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#1 blinky

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:23 PM

Friends of ours have a son who will be turing 18 early next year, and is planning to serve a mission. The problem is, he is quite overweight (as is the rest of the family) and nobody seems too concerned about that fact. Does the church still have weight restrictions for missionaries?

If so, how does one bring that up with them without hurting feelings. If he started now, he would have time to diet and exercise and get it under control.

#2 annewandering

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 11:17 PM

If you arent his bishop or parent or doctor its really not your place to say anything about it.

Edited by annewandering, 11 March 2013 - 11:20 PM.


#3 DHK

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:22 AM

There was a missionary in my mission who was probably about 400 lbs. He was quite large. And yes, he was on a bike and never seemed to lose the weight, from what I could tell.

Just as Anne said - I wouldn't worry about it. If anything, it may restrict his service to being in the United States and not be eligible for foreign missionary service.

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"But make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters; in the months and years ahead, events will require of each member that he or she decide whether or not he or she will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions (see 1 Kings 18:21).  President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had "never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional, or political life" (CR, April 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ." - Neal A. Maxwell, October 10th, 1978.

 

http://speeches.byu....viewitem&id=909


#4 LiterateParakeet

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:32 AM

You know there are so many factors at play in why people are overweight....try not to be judgmental. If all our sins and weaknesses were visible, wouldn't life get interesting? :eek:

#5 blinky

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:55 PM

My wife and I are concerned for both his physical and emotional well being. We are shocked at times by the amount of food he can pack away! Their whole family is excited about him serving, and now that the age was lowered, it's coming sooner than before. I would hate to have him be rejected or delayed because he weighed too much.

My brother served in 2004 (and I way back in 1996) after the "rasing the bar" talk in confrence, and he had to lose a little before he could go. In the research i've done, there was reference to having your BMI being 37 or under to qualify, and I wanted to know if it was still in effect. Better he knows now and has time to prepare for it.

#6 Vort

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:25 PM

My wife and I are concerned for both his physical and emotional well being. We are shocked at times by the amount of food he can pack away! Their whole family is excited about him serving, and now that the age was lowered, it's coming sooner than before. I would hate to have him be rejected or delayed because he weighed too much.

My brother served in 2004 (and I way back in 1996) after the "rasing the bar" talk in confrence, and he had to lose a little before he could go. In the research i've done, there was reference to having your BMI being 37 or under to qualify, and I wanted to know if it was still in effect. Better he knows now and has time to prepare for it.


I'm sure his bishop and stake president will work with him on such issues as they help him prepare.
As if anyone could knowingly commit sin without being changed both in spirit, body, and mind. Let me say this again, sin changes who we are! --james12
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#7 Eowyn

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:51 PM

M.Y.O.B.

If there are concerns they are not yours, and they will come up in his physical.
Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

#8 dahlia

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:13 PM

OK, maybe it's not our business, but now I'm curious. : ) I have seen a few plump elders and sisters. I often wondered how some of them could walk/bike as much as they probably are expected to do. You'd think the Church wouldn't want some elder keeling over on his bike due to overexertion.

#9 LiterateParakeet

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:55 PM

Blinky, I'm sure you mean well. What I am trying to say, is that often there are emotional problems behind the weight issues and until you resolve one you cannot resolve the other. I could think of a handful of people I know who are obese, and there are serious emotional issues in each case. Yes, one is a family where all four of the oldest children are mobidly obese...their father was physically abusive. I know another woman who is 400 lbs, who was sexually abused. A man who was 300 lbs, same-sex attraction...

This is not limited to my experiences. Oprah once did a show on people who had that "stomach stapling surgery"...lap band or whatever it is....and how all those people turned to other addictions, drinking, gambling etc, because they had not addressed the emotional issues that caused them to become so overweight in the first place.

Even though your heart is in the right place, simply saying, "Hey you need to lose weight" is not going to help. Giving him a diet, and an exercise plan is not going to help. You have to get to the heart of the issue...what is the real cause of the problem.

