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Comments about ‘Homeless man charged with stalking Mormon church president’

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Published: Friday, July 8 2011 7:49 p.m. MDT

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Hawkyo
SYRACUSE, UT

This man needs help. Badly. I feel sorry for him. Mental illness is not a joke. Hopefully he can get the help he needs. My heart goes out to him.

thebigsamoan
Richmond, VA

I know the prophet is a busy man but would it hurt to strip the man clean first to make sure he's not concealing any weapons and then have a couple of security folks accompany him to the office of the president to see what he wants to see him about? Who knows but that maybe a visit with the prophet would help him solve some problems he's having? If he is not crazy, then constantly arresting and throwing him in jail is silly. If he is a looney, then they should just put him in a mental institution where he can receive help. Curious what the prophet thinks of the whole thing?

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

I understand it isn't at all unusual--individuals who claim to be the prophet or Christ hang around the Church Office Building trying to take over the reigns of the Church or get some sort of attention. This sort of thing goes on all the time. Church security has to do everything possible to handle this sort of thing in the appropriate way. Apparently they have tried for a while to deal with this guy. It's a sad thing, but they must put safety first. I hope this guy can get some help.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

Ree: thebigsamoan | 5:58 a.m. July 9, 2011

Suppose I wanted to see President Obama. I know the President is a busy man but would it hurt to strip me clean first to make sure I'm not concealing any weapons and then have a couple of security folks accompany me to the office of the President so he could see what I wanted to see him about?

The answer is 'NO'. That just isn't the way it works.

Walt Nicholes
Orem, UT

No doubt the security people have a pretty good idea what the guy wants. They usually ask those things. If the fellow can't articulate why he wants to see the President, then they are immediately suspicious of his intentions.

I don't think that they are as worried that he might be carrying a weapon - that would have shown up on prior police reports. I think that they are more concerned that he will try to embarrass or harass the president.

Historically, for maybe the last 50 or 60 years, pretty careful screening has been done.

People who want legitimate appointments with leaders of the church can usually get them through the usual appointment making process. The rest are flakes.

My $0.02
Roy, UT

I have a close relative who works with church security, and this kind of thing is a REGULAR OCCURANCE. Security tries to handle it nice and quiet, but at certain times the aggressor won't quit! That is when the charges are filed, and frankly charges are filed more often than you might think. The other comment was right, there are people who claim to be prophets, prophetesses and Christs and Heavenly Messengers all the time who want to speak to the Prophet or Apostles. They seem to FLOCK to the office building! Deseret News could be half filled with the stuff that actually goes on at church headquarters every day if it reported "EVERYTHING" that was wierd going on there! Why this one case? I am sure if every threat, whacko, and security holding was reported, most people would be stunned at how much abuse and how many wierdo people their are that try to see the general authorities! In some ways they are better equipt than the federal government to handle things. They have a system to file everything away on anyone who has ever had an issue in defense or against the church. It's amazing!!!

Gordon T.
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If he is homeless he will get meals, shelter and medical attention for free. This sounds like a smart homeless person.

jkcook
Petersaurach, Germany

With the number of homeless people I've seen wandering the streets of Salt Lake City, I'm not surprised some of them seek the comfort of the wonderful church buildings. What is the church doing to help these people? We send millions to help those in need around the world, isn't there anyway to clean up the streets at home by employing these folks and getting them housing?

standfan
HELENA, MT

My 2 cents is right. Two times on my mission I had the opportunity to meet Jesus Christ. ( At least they both claimes to be, and neither were this guy ) 4-5 times I met people claiming to be a prophet. I served my mission in Southern California. It's sad to see and talk with those with mental illness. But the problem lies in not knowing what will trigger potentialy dangerous behavior. Sadly it is more common then most of care to think about.

MaryAnn
North Bend, WA

JKCook, do you not pay attention when the Church is all over the United States helping with the poor, helping with the victims of great disasters, helping with the homeless, the mentally ill, etc.? Not every mentally ill person is employable, not every homeless person wants to live in conventional housing, not every person wants help. The Church has social services programs in every community, and they hire people all the time to work at Deseret Industries and other programs. There is nothing wrong with seeking comfort in a wonderful church building, but when the person is asked to leave and refuses, over and over, then something else has to happen. I would venture that if he walked into the visitors center and just sat for an hour, no one would bother him. But when he demands to see the President and is told to go through the proper channels (as everyone should do, as correctly cited by Rifleman in his post), and refuses, then he has to be removed. His choice is how he is removed.

