Mission President speaks on 3 Utah LDS missionaries injured in Belgium attack

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BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Four missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were seriously injured in Tuesday's explosion at the Brussels airport, a statement from the church said.

The injured Utah missionaries, whose families have been notified, are:

Elder Richard Norby, 66, of Lehi
Elder Joseph Empey, 20, of Santa Clara
Elder Mason Wells, 19, of Sandy

The missionaries were taking 20-year-old Sister Fanny Rachel Clain of Montélimar, France, to the airport, the statement said. Clain had been serving in that mission while awaiting a permanent visa for the United States.

Clain was also hospitalized with minor injuries.

While detailed, accurate information is difficult to obtain because of limited communications in Brussels, mission President Frederic J. Babin has reported that three of the missionaries were in the proximity of the explosion when it occurred and have been hospitalized.

Mason Wells' father, Chad Wells, told FOX 13 he's been given very little information, but said Mason suffered leg and foot injuries and is receiving medical care.

LDS Church statement:

With much of the world, we awoke this morning to the heartbreaking news of the bombings in Belgium. Our prayers are with the families of the deceased and injured, including three of our missionaries who were injured and hospitalized. We also pray for the people of Belgium and France as they continue to deal with the uncertainty and devastation caused by the recent terrorist attacks.

Empey family statement:

This has been a difficult day for our family, and our hearts are broken for those injured or killed by the attacks in Belgium. We are grateful our son, Elder Joseph Dresden Empey, is alive and doing well. He has been treated for 2nd degree burns to his hands, face, and head, and surgery was just completed for shrapnel injuries to his legs. We have been in touch with him and he is grateful and in good spirits. We have also been in contact with his mission president. We are thankful for the outpouring of love and prayers from throughout the world, and we pray for all those affected by this tragedy. 

- Court and Amber Empey


  • Kathryn Pickrel Pegelow

    Our sincere sympathies for the families of these Missionaries who were injured in pursuit of their faith and shame on Mr. Cruz for using this tragedy in that speech this morning which used their tragedy to forward his political campaign. The people of the United States share your concerns for your friends and family.

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    • David

      @Not_Yours: What an a$$ you are. Seriously, no one said these three mattered more. They are the three that live in the immediate area. Move if you don’t want to hear about relevant news about your community. Get some class.

    • Devin

      It is newsworthy because all three are from Utah which gives it a direct tie to this area. I also don’t think they are saying that they matter more unless there is part of the article I missed.

    • Stewart McDonald

      No need for your hatred and bigotry Not_Yours. No one is suggesting that the life of one injured or killed victim is more or less important than any of the others.

  • Tj

    We need to get Obama, out of office. While he and his family are over in Cuba safe and sound he has said little about these attacks. He is not our president and needs to go.

    • analogismos

      oh come on, really? You have to admit that someone clever enough to spend years negotiating closer relations with a hated kommynist country just so that he and his family could hide out at the same time there was a terrorist attack on the other side of the world deserves at least one more term right?

    • Greg

      Who gives a hoot about Cuba anyway?? You would think Obama is some sort of hero going over there. They are nobody and of no strategic interest other than GITMO (which we own). Give it a rest.

  • Judy H Mason

    I can’t imagine how your family an the others are going through trying to get information about your son . The missionaries here an I have shared prayers of healing an comfort for all , an all came together for prayer earlier today . Please let me know if there’s anything I or our stake can do to help . May The Lord Bless An Keep You An Yours Safe Together In Your Heart an Souls !

  • Greg

    This kid survived the Paris shootings, the Boston Bombings, and now this? He deserves a purple heart from his church if they give those out.
    Maybe they should get this kid a flak jacket or something.
    Be carefull out there.

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