On Suicide

One of the full-time missionaries currently serving in our ward recently received some sad and disturbing news. His father committed suicide. It has been known that his father struggled with depression. His mother left for a few minutes to run some errands, and while she was out, his father shot himself in the head. The missionary, a brand new greenie serving in his first area, has decided to stick it out and continue his mission. I admire his willingness to continue his valuable service during a time when his heart is probably very heavy indeed.

Suicide is a topic that is a touchy one for me for a couple of reasons. One is that two of my sisters made suicide attempts during their teenage years. They were clearly troubled and unhappy during this difficult time, and I never knew what to say to them. My hopes and prayers were that they could somehow be more happy with life, and to some degree those prayers have slowly been answered.

Another reason for this topic being touchy to me is that I have entertained suicidal thoughts myself during depressing times in my younger days. One of my primary reasons for quickly dismissing such dark and troubling thoughts is a belief that I have had through much of my life in a partially false doctrine regarding suicide. My belief was that if one committed suicide that they would get a one-way ticket to the telestial kingdom. No questions asked. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. I felt that I could probably just coast through life and at least crack the terrestrial kingdom, so why would I throw a degree of glory away just to avoid the temporary negative aspects of mortality? It didn’t make any sense, so better just to dismiss the thought and get on with life.

My wife and I were discussing suicide, and I found out that she believed the same partially false doctrine that I did regarding suicide. That suicide was difficult if not impossible to repent of, and that those who committed it would be automatically committed to an eternity with the other ‘stars’. Mormon.org has a listing for the topic of suicide that can be found here. There is also a good article from the Ensign about suicide here.

My heart goes out to those who struggle with suicidal thoughts, and to those families and friends affected by the tragedy of a loved one who takes their own life. I wonder if my mindset would have been different in my younger days if I had not had such a strict and absolute belief in the ‘wickedness’ of suicide. I have called the belief in suicide=telestial kingdom a partially false doctrine because for some it may end up that way, but that is for God to decide. I feel it is important for us to keep in mind that suicide is wrong and a sin, but how wrong, like many things, is for the Lord to decide.

32 Responses to “On Suicide”


  1. 1 ed42 July 30, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    We all commit suicide by our bad choices. Some suicides are performed quicker than others. Some turn to the gun to escape (quickly), others to the bottle, yet others to drugs or risky behavior. Some, out of ignorance or laziness consume unhealthy “food” or don’t exercise, don’t take care of their minds and bodies, etc.

    Yes, indeed, the Lord will decide.

  2. 2 JKC July 30, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    J. Reuben Clark used to speculate that those who committed suicide were obviously suffering so greatly that they had lost complete control over their reason and were therefore most likely not fully accountable for killing themselves.

    Regarding the idea that suicide is (almost) impossible to repent from: It doesn’t make much sense to me that the only difference between forgivable and non-forgivable suicide is whether you were successful.

  3. 3 Eric Nielson July 31, 2007 at 5:11 am

    ED42:

    I have often thought the same thing. Excellent point. We have a woman in our ward who is likely well over 500 pounds. I have often felt that she may be committing a slow suicide.

    JKC:

    That is an interesting line of reasoning for accountability in suicide. You also bring up an interesting point in accountability for attempted suicide. I wonder also about an accountability for suicidal thoughts as well.

  4. 4 Doc July 31, 2007 at 9:41 am

    Eric,
    Whoa, whoa, whoa whoa, accountability for suicidal thoughts?!

    Suicidal thoughts are a symptom of depression, a sign of suffering. Besides, what’s the line about not condemned for temptation but for acting upon them. The real way to get over suicidal thoughts is to develop a healthier thinking pattern. Depressed people already habitually undercut and devalue themselves in their mind. It is only reinforcement to say what your thinking is wrong. The guilt response is haywire on steroids in a depressed person. More guilt from condemning the act of suicide will not make it better. It may stop a suicide, but my understanding is that men are that they might have joy.

