The following was written in a Facebook post by Brian Bresee and is reprinted verbatim and by permission. Brian lost his 14-year-old son Samuel to suicide in 2014 after months of being called “Faggot” at his local LDS congregation in Las Vegas.
Mark E. Waite is the relative of the attorney (Dan Waite) mentioned in my previous post, he was our Stake President when our son died of suicide. As an active, true believing Mormon and Temple worthy member of the church, I placed this man in high regard. For me he was God’s representative at the local level.
A couple of months passed since Samuel’s death and I requested that President Waite and Bishop Morrison come to our home. During that meeting I showed these men the suicide note (which clearly pointed to abuse at church), informed them that our son was abused at church before his suicide and that I wanted that abuse investigated, and finished by telling these men that the church has a very serious abuse problem which is causing children to leave the church and never come back. President Waite agreed to come back in a couple of weeks and investigate our son’s abuse.
About three months passed and President Waite did not return to investigate our son’s abuse. During this time I was privately told by a leader from our Ward that our son’s abuse was being viewed as a “Liability Concern” by the church. As found in church policy, President Waite had no doubt called Kirton-McConkie at the Bishop’s Hotline for instructions. His failure to honor his word required I make an appointment with President Waite.
During that meeting I pressed President Waite to investigate our son’s abuse, to at the very least call a meeting with the boys involved and their parents, to show the evidence and let each boy decide for themselves if they wanted to repent. His reply,
“This might be the natural man in me, but I don’t want to be told what to do!!! . . . Brother Bresee, you need to get some therapy”, and finishing with “You’re not going to leave the church over this are you?”
To use my fragile mental condition at the time as a tactic to protect the church’s money was like a knife being put into me by a man I viewed as God’s representative. As I left that meeting, he joked about not returning after two weeks to investigate as he promised and laughed while saying something along the lines of ‘not being viewed as a liar’. This meeting, along with letter responses from the ‘Brethren’ sent me on a very painful faith crisis during an already very difficult time, something I barely survived. At that moment I realized I had been the member of a Corporation, not God’s “only true church”, my whole world view was dumped on its head in the worst way.
Mark Waite was also the Area Director of LDS Facilities for the Las Vegas area. Along with preserving his status in the church as a leader, he also had a direct monetary stake in obeying church attorneys with his employment by the church.
With depraved men like Mark Waite and Dan Waite simply following the ‘Best Legal Advice’ with no moral considerations attached, for money and status, great harm to children and even suicide results. Surely Mark must know this by now, with another teen suicide in our very same Ward just four years later. I have been told that death was also connected to abuse at church. Yes, I will accept an apology from these men, if they can see past another church policy of not offering apologies. Because you know, apologies can be a “Liability Concern”.
Mark Waite’s Linkedin profile lists his job title as Facilities Manager, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, February 2013 to the present. LGBT Mormon Suicides
See also: Fear & Reconciliation
– Tom Irvine