Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2011, September 26

“LDS Church Policy: Wisdom Teeth Removal and Vaccinations: Unnecessary and Burdensome Requirements for Going on a Mission?” by grego

LDS Church Policy: Wisdom Teeth Removal and Vaccinations: Unnecessary and Burdensome Requirements for Going on a Mission?


YAY, YAY, YAY!!!! For those of you worried about it and unable to find answers, comes this:

Official letter from Missionary Department:

“…you asked if receiving immunizations and having wisdom teeth removed are optional. …[T]his medical treatment… is not required for full-time missionary service.”
…However, it is clear now that removing wisdom teeth and immunizations/ vaccinations are optional, not required.

If your unit leaders (ward, stake, etc.) need to check/ find out for themselves (if I were one I’d want to do that, too–understandable), they can call the Missionary Department Pre-field Services (801-240-2030).
So if you want to opt out, I’d suggest just writing “Personal Opt-out” in the area(s) or such on the form unless Pre-field Services says to communicate it in a different way.

So my relative wants to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His family is poor. He’s working for his mission money.

But on top of that, there’s over $1,000 that he will need for wisdom teeth removal and more for shots (recent update:  whoops, that’s PER TOOTH, not total).

Because if you don’t get your wisdom teeth removed and get your shots, the Church does not allow you to fulfill the commandment to go on a mission.

My question is, are these two things really helpful, necessary for all or just some (like according to a dentist’s judgment), or do they just add expense and health problems to future missionaries’ already-heavy stresses and burdens?

Anyone remotely familiar with surgery knows that any type of surgery has the potential for danger, especially if any type of anesthesiology is used (which almost always is for wisdom teeth removal). If the wisdom teeth don’t present a problem—especially if they have already come in and there is no impaction or compaction—why unnecessarily endanger someone’s health by forcing their removal?

Vaccinations have yet to be proven or even shown helpful; there is plenty of evidence that they are dangerous, even damaging. Every state in the USA (except Mississippi and West Virginia) allow religious exemptions, and twenty states allow philosophical exemptions for required school vaccinations (see; yet missionaries aren’t allowed these options.

While this might have been “standard” years ago, the LDS Church will continue to run into more and more problems as more and more parents become educated and aware of the dangers of vaccines (and about Western medicine and drug companies in general), and don’t allow their children to receive vaccines.

It would be a shame to force members to choose between either going on a mission or keeping their God-given teeth in their bodies and dangerous substances out.

I imagine that the LDS Church is worried that missionaries will have problems with their teeth or with some disease that the vaccination is supposed to protect from, and then church insurance will have to cover it, which will add financial burden to the church.
If missionaries have to pay for surgery anyway, why not just allow surgery and vaccinations to be opted out of for those who don’t want them, but make payment mandatory if it needs to be done later while they are on their mission?
I’m not even sure why the LDS Church still puts these requirements/ limits on the physical exam anyway. For example, people with asthma can go on missions (where there is immediate danger and often required hospitalization).

This LDS Church policy reminds me of the fiasco of Texas forcing all females over the age of 11 to get HPV vaccinations in order to attend school—which resulted in 68 deaths; life-threatening situations; and other serious problems. From the CDC:
“As of June 22, 2011, approximately 35 million doses of Gardasil® were distributed in the U.S. and VAERS received a total of 18,727 reports of adverse events following Gardasil® vaccination… Of the total number of VAERS reports following Gardasil®, 92% were considered to be non-serious, and 8% were considered serious*… As of June 22, 2011 there have been a total 68 VAERS reports of death among those who have received Gardasil®.”

That’s .0535%!! (And they don’t count fainting as serious–fainting isn’t serious?? So if you’re driving a car (with passengers), or you fall and get a concussion or worse, etc. that isn’t serious? Fever isn’t serious only because it didn’t result in death, right?)

It’s generally understood that many problems are not ever linked up, and many are never reported.

Many other moral problems arose from that situation.

I encourage the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to review its policies regarding missionaries being required to receive wisdom teeth removal and vaccinations, instead of having an option to opt-out (even if it means signing a waiver).

UPDATE: Part 2, research information that says stop removing most wisdom teeth:

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