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Reading the Book of Mormon


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I am reading the Book of Mormon, as I am trying to find what I seem to have lost. In addition, I am also reading the New Testament, as I am searching for both my God, and my fading testimony. Hopefully within the Book of Mormon, I will find the testimony I once enjoyed, and embraced; who knows. 
 

A question for members of the Church, and for members of this website. Do those here, is the the path I should walk, to find the path I once walked? Or is this the path you recommend? If not, what would you suggest, to find my way, and to overcome the hurt that I have experienced? 
 

Even more important, should I come here for advice? I ask, as my current Ward, and that membership could lead to even more hurt. 
 

So, looking for your advice. 

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4 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

I am reading the Book of Mormon, as I am trying to find what I seem to have lost. In addition, I am also reading the New Testament, as I am searching for both my God, and my fading testimony. Hopefully within the Book of Mormon, I will find the testimony I once enjoyed, and embraced; who knows.

Your plan sounds like a very good one to me.

4 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

A question for members of the Church, and for members of this website. Do those here, is the the path I should walk, to find the path I once walked? Or is this the path you recommend? If not, what would you suggest, to find my way, and to overcome the hurt that I have experienced?

I'm new, so not sure what hurts you are talking about.  I saw where you feel "invisible" at church, and found earlier posts where you lost family members to Covid, but I don't want to make assumptions.

What has changed with God and/or your testimony?

What are you most interested in? 

If you can give me a little more guidance I will do my best, not that I have ANY qualifications.    And just so you know, I'm an ex-mormon, excommunicated about 20 years ago, so I may not be the kind of source you're looking for,. 

Edited by Olmec Donald
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Bill, this may seem off topic, but how do you feel in other areas of your life?  Many of your posts in the last months sound depressed, including this one, though I could be projecting as emotional hurts tend to only become unbearable for me when I am also dealing with depression.  
 

If this is something you are dealing with (and given the amount of physical pain you have been in with your back, it would be shocking to me if you don’t have some days dealing with depression at least…one can be upbeat and still be depressed, it is remarkable how the mind can feel many different things at the same time, even contradictory feelings), you might want to also work on the depression as well as the spiritual side of your life as nothing blocks the spirit for me as much as depression can…except for some medication. If you are taking pain killers or even antidepressants those can deaden/muffle spiritual feelings in my experience. Takes a lot more work to feel the Spirit and at times when I do get that door open if it has been shut, it feels more painful than relief for awhile. 
 

I have a lot of suggestions if you are having to spend too much time in bed as well as a couple of avenues to explore for depression, I can PM you those if you would like.  One quick note as I am kind of excited about it, number one consistent helper over the years for me for depression I have found is my light box since I can’t get outside enough to get enough sunlight.  I know lots of other people who swear by theirs as well. Many who are mobile keep their lights by their computers or TV.  But it has been annoying using it when bedbound because of the way it is built and the position I need it to be in, off to the side, slightly up). I got a brainwave last week and attached mine to a gooseneck tablet stand attached to a shelf next to my bed and have it on for hours a day now rather than the recommended 20 minutes to 45.  I think that is what has suddenly got me sleeping at a reasonable time for the first time since my 20s.

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Bill, this may seem off topic, but how do you feel in other areas of your life?  Many of your posts in the last months sound depressed, including this one, though I could be projecting as emotional hurts tend to only become unbearable for me when I am also dealing with depression.  
 

If this is something you are dealing with (and given the amount of physical pain you have been in with your back, it would be shocking to me if you don’t have some days dealing with depression at least…one can be upbeat and still be depressed, it is remarkable how the mind can feel many different things at the same time, even contradictory feelings), you might want to also work on the depression as well as the spiritual side of your life as nothing blocks the spirit for me as much as depression can…except for some medication. If you are taking pain killers or even antidepressants those can deaden/muffle spiritual feelings in my experience. Takes a lot more work to feel the Spirit and at times when I do get that door open if it has been shut, it feels more painful than relief for awhile. 
 

