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rockpond

Reaching out to our Youth in Post-Policy Mormonism

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An important read and good perspective regardless of where you stand regarding the November policy changes:

http://outsidethebookofmormonbelt.com/2016/01/28/numbers-tell-the-story/

From the essay:

"I don’t care what you think of the policy or the way it was leaked. I don’t care what you think about whether or not the policy is inspired. I don’t care if you blame the Brethren or celebrate them for sticking to their doctrinal guns. I don’t care because your opinion—my opinion, all our opinions—don’t help the parents standing over their children’s graves. All that matters is that we prevent any more kids from choosing death as the solution.

"So stop it. Stop arguing. Stop trying to demonstrate your faithfulness through either stance. Look at these parents. Watch the grief tear them apart. You think your greatest desire is to have your child sitting next to you Sunday after Sunday in the true church of Jesus Christ? Imagine how much these parents long to have even one more minute of life beside their child. Gone. Can’t happen. Death is mortality’s final answer and that answer is always the wrong one for our kids. So enough!

"Here’s the newsflash: every one of us has culpability for these deaths if we are not actively, openly doing all we can to reduce them. Step one in that quest is to make sure your adult voice is heard by all our youth so that every one of them knows exactly who among us will listen, love, and let them lean on our shoulders. The more voices they hear in their congregations–voices that rise not to preach, but to love and support–the lower the odds become that they will choose death. These kids are a gift from God. Let them hear you say that, clearly and often, without qualification. Save a life, starting today."

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11 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Step one in that quest is to make sure your adult voice is heard by all our youth so that every one of them knows exactly who among us will listen, love, and let them lean on our shoulders.

I've been doing that all along, for all youth in all situations.

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Oh..it speaks to every heart!!

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On November 5, 2015 the policy change to LDS Handbook 1 regarding homosexual members became known to the public. Since then, in the US, 34 LDS LGBT young people between the ages of 14 and 20 have committed suicide

This absolutely breaks my heart. 

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Here is what I reject - the use of a child's death to further a political agenda; the use of a child's suicide to make accusations.  For those that have the gall to point a finger of accusation over the grave of any suicide is offensive.  I detest this type of action and I reject it completely.

You, as in the context of all people, don't have a clue of the full range of emotions that are involved in the choice of someone who commits suicide.  Attempting to place blame at the feet of the Church or its leaders is monstrous.  

When did LDS as a group not love their children or preach that we should stop loving children regardless of their choices?  This is a new low and it demonstrates the depths some will go to push an agenda of hate, death, and division.  

Despicable. 

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2 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

Here is what I reject - the use of a child's death to further a political agenda; the use of a child's suicide to make accusations.  For those that have the gall to point a finger of accusation over the grave of any suicide is offensive.  I detest this type of action and I reject it completely.

You, as in the context of all people, don't have a clue of the full range of emotions that are involved in the choice of someone who commits suicide.  Attempting to place blame at the feet of the Church or its leaders is monstrous.  

When did LDS as a group not love their children or preach that we should stop loving children regardless of their choices?  This is a new low and it demonstrates the depths some will go to push an agenda of hate, death, and division.  

Despicable. 

Perhaps you should read the article

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2 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

Here is what I reject - the use of a child's death to further a political agenda; the use of a child's suicide to make accusations.  For those that have the gall to point a finger of accusation over the grave of any suicide is offensive.  I detest this type of action and I reject it completely.

You, as in the context of all people, don't have a clue of the full range of emotions that are involved in the choice of someone who commits suicide.  Attempting to place blame at the feet of the Church or its leaders is monstrous.  

When did LDS as a group not love their children or preach that we should stop loving children regardless of their choices?  This is a new low and it demonstrates the depths some will go to push an agenda of hate, death, and division.  

Despicable. 

Did you actually read the essay?  That's not the point of it, at all.

