So wouldn't an obvious fix be to have European kids serve those particular
missions? (Instead of sending them to Utah, for instance?)
"We have several similar cases from other countries, and to make an
exception for the Mormons would create a precedent."They have
several similar cases from other countries?? Even if that were
true--that other churches from other countries send missionaries to
Switzerland who "are unpaid volunteers, serving...without compensation and
not competing for employment with other workers"--its hard to see
what they find objectionable about those who serve others, pay their own way, do
not compete with others for employment, use no public services without paying
for them, and require nothing of any Swiss person or entity.
Religious bigotry is alive and flourishing in Switzerland. It will only be time
before any LDS missionaries will be allowed in, from any country. It will take
a change in Government and time to reverse the direction of this one. Very
similar situation we experienced in Singapore a few decades age. In the end,
the gospel will go forth unimpeded from man.
Oooh this so so typical. European bureucracy with no real reason behind it.
'Gainfully employed?' Right, because missionaries are rich and the Swiss people
are just clamoring to get that job. Oh well, the Church will just have to send
more native EU missionaries there. Seriously, though, this is the kind of
senseless way policies are made in Europe. I lived there for a year. Small
government is a foreign concept. And I thought it was bad here...
Come to think of it, this might have more to do with European paranoia towards
non-majority religious groups who practice what they believe. 'Sects' they call
them. Europe doesn't have nearly the sense of individuality that the US does.
Just a suggestion, instead of pulling a 2008 photo from your mtc file, couldn't
someone e-mail the Swiss Mission President and get a more thoughtful photo of
missionaries who are currently serving in Switzerland? With today's technology,
it would just be a click away.
It doesn't matter. The Church is still in Switzerland, and they can still send
missionaries, they just may have to get them domestically vs. importing them, as
LDSguy pointed out.
"It is both a right and a responsibility of a democratic society to manage
immigration so that it serves the national interest."US Commission on
Immigration Reform 1994It's funny that the Swiss are following that
counsel and we are not.Let's change the names. The European threat of
immigration is Islam. We see what is happening in the UK. Perhaps the Swiss
are merely protecting themselves. It isn't an ideal solution, but it
works. Remember when East High banned ALL clubs as a result of the request for
a gay club?
Yes, missionaries can be sent from other EU countries but it is a missed
opportunity for good kids here in the US to serve there. EU citizens complain
all the time that Americans need to get out more and experience the world
outside our own borders and then the Swiss adopt a stupid policy like this. I
have friends who have served in Switzerland and they make the best ambassadors
for that country when they return. They spend their own hard earned money while
there thus helping the Swiss ecomomy. This makes no sense to me. I think this
policy is like swiss cheese. It is full of holes.
Interesting how many fellow US Mormons I know constantly bark about the USA's
right to allow or disallow who they want in their country but when another
country decides on it's own then it is "religious bigotry". It is
hypocritical for US people to criticize another country's immigration policies
if we are immigrant bashing and keeping people out. They have our policies, we
have ours and all are passed by a democratic process.
Very interesting development in light of the fact that the Zurich mission was
closed this summer and its missionaries assigned to the Germany Alpine mission.
When I served in Switzerland, I found the people to be warm and friendly and
very tolerant. I haven't returned to Switzerland so I can't speak to the
current climate. We all know how neutral and tolerant Switzerland has been
regarding politics, religion and immigration; clearly there is opposition to the
I seem to recall not so long ago, a certain group that was happy about the Swiss
decision to ban minarets on mosques. Interesting.
How do you equate immigration with performing volunteer religious work? Mormon
missionaries are not seeking permanent residence or status in the country. They
are there for two years or less at thier own expense and then gone.
@johnjacob..There's no need to turn this into what it isn't. The
church will be respectful of the laws. It wouldn't be the first country that has
had to have adjustments made by the church. I don't mind people coming to the
US, I just want them to do it legally. Missionaries aren't trying to go
illegaly, nor are they trying to become permanant citizens. Your
point is way off the mark on this one.
TC: MormonstudentYou lived "there" for a year? You thought
it was bad "there?" Where exactly did you live? Or are you trying to
lump the most diverse place on the planet into one simple package?
To bad but the Church will continue to grow no matter what as long as the
members are willing to be missionaries. Hope they work something out.
Mr JingleHeimer your intolerance is showing. I personally don't know any LDS
people against immigration, however I do know some that have issue with ILLEGAL
immigration which is totally different. LDS missionaries are not entering
Switzerland illegally. In fact they are not even immigrants, so your point
is... well I guess you really don't have one.
