Quantcast
Utah

Homeless man charged with stalking Mormon church president

Comments

Return To Article
  • Hawkyo SYRACUSE, UT
    July 8, 2011 10:19 p.m.

    This man needs help. Badly. I feel sorry for him. Mental illness is not a joke. Hopefully he can get the help he needs. My heart goes out to him.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    July 9, 2011 5:58 a.m.

    I know the prophet is a busy man but would it hurt to strip the man clean first to make sure he's not concealing any weapons and then have a couple of security folks accompany him to the office of the president to see what he wants to see him about? Who knows but that maybe a visit with the prophet would help him solve some problems he's having? If he is not crazy, then constantly arresting and throwing him in jail is silly. If he is a looney, then they should just put him in a mental institution where he can receive help. Curious what the prophet thinks of the whole thing?

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    July 9, 2011 7:16 a.m.

    I understand it isn't at all unusual--individuals who claim to be the prophet or Christ hang around the Church Office Building trying to take over the reigns of the Church or get some sort of attention. This sort of thing goes on all the time. Church security has to do everything possible to handle this sort of thing in the appropriate way. Apparently they have tried for a while to deal with this guy. It's a sad thing, but they must put safety first. I hope this guy can get some help.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 9, 2011 7:31 a.m.

    Ree: thebigsamoan | 5:58 a.m. July 9, 2011

    Suppose I wanted to see President Obama. I know the President is a busy man but would it hurt to strip me clean first to make sure I'm not concealing any weapons and then have a couple of security folks accompany me to the office of the President so he could see what I wanted to see him about?

    The answer is 'NO'. That just isn't the way it works.

  • Walt Nicholes Orem, UT
    July 9, 2011 8:42 a.m.

    No doubt the security people have a pretty good idea what the guy wants. They usually ask those things. If the fellow can't articulate why he wants to see the President, then they are immediately suspicious of his intentions.

    I don't think that they are as worried that he might be carrying a weapon - that would have shown up on prior police reports. I think that they are more concerned that he will try to embarrass or harass the president.

    Historically, for maybe the last 50 or 60 years, pretty careful screening has been done.

    People who want legitimate appointments with leaders of the church can usually get them through the usual appointment making process. The rest are flakes.

  • My $0.02 Roy, UT
    July 9, 2011 10:03 a.m.

    I have a close relative who works with church security, and this kind of thing is a REGULAR OCCURANCE. Security tries to handle it nice and quiet, but at certain times the aggressor won't quit! That is when the charges are filed, and frankly charges are filed more often than you might think. The other comment was right, there are people who claim to be prophets, prophetesses and Christs and Heavenly Messengers all the time who want to speak to the Prophet or Apostles. They seem to FLOCK to the office building! Deseret News could be half filled with the stuff that actually goes on at church headquarters every day if it reported "EVERYTHING" that was wierd going on there! Why this one case? I am sure if every threat, whacko, and security holding was reported, most people would be stunned at how much abuse and how many wierdo people their are that try to see the general authorities! In some ways they are better equipt than the federal government to handle things. They have a system to file everything away on anyone who has ever had an issue in defense or against the church. It's amazing!!!

  • Gordon T. Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 9, 2011 11:06 a.m.

    If he is homeless he will get meals, shelter and medical attention for free. This sounds like a smart homeless person.

  • jkcook Petersaurach, Germany
    July 9, 2011 11:08 a.m.

    With the number of homeless people I've seen wandering the streets of Salt Lake City, I'm not surprised some of them seek the comfort of the wonderful church buildings. What is the church doing to help these people? We send millions to help those in need around the world, isn't there anyway to clean up the streets at home by employing these folks and getting them housing?

  • standfan HELENA, MT
    July 9, 2011 11:28 a.m.

    My 2 cents is right. Two times on my mission I had the opportunity to meet Jesus Christ. ( At least they both claimes to be, and neither were this guy ) 4-5 times I met people claiming to be a prophet. I served my mission in Southern California. It's sad to see and talk with those with mental illness. But the problem lies in not knowing what will trigger potentialy dangerous behavior. Sadly it is more common then most of care to think about.

  • MaryAnn North Bend, WA
    July 9, 2011 11:55 a.m.