    As such I think it much more productive to start evaluating those negative statements in our head, seeing if they hold water, and remembering those things we have done right. Things the perfectionist dismisses far too easily. We have to forgive ourselves some shortcomings. In short, we have to accept ourselves as children of God.

    For some people these thinking loops and habits cannot be broken except with the help of medication, at least until you rewire the thought loops in your head. I am convinced this is the case with the vast majority of the suicidal. Thus suicide becomes a symptom and the mortality risk in clinical depression.

    You are correct that God will be the judge, but I think we do ourselves no favors assigning attitudes unto him that may be incorrect. It leads us down an error prone path ourselves.

  5. 5 mondo cool July 31, 2007 at 9:45 am

    It must have been a long decline, ever steeper, controllable by him at first and perhaps out of hand as he neared the end of the trail. No one in his ‘right mind,’ and especially if he has an understanding of the gospel, will permit himself to arrive at this ‘point of no return.

    SWK

    I’ve worked in the mental health field for over 13 years. My take: too many in the profession de-emphasize personal responsibility for one’s own mental health. However, the model I like is that “good” mental health is contingent upon three connected components – 1) genetics/biochemistry, 2) environmental stressors, and 3) personal choices. One component (or two) will affect the other(s). I hope the interrelation is clear. The problem I see is that, too often, people abandon the “personal choice” aspect to the other two – sometimes over many, many years – and with the approval of many in the mental health profession.

    Yes, the Lord will judge. But, I believe he will take into consideration the entirety of the situation. I agree that no one “in their right mind” would commit suicide. The question becomes, “Why was that person not in their right mind?” Was the biochemical imbalance due to factors within or without the free agency control of the individual? And, if outside the free agency control of the individual, was that loss of agency the cumulative, consequential result of poor choices in the past?

    Again, those are questions impossible for us to decide – about others. We have the responsibility to do what is necessary to optimize our own mental health, whether that includes removing ourselves from stress, getting compentent counsel and therapy, taking our medicine, or – most importantly – honoring the righteous values that should be the guides by which we live our lives .

  6. 6 Jared July 31, 2007 at 11:48 am

    A few years ago a very good friend of mine took his life. It was a shock to all who knew him. He suffered with severe depression as the result of a minor accident, he’d hit his head when he fell while leaning back in a chair. He said, “all I did was bump my head on the wall”, but that within a week the depression started.

    Over the course of years he wasn’t able to find relief and his pain apparently became more than he could handle.

    At his funeral his brother and his Stake President spoke. His brother spoke first and took the position that Eric described so well, “that (he) would get a one-way ticket to the telestial kingdom”. By the way, his brother worked for the church as a writer putting together teaching material.

    The Stake President took the position that the Lord is the judge and that my friend was and is a worthy follower of Christ. He turned to Alma and read the following:

    And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. Alma 7:11

    He stated that he had no doubt but that my friend was the recipient of the Lords taking “upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people”.

    I like what President J. Ruben Clark said regarding our rewards and penalties at the Day of Judgment:

    I believe that in his justice and mercy he will give us the maximum reward for our acts, give us all that he can give, and in the reverse, I believe that he will impose upon us the minimum penalty which it is possible for him to impose.

    President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Conference Report, October 1953

  7. 7 No Name Please July 31, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    Speaking with the voice of (attempted) experience, when I was in that mindset I believed I had irrevocably failed God and my family so it didn’t matter to me if the law was that I wouldn’t be in a higher kingdom of heaven–I’d already assigned myself to the lowest.

    Since I was no longer celestial material, it made sense that everyone would be better off without me. The people I loved didn’t deserve my dragging them down with me. It was better for my children to have a chance at a parent who could be with them forever, for my spouse to be sealed to someone worthy. I geniunely thought suicide was the best way out for all of us.

