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The story behind the myth of a missed mission conference in the World Trade Center on 9/11

by | Sep. 09, 2021

You may have heard the Latter-day Saint folklore of a mission conference that had been scheduled in the World Trade Center on 9/11. It is one of those stories that spread via word of mouth “long before the advent of today’s social media,” Church News reports.

The myth? A missionary conference was scheduled to take place in the World Trade Center the morning of 9/11 but that every missionary who was supposed to attend miraculously was unable to get there for a number of different reasons.

The truth to the myth? Half of the New York New York South Mission did have a meeting at 9 a.m. on 9/11. The meeting was not in Manhattan but the mission president, President G. Lawrence Spackman, had felt inspired to hold a conference with one half of the mission on September 11 and the other half the next day. Because of this, the Spackmans were able to reassure parents throughout the world that he had seen their missionaries since the attack and knew they were safe.

President Noel G. Stoker, who at the time was presiding over the New York New York North Mission with his wife, Sister Carol R. Stoker, says the myth of the mission conference in the World Trade Center “is such a disservice.”

“It’s a malicious kind of thing to destroy credible stories of faith,” President Stoker said.

Read more about missionaries serving in New York during 9/11 here.

You may also like: What should we remember when we say ‘never forget’? 4 Latter-day Saints living in NYC during 9/11 answer.

Lead Image: Kah Poon
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