I can't stand it when people quote that suicide is the leading cause of
death among teens in Utah. First of all, it is #2. #1 is accidents. Secondly,
this is true for just about every state in the US: #1 cause of teen death is
accidents, #2 is suicide. And also true for just about every state in the US is
that the teen suicide rate is increasing. Not unique to Utah, and therefore,
quit trying to do the guilt by association, thing. Teen suicide rates are also
climbing among many other nations as well. Dan Reynolds spouts off facts and
figures, which are accurate, but does not disclose that those facts and figures
are from studies and analyses of the general population and LGBT teens as a
whole, but he attributes them to Utah and to the church.
The mental gymnastics in this comments section is almost as amazing as the
Lost my son recently to suicide. Although the reasons are complex and
different for everyone, I would divided the reasons for my sons death in thirds.
1. LDS religious dogma. 2. Lack of coping skills. 3. Easy access to guns by a
trouble family member in crisis. If one of the 3 legs of the stool could have
been addressed in time, he might still me alive.
Whenever you read the statistics from any scientific study, you have to be
careful not to confuse causation with correlation.For example, the
article seems to imply that among the people going to church, they are less
likely to commit suicide. This may be true, but you can't necessarily
infer that the relationship is that going to church protects your children from
dying at their own hand.I believe that it is likely that something
else could be going on, at least partly. When I feel bad, I am
less likely to go to church and when I feel bad I am more likely to kill myself.
This is just as plausible.Don't get me wrong. I think that
the LDS Church has been good to me in some ways such as getting priesthood
blessings. I can't prove it, but I feel it in my soul.
Sure, blame the Church/Utah don't blame the social media, pornography, and
video games. What a crack up! Lol too much HateRation!!! Have a sneaker Allen
Excellent & well researched article! From the day I brought in a camera crew
from a San Francisco news station in the early 90's to address the
explosion in prescribions for Prozac in Utah psychiatrists have pointed their
finger at the Mormon Church as they ignore the multiple fiadngers pointing right
back at them as they do so! The rate of prescribing was so high I told Governor
Mike Leavitt, the pharmaceutical companies needed no laboratories long as they
have Utah. I remember one OBGYN reported he had 800 women on it for PMS!Now that so much has come out on antidepressants causing suicide in both
children & adults about a decade & a half ago the FDA mandated suicidal
ideation warnings be placed on all antidepressants for anyone under 25. These
Warnings have been basically ignored & suicides by those on the drugs in
Utah gone undocumented for decades. Of all the reasons being given for increased
suicide in youth antidepressants are the only one that has official warnings
& research that they cause suicidal thoughts & actions. So it just might
be a good idea to finally start looking at that connection both in use & in
withdrawal from these drugs.
Utah has an exceptionally high rate of opioid addiction and porn consumption.
Both are well known contributors to loneliness and depression. I'd sure
take a look at the possible connections there before I'd blame an
over-conservative value system...
Ellen has done more for LGBTQ+ youth than the Mormon church ever has, or ever
will. Criticizing her is a low-class move.
Montana has the highest suicide rate in the nation. What is Ellen's
non-empirical attribution for that?
If you are LGBT in a Mormon environment and you are seen as "less than"
or "not as good as" straight people you are less likely to continue
attending the church. To say that attendance at church is a preventative is a
specious argument. If you are looked down on, and please don't tell me
that Mormons don't look down on LGBT people, you are not in a safe
environment. To tell a LGBT person that all they need to do is go to church
more is just absurd. What needs to happen is for the Mormon community to openly
embrace LGBT people as equal, support marriage equality. Until that time
occurs, why should LGBT people feel comfortable in the church?
While some people love the Mormon church because they had awesome experiences.
There are some people that had horrible experiences within the Mormon church and
don’t like the church. It’s normal. Cause and effect, right? For some people the church can help them with their depression, but for
others that’s have suffered abuse within them church, it’s just the
opposite and talking about church can cause Religious Trauma Syndrome, which is
Post Traumatic Syndrome caused by religion, there are many cases with different
religions , not just the Mormons. There are cases of this syndrome among
Catholics, Jews, Amish, etc. I have talked to different psychiatrists and
counselors in Utah and they all agreed that LGBT Mormons have a higher risk of
suicide than non religious LGBT. Some of these counselor have lost patients to
suicide. Talking about these issues is not about attacking the church.
It’s about preventing suicide and learning about the different factors
that contribute to suicide. When we put the image of any church ahead the well
being of people we are not being very Christlike. It takes honesty and courage
to admit to the truth and then work together to correct mistakes.
Please don't lay the suicides of these young kids at the feet of the LDS
Church. I know, everybody wants someone to blame for this sad situation, so
they look to an easy target, the Church. These confused young people are being
led around by groups who offer support of: mental health counseling, parades and
flags, slogans, and so forth in order to portray normalcy. If things are so
normal, is the mental health thing just to keep them from committing suicide? A
good young man in our ward finally came out last year and immediately stopped
going to church. If anything, we would have tried to make sure that he was
included, but never got the chance. And these are the kids, according to the
studies, who become more prone to suicides. This tells me that staying within
the church helps them--if they want it, and leaving it gives them even less
hope. So let's not blame the Church or heterosexuals for this situation.
Of the 600 families from the Family Foundations of Youth Development study, how
many of those teens were part of the LGBT community? Suicide rates in Utah
among LGBTQ teens and young adults are increasing because of the disdain they
get from the church. Look at how fast the numbers went up when the church
announced that children of gay couples could no longer be baptized, or that you
couldn't be baptized or go on a mission if you identified as gay. Religion
may not be the leading cause of suicide among teens and young adults (or adults
for that matter), but to dismiss it outright as a cause would be completely
For generations we have taught our children and each other the principles of
right and wrong - and rightly so. Let us add to that focus with equal intensity
the need to forgive ourselves.
In this day and age it's not hard to find statistics to support most
positions. But reality isn't necessarily that easy. I had a close friend
who was gay and killed himself. His suicide note pointed directly to the way he
was being treated by his local ward members and leaders. Several years ago a
neighbor's child killed himself because of, in his parents words, "the
way he was treated by the church." And last but not least. Someone very
close to me recently came out. She also talked about suicide, and her stated
reason was because she is, "terrified about how the church and some LDS
family members will treat her."Like it or not. Reality is not
always in the statistics. We must take into consideration the human factor.
We choose what paths we will follow in this life from Celibacy to to sex for
pro-creation, to sex for animal lust and gratifications. To suggest we have no
choice is to suggest we have no power to control our urges. Therefore, when a
person feels the "urge" to kill some one out of anger, they should use
the argument that God made them that way, and therefore, they have no
responsibility for what they do? I am a great believer in our God
given right of agency. I do not believe that any one should be compelled to
make certain choices. However, I am also a firm believer that God created us
all, that we all have the potential to become gods, and that God has revealed
the correct formula for achieving our highest potential. And, I do not for one
second believe that we can ignore God's guidance, and then demand from God
the blessings He has in store for those who choose to be obedient to HIS guiding
counsels. The final aliment of agency is consequence, and God is the final
judge in that. All of us are commanded (by God) to not judge one another, and
this goes both ways!
As a survivor of attempted suicide while serving an LDS mission, I completely
agree with Ellen. I was continually told that I was never doing a good enough
job and was constantly being chastised. I chose to to serve a mission to serve
God, but found myself instead being a salesman for a religion that lacked any
forgiveness or love. I asked to leave early and was told that returning home
early in shame would be worse than returning home dead. So I attempted to kill
myself to avoid the shame. I didn’t find love or forgiveness until after
I left the Mormon church. I think it’s time that Mormons accept the fact
that they aren’t the saints they think they are. I applaud Ellen for
bringing this to light and wish Mormons would take a look at themselves instead
of claiming they are being falsely accused. The shame I felt and was imposed
upon by active Mormon members after I returned home was almost enough to push me
towards suicide again, but luckily I joined a Post-Mormon support group that
provided the love and compassion I never felt while an active Mormon.
How silly of someone with so much influence to share non-fact backed statements
like what Ellen shared. I actually really enjoy a lot of the stuff she has to
say, but I don't know that ill pay much attention to her anymore. My membership in the LDS church and using resources available to me from the
LDS church STOPPED me from committing suicide.
Shame on Ellen for blaming the Mormons for "shaming". The Mormon church,
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, doesn't teach the members
of the church to shame anybody. You should know not to blame a group based upon
the actions of a few. Apparently you don't understand that fact.
Some of you have brought up that the statement about "Suicide being the
leading cause of death for 10-17 y/o" is incorrect. However, if you google
the current Utah Department of Health Suicide Factsheet which covers through
2015 (they haven't put out an updated factsheet and most likely won't
for a couple of years as they tend to follow a time period study model). Again
if you google this fact sheet you will see that the Utah Department of Health as
of it's most recent study that has been released, classified suicide as the
leading cause of death for 10 to 17 y/o's in Utah. "Utah
TrendsThe 2014 Utah youth suicide rate was 8.5 per 100,000population
ages 10 to 17.1,4 It is the leading cause ofdeath for this age group.1 The
rate of suicide amongUtah youth ages 10 to17 has been increasing since2011" -The Utah Department of Health Just wanted to point out
that the statement is correct if you are looking at the Health Department's
Thanks for a well-reasoned article. Reckless and religion-attacking statements
from a self-promoting celebrity are not welcome.
