Mormon missionary's brother shares miracle preceding his death, pays tribute to his life

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  • Angel2012 Frankfort, KY
    Jan. 15, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    I have a son currently serving a Mission in Guatemala. My daughter at 23, died in a seizure on Easter (2012) 6 months prior to this. Her death was unexpected and devastating. I was truly moved by your story about your precious son, Josh! Truly amazing how our Heavenly Father sends us miracles when we need them most. I needed to read this story exactly at the moment I did. Beautiful story .. beautiful Josh! Thank you for sharing.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Aug. 3, 2013 6:47 a.m.

    I disagree completely. When religious belief turns a tragic death such as this into anything other than a tragedy, then it is diluting the sacredness and respect we should have for life. And that disregard for life can be used to justify the taking of others lives in the name of religion.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 11:55 p.m.

    Marxist. I concur. Riding in the back of a truck on a dangerous road. I know the church mandates seat belts and bicycle helmets. Still a good story/

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 6:11 p.m.

    A Scientist,

    I think you missed the point. God was demonstrating miracles. He showed he could cure the missionary, and He also showed He could call him home.

    There's no tragedy in "perishing." Death is not an end but, in the words of Neal A. Maxwell, merely a comma in the sentence of our lives. We continue. This young man's life hasn't ended; his mission has been extended, in another realm.

    I'm confident this family has felt immense comfort of such a personal nature that they won't share in such a public forum with those who choose not to understand. But I testify that those on the other side continue, very much vibrant, very much aware of all of their family, and still very much involved with life.

    Miracles, everywhere.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 4:58 p.m.

    I understand the outpouring of sympathy for this fine young man. When my son was on his mission I worried every day about his safety (he was in Detroit). Before he went I advised him to avoid hazardous situations. What if this missionary had a rule - in a vehicle, seat belt required? Is that too much to ask? I think missionaries need to be instructed in basic safety requirements. I hope I have not detracted from the spirit here, but as an old OSHA employee I felt I had to say something.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 4:30 p.m.

    With all due respect to the deceased and his family and friends, I wonder how it makes sense at any level for god to perform a "miracle" just before allowing this young man to perish.

  • Kelliebelle66 West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 3:01 p.m.

    My parents served in Guatemala City as missionaries teaching English to medical students until my father was called to the mission presidency. They left 2 1/2 years ago with a deep love for the Guatemalan people and the elders and sisters who served them. Thank you, Brother Burton, for sharing your story of love and faith. What an inspiration it is to see the effects of Elder Josh Burton's service and talents on the people around him. He accomplished a lot in such a short time on this earth.

  • Joan Leilani TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    I just sent you a message but couldn't send it all. I also wanted you to know that we were in Leavitt, Alberta just last year as we went to the Temples up there in Canada! I remember because my husband is from the Leavitt line and there was a ranch close to the Chapel that said Westin and I took a picture to send to a former student named Westin Leavitt!

    What a wonderful area to be from and after watching the videos of Josh playing his music and seeing the people from your hometown, we can see what a strength they must be to your family at this time. We love you and are thankful for your testimonies and the strength of your family. That's how the Gospel of Jesus Christ ties us all together as brothers and sisters in the Gospel. Thank you for sharing your lives with us and for the service your siblings are rendering as missionaries.

  • Joan Leilani TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 2:47 p.m.

    My husband and I were helping a daughter move across the country when this tragedy occurred and so didn't know anything about it until just reading this article. Our hearts were touched and our eyes were wet with tears, but we could feel through your story the love and power and tender mercies of the Lord in Josh's life and with his time to now serve on the other side of the veil. What a wonderful ambassador of the Savior Josh has been and will continue to be! This story is a tribute to him and your family, as those of us who don't know you at all, can feel of your testimonies and dedication to the Gospel and the Plan of Happiness! There is no doubt that Josh was raised up for this very purpose of sharing his talents, his music, and his testimony as a missionary! Thank you for your examples of love of family, love of the Gospel, and Love for the Lord!

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Aug. 2, 2013 2:16 p.m.

    Heart wrenching and uplifting at the same time. Blessings to your family.

  • Sally Smiles-a-Lot Vernal, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 1:55 p.m.

    Beautifully written. So sorry for your loss. A friend's son, Elder Hatch, was among the missionaries in that accident, and he is OK. It's interesting to see God's plans in action. There are so many people who need missionaries in the spirit world, even more than here. He's still working, you can be sure!

  • Christmas Carole LAS CRUCES, NM
    Aug. 2, 2013 1:46 p.m.

    Thank you, sweetheart...for sharing your heart and your brothers heart. I received them both with gladness. When I read about Elder Josh's "graduation(that's how I've ALWAYS thought of it!)I said a prayer for your family/friends, as I'm sure others did, and my first thought was then that he's continued his mission there....

  • Mie Garden Ridge, TX
    Aug. 2, 2013 1:20 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your faith . As I read about your brother serving in the Belgium Netherland mission my heart was touched to tears . I am Flemish and I know how hard missionary work is among our people and then I thought help from the other side of the veil would be very welcome .
    Having 5 Guatemalan children I am also very greatful for the work Josh has done in Guatemala . I have seen 2 medical miracles happen there too and yours was indeed a tender mercy - sometimes the Lord has other plans . De mens wilt maar God beschikt . Blessings for your family .

  • mecr Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    DeseretNews should include a box of tissues with this article. Such a beautiful tribute to his brother. Families are forever!

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 10:41 a.m.

    What a touching tribute! After Josh's passing I listened to some of his compositions on youtube. What a very talented young man! May your family be comforted in knowing that you will one day be reunited with Josh. He graduated from this life and is now creating beautiful music in heaven.

  • kosimov Riverdale, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    I have a brother whom I love unconditionally. I have always wanted to have a relationship with him as deep and full as you have with your brother, Josh. Unfortunately, we grew up in a troubled family, not members of the Church, and we did not like each other. At times I tried to reconcile with him, but it just didn't work out. We had some tough times later in life and I was able to have another chance to work things out. I was able to help him with obtaining a job, and, when he confronted the consequences of our past, he turned to me and we worked through it. We are finally at least friends now, though there is still much work remaining.

    Reading your tribute touched me deeply. You shared your love, respect, admiration with us, and you taught us what a truly good, happy person he is. You have given me a little of that feeling, and I think it will help with my brother. Just want to thank you, and to say, I hope my brother and I can be like you and Josh, some day in the distant future. Thank You!!

  • thelogicalone salt lake city, UT
    Aug. 2, 2013 1:01 a.m.

    One of our missionaries served in the Netherlands with Elder Burton's brother. This is a remarkable family. You are in our prayers and clearly the Lord has blessed your family with the tenderest of mercies in this time of sorrow and temporary separation.

  • SoCalTrueBlue San Diego, CA
    Aug. 1, 2013 11:35 p.m.

    Beautifully written tribute. Thank you.

  • kattawn ,
    Aug. 1, 2013 8:39 p.m.

    May the Lord bless all of you. I'm going to remember the quote about not a test of faith but a test of patience. Shows a lot of wisdom.

  • just-a-fan Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 1, 2013 5:05 p.m.

    Elder Burton's father was one of my companion's in the mission field. This is a remarkable story about a wonderful family. I am blessed to know them and to hav been told this story by Bro. Burton. May you continue to be carried.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Aug. 1, 2013 4:10 p.m.

    I know several members of the Burton family from their time here in Virginia, and they are incredible people. My deepest condolences.