    JKCook, do you not pay attention when the Church is all over the United States helping with the poor, helping with the victims of great disasters, helping with the homeless, the mentally ill, etc.? Not every mentally ill person is employable, not every homeless person wants to live in conventional housing, not every person wants help. The Church has social services programs in every community, and they hire people all the time to work at Deseret Industries and other programs. There is nothing wrong with seeking comfort in a wonderful church building, but when the person is asked to leave and refuses, over and over, then something else has to happen. I would venture that if he walked into the visitors center and just sat for an hour, no one would bother him. But when he demands to see the President and is told to go through the proper channels (as everyone should do, as correctly cited by Rifleman in his post), and refuses, then he has to be removed. His choice is how he is removed.

  • LKA Tremonton, UT
    July 9, 2011 5:22 p.m.

    President Monson is busy enough more than not he probably was not there anyway. And most people dont't know that this was probably not the first time this has happened but happens on a regular basis. As Rifleman said about Obama,this probably happens in DC several times a day..

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    July 9, 2011 7:06 p.m.

    Charged with stocking, hugh?? I think the church of latters days saints may have been able to handle this differently?? Just guessing but the security at around the temple square seems to a bit over the top.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 9, 2011 7:34 p.m.

    Re: jkcook | 11:08 a.m. July 9, 2011

    Your question surprises me. Are you aware of the service missionaries that provide support, or the LDS Church welfare program that provides food and other assistance? Were you aware that when disasters strike the LDS Church sends supplies to many nations.

    The LDS Church has members worldwide, and does not limit their support to those living in Salt Lake City.

  • Pursuit_of_Knowledge SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 9, 2011 10:52 p.m.

    Jesus would not have turned this man away.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2011 10:53 p.m.

    "I know the prophet is a busy man but"

    But what? Stop all work, all meetings, all of the little amounts of time he has to spend with his family, stop doing work for the Church, charities, planning many other things that help the world greatly... stop it all to meet someone who wants to meet with him? Yes, there are plenty who deserve to meet with someone who can help...

    BUT, if he stops for one... then he has to stop for another... and another. When would it end? - The man has local church authorities with the priesthood who can offer just as much assistance to someone as the Prophet. The power of God is no less focused for a bishop as it is for the Prophet. If one has faith, anything can happen.

    By all means, the man is free to make decisions... this one was unwise and the Church and President Monson did nothing wrong. Hopefully the man will seek help properly and finally something learn from these attempts.

  • B Logan, UT
    July 9, 2011 10:55 p.m.

    RE: mightymite

    Read up a little on LDS church history. You will quickly discover why church security is 'over the top' in matters like this. In fact, mightymite, I'm not sure if you actually read the story, but this man came back 5 times and refused to leave. That sounds a lot like stalking to me.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    July 9, 2011 11:36 p.m.

    Sorry to stirke a nerve "B" but I think it could have been handled a little better. If as the story reads this man claims to be Christ; which little could think as valid and equaly so little think that monson is a prophet. Maybe there could be some discourse. Just a thought......

  • Charliegirl ATHENS, AL
    July 10, 2011 7:03 a.m.

    It is unfortunate that this poor soul has issues. It is likewise unfortunate that he couldn't be ushered in the Church office building, but in reality, he isn't a 'known quantity' in terms of mental stability nor level of danger. To those who suppose that he should have been let into the offices of the church despite having been asked to move on, would YOU PERSONALLY be willing to allow this person into your home despite having asked him to leave your property repeatedly? Would you feel comfortable allowing him to come around your children, your spouse and your property without first knowing if he was dangerous? People do not need weapons to cause harm to another person and if he had been received into the Church office building and then became violent, how might he have been treated at that time? Common sense dictates a measured approach and a system for safely admitting persons into the building, just as common sense dictates whom you allow into your home or workplace. Just because it's the Church office building doesn't mean they have no need of security and safeguards.

  • zooology Bountiful, Utah
    July 10, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    mightymite- " If as the story reads this man claims to be Christ; which little could think as valid and equaly so little think that monson is a prophet."

    Lets see 14.1 Million people believe President Monson is a Prophet..
    1-Person believes he is Christ.

