Sunday, November 28, 2010

Another Example Of Anti-Mormon Hatred: Former LDS Missionary Kevin Kelley Celebrates The Death Of Former Mission President John Langeland

There is a clear-cut difference between skepticism of Mormonism vs. outright anti-Mormon hatred. In a discussion thread on Recovery From Mormonism entitled "My Mission President Died", a former missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints openly celebrates the death of his former mission president. This thread reeks of anti-Mormon hatred.

The former missionary identifies himself as Kevin F. Kelley, who served under Langeland in the Norway Oslo Mission from 1977-79. He describes himself as having been a "good missionary". But here's what he wrote about Langeland:

What a horrible old man. This man, accused me, a missionary in Norway, of being pastel-friendly, because my companion was one. I just wanted to be normal, and because my comp was one that wore the other shoe, it was my fault?

John was a horrible, offensive, mean, nasty person, his wife was no better. A fat, pretentious old bag. He deserved no better.

I sincerely wish he burns a slow death in Hell.

He never became a GA [General Authority], which he wanted. He caused us all to freeze and be sick in Norway. Have you ever been in Norway, in the winter, wearing thin blue suits, no cars, no bikes, walking? As a result of this idiot?

And his wife Edna, what a bat! Fat, thick as shit. But we all had to stand up for this duo, like they were some visiting authority.

The pair of you deserve hell.

I served under you, you bastard. And I wish I had never done so.

The longer you and Edna burn in Hell, the better, you old ogre.

Kevin F. Kelley, former Elder (1977-1979) Norway Oslo Mission

And Kelley actually thinks he was a "good missionary"? Would a "good missionary" write such a defamatory and abusive screed? Would a "good missionary" orgiastically celebrate the death of his former missionary in public. I suggest not; this is merely another indication that many ex-Mormons who become anti-Mormons are indeed delivered unto the buffetings of Satan, if not materially, than most definitely in spirit. Only Satan could motivate someone to publish such garbage.

According to his obituary, John Langeland passed away on July 17th, 2010 after a short battle with cancer. He was born on December 19th, 1918 in Bergen, Norway, and joined the LDS Church on March 3rd, 1940. He served a mission in his homeland during World War II and served faithfully in every calling that came to him, including: Bishop, Stake President, Mission President in Norway, Regional Representative, and Temple President in Sweden. Langeland leaves behind a wife, six children, 33 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren. By all accounts, Langeland exemplified the ideals and standards of the LDS Church.

More representative of Elder Langeland's stewardship as a mission president are these tributes posted on the Guestbook accompanying Elder Langeland's obituary by four other missionaries who served under him. Note that the Guestbook is scheduled to expire on November 28th, which means the link may not be available after that date (testimonials after the jump):

July 22, 2010
Dear Langeland Family,

I was truly blessed to have President Langeland as a mission President. I began my mission right at the beginning of his calling. I was able to get acquainted with him before I left for the mission home. His council to me then made a huge difference in my mission and it was a pleasure to serve under him. He transformed the mission and I believe it was his influence that made it possible for the first stake in Norway to be organised which happened during his tenure. He was like a second father during those years. I was grateful to have several interactions with him in the later years of his life. My experiences in Norway are still very dear to me. He was a great man and I will always remember his influence in my life.

Steven J. Sargent
West Jordan, Utah

July 21, 2010
President Langeland was one of the great influences in my life. I feel truly blessed to have had him be my Mission President. When I had my final interview with him before going home, he handed me an envelope. When I opened it, it was a letter of recommendation to Vice President Westergard of Zions Bank asking him to make sure I had a great job when I returned.

He always made me feel like a friend and equal. Despite his many accomplishments, he never acted as though there was anything special about him, although he was a clearly an extremely successful businessman. More importantly, he was a choice man of God.

He told me to visit his office whenever I was in Salt Lake. When I did, he would immediately invite me in, even if he was in an important meeting. He would have everyone wait while he asked how I was doing. I was honored to have him visit at my wedding. I was equally honored when he would visit me in Arizona to see how my family and I were doing.

Thank you Langeland family for sharing such an amazing man with so many people. If I turn out to be half the man John was, I will be satisfied.

Charles Maxwell,
Mesa, Arizona

July 21, 2010
President Langeland was a wonderful Mission President to me and many others. He not only taught the principle, but was an outstanding example of the connection between faith and hard work.

Next to my own Father, he has had the most significant impact on my testimony and spiritual growth. There must be many, many grateful souls who have greeted him on the other side. What a wonderful legacy he has left behind.

Jacob Helland,
Sandy, Utah

July 21, 2010
I have several distinct memories of John Langeland. I had fasted and prayed for days about something that was troubling me. I was waiting for the bus to take me home in Bygdoy Ale early one morning after a nightshift. I remember seeing him come towards me. He said: "Don't worry, everything's going to be OK." It brought great comfort and I saw the human side of this very business like mission president.

Also after Ben's funeral, he came up to me and offered to pay for beauty school if I was interested. He said it would be something I could do at home. He had obviously concerned about our financial welfare.

While serving as a temple president, I came to the temple with 2 of my friends. He was there to greet us as we got of the bus. He embraced me and said:" I have learned so much from you!" Two other times during our stay, he came up to me, embracing me and telling me the same thing. I wasn't sure if I had given him so much trouble as a missionary or what it was that had enlightened him. The act showed to me his loving and kind nature.

Through my personal interaction with him, I discovered a very tender and loving heart. A great spirit who had so much compassion.

He will be greatly missed!

Erna Simonsen,
Salt Lake City, Utah

Considering that so many of Langeland's former missionaries laud his stewardship, it's obvious that not only is Kevin Kelley's assessment NOT representative of Langeland, but is actually motivated by vengeance. Perhaps Kelly was a slacker, and Langeland called him on it. Or perhaps Kelley suffered from a superiority complex and thought he was more important than the mission. But Kelley's screed demonstrates that anti-Mormons will twist, misrepresent, and even outright lie in an effort to discredit the Church and its members.

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