    On the subject of accountability, does not Christ’s atonement have the power to cleanse and heal regardless of the level of awareness a sinner has? Am I wrong in my current thinking that it is only those who reject Father, Son and Holy Ghost who are irredeemable?

  8. 8 Eric Nielson July 31, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    Great comments everyone! I am sorry that I am unqualified to give very good responses.

    Doc:

    I think you strike at much of the purpose of this, and I don’t think you and I have great disagreement in this. When I mentioned about being accountable even for suicidal thoughts it was me wondering. I don’t know how God will judge all things. For my state of mind now, to consider suicide would be an exercise in selfishness and cowardice, and I might be held accountable for that attitude – or at least manifistations of it.

    Mond Cool:

    I am grateful for your experience and perspective here. I do believe that most everyone has a lot of control over their attitude and their reactions to what happens to them. This is an underrated and underused power in my opinion (and in my life).

    Jared:

    Good comment. The two speakers seem to represent the common schools of thought among LDS people. I think the SP was more correct in your example.

    NoName:

    Thanks for your comment. Elder Perkins had a great talk in last conference about some of these attitudes that can weigh us down. If I understand your questions right I would say a simple yes to the first one. I would also say that the level of salvation you are talking about in your second question is the Telestial Kingdom.

  9. 9 Michelle July 31, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    This is an interesting discussion. I have a couple of thoughts.

    Mondo Cool brings up something important. I agree that sometimes we see too much of minimizing accountability and agency. The lines can get so fuzzy, though. I think we all have things we could work on in terms of our mental health and discipline. I know I do. Pres. Benson once said that the devil often gets at us through depression, discourgement and despondency. (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.340-341)

    Jared,
    I agree with Eric that both ends of a spectrum were represented in those talks. My own personal view is that if we can’t make final judgments toward the negative, it’s probably not our place to do so toward the positive, either. I think it’s best that we withhold such judgments altogether. In other words, I would have been uncomfy with either talk, with either extreme.

    NoName,
    My understanding is that redemption won’t mean exaltation for everyone, but will mean a level of glory for all except those who commit the unpardonable sin. That’s pretty wonderful when you think about it. But it’s also important to remember that there’s more to the potential that just redemption from sin.

  10. 10 No Name Please July 31, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Interesting. This discussion involves the view(s) of repentance after death, and from what I see the prevailing view is that it would be extremely limited (ie not qualifying for exaltation).

    All of us fall short but it’s ultimately only those who “fell the shortest” who would be exalted. Suicide would be too large a fall to overcome to claim those blessings

    Am I reading this correctly?

  11. 11 mondo cool July 31, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    If I may, one statement made by No Name Please is very illustrative of the process by which mental health becomes challenged. He said, “when I was in that mindset I believed I had irrevocably failed God and my family.” My experience tells me that part – maybe the major part – of the reason NNP was in that mindset was because he believed he had failed God & family. This is a half-truth that Satan wants us to accept. And, unfortunately, we provide ourselves so much evidence that the conclusion is a correct one by our sins and shortcomings. Therefore, given that, it DOES make sense to just end it all.

    But, an understanding of gospel principles and values tells us that we all have irrevocably failed God – – without the atonement of Jesus Christ. God is longsuffering and His arm is outstretched still. He always calls us to turn from our imperfections and to place our burdens on Him. So, in the reality of eternal Mercy, it only becomes irrevocable at judgement day.

    Succumbing to that deception ruins the entire effort towards optimal mental health. Without hope, what validity could we apply to any motivation?

  12. 12 Michelle July 31, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    Well said, Mondo. We all irrevocably fail God. We ALL need the atonement.

    No Name: Elder Nelson talked about being able to repent in the afterlife as well, although I have heard it is easier to do here.

    Each living person can repent. But what about those who have died? They also have opportunities to repent. Scripture declares that “the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance . . . among those who are . . . under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead.

