Earlier this month, because of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the LDS Church withdrew its missionaries for Liberia and Sierra Leone. But it left its local members behind.
The Mormon Church has a minor presence in the two countries; the membership numbers in the thousands. According to the LDS Church’s newroom website:
The Church through its humanitarian programs and partners, in in the process of assessing needs and considering how to best support relief efforts to its members and the people of these countries.
I wonder what kind of a message it sends to the world when we evacuate our missionaries and leave behind our members? Aren’t we making some sort of a social statement about the relative worth of various categories of members. I understand that missionary parents don’t want their children in harms way, but aren’t we all members of the same church? Don’t we all have equal standing?
Given certain rules about sanitation and handling the sick and the dead, ebola is manageable. It is not viewed as a threat to the United States or other developed countries. I wonder if the missionaries could have been useful in helping to educate the members and the non-members without putting them in unnecessary harm?