Several Mormon missionaries were involved in the Brussels terror attacks — one man experiencing his third brush with terrorism.
On Tuesday, Belgium experienced two deadly terrorist attacks, which left more than 200 people wounded, and at least 34 people lost their lives. Among the casualties were three American Mormon missionaries who were from Utah. The missionaries sustained severe injuries when the two explosions occurred. The missionaries had taken a fellow Mormon missionary to Brussels Airport to catch a flight when the tragedy occurred. The Islamic State group confirmed the responsibility of the attack.
— Julia Tullos (@JTullosCBS19) March 22, 2016
The three Mormon missionaries are Mason Wells, 19, of Sandy, Joseph Empey, 20 of Santa Clara, and Richard Norby, 66, of Lehi. According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon missionaries were escorting a French missionary Fanny Rachel Clain, 20, of Montelimar in France. Sources revealed that he was also hospitalized but with minor injuries. The Church has advised the other missionaries in the France Paris Mission to remain indoors as things cool down.
In a statement, the Church said; “Our prayers are with the families of the deceased and injured, including three of our missionaries who were injured and hospitalized. We also pray for the people of Belgium and France as they continue to deal with the uncertainty and devastation caused by the recent terrorist attack.”
The LDS Church has a strong history of missionary work, and thousands of Mormons of both genders have for many years volunteered to preach the gospel. The missionaries choose to either serve 18 or 24 months. The Church missionary work has experienced a lot of hurdles recently such as the year 2013 which has raised a lot of questions about the missionaries’ safety during their call of duty.
19-year-old Mason Wells has survived not only the Brussels attack, but also the Boston Marathon bombing and was 2 hours away from Paris when the attacks there occurred in November. The Boston Globe reports a friend of Wells’ family believes “divine interventions have helped the young man survive in the face of such extraordinary, if not repeated, circumstances.”
“Everything that I’ve lived up until this point has fortified my personal faith that God is there.” – Mason Wellshttps://t.co/6NPxoNrESc
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 25, 2016
Jody England Hansen, who is a Lakewood, Colorado Mormon remembered her family after receiving the bad news about the Missionaries injury in Brussels. She said that several members of her family have served in several missions, and they were able to come back safe. She only recalls one sad event when her daughter went out on a mission in Ohio, and her fellow missionary lost her life in a road accident.
She, however, encouraged everyone not to fear to go for a mission or meeting new people. “When we turn away, in my mind, we turn away from God,” Hansen said. “Anything can happen anywhere, but you don’t lock yourself away.”