No one seemed concerned when the Swiss banned minarets on mosques last year. No,
everything was fine and dandy then.
Just send the missionaries from Europe. There are three languages spoken in
Switzerland, I believe. They are French, German and Italian, depending on which
section of Switzerland. French, German, Italian and Swiss
missionaries would be the most obvious choices. Saves on airfares too, as well
as avoiding 'faux pas' with regard to the local culture and idiomatic speech.
First of all, I am LDS, proud of it. Secondly, being in Utah I do know plenty
of LDS people who are intolerant of any type of immigration legal or not. My
comments are aimed at them the one who have a problem with Switzerland, a
sovereign nation setting their own laws by a democratically elected lawmaking
boy. The US can impose it's own rules of who comes in and out of our country
but Switzerland is criticized for doing it just because it conflicts with
missionary work?The LDS Church does excellent work complying with
local laws. They will need to send European based missionaries. We as Mormons
need to respect the sovereign laws that Switzerland is requiring, not criticize
it.There is no shortage of places where we can send missionaries, no
need to bash on another country for limiting it. It is unfortunate but not
grounds for ugly anti-Swiss comments by LDS CHurch members.
Didn't something similar happen a couple of years ago in Russia? I'm not sure
how that was or if it was resolved.The reality is that the church
(in terms of a formal missionary program) still is not in a large percentage of
the world when you look at much of the middle east, China, India and the visa
issues with some other places.Let me ask in advance that people
refrain from saying - it is the "work of Satan" or a sure "sign
of the times" or "the caravan will roll on". It seems to simply
be a political issue that the church is very well equiped to work around and
Is it religious intolerance or political bureaucracy? Either way, the Church
will make adjustments to comply with the law. @JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidtWell ... you're consistent....
John Stewart Pill | 10:02 a.m. Dec. 14, 2010 SLC, UTNo one seemed
concerned when the Swiss banned minarets on mosques last year. No, everything
was fine and dandy then.AMEN!This is what I mean, the
same fellow Mormons that are anti-immigrant I was talking about loved it when
the Swiss clamped down on other religions but are upset now that Switzerland has
done it to Mormons.WHile I don't agree with the Swiss policy, they
are a sovereign country and they decide their own laws. We can send European
members as missionaries and send US based ones to other places. Plenty of
places to send missionaries. No need to get ugly and criticize the Swiss.
JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt is right! Utahns cry and whine all the time about
immigrants. Switzerland is a sovereign country and they have a right to set
their own immigration policy whether that might be detrimental to mormon
missionaries or not.
Rich for Truth: Switzerland is basically Catholics and Reformed Christians home
of the reformer John Calvin. Martin Luther and Calvin knew the Protestant
reformation would open the door for cults and different religions but thought it
necessary. Unfortunately Christians, Catholics and Protestants dont study the
Bible like Luther and Calvin and are easy target for Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses
I think this just provides a great opportunity for European saints to raise the
bar and provide enough missionaries for the work in Switzerland on their own.
It's probably the direction the church wants to go anyway. I can
understand why a country would be concerned about a constant flow of Americans
coming into their country and would prefer that missionaries come from their
native land. I served a foreign mission, and at times I was just as
uncomfortable being an American in a foreign land as the natives were of having
an American walking around in their neighborhood. My desire to spread my faith
and sense of duty to the Lord certainly trump any sense of comfort in a foreign
country, but if there are sufficient numbers of people who can serve missions in
their native lands, or nearby and culturally similar places, why not? Now, if Switzerland wants to ban missionaries altogether, regardless of
whether or not they come from Europe, then I think we have a problem. I
understand that the concept of a missionary can seem quite condescending to
some, but I would rather risk offending some than deny others the opportunity.
I doubt these laws were tailor-made with Mormon missionaries in mind. You have
to consider this policy change in the context of Swiss demographics. A whopping
22% of the people residing permanently or temporarily in Switzerland are not
Swiss citizens. I'm sure the Swiss are just trying to do what they can to rein
that situation in a bit, and I don't blame them.The church deals
with visa issues for missionaries on an ongoing basis, and I'm sure they'll find
a way for missionary work to continue in Switzerland in one form or another. If
anything, this situation may provide an impetus for more young European saints
to choose to serve missions.