Ranch,No offense but the most authoritative research shows that
environment has far more to do with homosexuality than genetics. Asking a
person to say "when did you decide you were straight" is not even
answerable because if it was environment it would be just as impossible to
answer. So yes - "do some research" is an applicable
statement - but not necessarily for Laurie8There are 1000s of people
who were straight - went gay - then back, or any number of combinations. That
fact strongly argues against a genetic reason. Just because a person claims
"I have always felt gay" does not argue one way or the other and having
a tough time changing your orientation likewise does not argue one way or the
other. By the time you are old enough to have those urges it's way too
late to determine if it was genetic or environment. Years ago -
before this was even a political issue - Boy George made it clear in an
interview that he was not attracted to guys till he was immersed in the
lifestyle. From a scientific standpoint Natural selection would
quickly and completely eradicate the "gay gene". "Born that
way" is a political construct, not a scientific one.
@Laurie8;I don't care whether or not you feel shame for your
beliefs; that's for you to be concerned about. You are bearing false
witness that it is a choice; it is not -- and no we don't "respectfully
disagree" about that. There is a ton of evidence on this subject; please
educate yourself about it before spreading more false information. It is false
like this that causes LGBT kids feel the need to commit suicide. I know from
personal experience; and I tried for 30 years to change! It is NOT a choice. I
wish you well also, but I want you to please do your research on the subject.
Thank you for your handling delicately this issue. I grew up Mormon and gay,
and tried following all the commandments and rules of my era. I was born in
1963. You should have mentioned the many ways that a survey can be so easily
skewed via reactivity and other psychological factors. So many teens are on
various spectrums of religiosity, as are adults, and a simple survey question
can't capture that. Having lived through being gay and Mormon, and having
had my own bouts of suicidal ideations, which I attribute primarily to the
cognitive dissonance of so many Mormon doctrines, perhaps this one quote from an
LDS Church leader will help others see the connection between quickly reaching
the afterlife (suicide) in order to be accepted and "changed" to be
"normal" per LDS definition."If you are faithful, on
resurrection morning—and maybe even before then--you will rise with normal
attractions for the opposite sex. Some of you may wonder if that doctrine is too
good to be true. But Elder Dallin H. Oaks has said it MUST be true. . . "
(Bruce C. Hafen, Evergreen International 19th Annual Conference on September 19,
Ranch, I'm assuming by quoting a commandment that you want me to feel
shame because of my beliefs and experiences and because I shared the experiences
of what I was told by two gay men who are in my life. Just so you know some of
my comment was removed from my previous post and I wont restate it, but in it I
made it clear why I feel the way I do. We respectfully disagree on choice or no
choice. I have a view point that differs from yours because of my experiences
and you have a view point that is different from mine because of your
experiences. I think the point to be made is to to be kind and have compassion
for others no matter how we live our lives. Clearly I dont speak for you, but I
think we can agree on that. The gay friends and family I have know where I
stand, but they also know how much I love them. I do apologize for insinuating
that the LGBT lifestyle is always caused by pornography. I was wrong.
Sincerely Ranch, while we dont agree on this issue, I do wish you the best in
In Response to Spectrum mom:“activity in the church are social
qualifiers” – LDS members do and are encouraged to be-friend people
of other faiths. I just returned from a week long fishing trip with a lifelong
friend who is not of my faith, but who’s friendship I cherish.“kids ... told they’re not good enough ... sleepovers, parties ...
date because they’re not LDS.” – Individual character is
always key to choosing friends. Loving LDS parents do give counsel about dating
to someday guide their teenagers towards a faith based marriage.“When denomination is ... justification for ostracism ...” –
False by every precept of the LDS Church. The Church is made up of imperfect
people with challenges, weaknesses and problems who are trying to be more Christ
like. No person is ostracized over denomination. Quite the opposite, I have
seen people of other faiths and inactive members ostracize themselves.I’m a convert to the LDS faith when in my early 20s. I raised 6
children in the LDS faith and I have 24 grandchildren. Many LDS people living
in Utah have large families and extended families nearby. Be it how it may,
there is often limited time for nurturing other friendships.
@Laurie8;When did you choose yourself to be straight? Date/time
please.I never made a choice to be gay, I just am. I have *always*
been attracted to other males, as long as I can recall - "viewing porn"
had nothing to do with it.Please do some research, you are spreading
false information (thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,
remember that commandment?)
"As we consider these findings in a highly homogenous religious state like
Utah, we acknowledge that a higher rate of suicidal ideation for non-LDS youths
in Utah may speak to a need for better integration of non-LDS youths within
schools and local communities."I think this is a key point.
Having recently moved back to Utah I am surprised at how insular Utah
communities still are. The division between member and non-member is huge.
Living in the "mission field" our kids had no choice but to associate
with non-members. Almost all of them great kids. But here, there is little
reason to have to reach out to non-member kids. And some parents overtly
discourage their kids from associating with non-members - trying to keep their
kids "safe". I don't think it is usually overt. You
befriend those you see most often. With church life so important, its a natural
outcome. We consciously need to more welcoming to those who don't
practice their faith as we do. In the end we are all brothers and sisters, no
matter where we do or don't worship on Sundays. I'v lost
too many friends to suicide... we can stop this.
JD had made a comment about being gay not being a choice, but I totally disagree
with JD. My father and a friend of my child both admitted that looking at
pornography is what started them down the path of deciding to be gay. The
sexual excitement they received from the pornography was heightened when they
began looking at gay porn. I've heard many times, why would a gay person
choose to be gay? They choose it because now the world makes it seem so
wonderful and inclusive, but before the world made it a wonderful thing, sexual
gratification has always been the motivator. I am not unkind to people that
are gay or have gender issues, but I just don't believe that a person is
born gay or was born the wrong gender. I followed my daughters
internet activity when she was a teen and she was watching videos of boys being
flamboyant acting, talking and dressing like women and I blocked her internet
access and spoke at length to her about what she had been watching and how it
affected her. Now that she is an adult she can see how the videos were
titillating to her and changing her thoughts. Everything is a choice but love
& kindness should always be shown no matter what.
Here’s the bottom line: should we, as humans, regardless of our religion,
race, nationality, etc., be kinder, more loving, and more Christlike to each
other? Absolutely. The issue I have with Ellen and Dan’s discussion is
that it won’t be enough as long as our beliefs include marriage being one
man and one woman. That belief which has been a core belief in many religions
for centuries, and has been reaffirmed in scripture and by modern prophets, is
now being viewed as offensive, intolerant, and bigotry. I agree we
absolutely need to do better researching and speaking openly about mental health
and suicide. Every one is a child of God that is priceless and worthy of love
shamrock I love the "do some research" responses that
completely miss what was said in the original post. I know Runnells supposedly
authored the letter, and perhaps he did. But the letter is by no means an
honest persons attempt at getting questions answered. it's just an obvious
collection of anti-mormon rants that was runnels collected. Every
"question" is easy to answer if the person wants to hear an answer. In
fact every one of the "questions" are quite inane. I never
said that the author was anonymous - I said that the supposed CES director was
anonymous. It gives the lie more weight if you can claim that a trusted person
is "refusing" to help the "honest" seeker of truth. It's
one of the oldest scams in the world. Runnels would absolutely have named the
CES director if there was one.But here's the kicker - If you
are so interested in truth why don't you try and find real answers to these
"questions". I promise they are not that difficult to find for an
honest seeker of truth. Also - you would have been better
criticizing my use of "it's self" rather than "itself" Finally - my point is, Impatrtial7 claims the letter is on the church
web site - it isn't .
Just because somebody says something... doesn't make it true. I hope Dan
and Ellen know that.Just because you hear someone say, "the
leading cause of death for youth in Utah is suicide"... doesn't make it
true. Even if somebody writes it on your cue-card to read on the show.I trust the CDC on the facts, numbers, data, statistics on stuff like this.
It's their job to track stuff like this. I realize that she may hear
different or have from people around her. But that doesn't make them
true. The CDC has been tracking this for a long time.I assume Ellen
is well intended, and just trusted and believed the person who told her "The
leading cause of death for Utah kids ages 11 to 17 is suicide”. But
somebody telling you that doesn't make it true. No matter how much you
trust them. Even a little research proves that statement is false.As for stating, "suicide in Utah is a result of the LDS church"...
that's impossible to prove. So she can say it all she wants. But she
can not say, “The leading cause of death for Utah kids ages 11 to 17 is
suicide"... that's plain untrue (according to the CDC and NIH).I hope she researches it and corrects her statement.
RE: “The leading cause of death for Utah kids ages 11 to 17 is
suicide,” she said, reading from a card. “Suicide in Utah has
increased 141 percent because of the shame they feel from the Mormon
Church"...---Don't know how much research Ellen or Dan did
before reading the card.Google "NIMH » Suicide"...Some facts, data, and Quotes from the National Institute of Mental
Health (not a talk show host)...- Suicide is not the #1 cause of
death for any age group, in any State (Source CDC)See Figure 1
"Leading Cause of Death in the United States"..."Unintentional Injury" is #1 cause of death for all age groups 10-44,
then #1 becomes malignancies and heart disease. Contrary to Ellen's
card.Suicide is not #1 cause of death for any age group (contrary to
her que-card)-The age group with highest suicide rate is those over
65 (see Figure 2)-Age 10-14 and 15-25 had the lowest suicide rates
(see Figure 2: "Suicide rates for males and females by age in the United
States")Don't know where Ellen got the stuff on her
que-card, but the CDC doesn't agree with Ellen's card.Good
to talk about it. But with facts.
What a well-researched and balanced statement this article makes. I appreciate
and take personally the responsibility to check my own attitudes, opinions, and
behaviors.Too bad that Ellen would use her influence to misinform in
this manner, casting shade on a group of people who, it appears to me, are
generally very supportive of her and her work even though not always in
agreement with her.I hope she'll use her pulpit to amend her
comments.Same for the Dan the musician and his.
For entertainers, musicians and comedians to point the finger of scorn at
religion and ideas as a cause for ones own decisions and choices is foolish and
short sighted at best. The best place to look for blame is in the mirror.
