Many faith leaders are unprepared to help people make peace with death

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  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    June 19, 2017 7:22 p.m.

    It's always good to provide comfort in a thoughtful way, but it's wise to avoid overpromising or to make up stuff about the next life.

    For example, we should not tell young parents that they will raise their deceased infant in the next life nor should we be telling people that God needed their loved one the other side.

    For many LDS people, it is comforting to see our deceased relative in temple clothing, but if he is attired in regular clothes in the coffin, this need not be a source of distress. After all, Christ and most of the great prophets were not buried in temple clothing nor are small children. Besides, not being buried in temple clothing surely won't hurt a worthy person, and being buried in temple clothing won't help an unworthy person.

  • Navigator Riverton, UT
    June 19, 2017 6:27 a.m.

    Grief for the loss of a loved one is normal and an appropriate response. Indeed it is probably a mental requirement to balance emotions. Having five of my beloved children, two brothers, a brother in law, both parents, both in laws and all grandparents precede me in passing has given me a perspective of the future that is without fear and pain. Were I to dwell on the losses I could trudge through the remainder of life with little joy. I have chosen to accept the promises of life after death and rejoice in the relief of mortal frailties and pain. Death is also a cure when seen in the proper light. For those of us who remain, it is an opportunity to live by the teachings we have received, rather than accept them as good advise for someone else.

  • glacierlake3 Provo, UT
    June 17, 2017 12:51 p.m.

    Imperfect I am, even below the dust of the earth.
    3rd Nephi 11:30 Behold this is not my doctrine to stir up the hearts of men with anger one against another but this is my doctrine that such things should be done away.
    It was in 1997 that I started to consider that of death for a small moment each day after passing through a very bad stoke that of Faith in Christ and the coming of death. the internal peace moves fourth and today healing still stays with me and I get along quite well but I still deal with die ing the good death in Jesus Christ. it does help even among people who are not totally terminally ill. for the clergy to move towards Christ and overly exhaustive medical treatments are definitely not the best answer all the time.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    June 17, 2017 9:43 a.m.

    I read a suggestion from world-wide recognized heart surgeon and LDS apostle, Russell Nelson. I believe it can help a little, well ahead of death in our accepting the inevitable. He suggested one sit down, think through and write their own obituary. I found it an interesting and gratifying experience.

  • GingerMarshall Brooklyn, OH
    June 16, 2017 11:39 p.m.

    I worked geriatrics and hospice for well over 10 years.

    I've been with dozens of people in their final days, hours, and seconds. I've provided postmortem care more times then I can count. I was a "procurement technician" for the eye bank for some time, and surgically removed eyes from the deceased.

    Death is something that happens.

    Personally, after much searching I'm a firm believer in reincarnation and I absolutely know I've been here before with people I love, and I'll be here again and again and again.

    While I'm not eager for death I, personally, don't fear it any more. It is a transition, a step on my journey.

  • Roadside Philosopher Fayette, UT
    June 16, 2017 5:49 p.m.

    Hellos are looked on with celebration, Goodbyes are looked on with sadness. So whether it is a broken marriage, loss of a job, or death... the only preparation we expect to have is misery. We even feel guilty if we are not sad.
    But life starts and ends and planning is part of life. Nothing lasts forever except change. Soooo plan your exit strategy as best you can.
    I was thrown into ICU here a month ago. I told the nurses, "You know what death is?" They shook their heads. I said, "It's my exit strategy for avoiding any more Trump news!"

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    June 16, 2017 3:18 p.m.

    Our whole society is unprepared to help people make peace with death. We should talk to people from the time they are kids about death being a part of life. Instead our society is always pushing people to reverse the clock and try to live forever.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 16, 2017 11:58 a.m.

    this is a very hard subject regardless of your faith and understanding. Having a sister who just finished cancer treatments alot of these questions were raised simply because the first diagnosis for her was so grim. Even with her strong faith and understanding when the very real possibility of death faces a person and their family life seems to stop for a time as you try to get your mind to make sense of it. Fortunately for her (and us) the cancer is now in remission. I think the best a family can do is support each other and be as positive as possible for as long as possible. Appreciate the small things.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    June 16, 2017 8:22 a.m.

    Part of the problem is doctrinal. Preachers tend to over-promise heaven to bring comfort, yet the current theology of most churches doesn't support it.

    There is an excellent work on the subject by Colleen McDannell (from the U) and Bernhard Lang called "Heaven: A History." They discuss life after death in detail and track the changes in doctrine over the centuries.

    You can't really say, "You'll be together again with Frank," any longer and still be teaching the theology...except the Mormons. A Primary child can explain it with authority from the doctrine. McDannell is very favorable to the Church on this point and explains in detail the LDS view.

    This article explores the dilemma of counseling but really doesn't say much about WHAT the preacher is supposed to say about heaven.