Two Mormon Missionaries Raped

This is not a light subject, so forgive me if I forgo my usual levity.

TWO FEMALE MISSIONARIES were raped, beaten, and one was shot. This happened in South Africa, according to ABC-4. One was from Kenya, and the other from California. This is a very, very sad case, and one has to ask, “Is sending these ‘children’ out to proselytize’ really safe?” What kind of angst will these young women bear the rest of their lives? I grew up in the era of the “it’s better to die than to give up your chastity,” but I don’t think that is pushed so much right now. Nevertheless, it is there, for anyone to see.

I know many young women had a hard time living with a rape, especially after hearing the teachings and counsel of LDS leaders. Here are a few of those.

Not only is safety an issue, but how will these victims deal with this terrible tragedy when they heal physically? Mentally, they have a long road ahead, particularly considering LDS teachings.

Consider these quotes:

“Loss of virtue is too great a price to pay even for the preservation of ones life – better dead clean, than alive unclean. Many is faithful the Latter-day Saint parent who has sent a son or a daughter on a mission or otherwise out into the world with the direction: ‘I would rather have you come back in a pine box with your virtue than return alive without it.'”–Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (all editions), page 124.

” . . . Your virtue is worth more than your life. Please young folk, preserve your virtue even if you lose your lives. Do not tamper with sin . . . do not permit yourselves to be led into temptation.”–President David O. McKay, quoted in THE MIRACLE OF FORGIVENESS by Spencer W. Kimball

“…There is no true Latter-day Saint who would not rather bury a son or daughter than to have him or her lose his or her chastity — realizing that chastity is of more value than anything else in all the world.”–Heber J. Grant, quoted in THE MIRACLE OF FORGIVENESS by Spencer W. Kimball

“Also far-reaching is the effect of loss of chastity. Once given or taken or stolen it can never be regained. Even in forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a moe favorable position. There is no condemnation where there is no Voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.”–Spencer W. Kimball, THE MIRACLE OF FORGIVENESS

“… For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners; and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue–“–Moroni 9:9

“The victim must do all in his or her power to stop the abuse. Most often, the victim is innocent because of being disabled by fear or the power or authority of the offender. At some point in time, however, the Lord may prompt a victim to recognize a degree of responsibility for abuse. Your priesthood leader will help assess your responsibility so that, if needed, it can be addressed. Otherwise the seeds of guilt will remain and sprout into bitter fruit. Yet no matter what degree of responsibility, from absolutely none to increasing consent, the healing power of the atonement of Jesus Christ can provide a complete cure.”
– Apostle Richard G. Scott “Healing the Tragic Scars of Abuse,” General Conference, Ensign, May 1992

“Of course, a mature person who willingly consents to sexual relations must share responsibility for the act, even though the other participant was the aggressor. Persons who consciously invite sexual advances also have a share of responsibility for the behavior that follows. But persons who are truly forced into sexual relations are victims and are not guilty of any sexual sin.”
– First Presidency Letter to General Authorities, Regional Representatives, and other priesthood leadership, 7 Feb. 1985

These girls are going to need a lot of therapy. My heart goes out to them.

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About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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32 Responses to Two Mormon Missionaries Raped

  1. Cele says:

    The world has come a long way in it’s views and treatment of rape. While the progression of post you’ve shared here shows a TAD BIT of enlightenment the Mormon leadership is still two things. 1) In the dark ages 2) Male.

    Maybe if they’d been raped themselves they’d feel differently about the crimes that are committed against the faithful women, teens, and little girls who’ve been out powered, beaten down, raped, and reviled. Vengence and judgement are the Lord’s, not a bunch of old self righteous, hipocritical men.

    Thank you for sharing Natalie. My heart goes out to these young women. Rape is a terrible crime, that strips away your joy, self image, safety, and today even your life if the vile men who did this were diseased. I pray they will find open loving arms that will hear them out, help them recover, and become stronger for these crimes against them.

    Like

  2. Lindsey says:

    What a terrible tragedy to have happen. My heart goes out to those poor girls. One thought though, they didn’t voluntarily give up “their virtue”, the very definition of rape means it was against their will, so your quotes are kind of unrelated since they seem to be for circumstances where one voluntarily gives up “their virtue”. Just my impression.

    Like

  3. desi says:

    First, my heart goes out to them, and I hope they get the help they truely need to heal and go on.
    Just an aside, I didn’t know mormon’s had women missionaries. Like all other things mormon, I thought this was a “man” thing.

