Four missionaries from one family serving at the same time

Thursday , August 07, 2014 - 5:17 PM

DANA RIMINGTON
Standard-Examiner correspondent

WASHINGTON TERRACE – The Taylor family of Washington Terrace may hold the record on number of missionaries serving concurrently for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints .

Four of their seven children now are scattered across the states, all serving LDS missions.

Their mother, Jane Taylor, hasn’t heard of another family yet who has experienced similar circumstances, and compares the experience to having had seven kids in nine years.

“When people ask me how we do it, I tell them that if you have the faith to send them, the blessings will come,” Taylor said. “We didn’t know how we would feed and clothe seven kids either, and if we really thought about it long and hard, it probably never worked out on paper, yet we managed to do it.”

Having seven kids wasn’t always in their plans, but Taylor states they had both the misfortune and joy of having two sets of twins, which included the youngest set of twin boys, who were infamous as escape artists in their toddler years.

Their father, Jerry Taylor, says he expected the twin boys to be out on LDS missions at the same time, but didn’t realize his two older daughters would also desire to serve LDS missions in their early 20s.

Currently, their daughter Bethany, 24, serves in the San Fernando Valley in California, Rachel, 22, is in Detroit, Michigan, Matthew, 20, is serving in the Spanish-speaking mission in Cleveland, Ohio, and Mark, 20, is in the Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Mission. The first one, Rachel, returns home in three months.

The Taylors say having four missionaries from their family out at the same time had nothing to do with the age change, allowing missionaries to serve at younger ages.



When Bethany -- the last of the four siblings to head out on a mission -- approached her parents nearly a year ago, she nervously told them she felt the inspiration to serve a mission, and asked if that would be OK, uncertain what response she would get knowing the family was already juggling the cost of three missionaries.

“We immediately said, then you should go,” Jane Taylor said. “I truly believe they are all supposed to be out there right now.”

When asked how the family manages the cost of four missionaries, their father, Jerry Taylor said: “If we didn’t have financial help from the ward, family, and friends, we probably wouldn’t be doing this.”

The two have increased their work as well, with Jerry Taylor working overtime and giving plasma, while Jane Taylor works at an elementary school. She has taken on additional piano lessons to accommodate the extra expenses.

One month, all four of their missionaries needed contact lenses, which was going to cost the couple an additional $500 on top of their monthly expenses.

Miraculously, one of their friends sent them a check out of the blue for the exact amount they needed. Other expenses include packages to all four of them, but Jerry admits he is thankful all four of the missionaries are in the states, making phone calls and packages cheaper than if they were out of the states.

“It is such a blessing having them all out. It has not been a hardship because people have been so wonderful,” Jane Taylor said. She admits the time is going by fast, just like when her children were younger.

“It was chaotic and crazy when I look back at their younger years, and I felt like we were on an assembly line with Jerry giving them their baths, and I would lay out their pajamas. But then when Jerry was out mowing the lawn the other day, one of their little sandals flew out of a bush and I just wanted to cry.

This little bent up sandal from years past, is fleeting as life itself, and now they are on missions, and I can’t believe we’re going to see them come home soon in such a short time.”

Get the Standard-Examiner Advantage.