I have a lot of suggestions if you are having to spend too much time in bed as well as a couple of avenues to explore for depression, I can PM you those if you would like.  One quick note as I am kind of excited about it, number one consistent helper over the years for me for depression I have found is my light box since I can’t get outside enough to get enough sunlight.  I know lots of other people who swear by theirs as well. Many who are mobile keep their lights by their computers or TV.  But it has been annoying using it when bedbound because of the way it is built and the position I need it to be in, off to the side, slightly up). I got a brainwave last week and attached mine to a gooseneck tablet stand attached to a shelf next to my bed and have it on for hours a day now rather than the recommended 20 minutes to 45.  I think that is what has suddenly got me sleeping at a reasonable time for the first time since my 20s.

Sadly, but I am “walking through the valley of death” without dying except for the dying, I am loosing.. I have lost so many friends and family. Those who I can never turn too again. But those I truly need. I feel as if I am a drowning man, who has lost everyone who could toss me a lifeline! 

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8 minutes ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

Sadly, but I am “walking through the valley of death” without dying except for the dying, I am loosing.. I have lost so many friends and family. Those who I can never turn too again. But those I truly need. I feel as if I am a drowning man, who has lost everyone who could toss me a lifeline! 

The Book of Mormon is just what you need. 

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3 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

I am reading the Book of Mormon, as I am trying to find what I seem to have lost. In addition, I am also reading the New Testament, as I am searching for both my God, and my fading testimony. Hopefully within the Book of Mormon, I will find the testimony I once enjoyed, and embraced; who knows. 
 

A question for members of the Church, and for members of this website. Do those here, is the the path I should walk, to find the path I once walked? Or is this the path you recommend? If not, what would you suggest, to find my way, and to overcome the hurt that I have experienced? 
 

Even more important, should I come here for advice? I ask, as my current Ward, and that membership could lead to even more hurt. 
 

So, looking for your advice. 

I would say reading the Book or Mormon is the best thing you could do. It, along with the gift of the Holy Ghost that you posses, will answer your questions. If by teh path you once walked is the "covenant path" then by all means the Book of Mormon point to this. In overcoming hurt, look to Christ and hang on. You know your history better than anyone, so get the help you need from reliable family, friend, priesthood leader and professional sources. Advice does not rise to the status of help, in my opinion, so this is as good a place for any for advice, and how well that has worked for you in the past is a good predictor of how well it can work for you now. Sending encouraging vibes your way...

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1 hour ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

I am “walking through the valley of death”...

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life, and you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

*  *  *  *

I agree with Calm's suggestion to deliberately surround yourself with the highest quality physical light that you can.  Seek out her guidance on this if you have not already.

I find a lot of non-physical light in the Book of John. 

Also, in my opinion it is worth making the effort to deliberately choose light with our thoughts, because we don't remember the light by contemplating the darkness.  So you might choose a phrase that feels like light to you, and then consciously and deliberately make THAT phrase the "tape that plays in your mind" when your mind doesn't need to be focused on something.  This would be an application of your gift for poetry.

So suppose the phrase you choose is, "I bless those who are Here, and I bless those who are There."  Practice saying that phrase to yourself for a few minutes so you can easily call it up.  If someone in particular comes to your mind, change it up a bit and say "I bless you, So-and-So."  Imo this is more powerful than prayer because YOU are "in the game" instead of just in the cheering section.  Choose to play this tape in your mind throughout the day, even if only for a few seconds.  And especially if darkness attempts to intrude, say to yourself "I bless those who are Here, and I bless those who are There."  You will be "turning on the light", keep it on, and soon darkness will flee from the light.

You did not sign up for an easy life, Sergeant, but then that's no surprise, is it?   I believe that you literally do bless everyone here, and everyone there, every single time you seek the light, even if it is not apparent from where we now stand.  You are in my prayers.

