Most people who consider suicide don’t want to die, they just don’t know how to cope with or eliminate the pain they are going through. There are perhaps many reasons that a person reaches a breaking point in his or her life when it seems that the only way out is to end it all. Among those reasons are the tremendous burden of stress that some find themselves under, as well as, the often-relentless bullying from peers and even family members. Although it is a tragic loss when an individual decides to commit suicide, the reality is that those who are left behind are faced with dealing with the loss for a long time to come. The pain has ceased for the one who has committed suicide, but it begins for those who remain to carry on their lives without that person.
Someone has given this wise counsel to anyone contemplating suicide, “Don’t lose hope. When the sun goes down, the stars come out.” Another has shared this bit of wisdom, “If you are not there to shine your light, who knows how many travelers will lose their way as they try to pass by your empty place in the darkness.” And Harriet Beecher Stowe, an American abolitionist and best known as the author of the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin is noted as having said, “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
16-year-old Justin Garvin, a student at Lone Peak High School in Highland, Utah, has experienced what it is like to lose someone that you care about to suicide. After losing two friends to suicide in a matter of months in ninth grade, he decided to find a way to try and make a difference.
In an LDS Living interview, Justin admitted that he has never suffered from depression or suicidal thoughts, but he has faced some hardships in his young life. In 2016, his best friend, Beau, died in an ATV accident. He told LDS Living, “He’s . . . the best kid I know. In his phone, he had a reminder that would go off every hour that would say, ‘Make Christ the center of your life.’ So I put that reminder on my phone and that’s been a testimony builder.”
At the time of his friend’s passing, Justin was busy working on a song to be included on the 2017 Mutual album for the youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. About the song, he said, “After [the accident], I kinda just wanted to give up and not do anything. But I’ve listened to my song a lot, and I realize that I shouldn’t give up. I should keep going.” He continued, “If I can only help one person with this song, then it’s all worth it.”
Justin began writing music in the sixth grade. After performing in a singing competition – Vocal Sport – Nik Day, an LDS singer, songwriter, and product manager for the Church’s Mutual album—asked him if he would be willing to write a song for the 2017 Mutual Album. The song that he wrote is called “Choose to Stay” – a song about suicide prevention – a song that has already had a profound impact on his life.
Nik day stated, “I hope that the youth of the Church will listen to this album and have an increased desire to follow Christ. I hope the youth of the Church listen to the album and feel the Savior’s love for them.”