    “The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God,

    “And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, [they] shall receive a reward according to their works.”(D&C 138:58-59)

  13. 13 mondo cool July 31, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    NNP (#10);

    My take: you may be too drastic in your conclusions.

    “Extremely limited?” I would agree that repentance after death is more difficult than in this life; not necessarily extremely limited. And, some “sins” are more difficult to repent of than others.

    “Suicide would be too large?” Maybe, but it would depend upon the reasons; i.e., the amount of accountability and the how and why in the amount of accountability.

  14. 14 Rob Osborn August 2, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Let me just say that I firmly believe that the doctrine of Telestial salvation for suicides is a doctrine the devil wants us to believe in. Satan would have us believe that most of us fall short of Celestial salvation. In fact, we all fail salvation without Christ!

    Suicidal people who repent will be found in the Celestial Kingdom set up here on earth with all of the other repentant people who accept Christ. The point we fail to see and read is the true purpose and position of the Telestial kingdom. The Telestial Kingdom is the here and now- we are all in it. This earth- the lone and dreary world is the Telestial Kingdom. The Telestial Kingdom will have an end once Christ comes to reign on the earth during the millennium. During the millennium (the start) the suicidal people who accept Christ will be resurrected and reign also on the earth with Christ. Purposely, the Terrestrial kingdom (the millenium) is set up as the next stage of our progress where we continue on in the path towards perfection. It is only after the end of the millennium that Christ will present the kingdom (all the people whom he saves through personal obedience) spotless to the father.

    In the end there will only be two places as Christ himself teaches- The Celestial Kingdom of heaven, or, Outer darkness wgich is the Devils Kingdom. This is what is meant by all of Christ’s parables which we fail miserably to understand. Take for instance the parable of the laborers who are hired to work in the field. The laborers are the followers of Christ. Some are there for the long haul while others come right up till the last minute. The ones at the last are the ones who do not accept the gospel until the spirit world. Notice though how they all get the same reward regardless of when they chose. The reward here being that of eternal life.

    That is how the gospel works. It does not matter how or where one accepts to become a laborer (accept the gospel and it’s ordinances) it only matters “if” he accepts. The reason being that acceptance of the gospel will always bring eternal blessings that are only found in the boundarys of the Kingdom of heaven (celestial kingdom). This is what is meant in Revelations where John reveals that blessed are they that have right to the tree of life in the holy city for without are dogs and whoremongerers and the like (sons of perdition).

    Salvation for all people, regardless if they were suicides or saints will only come through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel which include baptism and the laying on of hands for the HG. After they have been washed clean, whether here or in the spirit world, ALL former sins are forgotten and will not be brought up in the last day of judgment, otherwise Christ is a liar when he says that remitted sins are remembered no more!

    So when we talk of suicide peopl let us try to remember that more than likely we will shine with them in the Celestial Kingdom of our God!

  15. 15 Eric Nielson August 2, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    I have heard you talk of this several times before. Is not the Telestial Kingdom a resurrected state? Is that not what D&C 76 and 1Cor. 15 say? How can this here and now be the TK when we are clearly not resurrected beings?

  16. 16 Eric Nielson August 2, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    Some of your explanations seem to contradict D&C76:81-90. Joseph’s description of the TK does not seem to match yours.

  17. 17 SilverRain August 2, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    From what I understand, there is a difference between the Telestial kingdom and this world, which is in a telestial state. After viewing the Telestial Kingdom, Joseph Smith supposedly said that we would kill ourselves to get there, if we knew what it was like. (I’ll leave it to the quote gurus to discover whether or not that is a true quote.) This would seem to indicate that the Telestial Kingdom is different. For one, the degrees of glory house immortals, or resurrected beings. Our world is in a mortal state. That would seem to me that there is a mortal, telestial state, a mortal, terrestrial state (Millenium, where people still go from mortal to immortal) and theoretically a possible mortal, celestial state (such as the city of Enoch or the Lehites after Christ’s visit?) Those states are different from the three degrees of glory.

    Each degree houses those who accept a varying degree of light. Loosely explained, the Telestial Kingdom does not accept the sacrifice of Christ, but choose to pay for their sins themselves. The Terrestrial Kingdom accepts Christ and His sacrifice for their sins, but does not accept the fullness of the Father’s glory. Presumably, this means exaltation. The Celestial Kingdom, naturally, houses those who accept everything the Father has. These kingdoms are final resting places for spirits, because they have, themselves, decided which laws they are willing to abide.

    I hope that doesn’t oversimplify it.

    To end the threadjack, I don’t think anyone has mentioned this talk by Elder Ballard, yet. It’s interesting.

  18. 18 Rob Osborn August 3, 2007 at 12:19 am

    I think it is injustice to assign people (like suicides) to kingdoms that are peculiar in our religion when in fact we are not sure what the kingdoms even stand for or mean. First off, nowhere in scriptures does it state where suicides go, we only presume they will go to the Telestial kingdom based on the general consensus of thought.

    What indeed is strange however is that we speak of this earth in a “telestial state” but do not just outright call it the Telestial kingdom. I believe we do this to somehow differentiate between the here and now and the future. The intersting part is that the temple uses language specific to this earth right now being the “Telestial Kingdom “and the “Telestial world”. This is the same language as is used in the scriptures which can lead one to wonder if they are talking of the same exact places. Another intersting aspect of the temple endowment is that we all start out in the Telestial Kingdom (the lone and dreary world) where those who are heirs of salvation are ministered to by angels and the Holy ghost sent from another kingdom/world. From there we progress to the Terrestrial and finally end up in God’s presence back in the Celestial Kingdom. This “is” the plan of salvation.

    What i was trying to get at earlier with the whole parable thing is that when Christ speaks of his gospel in the scriptures he does not lie. I guess there may be room for mistranslation but I believe that to be very scarce if any at all. Christ continually talks about saving his lost sheep on his right hand to enjoy eternal life with him and the Father in the Celestial kingdom of Heaven. He is very specific in his parables where he likens everything to the kingdom of heaven in that there are only two states in the end at the great last day of judgment- the righteous and the wicked. Christ’s gospel teaches us that there is either eternal life in his kingdom or eternal death in the kingdom of the devil. Because this is from Christ’s lips himself (BOM 3 Nephi) we can qualify it as a foundational truth. By this I mean that any future knowledge must build upon this rock of truth.

    What I believe we have in our religion is that we have section 76 which can be very hard to interpret from a gospel point of view. There are, under careful scrutiny, some basic problems and contradictory issues when we continue to interpret the section according to our current interpretation of the given vision. The biggest issues in fact deal with the Telestial beings spoke of in verses 103-107. Verse 103 is a very interesting verse in that there is some biblical history to it. Going back to New Testament times we read in Revelations (Revelations 21:8, 22:14-15) that the Lord in section 76 is paraphrasing the condition of the sons of perdition outside of the gates of salvation. So basically what is happening in verse 103 if we take into account of our temple knowledge and key is that Joseph is seeing in vision the worst of the worst of mortals of our worldly kingdom- the future sons of perdition. Notice also how he says “last of all” This could very easily mean that of all the beings on the earth these are the worst- the ones who had the least amount of glory (light and truth) upon coming to the earth.

    What i am leaning towards is that the vision is true (section 76) but that it has been misinterpreted, perhaps even by Joseph Smith himself! Now not set off any internal hersy alarms I mean this in a good way. Suppose Joseph saw in vision the state of all mankind from the beginning until the end (resurrection) and was shown also the various stages of the earth’s progression until final judgment with the varrying degrees of righteous or wicked people in each succesive stage until the kingdom became spotless and was judged and the wicked cast out. It could very well be that everything Joseph saw and interpreted was true but that there was some misunderstanding or lack of knowledge concerning what the various Kingdoms meant or where they specifically exist. The temple endowment ceremony with the explanations of these kingdoms did not come until years later.

