Mitt Romney, Utah governor and others react to release of Latter-day Saint volunteers from Russia detention

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  • Nichol Draper West Jordan, UT
    March 26, 2019 8:22 a.m.

    This isn't too different from the good old USA. We had the police called on us for picking up food for the Utah food bank for the Scout Food drive. Just neighbors who hate poor hungry people and the people who help.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    March 24, 2019 4:26 p.m.

    " I finish by asking those reading my comment to review 1Nephi 14:12,
    ''I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few.''

    The fewer, the better!

  • Angel-Saint Cloud St Cloud, FL
    March 21, 2019 12:23 p.m.

    I serve a mission in Spain, 1969-1971. This is Europe and, it was very difficult then. My wife and I, returned to Spain for a senior mission, 2012-2014, and the work had become even more difficult. The work is very tougher these days all over Europe.

    When politics are added, it gets even tougher

    There is in Russia now, a strong anti-American sentiment that makes the work very very difficult. The reason that the church has made the changes from missionary to volunteer is for safety and protection, but I wonder whether or not it will work to our benefit.

    The challenge here is not how the Russian people see the church but, how the Russian authorities deal with the United States of America these days.

    Thus said, it is going to be even more difficult, if the present political climate in the United States, lingers four more years.

    By any rate, I finish by asking those reading my comment to review 1Nephi 14:12,
    ''I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few.''

    I will let you all to finish the verse and draw your own conclusions.

    I am an ordinance worker in the Orlando Florida Temple and, we pray constantly for our missionaries, wherever found.

  • oldbasketball Draper, UT
    March 21, 2019 10:43 a.m.

    Glad to see that the young men have been released and are safe. I wish the deseret news would just give the information like they did and not put Romney's name in it. If and when he does something other than just make comments, please let us know.

  • sman columbia, MS
    March 21, 2019 9:45 a.m.

    Being harassed by Russian law enforcement is no reason to pull the missionaries out. Our diplomats along with the other countries are harassed daily, but we will not close our embassy . Having Missionaries there will accomplish way more than impersonal video messages.

  • Bhillj Arlington, VA
    March 21, 2019 6:39 a.m.

    I have to say this as someone who served in Russia. The story of the missionaries seems blown way out of proportion. Missionaries serving in Russia in the 90s and even up to the 2000s were regularly detained, often multiple times in their mission. Besides, these missionaries were in jail, not in a torture chamber.

  • M_Hawke Golden, CO
    March 20, 2019 9:46 p.m.

    I really tire of the people who are couch quarterbacks and think they always know about a situation, and in this case, call for the church to pull out of Russia, whine that the missionaries should have known better, claim that the church is somehow being sneaky in calling them "volunteers," saying that the Elders should have a license to teach English etc. etc. when in reality, all the facts that refute each of those silly complaints are in the article if they would just read it. Just a fact of life: There are people who engages in the hobby of complaining, especially when it comes to the church. And some of them always provide the disclaimer that they are "active members of the church," or are "returned missionaries," or "sustain the Prophet," etc. when their remarks are negative and/or disparaging.

    And BTW, I really do not care what Romney has to say about anything. He is the biggest disappointment since he attempted his run at the presidency and his integrity has continuously been on a downward slide ever since.

  • WeThePeople Sandy, UT
    March 20, 2019 9:46 p.m.

    Why is this article so full of news about Mitt Romney? We know that he is a flaccid conservative. Our Leader Donald Trump is much more strong and forceful on the international scene. Trump knows how to put Putin in his place! What did Trump do to bring this dedicated volunteer for The Church of Jesus Christ home?

  • aggiefather Fulton, MO
    March 20, 2019 7:48 p.m.

    Kudos to President and Sister Ottesen for their example in caring for these missionaries. Eric was an outstanding young man when we lived in Deseret Towers and it's almost like an "Alma 17:2 experience" to see how he has developed, along with his wife, into such fine mission parents.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    March 20, 2019 6:53 p.m.

    I find some comments here interesting as they suggest that the church is playing word games with the Russian laws, or not putting the safety of missionaries first, or not keeping up with current laws and requirements, or not acting under inspiration, or, or, or.

    I have seen too many times to ignore the fact that the church does put safety first, does keep on top of current laws, is not trying to get away with anything.