As I read this article and the comments made there’s an awful trend on
display. The article’s focus is to absolve the church of having a negative
influence on these tragic events. Activity in the church is even promoted as a
solution to teen suicide. None of the authors or commenters are willing to
acknowledge the social pressure of the LDS culture, they are simply applying
that pressure viciously. In LDS culture membership and activity in the church
are social qualifiers. How many kids in UT have been told they’re not good
enough to date because they’re not LDS? Sleepovers, parties? Not with
non-members. How many questions are kids answering regarding church affiliation
when telling parents about a new friend rather than individual character? In a
community which is pre-dominantly one denomination, that church has an
obligation to review how its sub-culture is impacting EVERYONE. When
denomination is an accepted justification for ostracism of a single child of God
that says something very ugly about that denomination and it’s members. So
let’s stop writing an indictment of Ellen for asking the question, and
start looking in the mirror and honestly answering the question.
@jd"Utah has led the nation in male teenage suicides since the
early 70's"Do you have a source for this claim?
I assume Ellen and Dan are good, sincere people. However, their comments, based
on opinion, not research, are typical of modern daytime television. Celebrities
say something and it becomes "truth" to millions of people just because
the celebrity said it. The same thing applies to evening newscasts. Opinions are
offered as news, or facts are omitted, and because a certain newscast is our
preferred source for news, we swallow what is said hook, line, and sinker.
Critical thinking is neglected but should be applied to anything we listen to,
view, or read.
@PP:The CES letter is not "anonymous." A quick Google
search would tell you that the author was Jeremy Runnells and that he was later
excommunicated by the LDS Church. Sometimes it helps to investigate the facts
before you make up your mind about certain claims.
I can't believe how mean the comments are towards Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen
has saved so many lives for her willingness to live her life in the public eye
as a leader in the gay community. She is one of the most kind and gentle souls
to exist and she gives of herself to others with unbelievable generosity. Ellen
literally saves lives every day in the LGBTQ community by being such a wonderful
example and truly caring about all those who struggle daily; and who are
bullied; and who are disowned by their families. She might not have the exact
details of what is the norm in Mormon culture, but she certainly is not blind to
the fact that hate and disapproval can lead people to do foolish things like
commit suicide. Ask any member of the LGBTQ community, and you'll find a
majority that would say that Ellen is one of their heroes. For somebody to think
she is a horrible individual and that she acts immaturely is somebody that has
not a clue as to how generous Ellen is to society. I can't believe she is a
target from Mormon readers. Yet, we have a President who sets a fine example
daily. In heaven, I wanna be with Ellen! Remember, "for with whatever
judgment you judge, you will be judged."
The discussion on the topic of suicide is good and necessary. Too many lives
are being lost no matter their religion, sexual orientation or celebrity status.
Many commenters are too narrowly focused on a religion as a solitary cause of
suicides. However, suicide is a very complex issue and the study itself calls
out that it is a combination of factors that lead to suicide. See the two
paragraphs below from a recent Deseret news article: "The CDC
notes suicide typically arises from a combination of factors. Its list ranges
from relationship problems (42 percent), acute crisis (29 percent), problematic
drug and alcohol use (28 percent), and poor health (22 percent), to job loss and
money trouble (16 percent), legal issues (9 percent) and loss of housing (4
percent), among others."It's never just one thing,"
says Michael Staley, suicide prevention research coordinator in Utah's
State Medical Examiner's Office. "Anybody who reduces suicide or an
explanation for our rate of suicide in any population to one or two things is
sadly mistaken. I think that mentality is an impediment to us moving
To Impartial 7I had never before heard about the CES letter. Thanks
for bringing it up because now I have. You claim it's on the "Church
web site", but I can't find it anywhere. I can find answers to a lot
of the "questions" in the CES letter, but no copy of the letter
it's self. Maybe you could provide some search words that I can use on
LDS.org so that I can find the letter, but from my own research today it appears
that your claims are erroneous.As for the CES letter it's self,
it is nothing but an amalgamation of decades old, and almost entirely debunked
anti-mormon rants. I have heard them all from various sources over the years.
It is unlikely that the letter is an actual letter written to a CES director,
but more likely a fabricated "letter" circulated to "question"
the Church. But even if it was a letter written by a singular person to a CES
director the fabrication label still stands. It's not an honest
questioning attempt like Martin Luther's 95 questions, it's an ad
hominem attack designed to frustrate rather than enlighten.
After reading the comments, it's amazing that the majority still believe
that there is a "choice" made for those individuals who are gay. The
amazing folks in the gay community did not sit back, weigh consequences, make a
positive/negative list and come to some type of decision to be gay. Let's
hear from the folks in the straight community, when did you make the decision to
be straight? How did that process go for you? I'd bet my life that most
folks in the straight community didn't even blink when first being
attracted to someone. Being gay is not a choice someone makes, it is who they
are. If Mormons could just get this simple point, it would make huge strides
with the gay community. Utah has led the nation in male teenage suicides since
the early 70's, with many deaths coming from teens struggling with their
sexual orientation and acceptance at home. The church believes it is being open
and accepting in this day and age, the truth is that while their stance is
being said in a nicer way, the bottom line is that acceptance is not tolerated.
I do believe the stance of the Mormon religion in regards to accepting the LGBTQ
community contributes to the high suicide rate in Utah.
There is no correlation between youth suicides and religion, guns, living an
alternative lifestyle and so on. They've been around long before there was
a teen suicide epidemic. There is a HUGE correlation with the advent of social
media and teen suicides. Let's put the blame where it belongs and then
deal with it to prevent this horrible epidemic.
Laura: It is still a choice. This life is about choices and taking
responsibility for those choices, even if that choice is suicide. Shifting
blame to someone else never will help or solve the problem, nor will validated a
choice that you know carries with it the stain of fighting against God. God
will judge and evaluate that person's life according to the light and
knowledge he/she knew, but that doesn't negate our responsibility to teach
the truth. Relative values, abetted by a misinformed and confused media,
must shoulder much of the blame, if blame is to be applied, than scripture, the
church, or even failing Christian examples. Marriage is between a man and a
women. If one is struggling to know that simple truth, then be chaste.
Anything incompatible to God's word is playing with fire.
Most of us see ourselves as basically good, kind people, and that makes it hard
for us to recognize our own complicity in the suffering of others. Whether
it's religion, race, status or national loyalty, when we're the
"insiders," we tend to minimize the suffering of those on the
outside.If we're happy with our religion, we may overlook how
our religious beliefs marginalize and hurt those unlike us. If we're
white, we may downplay the effects of everyday racial prejudice. If we're
financially secure, we may imagine that poverty occurs mainly because those
"others" don't work as hard as we do. If we're American, we
may overlook certain civilian casualties in our unending wars as excusable
accidents or mistakes, while we harshly criticize the same behavior in our
opponents.One of the most ethical things we can do is to develop
empathy and really listen to what others tell us, even when--or especially
when--their experiences are not the same as ours.
The truth will make you free only when you are able to accept it and work with
it. The DN states : "... suggesting religion (or any one
religious organization) is a primary cause of suicide deaths among youths is
neither accurate nor helpful. This is especially true when research suggests
that religion may be a protective factor relating to suicide for many
individuals.... "I think heterosexual members of the LDS Church
would show a lower index of suicide than the general population. However, all
the LDS youth that were also LGBT (without exception) felt they had to leave the
church in order to find peace.As a believer in God and trying to
live according to the Gospel. I remember when as a very active LDS Teenager , I
would fall asleep praying to Heavenly Father to take me to him or cure me of
this disease i.e. homosexuality. I promised to go on a mission and be the very
best missionary I could if he cured me. I was a very successful missionary in
number of baptisms and the quality of leaders I helped to bring to the church.
Years after my mission I understood that God loves me as I'm.I
am still a homosexual and God is still part of my life, however, the LDS church
To the authors and DN:Thanks for this op-ed! It's
so nice to have a calm statement of what research shows versus swirling
hysteria. It's so much easier to see things that can be done.
Active church participation can, indeed, put a teenager in a situation where
they find support and acceptance--and, indeed, lower the odds of suicide--when
the teenager is straight.And if the teen is gay, and the members of
the church accept the teen as s/he is, and accepts and encourages them to be who
they are, that should also lower the odds of suicide.But if the teen
is gay, and the adults in their church make it clear that this is both
undesirable and unacceptable, that keeping his orientation secret is the only
way to go, and that lifelong celibacy is the only option for them, then, yes,
church membership would be correlated with increased suicide risk. This is
true whether the church is LDS or Evangelical Christian or Jehovah's
Religion inevitably provides people with guideposts for life -- and many times,
in my experience, those guideposts can be literally life-saving. But the
hardest of hard times comes to those who feel they're fully living the
precepts of their religion but still feeling miserable, because of anxiety,
depression, or other difficulties in their personal life. What I think such
people need to know is that it is not religion that has failed them, it's
their own bodies and, often enough, their own minds. A good therapist can help
them to heal themselves, either with talking therapy, with effective meds, or
both. One fear we all face is that, if these methods are truly effective, they
also thrust new responsibilities upon us to practice the right kind of caring --
for others and for ourselves. That's the quest of a lifetime, but
it's worth it.And Happy Father's day!