    What is interesting about the whole revelation procedure is to watch it all unfold to Joseph. Early in his life after 76 was written but before the temple endowment was set up he taught that man could be saved without strict compliance to gospel laws and ordinances in lower kingdoms of glory. Later on in his life and after the endowment was revealed he did an about-face and taught that unless man adheres to gospel law whether here or in spirit prison he must forever abide without salvation. This doctrine is later supported in sections 128 and 138 where it is affirmed that there is no salvation for even the wicked without repentance and baptism.

    Later sections of the D&C like 88 can also be interpreted with the temple knowledge for proper understanding. For instance, unbenounced, there is a peculiar little verse in 88 that speaks of resurrection it is verse 28. Notice that it says “They who are of a Celestial spirit” and then goes on to say that they shall be resurrected with the glory that they are quickened with. Now we all know that since Christ’s resurrection that the resurrection has begun for people. Using the temple knowledge as our key we can logically state that since we are in the Telestial kingdom of glory right now, all those who have been resurrected to this point who are “Celestial spirits” have been resurrected with a Telestial glory because that is the glory of the earth in it’s current state. Logic tells us that a Telestial glorified earth could only produce Telestial glorified eternal bodies.

    Now what is interesting about this is that a Telestial glorified resurrected body will undergo a change to a higher grade of eternal bliss at Christ’s coming when the earth attains it’s Terrestrial glory. All resurrections from that time on will be resurrected with Terrestrial glorified bodies. All resurrected bodies will then reign as priests and kings wuith Christ on the earth before finally undergoing a last and final upgrade to Celestial bodies at the end of the millennium. Notice how in verses 107-108 of section 76 that only at that point will we of overcome all things and be glorified with Christ in Celestial splendor.

    This is all summed up (sorry for the long post btw) back in verses 41-44 where Christ speaks that he saves and cleanses all (baptism into kingdomof heaven) “except for” the sons of perdition. This is the foundational truth we are looking for that is the key to the whole mystery of section 76, only we have barely began to open our spiritual eyes and ears to what the gospel really means and “who” it specifically is for- everyone except for the sons of perdition!

  19. 19 Joseph Antley August 3, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Eric, if you had committed suicide, do you think you would’ve been considered accountable?

  20. 20 Eric Nielson August 6, 2007 at 6:29 am

    Joseph:

    Yes, I believe I would have been considered accountable. What level is hard to say.

  21. 21 Eric Nielson August 6, 2007 at 6:33 am

    Rob:

    I don’t know if you are still following this or not. You have obviously put a lot of thought into this. I find myself unprepared to discuss your ideas very well. I imagine you know very well that what you are saying goes against the basic teachings and doctrines of the church reagrding the plan of salvation and degrees of glory. And you yourself admit that to buy these ideas you must consider the possibility that Joseph Smith was wrong or mistaken.

    Well, once you do that I do not feel that I have much of a foundation to base any discussion on.

  22. 22 Rob Osborn August 6, 2007 at 8:16 am

    Eric,

    I am sorry you feel that way. i do not think Joseph was a false prophet in any way, I just believe that he like anyone else is able to have their own views on things. As far as going against the doctrines of the church, I do not believe that I am stating any false doctrine. I state facts and then point out the problems or issues. For instance- If one can really be saved form being damned in hell without obedience to the gospel then Christ and a lot of other ancient prophets were not really telling the whole truth which would make the gospel of Jesus Christ not built upon a true rock.

    I was just trying to state some very basic foundational truths such as how it is possible that our view of the 3 kingdoms have changed throughout the years and yet no one seems to understand the implications of it all.