Thank goodness there are inspired, intelligent and rational people behind the
scenes working on behalf of the LDS Church to work with the Swiss government to
maintain good relations and NOT some of you that are quick to let fly ugly Swiss
bashing comments because of your self righteousness.M. RUSSELL
BALLARD Oct 2001 Conference: If we are truly disciples of the Lord Jesus
Christ, we will reach out with love and understanding to all of our neighbors at
all times.(Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley , 661, 665). We
must work harder to build mutual respect, an attitude of forbearance, with
tolerance one for another regardless of the doctrines and philosophies which we
may espouse. Concerning these you and I may disagree. But we can do so with
respect and civility
It's regrettable but it won't stop anything. It will just mean that French,
German and other local missionaries will go to Switzerland while US missionaries
will go to France & Germany. Problem solved. Next!
Could this new Swiss policy simply be political maneuvering with the USA or
could it be in retaliation for some US policy towards Switzerland? I know that
it takes on average 6-12 months for Canadian LDS missionaries to obtain a visa
to serve as missionaries in the USA. Maybe there is some type of problem
between the US and Switzerland.
@Third try screen name..I think you have it right.You quoted..."It is both a right and a responsibility of a democratic society to
manage immigration so that it serves the national interest.""...The European threat of immigration is Islam. We see what is happening
in the UK. Perhaps the Swiss are merely protecting themselves."Good for the Swiss. If they make allowances for LDS missionaries, then they
have to do similar for others...and some of the "others" are
frightening. In the U.S., we should do similar to protect ourselves!!!!!! Lest you think I'm anti-LDS, I'm very active LDS and proud to be of
Swiss heritage. This may affect my opportunity to serve a senior LDS mission in
Switzerland, which I had really hoped to do. But I'd rather seem them, and US,
maintain our borders.
@JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidtYou are right, we shouldn't be making ugly
anti-Swiss comments. We should respect their laws. I don't have an issue with
their laws and didn't say anything to that effect. However, what I did have
issue with is you saying LDS people are always 'barking' about the US being able
to allow or disallow who we want. I'll stand by what I said. I personally
don't know a single LDS person who is against immigrants of any race coming to
America LEGALLY. I do know many who are against ILLEGAL immigration which is
just plain common sense. I am always confused as to how people can interpret
anti-ILLEGAL immigration to mean anti-LEGAL immigration.
No one seemed concerned when the Swiss banned minarets on mosques last year. No,
everything was fine and dandy then.Well, I was concerned and I
voiced my concern in my adult sunday school class. I specifically said that
someday the swiss could ask the Mormons to remove the angel Moroni from the
Temple there or begin restricting missionary work.But, as suggested,
more Dutch, German, French and Italian kids will have to pick up the slack in
Switzerland while more Americans go to the Netherlands, Gemany, France and
Italy. Tot ziens.
Ok so no more swiss citizens coming to the US for college... STARTING NOW.
"Ok so no more swiss citizens coming to the US for college... STARTING
NOW."Uhh--free quality college education versus costly college
education? The Swiss aren't exactly swarming to the U.S. to go to college.
They have perfectly good schools there. And their schools are far, far less
expensive.I hope the Swiss will reconsider their decision. It's a
great country with some wonderful people.
'Thank goodness there are inspired, intelligent and rational people behind the
scenes working on behalf of the LDS Church to work with the Swiss government to
maintain good relations and NOT some of you that are quick to let fly ugly Swiss
bashing comments...' - JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt | 11:59 a.m. All
this talk recently of immigration reform. The kind we didn't get
from previous presidents. And now, when other countries do exactly
what some in America want, keep their country their own... some get
upset about it. Yes, I would call that self righteous.
Patriot.... do you even have a clue what foreign students need to do to get
visas to come to the states to study? If foreign governments did likewise to
our missionaries it could cost the church millions in escrow accounts before
they could enter the country.I am surprised my earlier comments got
censored out... they were harmless. Mr/Ms Moderator must have gotten up on the
wrong side of the bed this morning.
this same thing happened in brazil in the 80's brazilians missonaries filled in
an the work grew. no big deal.
JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt | 11:59 a.m.:"Thank goodness there
are inspired, intelligent and rational people behind the scenes working on
behalf of the LDS Church to work with the Swiss government to maintain good
relations and NOT some of you that are quick to let fly ugly Swiss bashing
comments because of your self righteousness."Ugly Swiss
bashing? Would you mind getting specific about whose comments you find so nasty
and self-righteous? I really am curious.Look, we have no obligation
to bend over and apologize for wanting to share the gospel in Switzerland. Our
willingness to comply with the law is not the issue. Nobody is advocating that
we NOT comply with the law. However, we don't need to be so
hypersensitive to this change that we are afraid to let our feelings known. We
don't need to flog ourselves for not being thrilled. Look, I love
Switzerland. I've been there and have a healthy appreciation for the stability
and longevity of their nation.Let's see what we can work out before
we give up sending missionaries from out of the EU. There is no sense in
rolling over, before we even try.
I served my mission in the Switzerland Zurich Mission many years ago. I grew to
love and adore the culture and the people. They are some of the best people in
the world. I feel sad that many young missionaries will now miss that
opportunity. Switzerland is a "blessed" country. Sure the work was
hard and converts were few but I wouldn't change anything about the experience
that I had there. I hope something gets worked out....Switzerland is a
wonderful land. The Swiss people are amazing.
"madison | 10:14 a.m."You missed "Romansch," the
language spoken in Graubunden. That is also an official language in Der
Schweiz.I hope the Swiss authorities soon come to realize the love that
continues in the hearts of former Swiss missionaries long after they have
returned home. I've been home for nearly 60 years and still consider myself to
be "ein Schweizer Knabe."
Switzerland lives off blood and drug money made from illicit operations around
the globe. They need to start doing some real work and earn their keep honestly
besides just hiding money from corrupt thieves.
Question?As the family pays the church the monthly fee which makes
it a religious donation / non taxable and the church then pays the missionary
expenses: are the missionaries employees?Just wondering?
Take Note Illegals.....this is what enforcing the border looks like!
@Rick "Religious bigotry is alive and flourishing in
Switzerland."I'm thinking this policy has more to do with a
different change that has this as a side effect rather than it being based on
religious bigotry unlike the minaret ban a year ago. After all, if it were
religious bigotry then there wouldn't be the option to use missionaries from EU
You guys are crying like the ONLY MOrmons on the Planet are from Utah....get
over it.Stop thinking that the Swiss are only our to get YOU!!!Did it EVER occur to some of you that perhaps the Swiss might passing
this sort of restriction due to the growing number of Muslims in that part of
Europe?Get out of your little Utah-bubble, I'm a victim mind-set,
I wonder if the mormons will obey this law or start sneaking into the country
justifying the end to use the means. My guess is unlike the liberals and
illegal immigrant criminals the mormons will respect the law
Why must they accept anyone from the US in their country for 18 months to 2
years or more? Aren't there LDS there? Besides you have missionaries
there who speak the language. Won't you more clearly get your message across if
they don't come from the US?
I do think that the 12th Article Of Faith would apply here.
Switzerland is a party to the Schengen agreement. As such, U.S. citizens may
enter Switzerland for up to 90 days (consecutive or combined, within a six-month
period) for tourist or business purposes without a visa. (See State dept.
website)It appears that a non/EU missionary assigned to the Germany
Alpine mission could serve 1-2 transfers in Switzerland every 6 months. That
works for young missionaries, but not so well for senior couples who serve in
one area for their whole mission.If somehow they interpret
missionaries in Switzerland to be "working" for the LDS club in
Switzerland (The church is legally recognized as a club in Switzerland) then
they would need a permit, but if they are interpreted to be working for a
multi-national organization based in SLC, then the Schengen should apply.
I would think that after 150 years of being in the country that the Swiss should
be able to have enough members able to carry on the established missionary
program. The need to send in missionaries from outside the country should not
exist after 150 years, with some 7,939 members (2010 Church Almanac) and if it
is true that EVERY member is a missionary why is there any need at all for
outsiders to be sent in to do a 2 year mission? The Swiss may place a ban on
missionaries being allowed into the country that should not in any way be a
hinderance of the work, it simply means that the swiss members need to be much
more active in sharing the gospel with their neighbors.
Where's my comment?
Fine. Send more missionaries to Africa. The Euros don't care about religion.
Dear Apache1If every member is a missionary then we have no need for
missionaries in Arizona right?
Ok, so what; the church can't send missionaries to the Swiss from the states. Is
the implication here is that only missionaries from the states has a testimony
and can preach the Gospel. This ban doesn't include missionaries
from the EU. or is the uproar implies that missionaries in the EU doesn't have a
specific testimony.What difference does it make how a person is
taught the Gospel and than baptised, or is there?