TxTeacher: "Regardless, the Mormon Church are main contributers to the
isolation and pain experienced by LGBTQ individuals." Wow,
nothing could be further from the truth. God can't help it if people move
away from His standards, commandments, and values. If you don't agree with
those, then that is what you need to disagree with, but not the 'Mormon
Church'. The Mormon church, and I believe biblical scripture, tells us
that gender is not something you can change and that marriage is between a man
and a women. If that is a core doctrine, how can you blame the bible or a
church for expressing that view? If in doing so, some members alienate
themselves, who is to blame? The fact that members, whether LGBQ, or someone
that treats his neighbor ill, struggle with living those truths is no reason to
blame those struggles on the church of the bible. Tell me how that makes sense,
even from a therapist's point of view? I would call that intolerant in the
most contemptuous and critical manner! LGBQ can begin by not thinking that
their struggles are somehow unique. Go tell that to the quadriplegic?
As the article clearly states, and studies have confirmed, what puts teens at
risk for suicide is being gay, not being Mormon. Ellen's concern is plainly
I think the big picture has been lost in the religion. Studies and statistics
are only useful to a degree. The numbers can so easily be skewed in favor of
whomever designed the study. Everyone has a story that will show Mormonism in a
positive or a negative light, depending on your own personal experiences. The
issue here is not religious at all. The issue is mental health. Faith and
obedience to a religious ideal does not prevent mental illness any more than a
belief that you can pray away diabetes or high blood pressure. And living a
"devient" lifestyle doesn't increase your risks of developing a
mental illness. Stigmatizing mental illness is the real problem. Apathy and
ignorance are the biggest enemies. Not looking beyond the surface of the people
around you, not taking 2 minutes of your day to really SEE the people in your
life and not be satisfied with the facade. Those that hide behind religion as
an excuse to belittle, and condemn those that don't adhere to their beliefs
are so far from Christlike it is sickening.
Ellen showed her true colors very quickly with this ignorant statement. She
basically blamed the Mormon religion for all the teen suicides in the state and
particularly the LGBQ suicide rate. Isn't part of becoming an adult taking
responsibility of your choices? If you choose to be LGBQ, then accept it and
move forward. Why listen to Ellen, the Mormon church, or anyone in between.
Make your own life without being attached to Hollywood, a religion, your
friends, or your community. Find your path! Perhaps being LGBQ is incompatible
with who you really are! The scriptures teach us to not halt between two
opinions. Either accept who you are, as you are, and be happy, or make another
choice. One thing that isn't productive at all is blaming someone for your
choice! Ellen needs to grow up!
I learned some very important lessons about diversity while living in Utah which
have been a great benefit when I have lived elsewhere.One important
lesson is that it is so easy to be outside of a culture looking in and to
misinterpret everything that is different as what is wrong with them.I take statistics about Utah (and Mormons) with a grain of salt. I remember
the UofU student newspaper talking about the unbelievably high teen pregnancy
rate in Utah. I looked into the statistics. They weren't really there but
the closest I could come was the out of wedlock births in Utah were 1/4th the
national average.Another case was the numbers about Mormons viewing
online pornography. There was a study which showed that there was a lot of
online pornography in Utah. But people looked at the study and it is not clear
where the data came from. But they could show that online pornography viewing
is 10% lower in states with large Mormon populations.What I think
happens is that people have prejudices and if they find evidence that confirms
their prejudices, they jump on it without questioning if it is accurate.Ellen stumbled over her stereotypes.
Suicides are up across the country and not just among LGBT, so who gets the
blame there? A number of experts place the blame on social media because of the
bullying or the way it creates these unrealistic expectations that cause
teenagers to feel inadequate. Social media also creates isolation. As people
become more social online, they are often less social in real life. Have they
ever determined why the seven students at Herriman took their lives. Was a
single one of them because of being gay?The church has often been unfairly
blamed for the rate of people with mental health issues in the state or the
number of people on antidepressants, but the rate was only slightly above other
states like Colorado and Oregon. It's not like it was leaps and bounds
above. The church may have some effect, but often times mental health problems
are natural, like bipolar disorder or OCD. Plus, maybe people in Utah are more
likely to seek professional help instead of self-medicate so the reported
numbers are higher. Maybe postpartum depression is a factor. I've even
heard that higher elevation can increase depression. The 8 intermountain states
have been referred to as the suicide belt.
Another Hollywood celebrity SJW making overgeneralizations without the facts or
evidence to back them up.
@RickforTruth:You are spot on! I think this article is full of lots
of well meaning people who care, but the data just isn't very accurate, so
it makes Dan & Ellen look harsh (to those who are LDS) and puts the tone of
the article to sound very defensive (but without any real hard data on either
side).@NewsFlash:I 100% agree with your comments and I'm
sorry for your struggle. It is heartfelt.I am a mother of 4
teenagers and I can tell you, the struggles of mental health are real. There are
MULTIPLE factors that contribute to feelings of inadequacy, which take our teens
down the darkest path to suicide. These factors include: various chemical
imbalances & mental health issues (bipolar, depression, anxiety), poor diet,
exercise & altitude (as mentioned above), social or academic issues where
they don't fit in & kids not having coping mechanisms, with the biggest
culprit being the negative effects of social media. Add to this a teen who is
worried about the implications of being an LDS LGBTQ in Utah! Any one of these
things are complex, and when off, could send someone into a downward spiral of
despair. More research is needed before blame is placed; until then-LOVE!
This is a very strange world when some consider strengthening family values is
encouraging suicidal impulses; or criticizing that there is nothing more
beautiful than love between a married couple for the same reason. Note that the
phrase 'nothing more than" does not preclude other things being "
as beautiful as..". Do some people envy others so exceedingly much ? We are
in the midst of a conflict of values that has become vitriolic. Those of faith
who accept scriptural teachings including the concept of hating sin, but, loving
the sinner are being the ones who are not tolerated.
Help me understand why this article has presented arguments that were neither
made by Dan Reynolds or Ellen. Did Dan or Ellen say that the LDS Church was
causing suicide among ALL Utahns, including straight people? No, they did not.
So why is this strawman argument presented? The writer owes the audience a fair
argument, and having watched the interview myself, this is a dishonest thing to
say. I've watched it again just in case and we deserve better.
The LDS Church is a very positive organization that significantly supports and
helps those at risk of suicide, even those who are LGBTQ. But Talk is cheap,
action is the solution. Data clearly shows that connectedness, in
real interpersonal relationship terms, helps to prevent suicide completion.
Suicide ideation (SI) is not uncommon in the human condition. People have
difficulties... no matter if they practice religion or not. If those with SI are
not cared for or feel that they have few they can turn to for help... it can
lead to further isolation and higher risk of suicide completion. The opposite
also appears true, that those with SI who obtain assistance from others most
often pull through and can live purposeful lives.The solutions are
multi-facited, but also simple. Most who have SI get help - from someone who
shows love to them. It's best to focus on what you can do, what I can do.
Shaming an individual can have a negative impact, but love can overcome the
shame and difficulties of live. Shame is not caused by doctrine, shame is an
individual feeling that must be overcome. Lust is not a sufficient replacement
for love...or shame. Only pure love is the solution.
I would like to see the suicide statistics over the past 20 years for non LDS
youth both active in a church and those not attending a church in Utah. I would
like to see the same suicide statistics for inactive vs active LDS youth in
Utah. Then I would like to see the same data in other states. I guess someone
is hiding the information. Hard to make a decision on the impact of religion
without the segregated data. As far as Ellen’s comments, I am confident
she is just repeating misinformation consumed and repeated in the
“Hollywood” LGBTQ...lmnop community.
@TXTeacher--the LDS Church has made a number of resources available for LGBTQ
individuals, as well as friends and family members who seek greater
understanding, at the website Mormon And Gay dot org (the Deseret News
doesn't let us post direct links). We have found it not only helpful in
better relating to our gay friends and family members, but also inspiring, as we
work through our own challenges in life. Highly recommended for all!
I am approaching my 46th birthday and have spent my whole life as a member of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Never do I ever remember unkind
things being said from the pulpit or in any meetings or classes that I have
attended about those who are LGBTQ or their community, and I have lived in wards
in Louisiana, Utah, Idaho and New Brunswick, Canada as well as visited wards in
many other places. That being said, of course I was taught that practicing that
lifestyle goes against the teachings of our Father in Heaven. I was never taught
or encouraged to treat people who were different from me poorly or to exclude
them. I consider myself, unfortunately, to be a very judgemental person, but
that is something I have been working on for years. And even with that major
character flaw I manage to be able to get along with a lot of people whose
beliefs differ from mine. Blaming the LDS Church for teaching their doctrine
being the cause of teen suicide is ridiculous. Is it a factor in some cases? No
doubt, but we can’t just change the Bible and other scriptures to suit
everyone’s agenda. Kindness and support regardless of personal belief is
key. Unconditional love is crucial
@TXTeacher What do you mean by "transparently inclusive"? Perhaps we
could learn from that.
Let me start by saying "If any of the posters that have not gone down that
dark road of suicide, you have no clue in heck, what it is like to feel
suicidal, nor the what factors brought the person to that point".I have gone down that road for several years.Here are some
observations about "Why" teen suicide is high in Utah.1. Poor
parenting - We are not teaching our youth to be resilient. That life is not
fair, people are not always nice, and that sometimes stuff happens. We fail to
teach them to look for ways to overcome those issues and feelings.2.
Poor Self Esteem - People today like to compare themselves to others surrounding
them. The people their weaknesses against others positives, not realizing the
other person weaknesses. Add to that, people can be cruel (especially other
kids) and can destroy someone self esteem by their constant negative
comments.3. Kids today have been given everything. They do not have
to "Earn" things. It is given to them. What they fail to understand is
success is based on one's own work and passions.I know I am
generalizing, but think about how we "Train up your child?". Maybe that
has something to do it.
