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"You lift me and I'll lift thee and we'll ascend together." (Whittier's commentary after attending a Millerite camp meeting.)
"Do unto others..."
Q: Do you know/love someone who regularly struggles with debilitating mental/emotional challenges, but where you aren't (yet) equipped to help them (or yourself) heal and move forward?
Had a lengthy discussion with someone tonight, on the topic of mental/emotional health and similar struggles that impede relationships, bringing to mind Elder Holland's talk "Like a Broken Vessel", and his book "Broken Things to Mend." The discussion is also an outgrowth of a troubling/snowballing concern mentioned from the pulpit earlier this year by a pastor/friend.
Reminds me of the elderly couple in the ward/branch that my missionary companion and I rented a room from in Denmark. Decades before that, during World War 2, the husband had served in the resistance in his occupied country against the Nazis, and was captured. He suffered the rest of his life from what they did to him. (Most may be aware of the heroic role Danes played in running an underground railroad to smuggle Jews safely to Nazi-free Sweden.) As I recall, she had been a nurse, and as she explained, when they eventually married, she carefully tended to his pains every night, to help him sleep with something approximating peace. An ailment largely physical, that likely also left wounds of another kind. The man was a national treasure and a serious spiritual giant (a former Jehovah's WItness, who genuinely knew/loved the scriptures.) She was that, and genuinely an angel.
The context of tonight's discussion that I'm slowly getting to, was about an effective form of pyschiatric therapy from a pioneering trailblazer/expert in her field of mental health, that took years for her (and those assisting her) to research, hone, and distill.
The following is largely a paraphrase of the person I spoke with tonight.
The therapy was specifically designed for extremely sensitive souls, for whom traditional therapy typically did more harm than good. It represented her life's ministry to those who are hurting the most, in a hell to *some* degree of their own making, and who regularly contemplate ending it all. So, the discussion quickly shifted gears to the matter of such therapy being largely inaccessible (both because of cost, and because very few therapists are trained in the direly-needed therapy). Her approach, DBT, has been making a difference for such people for years.
What was refreshing in her approach was that she reminded therapists that using any such imperfect approach, among/between imperfect people, that it was not an issue of *if* such a therapist was gonna make a mistake, but *when.* A frank dismissal of the otherwise-nobly-intentioned "do no harm" hubris. And her required approach of what therapists must do when making such unintentional mistakes is deeply impressive. (Constructive tangent perhaps for another day.)
So the discussion shifted back to its original intent. What if the therapy was more widely/easily accessible? What if lay people in any family or community could have access to at-your-fingertips training and tools that allowed them to minister to a friend or family member? It is said that the best/fastest way to learn/master something is to volunteer to teach it (something I know to often be true). What if people hurting could themselves opt to step forward and become such a healer? A volunteer, tagteam approach to ministry/healing.
Catholics and Shriners and Adventists (i.e. Millerites) are known for their healing work in raising up hospitals. What if some in the LDS community stepped forward into this largely-unattended breach...to minister to those hurting silently among us, and to those who might not even know or care what a Mormon is?
By Bernard Gui
We had a very interesting and sometimes animated discussion on what some call pornography addiction.
There is no question, however, that people who have loved ones in addiction...substance or behavioral....have a tough time of it.
Some call this "tough time" co-dependency. That is not a derogatory word, but simply a term to describe the chaos addiction creates in other peoples' lives.
There are some common behaviors described by co-dependency....Denial, covering up, isolation, anger, depression, enabling.
Discovering a loved one is addicted can be debilitating. Fear is the most common reaction....
Piggy-backing on the previous discussion in which a case was attempted to be made that somehow being faithful LDS makes one more susceptible to problems with pornography,
My questions are....
Do you think the above fears are exacerbated because of unique LDS beliefs? Are Mormons more likely to have co-dependency problems because of their religious beliefs?
Are there aspects of Mormon beliefs and practices that help alleviate the effects of co-dependency? Would you share your experiences?
I'm not interested in discussing whether or not co-dependency is a "recognized medical" issue.
I use the term simply as a convenience to describe the disruption caused by addiction in their loved ones' lives.
By Cold Steel
One of the great blessings of the gospel in the latter days is the Lord's gracious gift of the priesthood, both Aaronic and Melchizedek. And the priesthood, defined, is the authority to act in God's name. But when it comes to using the higher priesthood, I've always wondered if it's always required to state the authority of the priesthood and if so, why? We hear stories from earlier times of the ancient church and our own early church where people just used the name of Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith never once (except in ordinations, I suppose) ever spoke by virtue of the priesthood that I've been able to tell.
The thing about authority is that we know we have it, the Lord knows we have it; why do we have to state it?
This isn't to question the church. If it wants us to do it, they've got it. But I'm just wondering why it would be necessary?
In the event one is casting a devil out of a person, but not using oil, is invoking the priesthood counseled? In fact, if one is in such a position, is there anything even published about such things. When I was on my mission, a woman plainly had an evil spirit in her. She was an inactive member of the church and ostensibly we were there to teach her husband (at his request). But during the meal she began acting very strange. She laughed inappropriately, made inappropriate statements, laughed during the prayers and all the while her husband looked at her as though she had three heads! There also was a peculiar "spirit" there that frankly scared the daylights out of all of us, except her. I had only been a member of the church a little more than a year and my partner didn't know what to do. We finally excused ourselves and left, and we were surprised when the woman's husband walked us to our car. He told us she had recently become involved in some strange books and friends and that she had changed over a matter of weeks. He'd become so spooked that he'd asked for some elders to come tell him about the church, hoping they would pick up on the strange behavior of his wife.
So we squared our shoulders and did what we should have done in the first place...we took it to the bishop! (We weren't going back!)
The bishop subsequently told us that when he entered the home the hair on the back of his head went up. He refused to tell me what had happened (at the woman's request), but he took the teaching of her husband out of our hands and gave it to two of the Seventy to handle. (We later saw both the woman and her husband at church and she couldn't have been nicer. Her husband didn't tell us what happened, either, but said the problem was resolved and he was happy to have his wife back. He later was baptized.)
Well, I kind of got a bit off, but I don't know that such a situation would call for a blessing of the sick or a sharp rebuke. Many protestants use the name of Christ presumptively, without authority, and sometime in an offensive way. People get upset at us when we teach a man must have authority to baptize and maintain the kingdom of God; however, the key that Joseph Smith left us with is that if we follow the majority of the Twelve and the records of the church, we can never go astray.
So what are your thoughts?
I have two questions regarding the blessing and healing of the sick with respect to using the priesthood:
1. Is the priesthood an actual power that can in some supernatural way initiate the healing process inside a person (like "the force" in Star Wars) or is it just the authority to call upon God to heal the person?
2. The scriptures say: "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up;" (Jame 5: 14-15)
If all we need to do is pray with faith to cause a sick person to be healed by God, why do we need the priesthood to do it?
"If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." (Matt 17: 20)
Why is using the priesthood a better way to go?