All these comments about "the Swiss members need to step it up" are
hilarious.First point: many Swiss members have immigrated to Utah
instead of remaining in their homeland. This isn't an issue anymore, but about
100 years ago it was quite common. The church back then didn't discourage this.
The church would be stronger in Switzerland had those members stayed.Second point: if you're living in a Mormon-rich area (meaning pretty much
anywhere in the Western U.S.) chances are any active member living anywhere else
has done more missionary work than you have. I'd recommend, before criticizing
Swiss members for "not growing fast enough," you consider the beam in
your own eye and move (at least for a few years) to some place where your
opportunity for missionary work will be greater, such as the Midwest, the South,
the East coast, or another country.
Why does everyone think this is a religious issue? The Swiss just decided to
enforce its sovereignty as a nation and country to preserve its rights and its
peoples rights. Suck up and get out, foreign nationals not wanted.The church is blowing this all out of proportion as religious discrimination
for a country to control its borders. Sovereignty is the enemy of
socialism and foreign controls. The Untied States could take a lesson from the
Swiss, it would unites us as a nation with some kind of pride in our selves.I can't believe how offended this country and our leaders are that a
county has said enough is enough, we are our own destiny.
It's interesting that so many of you believe that Mormons have the
"right" to go to any country you want to. You don't. You also
don't have the right to go to any house you want to, or talk to any person you
want to. If countries choose to put you on a "do not visit" list,
that's their right. If I choose to put you on my "do not call" and
"do not knock on my door" list, I have that right. This
"I deserve" feeling is elitist in and of itself. It would be very
different if you were saying that Switzerland is limiting religious freedom -
but they're not. They are limiting temporary immigration, period.
Instead of the US Government pressing forward alone in this matter, it would
serve those living in Switzland (Saints) to appeal to their own government.
So what, US missionaries now can't go on a European tour? Big deal. The lack
of work was hardly sufficient to justify an entire mission in Switzerland
anymore. At most, this impact 10-20 US missionaries a year. They can now go to
Brazil instead. Or Alabama. Or Provo.
I would like to reiterate....Stop playing the martyr, and crying
discrimination and vitcimhood.The Swiss are not banning or
restricting Mormon Missionaries at all, just non-European Missionaries [Mormon
and NON-Mormon] -- now get over it.
Their choice, not your's. respect it. Maybe they don't like their people being
Mormon missionaries are noticeably different in dress, language, and behavior.
That scares people. I don't blame the Swiss as much as I pity them. They are
having a surge of anti-foreigner sentiment just as France is, having expelled
large numbers of gypsies lately in violation of their own EU laws.How is the US doing in that regard? I hope we continue to lead the way in
seeing what we have in common with other cultures instead of being spooked by
superficial differences.The Church of Jesus Christ will, of course,
respect the rule of law. And thoughtful citizens will, of course, seek to
change such short-sighted laws.
Just a thought.I am a descendant of Swiss imigrants to the United States.
Would the Swiss government make any special allowances for me, or for my son, to
serve a mission in Switzerland, the home of our forefathers.
I'm surprised we still have missionaries in Western Europe. They've become a
hard-hearted people, not interested in spiritual things. The day of the Gentile
is almost over. They have had their chance and its time for us to move on. We
have bigger fish to fry in Eastern Europe, China, India, Africa, and SE Asia
where there are people who want the Gospel. I have a friend who
served a mission in Germany three/four years ago. He didn't teach, much less
baptize, a single native German his whole mission, only foreigners. That's the
only reason I can think of to keep missionaries in Western Europe: to teach
visitors from countries who don't yet allow us to proselyte in their native
lands. This is just the beginning of European protectionism and
xenophobia. They have finally woken up to the danger they are in from an
Islamic takeover brought about by their own materialism and rejection of
I never expected this. It's like going back to the dark ages. I worked in
Zermatt one winter as a chambermaid and dishwasher and have traveled in the
country before returning to the States. I hope something can be worked out.
WOW! Stop the presses. How hypocritically,predictably irrelevant!? (Especially
considering how socially progressive Switzerland is)Make no mistake
about it, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will continue to roll
forth in spite of some political irrelevancies.
Madison: you left out Swiss German.
What a great opportunity for the Swiss to rise to the occasion of providing
missionaries from within their borders. It can only help the church membership
get stronger by taking on these new responsibilities. They are not the only
ones who are "answering the call"...Russia is using home-grown
missionaries now as well.