  23. 23 Eric Nielson August 6, 2007 at 10:34 am

    Well, that says something. Sometimes if we are the only one that ‘understands’ something then maybe we are on to something new, novel, or unique. Other times we may just be mistaken.

    I would say that we as a church probably do not know as much about the degrees of glory as we think we do. I am just not prepared to discuss all the issues you brought up, and I didn’t want you to think I was simply ignoring you. One of these days I might like to whip up a degrees of glory post, but I would like some time to prepare such a thing.

  24. 24 Rob Osborn August 6, 2007 at 11:32 am

    Eric,

    That would be a fun topic to discuss, I always enjoy a good gospel discussion.

    As for the inquiry of my posting here, I have known several individuals who have taken their lives, one of which was a cousin of mine who left behind a young family. I always have a hard time thinking that these individuals are forever lost outside of the kingdom of God. It just would seem like an unjust God who would forever consign individuals who wanted to repent forever outside of his kingdom where he and Christ reign on their thrones of glory.

  25. 25 Darrell August 6, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    I once officiated and spoke at a funeral for a young man that killed his girlfriend, then shot himself. A daunting task to be sure. I did get the strong impression that I was not to be his judge. Only the Lord knew his heart and would hold him accountable. Despite the horrendous crimes that he committed, for me to delegate him to any specific reward/punishment would have been presumptious and arrogant indeed. I am glad I will never be in that position. I have full confidence in the justice and mercy of God. In the end all will be as it should be.

  26. 26 Eric Nielson August 6, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks Darrell. Sounds like a difficult assignment.

  27. 27 Darrell August 6, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    It was. But, I have never felt the influence and support of the Holy Ghost stronger in any assignment. The power of the Atonment, even in these circumstances, was almost a tangible thing. I have never felt the love of God more than then. His love for the families affected, love for the victim, and, most powerfully, love for the young man. It was in the very air we breathed. I will never forget it.

  28. 28 Barb August 6, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    I think it is good advice to all people of all denomations who may contemplate suicide to remember that nobody really knows for sure what will happen to you. It is a terrible gamble to take. I say that understanding that God is the judge. However, the fact that some will have mercy for such as an act does not mean that you, yourself will be found guiltless.

    Also, you never know what wonderful thing might happen if you stick around in this life.

    I am sorry to anybody who is really hurting and really entertaining such thoughts. I don’t think they people want to die. I think that they want to stop hurting. If you can hold on long enough to get the help you need, you can learn to get through the pain. I should add that I used to think suicidal thoughts constantly for years. And I have resorted to those illogical thoughts at other times. When I am in my more sane mind, I see how very illogical that they are. I am so glad to be alive. Life is precious.

  29. 29 belladonna August 8, 2007 at 8:28 am

    Suicide is a complicated thing. If someone dies from heart disease or diabetes we grieve, but when a friend or family member becomes a fatality of depresson (or bi-polar disorder) through suicide the sorrow becomes mixed with anger, resentment, guilt, self doubt.

    When Senator Gordon Smith’s son, Garrett, killed himself there was a lot of focus put on the issue of suicide – unleashing dolloars for intervention programs in schools and prompting some important church leaders to comment on the issue of suicide.

  30. 30 Téa August 11, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    ::Warning irreverent joke below:::

    Eric said

    My belief was that if one committed suicide that they would get a one-way ticket to the telestial kingdom.

    SilverRain said

    After viewing the Telestial Kingdom, Joseph Smith supposedly said that we would kill ourselves to get there, if we knew what it was like.

    Maybe it’s that quote from Joseph Smith is what started that one-way ticket line of thinking… =)

  31. 31 Eric Nielson August 12, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    Interesting observation.

  32. 32 DavidH September 9, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    The Handbook of Instructions has for some time contained instructions that endowed members who commit suicide are to be burried in their temple clothing. True, we do not know to what Kingdom they will be resurrected or or how God will judge them, but, with all respect, I think that will also be true of almost any of us when we die.


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