The beliefs and sentiments expressed by those whose letters appear here are not necessarily shared by the Adventist Review or its editorial staff. These letters have been edited for clarity and length. -- Editors

Thanks for Understanding

My husband and I recently lost [to suicide] our 17 year-old grandson, who had lived with us since the age of 3. We thank you very much for the article “No More Hope?” (Apr. 14, 2011), and for the hope the Bible gives us.

The stigma of suicide and depression are painful, hurtful, and so untrue, even from our own members. We are often not talked to, looked down on, and cast out, leaving our minds running wild with guilt and “if onlys.”

Yet we are told by others in the community what a polite, caring young man he was. Our grandson stood up for the “underdog” to the point of getting in trouble himself. And he loved God as best a 17 year-old could. Thank you for helping.

--Cathy and Don Staroska
North Platte, Nebraska

I recall bits and pieces of the night my father died in the late 1940s, even though I was not quite four years old. My mother explained that he died of a heart attack.

Years later, as I helped my mother move from the home I had grown up in, I came upon my father’s death certificate on which the cause of death was listed as “barbiturate poisoning,” “accident or suicide.”

A pharmacist, he had battled alcoholism for years. The barbiturate overdose was, in my opinion, no accident. While a huge shock at the time, knowing the truth is almost always the best.

Since then I have known others who died by their own hands, and I must agree with Dan Appel that only God is qualified to judge the cases of these individuals.

The families of these people bear a terrible burden. And should it be made heavier still by ill-advised comments unsupported by biblical evidence?

Will I see my father again at the second coming of Christ? I don’t know. But I trust him to a loving God who dispenses justice with equity and love.

--Steve Mallery

Blessed by the Memory
As a boy I remember hearing the voice of film star Judy Garland sing Hugh Martin’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” It was good to be reminded of the change in the lyrics from “merry” to “blessed” in the news story, “Adventist Hugh Martin, Composer and Del Delker’s Accompanist, Dies” (Apr. 21, 2011).

While training for the ministry at Emmanuel Missionary College (now Andrews University), I became acquainted with Delker. She was there honing her skills as a Minister of Music.

Years later, she sang at our church in Simi Valley, California. My wife, Barbara, and our family gave a message and sample of the importance of family worship. In conclusion, Delker sang for us that old hymn “Love at Home.” She also came to our Victorville, California church, where I served as pastor. She introduced to us her accompanist, Hugh Martin, as she ministered to our congregation. Hers and Martin’s ministry was truly a blessed one!

--Duane R. Peterson
Kernersville, North Carolina

Individuals Make a Difference
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article “Father Joseph Bates” (Apr. 28, 2011). It’s always good to be reminded of where we are coming from, and how it all started, to encourage us as we continue on our Christian journey.
Sometimes we get so caught up with what’s going on in the world, and in our personal lives, that we don’t take time to remember how God uses individuals to make a difference in His church. The article reminded and encouraged me that God can use me and you for His great work if we, like Father Bates, allow ourselves to be used for His purpose.

--Yahnique Robb
Hudson, Massachusetts

Disappointed in the Review
Whenever I pick up a copy of the Review I get disappointed. I study each page, hoping to glean some inspiration from the articles I find there. Then, when I turn the next page and realize I’m at the end of the magazine, I get terribly disappointed.
Thank you for crafting each week such an amazingly helpful and pertinent periodical for these last days.

--Renee Augustine Geppe
Portland, Oregon

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