I've been hearing about these suicide counts from the Mama Dragons for some time now and never posted for reasons you highlight above.  But this essay pleads for all of us to just be more aware, to reach out, to look out, and to be kind.

As she says, regardless of your feelings about the policy or church teachings on the matter, we all need to help youth who suffer.

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Who is it that publicized this policy?  Who has stirred the controversy?  Those who disagree with the prophets are most responsible for the uproar.  It certainly seems that causing such an uproar was their intention.  Now, we are to believe those sustaining the prophets are responsible for the controversy and by implication those suicides.  

I agree with Storm Rider that this smells like an attempt to disguise a political agenda as higher ground. 

 

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2 minutes ago, DJBrown said:

Now, we are to believe those sustaining the prophets are responsible for the controversy and by implication those suicides. 

If you want to make that case, go ahead but that isn't what the essay is about.

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7 minutes ago, rockpond said:

As she says, regardless of your feelings about the policy or church teachings on the matter, we all need to help youth who suffer.

Policy shmolicy.

“And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness. But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another. And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.”

(The term “your children” of course referring to any minor within our communities).

We are of “…the fold of God, …called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death…”

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I gather these mama dragons might be comparable to Mothers against Drunk Driving, a group of people with empathy for the ones that are hurting, typically from very close family/friend situations.

And do you know what ... they were exactly like you or your wife with no sympathy let-a-lone empathy for those who suffer, until some tragedy struck close to home.

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23 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Policy shmolicy.

“And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness. But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another. And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.”

(The term “your children” of course referring to any minor within our communities).

We are of “…the fold of God, …called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death…”

Exactly... and she (LT Downing) is pleading for a particular group who is suffering right now.

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My sympathies go to all that loose a loved one to any cause, be it suicide, drunk driving, whatever. But to blame the Church is disgusting.

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exactly what policy encourages anyone to commit suicide? And why are suicides victims when they themselves made the decision to kill themselves?

you want to stop suicides? Teach the gospel.

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17 minutes ago, thesometimesaint said:

My sympathies go to all that loose a loved one to any cause, be it suicide, drunk driving, whatever. But to blame the Church is disgusting.

The only blame the author places is in this sentence:  "Here’s the newsflash: every one of us has culpability for these deaths if we are not actively, openly doing all we can to reduce them."

 

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Yes, I read the article and I read the comments.  The title of the thread is:  "Reaching out to our Youth in Post-Policy Mormonism".  

Parents and LDS have never stopped reaching out to youth - ever.  There is no "post-policy" Mormonism.  There is only the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  The thread title speaks for itself and I reject its intent in total.  It is not a title an objective person would think to state or write.  It comes from a person who sees the world and the Church of Jesus Christ in such terms.  Whether it is conscious or unconscious is irrelevant.  

Concern for youth and suicide is not a gender issue; it is not a race issue; it is a personal, individual issue.  LDS parents, members, leaders have, as a group, never stopped being concerned about the issue.  

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25 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Exactly... and she (LT Downing) is pleading for a particular group who is suffering right now.

Yes, as she was pleading for another group in this Ensign article some years back:

"Today, I am once again watching as Deirdre’s eyes fill with tears. But my arms are not the arms which will hold her today. It is not my hands which clasp hers as she kneels across the altar, dressed in a gown of sparkling white, with a young man who is promising before God in His most holy house to cherish her in the way heaven intended, as a wonderful, worthy daughter of God."

https://www.lds.org/new-era/1998/02/deirdres-secret?lang=eng

I do note however that the tone of that article is somewhat different from the one in your link.

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2 minutes ago, rockpond said:

The only blame the author places is in this sentence:  "Here’s the newsflash: every one of us has culpability for these deaths if we are not actively, openly doing all we can to reduce them."

 

As a Psychiatric Social Worker I have counseled children, adolescents, and adults with suicidal ideation. It is rewarding work, but it is a challenge. The Church also has programs in place to help. We try our best, but unfortunately we're not always successful.

