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Church building in missouri burned, arson suspected


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https://www.kfvs12.com/2021/04/18/crews-battle-fire-church-jesus-christ-latter-day-saints-cape-girardeau/

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - According to the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Office, the State Fire Marshal is investigating the fire at the Cape Girardeau Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as arson.

The sheriff’s office said they have a suspect in custody.

Fire crews were called to the church located at 1048 West Cape Rock Drive in Cape Girardeau around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 18.

When the first crews arrived, heavy smoke could be seen coming from the building.

An additional ladder truck and crews from area fire departments were called in to assist.

The building was engulfed in flames about 15 minutes later.

According to Cape Girardeau Fire Chief Randy Morris, defensive operations were initiated after fire vented through the roof.

All Cape Girardeau County Fire Departments and crews with the East County Fire Protection District remained on the scene overnight.

Fire crews said they expect it will take all day for the flames to die down.

The church is likely a total loss.

More:

https://www.kmov.com/news/person-in-custody-after-missouri-church-goes-up-in-flames/article_17bb3c78-a0fe-11eb-8232-7f63a9f0127e.html

https://www.semissourian.com/story/2878245.html

https://www.semissourian.com/gallery/38531

Boy, these news items come up more frequently than I would like.

January 2021 (California) :

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Jan. 20—A Sacramento man was arrested for allegedly starting a fire at a church in Willows on Sunday.

On Sunday, Willows Fire personnel, along with deputies from the Glenn County Sheriff's Office, were dispatched to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Humboldt Road in Willows for reports of a structure fire, according to a press release from the sheriff's office.

Upon arrival, fire personnel and deputies observed a large amount of smoke coming from the vents on the north side of the church as well as a broken window.

Deputies made entry and searched the interior of the church for any potential suspects or fire victims, according to the press release. The deputies retreated from the building due to the fire and heavy smoke.

Deputies who entered the building later contacted the company nurse due to smoke inhalation, however, they didn't require further medical attention.

Glenn County Sheriff's deputies conducted an arson investigation with the assistance of the Willows Fire Department.

Randy Louis White, 35, of Sacramento reportedly admitted to breaking the window, entering the church and purposely starting fire to the building.

September 2020 (Utah) :

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EAGLE MOUNTAIN - Utah County sheriff's deputies continued Friday to look for the person who caused approximately $25,000 damage in vandalism to a church, including setting a small fire inside.

On Sept. 7, deputies were called to a meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 1330 E. Ira Hodges Scenic Parkway in Eagle Mountain, on a report of a possible arson. A person doing a check of the building said he "noticed a strong smoke smell and a pile of ash in one of the hallways," according to a search warrant affidavit filed in 4th District Court.

Damage was found in a restroom, chalkboards had graffiti on them, and "a hymn book ... had been set on fire on the pulpit in the chapel area of the church," the warrant states. Multiple whiteboards also had degrading graffiti on them.

May 2020 (Hawaii) :

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Honolulu police launched an arson investigation involving an early morning church fire in Kalaeloa that investigators determined as intentionally set.

The fire broke out at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-Kalaeloa Chapel, 2074 Lauwiliwili St. at about 5:33 a.m. Tuesday.

Police and the Honolulu Fire Department said a suspect broke into the church through a window.

The alleged arsonist then attempted to set fire to the clerk's office and bishop's office with an accelerant. Flames activated the church's sprinkler system.

Honolulu Fire spokesman Capt. Jeffrey Roache said investigators determined the cause of fire as "incendiary" due to the multiple points of origin and patterns in the area.

Fire and water damage to the structure and its contents is estimated at $ 50,000.

Fire investigators turned over the case to police. In addition to arson, police also launched a burglary investigation. There are no arrests at this time.

January 2020 (South Dakota) :

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 25 -- The U.S. Department of Justice's U.S. Attorney's office for District of South Dakota issued the following press release:

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Cherry Creek, South Dakota, man convicted of Arson was sentenced on November 24, 2020, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court.

Joshua Adams Hale, age 30, was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, restitution in the amount of $46,621.20, and a special assessment to the Federal

Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Hale was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 9, 2020. He pled guilty on July 27, 2020.

