Who Deserves a Memorial?
Do LDS Missionaries who died while serving missions deserve a memorial? Samuel the Utahnite thinks they do, and, in fact, has created a web page remembering those who have died in the service of the LDS church since 1999. He reports that he has gotten numerous complaints from faithful Mormons about the page — almost certainly because he can hardly claim he’s sincerely honoring their sacrifice by putting their names on a page that calls Mormonism “a complete lie and total fraud!!” in the sidebar. Yet he raises an interesting question: Why doesn’t the LDS church have a memorial to remember those Elders and Sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice?
Bonus question: Is remembering them (by name) on an “anti-Mormon” site as respectful/disrespectful as baptism for the dead?
Then Abiogenesis brings another post-memorial-day question: What about memorializing one group while ignoring other similar groups? Here’s his reaction to the National Museum of the United States Air Force on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, OH:
It is truly appalling and disgusting that the U.S. Air Force honors one ethnic group who lost six million people and ignores tens of millions of civilians who were slaughtered in equally heinous manners. What is driving this glaring and disgusting oversight? How did these other people not even receive a footnote? It is disturbing that the tens of millions who have been ignored are all from Asia which seems to indicate a not so subtle Xenophobia.
Do you agree?
Well, if every member is a missionary, then they would have to list EVERY member who passes away on such a memorial…
Honestly, I don’t know. I think that would be nice for the families.
My snark quotes around my first sentence were not included – so, my first sentence was being obnoxious – just to let everyone know!
Aha, yes, it makes more sense with the snark quotes. 😉
Personally, I think the families have a right to be annoyed at Samuel the Utahnite for this since it appears that honoring their sacrifice wasn’t his primary motivation.
Yet he raises a legitimate point. Even if most of them died of things like auto accidents that might have happened anywhere, these are (for the most part) young people who died before their time in part because of choosing to do their duty to the church.
That cartoon about angels protecting LDS missionaries (which he posted on the page) is actually kind of sad when juxtaposed with the names of those who actually died on their missions. And I almost suspect that that same sentiment is the reason for no memorial — LDS Inc. doesn’t want to remind folks how often the Lord doesn’t protect the missionaries…
If a missionary comes back safe and sound, s/he was protected. If s/he gets sick or injured, no matter how badly, but doesn’t die, s/he was protected. If s/he dies, s/he’s in God’s hands. So no matter what happens, it’s more proof that missionaries are very, very special.
If a missionary dies on his mission, either (1) God needed him for a mission on the “other side,” or (2) he was being a slothful missionary, and so deserved it.
Read what some of the leaders of the handcart companies said about the people who died on the trail. It’s the same old same old.
Yeah, I guess it’s just like prayer in general: Either God answered your prayer, or it wasn’t His will because He had other plans…