    I served my mission in Germany and though I personally never had issues, other elders were arrested (laws in the United States are different than Europe and people in many of those countries can be arrested for no particular reason at all). Granted, the world is no longer a safe place, or maybe it never really was. I am confident that when the Lord decrees then perhaps missionary work in Russia will come to an end, but probably not before that.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    March 20, 2019 5:41 p.m.

    NeifyT - Salt Lake City, UT
    ---
    Easy fix... get the missionaries trained and licensed according to Russia law; or make sure all meetings and volunteer work are done while speaking Russian. That is the simple truth.
    ---

    The age of most missionaries, would lead one to believe that Russian or the 'foreign language' of the target mission country, should be taught in high school.

    I'm not familiar with Utah K-12 schools, but here in California I suspect there are no schools that have Russian as a standardly taught language, even in Sebastopol...

    In general, one of the constant laments about 'Americans' is their near complete incapacity in a second language, even in areas which have a wide spread second language, such as Spanish, or on the West Coast, a number of Pacific/Asian languages.

    Americans seem to expect an 'english speaking bubble' to enclose them as they travel.

  • Kylebro Garden Grove, CA
    March 20, 2019 5:32 p.m.

    My Son loved serving in Russia- his arrest was nothing more than local police harassment. It was unfortunate they were detained for 3 weeks, mostly to send a message to others. Many Russian church members made contact with us, and explained what happened, police arrived with media in a staged arrest, adding it’s very common. Kole and his companion made quite an impact on the detention center. Since they were the only people that spoke Russian and English, the guards had them busy translating for others. Most people being deported were from other countries speaking broken English and no Russian. I’m so excited to see the him- he left a naive boy, and returns a Man capable of much.

  • Bob Tanner Price, UT
    March 20, 2019 4:43 p.m.

    My reaction is about the headline for this article. It is nice to know everything that Romney appreciates. My question is this. what about Sen. Lee? Did anyone ask his take on this issue? I just like to be informed as to what both Senators take is on an issue of this importance. Just a thought...

  • Moag Farmington, UT
    March 20, 2019 4:06 p.m.

    Our son served in Russia in this very area. He and other missionaries were frequently persecuted and detained, just as they are in many other countries around the world. It was an honor to have him there, and he would go back without hesitation. As parents, we would send him back there without hesitation. It changed his life for the better, and helped make him the wonderful man he is. I would suggest that we stop all the "hand-wringing" and realize that this is part of the Church's responsibility to take the Gospel to ALL the world. We accept that Paul and many other missionaries were jailed in the New Testament, along with Alma & Amulek and many others in the Book of Mormon, along with many of our 19th Century missionaries in our own country. In 2016, six missionaries were deported from Russia. The highest Russian appellate court later overturned it and said the missionaries had done nothing wrong. If the court had ruled otherwise, the Church would have modified what the missionaries could do. The same will happen here. The work will go on, despite problems and difficulties. God bless all who are happy and willing to make any personal sacrifice to do the Lord's work.

  • Reasonable Mormon Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2019 4:00 p.m.

    I can only imagine how difficult this has been for the elders, their fellow missionaries, and their families. I can also imagine that this doesn't help much in the pursuit to build a temple in that country, as was announced over the General Conference pulpit. I wonder if that big of an announcement made gov officials there more wary of church "volunteers."

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    March 20, 2019 3:40 p.m.

    Having lived in Russia for over 6 years...this is just business as usual. I have been arrested. My wife and four children were once all arrested. For what? Simply flying from Moscow into Vladivostok.

    We love the Russians, but the government is something else.

  • Golden Rules Okay, OK
    March 20, 2019 3:24 p.m.

    If people are spending time with the missionaries for the purpose of learning English then the Mission President might need to give some specific guidance to prevent this from happening again.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2019 2:39 p.m.

    @UtahBruin,

    I am NOT "taking jabs" as you put it. Mearely stating my opinions of church service based on what has been reported in the news. Yes, I am a Latter-day Saint as well, and served a faithful mission too. I am most certainly not putting my opinions ahead or above the church policy, only according to scripture.

    Yes, I fully understand that these "volunteers" are not allowed to proselyte (it wasn't that long ago that they were allowed to proselyte and Russia changed it's laws); and now they are only allowed to teach those who come to them.