    Is that what you consider Equal?

    The President of any orginization.. for example the Roman Catholic Pope,
    President Obama, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, they most likely wouldn't have dropped everything and laxed their security just to meet with this guy. He could have followed the procedure to request a meeting. I think the Church handlded this situation pretty well. Security over the top huh? Yea for being one of the most persecuted churchs around the globe... hmm.. NO not over the top.. Safety is pretty important thats why they have so much security.

  • kerrisally ALLEN, TX
    July 10, 2011 2:55 p.m.

    This is my brother that I have been trying to find for the last 4 years. On one hand I am so happy that he is alive and on the other hand so sad because of where he is. I love him and will find out what I can do to help him get the help he needs. Thank you for the kind and concerned comments that have been posted.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 10, 2011 3:45 p.m.

    Re: mightymite | 11:36 p.m. July 9, 2011

    No one is forced to believe that President Monson is a prophet. Certainly Jesus never forced anyone to believe He was the Savior. I'm not sure what point it is that you're attempting to make.

    And no, the man wasn't charged with 'stocking'. Those are things you wear on your feet. The Deseret News got it right when they reported he was charged with 'stalking'.

  • friedeggonAZstreets Glendale, AZ
    July 10, 2011 9:54 p.m.

    OK. I don't know why this comment was denied the first time.

    Someone posted "Jesus would not have turned this man away."

    From my reading in the scriptures Jesus Christ can read man's thoughts. It's my understanding only he and Heavenly Father could do this. In The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints we believe our Pres/prophet receives revelations from God. We don't know if Pres. Monson may have wanted to speak to him, but the Spirit told him not to do it. Oh, and I just remembered that sometimes Jesus did not go himself to cure the sick in the scriptures. He sent his Apostles to do the work of helping the sick receive healing.

  • IamMe DRAPER, UT
    July 10, 2011 10:14 p.m.

    @ RifleMan, B and Voice of Reason:
    Not to place any blame on President Monson. He may not have even been made aware of it at the time. But you're comparing the President of the LDS Church to the President of the United States? Yes, they both need security measures. But you're forgetting that there is a big difference. Or there should be. The US President's job is to run the country. He's not a spiritual leader. And a polititian is self-serving by definition anyway. People expect him to turn someone like that away. A prophet's job above all is to be Christ-like and set an example... I think. Why do I have to point this out? Christ was a busy man also. And if he'd had better security, he might never have had the opportunity to perform some of those miracles.

  • Arizonaboy PRESCOTT, AZ
    July 11, 2011 11:57 a.m.

    I doubt that anyone is attempting to compare President Monson to the President of the United States. As was mentioned he is a political leader with no knowledge of spiritual things or even how to help a person with spiritual problems. He barely has the ability to take care of political things other than destroying the Constitution of the United States. President Monson holds the Priesthood of God and does the will of our Father in Heaven. There is no reason to believe that if Christ had better security he may not have performed miracles. Jesus was the perfect son of God, he had 12 disciples who followed him and taught many the message he preached. President Monson likewise teaches those lessons as well as performs miracles in behalf of Christ. There is an appropriate way to gain a meeting with the Prophet of God through the proper channels. As a member of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints,who holds a Temple Recommend I can assure you that even I could not just walk into the Church Office Building in Salt Lake and demand a meeting with the Prophet.

  • ke7ejx REDMOND, OR
    July 11, 2011 12:13 p.m.

    kerrisally-

    I am so very sorry that you had to find out about your brother this way. I'll keep you both in prayers. God be with you both. :)

  • QAM Kearns, UT
    July 11, 2011 1:14 p.m.

    kerrisally -

    I rejoice with you that you've found your brother. How horrible it must have been for you not to know where he was for four long years! I can't even imagine the nightmare for you and your family.

    You might be sad to know where he is, but at least he's (probably) safe, and unlikely to disappear again before you can make contact with him and help him get the help he needs. It's good to know that this man has family who loves him and wants to help him get well.

    My best wishes to you, and to him.

