Choose to Stay

To my husband's students: I know you don't read my blog because it's against confidentiality policies and I'm sure even if you did you wouldn't care too much what some random lady has to say but if I could get you to listen to me even for one single moment, this is what i want you to hear:

Evan (Brother Fox) walked in the house today at 7:50 am, put his head on my shoulder and sobbed. I'm not sure when or if ever I have seen him cry but it was the only thing to do. He found out this morning right before the start of his first class that another Lone Peak student had taken their own life last night. And this time, that very student had been sitting in Evan's classroom the previous morning as he gave a lesson on preventing suicide. It was a student he loved and admired, one he really believed in, and still does. An epidemic has broken out at your school and we are desperate for it to stop. Since Evan started teaching at Lone Peak four years ago there have been at least 8 suicides and many many more attempts. At first they told us not to address it openly, that talking about it would only encourage copy cat actions. So we bound our tongues which was painfully difficult to do. But nothing changed. Then the police chief held a city meeting sharing the gut wrenching statistics of our little citiy's suicide struggle and taught us how to help. But it didn't stop. So then many of the seminary teachers decided to give a lesson on God's love and how He can take the pain from you, somehow trying to get through to you that it doesn't have to end this way. But again another student has died. Students of Lone Peak, we ache for you. We cry over you. We plead to God for you and for your parents and especially for those who have lost a loved one in this battle.

I know it is so hard to believe us. I distinctly remember the almost unbearable stress to get perfect grades, the ridiculous pressure to fit in and the escalating drama that closes in on you. But if you could just suspend reality for one moment and imagine: this is not the end. You live in a huge big and brilliant world waiting for you to create, discover, to make staggering mistakes, and to have smashing successes. I remember the very moment it hit me. I woke up the day after my high school graduation and realized that that was it. And you know what? No one ever asked me again if I was first or second string on the soccer team. No one has ever asked me what my GPA was. Life is so incredibly much bigger than the likes on your selfie or the Saturday night you didn't get an invite. We know you are lonely, discouraged, overwhelmed, depressed, lost. Those emotions are a real part of life, everyone's lives not just yours, and they are painful. But there are other emotions too. There's anticipation, excitement, ecstatic joy, and enveloping love. We want you to feel those. There are literally armies of doctors, counselors, teachers, coaches, bishops, parents, and friends who are begging to help. Please let them in. Students of Lone Peak, "Whatever your struggle, my brothers and sisters--mental or emotional or physical or otherwise--do not vote against the preciousness of life by ending it! Trust in God. Hold on in His love. Know that one day the dawn will break brightly and all shadows of mortality will flee. Though we may feel we are “like a broken vessel,” as the Psalmist says, we must remember, that vessel is in the hands of the divine potter. Broken minds can be healed just the way broken bones and broken hearts are healed. While God is at work making those repairs, the rest of us can help by being merciful, nonjudgmental, and kind. "
Elder Holland: Like a Broken Vessel 

 And your peers have been just that. Merciful, nonjudgmental, and kind. So
Many of your friends aren't struggling, instead they're scattering sunshine to their fellow Knights by leaving anonymous encouraging notes on their lockers or creating a trending hashtag called #ichoosetostay and preaching all the good life here has to offer. To those of you who are fighting for your friends: Thank you for being strong. We are so proud of you.

Here's what a few of your very own teachers had to say:

To my husbands students: choose to stay. We need you here, and God needs you here.


  1. I was stunned again. I thought surely all the things the school and community has been doing is making a difference. And maybe it is. I feel so lost for answers now. Maclane and I were talking about you guys yesterday when I found out- Evan's known 2 of them closely. That must be so hard. I wish we had no-fail answers and maybe God's omniscient eye into the depths of a soul would be nice. I guess we just love, pray, and keep reaching out to people. I'm sorry for your loss and we love you guys. Thank you for your post.

  2. Kamille, that was a beautiful video, & a beautifully sad message. Here's to hoping that talking about it is the right thing to do, and that kids begin to understand that their pain can end without their life ending, too.


Post a Comment