    Just like the laws here in the US (every town, city, county and State even has their own laws) change every few months (every time US Congress, State's congresses, and even city councils meet); it is up to the church to be well versed in changes to laws where they place missionaries.

    So, what that a pastor of a different church turned them in? Most city laws are enforced only when neighbors turn each other in. The fact of the matter is their laws changed; they no longer allow English to be taught by foreigners without license--most likely because it is a front to teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ; which they no longer want taught.

  • Boyd in Provo , 00
    March 20, 2019 2:39 p.m.

    @ Ryan.1-Cedar city, Ut.

    Very well said! You could not have explained any better why we send missionaries all over the world. Thank you for your message.

  • Ryan.1 Cedar City, UT
    March 20, 2019 1:44 p.m.

    I too served in Russia. I too was harassed by the government without cause, interrogated and detained. Despite this, I would not have changed my experience for anything. I was able to teach, persuade and testify of Jesus Christ. The role church volunteer’s play in Russia is invaluable. Their experience, testimonies, and knowledge of the gospel are absolutely vital to the growth of The Church in this far off, often scary, but absolutely beautiful country. Leaving thousands of, almost exclusively, first-generation members, without hands-on support does not sustain the mission of The Church or its Head. Paul himself often preached under unpleasant or unsafe circumstances giving his safety up to The Lord. These elders and sisters in Russia are called of God to help in His work and ministry. They will be guided and protected by Him. No place is perfectly safe. No place is 100% welcoming to The Church and its message or its messengers. But the Russian people are wonderful and they need and (many of them) want the message of the gospel. Let's not abandon those people in the face of fear and uncertainty. The volunteers will be blessed for their service. Take it from one who knows.

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    March 20, 2019 1:35 p.m.

    It’s best to stay away from where you’re not wanted. This is no surprise. Russia has made their feelings known. It would be best to heed them.

  • Semi-PRO Brigham City, UT
    March 20, 2019 1:35 p.m.

    So were the missionaries placed in handcuffs?

  • mosslyla Grand Prairie, TX
    March 20, 2019 1:11 p.m.

    It is well known that governments are just that. Governing their citizens according to the laws made by that government. It is not unusual for missionaries to get caught in the "cross hairs", especially when they are from a different nation ruled by someone such as our current President.
    Yet, our Heavenly Father is searching for spiritual Israelites in every corner of the Earth itself. That search will only end when it is accomplished, and He states, "well done faithful and discreet slave". "Whoever tries to save his own life shall lose it". Our lives are to serve Him, wherever He sends us.
    Easier said than done.

  • Truthczar Colorado Springs, CO
    March 20, 2019 1:11 p.m.

    Good works will have great opposition.

  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2019 1:07 p.m.

    @greatbam22: Your typo about the "Boof of Mormon" gave me the best laugh of the day. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go coof my lunch and loof at my emails.

  • hbeckett Colfax, CA
    March 20, 2019 12:56 p.m.

    It is exciting to know that they have been released and are heading home to their families the gospel of Jesus Christ will go forward and not be stopped by unhallowed hands

  • greatbam22 Midvale, UT
    March 20, 2019 12:49 p.m.

    Curious what critics get from constantly jumping to conclusions and disparaging the church?

    Could be that the area of Russia they were in just weren't as friendly to LDS. I mean there were people like that in the Boof of Mormon.

    Alma in general didn't just give up because some people didn't want to listen. He just went somewhere else.

    The mission president will probably close this area to the missionaries / volunteers for a while seeing as some people are seeking to cause the church issues there.

  • Son of Daggett Vernal, UT
    March 20, 2019 12:31 p.m.

    It's stories like this that really actually made me want to serve in Russia. My actually mission was much tamer. But I'd have gone to Russia in a heartbeat because... well what a story, what an experience. Right before I left on my mission I heard from a kid that had served in Russia and had all sorts of experiences, being beaten up, handcuffed in the street, arrested as well, and I thought "Man, that's where I want to serve." Probably not fun while its happening, but a real faith inspiring bit that you can relay to your kids someday. Glad they're safe. Keep up the good work Volunteers to Russia! God will bless you for your trials and faith.

