"Two LDS Missionaries Killed in a Car Accident
December 22nd, 2006 @ 9:35pm
(KSL News) -- Two senior missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have died in a car accident.
According to a church spokesman, Sister Alice Ann Rust of Layton and Sister Connie Linford Spackman of Wyoming were returning from the temple in Orlando yesterday when their car was broadsided.
One died instantly, the other on the way to the hospital.
Sister Rust's church leader told KSL of the family's reaction.
Pres. Mark Gilleland, Layton East Stake: "Their mother was doing what she wanted to be doing, serving this mission was very important to her."
The other driver was treated for injuries.
The two women were serving missions with their husbands at the Church's welfare ranch that has cattle and an orchard. "
Just last week I was talking with my father, who is a TBM, and he mentioned his desire to serve a mission with his wife soon after his retirement (which will be sometime within the next 10 years) and although I was tempted to point out that doing so was just a waste of time and money I kept myself in check. He doesn't yet know that I've left the church and I doubt he would sincerely listen to anything I had to say on the subject.
There are several aspects of LDS missions that bother me:
1. It's an almost unavoidable expectation. Well, at least for all worthy male members 19 years of age. While women can serve a mission, they are encouraged to first seek out a suitable mate and start squeezing out babies. This is why they're not allowed to go on a mission until they're 21 years old...wow, a whole two-year window to accomplish that!
For the young men...it's basically forced on them. Of course, they don't have to serve a mission if they really don't want to, or if they're found "unworthy" (God, I hate that terminology!) but at a great personal risk.
I'm happy to say that I didn't go on a mission...even though I was a believing member at that age. Primarily, I felt unworthy to do so. I was (am still am) a sinner and I knew it. Since the LDS church demands such perfection in every little aspect, I knew I wouldn't be able to contort myself into their little box.
2. It's on YOUR dollar. Despite the fact that the Mormon church is one of the wealthiest organizations in the world (they rake in an estimated 5.9 billion dollars annually - according to TIME magazine) they make all their missionaries pay for their mission out of their own pocket.
3. The Danger Zone. Although the church claims to avoid dangerous places (this is probably true to some extent), the fact remains that missionaries are still sent to unsafe locations. I'm reminded of the two sister missionaries who were beaten and raped in south Africa. See here for a great podcast and opinion about it.
4. Lies about garments. This is what bothers me the most. I remember going through the temple for the first time to take out my "endowments" and being told by the temple worker there that my spanking new underwear (known as temple garments) would serve as a protection for me as long as I was wearing them. Like any other naieve TBM cult member, I bought into all the Faith Promoting Rumors about people who had been spared from death or serious injury because they were wearing their magical undergarments.
Let me bear my testimony to you folks: GARMENTS DO NOT PROTECT YOU FROM HARM!
If that were true, then we would NEVER hear about LDS missionaries being hurt, raped, or killed while in the humble service of their god. It's just as simple as that.
Of course, a TBM will try to spin it any which way s/he can to maintain their belief system concerning this subject. They might say something like:
"Well, it was just their time to go" or, "the Lord had more important work for them to do in heaven" or even worse, "then they weren't being worthy enough."
Sorry folks, I'm just going to have to call "Bullshit" on that. These poor kids (or older folks) are serving missions because they believe the LIE that its something the Lord wants them to do. Then, they believe another LIE that they'll be protected from harm by wearing their temple garments.
Perhaps I'll be able to talk my father out of this crazy mission endeavor, but I won't hold my breath. He lives in his own little world and believes whatever he wants to believe...whatever sounds good, regardless of how impossible or irrational it may be.
But then again, we're probably all guilty of that.
Bottom line is this: don't serve a mission for the LDS church. Put all that money towards something more important, like a college education, or a sporty new car (hey, chicks love cool cars...that's what I hear, anyway!)