When a loved one dies unexpectedly, there is shock, followed by disbelief or denial and even guilt and anger. And if that loved one is a missionary–someone on the Lord’s errand–questions arise and doubt, depression and even despair may surface. Eventually, however, it seems that with acceptance and with the perspective time provides, loved ones come to see a greater plan in a seeming act of violence or in a senseless accident. When missionaries suffer trauma as a result of illness or accident, the suffering can lead to a deep sense of sadness and loss.
The fifth annual Parley P. Pratt Missionary Memorial Commemorative Fireside is held annually to remember the lives of those who have suffered death or trauma as a result of accident or illness in the mission field. This year’s keynote speaker is Elder Hartman Rector Jr., General Authority Emeritus and former member of the First Council of the Seventy. Brother Rector’s own married son died just twenty months ago in a rock climbing accident.
Everyone who desires to join in honoring those whose lives were required in the service of the Master are cordially invited to attend the fireside service Sunday 18 April at 7:00 PM in the Alpine Tabernacle in American Fork, Utah. Many who have attended in the past have expressed appreciation for the sense of healing and closure the meeting gave them to talk with others who have shared similar experiences and to gain courage to choose faith over fear, trusting that “all things are done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.” The purpose of this gathering is to honor each person found worthy to serve the Lord and who somehow qualified to receive a transfer to serve beyond the veil.
Finally, we want to create a monument in memory of these individuals that captures the pain of loss and the gain of glory. Such a memorial has been designed by noted American sculptor Dennis Smith of Alpine, Utah and a location has been designated for its construction at the Alpine Art Center and Sculpture Park in Alpine.
In addition to other speakers, we will be favored with several musical numbers from the Missionary Memorial Chorus, including songs penned by Parley P. Pratt and set to music by modern-day composer Roger C. Hoffman, author of “Consider the Lilies of the Field.”
What: Parley P. Pratt Missionary Memorial Commemorative Fireside
When: Sunday 18 April 2004 7:00 PM
Where: Alpine Tabernacle, American Fork (114 E. Main American Fork)
Why: To honor the memory of those who gave their all in the service of the Master
Therefore: To create a support network for those who have suffered loss
We also sponsor horseback rides to commemorate these missionaries, in recognition of the project’s namesake who not only rode a horse but walked many miles to share the gospel message.
For more information contact:
David Tuttle, Coordinator