This is one of the most stupidest things I've heard. I'm not LDS but to ban a
certain people because of their faith is absolutly absurd. "We don't want
to let you in you might work". NO I think its more about intollerance. Over
the last 150 years y'all been traveling over their to do a mission I don't think
y'all went out and got a job. Hello look at the track record hear ppl.
Heck, we have sent missionaries from Canada to the Salt Mission.
I think this may be a harbinger of things to come. Many European countries are
struggling with a stranglehold that radicals of certain religions are putting on
societal norms. LDS may get caught up in the "total ban" strategy
since other mitigations don't seem to be working for integrating religious
ideologies into their respective society. Just another bump in the road to the
mission of missions.
Pull most missionaries out of Europe, its "burned over" already. Send
those missionaries to Africa and Latin America where there is a ton of work to
First of all the minnert ban was to preserve the architechural heritage and to
ban the excess noise of the seven daily calls to prayers. The masques could
still be constructed if they conformed to the zoning laws. LDS have to face the
same type of zoning restrictions around the world. Second the EU bureochracy is
noted for its ponderous attempts to make one shoe fit every every one. Sounds
like a health care bill we only got to read after it was passed.
When I went on my mission to Brasil in 1980, it was technically illegal for the
church to send missionaries there. So we were coached at the MTC to lie to the
customs officials. When our group landed at the São Paulo airport, I was
interrogated by Customs for two hours. And I lied through my teeth "for
the Lord's sake". I swore to them that I was there "para estudar a
lingua e cultura brasilera" - to study the Brazilian language and culture,
as I had been carefully taught to say at the MTC. The man knew I was lying but
since I stuck to my lies, he eventually had to let me in. What a violation of
my personal integrity! It still makes me sick to my stomach that I did that.I'm sure the church will do something similar in Switzerland if need be
- just have the missionaries lie when they enter the country. After all, the
end always justifies the means in God's eyes, right?
tracer,"Ithink this may be a harbinger of things to come. Many European
countries are struggling with a stranglehold that radicals of certain religions
are putting on societal norms. LDS may get caught up in the "total
ban", probaly true. European countries are very tolerant of various
small religious sects and cults. Mormons,Chritian Science and Jehovah's
Witnesses are considered mainline cults and There is a better awarness by the
Christian Churches: Catholic,Reformed and Lutheran Churches.
It is always political these days. Of course they are volunteer and non paid and
have an extended history..Swiss know that and that the regulations therefore
wouldn't pertain. As I said they have an agenda and maybe pressuring other
countries to support and belong to there organizations and treaties.. So
political preesure they use and this is as good a way as any.. Too bad maybe
our Senators and behind the door friendships can soften hearts.. Let's add this
to our prayers also.
No big deal IMO.... There are PLENTY of Mormons living in Europe to keep the
needed work moving along.Don't worry... be happy...
I am certain the "work" will continue in Switzerland. It is such a
wonderful country. One way or another the church will be just fine. I was
there on a mission and cherish my memories.
Doesn't seem to me that this is a "crisis" at all, there are plenty of
EU missionaries available, let them go to Switzerland. Problem solved.In my
home/native state, we were always disappointed by the number of ill-prepared
Utah (natives) missionaries that came into our missions. Would that we could
have requested ones that were not so lackadaisical.This is a world-wide Church,
in spite of Utah.
Have more faith, and trust that the Lord has more power than a government, and
that He can further his purposes with any man made decision. He can do all
things, there is no fear here and the Lord will work His work, and if He has to,
by miracles and wonders. My guess is those wonders won't be reported and might
not be able to be seen by mortal eyes.
What a lot of hype for a non issue.
I served a my mission in Switzerland when the Swiss Temple was dedicated. Even
then missionary work was not allowed in some narrow minded narrow valleyed
villages. Remember that Switzerland is still very much a Federation, with strong
local Government, and a central government leaving issues in the Kantons to the
local people. Please note, that the Swiss-Zurich mission was recently
closed, due to lack of converts, and is now directed out of Germany. I
view it as okay, that Americans will not be admitted. Good let us send the
missionaries where their efforts are appreciated and the harvest is great.
The Saints there are strong, and this will just motivate them to serve local
stake missions. Besides the Swiss will appreciate having missionaries that can
speak Sweiter Dutch.
Is this part of the same xenophobic tendency that inspired the ban on minarets?
The Swiss Temple being the first temple outside of North America is debatable.
By most definitions of North America it does not include Hawai'i. The Laie,
Hawai'i Temple was dedicated in 1919, long before the Swiss Temple.
