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About Vellichor

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  1. Sleep paralysis (also known as hypnagogic or hypnopompic hallucinations) is scary but has a purely physiological cause. The brain is still dreaming while the body is between sleep and wakefulness. It used to happen to me all the time when I was a sleep-deprived college student. I do believe that encounters with evil spirits can happen, maybe even possession. But that's not connected to sleep paralysis--as creepy as that feels sometimes.
  2. Changed, the purpose of addiction recovery groups is to focus on the 12 steps, not to discuss details of what group members have done. In fact, those kinds of conversations are discouraged. A person could participate for years and the facilitators wouldn't necessarily know anything about their history or the nature of their addiction. Regardless, I am so sorry your children went through all that abuse. It sounds like a nightmare.
  3. Church support groups are created according to demand and number of participants. They need a certain number of people in order to create a viable group. Your comment seems to suggest that most people with addictions are abusers. Bear in mind that the groups are for all kinds of addictions: food, shopping, gambling, porn, alcohol, etc. There is no evidence to suggest that most participants are abusers.
  4. That's not true. Bishops can (and do) pay for therapy done by any therapist they believe is reputable, LDS or not.
  5. Nehor, I like that passage too.
  6. Thanks, Stargazer. I absolutely agree that we are affected by others' choices--for good or ill--all the time. My comments were regarding promised blessings not being fulfilled though, which is different from experiencing adversity in general due to others' actions. That kind of adversity is not what challenges my faith so much. It's the spiritual confusion resulting from repeated promises not being fulfilled, or life actually turning out the opposite of what was promised. (In addition to what I've already mentioned, my PB promises me that my family will bring me peace in times of crisis, and yet my family of origin--certain family members, anyway--actually create the greatest crises and turmoil in my life at times.) The possible answer that these unfulfilled blessings are the result of others making bad choices unforeseen by God just makes zero sense to me. If that happens all the time, then there doesn't seem to be any reason for us to receive predictive PBs and other priesthood blessings at all. It seems that only a tiny minority would actually be fulfilled, because people are messing up all the time. Just makes no sense. There are things from my PB that simply will not happen. The kid thing, for example. I'm past that. At this point in my life, I don't want to engage in herculean efforts to force it to happen. I was interested in my 20s and 30s, but that phase of life has gone by. I still experience the grief and loss of not having kids, but that doesn't mean I am hoping to have some at my age. But I am willing to acknowledge that good things could still occur in relation to other promises I have received, and I'm still trying to walk by faith. I have to say that as much angst as my PB has given me--it is amazingly accurate as far as my career is concerned. I can't throw it out entirely. Wendy Watson's situation (and Sister Oaks's) isn't a hopeful example for me at all, to be honest, but I won't get into that. I REALLY appreciate your sharing your personal experience. Thank you for that, and for your thoughtful comments in general. I will keep pondering....
  7. Stargazer, I appreciate your thoughts. Every person who has been given promises that haven't been fulfilled has to consider the possibility he/she has done something (or not done something) that resulted in the forfeiture of those blessings. Certainly that can be the case sometimes. I worried about that years ago. I try to be a good person, but I'm far from perfect. Sometimes I'm grumpy, I'm not as good of a neighbor as I should be, I say mild swear words once in a while. Maybe I was being punished for those things, or another of my many shortcomings. Who's to say? And while I've tried to do my part in finding a marriage partner, and I've dated a fair amount over the years, there's always something more I could have done. Maybe I could have forced myself to stay in the singles ward one more year, or made myself go to more singles activities, even though I was already pushing myself outside my comfort zone. I'm a fairly reserved person--maybe if I had been more outgoing (in other words, less like myself), it would have happened. I eventually realized how unproductive and fruitless that kind of thinking was. And I don't think God messes with us that way. So I'm back to wondering if perhaps these promises and blessings and experiences with inspiration were man-made, but then how do I trust seemingly clear revelation regarding other things? Back to my original quandary. As I've mentioned, I simply cannot accept the idea that the promises given to me from multiple sources were contingent upon somebody else's choices, and that particular guy blew it. I don't think God's plans for us are that precarious. I am grateful for the knowledge we have that all blessings we deserve will be fulfilled in the next life. But the fact is--we singles hear this all the time, and for the vast majority of us, this isn't a helpful or particularly comforting answer. The woman in your story found that it was enough for her. But for most of us, it feels like an easy answer that doesn't acknowledge how complex and difficult this situation can be. Yes, the next life will be glorious. But if we thought about that too much, we'd just want to get there sooner. And we need to figure out how to live life now--always keeping in mind our eternal future, without pining away for it. We don't get a lot of help or guidance in doing that, when we so often hear that family life is the point of our existence. Anyway, I do appreciate your thoughts. And I agree with what you said about not needing to be prompted in all things, and making sure we do try to act on promptings when we receive them.