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6 minutes ago, Olmec Donald said:

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life, and you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

*  *  *  *

I agree with Calm's suggestion to deliberately surround yourself with the highest quality physical light that you can.  Seek out her guidance on this if you have not already.

I find a lot of non-physical light in the Book of John. 

Also, in my opinion it is worth making the effort to deliberately choose light with our thoughts, because we don't remember the light by contemplating the darkness.  So you might choose a phrase that feels like light to you, and then consciously and deliberately make THAT phrase the "tape that plays in your mind" when your mind doesn't need to be focused on something.  This would be an application of your gift for poetry.

So suppose the phrase you choose is, "I bless those who are Here, and I bless those who are There."  Practice saying that phrase to yourself for a few minutes so you can easily call it up.  If someone in particular comes to your mind, change it up a bit and say "I bless you, So-and-So."  Imo this is more powerful than prayer because YOU are "in the game" instead of just in the cheering section.  Choose to play this tape in your mind throughout the day, even if only for a few seconds.  And especially if darkness attempts to intrude, say to yourself "I bless those who are Here, and I bless those who are There."  You will be "turning on the light", keep it on, and soon darkness will flee from the light.

You did not sign up for an easy life, Sergeant, but then that's no surprise, is it?   I believe that you literally do bless everyone here, and everyone there, every single time you seek the light, even if it is not apparent from where we now stand.  You are in my prayers.

Beautiful. :)

And Papa spreads light with his poetry (that he shares once in awhile on the board), that he may not realize enough. 

Also, it wouldn't hurt for him to hang out where he feels the most love.

Edited by Tacenda
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Clinical depression is a chemical biological issue that needs medical attention IMO.  It is very treatable with medication and with therapy.  There are other things that can help but with all the help available and scientifically shown to be managed well with meds and therapy, I would recommend that route.  Best to you, I'm sorry you are struggling so.  Depression is a liar.  

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9 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

Sadly, but I am “walking through the valley of death” without dying except for the dying, I am loosing.. I have lost so many friends and family. Those who I can never turn too again. But those I truly need. I feel as if I am a drowning man, who has lost everyone who could toss me a lifeline! 

First, if the scriptures bring you joy, then read as much as you can. If you’re reading the scriptures in hope of finding some peace, joy and comfort in your life and it isn’t helping, it’s probably time to start doing something else instead of wasting time reading scriptures. It sounds like you’re a little depressed to me. If so, don’t be ashamed to seek help from a doctor. 
       And to me, the most important thing you can do to help combat depression and the feeling of overwhelming dread, is serving other people. Here, I’ll tell you what I do when I feel like all hope is lost. First, I write everything down, everything! Then I just make sure I complete all the task I wrote down. There’s something about writing down what needs to be done and finishing task that helps rewire your depressed brain over time. Make sure there’s lots of task that serves others. If you can’t think of any task, find them, don’t say there’s nothing you can do, there’s always something you can do. Start small if you need to. Hang up a curtain, tighten a toilet seat, level the oven, wash the inside the garbage can so it smells good. Then start working your way outside the house if you can. Pick the trash out of your neighbors ditch, go buy someone $10 worth of groceries, go talk to a homeless person, go sing in front of the grocery store, bake cookies and give them to neighbors, volunteer at a shelter. And if you really want to freak your brain out😂, go stand on a street corner and hold a sign that says “I LOVE YOU” and just wave and smile. I guarantee you’ll feel better. The more time you spend helping others, the less time you spend THINKING about how awful life is. Everything I have mentioned is all about rewiring your brain and getting it to understand life is wonderful. 

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I wish you all the very best in all you are going through. My encouragement to you is to find a trusted friend who will love, hold, offer guidance, and when needed, sit quietly with you. Don't isolate yourself or seek the counsel of someone who brings the solution before understanding your deepest needs/wounds. The words you need to hear may not be based on any dogma or doctrine other than concern for your specific well-being. I would simply suggest that you embrace a degree of uncertainty as something from which you can become stronger. I wish you the very best as you travel this valley. 