One reason Switzerland has such a high "foriegn" population is they
make it very hard for people to become citizens. If you are born in the US you
are a citizen of the US, with the lone exception of children of foriegn
diplomats. In Switzerland if both your parents have to have been born in the
country for you to be counted as a national, and I am not ever 100% sure it is
that lenient of a policy. Inherently the Church seeks to be able to
have recognition of its ability to chose where its own missionaries go. There
is actually a very long list of restrictions placed on the Church on what sorts
of foreigners it can send to various nations as missionaries and another long
list of security precaustions in place that are self-imposed. However, it is
still the goal of the Church to be able to send as many missionaries as it wants
everywhere, thus seeking to work with various governments for a change of policy
is always the best course of action.
I have yet to meet any Church member who would advocate the US government
restricting foriegners coming here on religious worker visas. While
I have not asked anyone particularly, my general guess would be most Mormons
would favor allowing the Catholic Church to bring in as many foriegn priests,
religious brothers (monks) and nuns as they want. If their are Mormons who
would oppose such provisions in the law I would say they need to rethink their
positions on such.Current US immigration laws that provide a special
category for religious workers are largely the result of efforts of Orrin Hatch.
If anything I would favor revision of the law to make it easier for
religious organizations to bring in foriegn nationals for their purposes. I
will support any Mosque in bringing in a foriegn Imam, Qadi or other religious
leader it choses. I will also support any recruitment of foreign religious
leaders by Buddhist or Hindu groups, and think all of these religious leaders
should be entirely outside of national quota counts so as to in no way limit the
number of other people coming from what ever nation they come from.
Switzerland is a sovereign country and we should respect their right to enact
their own laws. I am sure many people in Switzerland find out laws
objectionable, ie the death penalty. The law is not a bigoted law, more of a
Nationalistic/EU preferential treatment law, which the United States has plenty
of laws which show preferential treatment to US/Canadian/Mexican citizens rather
than EU citizens.
The irony...the only unfortunate ones here are their own citizens. The Swiss
LDS members will have to fill the Swiss missionary quota before they will have
an opportunity to serve internationally.I like the Swiss missionaries at
temple square too.
Maybe this is a blessing in disguise. It would cause more Swiss young men to be
called to serve as missionaries in their homeland, which means maybe more of
them would serve. That would be a direct fulfillment of Spencer W. Kimball's
vision of countries supplying their own missionaries. It might also cause the
church to expand faster in Switzerland with native missionaries teaching their
own people.I do have to take issue with "gainfully
employed". I know that I didn't work for money on my mission. Maybe in
Switzerland, blessings are considered pay and getting these blessings directly
competes with the current Swiss state religion and their blessings. Eh?
Good and rational Church members will work with the good and rational Swiss
people and arrive at a good and rational agreement -- it will work out fine.
To those who thing Europe is "burned over,"--you're wrong. There are
plenty of good Europeans there, and plenty of people willing to hear the gospel.
As long as people keep saying "the church won't grow in Europe," it
won't grow. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If missionaries sent to Europe,
and the members in Europe, are convinced the church won't grow, it won't. Stop
being so negative, and stop hating Europe because they're more liberal than we
are, and the church will see more growth there.
The population of Switzerland is approx. 7.54 million. The number of LDS members
in Switzerland is just under 8000. (Approx .001%) The percentage of LDS members
living in the countries that make up the European Union is under .003% of the EU
total population. The numbers are quite disproportionate, given that over 50%
of the EU population subscribes to Christian Faiths other then the LDS Church.
Thought the restriction applies to all missionaries from all faiths outside the
EU, it seem obvious to me the restriction limits the number of LDS missionaries
to Switzerland far more than most other faiths. Im sure this was not the intent
however it is a result. The LDS Church has significantly less of a population
base of missionaries to draw from as only EU citizens could be called to serve.
I don't think the comments dissing the Europeans came from people who have
actually been there. I find many spiritual people all over Europe even though
most are not LDS. Many do not join because they ARE already faithful in their
own church.If you are a teenager growing up in little Switzerland;
you do not hope to get a mission call to Switzerland. That's like a US
missionary being called to his own state.
