Latter-day Saint Life

Elder Rasband Calls Teen Suicide "a Crisis Reaching All Around the World," Shares Source of Healing


“Try just saying the name ‘Jesus Christ’ in a perilous setting with one who has lost hope. Just calling upon Him by name, with reverence, can make a difference in a difficult moment," Elder Ronald A. Rasband said in a message to Church Education System Employees. "He loves us in our brightest and our darkest hours. . . . Jesus Christ is always the answer."

Elder Rasband focused his message on the darkest hours of our lives and the rise in teen suicide rates across the world. On Facebook, he shared:

"Life has always been filled with challenges. No one is immune. Not you. Not me. Some young people suffer because they think they are the only ones with troubles. Everyone else seems to have it all together. But the truth is that trials come to all of us—even those of you who are young. "I have learned no one is immune. Teen suicide is a crisis reaching all around the world. Statistics show that suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among youth ages 15-24. 'Suicide attempts are twenty times more frequent than completed suicides.' Those are cruel statistics. "We must all face this issue. We must commit to do everything we can. We must talk to each other about suicide and love each other out of considering suicide as a solution to pain. President Thomas S. Monson’s life embodied the phrase 'to the rescue.' We need to take that as our charge. "That is what the Savior did for all of us. He came to our rescue with the Atonement, and He continues to express such profound love by healing us, encouraging us, and bringing us peace if we will but turn to Him. Jesus Christ is always the answer."

Jason Swensen wrote a powerful article about Elder Rasband's message on the Church Newssharing how teens and adults alike can find hope and healing despite the heartbreaking rise in suicide rates:

"There is no template for teens at risk for suicide, according to a Latter-day Saint Apostle. "Youths at risk may play the trombone, sing in the choir, compete on soccer teams or bag groceries after school. Some regularly attend church. Others have set aside religion. "But there are common threads, said Elder Ronald A. Rasband in his sober, yet hopeful, message to Church Educational System employees, missionaries and their spouses. "Those threads might include disappointment, a botched quiz, a break up, a string of bullying, academic stress or perhaps what can aptly be called adolescent misery. "But never forget, divine assistance and ministering is found through the Savior. "'“A greater understanding of Jesus Christ will help those who are spiraling down,' said Elder Rasband, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. 'His love for them and the profound and exalted place He has prepared for them in the eternities is a message of hope. He loves them. They need to know that. The scripture states, ‘I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you’' (Doctrine and Covenants 68:6)."

Read more of Elder Rasband's message here.

Lead image from Church News
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