« Home | What the %*@# Do I Know? » | This Is Not The End » | Until Death Do Us Part…Not » | Barbarism Begins at Home » | Watch Out For the Stones » | Hypocritical Oaths » | Do As I’m Doing…Follow, Follow Me » | what difference does it make » | Alas, Babylon » | Katrina. What a B!^&#!!! » 

Thursday, September 15, 2005 

Sometimes It's Okay Not to Have All the Answers

I find it highly ironic that oftentimes, since VSofM was started, the topics coincide with certain struggles or experiences that I am having. I would be kidding myself (and all of you) if I said that I had no clue as to why that might happen. Through whatever stage of Mormondom I happen to be at, I have never stopped believing in a loving God. There have been times when I question my faith, my beliefs, what I stopped believing, what I started believing…but I never questioned whether or not I believed in God. Having said that, at this time I am struggling, you might say, on how I feel about what will/may happen once our time on earth is through.

About four years ago, a 15 year old boy named Ian took his own life because he felt there was no other way out. Also around that same time, one of my dearest friend’s dad very unexpectedly (he was in perfect health) collapsed and passed away. These two people did not go to church or have any religion that they were believers of. I honestly don’t know if they believed in God or not.

I struggled much with Ian’s death. I used to baby-sit him and his brother. And while it was obvious that Ian struggled with much and had several mental issues all his life, it was still such a shock and so upsetting and I struggled with the thought of him not only taking his own life, but what would happen to him in the afterlife. So did Ian’s mom. My friend, who is a devout and very faithful Christian, struggled even more with the thought of her dad not accepting Christ before his died. She believes that you won’t have another chance once you pass on from this earth and was just sick with worry about his salvation.

Obviously, none of us 100% sure what happens when our life here on earth is complete. But for those two people who, it would appear, had no faith in God to speak of, was that the end? Did their chance pass? Especially because Ian committed suicide. Many people believe they can’t be “saved” from that point on.

Those deaths, especially Ian’s, bothered me so much that Sarah sent me a story that a LDS writer, Robert Farrell Smith, wrote after his sister committed suicide. He struggled with some of the very same thing that I mentioned and went through so much trying to deal and accept the death of his sister and to also try and get a handle on what happens after we die. In a dream, he saw his sister sitting next to him in the church they grew up in. With her arm around him she said, "Don't worry, Heavenly Father has it all figured out."

I know that I don’t have all the answers. I do find comfort and strength and put my faith in the fact that Heavenly Father does have it all figured out. At the end of Mr. Smith’s story he says,

“I also know that it's up to me to … understand that Heavenly
Father has it all figured out. Not in ignorance, but in awe. We're
lucky to be alive. I can't wait to see what happens."

Suicide is usually a result of severe mental illness. I cannot think that God would punish someone for being mentally ill. That being said, I think He is definitely not in favor of people "taking the easy way out" as in trying to escape chronic pain, or hasten a terminal illness by going the Kevorkian way. But as to those individuals who are so deeply depressed that taking their life seems like a good idea, I think Heavenly Father is very merciful to them.

Here is a link to a talk by Elder Ballard on this subject.

I like the phrase "I can't wait to see what happens". There have been times in my life where the thought of death, of ending my time here, caused a virtual panic because I thought of all the things I had not "taken care of" yet. I am now trying to live my life so that even in the even of an accident, the idea of facing God does not fill me with terror.

There are so many loved ones who have passed on, who I miss dearly, who I really want to see again. I have faith in an afterlife, and I truly can't wait to see what happens.

On the subject of suicide. I had a friend commit suicide in high shcool. You actully may have heard about it. He killed himself at Deseret Towers (a BYU dorm). It was devestating and shocking. Personally, I think that the medication he was on for depression had a lot to di with it (the reason Prozac was pulled off the shelves for a while in the 90's), but his devestated parents received some of the most choice blessings through the experience. They felt loved and comforted, and they felt that their son was goign to be OK. It was difficult, I'm sure, for his parents to let go of a lot of doctrinal deatails that no one yet has answers to, but faith is a very powerful thing. Through faith, and relying on the expereices when they knew the felt the influence and comfort of the Holy Ghost, they pulled through, and remained close as a family. Some people beleive this young man was "taken home" for a reason. We can't possibly know God's timeline for each of us; our lives are a constant shock and surprise. I am in awe of people who can make it through trials like that with such grace...

My son committed suicide. I also feel suicidal from time to time. I think God takes them to his heart and just loves them and says, "oh, dear, you made a terrible mistake. I love you. Let's work this out and help you get along." I know this, I know there is no punishment. I hate when Mormons and others call it a sin. Because I know the pain I'm in when I feel like that and I know my son was in terrible pain (emotional). My God, who is a nice guy, wouldn't be more hard on somebody who has been so hard on themselves.

Elder Ballard's talk is too generic to offer much comfort to survivors. There is a book called Where is Our Hope for Peace, which I was instrumental in having published (I made no money on it, not investment whatsoever), that you can get on-line for $10 from an organization. E-mail me, I'll look it up, I forgot, gardnera@netutah.com.

It is a compilation of stories and professional and spiritual advice, specifically for Mormons, very well done.

Post a Comment

This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

Various Links

Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates