Back + Good News

I’ve returned from the camping trip to some very, very good news.

Our friend from the other day has been located and is safe. He is alive. I don’t know many details other than that he wishes to remain anonymous, and that he is being taken care of by some close family members. Here is a comment that was left on that post by Sara Long:

HE IS CURRENTLY SAFE. A member of the Feminist Mormon Housewives Society brought him cookies and a note full of love from people who’d heard his story. He lives with his family and they have confirmed he’s currently alive and physically well, psychologically not so. He has made efforts to make his name unknown publicly so I am respecting that, and I ask that you all do so as well, for those who know who he is. I will send his name and location to Josh.

I am so glad to know that of the possible “maybes” that could account for his being incommunicado, it wasn’t the one we all dreaded. Thanks to all who left such heartfelt messages, who prayed for him, and who wished him well, and especially to those who spread the message so that he could be located and know of the great efforts that went on to ensure that he is safe and that he knows that he is loved.

He is not the only one. He represents an entire population of individuals who feel hopeless and alone and like death is their only escape, and who need our support and love. 

And when I say “our support and love”, I say that as inclusively as possible. ALL of us. That was one thing that truly touched my heart about this situation. I saw lines previously drawn in the sand be ignored as good people came together to help in a matter of life or death. I think excerpts from the following comment on the original post said it best:

Josh – we haven’t met yet but I have been very glad to read of your story – EVEN THOUGH we might not be considered “in the same camp”. . .

I think we have an urgent calling – all of us – to put aside our differences and simply step up to the plate and organize on this – with no agenda! Let us begin to build such common ground. Let us start meeting live in the year to come . . .

I think it would be almost similar to the story many of us learned along the way about the British and German soldiers during WWI who put their guns down and all sang carols together that Christmas morning. This issue HAS to be our Christmas carol. And it has come time. . . 

I think that this issue–the issue of life or death–really can be our Christmas carol. There is a love that binds all of us together, ideological differences notwithstanding. Let’s not forget this moment, and let’s attempt to keep the bridges that this kind of situation enabled fortified. You might think differently than me. I might think differently than you. But when a soul is hurting and in trouble, let’s focus on healing that soul. 

There are many such souls, and there are a lot of us. Let’s make love our clarion call. Let’s say kind words instead of words of harshness. Let’s find a suffering soul to soothe–there are so many. Let’s focus our attention on healing the wounded instead of focusing it at launching the next napalm attack at our ideological enemy. 

I really, really think we can do this. 

Idealistic? Probably. But seeing things like the rallying that has taken place around this young man makes me believe that there is hope. 

Anyway, just wanted to throw this post up so everyone could take a sigh a relief.

Thanks again for all the kind words and for the beautiful outpouring. You guys touched my heart, and I hope other suffering suicidal souls encounter people like you, and see the love that you all demonstrated.

Time for me to go down and eat dinner with the fam. 

(Also, camping was awesome AND I ate s’mores AND I went on a big slip-and-slide AND I prevented Tessa from falling into the fire-pit to die a fiery death of pain and suffering AND I only got lost once. It was a really good weekend all around, and this post’s news just topped it off.)


  1. Thanks for the update. I'm glad he is still with us and is starting to get the help he needs. Will still pray for him. I hope he will give us updates when and if appropriate.

    1. I agree. I think we all want people to be happy and feel loved and accepted. No matter what side of the debate you are on, we can come together with that common goal. I love that idea and that it could happen.

  2. I started reading your blog around the time EVERYONE else did… I have not been able to stop thinking or reading about you since. I don't really understand a lot of your views or agree with a lot of them, but you make me want to be a better person…especially, for whatever reason, a better wife. I love how you love people. You seem do a lot of good for people and being a social worker who sees a lot of awful things (especially when it comes to kids), I am so grateful for good people. So, thank you for doing the things you do and saying the things you say and being exactly the person you are. And the same goes for your wife as well.

  3. Thank you for the update!! I have been praying for him and all those like him everyday. What an eye opening experience.

  4. It's good to hear that he's safe for now and hopefully will get the help he needs to accept himself and to not think he's worthless. No one is worthless, Heavenly Father loves all of his children and grieves to see them in pain and suffering.

    Oh, and Josh, some day you should go REAL camping. I can tell you were at the Ensign Ranch again because of the slip and slide (seriously, a slip and slide?). I'll think of you while I'm in the wilderness this weekend.

  5. So thankful to hear he is okay, Physically anyway. I don't post all that often But I've been here since before the beginning of Club Unicorn. I think we have all been blessed by your willingness to be open and share. Just like this young boy hopefully has been and will be blessed in these coming moments of his life. Thank You for all you've done and continue to do. And I'll continue sharing your blog with everyone I know. If we can only save one soul from that worthless feeling it is completely worth it. – LM, WX, UT

  6. I actually don't have a comment on the Viva situation, but I have a question/concern of my own that kinda goes along with it. I have a beautiful 16-year-old daughter…and I do mean beautiful. She has gorgeous hair, perfect face, great body, you name it. Anyway, I have made it a point, ever since I started having kids, to let them know that they are pretty, gorgeous, lovely, etc…but since hitting teen-hood this particular daughter thinks she is fat and ugly. And when asked she will tell you it's because of one certain girl, from 4 years ago, who doesn't like my daughter (and the feeling is mutual), who said that she was ugly. Why is it that 16 years of being told she is pretty, by myself and total strangers in the supermarket, can be wiped out by one comment by a perfect little beast and can hang on through four years of being told how gorgeous she is by EVERYONE? Is it just normal stuff from teenageer-ish-ness? I was never blessed with this problem. I was told by everyone, parents too, that I was fat (only to look at pictures 20 years later and find out that I wasn't). So….what do I do? What can I do? I will welcome any advice from anyone. Even if it is to just drop this whole subject.

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