  • You can call me Ray Clearfield, UT
    March 20, 2019 12:24 p.m.

    The worth of a soul is why they are there. There is a covenant which is about giving all, even at the peril of life.

  • Danite Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2019 12:21 p.m.

    The last time I checked we have a duty to take the gospel to the world. At times, that means putting faithful people in less than ideal situations. I certainly know my mission had experiences that were far from ideal and I gladly endured them to be engaged in the cause I believe in. To spend some time in detention is to walk the path of the great Christian missionaries of the past, Peter, Paul, and Joseph Smith. I commend these good young men for their faith and for their family’s faith. The work goes on.

  • UtahBruin Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 20, 2019 12:16 p.m.

    @NeifyT

    Again, you have to understand how missionary work is done in Russia. I am gathering here you don't. Missionaries in Russia cannot publicly invite people to teach them the gospel. The Russian people must ask and initiate the action. Teaching English is done throughout the world in missions. Not all countries require a license. Missionaries have been teaching English in Russia for years now, with no issues what so ever. This is a circumstance as I stated where another Priest/Pastor reported them. I don't know why, maybe he felt his congregation was being threatened and didn't like that his members were going elsewhere, who knows.

    It's kind of like throwing sun flower seeds out your car window. In many of the 50 states, this is illegal. But not enforced. I am fairly certain, rather it is my opinion, doesn't mean it is right, that this is what this was. Otherwise, as strict as the government is with their laws in Russia. Why are they all of a sudden releasing them three weeks later, and not kicking the missionaries out of the country. Logical question. I don't think this is as big of a deal as you might like to make it to take your jabs.

  • CraigMartin Morgan Hill, CA
    March 20, 2019 12:07 p.m.

    I have been to Russia. They do not look at ANY religion with favor. They are not targeting the mormon church. They are targeting ALL religions. They just don't want a religion, least of all from America, infiltrating their culture. Eventually the church will be forced to pull all missionaries from Russia.

  • UtahBruin Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 20, 2019 12:05 p.m.

    @Impartial7

    "Second, you just called them Mission President. Shouldn't that be "Volunteer President"?"

    No, it is a Mission President, he is not called a Missionary President, he is the President of the Mission.

    "Most churches teach to obey laws."

    As does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but I assume you meant and knew this as they too would fall under "most churches."

    "This is an end run around the "no missionaries" law in Russia."

    There is not a "no missionaries" law in Russia. If you read the article, and the several others regarding this story. It is a "Provision banning PUBLIC missionary work." Missionaries, and missionary work is still very much welcome in country. As I stated in a previous comment, it is done in a different way/method. It is not like other missionaries might do daily.

    "Russia is not liking the semantics the church is playing with their law."

    I guess it all depends if we are talking formal, lexical, or conceptual semantics. I like to think that the church does go off of the formal, as to make sure they do follow what the Russian govt. is asking. If a mistake was made, I am sure it can be corrected.

    No need to worry much.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 20, 2019 11:57 a.m.

    To those worried about the legalities. All of my association with the Church has shown strict adherence to local law. Remember, this did not take place in the US. What is legal in Russia may well be subject to "local interpretation".

    As to them being volunteers vs. missionaries. All done out in the open. No one is smuggling scriptures or missionaries through back channels.

    As to why not just leave? Because there are members there already to support and because Russia may open up again post Putin. Should it do so, having a strong presence there benefits the effort to share the Gospel.

    Is it dangerous? Statistically less so than most other activities for younger folks of this age. Not to say it is without risk. And there is nothing in the Great Commission or the fate of the early Apostles to suggest that this is a riskless venture.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    March 20, 2019 11:58 a.m.

    "The church is closely monitoring conditions in Russia for all volunteers and will continue to fully comply with Russian law," he added."

    There is no admission of guilt in that statement. Sounds to me like they plan to "continue" doing business as usual and don't believe Russian law was broken. That's all well and good, but what will that accomplish? No plans to change their behavior. Based on that logic, I have to believe we can plan on more arrests in Russia.

  • UtahBruin Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 20, 2019 11:53 a.m.

