RACE, RELIGION + SOCIAL JUSTICE

Two missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints killed in North Dakota crash

Jun 5, 2024, 2:46 PM | Updated: 4:22 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Two missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were killed in a car crash in North Dakota on Tuesday. The two missionaries were serving in the North Dakota, Bismarck Mission.

The Church said “Elder Jacob Aaron Kesler, 20, from Ely, Nevada, and Elder Robert “Tommy” Gardner, 20, from Riverton, Utah, both passed away at the scene of the collision. The missionaries were traveling on a highway outside of Beulah, North Dakota when their vehicle struck a semi-truck, which had stopped in the road due to an accident.”

The missionaries killed in the crash were had both served since 2022. Elder Kesler had been serving since July 2022 and Elder Gardner since November 2022.

“We send our love and condolences to Elder Kesler’s and Elder Gardner’s families and friends and their fellow missionaries in the North Dakota Bismarck Mission,” a statement from the Church stated. “We pray they will each be comforted and feel peace during this tragic time as they reflect on the faithful service these young men have given to the Savior, by sharing His gospel.”

According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints website, missionaries for their church are “regular members of the church” who choose to spend between 1.5 and 2 years teaching others.”

Single, young men and women make up the majority of these missionaries. However, older or retired married couples also serve missions.

Other reading: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints releases 13 new hymns

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Two missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints killed in North Dakota crash