During the initiatory rite, patrons are clothed in the garment of the holy priesthood. During the ceremony, Mormons are promised that the garment will serve as a protection to us until we have “finished our work on earth”, so long as we do not defile them through sin. Mormons love to promote stories in which the garment served as a protection to us. One of the most famous stories was Bill Marriott, (Chairman of the Marriott Hotel chain) claiming that his pants were burned right off of him, but his garments were not singed and protected him. He told Mike Wallace of the 60 Minutes program.
In another case, we can see that Travis Alexander defiled his garments by having a sexual relationship with his girlfriend Jody Arias. She was later convicted of his murder.
But there are stories of missionaries dying on their missions in which seemingly they didn’t defile their garments.
- Two missionaries died in Romania from carbon monoxide poisoning while they slept because their heater malfunctioned. Apostles Nelson and Cook spoke at their funerals.
- A missionary was killed in Columbia by a stray bullet.
- A missionary in Guatemala was eloctrocuted while helping someone install a metal roof.
- A missionary walking in Sweden was struck and killed by a vehicle.
- Two missionaries were killed in the same week. One was riding his bike and was struck by a car. The other was electrocuted by a live wire.
- A missionary in Spain survived a train crash, but another died in the hospital despite seeming to have been miraculously saved in a car accident.
These missionaries were seemingly not defiling their garments. Is this simply a matter that they had finished their work on this earth? Why didn’t the garments protect them from harm?
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