LKA
Tremonton, UT

President Monson is busy enough more than not he probably was not there anyway. And most people dont't know that this was probably not the first time this has happened but happens on a regular basis. As Rifleman said about Obama,this probably happens in DC several times a day..

mightymite
DRAPER, UT

Charged with stocking, hugh?? I think the church of latters days saints may have been able to handle this differently?? Just guessing but the security at around the temple square seems to a bit over the top.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: jkcook | 11:08 a.m. July 9, 2011

Your question surprises me. Are you aware of the service missionaries that provide support, or the LDS Church welfare program that provides food and other assistance? Were you aware that when disasters strike the LDS Church sends supplies to many nations.

The LDS Church has members worldwide, and does not limit their support to those living in Salt Lake City.

Pursuit_of_Knowledge
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Jesus would not have turned this man away.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

"I know the prophet is a busy man but"

But what? Stop all work, all meetings, all of the little amounts of time he has to spend with his family, stop doing work for the Church, charities, planning many other things that help the world greatly... stop it all to meet someone who wants to meet with him? Yes, there are plenty who deserve to meet with someone who can help...

BUT, if he stops for one... then he has to stop for another... and another. When would it end? - The man has local church authorities with the priesthood who can offer just as much assistance to someone as the Prophet. The power of God is no less focused for a bishop as it is for the Prophet. If one has faith, anything can happen.

By all means, the man is free to make decisions... this one was unwise and the Church and President Monson did nothing wrong. Hopefully the man will seek help properly and finally something learn from these attempts.

B
Logan, UT

RE: mightymite

Read up a little on LDS church history. You will quickly discover why church security is 'over the top' in matters like this. In fact, mightymite, I'm not sure if you actually read the story, but this man came back 5 times and refused to leave. That sounds a lot like stalking to me.

mightymite
DRAPER, UT

Sorry to stirke a nerve "B" but I think it could have been handled a little better. If as the story reads this man claims to be Christ; which little could think as valid and equaly so little think that monson is a prophet. Maybe there could be some discourse. Just a thought......

Charliegirl
ATHENS, AL

It is unfortunate that this poor soul has issues. It is likewise unfortunate that he couldn't be ushered in the Church office building, but in reality, he isn't a 'known quantity' in terms of mental stability nor level of danger. To those who suppose that he should have been let into the offices of the church despite having been asked to move on, would YOU PERSONALLY be willing to allow this person into your home despite having asked him to leave your property repeatedly? Would you feel comfortable allowing him to come around your children, your spouse and your property without first knowing if he was dangerous? People do not need weapons to cause harm to another person and if he had been received into the Church office building and then became violent, how might he have been treated at that time? Common sense dictates a measured approach and a system for safely admitting persons into the building, just as common sense dictates whom you allow into your home or workplace. Just because it's the Church office building doesn't mean they have no need of security and safeguards.

zooology
Bountiful, Utah

mightymite- " If as the story reads this man claims to be Christ; which little could think as valid and equaly so little think that monson is a prophet."

Lets see 14.1 Million people believe President Monson is a Prophet..
1-Person believes he is Christ.

Is that what you consider Equal?

The President of any orginization.. for example the Roman Catholic Pope,
President Obama, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, they most likely wouldn't have dropped everything and laxed their security just to meet with this guy. He could have followed the procedure to request a meeting. I think the Church handlded this situation pretty well. Security over the top huh? Yea for being one of the most persecuted churchs around the globe... hmm.. NO not over the top.. Safety is pretty important thats why they have so much security.

kerrisally
ALLEN, TX

This is my brother that I have been trying to find for the last 4 years. On one hand I am so happy that he is alive and on the other hand so sad because of where he is. I love him and will find out what I can do to help him get the help he needs. Thank you for the kind and concerned comments that have been posted.

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