Living in Utah, we are fortunate to hear about LDS news that others across the country may not be able to hear about. However, there is a news story that surfaced this week that is so tragic and sad that I can’t stop thinking about it. Three LDS missionaries were biking in their area and were hit by a car. Two were killed, and one survived. The driver took off on foot immediately after the accident, and later surrendered. This all happened in Texas. You can read the news story here.
We don’t often hear of missionaries dying on their missions. Although, occasionally, it does happen. What makes this story particularly heart-wrenching to me is that one of the missionaries killed actually decided to extend his mission a few weeks. He would have been home. While my first reaction is sadness thinking that he could be home living his life with his family, I can’t help but think he was meant for a higher calling. Is there a more honorable way to die than to be serving the Lord with all of your heart, might, mind, and strength? Probably not.
I remember that feeling at the end of my mission where I was so torn about going home. On one hand, I was super excited to start my life post-mission, see my family and friends, and re-enter the “real world”, but on the other hand, I was in love with being a missionary. There is no other time in your life when you get to devote yourself to the Lord’s work. I rarely thought about my own needs and desires, because I was focused on what the Lord would want me to do, and the happiness that brought to my life is indescribable. I’m sure this missionary felt the same. I’m sure that is one reason why he just wasn’t ready to go home.
Both missionaries were serving righteously, and died during that service. The third missionary that survived, I’m sure was just as honorable. When you decide to serve a mission, in some ways you are surrendering your life to the Lord. These two missionaries that died gave the ultimate sacrifice. I’m sure their reward will be great in heaven.