Although I'm not LDS, I have a great deal of respect for their wholesome
lifestyle and community service. Regardless, the Mormon Church are main
contributers to the isolation and pain experienced by LGBTQ individuals. That is
a huge problem not adequately and honestly addressed in this OpEd. The author
also fails to mention that there is a documented history in the LDS church to
"re-program LGBTQ youth." Is it any wonder that our state suicide rate
is so high among youth? Yes, there are other causes, others also to blame, but
none as much as the LDS Church's treatment of this vulnerable population of
youth. Also, those who leave the Mormon Church, for whatever reason, are too
often made to feel wrong, inferior, unwelcome, ostracized, even by their
families. My Episcopal Church is transparently inclusive, and we have quite a
few former Mormons join our congregation. Their suffering is real. The LDS
Church must do far more than vaguely show more "kindness." What specific
steps, policies, and action will be taken? Please step up, Mormon leadership,
and take responsibility.
Screenname noted (re the effects of Accutane use on suicidal thoughts):"Interesting, and I haven't heard that before. Anecdotally, the only
time in my life I've had suicidal thoughts was while I was on Accutane, in
high school." My point exactly. Isotretinoin (Accutane)
continues to be prescribed for teens with acne problems, and many parents and
their teens have not been alerted by prescribing MDs of this possible side
effect. In the case of my friends, they were quite angry to learn after their
son's attempted suicide of the possible Accutane impact. Stopping the
Accutane stopped the thoughts. Then they learned of two other of their
son's friends who had experienced suicidal thoughts and had attempted
suicide while on Accutane. What alarms me is that the news media has
largely bought into the line put forward by the drug companies and their shills
that it's the severe acne causing the depression and resultant suicide, not
the Accutane. As I noted, our friend's son had not experienced suicidal
thoughts prior to Accutane!Word to the wise!
@OHBU stated at 9:02am essentially what I wanted to point out. The difference
between our perspectives is that I am LDS and have no reason to feel left out
but I have seen how even active members can become ostracized. This doesn't
mean the LDS church is wrong or bad, just that members need to be aware of the
effects of their choices and many need to re-calibrate their priorities to be
proactively inclusive of others rather than blithely creating an insular
lifestyle whether that lifestyle is self-centered, family-centered, or
church-centered. (@EmmieC has clearly lived through what I have observed.)@a bit of reality also has it right. When imperfect people espouse,
interpret, and attempt to live as they are taught, even perfect teachings can be
warped to drive tragic actions. Attacking the teachings doesn't solve that
problem. The solution is to find ways to connect with individuals in positive
If you really want to find answers. Ask Mormon God again about families, love,
and human sexuality. You got it wrong the last time. Very wrong. Just like
with the Priesthood ban onBlacks.
I remember sitting near a Mormon bishop attending an LGBTq Mormon "testimony
meeting" at the request of a gay member of his ward. Many speakers
recounted suicide attempts or the suicide of someone they were close to. With
tears streaming down his face he said: "I had no idea of the pain we've
caused". Good people can change. But, when you're rejected by good
people life seems meaningless.
Excellent article, Deseret News, thank you! People's attitude can make a
difference. Once I read that a man was planning to kill himself, but ran into
someone who was kind and started a conversation with him. He changed his mind
@DesolationIsComing - Logan, UTJune 14, 2018 6:17 p.m.LisaMichelle:The CES letter is a lie. Don't base your opinion on
it."Then, perhaps you can explain why it is on the church's
official website? They don't put it front and center, but it's there.
That is a fact, not a belief.
A lot of the arguments here against what Ellen said sound to me like "All is
well in Zion." But all is not well for our gay children, our gay brothers
and sisters. They don't have the possibility of marriage in this life, and
that can be incredibly depressing. I would invite everyone who doubts that there
is a problem to get to know someone who is a gay, devout Mormon. And listen to
what they have to say. Listen to their hopes, their fears, their faith. We all
have a lot to learn from them.
First, WHY religion provides a buffer to suicide matters: it provides community,
it provides inclusion, it provides communion and purpose. Take a
religion that then excludes people. (“We Mormons don’t exclude
people!” Separate discussion, but MANY LGBTQ people in Mormonism FEEL
excluded - this is well documented). That exclusion ruptures ties with the
protective elements of the mortal community AND it often makes people feel hated
by deity. Perceptions of exclusion (often with grounds) eliminate protective
factors of suicide but also throw the person onto the risk side. This was left
out of the op-ed, but it’s THE part that matters. Second, why
Utah doesn’t have stats on lgbtq suicides. Utah suicide crisis
centers have repeatedly asked Utah for more funding to assist LGBTQ folks.
Utah’s response was: show us the data. The CDC has pushed Utah
to include sexual orientation on surveys that gauged suicidal risk. Utah legis.,
backed by the LDS church, rejected this and prohibits state-wide surveys that
include questions of sexual orientation or gender identity. Utah, then, both
refuses funds for lgbtq youth because of lack of data, and then reject
collecting that data.
As a lifelong member of the LDS church and a suicide attempt survivor. I can
with all honesty say that the teachings of the LDS church, were in no way
responsible for the anguish and dark depression that I experienced. However the
people of the LDS church, played a great part in cultivating the seeds of
worthlessness that I ultimately succumbed to. Not all of the people, mind you,
just those that take the mantle of the church upon themselves, but completely
forgo the actual teaching of Christ. Those that judge and criticize, instead of
love and accept. Those that condemn one for free thought, rather than attempt
to understand a differing point of view. I know that I am a child of God. I
know that he loves me, I know that Jesus died for my sins... The darkest days
of my life were the days that I was "fully embraced" by the LDS church.
I still pray, I still worship, I follow the word of wisdom and the law of
chastity, and I still consider myself a good and true member of the church. I
agree that strong religious conviction can help those facing thoughts of
suicide, but persecution by the religion that is supposed to be saving your soul
is an equally powerful force.
Many, many year ago when I lived in Baton Rouge, I heard an interview with Ellen
where she talked about how she lived in New Orleans under deplorable conditions
trying to scratch out a living. She told of how her roommate (girlfriend) was
killed in a car accident and that it was her darkest time. I remember her saying
she even considered ending her life. I have since looked up what she says about
that experience now (years later) and find a very candy-coated version of the
story. Now she even says that it was her greatest break - where she wrote her
best stand-up comedy. It seems to me, that that original story would have been
more beneficial to the teens out there that are considering suicide. A sort of
“I walked that path, overcame it, and here you see who I am today.”
So, here’s a question. Why did she take the opportunity to bash the Mormon
Church instead of actually saying something to those contemplating suicide that
might give them hope?
Perhaps a better study to understand the effects of growing up LDS in Utah would
be to compare rates of depression in suicide among those raised LDS (regardless
of activity at the moment) versus other faith groups or non-religious groups.
I do agree with this statement, though I wish it was more of the
focus of the article: "we acknowledge that a higher rate of suicidal
ideation for non-LDS youths in Utah may speak to a need for better integration
of non-LDS youths within schools and local communities."This is
true--Utah can feel exclusionary to those who aren't LDS. It's not
even necessarily intentional. It's the little things like teenagers who
aren't able to hang out because they seem to have a church thing several
nights a week--the one member of the group who's not LDS must either
convert or be left out on a regular basis. It's the ward that decides to
do a trunk-or-treat on Halloween rather than go door-to-door. The non-LDS kids
get all dressed up and start going door-to-door only to find no answer (this
happened to us). Only later, talking with neighbors, did we find out where they
Some of the defenses presented in this article, I would argue, could be taken as
a furtherance of what was stated on the show. The shame culture is what was
cited on the show as having a negative influence. The article states that those
active in the church are less likely to commit suicide. But then it
acknowledges that "former" members have a higher rate. Odds are, a
person who is feeling shamed by LDS culture will stop going to church for a
while before the actual suicide attempt. An example I've heard
in my own life: a young lady who was an active member of the LDS faith was raped
at college. She felt that she hadn't adequately defended her
"purity." It was something ingrained in her since childhood that
marriage and happiness depended on her virginity at marriage. She felt so
wasted she stopped attending church (or going to much of anything) which led her
to suicidal thoughts. Elizabeth Smart has spoken to similar feelings. In the
study, this young lady would not register as a member, but as a former member.
I've heard a similar trajectory for LGBT youth.In such
instances the research presented in the article would support, not refute,
Thanks for that very scientific analysis, Stenar. A couple footnotes:1. The strong correlation between altitude and suicide is not debatable, as
the data is clear. The question is whether there is more than just a
correlation.2. In the last decade, acceptance, even within Utah, of
gays has increased. Obviously, there are a multitude of factors here, so one
changing variable does nothing to disprove causation of other variables.
@DesolationIsComing - Logan, UTJune 14, 2018 6:17 p.m.LisaMichelle:The CES letter is a lie. Don't base your opinion on
it.I know that you wish it was a lie. You may even believe that
it's a lie. But, you're wrong. Many lds people don't want to
believe it. However, it's on the church's website. They don't
feature it front and center, you have to search for it, but it's there. So,
either the letter is true or the church is offering a lie on its website. Which
No one seems to be listening to me or caring to listen, but I'll try once
more.Beliefs have consequences. When you believe incorrectly you produce
bad, poor, evil, negative, hateful, etc consequences. Faith is not
"knowing"; faith is believing; when one claims their faith is knowledge
it's called dogmatism. Dogmatism is one of many fallacious thinking errors.
"Studies" are not hard science studies which means they're
fallacious. Psychology is a pseudo-science which means they use fallacious
studies over hard science measurements. When you add all the fallacious beliefs
spread through our society like a plague there are the horrifying consequences.
Children & youth are most vulnerable to fallacies with bullying, body
shaming, & yes Religious demonizing. The LDS's For Strength of the
Youth is a collection of Mosaic Law/Pharisee hedges rather than a promotion of
loving God, ourselves & others. The booklet takes youth away from God &
the one law to love. It's fallacious to blame an outward object for inward
goodness or sin. Truth & righteousness are sound logic principles. Falsehood
& evil are unsound logic principles. Teach our kids truth & watch the
problems magically disappear.
