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Church invites members to pray for those affected by suicide

Church leaders have invited members to join other faith communities in praying for those whose lives have been touched by suicide — including those struggling with suicidal behavior or mental illness.

In honor of the National Weekend of Prayer for Faith, Hope, and Life, Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr., General Authority Seventy, spoke at a media event Sept. 7 held at the Utah State Capitol to support both the weekend of prayer and Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert’s Teen Suicide Prevention Task Force, which the Church joined last January.

"Join your prayers with the many others participating this weekend in such a worthy cause," Elder Curtis said at the event. "Together, we can help to provide hope, from the true source of all hope, to those who desperately need it."

To those experiencing loneliness or despair, Elder Curtis said: "Pray for help from God and ask for help from others. Talk to someone; don’t try to endure alone. Seek professional help — help lines, social services, and counseling."

To those eager to help, Elder Curtis said: "Pray for those in need and reach out to them. Let them know you care and offer a listening ear. There are many available resources, including some provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that can help you know how to talk about suicide and how to help in other ways."

According to a news release, Gov. Herbert told faith leaders in his invitation to participate in the weekend of prayer that suicide prevention must be a community-wide effort.

“I believe everyone plays a role in suicide prevention and that faith communities play a unique role,” Gov. Herbert said. “I hope we will use the power of our collective faith and prayers to bring about miracles in the lives of our residents, especially in their darkest hours.”

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox spoke at the event, along with Elder Curtis, Pastor Logan Wolf of Crosspoint Church and Laura Warburton of Live Hannah’s Hope.

Last January, the Church added new resources to its website suicide.lds.org to help leaders and members prevent suicide and to help leaders minister to individuals and their families impacted by suicide.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles talked about the updated resources at a press conference on Jan. 17 at the Utah State Capitol, where Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced the creation of the Teen Suicide Prevention Task Force.

In July, the Church also released a series of videos to help Church members approach those who are considering suicide.

“We need to reach out with love and understanding,” said Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in one of the videos. "And you do that in concert with health-care professionals, with ecclesiastical leaders, with friends and family support.”

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