E-mail on Suicide, pt 2

08 September

mailbag2A few weeks ago I posted an article in response to an e-mail we received on the site about our stats on suicides in Utah.

Unfortunately I overlooked the fact that I should have posted a link to my article as a response to John in the comments section…sigh… We heard back from him just a few days ago so once again I’m responding with another article and yep, this time around I’ll be sure to provide a link in the reply section of our comments.

Our visitor obviously didn’t believe that I cared enough to respond to him and sadly the truth is just the opposite. I do care. A lot!

My response to his note is below. His comments are in black font, my comments are in red.

I have a feeling that he’s LDS, but I can definitely be wrong on that. Either way, we’re asking that you pray for John as he sounds like an angry young man.

The original article is listed in full at the end of my response to John.

John G wrote;

September 3, 2014 at 2:45 am

Why am I not surprised that there is no follow up to my previous comment?

Hello there John – glad to hear back from you! Actually, I answered your e-mail and each of your concerns in an article the very next day which is remarkable considering all the e-mails I receive. If you had just looked at the front page of our website you would’ve seen it.  Just in case you’ve still missed it, here it is ;E-Mail on Suicides 

I have no interest in promoting either conclusion here. (Mormonism leads to suicide or something else is to blame.) But groups like yours quickly lose credibility when you so comfortably accept any unsubstantiated notion that dovetails well with your own religious prejudices. It’s clear that you have an axe to grind and couldn’t care less about real facts or actual truth.

If I was a bettin’ type of gal I’d put money down that you’re LDS.  The way you’ve spoken to me and the manner in how you think you’ve chastised me is very telling. 

Tell me John, what ax am I grinding?

Now that you’ve successfully taken the attention away from the real issue (suicide), what is your agenda?

Do you speak to other non-Mormons this way? I typically get these kinds of e-mails from male Mormons who feel uncomfortable that an ex-Mormon female has presented truths that Utah and/or the Church tries to hide.

What you are doing here is turning honesty on its head and instead of taking an objective approach to answering these questions by starting with a theory or premise and then objectively looking at the facts to see if they validate your premise, you take the opposite approach and work backwards.

Which article in the series have I done this with?  Be specific please. 

I didn’t start this ministry because I’m mad or that I wanted to make it clear that I hate Mormons. 

On the contrary, the Lord had me start this ministry to reach out and teach truth. I love teaching, but I’m lousy at confrontations and go out of my way to avoid them. 

As stated many times, my heart hurts for my people. I grieve each and every day that Mormons are caught in the web of lies that’s been spun by Smith and those after him. 

That is, you start with a foregone conclusion and work backwards towards your premise, filling in the blanks by automatically latching onto anything that would put the Mormon Church in a bad light–whether it is true or not–and dismissing out of hand anything that might cast the Mormon Church in a positive light–again, even if the positive facts are true.

Oh how I wish I’d kept track of how many positive things I’ve said about the Church! My list would be quite long as there are indeed nice traits in and of Mormonism. The problems however, outweigh the positive with the topic of Jesus being at the top of that list. 

There is a word in the English language to describe your thought process and behavior here, and there is actually a Biblical origin to this word: sophistry (Your entire website is filled with this kind of self-serving dishonesty.)

Dictionary.com defines sophistry this way; ‘a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning’. 

Tell me John, what have I said anywhere on this site or the blog that would qualify your assessment?

Please be specific.

So, let me ask you this: Is it actually possible to lead people to Christ and ultimately to the truth through either careless (you don’t really care about the facts) or intentional deception? I personally doubt that you can. My take on this is that if you are at all successful, you are simply leading people from one form of religious darkness into another. And who are you actually benefiting in the process?

To answer your first question and I do agree with you (shocking, I’m sure) is no. No one can truly lead someone to the truth using a lie. 

As for the second question – who am I benefiting in the process…I imagine this is more of a rhetorical summation rather than a true question. 

My objective in this ministry above all else is to glorify God and His Son whom He sent; Christ Jesus. If that objective isn’t met daily then nothing else matters. 

I pray that as my volunteers and I go along in life and this ministry glorifying God that our target audience will reap the benefits. 

Your take on what I’m doing is wrong and because of that my heart is sad for you. I’m saddened you haven’t taken the time to read the articles on the site and/or blog to see for yourself the absolute life transforming miracles that Jesus has performed by His power and mercy on us. And what He can do for you as well! 