To Rassel Dazzel. I do live in Europe. The excuse that the Europeans
already have a church doesn't Hold. With the fall of Communism, they suddenly
found the New God (the Euro)They also suffer from fear of big Brother
still watching. They prefer to just hide in their own secluded apartments, rush
to work, rush back home, and work at collecting more Euros. The point is
also well taken, that members don't speak up about their faith, as President
Kimbal would ask. The work is indeed difficult, especially in the economic well
developed countries. Marriage is discouraged by the governments providing free
housing and medical care, if the single mother, does not list the babies
father.On the positive side, those members who are very committed, are
some of the best in the world.
Things will work out. Those who have a desire to hear the gospel and are
prepared to receive it, and the missionaries who have a desire to serve and are
prepared to teach the gospel, the Lord will provide the way to make things
As a European I find it interesting to read the comments that have been made
about a political decision by a sovereign country. The EU has a complex
decision making body, much more complex than the the USA. Therefore, a common
immigration policy is a hard-won achievement; whether it will achieve what its
purpose is remains to be seen. It has been a long time in the making; as has
been pointed out, things take a lot longer in the EU, precisely because of the
number of countries, and languages (!), and cultures, and interests, etc
involved. I am not sure how many contributors there were on this comment page,
but there has been some division in opinion. This is the 'EU' in a nutshell. A
country such as Switzerland has its own agenda but wants to live with its
neighbours, indeed, must do so to survive; it does want to remain sovereign,
therefore wants to guard its population from too much foreign influence. The
perceived 'threat' from LDS missionaries is obscure, is there any evidence of
these missionaries staying beyond their time? Who or what is the real perceived
threat is the question.
"a mutually acceptable solution to the problem"??The LDS
Church and its missionaries have no standing or claim here! They are allowed
into the country purely as guests, and that welcome can be revoked at any time.
There is nothing to negotiate because missionaries are little more than
parasites on Swiss society - like fleas on a dog's back. Now the fleas are
upset because the dog wants to shake them off?
The Swiss taken this action because they are over run my Islamic intolerance,
attacks by immigrants on locals, strong pressure to enact Sharia laws, and an
Islamic presence trying to take over EU nations.People who defend
themselves and their way of life have every right to enact laws to try and put
things in order the way they want it. Americans have that same right
to fight for our way of life, protect our jobs, stand up for equal freedoms
rather than laws enacted to give illegals extra benefits. Bleeding heart
apologests won't comprehend the destruction they are causing until it's too
late.America welcomes legal immigration, glad to help and welcome
those who come legally, pay taxes, work and contribute. The Swiss
are fighting back against a people bend on enslaving them and who are making a
deliberate effort to overrun them and take over, openly committed to doing it
with violence if not by minority manipulation of the laws.It may
negatively effect the LDS church but what is happening there is also going on in
France, England and others. We are seeing Islam do what Hitler failed at without
firing a shot.
The LDS Missionaries are not intending to "Immigrate" to Switzerland.
If anything they are "tourists or students" spending money from
abroad. As has already been pointed out, they are not taking away a job from a
local Swiss person. However, I'm sure we would love for the Swiss to apply for
these "jobs" and accept the same pay and work ethic that the
missionaries provide. The topic in this article should not be associated
with any IMMIGRATION policy since these missionaries are not seeking citizenship
or incomed employment in this foreign country.
Although I'm a little late with this comment (since the story originated in
2010 and I don't know the outcome), it reminds me of what happened in Samoa
back in 1960 when the government placed a quota on the number of foreign
missionaries allowed into the country (Western Samoa). It really backfired on
them as we were able to have missionaries called from Hawaii, California, New
Zealand, etc. who were of Samoan descent and in many cases were children and
grandchildren of Samoans called to serve in their home land. The Samoan
missionaries were knowledgeable in the language, customs and had a built-in love
for the people and the country which most of us Papalagi had to learn in the 2
1/2 years we served. I know this will or has happened in Switzerland as it did
in Samoa. Now 30% of the Samoans are LDS and it is the second largest per capita
percentage of LDS in any country in the world.
I wish we could remember that the church is in other countries outside of Europe
besides the US! The article doesn't say, but I am assuming Canadians would
be banned from serving there as well under this policy, or a missionary from
Japan, or Australia. Lets just be mindful when reporting that this is a world
wide church when reporting these stories, and that it affects members outside
the US as well. (on a side note, my son coming from Canada wasn't
able to get a visa to serve the mission he was called to in Fresno California.
He is certainly not alone with missionaries from our area being denied entry
often, We were never given an exact reason, but we understand it had something
to do with him "working" in California for 2 years, so... it's hard
to point a finger at Switzerland when they are making policies they feel are
best for their country, when the USA is certainly doing the same.