofOne Bluffdale, UT
    May 23, 2011 5:28 p.m.

    I realize that a large majority of the readers of the DN are LDS... So am I. The body count of this disaster is still climbing. The bodies are still warm... The headline and peg of the news story should not be about a building. This story would be better suited for the LDS church news a few weeks from now, at least let us bury the dead before we morn the loss of a building that can be rebuilt.

  • Rob Logan, UT
    May 23, 2011 5:27 p.m.

    I know most people cared first that over 100 people died from this tornado. We care that many still have not been found. They also very much cared that so many homes and businesses were destroyed. We do not just care that our meetinghouse was destroyed. Do you know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have even helped rebuild other religion's churches that have been damaged? Do you know that many members of our church go and help out in disasters. It is to to help everyone. Do you know there are trucks ready to be loaded with food and cleaning supplies when there are disasters. Many different churches care and do so much. Please quit picking at others and step up and do what you can. Even if it is just smiling at someone.

  • Evets Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 23, 2011 5:13 p.m.

    Having lived all over the world it is the Deseret News we always turned to for LDS news whether good or bad. Besides being a local news agency it is also a world wide news source for LDS wanting to know what is up in the LDS world wide community.
    So for those so easiely offended by an LDS centric article. Get over it. It is not printed there for your sole consumption. It is there for the rest of least the LDS whether in Utah or somewhere else.
    There are plenty of on-line news sources for the those that don't like LDS articles.

  • Cali Girl Temecula, CA
    May 23, 2011 5:04 p.m.

    No wonder we're not ready for Zion - or a Zion'hearted people yet.

    There's too much drama over the technicalities of how this article is written, when the focus should be on the lives lost.

    Sad indeed.

  • MenaceToSociety Draper, UT
    May 23, 2011 4:38 p.m.

    All these innocent lives lost, all this distruction, and some are worried about wording of the headline. How petty and selfish.

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    May 23, 2011 4:29 p.m.

    @Chad need to accept the fact that a large mormon population reads the Deseret News for the Mormon-centric stories. The loss of a mormon meetinghouse in Missouri is newsworthy to lots of Mormons in Utah. So get over yourself.

    Do you think the large Mormom population really wants to know whether any meetinghouses were destroyed or damaged this soon after this natural disaster, or is this news reporting agency telling us what is important to focus on? I'm Mormon by the way, but whether or not a church meetinghouse was damaged or destroyed is not even on my list at this point in time.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    May 23, 2011 4:25 p.m.


    Yes, you are.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    May 23, 2011 4:13 p.m.

    Dear Armyofone: Bitterness is so self destructive.

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    May 23, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    To ArmyofOne -- I understand what you are saying. I find it easier to not think of DN as a national news source. It is a news source for the LDS church. That just puts it into context for me and keeps me from getting frustrated when it seems that more attention is given to LDS crime victims, to LDS politicians, to LDS charity efforts, etc. I would imagine that some other large religious institutions also have a news reporting arm and are probably pretty much the same in this regard.

  • Chad S Derby, KS
    May 23, 2011 3:58 p.m.

    @Jemod...let's just accept the fact that only Mormons call themselves "Latter-day Saints." The rest of the world calls Mormons...well, Mormons. need to accept the fact that a large mormon population reads the Deseret News for the Mormon-centric stories. The loss of a mormon meetinghouse in Missouri is newsworthy to lots of Mormons in Utah. So get over yourself.

  • Dadof5sons Montesano, WA
    May 23, 2011 3:56 p.m.

    Army of One,
    the Dessert news is not the only paper in town. read something else. I got offened by the New york times. I stopped reading it. its just that easy.

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    May 23, 2011 3:53 p.m.

    Jemod, if you had actually read the article instead of just the headline, you would have noticed that throughout the article itself either the full name of the church or the shortened 'LDS' are used. So if you want to complain, complain to whatever editor wrote the headline.

    Oh, and no one was offended but you.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    May 23, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    I'm also curious about another church right next to the LDS chapel in Joplin. Look it up on google maps. It had a huge cross in front of it. Anyone know what religious group it belonged to? My heart goes out to them as well. The loss of a building like that is a big deal. Do they have funds (tithing or whatever) to rebuild like the LDS church does? I hope so. And obviously, we mourn all the loss of lives and wish we could wrap our arms around all people who lost loved ones, homes, pets, and simply their sense of security and well being from this tornado.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    May 23, 2011 3:34 p.m.

    You know jemod and Army, you don't have to read the article if it offends you. All last evening as I watched this unfold I was horrified that so many homes, the hospital, the high school, big stores like Wal-Mart and Home Depot were destroyed. People were inside all of those buildings. Did they survive? What a horrible thing to see a building demolished. I did a little research and discovered that the LDS chapel in town was right across the street from the high school that had been destroyed. My heart sank. I feared the chapel had been destroyed, too. I prayed that there wasn't a fireside or a seminary graduation going on like they were all across the country last evening.

    A "Meetinghouse" is a sacred place where people congregate. It's a tragedy whether it's an LDS chapel or anyother church building. It's a huge loss, for those who love attending meetings there, learning and feeling a part of a "family" there. Since DN is a newspaper that serves a huge number of LDS members, naturally they will be concerned about this meeting house and those who attend there. No offense intended.

  • The Reader Layton, UT
    May 23, 2011 3:32 p.m.

    ArmyofOne = Get over it! You are offensive!

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    May 23, 2011 3:25 p.m.

    People who live in tornado areas ought to consider building in and living in dome homes. Check out monolithicdome dot com.

  • Veracity Morgan, UT
    May 23, 2011 3:19 p.m.


    This is a nation of free press and freedom for are free to read another newspaper, envoke your freedom.

  • seer kaysville, ut
    May 23, 2011 3:10 p.m.

    To Jemod's point, it is better for us to title these stories with the official name of the church and buildings. I realize it may lose some punch on the national stage as some people struggle to determine which church is named "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints". But over time, the citizenry of the nation and world can know us by our name and works.

  • gmak Spanish Fork, UT
    May 23, 2011 3:04 p.m.

    Interesting, but really, who cares? I'm LDS, but it's just a building.
    There are 116 people dead...and still counting!
    Let's pray for their families and those who are now homeless....

  • ArmyofOne Bluffdale, UT
    May 23, 2011 2:58 p.m.

    I find these news stories rather offensive. You don't read in other major newspapers "No Lutherans were killed" or all Christian missionaries are accounted for. What is most offensive is that as a legitimate news source you have made the headline about a "Meetinghouse" The truth of the matter is this tornado was a non-discriminating source of destruction. Lives are ruined, people are dead, churches and places of worship of ALL faiths have been destroyed.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    May 23, 2011 2:46 p.m.

    I've seen pictures of the Stake Center there...not much left at all and it's simply amazing that no one was killed in it.

  • Two Cents Springville, Utah
    May 23, 2011 2:41 p.m.

    I saw photos of this on a link to a local Missouri woman's facebook account. Not much left of the building at all. Just a few walls with pictures of Jesus on them. And, strangely, tithing envelopes still in the holders. Mostly brick all over the ground. The whole area is devastated and all of the people there need our support and prayers.

  • NT Springville, UT
    May 23, 2011 2:35 p.m.

    Scott - I think this is what jemod from Bedford was trying to relay to you from Elder Packer's talk:

    When referring to Church members, we suggest members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a shortened reference, Latter-day Saints is preferred.

  • jemod Bedford, WY
    May 23, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    Mr. Taylor,
    Before writing anymore "Mormon" stories, please read Elder Packer's address in the most recent General Conference.