    Like

  4. Natalie says:

    Lindsay,

    The emphasis PUT on that virtue, and trying to defend it with your life, if necessary, is what I was emphasizing. Although they didn’t give it up voluntarily, they will still suffer knowing it was “taken.” If VIRTUE is of utmost importance, how do you feel once it is taken? Or you don’t have it anymore? How are they supposed to heal?

    We heard countless stories growing up, about how girls who wore their skirts too short, or wore immodest clothing, found themselves raped. It’s a “blaming the victim” mentality that needs to stop.

    Like

  5. Bob says:

    So if one of those asking girls to die for their virtue were to be mugged and their wallet and money stolen they would say they were the victim of a crime. Why then are the girls not just a victim of a crime I am having trouble following the logic. What is the male side of this virtue issue if a man were to masterbate would this not be immoral. And only men who have nerver had an ejaculation can have a temple wedding I would guess there would be plenty of empty temples. I guess following their logic I would them surmise that if a young man had a nocturnal ejaculation then his virtue was taken by a impure thought and his virtue would be gone as well. Of course we know this will never happen as the church is male driven and everyone knows you can’t mess with the good ol boys.

    Like

  6. Cele says:

    Bob good argument, but I have to take it one further. If the virtue clause of Mormon virtue were to effect males, then wouldn’t it have to be only men who’ve never had an erection could be temple bonded? A woman only has to be molested or raped [I’m assuming 1) loss of the hymen 2) and the subsequent knowledge obtained the vital elements of loss of virture] to loose her virtue. Then wouldn’t a hard-on be the loss of male virtue?

    Bob is soooo totally right about this never happening in this male driven church.

    Like

  7. Howy says:

    Would a rational thought from a Mormon about sex qualify as one of Nat’s “oxymormons”?

    Like

  8. Wallace says:

    “Loss of virtue is too great a price to pay even for the preservation of ones life – better dead clean, than alive unclean.”

    I wasn’t aware that sexual assault was a matter of ‘Let’s Make a Deal’. How ’bout raped AND dead with the assailant not really picky about the order of operations? What planet do these idiots live on?

    Like

  9. Don Lapre says:

    First, as with everyone else, my heart goes out to those girls. Second, I agree with some of the posters in that the debate is ridiculous – completely risiculous – those women were raped – perhaps the worst crime on the planet next to murder. The USA – the most advanced society on the planet – treats rape as ilegal and it is one of the most severly punished crimes. That is the voice of 300 milion of the most educated people on the planet. Clearly it is wrong, horribly wrong, and i think this debate is off base as it is not an issue which can really be debated. It is wrong. Plain wrong. And anyone who says differently is completely off base. Third, is there anything established for sending donations for these women – i would be interested in information on that. Finally – i also did not realize that there were women missionaires in the LDS religion.

    Don

    Like

  10. I agree with you Lindsey and my prayers and hopes go out to them as well. It is a tragedy that in our society we have such mislead people. It makes you wonder what God really has in mind for the daily routines of our missionaries and would allow such a thing to happen. Not sure what i would do.

    Like

  11. Andrea says:

    I’m doing a project for uni on Mormon Missionaries and I just came by thisweb site. I too feel terrible for what happened to those poor girls but I was also surprised at the idiotic comments people posted here. Like Lindsay said the church is condemming giving up your virtue not it being Taken. A friend of mine was in the same situation and the support she received from the church was overwhelming. Furthermore she was never made to feel dirty or as a sinner. The women in the church were so helpful and understanding. The church offered a professional psychologist to help her deal with the situation.
    On the comments about the male side of things I dont think is worth even mentioning since men control everything Mormon or not, plus let them make all the decisions they’re the ones that will have to answer for all the wrong ones not the women!!! By the way I’m not a member.

    Like

  12. C says:

    “One thought though, they didn’t voluntarily give up “their virtue”, the very definition of rape means it was against their will, so your quotes are kind of unrelated since they seem to be for circumstances where one voluntarily gives up “their virtue”.”

    Your point is valid Lindsay, but I don’t agree. Telling women outright that they’re going to be viewed as sluts if they get raped doesn’t win fans–or converts. I would say the listed quotes are related because they are sometimes parroted forth to rape victims. Which is, what’s the word…cruel.

    What is actually taught and the ‘official’ doctrine are two different things. I’m an exmo, and I’m female, and I can honestly say that we (the YW) were taught that rape is the same as pre-marital consensual sex, and involves the same type of loss of ‘virtue’.

