A Family of Missionaries Hastens the Lord’s Work

Contributed By By Michael Ann McKinlay, Church News staff writer

  • 22 November 2013

The Rust family is actively involved in hastening the work of salvation through missions and service on five different continents across the world.  Photo by Emanuel Petrignani.

Article Highlights

  • The Rust brothers and their wives are currently serving on five different continents.
  • Collectively, the family’s service reaches individuals in Utah, Argentina, China, Germany, and Australia.
  • To date, 60 missions have been served by the posterity of the Rust family’s parents.

“It was implemented in our early years that one of our purposes in life is to serve.” —Richard Rust, missionary

Many Latter-day Saints experience the joy and blessings that come from serving full-time missions, whether in their youth or in their senior years.

For the Rust family, missionary work has never been stronger as several of them are serving across the globe on senior missions.

“My sister-in-law explained that this is a historic time that all the Rust couples are serving,” Elder Richard Dilworth Rust said. As of September 30, four out of the five Rust brothers and their wives are serving as senior missionaries and one is working in a BYU program, all on five different continents.

“It was implemented in our early years that one of our purposes in life is to serve,” Elder Richard Rust, the oldest of five Rust brothers, said. “The spirit of service is very strong in my family.”

Richard and Pat Rust of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, are serving in the Family and Church History Headquarters Mission in Salt Lake City. The second oldest brother, David, and his wife, Eleanor Rust, of Vernal, Utah, are serving in the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple. Joseph and Suzanne Rust of Bountiful, Utah, are serving in the Germany Berlin Mission. Harold and Pat Rust, though not missionaries, are in Qingdao, in BYU's China Teachers Program; they are from Lake Oswego, Oregon. The youngest of the Rust brothers, Marvin, and his wife, Kay Rust, of Heber City, Utah, are serving in the Australia Melbourne Mission.

“To serve others is to serve God,” Elder Richard Rust said. “Part of it comes from recognizing the messages from the scriptures.”

Expressing his thoughts regarding missionary work, he quoted Alma 29:9, which states: “I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.”

“If I could help myself and others in turning their hearts to God, it brings great joy,” Elder Rust said.

Elder Richard Rust is serving with the Church History Library, helping with the journals of George Q. Cannon with the Joseph Smith Papers. Sister Pat Rust, his wife, is working in the Family History Library.

More than 60 missions have been served to date by the posterity of Elder Rust's parents, Richard and Alta Rust.

“I ask myself what would be more important than what we're doing right now,” Elder Rust said. “This is the most important thing to do right now—missionary service.”