The conviction stemmed from an incident that occurred on January 9, 2020, wherein Hale willfully and maliciously set fire to and burned the chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Cherry Creek. The chapel was completely destroyed by the fire.

June 2019 (New Mexico) :

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FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — Federal authorities have announced a $5,000 reward for information on those responsible for a church fire in New Mexico.

The Farmington Daily Times reported Monday that investigators suspect arson was the cause of a June 1 fire that damaged a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Farmington Mormon church was built in the 1950s and is currently being reconstructed.

Investigators say the fire caused extensive smoke damage to the lobby, but fire doors prevented further damage to the building.

July 2019 (Utah) :

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OGDEN, Utah (AP) — A Utah man is facing charges in connection with a church fire in Ogden that authorities say caused around $300,000 in damage.

KSL-TV in Salt Lake City reports Michael Donovan Averett was charged with arson Monday following an investigation into vandalism at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ogden.

Charging documents say two maintenance workers had arrived at the church that morning to find broken water pipes and a shattered glass door, and could still hear someone breaking items inside the building.

Officers arrived and later found 18-year-old Averett and a juvenile nearby.

Police say Averett admitted to using flammable sources to ignite multiple fires within the church and breaking multiple fixtures.

July 2019 (Utah) :

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COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS - Investigators are offering up to $5,000 for information about a suspected arson at a church in Cottonwood Heights.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meetinghouse on Doverhill Drive suffered an estimated $800,000 in damage in a July 14 fire. Crews responded to the blaze at about 2:45 a.m.

The entire building suffered smoke damage, though the flames didn't get inside the chapel, officials said.

Now Unified Fire Authority and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever started the fire.

August 2019 (Utah) :

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LAYTON - Police and fire officials are investigating a fire and possible arson that took place at a Layton church on Monday afternoon.

Fire officials were dispatched at 3:08 p.m. Monday to an address in Layton after a fire was reported at 1715 W. 1600 North, according to Layton Fire Battalion Chief Jason N. Cook. Once firefighters arrived, they found the building was a church for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Cook said that much of the flames were extinguished by church missionaries once fire crews arrived.

A group of 15 to 20 missionaries were playing football in a nearby field when a handful of them walked into the church to use the restroom, Cook said. Once inside, they found smoke in the building and the smell of fire. They quickly found that inside the church's cultural hall a curtain on the stage was on fire, and a handful of missionaries grabbed fire extinguishers to put out the flames, Cook said.

Another group of missionaries at the scene reportedly saw people running away from the church and get into a car. Though they chased after the people leaving the church, those at the church were unable to get a description of the car or the people who were running away.

April 2019 (Utah) :

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A Utah teen was arrested on Friday after she allegedly set fire to two Mormon churches and scrawled 'Satan Lives' on the walls, according to local authorities.

Jillian Nicole Robinson, 18, was detained after she was seen suspiciously lurking in the area where the churches - belonging to the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - had been set ablaze.

Jillian Robinson, 18, was detained after she was seen suspiciously lurking in the area where the churches had been set ablaze in Orem, Utah The Orem Police Department arrived to the area and found that a church had multiple fires spewing from it Officers spoke with Robinson and discovered that she had a bottle in her backpack that 'smelled like gas', a lighter, a power drill, and a sharpie When authorities asked Robinson, she told them that 'she didn't start the fire' Robinson was charged with arson, burglary, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools She is being held at the Utah County Jail with a bond of $20,000

When officers from the Orem Police Department arrived at the scene, they reported seeing smoke coming from the inside and discovered that a door was broken.

'They went inside and saw several fires had been set throughout the Church,' the department said in a Facebook post calling the antics their 'daily shenanigans.'

The police added: 'They were able to put the fires out with a fire extinguisher that one of the officers had in his patrol car.

'Once inside, you didn't have to be a detective or arson investigator to tell that these fires had been intentionally set by someone.'

Police began monitoring other churches in the area and discovered a 'suspicious female lurking about.'

Officers spoke with the woman and discovered that she had a bottle in her backpack that 'smelled like gas', a lighter, a power drill, and a sharpie among other items.