As sophisticated and articulate as you seem to be I have to remind myself that this isn’t a war against flesh and blood, but the powers and principalities of the air as Paul told us in Ephesians 6:11-12.  You sound angry so what’s really the issue going on here? Surely, this isn’t about suicide in Utah.

How does following Christ Jesus and Him crucified constitute religious darkness?

Since you have clearly demonstrated your willingness to consistently do so through the various willfully ignorant or intentionally dishonest claims on this website, how are you any better than the “deceptive” Mormons?

Exactly what have I said or done to qualify? 

You are just the other side of the same coin: another false religion that has to resort to deception to gain acceptance.

John, the only ‘thing’ I’ve resorted to is the Bible.  Don’t know how God’s word is deceptive. 

And as for me personally promoting a false religion… 

Life After Ministries isn’t a religion, it’s a para-church ministry.  We’re a group of Christians that have come together to share the gospel with the world. We come from all backgrounds throughout the world and have no affiliation with one set denomination. 

Again, know that we’re praying for you John and I truly want to know if I’ve given incorrect information so that I can apologize and remove the false info.

Thanks and God bless; 

Michelle

1 Cor 1:18

8/13/2014

I received a comment on our site I thought was worthy of highlighting.  What was telling about this note is the ‘assumption’ I’ve not done my homework. The article he took umbrage with is listed first and then his note.  John’s note is in black font. My response to him is in red;

Utah Suicide and Vital Stats

“About one per day” is how a reporter for the Deseret News summed up suicide in Utah a few years ago.

My investigation about this subject over the years has my main question left unanswered; “why”.

Why does Utah have a higher than average suicide rate compared to the rest of the nation if this is Zion?

If the majority of the population in Utah is LDS shouldn’t their vital stats reflect the fruit of this “one true church” that pumps the message their goal is to be happy?

Sadly we’ve discovered the fruits of Mormonism are nothing but.

You can find stats in our reports from the Utah Dept of Health, the FBI, CDC, and even Utah Dept of Education below.

2004 Utah’s Dark Reality

2006 Utah’s Vital Stats

2008 Utah’s Legacy 

2010 About One Per Day 

2012 The ABC’s of Utah’s Vital Stats

2013 Suicide in Utah (update)

2014 Utah’s Suicide Rate Climbs Again (update on latest stats)

John wrote;

And you are going to just leave it at that: It is because of the Mormon Church, and that’s that, simply because you said so?

Actually I didn’t say so – the stats did that all on their own.  Furthermore, if you had read any of the articles at all you’d find that I’ve explicitly stated that many factors play into the scenario. Mormonism isn’t the sole reason why. 

This may or may not be true. But you have made absolutely no effort beyond your simple–probably biased–assertion.

You’ve obviously not read my articles. 

This is like saying that because the rooster crows every morning before the sun comes up it is certain that the rooter itself is what caused the sun to rise in the morning.

Just because two things are correlated does not automatically mean there is a causal link between them. Unless you look at the demographics and actual reasons behind these suicides, you really can support an assertion like this.

True. And unless you’ve read all the material written for an ongoing series for the past 10 years you shouldn’t be doing that either. 

“Mormon” Utah is actually getting pretty watered down by sometime outsiders moving into the area. In many areas in Utah, Mormon’s are not even a majority anymore, and for all you know, it could be these sometime outsiders who are committing suicide rather than the Mormons.

I’m praying you read the set of articles in this series to see how the numbers fall and what’s going on inside of Utah.  

I would be curious to know if the suicide statistics are actually higher among the LDS population in general–both inside and outside of Utah.

That info is actually in one of the reports and the research was performed by the Mormons, not me.  

In may turn out that LDS folks are in fact more likely to commit suicide, but your simple assertion certainly does nothing to shed any real light on this notion.

John

Know that we’re praying for you John and praying that you’ll actually read the articles to find out for yourself what takes place in Utah.  

I write this series because of how sad my heart is for my people. It frustrates me that this keeps taking place inside Utah and decade after decade it never seems to change. I’ve personally been impacted by family members and friends who’ve committed suicide in Utah (all Mormons), thus my concern and my reasoning for bringing attention to it.  

With Love in Christ;

Michelle

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