    @NiefyT

    Last time I checked, a missionary was a volunteer. A volunteer can do many things. They can help at a school, they can help out at a kitchen, they can be a missionary. Maybe, just maybe, before making such a comment, maybe you should understand what a missionary actually does in Russia. They operate on a completely different schedule, and daily plan than most missionaries. So a missionary called to Russia, is just that..............A Volunteer!

    @MendonMick

    As I just stated, the work is different in Russia. It is not a play on words, the Russian government is fully aware of who they are and what they are. They are asked to follow some particular standards. What happen to these boys, obviously still more news to come. Is they were reported by a Priest/Pastor of another religion. For what reason we still don't know. But what these missionaries were doing is done very often by other missionaries/volunteers in country. If they slipped up on a way they invited or conducted. I am sure the church is on it and making sure they are doing just as the Russian Govt. ask.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2019 11:43 a.m.

    @Rikitikitavi - "'teaching english' is very commonly offered for free by missionaries who are not pretending to be professional teachers but freely give their time to assist folks who wish to improve their english. It's just that simple. Nothing illegal."

    Actually, the point is that it IS illegal for the missionaries to be teaching English without a license in Russia. Where it not so, they wouldn't have been charged and jailed for doing so.

    Here in the US, perhaps if you are doing it "for free" out of your home or in a church setting it might not be illegal; and only illegal if you were perporting to be a "professional teacher" and charging money for it without a license. But, Russia is not the US; their rules are different--and just like the US their rules changes regularly.

    The fact of the matter is, they expect those teaching English to be licensed. And the missionaries weren't licensed.

    Easy fix... get the missionaries trained and licensed according to Russia law; or make sure all meetings and volunteer work are done while speaking Russian. That is the simple truth.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    March 20, 2019 10:37 a.m.

    Please understand common sense on a few things. Simple things: "teaching english" is very commonly offered for free by missionaries who are not pretending to be professional teachers but freely give their time to assist folks who wish to improve their english. It's just that simple. Nothing illegal. No one is ever pretending to be a "certified Bachelor of Education".
    Please realize that Church leaders NEVER falsify titles or assignments. We always seek to comply with every law in every country where we have couples or young men and women serving voluntarily.
    Missionaries are human beings and may occasionally make poor decisions. Stuff like this happens. The Church never knowingly places missionaries in harms way. In fact just the opposite. The Church goes to great lengths to prepare and to protect my sons and daughters.
    Parents are not needed except in cases of serious accidents. Our friends had a son kidnapped in Saratov but did not rush over.
    The Church REALLY does go to great lengths to obey local laws to the very letter.

  • Bountiful Guy Bountiful, UT
    March 20, 2019 10:31 a.m.

    I am so grateful that the couple of critics that are always on every article with there negativity are not leading anything I care about. How wonderful it is that we have prophets and apostles and priesthood and the Holy Ghost and temples and revelation. Isn't it wonderful that our leaders follow the Savior instead of critics?

    Bless these young missionaries who serve as volunteers - all in there efforts to love and serve their fellow man.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    March 20, 2019 10:06 a.m.

    @USAlover - Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2019 9:15 a.m.
    Oh @Impartial7 what we ever do without a disparaging comment from you about the LDS Church. Thanks for delivering yet another. Good day brother.
    And to that Mission President and Sister, your daily commitment and love shown to those missionaries is a great example of Him whom you serve."

    First, show us where what I stated was disparaging. Second, you just called them Mission President. Shouldn't that be "Volunteer President"? Most churches teach to obey laws. This is an end run around the "no missionaries" law in Russia. Russia is not liking the semantics the church is playing with their law.

  • ji_ Ketchikan, AK
    March 20, 2019 9:45 a.m.

    Deseret News is taking great pains to use “detained” and “detention,” but really, they were arrested and jailed. Right?

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2019 9:34 a.m.

    I note at the end of the article it mentions that they were found in violation of "teaching English without a license" ... the "without a license" was conspicuously absent from the discussion on KSL radio this morning.

    That is a reasonable requirement. Here in the US, you can't have teachers teaching that aren't properly licensed in most States. Although Utah recently passed a law that said that specialists in some fields could teach even without a license... yet talk of changing that law happened, I don't know if they did change it yet again.

    I can't keep up with the Utah legislature either.