When authorities asked Robinson, she told them that 'she didn't start the fire'.

The police determined that she was in the process of lighting another church on fire and estimated that the total damage came to about $600,000.

Robinson was charged with arson, burglary, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools. She is being held at the Utah County Jail with a bond of $20,000.

According to court documents, obtained by Fox 13 , Robinson denied any involvement but eventually wrote a voluntary witness statement.

She said: 'I acted alone in the fire that was started at the church on 1200 North. I was angry and all wanted to do was set a small fire and it got out of control.

'I fled the scene and didn't look back. I felt like playing with fire because of my crazy life at home, this was not a hate crime.'

March 2019 (New Zealand) :

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In the Christchurch District Court yesterday , Jacob Lowenstein, 28, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison after he burned down two Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) buildings.

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When he burned down the buildings, Lowenstein was on bail for an assault at Pak'nSave Wainoni in June 2018.

On March 11 this year, he drove a stolen car to a LDS Church study building in Kirkwood Ave in Upper Riccarton.

He poured petrol over a couch and carpet in the lounge, then lit some paper with a lighter and dropped it into the petrol.

The ensuing fire destroyed half the building.

Lowenstein then drove to Greymouth in the stolen car that night, stopping to sleep on the way.

On March 13, he set fire to a LDS Church in the West Coast town, completely destroying it.

Crown prosecutor Sophia Bicknell said the total reparation was about $1.32 million - $550,000 for the Christchurch building and $770,000 for the Greymouth church. The churches would have to pay for the rebuild work because they had no insurance.

Judge Saunders said Lowenstein used a GoPro to film the arsons. Police were confident they had the only copy of the video, so it could not be distributed publicly.

Lowenstein went to a police station to admit his offending after speaking to a friend.

Defence counsel Josh Lucas said Lowenstein had apologised to the church, which was a "real [road to] Damascus" moment for him.

Judge David Saunders said a pyschological report suggested Lowenstein had no psychiatric illness, but did have behavioural problems.

He would be eligible for parole in two years and three months.

Declan McInnes, Lowenstein's band mate in death metal duo Igni, told The Press he was shocked by the arsons. He met Lowenstein when they studied at the Ara Jazz School, and became good friends after bonding over their shared passion for death metal.

Lowenstein was working as a labourer but had dreams to become a professional musician, McInnes said.

Before Lowenstein was arrested, the duo were writing an album and Lowenstein was recording drums. Their last gig was about two weeks before the fires.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints Christchurch stake president Jared Ormsby said church members met with Lowenstein in a restorative justice meeting.

"It went really well, he was very sincere in his apologies, and I think it was a good process for us and for him," he said.

"From our perspective losing the two buildings was a huge blow to the church and to the community and we appreciated him turning himself in, appreciated his sincerity.

"We've forgiven him and he's promised to turn his life around."

January 2019 (Utah) :

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January 9, 2020

A Latter-day Saint church building that burned down a year ago in a fire that investigators said was set intentionally has been rebuilt and is now holding services again.

Tim Martin, secretary for the St. George Interfaith Council, said the East Stake Center building at 449 S. 300 E., just across the street from the St. George Temple, has held services for the last two Sundays.

At the time of the fire, the St. George Police Department determined it to have been intentionally set. St. George Police spokesperson Tiffany Atkin said police are no closer to determining who is responsible for the fire than they were months ago.
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The Spectrum previously reported that the fire consumed the building in the early hours of Jan. 26, 2019. The chapel had been torn down in 2017 to make room for the newer building and had almost been completed.
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Witnesses said the fire appeared to start at the east side of the building and work its way westward, mostly at the top of the building. There were crashing noises as pieces of the roof collapsed.

The fire burned the length of the building, advancing largely through the attic from the east side to the west. The roof collapsed through the gymnasium and chapel.

A fire sprinkler system had been installed inside the building but was not yet functional, Fire Chief Robert Stoker told the Associated Press.

Multiple firefighting agencies arrived to battle the blaze, with teams from St. George, Washington, Hurricane and Ivins all participating.

A police dog trained to detect fire accelerants later alerted investigators to two separate areas on the east side of the building.

"We do believe this fire was started at the exterior of the building," Atkin said at that time. "This is based on some evidence we found that there was no heat or electrical reason for that fire to start there."

December 2018 (Colorado) :

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Police arrested a man on suspicion of arson after they say he broke into a church and lit a couch inside on fire.

Officers responded to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 630 S. Meldrum St., about 3 p.m. Dec. 4 to a report of a man who stated he planned to burn down the church, according to arrest documents.

The man, identified by police as Jordan McQueen, purchased a sledgehammer and lighter fluid from Ace Hardware in Old Town. He then headed to the church, where he broke through the back door and set fire to a couch inside, according to police.

And these are just the ones I found with a cursory search, and for the last two or so years.

Thanks,

-Smac

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I seem to remember that the Church would self insure the buildings.  Does anyone know if that is still in practice.

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I wonder, how many of these arsonists specifically targeted the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?  For how many of them was animus against the Church of Jesus Christ a factor in their crimes?  Or, on the other hand, did they simply want to lash out against "religion" in general, and to burn "a church"?  In any case, Matthew 5:11-12 does come to mind.

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4 hours ago, DispensatorMysteriorum said:

This building is the next stake over from where I live.  I can state that the suspect is a mentally ill individual who is (was?) a member, and whose parents are quite faithful and active. 

Interesting as the suspect has been charged with a hate crime.  If he is mentally ill, society should be ashamed of itself for charging a hate crime.

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3 minutes ago, provoman said:

If he is mentally ill, society should be ashamed of itself for charging a hate crime.

Would they actually have much of a choice if hate crime legislation exists and says that religion being a target is a hate crime?

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32 minutes ago, JustAnAustralian said:

Would they actually have much of a choice if hate crime legislation exists and says that religion being a target is a hate crime?

I think the Prosecutor has a choice to seek or not seek the "hate crime" aspect.   

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8 hours ago, Metis_LDS said:

I seem to remember that the Church would self insure the buildings.  Does anyone know if that is still in practice.

I would assume so.  They still do the missionary cars

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2 hours ago, provoman said:

Interesting as the suspect has been charged with a hate crime.  If he is mentally ill, society should be ashamed of itself for charging a hate crime.

Being mentally ill does not preclude someone from hating to the point of terrorizing a group.

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11 hours ago, Metis_LDS said:

I seem to remember that the Church would self insure the buildings.  Does anyone know if that is still in practice.

All church buildings are self insured by the church. It's cheaper than buying insurance from a separate company.

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It is very sad to see the damage this one man did.  Not only to property, but the disruption of the members of the ward(s) whose meeting house he burned down.   

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21 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

It is very sad to see the damage this one man did.  Not only to property, but the disruption of the members of the ward(s) whose meeting house he burned down.   

The only good thing that comes out of such things is how the entire community pitches in to help the members of the congregation.
What’s next for Cape Girardeau church after devastating fire

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15 hours ago, provoman said:

Interesting as the suspect has been charged with a hate crime.  If he is mentally ill, society should be ashamed of itself for charging a hate crime.

It sounds like the prosecutor is just stacking charges. If the guy is mentally ill, hopefully that will be taken into consideration as the case progresses.  

 

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The stake presidency sent out a tender email to the stake. This was forwarded to me by a friend. 

 

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Dear Members of the Cape Girardeau Stake,

On the evening of Sunday, April 18, the stake center in Cape Girardeau suffered a catastrophic fire.
Damage to the building was extensive. A new stake center will be built. Decisions about the timing and
location have not been made. Law enforcement authorities are investigating the fire as arson and have
arrested a suspect. We invite you to practice charity, the pure love of Christ (see Moroni 7:47), in your
personal and online communications about this incident. Feelings are tender and many members have a
lifetime of memories in the building. This is an opportunity for us, as members of the stake, to “bear one
another’s burdens, that they may be light... mourn with those that mourn... and comfort those that stand
in need of comfort,” (Mosiah 18:8-9). As you extend love and forgiveness to all involved, the healing
power of Jesus Christ will be felt. Our reaction to this incident will bear strong testimony of our belief in
the power of Christlike love, grace, and forgiveness.