I'm waiting for her to offer an apology, but it likely won't come.
Just another reason not to watch her show. Never did like it.
I posit that the teen suicide issue is way more complex than most people
realize and certainly Ms. DeGeneres is entitled to her thoughts and feelings and
that’s fine. It is a myth that everyone in Utah is a Mormon and we have
had a large influx of non-Mormons moving here for years. Then there is the
reduced effectiveness of antidepressants at higher altitudes as mentioned in
other comments. Another facet of this I am concerned about is the marked
tendency for young people to conduct their social lives exclusively via social
media. While it can be an easy and convenient way to keep family and friends
informed on our lives, there is no way it can totally replace direct human
interaction such as a face to face conversation. I also find it tragic that
touch has been so demonized that it is now PC never to touch another person. I
further posit that our young people would be better served by being taught and
made to develop social skills instead of social media skills. As human beings
we at our very constitution are social creatures and no smart phone is going to
change that. Suicide ideation and attempts are cries for helpthat I hope we can
get better at discerning.
If you haven’t attempted or succeeded at suicide then all you have is the
research from those who have. And sometimes asking “ why” from those
is the only way to get finite answers. One group can’t answer and the
other group sometimes just won’t say. Love your neighbors in a good way.
Not a nosy way.
Lost in all this blame game is the lives lost. The issue of GLBT
youth suicide is not studied well, as this article specifies. In fact,
conservative leaders for years have rejected efforts to publicly fund
comprehensive studies in Washington DC and many state capitols.Only
recently has the country begrudgingly accepted GLBT dignity and equality. Utah
and the dominant religious organization have changed their tone on this issue to
their credit. And statistics do only study the past, no definitively predict
the future. However, even the most stalwart defenders of
fundamentalist religion must acknowledge that kids who realize they are GLBT in
fundamentalist religion cultures are more apt to feel isolated by their
community and family. And feelings of isolation mixed with depression are a
cocktail to suicide. So, the ball is still in the court of those who
preach hate in the pulpit on the Sabbath over this issues that surround their
gay and lesbian children and grandchildren.
@MaxpowerYour assumptions are not based in research or truth.Research shows just the opposite of your false assertions.The LGBT
community has been blaming Religion for their plight, for generations. Remember "Act Up" from 30 years ago? When LGBT groups,
stormed St. Patrick's Cathedral in N.Y.C. and desecrated their Sacred
Spaces & Holy Communion?Then, it was the Catholics fault.Now it's the Mormons turn.If you're Gay, fine, then own
it. But for crying out loud, stop attacking Religions, who may have
an opposing point of view.Accept personal responsibility.Deal
with the fact that every living human being is not going to enthusiastically
embrace your lifestyle, not now, not ever. "Not that there is
anything wrong with it"!Jerry SeinfieldTolerance is a two
way street.Arguing your cause with myths and fallacy is never an
Aren't we avoiding the giant gorilla in the room ? Our whole popular social
culture. Some years ago, it was said that among teens, peers were the most
influential factor in their lives. And they all feed off pop culture : ( some of
this stuff is extremely degrading ) pop music ( including rap ), movies, TV,
magazines, and the personalities who star in them. With social media, this is
There is nothing more absurd than those who perpetrate myths to further their
own agendas.Dan Reynolds is a one note samba. At least he
should be truthful when discussing this issue.His divisive and
feigned outrage is growing old.
If you want your editorial to be taken seriously, don't include
"studies" by the Family Foundation!(just take a look at their
When I was younger, I came very close to suicide; and I can assure you, it was
because of the guilt instilled in me BY the LDS church. The church may not be
fully responsible, but they most absolutely *are* a factor in the decision to
commit suicide. When you are rejected by the organization you grew up in, and
loved deeply, it creates a world of hurt.@Ophelia;Your
son is very lucky to have you.@voice;I grew up in an era
when the church preached you'd be better off dead than gay; when BKP
preached that "someone had to do it" (i.e., assault a gay companion).
And your church's efforts to keep LGBT citizens from enjoying the legal
rights others enjoy is absolutely NOT "respect" nor love. 1-2 years
does not make up for a lifetime of anti-sentiment.@DesolationIsComing;I'd bet you haven't even read it
(and it is not a "lie").
Ostriches are lovely birds. When their heads are in the sand, they see a world
they have chosen to see. Others may observe them and wonder if they are hiding
from something.The article places Utah in the top one-fifth of
States for teen suicides. Should not there be a red flag? A State that is about
two-thirds members of a major church would logically seem to have a
substantially lower than average suicide rate for all ages.A bit of
thought might bring the idea that most kids raised in homogeneous communities
with high standards and strict behavioral expectations gain advantage from that.
However, if you are the kid whose peg is square, you may not fit in so well.
In more mixed communities, there would be more kids for the square pegs to
associate with.More thought says that if the problem exists in Utah
and has been well known for some time, that not all the possible solutions have
been tried, possibly because they are seen as challenging the church to make
changes it does not feel God wants.God wants kids to be happy,
fulfilled, and LIVING. I would say that trusting Him to provide the solutions,
even if difficult, is the Christian way.Better than blaming Ellen!
I think that many members of the Church don't understand how their words
are affecting gay people. Most wards have probably at least one or two kids who
are gay and scared to talk to anyone about it. And yet the unkind, unthoughtful
words about gay people continue regularly in so many Church settings.
I saw this interview Ellen did with Dan Reynolds and instantly felt it was very
one-sided and didn’t acknowledge anything the Church has said/done to
promote love towards the LGBT community. I was also saddened by the Faith crisis
Dan is going through, not because he’s going through it like many of us do
at some point, but because he is doing it publicly. Just a few admittedly
non-researched thoughts I had: often when someone is struggling with depression,
one recommendation is exercise as well as nutrition. I know I didn’t eat
the healthiest or exercise much when I was a teen and it appears that teens now
even exercise less and sit in front of screens more. I am not saying exercise
and diet would solve the problem, but it would be interesting to see what effect
it might have. Medication seems to be a tricky thing as sometimes medication can
be helpful and sometimes it can increase suicidal thoughts. Love is important.
Ellen believes love only exists if everything is accepted. She said any
organization that doesn’t accept everything is not tolerant. It’s
all or nothing. I can’t agree with her because God is not all or nothing.
He loves all of us, but gives us commandments.
High altitude is not the cause of the suicides. First of all, that was a
hypothesis, not proven. Second, the suicide rate has gone up dramatically in the
past decade. The elevation hasn't increased.
@twolegsbad"And, guns are not the issue. If someone is desperate there
are plenty of ways to kill yourself. Ease of securing a firearm is not the
biggest predictor of teen suicide."The problem with guns on this
issue is that suicide attempts are much more likely to result in death when a
gun is used than other methods.
Guns may not be the cause of suicide, but it is common sense that if you or a
loved one suffer from those thoughts that part of keeping yourself here is
keeping the tools of destruction out of reach. Having a safety plan includes
this and having a source to go to for help, Most who attempt suicide do so
not because they want to die, but because their suffering is more intense than
they can handle and they don't know how to find release in any other way.
The cause of the pain and the cure for it is different for everyone. When you
are in that much pain, you aren't thinking right, and teenagers have less
impulse control than adults.
Why can't it be both? Religion helps in some situations and hurts in
others. Some LGBT youth in churches that aren't supportive of same-sex
couples are going to have added challenges around the issue caused by religion.
I do appreciate data-driven opinions and I prioritize them over anecdotal
evidence... but I don't think anecdotal evidence should be completely
dismissed. When you collect enough anecdotes it becomes an investigation of
it's own.I'd invite you to read about the experiences
LGBTQ identifying members of the LDS community. In many of the most open, honest
memoirs you will find accounts of dangerous self-loathing. Many describe a time
in their life when they considered suicide to deal with the insurmountable
problems they face; trying to fit a square a peg into a round hole.If that's not enough, trying reading some exmormon perspectives:
they're probably the most open about how hard it was trying to align the
ideals of the church and their own sexual identity. They openly discuss suicidal
thoughts, suicide attempts and how they were ultimately unable to reconcile
their identities as church members and their sexual identities.My
problem with this article, is that it relies on vague statistics and conclusions
to ignore a problem that is being actively documented by those in distress.
Articles like this might use stats to help you sleep at night, but they
aren't helping LGBTQ teens.
I rarely read op-eds and I never post on them. This Op-Ed seems
even-handed at first glance: It seems well-researched / data-driven and in many
ways it is, but I'm concered about the conclusions drawn from the data.
They seem like natural conclusions from our LDS perspective, but I'm not
convinced that the data is actually telling the story we're being told.For example, the article uses a lower suicide rate among actively
religious youth as evidence of religion preventing suicide, but I think that is
a hasty conclusion. Couldn't one argue that those who feel ostracized might
be less likely to be active? Further, in-depth, analysis would be required to
reach a firm conclusion. I applaud the author for admitting that adequate data
in this department is lacking for both sides of the argument. The
funny thing about data is that it can say almost anything you want if you look
through the right lens. That is probably the most important thing I learned in
my statistics classes. And let's not dive into all the other problems with
research...*Continued on next comment*
In southeast Idaho (high Mormon concentration) I have watched the obituaries of
youth who apparently took their life the last few years. For the concentration
of LDS youth it would appear the Mormon youth do NOT have a higher rate
(admittedly unscientifically).Of those Mormon youth who struggle with same
sex attraction, it could only be speculation (especially by those who want it to
be) that they commit suicide because of shame put on them by others. It very
well could be that they have followed the social pressure of giving in to any
attraction before they are old enough to make such a life-changing decision, and
have found for them, the life-style brought sadness. Either way we need to
gather around all youth and be there for them!
