155–156: LDS Military Chaplains

February 21, 2013
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This two-part episode offers a wonderful peek into military chaplaincy, a career unlike any other, and, in particular, experiences of LDS chaplains. Two active duty LDS Army chaplains—Nathan Kline and Jason Unsworth—and one retired LDS Air Force chaplain—Phil McLemore—share the history of chaplaincy and how it has evolved since even before the beginning of the American Revolution, what it takes to become a chaplain today, the many roles chaplains play, the particular pressures they face, as well as the incredible opportunities it provides for unique service and spiritual vistas. This conversation describes first hand what is sometimes called a “ministry of presence,” taking us from combat theaters in Iraq and Afghanistan, to counseling offices and base ministries, to sitting by hospital bedsides as mentally and physically wounded soldiers try to sort through the tragedies that have befallen them and find scraps of hope from which to build up new lives. It’s an amazing discussion that both educates (inner workings of the military, support services for LDS military personnel) and heartens through insights that were birthed in intense circumstances but which wildly transcend those origins and are applicable and uplifting to us all.

Please listen to this discussion and share your thoughts below.

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Link to Chaplain Kline’s blog (includes many photos) about his experiences between 2005 and 2008, including deployment in Iraq. Please explore!

Link to LDS.org information about LDS military chaplaincy

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10 Responses to 155–156: LDS Military Chaplains

  1. Jeralee
    February 22, 2013 at 11:31 am

    OK, totally great timing for me to get to listen to this as one of our son’s is in Basic Training to be an officer in the National Guard. So interesting to hear all of your experiences and how it all works in the different services! Thank you all for sharing, but most importantly your service to our country and your fellow man! Loved this. <3

    • February 23, 2013 at 10:58 pm

      Jarelee, I’m glad you enjoyed the conversation. As we mentioned, we barely scratched the surface of the ministry military chaplains provide service members and their families. As your son completes his training and returns to his National Guard unit, I hope they have a chaplain who will support him in his leadership role. Peace–Nathan

  2. Heather_ME
    February 23, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Well isn’t this shady.

    • winfive5
      February 25, 2013 at 12:11 am

      What are you saying?

  3. Tracie
    March 12, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    I loved this podcast! What a valuable service these families provide to our armed services!!! I got to know the Klines here in Germany and love them dearly. It was really interesting to be introduced to the work of LDS chaplains through them. As their friend and their son’s primary teacher, it really opened my eyes to see the demands it places on these families uniquely prepared to serve in some of the Lord’s other vineyards. How enriching this work is too! I loved the description of how it is how they magnify their priesthood, how their vision of what it means to be God’s children is expanded. I also really enjoy Phil’s inner work podcasts her, very important stuff. This podcast filled in gaps of understanding and shared poignant stories I never got around to chatting about with the Klines, so thank you!

  4. Brad
    April 23, 2013 at 5:45 am

    I really enjoyed this one, but would like to point out that unlike chaplains and doctors, military lawyers (JAGs) are combatants and carry weapons.

    • May 18, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Brad, professional types who carry weapons (sidearms) are none-the-less non-combatants. The sidearm (pistol) is strictly for self-defense. Chaplains may not carry weapons of any type, but are assigned a chaplain assistant, who must.

  5. Chris
    July 5, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Loved the story about the “cutting hair ministry.” That is exactly what I thought of too, the Savior washing feet. I’m sure that those guys hair in a forward area was absolutely disgusting. Beautiful. Thanks for this episode.