From the Facebook post little known facts about Josh Case Sr:
7 - While serving my two-year mission in Los Angeles, I was held at knife-point and had my life threatened ... by my missionary companion.
There is too much of a story here to summarize properly, but here are the pertinent details:
- Missionaries have certain rules they are expected to follow and my companion broke one of them by having a small television set which he began watching periodically.
- I followed the proper chain of command in reporting this to my District Leader. This eventually led to our Mission President calling and leaving a message on our answering machine informing my companion that he needed to get rid of the tv.
- My companion stated that he was going to kill whoever told the President about his tv. He suggested that it was our District Leader and I corrected him (fearing not for my own life but rather for the life of my fellow missionary).
- My companion then calmly walked into his bedroom and came back carrying a 6-inch hunting knife (possessing such a weapon was another rule he was breaking).
The remainder of the experience is a bit of a blur to be honest. I remember being punched and pushed. I remember being picked up by my shirt collar and thrown against a wall. I remember my District Leader and his missionary companion breaking down the door to our apartment and physically restraining my companion until the Mission President arrived.
One thing I want to clarify ... this missionary remained serving in the mission field, at my request. A few days after the event, our Mission President asked me what I thougt should happen to the other Elder. I asked that, if he was remorseful and repentant, he be given the choice to remain serving as a missionary for the remainder of his time. He stayed, repented, and served many other people. I think this is a very important lesson to remember and it is the part of the story I prefer to focus on. People make mistakes. But repentance and forgiveness is real.
Song Of The Day:
I know it is a love song but "The Heart Of The Matter" by Don Henley has a repeated refrain of forgiveness and that is why I picked it for this post. I never spent any more time with this Elder again. He never met with me or sought me out to apologize. That doesn't really matter to me. If he needed to do that to forgive himself then I would have (or still would) welcomed that. But I didn't need that. His outburst was uncalled for, but probably a sign of deeper issues he was working through. There is no value in my carrying a grudge or holding this against him, then, or ever again. In the song there is another phrase that says "you keep carrying that anger, it'll eat you up inside." How true that is!