More information about church meetings will be released to members of the Cape Girardeau Ward as
soon as possible. In the meantime, we ask that members refrain from congregating on the property to
allow investigators to complete their work and for the scene to be secured. These activities could take a
week or more.

We invite you to pray for members of the Cape Girardeau Ward, for church leaders making decisions,
and for the suspect and his family. We are immensely grateful that no one was injured in the fire, and for
the valiant efforts by first responders to extinguish the fire and ensure everyone’s safety.

We look forward to the rebuilding of the stake center and to increased faith in Jesus Christ as we hasten
the work of salvation and exaltation. As President Russell M. Nelson said in the October 2020 General
Conference “Unusual times can bring unusual rewards.” We know as we continue faithful through our
trials the Lord will bless us for our faithfulness. In Mosiah 24:14 the Lord promised the people of Alma
that He would “ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders” and that He would do so “that ye
may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit
my people in their afflictions.” We will be witnesses to divine help as we rely on the Lord during this time
of rebuilding.

Sincerely,

President Kevin ****son
President Earl DeWaal
President Jonathan Douglass

 

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21 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

It would be nice if the church invested in some cameras both in and outside the buildings. That could help keep some of this away.

Perhaps.  On the other hand, even with the seeming increase in recent years of arson and vandalism targeting facilities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it seems to me that such instances would need to become even more common still for a need to exist for cameras throughout every building. 

One wonders whether the deterrent effect would be significant enough to justify the effort and expense involved in operating and maintaining cameras.  While, certainly, I don't condone arson and vandalism at all, let alone instances in which those crimes harm facilities of the Church of Jesus Christ, one wonders at what point efforts to deter such crimes detract significantly from the core mission of the Church of Jesus Christ.

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On 4/20/2021 at 7:18 AM, Amulek said:

It sounds like the prosecutor is just stacking charges. If the guy is mentally ill, hopefully that will be taken into consideration as the case progresses.  

 

I'm sure the gentleman's mental state will be taken into account, particularly since I would expect that any leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who opine on the matter would insist upon it.  That said, any system that relies on both "carrots" and "sticks" would function less effectively if either were taken away entirely.  Sometimes, serious criminal charges serve as the needed wake-up call for both the individual and for society finally to get the individual the help he needs.  And by definition, one cannot plea bargain "nothing" down to "less than nothing."  By definition, any successful plea bargain must plea bargain "something serious" down to "something less serious."  (And by "successful," I'm not talking solely about meting out an appropriate punishment, but also about finally getting the individual the help he needs.)

P.S.: I want the criminal justice system to treat the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as it does any other religion: If there is evidence that animus against Muslims motivated someone who sets fire to a Mosque, evidence that animus against Jews motivated someone who sets fire to a Synagogue or Temple, or evidence that animus against Catholics motivated someone who sets fire to a Cathedral, I would expect the suspected arsonist in each of those cases to be charged with a hate crime.  Likewise, if there is evidence that animus against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints motivated someone who sets fire to a Church facility, I see no reason why Latter-day Saints should be treated differently.

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On 4/19/2021 at 9:06 PM, JAHS said:

All church buildings are self insured by the church. It's cheaper than buying insurance from a separate company.

I like the concept of self-insuring if one is in a position to do so.
 

When I buy big-ticket items such as washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, computers, etc., I routinely decline the “buyer protection” or extended warranty add-ons. I consider it self-insuring when I do.  On average, most buyers  never have occasion to invoke those protections and end up eating the cost of them. I like the thought of assuming the modicum of risk myself, taking good care of the item and then being rewarded by ultimately pocketing the savings. It more than makes up for the rare (if ever) occasion when I would have benefitted from the buyer-protection offer. 
 

Many people, by the time their life insurance policies expire, have enough accumulated in life savings and investment growth that they can insure their own lives for the 20 to 30 years they have left, especially if their children are grown and on their own. They can then pocket the savings of funds no longer needed for the insurance policy. 

Most of us, whether we recognize it or not, partially self-insure when we carry deductibles on our insurance policies. 