  • Serenity Manti, UT
    July 11, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    mightymite: I would love to have a discourse with you, but first you simply need to learn to write. I just can't understand you. Maybe I am dumb. At any rate, anyone who refuses to obey the law by trespassing on private property after he has been asked to leave five times needs more help than seeing the prophet can give him. Hopefully he will get the help he needs now, especially after the post kerrisally wrote. I wish him well and hope that with his family's help, he will become a constructive member of society.

  • Gazenji POWDER SPRINGS, GA
    July 11, 2011 11:39 p.m.

    Sadly, this man is probably mentally ill. The mentally ill do not make rational decisions the way that most people do. I have a mentally ill brother that has spent time in prison because of poor decision making. He does not have the capabilty to make wise decisions. He will never be a productive member of society. He has been committed to mental institutions by himself and family members. Since he doesn't have insurance, he is released within a few days. Our society chooses to incarcerate the mentally ill. I also work in a library that is frequented by the mentally ill. It's a public place. Even unarmed, they can be very scary to the patrons and staff. A book hurled across a room because of an imagined injustice can do serious damage. Security made the right decision. The safety of a crowd is more important than the wants of one individual. Incarceration is not the most cost effective way of dealing with the mentally ill. But it is not a problem to solved by the LDS church. Kerisally, I hope you have the resources to help your brother. My family doesn't have the resources to care for my brother.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 12, 2011 8:12 a.m.

    Re: IamMe | 10:14 p.m. July 10, 2011

    So you're suggesting that the Catholic Pope should be expected to grant me and about 10 million others a half hour each to hear our concerns?

    President Monson is only granted 24 hours a day to do his work. Subtracting a little time for sleep, and maybe a little time to be with his family doesn't leave much time for the work that must be accomplished. A wise man spends the limited time available to do the most good for the most people.

  • amst plano, tx
    July 12, 2011 12:19 p.m.

    While I understand the concern who in their right mind would try to harm the prophet (key word right mind)does he not possess a fairly imposing stature? Does not make sense to me. Man was possibly a little crazy.

  • IamMe DRAPER, UT
    July 19, 2011 9:18 p.m.

    @Arizonaboy

    Actually they WERE comparing Pres Monson to the Pres of the US in that they are both too busy to see the common-ers. But I was trying to point out that there is a difference. And simply threw in the fact that Christ did spend time with the common-ers. I was making a joke about the probable lack of security in Christ's time (no disrespect intended) and I was not expecting a discourse on what a terrible US Predident we have, nor was I hoping to provoke a lecture from a fellow temple-worthy member. Lighten up. Of all the self-righteous.... sheesh.

  • Digbads South Jordan, UT
    July 22, 2011 11:29 p.m.

    I am glad there are so many people willing to direct President Monson on how he should behave. His youthful naivete makes him so vulnerable to rash and irresponsible behavior. I sure hope he reads these comment boards to learn what he should be doing.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    July 28, 2011 2:37 a.m.

    Rifleman,
    You ignore that as a private organization the Church does not have the same rights as the government to strip search people. Their main recorse against disruptive people is the tresspassing statutes.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    July 28, 2011 2:42 a.m.

    The Church runs Deseret Industries and donats large sums to homeless shelters and in other ways seeks to help the poor. This man was actually employed priviously at a bishops storehouse but was fired due to assaulting another.

    The underlying problem in many cases of homselessness is mental illness. The Church as a private body can not force people to take medications.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    July 28, 2011 2:50 a.m.

    Anyone who thinks President Monson is "too busy to spend time with commoners" is just not in touch with reality. However the question here is how much time he should spend with mentally-ill people who are out of touch with reality. Beyond this, it is possible President Monson has met with this guy. The question is not a one-time visit, but repeated long visits.

  • wild horses Twin Falls, ID
    Sept. 10, 2011 8:54 p.m.

    Jesus was a busy man. Would he of turned down a homeless man?
    President Monson is not Jesus!

  • Ness Utah, Ut
    Sept. 12, 2011 3:02 p.m.

    If that homeless person came to looking for wanting to meet with our savior Jesus Christ I know He wouldn't turned him down.Jesus Christ I know has more faith than I can imagine and I know that President Monson believes the same.
    President Monson is a busy man and probably wasn't around when it happened.
    but hopefully in the future it'll be pretty cool if he does give the man a chance to talk to him face to face.=)

    John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."