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Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye

I was profoundly saddened to learn just this morning of the death of Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye. I first met her a number of years ago at a small discussion-retreat in a cabin above Salt Lake City. I puzzled throughout much of that day over who this diminutive, bald, very bright Asian Latter-day Saint woman might be — but I soon began to find out. The Maxwell Institute’s tribute (“In Memoriam: Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye”) and Peggy Fletcher Stack’s article in the Salt Lake Tribune (“Courageous LDS scholar whose life and writings exemplified — and expounded on — earthly struggles dies at 44: Aug. 13, 1979 — April 23, 2024: Melissa Inouye, the bald, marathon-running, mother of four, shined a light on global religions and cherished faith communities that gave her strength”) may provide you with at least some faint sense of Melissa. As will the 2020 Easter message (“Christ and the Work of Suffering”) that she wrote for Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship.

Gone so soon! With many, many others, I mourn her passing. I regret the deep and lasting sorrow that it brings to her husband, her children, and her family. I lament the loss of what she might yet have contributed to the Kingdom and to her fellow Latter-day Saints. The loss is both profound and acute. But I rejoice that she is free of pain and suffering, and I have as much confidence as any human can have in another, that she has gone on to the peace and joy of the Lord. I pray that the Spirit will bring comfort to all those who feel her loss, and that, as Jews often say, her memory will be a blessing.

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