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10 minutes ago, rockpond said:

The only blame the author places is in this sentence:  "Here’s the newsflash: every one of us has culpability for these deaths if we are not actively, openly doing all we can to reduce them."

 

Do you have culpability for every death that you are "not actively, openly doing all you can" to prevent?

 

 

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10 minutes ago, rockpond said:

The only blame the author places is in this sentence:  "Here’s the newsflash: every one of us has culpability for these deaths if we are not actively, openly doing all we can to reduce them.

I think it is more empathetic to use "I feel" phrases when it comes to assigning guilt and inspiring others to feel or want to avoid guilt.

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11 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

Yes, I read the article and I read the comments.  The title of the thread is:  "Reaching out to our Youth in Post-Policy Mormonism".

Parents and LDS have never stopped reaching out to youth - ever.  There is no "post-policy" Mormonism.  There is only the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  The thread title speaks for itself and I reject its intent in total.  It is not a title an objective person would think to state or write.  It comes from a person who sees the world and the Church of Jesus Christ in such terms.  Whether it is conscious or unconscious is irrelevant.

Concern for youth and suicide is not a gender issue; it is not a race issue; it is a personal, individual issue.  LDS parents, members, leaders have, as a group, never stopped being concerned about the issue.

Agreed.
This article has an agenda, regardless of the actual subtle wording used.

Suicide is the worst thing I can imagine where a child is concerned.  Every human being should be heartbroken at the thought.
But "post-policy Mormonism" does nothing to prevent a parent or a community supporting a child that is suffering.  The Church provides a huge amount of support and resources for all kinds of family counseling and needs. 

Feel the pain of these children, but the restored gospel of Jesus Christ blesses those that hurt and suffer.  Even hinting otherwise shows a misunderstanding.

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From Mark 14: “And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.”

In the same way, there are those who have indignation within themselves, and accuse, and decide greater priorities for the worshippers of Christ than serving as witnesses in all the diverse, synergetic ways we can. For example, there will be poor, suicidal, abused and other suffering youth always, and we may do them good whensoever we will, but honoring our covenant with God to retain a remission of our sins, that we may walk guiltless before God, we must always impart of our substance to any and all God’s children, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants. (Mosiah 4:26). I don’t think chiding those who don’t is part of that responsibility.

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16 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Agreed.
This article has an agenda, regardless of the actual subtle wording used.

Suicide is the worst thing I can imagine where a child is concerned.  Every human being should be heartbroken at the thought.
But "post-policy Mormonism" does nothing to prevent a parent or a community supporting a child that is suffering.  The Church provides a huge amount of support and resources for all kinds of family counseling and needs. 

Feel the pain of these children, but the restored gospel of Jesus Christ blesses those that hurt and suffer.  Even hinting otherwise shows a misunderstanding.

And your response to the increase in LDS LGBT youth suicides since the policy?

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13 minutes ago, CV75 said:

From Mark 14: “And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.”

In the same way, there are those who have indignation within themselves, and accuse, and decide greater priorities for the worshippers of Christ than serving as witnesses in all the diverse, synergetic ways we can. For example, there will be poor, suicidal, abused and other suffering youth always, and we may do them good whensoever we will, but honoring our covenant with God to retain a remission of our sins, that we may walk guiltless before God, we must always impart of our substance to any and all God’s children, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants. (Mosiah 4:26). I don’t think chiding those who don’t is part of that responsibility.

I don't think the author of the essay would disagree with what you've written here.  I don't.  But what you've written here also does nothing to address this recent increase in LDS LGBT youth suicides.

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10 minutes ago, rockpond said:

And your response to the increase in LDS LGBT youth suicides since the policy?

 

I am happy to report that there have been no LDS suicides, In my ward, In my city or in my stake since the announcement of the policy.

I think that therefore the new policy has been an unparalleled success in keeping these kids from committing suicide. 

 

Edited by Danzo

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