  8. I actually think most (okay, all) people have to wait until they're dead for everything to be great. I don't think the point of mortality is to have a great, easy life or to have every righteous desire satisfied. We're here to learn, and we seem to learn the most when things are difficult. But--I DO expect God to fulfill His promises. This just doesn't make sense, and I have no clue what I'm supposed to learn from it. What I HAVE learned is to be quite wary of God, and I don't like that at all. What's the point of such a lesson? I guess this is just one of those questions for which there isn't an answer.
  9. I do like hearing stories of priesthood blessings that were fulfilled. It gives me hope that there is something to priesthood power. But in my case, I tried to do my part, and nothing happened. Frankly, I would have been better off if I hadn't received my PB and other blessings at all. Being single is difficult, but lots of things are difficult. Feeling spiritual betrayal is ... well, that's a different brand of pain. I don't know what to do with it. I continue to be a faithful member and focus on other things, for the most part, because I do have a good life. I am blessed in many ways. And I value my faith; it's a hugely important part of my identity. But this spiritual confusion is tough. And I thought I did hear the inspiration behind "You will get married." Hard to hear some other message behind those words.
  10. The reason I am doubting personal revelation and priesthood blessings? Yes, as I mentioned in my original post, these promises have been given since I was 17, and nothing has come to fruition. I know God's timetable is not ours, but as long as we're living in mortality, timing does matter. After all, I'm not going to have kids now. And as I also wrote in my post, I know I could get married at age 70, and God could then say, "See, I always keep my promises." But I haven't yearned for a wedding at the end of my life. I just want someone to go through life with. It's weird to me that my strongest spiritual experiences have had to do with the possibility of marriage, which is pretty important in our church, after all. And half of my PB is about my life with my awesome, nonexistent family. And then God seems to be entirely hands-off as far as my dating life is concerned. And to be honest, I hate talking about this, because we singles have a reputation for whining a lot. I'm really not a whiner, and I recognize that I have a pretty great life. There's just not a place to take grief and spiritual confusion like this. We singles are often told, essentially, "Family life is the best, but if you don't have that, too bad; God always keeps HIs promises and it will all work out in the next life," which is another way of saying, "It will all be great when you're dead."
  11. I'm not sure what it means to consider that what was a promise at one point "doesn't apply anymore." Especially when it comes to something as important as a future family. I agree with you about confirmation bias. But when someone explicitly says to you in a priesthood blessing that you will get married, it will happen in this particular way, your children will turn out like this, etc. etc.--what to do with that? I have come to the conclusion that my patriarch meant well but was influenced by cultural expectations, as was my bishop and my former home teacher. And then I had personal promptings and times when scriptural verses seemed to jump out at me and confirm what I thought had been promised. But--as you said, that was likely just confirmation bias. I now hold personal revelation and promises in priesthood blessings very lightly. I still pray and try to step forward in faith, but I have been so wrong in the past that it's difficult to trust I am ever receiving real guidance.
  12. I think that is probably the best approach--although it makes me wonder what the point of patriarchal blessings is. (I've been wondering that anyway.) Also, I'm not one to get a lot of here-and-now promptings; at least, not that I recognize as spiritual promptings. We talk so much about personal revelation in the Church, but it is tough when not all of us have the same gifts.
  13. Yes, I have done this and thought at the time that I received confirmation of these promises.
  14. Ack, I reread my comment and thought maybe it seemed a bit harsh. I really do appreciate your kind suggestions. Just not sure what to do with the spiritual implications of all this.
  15. Folks, I appreciate the thoughts, but I'm not looking for advice on how to find a potential mate, become a parent, or have a more meaningful life. (Incidentally, the Church discourages singles from getting pregnant out of wedlock; not from adopting out of foster care. But I digress.) Maybe I didn't phrase it clearly enough, but the core of my question has to do with how to regard spiritual revelation. It's a testimony issue. I'd like to know what people do when spiritual promptings and messages from various sources (patriarchal blessings, other priesthood blessings, personal promptings, etc.) seem to lead nowhere. It makes me question any and all spiritual experiences, and I don't like that. I would like to think I can trust my spiritual experiences and therefore trust God, but how do I do that, given what I have experienced? Am I overlooking something?
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