So, with the thousands of Church properties around the world, the Church probably enjoys substantial savings by assuming the risk itself for damage or loss as opposed to paying for insurance. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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5 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Perhaps.  On the other hand, even with the seeming increase in recent years of arson and vandalism targeting facilities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it seems to me that such instances would need to become even more common still for a need to exist for cameras throughout every building. 

One wonders whether the deterrent effect would be significant enough to justify the effort and expense involved in operating and maintaining cameras.  While, certainly, I don't condone arson and vandalism at all, let alone instances in which those crimes harm facilities of the Church of Jesus Christ, one wonders at what point efforts to deter such crimes detract significantly from the core mission of the Church of Jesus Christ.

Many of us volunteer from time to time to do light cleaning at our meetinghouses. I wonder if there could come a time when such volunteer efforts might be extended to providing security — or watchman duty — at the meetinghouse. I for one would be willing to do that once in a while. 

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3 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Many of us volunteer from time to time to do light cleaning at our meetinghouses. I wonder if there could come a time when such volunteer efforts might be extended to providing security — or watchman duty — at the meetinghouse. I for one would be willing to do that once in a while. 

Great idea Scott. I wish they would let parents volunteer and be watchman at schools while school was in session. I know in my area there would be 10 or 20 parents, grand parents  hanging out at every school inside and outside. Doesn't that seem like common sense? I guess they don't want us average folks stepping on government toes.

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6 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Many of us volunteer from time to time to do light cleaning at our meetinghouses. I wonder if there could come a time when such volunteer efforts might be extended to providing security — or watchman duty — at the meetinghouse. I for one would be willing to do that once in a while. 

It use to be "light" cleaning, but that's not the case. Just needed to correct that. My husband and I put in a great deal of cleaning while he was serving in a calling that put him in charge. It use to be a light cleaning, but I don't consider it light when I'm deep cleaning a bathroom, and deep cleaning as a RS presidency the kitchen or other instances. 

The church saves a ton by having members do that. And now you want to put members in charge of security? Free of pay, like the cleaning of the chapels, they sacrifice so much already. I just think the church can afford to pay someone. I guess it could be where members are told to keep an eye out though. 

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3 hours ago, Tacenda said:

It use to be "light" cleaning, but that's not the case. Just needed to correct that. My husband and I put in a great deal of cleaning while he was serving in a calling that put him in charge. It use to be a light cleaning, but I don't consider it light when I'm deep cleaning a bathroom, and deep cleaning as a RS presidency the kitchen or other instances. 

The church saves a ton by having members do that. And now you want to put members in charge of security? Free of pay, like the cleaning of the chapels, they sacrifice so much already. I just think the church can afford to pay someone. I guess it could be where members are told to keep an eye out though. 

You know, the great thing about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that if I want to put my time, talents, and other resources to good use, there are always opportunities to do that.  On the other hand, if I'm feeling somewhat spent and would prefer to give someone else the opportunity, no one is holding a gun to my head and telling me I must do something.  Now, perhaps your particular psychological makeup makes you especially prone to being guilt-tripped into doing something.  If so, to an extent, you have my sympathy.  That said, if you allow yourself to be guilt-tripped into doing something, and yet, on the other hand, no one is taking undue advantage of that propensity, whose fault is that?  Are you A-Do Annie, "A girl who jes' cain't say no"?  There's help for that, if you're brave enough to ask for it.  There's no shame in getting help: the only shame is in needing it and not getting it. 

And if you need to tell the occasional fellow ward member here or there, "Hey!  If you don't clean up after yourself, someone else has to!  Your mom doesn't live here.  Besides, this is a dedicated building of the Church of Jesus Christ.  Maybe we should treat it like one" and/or to encourage a Bishop, an Elder's Quorum President, or a Relief Society President to spread that word, there's no shame in that, either.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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9 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Many of us volunteer from time to time to do light cleaning at our meetinghouses. I wonder if there could come a time when such volunteer efforts might be extended to providing security — or watchman duty — at the meetinghouse. I for one would be willing to do that once in a while. 