"Responding to" seems to be a lot about rebuffing, refuting, and
The Mormon church definitely does not 'shame' youth. The opposite is
true, as it helps to instill feelings of diving worth, noble characteristics,
and abiding profound self confidence. Suicide rates decrease with
attendance and participation, and even just membership. So the point is flawed.
I don't know the root causes of teen suicide in Utah, but the faulty logic
of the writers of this statement is stunning:"Research in Utah
suggests something quite different. For instance, the 2015 Utah Prevention Needs
Assessment (a survey of over 27,000 Utah youths) found that teens who attended
religious services more often (a few times a month to once a week) were less
likely to have suicidal thoughts or suicidal attempts than those who attended
less frequently. Further, teens identifying as Mormon were less likely to report
suicidal thoughts or attempts."Of course teens who feel integrated
into the LDS culture and identify with it would not be the ones with the issues
and would not report suicidal tendencies. It's the teens who have to deal
with the stigma and shame placed on them because they don't integrate and
identify with the dominant religious culture that might have the problems. That
doesn't absolve the religious culture of any responsibility it might have
for creating a culture of shame. The authors' solution seems to be:
"Well if you were more like the religious people and ignored your own
identity, you wouldn't be suicidal." Strange.
If a suicidal teen is associated with both the LDS church and the LGBT
community, why are we to automatically assume that the LDS church is at fault
and the LGBT community is not? Silly, isn't it?
When people use suicide as a club to attack people they are inherently avoiding
the real issues and should not be praised at all for it. Suicide rates among
teenagers in Colorado have increased more markedly than in Utah. Suicide rates
are higher in Arizona than in Utah. Yet people in those states still try to use
suicide as a way to attack Utah.I am just plain sick and tired of
the lies told about suicide. I am sick of it being used as a club to attack my
values and try to deny my political rights. Until people like Ms. DeGeneous stop
trying to use it as such. I will continue to see their efforts in these regards
as nothing less than destructive and counterproductive.
I think spirituality can reduce suicide but no for minorities that have had so
much hateful rhetoric. Directed st them. The church is slowly moving towards a
better relationship with the LGBT community but there are still so many talks
about protecting the family, which undermines whatever progress they’re
trying to make.
Aceroinox,Interesting, and I haven't heard that before.
Anecdotally, the only time in my life I've had suicidal thoughts was while
I was on Accutane, in high school.There's also the high
correlation between high altitude and suicide rates. We're learning that
high altitude not only seems to make depression worse, it also weakens the
effects of antidepression medications.
I was coerced into watching five Ellen episodes and I have to say she spends a
few minutes discussing important issues skewed to her point of view which
isn't all bad. But, she spends most of her show on sexual innuendo that
would be considered totally inappropriate if she were a hetero male. Definitely
not a show I would allow any of my children to watch and I complained so much
about the wasted time and Ellen's clear lack of logic that I no longer need
watch it.Just reading the title of this article allowed me to know
what Ellen had said, it is a common tactic, not just with Ellen, to to
exaggerate and inflame. Upon reading the article, she still uses this, which
obviously works with her fans.
MaxPower is right. Being told that marriage is the most important, most
beautiful thing in this life, and then simultaneously being told that it's
not for you because you are gay, has lead many devout members of the Church to
suicidal thoughts. One of my dear friends told me that the thought of living
another 50, 60, 70 years without any hope of a partner was more than he could
bear. I'm sure he's not the only one. How would YOU feel if you were
in that situation?Also, the members of the Church can so much better
at remembering that every congregation likely has multiple members who are gay
and in the closet. I have heard the most hateful comments about gay people from
the pulpit, in gospel doctrine class, in youth classes. These comments do a lot
of damage to our gay brothers and sisters who already have a difficult mission
to live in this life.
"And, guns are not the issue. If someone is desperate there are plenty of
ways to kill yourself. Ease of securing a firearm is not the biggest predictor
of teen suicide."No, you are wrong there.These stat's
come from the USA, where 14,000 commit suicide annually with guns. A few
years ago the stat's were: A person with access to a gun is 90% likely to
succeed at killing themselves with that gun. Compare that to a person who
attempts suicide by overdose who is only 13% likely to succeed.Now,
more detailed recent research has shown that a person attempting suicide with a
gun has a 92% success rate if it's a head shot compared with only a 50%
success rate if it's an abdomen shot. The success rate for attempted
overdose from pills is still 13% because pills take longer to work and the
person who swallowed them is more often discovered unconscious within a few days
of swallowing the pills. Head shots however tend to instantly destroy vital
brain and artery while shotguns just shred everything.I like
firearms myself (lever action rifles especially) but we can't let the facts
be covered up as gun use in a suicide attempt is statistically likely to succeed
compared to overdose.
Some random thoughts as I read this article: 1) The correlation between
suicide rates and the aggressive prescribing of Isotretinoin (Accutane) is
seldom discussed. Still controversial, there is enough evidence to support
cautious parental vigilance. A friend's son was rescued from an almost
successful attempt. After medications failed to alleviate suicidal thoughts, his
parents learned of the Accutane connection. They pulled him off that, and all
the other meds. He's been fine since (he had experienced no suicidal
thoughts prior to taking Accutane).2) Among my gay friends is a man who
since leaving Utah has lived all over the world. He says of all those places,
Utah was the easiest to be gay. I understand everyone's experience is
unique, but I always think of that observation when someone asserts that
Utah's culture is inherently "anti-gay."3) In the LDS Church,
"folk doctrines" too often prevail, including that those who take their
own lives commit an unrecoverable sin. Boyd K. Packer debunked that one when he
stated at my friend's funeral (he had taken his own life): "_____ is
now enfolded in the arms of a loving Savior who understands him completely."
@Mighty mouse, while I appreciate your comment it is not accurate. It was stated
in the article that Utah does not have accurate records on which suicides were
teens that identified LGBTQ?. So while your point that teens with a religious
upbringing tend to commit suicide less may be true, we don't have
statistics to back up that those "religious" teens are LGBTQ?. Until
Utah and other highly religious states start to collect more data about the
youth committing suicide we won't know to what extent gay and lesbian
children are affected. My guess is that in religious communities it will
actually be much higher based on a depression statistics amongst highly
religious families of gay and lesbian children.And, guns are not the
issue. If someone is desperate there are plenty of ways to kill yourself. Ease
of securing a firearm is not the biggest predictor of teen suicide.
LisaMichelle:The CES letter is a lie. Don't base your opinion
This is a very defensive article.Would it be so hard to acknowledge
the role religious shame plays as *a contributing risk factor*? Please?It's true that suicidal ideation almost always has its genesis in a
variety of places. We agree. And one of those places is authority figures
telling you you aren't worthy.
The writers of this article are dangerously under informed. They correctly cite
to studies that show that increased religiosity in teens has a correlation to
lower suicidality. But they either failed to examine or failed to acknowledge
the relationship is reversed for LGBT teens. In that subset, there has been
found to be a higher incidence of suicidaility among those LGBT youth who report
greater religiosity. So, yes, religiosity seemingly helps lower the risk of
suicidality for youth. Unless they are LGBT youth. For them, the opposite is
true. This article’s oversight is dangerous. It is clearly intended to
persuade readers to believe that there is not a link between increased LGBT
suicidality and religion, but it cites studies that looked at larger teen
populations, not the LGBT youth population. And the writers did this even though
simple Google searches could have given them the answers. “Association of Religiosity With Sexual Minority Suicide Ideation and
Attempt,” Megan C. Lytle, PhD, et al,American Journal of
Preventative Medicine, March 14, 2018
The cause of gender confusion AND suicide is low self-image.Despite
our culture of participation awards and attaboys for no achievement at all, the
kids were not fooled. They figured out that if everyone is a winner, everyone is
a loser, too.Mom and dad both work. It is easy to get lost in your
screen. Nothing satisfies.The kid experiments. All that talk of
GBLTQ gets them thinking that they must have same-sex attraction.Therapy is illegal.Ellen is connecting the wrong dots.
Opinions aren't facts. Ellen is entitled to her opinion, but my views need
to be based on facts and actual studies. If there were to be a proven
statistical correlation linking religion and suicide, then we would use that to
make needed changes. So far I haven't read anything providing that link,
and anecdotal evidence doesn't count as true research.
How about we all double down on teen depression and on its causes.How
about we double down on the increase in teen depression in our society. Teen
depression is far more prevalent than we realize. On average, LDS teens are less
inclined to deal with depression via drugs, promiscuous sex, violence, than the
world at large.
@LisaMichelle:"but you can't ignore the disproportional
increase in suicides that Utah has seen since the LDS church doubled-down
against gays with Prop 8 and the November policy."I will admit
that I have not done enough personal research on the suicide increase in Utah,
and its disproportional nature. I need to be better informed - particularly as I
have children that are just a few years away from reaching that "youth"
category.That said, I am a lifelong member of the LDS Church in
Utah. I can state without reservation that during my life I have never known a
time during which the LGBTQ community has been so well-respected, well-treated,
well-spoken of, and during which teaching of love and tolerance for all
individuals - particularly the LGBTQ - has been so emphasized as during the last
1-2 years. I think we as members of the Church have realized that doctrinal
differences with an individual does not change how Christ views them. The Church
has not "doubled-down," but has been consistent in it's doctrine.
But the Church has made great strides to help members learn that love for
individuals - regardless of lifestyle - is what Christianity is all about.
Some people fit into the Mormon Church, and being an accepted member of a tight
community like that decreases your probability of being depressed and turning to
suicide.That could be true and in all likelihood is true. However,
such statistics say nothing about the people who *don't* fit into the
Church. Having cultural and psychological baggage that tells you that you must
fit in when your brain and inner self tell you that you can't sounds like a
definition of hell. Just because the Church makes some people happy
doesn't mean that it doesn't make other people miserable.
