Thursday, May 29, 2008

Some thoughts on suicide

This is something I wrote in response to a post about a young man who took his life who struggled with SGA.

It is tragic. And a topic that needs to be dwelt with with love and compassion.

Suicide is never the answer. I think anyone who has a basic grasp on the gospel and the atonement knows that. I think when someone gets to that state where they believe that it's the answer there are other issues that needed to be dealt with.

Elder Ballard writes about speaking at the funeral of a friend who took his life: "Peace came to me only when I recognized that only the Lord could administer fair judgment. He alone had all the facts, and only He would know the intent of the heart of my friend.",11275,2875-1---71,00.html

I believe that now the young man is in God's arms. But I don't believe he is at peace any more than anyone who has died without accepting the gospel. He still needs to make a choice. People don't just die and automatically become saved. We do baptisms for the dead yes, but they have to accept it. However that is now between him and God, as it was here.

We are now left with those who he has left behind and they are the ones who we need to be concerned with, to love, to uphold and to support. We can continue to pray for our friend. But we also have to realize that agency is a personal thing and that all we can do is love. This is a really hard thing to cope with. It is my personal belief that while we may take with us our desires, lusts and addictions so to speak. We don't take our bodies with us so we are free of any emotional, physical or psychological issues that may cloud our judgments. That last part is just my own opinion.

Taking ones life is never the answer. The sad fact is that death doesn't change what is right or wrong, true or false.

A discussion of what is worse Spiritual death vs. temporal death should never end with the misguided notion that suicide is better then a life of sin and disobedience to the Lord and his commandments. We didn't create our lives and we don't have the right to decide when they end. We don't choose our trials and we can only choose to act or react on them.

But I also think we have to look at this from the eternal perspective and realize that we lived before we were born and when we die its only part of the plan. We will live again. In essence we never stop living. Death is progressive. While I will miss my friend for the rest of my mortal sojourn, I know he has moved on and will be there when its my turn.

What we do in this life does have everything to do with how we spend eternity. I also know that the trials and addictions we have in this life we take with us into the next and it is only through obedience to the commandments that we overcome them. Part of that is wanting to overcome them and having the desire to work on overcoming them.

Now would I rather a friend kill himself or live a gay lifestyle? Well I would never want him to take his life. But I would also feel that his choice to live the lifestyle is in essence spiritual suicide. The third option is of course I'd rather him submit to the Lord and live the gospel. But thats his agency and he has to choose. I have to love him no matter what his choices are. If he did kill himself I would feel bad that he didn't feel the love of the gospel that could save him and comfort him. But I also know that this struggle is a hard one. I would be happy that he was in the arms of his Savior so to speak. But I would also know that he would still be accountable for making a choice in the sprint World in if he would live to follow God.

Killing yourself isn't the easy way out. I think thats probably the cruelest reality.

1 comment:

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