    I’m sick about this story–it’s extremely saddening. On the other hand, more and more LDS sex scandals seem to be coming to light. Makes me feel like maybe I should have said something about mine.

    Like

  13. C says:

    Slight correction (I apologize for the double-commenting, Natalie)–
    I was not raped, but I came extremely close. Narrow misses. No help from the bishop, no help from my family. It makes my reaction to all the many stories like this a little more extreme.
    No, I did not dress provocatively. It was a family member, and I escaped due to disobeying my grandmother and locking the bedroom and bathroom doors when needed.

    Like

  14. Elder says:

    The 2 sister missionaries chose to stay out instead of returning home. Dont use this event to promote your one sided narrow minded ideas. To take such a horrible event and twist it to make it prove your bogus beliefs makes you more heartless then any of these repugnant cenerios.
    Rape is NOT a loss of virtue. Every lie on this page will have severe concequences.

    Like

  15. cam says:

    Thank you Elder…. your comment was exactly how I feel.. these comments are one sided and they are only looking at what they want to believe not what the actualy church teaches. RAPE IS NOT LOSS OF VIRTUE. you did not willingly give your self up it was taken from you. you will not be judged for willful sins committed against you

    Like

  16. azteclady says:

    Elder “yadda yadda lie yadda yadda”
    cam “oh wise Elder, oh yes!”

    azteclady “huh”

    Srsly, did any of you guys noticed how long ago the original post is dated? Plus, the passages Natalie quotes pretty much take care of the idiotic “rape is not a loss of virtue” spiel.

    What, you can’t read the “better dead clean than alive unclean” bit? Seems rather clear to me.

    Like

  17. Elder and cam are right “RAPE IS NOT A LOSS OF VIRTUE.”
    Natalie you’re stupid and unfortunately therapy won’t help.

    Like

  18. Erin says:

    As of 10 years ago, this was still taught in the church. I know, because during a young women’s activity, my dad (who was the bishop at the time) was giving a self-defense class and told us that even in the event of rape, it is better to die than to live without your virginity. Because, he said, “It is the most precious gift you could offer your future husband.”

    I stopped him and asked him in front of everyone, you would really rather me DIE than live as a raped woman? Even though it’s not my fault?” He said “Yes, don’t question what the prophets say.”

    Like

  19. Beth says:

    10 years ago I was the victim of rape at a University in Washington. I am a inactive member of the Church. I was given church discipline and told the rape was my fault. I was 18 years old. I left the church in shame and disgrace and carried all kinds of guilt for 10 years. I thought that I was the only one, and that I had some kind of weird church leader. I didn’t realize that this was an institutionalized attitude against rape victims. I am lucky that I have the loving supportive husband that I have, and really good therapist now, 10 years later. I went the police eventually, but I never got my day in court against my rapist for many reasons, and now I am just one really pissed off woman. I have seen my rapist in Seattle at a restaurant with my husband. It was all could do to stop my husband from trying to go commit physical assault. We left the restaurant.

    I am sorry. It feels good to vocalize this. I feel like people should hear this. I hope that this strange attitude that the church has will change. No one should experience what I experienced. It murders ones soul. And, I am trying o get mine back and I am trying to talk and write in order to stop being a bitter pissed off person. This thing has literally made me physically ill and probably led to other problems like me being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease which is usually brought on by extreme stress+some genetic predisposition.

    Like

  20. na says:

    I have been reading and really thinking about how to write this. I myself am mormon and was raped by the guy i was dating. I had done nothing to “provoke” him or lead him on or anyhting like that. I honestly after reading a lot about the church views and things on it was scared to talk to anyone but i finaly did and the things was they were very understanding and helped me realise it was not my fault.
    I pray that the sisters that were involved in this will also be able to see and feel that with the help of there priestood leaders

    Like

  21. Holly says:

    I am sixth generation Mormon. When I was 13 I raped and strangled by a 38 year old man. After he strangled me to show me just how easy it would be to kill me and leave my body in the woods where no one would find it, he told me to choose. He said if I fought him he would have to kill me because he would not be able to take me home, “If you are all bruised up.” I did not fight him. Dead or live I would not have left that place a virgin anymore. I chose not to be dead. My Father read me the words of the prophets and told me it’s better to die defending your virtue than to live without it.
    The fact that some good people in the Mormon church disregard the teaching of the prophets, doesn’t not mean they don’t affect anyone anymore. Some Mormons actually believe in the Mormon prophets and follow their teachings. Being treated like your life is worth less than your virginity is the same as rape. It’s effect is worse. My family WAS LEAD by our PRIESTHOOD LEADERS. There names are Spencer W Kimball and David O McKay. I lived my whole knowing I was supposed be dead.
    Advising people to go to their priesthood leaders in the hopes that they will ignore the prophets words is kind of like telling sheep to go hang out with the wolves in the hopes that they’ve given meat for the day. Although I’m glad you found one that did.

    Like

  22. theresa *neshama* says:

    I come todaybecause the evil one has touched my life againThe pain flks across the years .The little one inside me screams in terror a prayer to the prince peace.As the evil one dances on my skin in my mind .mt neshama is innner diemension wich is inherently holy and pure It is in my body the lord has kigled a lamp with glory and held my very soul in the palm of his very hand as the evil one dances hand in evil pain that has no name!i have falllen on my kne today and now on my face…My desire is please here my cry of peacs jion me with your light .WE willl stand in the glory Shine the ight of OUR LOVE in the darkness…Boyd k Packer this soul has worth The lord our God held me in the Palm of his very hand as the evil one danced on my skin …….I knowway the prince of peace drew close Didnt take me home……I shine my light on you!I pray that God the father show as amn of your words …..You are not a Man of God !!!ercy on your soul
    From a humbles by his grace daughter of God!Exmoron…in shame of that

    Like

  23. Amy says:

    I too was assaulted and a bishop found out. He said it wasn’t my fault, but no further action was ever taken by his instruction. I was told to just let it go. I still believe I should have died then let him do that to me.

    Like

  24. Holly says:

    It’s a little upsetting when you realize you were supposed to give up your whole life for something no one with the power to do so, will even lift a finger to stand up for. If it were Gods nature to want victims of crimes dead, then Moses ought to have killed himself prior to being driven out of Egypt. Joseph from the story of the multicolored coat should have made his brothers kill him instead of being sold into slavery and Jesus, the most attacked, abused person in the bible should have never been resurrected. If God wanted victims to ‘just let it go’ the bible should never have been written, and it would not be filled with stories of mistreated and abused people of God.
    I ended up in foster care where I was very blessed to know many young girls who have the felt similarly after being raped. The sweetest kindest most beautiful person I met was 11 years old. She held her head on my bed thinking she was not a good person because she didn’t fight the adult who raped her. To see a person who is so good be tormented by this awful ungodly belief ‘that their life is worth less because of something that was done to them’ makes you realize how wrong this thinking is. God’s nature does not change. He has always been on your side.

    Like

  25. Dave says:

    This trajedy is the result of two dynamics at once.
    The 1st being that many Caucasian females are gullible & naive to the savagery of the black race, the second is the perpetual tendency of the church to attempt to civilize the African savages in order to assuage their religion induced guilt.
    Both add up to the frequent horrors like this story.

    How long until the church leadership stops this dangerous nonsense?.
    How many more women must be brutalized before you realize that you are dealing with dangerous primates?
    Stay home, there is plenty of work to be done amongst your own kind.

    Like

  26. Whoa. Dear Dave,

    You need a reality check. ASAP.

    Like

  27. Peter says:

    First off please allow me to send my best wishes to these two young women even if it has been years since the incident.
    Secondly, I would like to say that having spent 4 years in the Mormon Church, having held several posts within the Church, I can say first hand that hypocrisy is alive and well within this Church.
    Being male, I have had sexual relations with 4 male Elders over the years who found the harsh rules of their 2 year mission to be far too much for them to bear with the little support…read lack of open mindedness…the Church provides. Away from their enclosed environment and because of who I was at the time outside the Church and of our closeness in ages…only 5 years apart, they were able to open up and find themselves. Preaching is one thing, providing the right answers for the right circumstances is another thing all together.

    Like

  28. Carl says:

    Hold on here a minute! Say what, Peter? You are banging Mormons serving in the missionary position?

    So, you are gay I assume. Are you still Mormon?

    Like

  29. Brent says:

    The job of every thinking human is to point out stupidity, ignorance and arrogance – and let the chips fall. Mormons make themselves look bad. We merely point it out. Admittedly, we are a bit adamant about it on this web site.

    And, “Screaming Nephite”, you do a really good job of playing the moron role on your blog as well.