I have worked closely with this issue for many years. The article is right. The
question of whether there is a religious connection to suicide has been studied
and does not support the hypothesis that affiliation with religion is a risk
factor. Studies demonstrate the opposite. A solid religious base is a protective
factor. The problem with trying to put the blame for Utah's alarming youth
suicide rate on religion is that it shifts the focus away from the real causes.
For a youth with little life experience, setbacks like a break up with a
partner, discord at home or having their homosexuality discovered can seem
insurmountable, combine this with dramatic differences in how the immature brain
processes information. The CDC has been studying youth suicide in Utah. One of
the giant risk factors in Utah and in other Mountain States where suicide rates
are high that jumps out to me is the ready access to firearms. Families who have
guns in the home with young people who are experiencing the turmoils of life
need to make certain that guns a tightly secured. Youth who are chronically
unhappy or depressed need to have professional intervention to help them work
through their issues.
Dan, from Imagine Dragons, and Ellen are alienating one group to defend another.
You can’t expect a comedian and a musician to be scientific when talking
about a serious psychosocial problem, but assigning a single cause is neither
true nor productive. We all should come together to address teen
suicide, like the article suggested.
@MaxPower - Eagle Mountain, UTJune 14, 2018 2:26 p.m."However,
when one is raised to view homosexuality to be just as bad, if not worse than
adultery (Miracle of Forgiveness), and then they are to remain celibate their
whole lives, while at the same time teaching that nothing is more beautiful in
life than the love between a married couple... it's not hard to see that
this can be a motivating factor for suicide to those who are in such a
situation."While I won't dispute there is some truth to
your statement, you are isolating two teachings. You could also suggest teaching
alcoholics that drinking alcohol is bad would promote suicide. That teaching
singles that marriage is the ideal would promote suicide, and so on. One must
recall that everything the Church teaches is the ideal which every member
strives for and falls short of, but works to get closer. Most importantly, the
Church teaches that Jesus Christ is the model for behavior, the source of
strength to improve one's own behavior, and the source of comfort when we
fail, and even when others, society, our emotions, etc. fail us. His love
reaches all. These are teachings that, overall, reduce suicide rates as studies
Research from the Family Acceptance Project shows LGBT young people are 8 times
more likely to attempt suicide when experiencing "high rejection" by
their families. Whereas LGBT young people who experience "low
rejection" from families are twice as likely to attempt suicide.I attended a Family Acceptance workshop ten years ago. At the time, my son was
in reparative therapy -- change therapy. I had been encouraged to put him in
this therapy by good, well-meaning leaders.The workshop was a
turning point for me. I realized I fit in the highly rejecting category. That
night I tearfully apologized to my son, and I've never looked back. I love
him unconditionally and want him to be healthy, loved, and happy. Period.
To blame any religion (specific or in general) for suicide growth rates is not
data-driven thinking. Religion in America is on the decline - especially among
youth. The percentage of people (including youth) in Utah that are LDS is on the
decline as more people move in from out of state. According to the studies in
the article, these two data points could even be small reasons why suicide rates
are up.The real items to look at correlating with suicide rate increases -
in my opinion - are the growth of social media (especially among youth) and the
declining prevalence of traditional families of 2 married parents with children.
I believe these two factors would also strongly correlate with school shootings
as well.Think about it - 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago - we had religion, in
fact we had more of it. We had guns - probably more of them (per capita). But
today we have growing issues we want to blame on guns and religion. I don't
use social media, but understand the many good reasons somebody would -
including youth. But, letting it dominate one's time will undoubtedly have
negative effects - on the individual and on society.
Many, many thanks to the Deseret News for addressing this important issue. I do
hope for a follow-up article suggesting ways to deal with suicidal ideation
among our youth -- and also among so many of the rest of us.
@TedDiBiase Look up the 5-year rate of change in youth (15–19)
suicide rates: 2009 to 2014, by US state. "More alarming, the teen suicide
rate in Utah has doubled since 2011. . . . While Utah had a doubling of suicides
among teens, the rest of the country did not see a substantial increase in their
suicide rate." I know people want to believe there isn't a
problem here, but there is. Rather than trying to defend the church on a board
here, why don't you try what I've done, which is to actually spend
your typing energy to reach out and show love to the LGBTQ people you know. If
you don't know any, ask yourself why.
When there is a much higher rate of suicidal ideation among people who identify
as LGBT, the question needs to be asked, is there a common biochemical factor
that promotes both a non-standard sexual orientation (which affects about 4% of
people) and self-destructive thinking? Both aspects of personality affect a
person's emotions strongly. This is not a matter of blame, but simply
recognizing that people with one particular emotional characteristic are in
greater need of ameliorative care and support, just as we recognize that people
with clinical depression or strong anxiety disorders may need the same kind of
extra support. Significant emotional and behavioral differences can make it
harder for many other people to empathize with the person suffering, at
precisely the time when compassion is most needed. Blaming others for
one's own self harming ideation seems likely to make it harder to get the
emotional support the sufferer needs, especially in those cases where he sees
suicide as a way of punishing people who have emotional ties to him but had
their own emotional limitations that kept them from acting with compassion.
@FTThe Deseret News has created a link to the specific scientific study
(you can also use Google Scholar to find similar).
@Red Corvette: The "experience" of one person can only tell us about
that person's experience. Anecdotes from individuals can only tell us what
those individuals think. For actual causes, we need good, solid science, not
sound bites from talk show hosts.
@LOU Montana "Sometimes the truth just slaps you in the face. "And the truth is: Politically expedient memes are NOT a credible
substitute for actual quantifiable truthIt is interesting that many
posters are quick to implicate that the LDS Church encourages suicide based upon
anecdotal evidence - yet they would be the first to cry foul if anecdotal
evidence were the basis for stereotyping all homosexuals as having a propensity
to certain nefarious actions.The hypocrisy provides a perfect
example of how SJW's tend to personify everything they claim to despise;
and why they should be vigorously questioned.Simply because a form
of intolerance is fashionable - doesn't make it tolerant.
@LisaMichelleThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported
that suicide is the nation's 10th leading cause of death — and the
most recent collection of data (2014-2016) shows that suicide rates have
increased in almost every state since the turn of the century.Utah had
25.2 % increase, Montana 29.2%, Wyoming 28.8%, Colorado 23.2% and Idaho
24.7%.Don't see your "disproportional increase in suicides".
Sometimes the truth just slaps you in the face. Everyone wants to
believe their world is the best but sometimes they need to hear differently.Take it as an awakening.
Thank you for this well written commentary. We'd all do well to be fully
briefed before making rash judgements.
I'm stunned that Ellen would say such an unfounded thing, that only serves
to undermine her credibility. For someone who does so much good it's
surprising to hear such a statement. Her statement is inflammatory and
incorrect, implying that the LDS Church is to blame for this.@MaxPower - God doesn't budge in His standards, calling sin by any other
name is not in harmony with God. That does not mean, however, that we should
leave those who struggle on their own, to deal with trials on their own. We all
can be caring and supporting.
I am not surprised that Ellen would use the issue of suicide to score a cheap
shot against the LDS Church. Members of the politically correct crowd often do
this to attack and denigrate minorities (in this case a religious minority) they
they don't take a liking to. (These are the same people who often talk
about "pluralism" "diversity," and tolerance for minorities.)
CorvetteAnecdotal events are not evidence.
I agree with the other two comments made so far. Although people who have been
raised to believe that suicide is a sin (and may, therefore, answer a survey
accordingly, especially a survey that also polls them on their religion to
remind them of "their" values), I think in a case as dire as this,
it's imperative to look at qualitative evidence. The Raised-Mormon LGBTQ
people I have spoken to all said that the church's teachings on their
situation is what fueled their depression and suicidal thoughts. My good friend
Evan said he felt he was not accepted and he had no future. Sadly, Evan succame
to those thoughts. That was back before I read the CES Letter, so I didn't
know any better than to tell him I loved him. Can you blame him for having a
hard time finding a will to live in a culture that marginalized him? You may
point to the other Western states with high suicide rates, but you can't
ignore the disproportional increase in suicides that Utah has seen since the LDS
church doubled-down against gays with Prop 8 and the November policy.
Please provide statistic on the number of LDS suicides among teens during the
same time period. That would give the readers some perspective on how church
members fare against the general population during the same time period.
Ellen's statement is a generalization, and the DN New's statement that
those who are religious (LDS) are less prone to suicide seems to be as well
without some facts to back it.
Watching Ellen and listening to Imagine Dragons would take me to the brink.
Well written. Multiple scientific studies have shown that increased
LDS religious observation is associated with a reduction – not an increase
– in suicide. Yet those harboring negative views of the LDS Church persist
in blaming the Church for all suicide within Utah. At best, that’s an
intellectually lazy approach to a complex problem. At worst, it’s
exploiting a tragic issue for political gain, while ignoring the real causes of
the problem.For example, drugs play a prominent role in many
suicides. Yet, many of the same people that blame the LDS Church for suicide are
advocates of legalized recreational drug use. If our goal is to
reduce suicides in Utah, using suicide as a means to attack the LDS Church is
I applaud the Deseret News saying we all need to take a look and be more
supportive.However, when one is raised to view homosexuality to be
just as bad, if not worse than adultery (Miracle of Forgiveness), and then they
are to remain celibate their whole lives, while at the same time teaching that
nothing is more beautiful in life than the love between a married couple...
it's not hard to see that this can be a motivating factor for suicide to
those who are in such a situation.
Not based on research? Try based on experience.