    Anyway, perhaps the church should work to obtain teaching licenses for any of their English speaking missionaries (or "volunteers" -- a missionary by any other name). Or, just call to "service" Russian members that speak Russian and would conduct all meetings in Russian.

    Oh, I know, far be it for me to tell the church how to operate, I just find the whole situation rather hypocritical on the part of the church given Doctrine and Covenants Section 134.

  • MendonMick Mendon, UT
    March 20, 2019 9:26 a.m.

    It doesn't feel right to me that they are referred to as "Volunteers". I get why it is done, but it doesn't feel right to me. It seems like we're playing their ("Russian government") underhanded game. It's not safe and would be better to take them out of the country until it is safe for them to do their work as "Missionaries" for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2019 9:25 a.m.

    I just can't keep up. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Day Saints (you know the Mormons that send out missionaries all over the world)... they keep changing. Now they no longer send missionaries? Instead they only send "volunteers"?

    Or, is this just a political ploy for Russian missionaries; to call them "volunteers" so that they aren't seen as being on the wrong side of Russian law... but then the article itself mentions the Russia Mission President... suggesting the church is really just playing games with words; and it is still their intention to send missionaries to Russia; but pretend that they are only "volunteers."

    Maybe it is time to close the Russia mission until Russia is a little more friendly toward missionary work. Let the Russian church members handle church affairs in Russia until politics change again. Not a new thing, done that in many other countries over the last nearly 200 years; missionaries in when governments are agreeable; and out when they are not.

  • SLCMom Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2019 9:19 a.m.

    As you may have noticed, this took twice as long as the Russian's originally were promising. It truly must have taken a miracle to get them out, and the stress on that mission president and his wife must have made them physically ill day after day. I can understand the church is in a bind. To remove all of the non-Russian missionaries capitulates to an autocratic government and will be a hard blow to current Russian members. However, after this clear warning shot across the bow, to refuse to remove these missionaries will be seen as a political push-back, and will likely escalate placing more of our missionaries in harm's way. Russia is an extremely volatile and hostile nation right now for people of faith. I continue to pray the church office will choose to do the right thing and put the missionaries safety as a priority above all else. As wrong and as intolerant as the Russian laws may be, it is not our place to push those boundaries. We must remove non-native missionaries - Oh, excuse me... "Volunteers" - until safer circumstances are restored.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2019 9:15 a.m.

    Oh @Impartial7 what we ever do without a disparaging comment from you about the LDS Church. Thanks for delivering yet another. Good day brother.

    And to that Mission President and Sister, your daily commitment and love shown to those missionaries is a great example of Him whom you serve. As a family, we've mentioned these missionaries in our prayers as well. Glad all is now over.

  • tothemoon Centerville, UT
    March 20, 2019 9:13 a.m.

    Well, The LDS leaders have been warned. If they continue to let those missionaries be there and something happens, that's on them. What more evidence do you need?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 20, 2019 9:01 a.m.

    The Russians need to take a chill pill.

  • Malihini Northern, UT
    March 20, 2019 8:54 a.m.

    So glad they are released and safe. Great to hear. I wonder though, in situations like this why is it that the mission president has to be the one to be the ministering angel? Why doesn't the church call these parents and arrange to have them travel out there asap? I don't know, maybe they did, but it just seems that when missionaries have significant problems, i.e., physical health issues, that the church should send these parents out to be with their children.

  • dordrecht Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2019 8:53 a.m.

    Must have been a very different missionary experience! With the weird Russian government, I wish the church hierarchy would take all of the missionaries out of the country and use the internet as a teaching tool.

  • BYU NATION Bountiful, UT
    March 20, 2019 8:35 a.m.

    When I was on my mission we always listened to the Spirit.

  • mightyhunterhaha Layton, UT
    March 20, 2019 8:31 a.m.

    The Russian government has outlawed the teaching of English by the missionaries. Spin it any way you want but having an activity in Russia and calling it an English only activity pushes the envelope. The missionaries should have stayed away from the edge of the cliff. The Church teaches in an article of faith "obeying, honoring and sustain the law". The Church needs to put emphasis on that and ensure the missionaries don't put themselves in a questionable position.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    March 20, 2019 7:57 a.m.

    Good. Glad they are safe and returning home. Now, maybe church leaders will get the hint and remove the rest from a country that so obviously doesn't want them there.