    You really are the typical Mormon apologist: no substance, quick hollow responses, absolute denial that Joseph, Brigham and all the rest have said and practiced some really dumb, uninspired dogmatic acts over the history of the church. The problem is simple here; just admit the obvious, admit that you don’t understand most of it (like anyone else), and quit trying to defend and make sense out of completely irrational, racist, hurtful doctrines of the LDS faith. I can hear it now; “but the black issue wasn’t doctrine!” “Polygamy isn’t sanctioned by the Mormon church” “Bruce R wasn’t an apostle when he wrote Mormon Doctrine”

    How many times do we have to listen to this dribble??? Come on Screaming – give us some help here. What is doctrine?? Celestial polygamy and sealings are practiced today in your temples. Bruce R was a general authority when he wrote Mormon Doctrine.

    If you have any substance, provide it. Otherwise, keep preaching to the idiots on your own blog site.

    Like

  30. Llewell says:

    Im not suprised that anti mormons would hijack this accusing the Church of all manner of evils and showing insensitivity at the same time. I lived in the area where this unfortunate event took place. The Church imediately responded.The Mission President expresses his abhorance and clear message was sent to South Africans.It was sharp and honest. The ladies were treated as victims and not demeaned by the leaders,or condemned. As a former leader I can tell you we are encouraged to show sensitivity and not to condemn. We also have female leaders that are part of the counsels who advise and give their pennies worth. Rape is terrible.

    When it comes to virtue we do value it and we have a strict moral code which is meant to protect. We believe that if a person breaks these including innapropriate clothes like short dresses or tight pants it has potential consequences like attracting the attention of predators who are looking for woman who seem easy,not wanting it but still advertising. You clearly do not understand the mind of sexual predators and im reminded of a case in the UK where a predator was charged with rape and stated that the woman wore a revealing dress and this attracted him.He believed she wanted sex. This doesnt justify him but predators would normally avoid well dressed woman because it would be hard in their minds to lure her into their trap.You also clearly do not understand men and how dangerous it can be to show too much especially in a world obsessed with sexuality.

    Rape is wrong but discarding wisdom is also. The Church sets standards in line with Biblical teachings which include chastity.

    Its sad when leaders to fail and it happens but its not in line with what we are taught.

    This tagic event clearly illustrates how evil this world can be and I hope that men will waake up,woman also so this can be ended.

    Like

  31. Holly says:

    WOW! Llewell, My heart goes out to all those poor mindless men out there who rape women by accident. That must be tough to be lured into being a rapist by someone’s dress. Poor guy. If being sexually attracted to someone leaves you with an urge to overpower her and rape her then I suggest you seek therapy and quick, because normal man, who aren’t rapists don’t think this way. However since you have obviously been educated by the church in this subject You deserve a break. Llewell, It’s not your fault, but your views on both predators and rape victims are completely off base. Newsflash: Rape is about power through sex, not about sex itself. A predator is not searching for a woman who WANTS sex. They are searching for people who can be easily overpowered. Their targets are the same targets for all crimes about power. The usual victim of rape is a shy kind, modest naive person who is unaware they are a target. Out of the many rape victims I have met throughout my life I never met one wearing the rape provoking dress you are warning about, but everyone of us constantly explains in great detail to every moron, like yourself, what we were wearing, down to our ratty old tennis shoes. Most victims are shy, trusting people whose kindness and trust was preyed upon. This Idea that a good modest woman isn’t a target for rape is the kind of false teaching that leads good modest women to become victims and then be blamed for it. Mormon girls are often targets for rape, not because they astray from their teachings, but because they are taught to be kind and good to strangers and they are raised to be trusting. These are good qualities but add on top of that the ridiculousness that being a good person protects you from predators and you’ve just created a target. Now add on top of that that if this victim tells anyone she’s not a virgin anymore, that she has less to offer her future husband, and she will be judged in the part she played, since she didn’t come home dead like she was supposed to and now you’ve created a silent victim, a perfect target. No one here is knocking modesty or chastity. They are good values to teach our children that discourage sexual advances, not rape. The problem is the church preaches virginity is your virtue and your gift to you husband. It teaches you are less of a person for not being a virgin even if it’s due to rape. These quotes from our prophets teach girls to preserve their hymen over their life. Most of the world believes this is wrong. If when you read these comments you feel the church is being accused of evil and all manner of is sin, then you at least recognize somewhere deep within your brainwashed mind that what the church preached is just that; It is evil. It causes nothing but pain and trauma to the weakest, those already picked out as victims. Calling them rape provoking sluts doesn’t help your argument much. Oh and that’s great that the church sent out a message to those South Africans. But just for the record, Dave and Llewell, Rape isn’t a crime against race it’s a crime against woman and white men are often the perpetrators also, so shame on you both for using this crime to promote your typical Mormon racist views.

    Like

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