You mean, I could spend part of my sleepless night in and around a dedicated building of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?  :blink: :shok:   Sure, why not?! ;) :D

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Update on the Missouri arson matter:

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Prosecutors have charged a homeless man with a hate crime and arson in connection with a fire that burned down a meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Christopher Pritchard, 45, whose sister told a local television station that she and her brother were raised in the church, is being held without bail or bond in the Cape Girardeau County Jail.

Prosecutors charged Pritchard Monday with first-degree property damage motivated by discrimination because they allege he was “knowingly motivated to do so by reason of a motive related to the religion of the people who worship at the Church of Latter-day Saints,” Cape Girardeau County prosecuting attorney Mark Welker told KFVS.

Pritchard also faces charges of arson and burglary, which are second-degree felonies, and felony stealing, according to court documents.

Pritchard’s sister contacted KFVS on Monday night to rebut the hate crime charge. She told the news station that Pritchard has been homeless for two years and suffers from mental illness.

Pritchard allegedly had harassed members of the church and people at the nearby university in recent days.

Court documents say that Pritchard allegedly threatened to use a brick to bash in the head of the bishop of the Cape Girardeau Ward, the Latter-day Saint congregation that meets in the burned building, which is a total loss, according to KFVS.

Pritchard also allegedly threatened to burn down the meetinghouse.
...
The threats against the bishop and meetinghouse prompted local church leaders to request additional police patrols in the area of the building.

According to police reports and court documents, a couple in a nearby apartment building saw a man with a backpack watching the church when they first saw smoke coming from the building and reported the fire at about 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The church was engulfed in flames when fire crews arrived, according to the Southeast Missourian.

The newspaper published a gallery of photos of the fire.

Another couple stopped a sheriff’s deputy’s car to report a suspicious man with a backpack walking away from the fire. Their description matched the one reported by the couple who reported the fire, police told the Missourian.

The deputy found Pritchard walking on a nearby road and took him to the sheriff’s office where court documents say he admitted threatening the bishop but denied stealing from the church and setting it on fire.

Police also said they found items taken from the church in Pritchard’s backpack.

"She told the news station that Pritchard has been homeless for two years and suffers from mental illness."

Strangely, that's good to hear.  Arson by way of mental illness would generally lack mens rea, or guilty intent.

Thanks,

-Smac

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9 hours ago, Tacenda said:

It use to be "light" cleaning, but that's not the case. Just needed to correct that. My husband and I put in a great deal of cleaning while he was serving in a calling that put him in charge. It use to be a light cleaning, but I don't consider it light when I'm deep cleaning a bathroom, and deep cleaning as a RS presidency the kitchen or other instances. 

The church saves a ton by having members do that. And now you want to put members in charge of security? Free of pay, like the cleaning of the chapels, they sacrifice so much already. I just think the church can afford to pay someone. I guess it could be where members are told to keep an eye out though. 

I’m only going by my own experience, and it appears to be standard in my ward and stake. All I’ve ever been asked to do (emphasis on “asked,” because it has always been strictly voluntary) is vacuum the chapel and classrooms, empty the waste cans, clean the glass in the doors, and swab the toilets or wipe down the sinks. It has never taken more than an hour or two once or twice a year with the work spread around. No “deep cleaning.”  A time or two I have counted myself fortunate not to have to do other jobs I saw needed doing, such as shampooing the carpets, waxing the floor of the cultural hall or unclogging a nasty looking toilet I saw once. Such things are left to professionals. 
 

The security thing is my own notion that occurred to me right then. I’ve never been asked to do that nor do I expect to. I’m only saying I wouldn’t mind doing it once in a great while, especially if I thought it would curb the arson or vandalism such as has been brought up in this thread. 
 

I can tell you this: If I had a resentful attitude about it I wouldn’t volunteer. I doubt there would be any penalty therefrom. 
 

I regard it as consecrated labor, the same as teaching a lesson or giving a talk or doing clerk work or  home ministering or anything else I might be asked to do in the Church. 
 

Could the Church afford to pay to have it done? I suppose so, but I prefer to do it and thus free up resources for other things such as missionary work or facilitating family history or caring for the poor and needy. Or even preserving the financial strength of the Church against mobs and oppression and vexatious litigation such as was inflicted on it in the early days. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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