#10 pam

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:56 PM

So this brings me to a question regarding the health side of a mission. Perhaps someone who has sent a missionary out can answer this.

So a physical is required to submit papers. Does the actual doctor do the recommendation or do they submit medical records to the church and it's determined that way if they are able to serve physically? I guess my question is..who has the final decision if someone is physically able to serve?

#11 Eowyn

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:02 PM

My nephew just put his papers in and there's a form he filled out. The bishop handed them back to him because the doctor wrote the wrong thing in the tuberculosis test area. So my guess is that the doctor does certain things, fills out the form, and it's screened along the way. I'm not sure who makes the final call though.
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#12 pam

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:07 PM

I also wondered how this worked with HIPPA laws.

#13 Vort

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:08 PM

So this brings me to a question regarding the health side of a mission. Perhaps someone who has sent a missionary out can answer this.

So a physical is required to submit papers. Does the actual doctor do the recommendation or do they submit medical records to the church and it's determined that way if they are able to serve physically? I guess my question is..who has the final decision if someone is physically able to serve?


The doctor certifies basic physical health, similar to a Scout exam. The bishop and stake president make the final call. My understanding; I'm not a Church leader or anything.
As if anyone could knowingly commit sin without being changed both in spirit, body, and mind. Let me say this again, sin changes who we are! --james12
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#14 pam

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:13 PM

I wonder if the Bishop or Stake President also makes recommendations as to the limitations as to where to serve. For example..my cousin just got his mission call. He reports next month. He was born with dwarfism and is susceptible to encephalitis. He was cleared to serve but I would think (just my thinking of course) that they would want him to have good medical care available in his service area) just in case.

He is going to make the most wonderful of missionaries. People will just LOVE him.

#15 blinky

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:28 AM

I was hoping someone could have given me a more definitive answer, but C'est la vie.

In my observations, the church is really making sure the ones going now are truly prepared for it spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

#16 Dravin

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:43 AM

I also wondered how this worked with HIPPA laws.


One can give permission for the communication of confidential medical information with a third party. I can't recall specifically, but I'm sure one of the things I put my signature to when filling out the paperwork for the physical was permission for the information to be disseminated to and used by the Church.
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#17 BenRaines

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 02:13 PM

Records are submitted to Missionary Committee. Stake President has guidelines. We have a young man in our ward who is working at lowering his weight so that he can go. He told me it was his BMI Body Mass Index that was too high. He is over half way to losing the weight then he can resubmit. Not everything just doctors information.

There are a multitude of reasons for not wanting to send high BMI Elders or Sisters on missions, especially to non US missions.

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#18 Canuck Mormon

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 09:52 AM

I also wondered how this worked with HIPPA laws.

Pam!! That's very insensative! Calling this poor young man a HIPPO!!








OOPS, My bad!!!!

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#19 MarginOfError

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 12:28 PM

I also wondered how this worked with HIPPA laws.


HIPPA laws don't really apply. It's pretty much the same thing as the annual boy scout physical. In scouts, the boy has his doctor fill out the form provided by the BSA, then the boy turns the form over to the troop. Even though many of us are healthcare workers (subject to HIPPA laws at work), we are under no such obligation once the boy turns that physical into the troop's custody (in the troop, we are not acting as his medical care providers). We are free to discuss the details of his medical form to our heart's contents.

(As an ethical matter, we do not, but sometimes it is necessary. For instance, one of our incoming scouts this year is a Type I diabetic. We've had multiple discussions about his condition and how we will manage it in the wilderness)

The same principle applies to the missionary medical form. The physician that completes the form is subject to HIPPA laws, but when the missionary voluntarily turns over his medical information to the Church, there is no legal privacy requirement. (at least not unless or until the Church assumes the role of "medical care provider")

Dude. When both Vort and MOE are in agreement, the thinking has been done. :D


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#20 Wingnut

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 12:32 PM

I just want to clarify that there's no such thing as HIPPA. You're referring to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.
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