A Suicide

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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SamBee
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A Suicide

Post by SamBee » 19 Feb 2014, 17:40

Was very sorry to hear a guy in the neighboring ward has commited suicide. I didn't know him well, but I know his brother, and sister-in-law, who are big in the stake.

The poor man had just divorced, was having trouble with church attendance and just getting used to living alone.

However, he was very successful at hiding his depression.

Maybe we could discuss this phenomena here, and also theological stuff. I don't think he's going to Hell, I think he's already been there.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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mercyngrace
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Re: A Suicide

Post by mercyngrace » 19 Feb 2014, 18:55

Such a tragedy.

I completely agree he's already been in hell. I've never bought into the teaching (from other faiths) that suicide was a direct route to hell. Seems like the epitome of kicking someone when they are down.

Life can be so hard sometimes...
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

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opentofreedom
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Re: A Suicide

Post by opentofreedom » 19 Feb 2014, 19:48

Oh, that breaks my heart!! I feel for him, and agree that he was already in hell. I also have never bought into that belief either. Depression is hard, just so very hard. I just think and hope that he found the relief that he needed. I cant even pretend that I have a clue about the afterlife, but some of the beliefs that I am formulating are quite beautiful, and I see God embracing Him and giving him the love that he so greatly desired and didn't know how to receive in the this life.

Sending love and prayers to his family. Hope they find the comfort, peace and support they need at this time.

I wish there were more things that could be done to stop people from ending life in this way, but I also understand the irrational, lonely, isolating thoughts that accompany depression, especially severe depression. A friend of mine from high school just ended his life last week as well. Tragic. My heart aches for the pain they must have felt the months, weeks and days before.

I think about this subject often because I have a brother that has attempted suicide twice. He suffers from extreme anxiety and bi-polar depression. I used to regularly expect a call saying that he had finally succeeded. As I mentioned, I can't pretend to have a clue about the purpose of life as I used to "know", but I feel that his life isn't all just for his "progression" but that his mental illness has been for my benefit and progression. That possibly there were things he agreed to in the pre-mortal life in order to help our family progress. I have learned so much from him the past 11 years that he has extremely suffered... especially the 2 years he lived with us. I honestly don't think I would have learned to have so much compassion for the homeless, mentally ill, or spiritually. I used to just want people to FREAKING TRY HARDER! Even him! UNTIL he lived with us and I saw the pain, I saw his struggle, I saw him try to beat this depression. I saw him beat himself up for being mentally ill. It is heartbreaking. He no longer lives with us, and he has come to a place of acceptance of his limitations. It is so sad because he has he was almost finished with his doctorate degree, and he had to quit the program twice to find himself with no job and on disability. But acceptance of what is goes a long way. I think we, as people and the church, have come SO FAR in the understanding of mental illness, but we have so far to go!
Namaste: the divine light in me honors the divine light in you.

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Curt Sunshine
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Re: A Suicide

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Feb 2014, 23:11

One of my favorite aspects of our theology is the refusal to classify suicide as murder and condemn people who commit suicide to Hell - but, instead, to make it explicit that we only are accountable for things that are within our control (and even to allow for varying degrees of control).

I've said this in many places, but it amuses me that many people outside the LDS Church think we don't believe in grace. How we address suicide in our theology is one of the best examples of just how deeply grace is embedded in our theology - to a FAR greater extent than in most Christian denominations' official theology.

May God bless his family and friends. The aftermath of suicide can be so very difficult.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Ann
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Re: A Suicide

Post by Ann » 19 Feb 2014, 23:31

Sambee - Really very sorry to read this. I hope all goes as well as possible in the aftermath. One of the most beautiful LDS funerals I've attended was for a young father who took his own life. Seeing everyone come together to support his family was heart-warming, and I didn't, even casually, hear anyone judge or condemn him.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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SamBee
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Re: A Suicide

Post by SamBee » 20 Feb 2014, 04:44

I think suicide can be divided into various different types, but it is clear here that he was in great pain.

I suppose his ex-wife must be feeling awful about this too. That's my personal gripe about suicide - it hurts people left behind, and the folk who find them. I don't think he did it to spite her though, but still.

I have no evidence for this but I wonder if the eternal marriage thing hasn't helped here.

I don't think he is damned. If nothing else, he will have the prayers of many people, as he was well liked in life.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

nibbler
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Re: A Suicide

Post by nibbler » 20 Feb 2014, 06:10

Edited.

http://www.lds.org/ensign/1987/10/suici ... t?lang=eng

There was another church talk/article related to suicide that I remember finding a few years ago. Unfortunately I can no longer find it.
Last edited by nibbler on 20 Feb 2014, 09:05, edited 1 time in total.

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SamBee
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Re: A Suicide

Post by SamBee » 20 Feb 2014, 07:48

I did a thread recently about the external factors in mental illness, they are generally the ones that the establishment doesn't want to talk about as it would reflect badly on them. I think in addition to the emotional relationship between him and his ex-wife, our culture of eternal marriage and also the unpleasantness of a divorce going through legal proceedings can't help.

There are certainly some genetic factors. About a dozen of Ernest Hemingway's close relatives have committed suicide. In that case, there's little doubt.

Someone once said behind my back that "[Sam] is the kind of person who'd do it." I think in that case, they misunderstand me. I have been horribly depressed, but there are various other factors - my Christianity for one, and the thought of my late parents that outweigh it.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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opentofreedom
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Re: A Suicide

Post by opentofreedom » 20 Feb 2014, 09:44

Curtis Wrote:
One of my favorite aspects of our theology is the refusal to classify suicide as murder and condemn people who commit suicide to Hell - but, instead, to make it explicit that we only are accountable for things that are within our control (and even to allow for varying degrees of control).
I love that about our theology, I come from a LONG line of Catholics, my parents converted when I was young. So the belief I was taught was that suicide was a "straight ticket to hell" (as Sam put it). Did the church always have such loving theology regarding suicide? I guess I don't care, I am just glad they do now.
Last edited by opentofreedom on 25 Feb 2014, 11:17, edited 1 time in total.
Namaste: the divine light in me honors the divine light in you.

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Roy
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Re: A Suicide

Post by Roy » 20 Feb 2014, 10:13

I am very sorry for the individuals that have attempted, been successful at, or contemplated suicide. I am also for the people that are left after a suicide and the impact on them.

I do have something that I want to share. I took a class on suicide prevention and it said that people might have suicidal moments in their life and then if they can be helped through these moments the they might not return for a long time or maybe never. This to me counteracted the idea that once suicidal a person will eventually succeed in suicide. The prospect of suicide is no longer inevitable in most cases.

A major way to help is to listen. It is not helpful to tell people, "Oh, you don't mean that" or "look on the bright side." It is helpful to have their feelings shared and understood - not dismissed.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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