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2 hours ago, Navidad said:

I wish you all the very best in all you are going through. My encouragement to you is to find a trusted friend who will love, hold, offer guidance, and when needed, sit quietly with you. Don't isolate yourself or seek the counsel of someone who brings the solution before understanding your deepest needs/wounds. The words you need to hear may not be based on any dogma or doctrine other than concern for your specific well-being. I would simply suggest that you embrace a degree of uncertainty as something from which you can become stronger. I wish you the very best as you travel this valley. 

Those friends and family are all gone now. Besides, the Church is built, for the congregations. I am but a small issue to it, and now, (as I have already said) that which I can give, is no longer wanted, or needed. I was gone from Church, for six or eight months, and no one even noticed. My Home Teacher called, after 6-8 months saying, “Bill, I must have missed you today at Church , how are you”? I was on speaker phone, so my wife got so upset, she told me, “just hang up”. Since it was my HT, I continued to talk, as of I had been coming all along. I am no longer there, and no longer matter. Well I matter to my children, who are almost always in Church, they of corse miss my wife and I. 
 

Even my Bishop, who is part of my extended family, has not spoken to me in over a year…go figure? My wife had  an interview with him, an pleaded that he speak to me, give me something to do. He promised to do so, but never did. The last time we spoke was after a Sacrament Talk. There were many who came up to speak with me, and thank me for my comments, he just shook my hand, said “Thanks”, and disappeared. That was about one and a half years ago. I used to be his Young Men’s President. We have know each other fo a very, very, long time. In his defense, he is very shy like I am. 

 

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13 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

Clinical depression is a chemical biological issue that needs medical attention IMO.  It is very treatable with medication and with therapy.  There are other things that can help but with all the help available and scientifically shown to be managed well with meds and therapy, I would recommend that route.  Best to you, I'm sorry you are struggling so.  Depression is a liar.  

Well said!  I've seen people benefit enormously and virtually overnight from antidepressants.  They did not work for me, so I have learned to sustain deliberate effort.  If I'm not deliberately swimming, then I'm sinking.

And I agree that depression is a liar. 

1 hour ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

I was gone from Church, for six or eight months, and no one even noticed...

Even my Bishop, who is part of my extended family, has not spoken to me in over a year… he just shook my hand, said “Thanks”, and disappeared. That was about one and a half years ago.

If MustardSeed is correct and depression is a liar, then one of the implications is this:

The price of treasuring our grievances is our happiness.  It matters not whether our grievances are justified, the price is the same.  It matters not how big or small our grievances are, the price is the same.  And the Good News is this:  When we cease to value the valueless, God's love is no longer obscured. 

By way of analogy, imagine one of your grandsons is playing a video game.  He is totally engrossed in the game, such that when the character he is playing is attacked, he thinks HE has been attacked.  When his character is wronged, he thinks HE has been wronged.  But in reality he has been perfectly safe all along, perfectly loved and cherished all along, surrounded by his loved ones all along.  He can shift his awareness and that reality becomes obvious, so despite how convincing the game is, it does not really have power over him.  By remembering at any time that he is perfectly safe, he can choose to be "in the game but not of the game", just as we can be "in the world but not of the world."

In my opinion. 

Edited by Olmec Donald
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5 hours ago, Olmec Donald said:

Well said!  I've seen people benefit enormously and virtually overnight from antidepressants.  They did not work for me, so I have learned to sustain deliberate effort.  If I'm not deliberately swimming, then I'm sinking.

And I agree that depression is a liar. 

If MustardSeed is correct and depression is a liar, then one of the implications is this:

The price of treasuring our grievances is our happiness.  It matters not whether our grievances are justified, the price is the same.  It matters not how big or small our grievances are, the price is the same.  And the Good News is this:  When we cease to value the valueless, God's love is no longer obscured. 

By way of analogy, imagine one of your grandsons is playing a video game.  He is totally engrossed in the game, such that when the character he is playing is attacked, he thinks HE has been attacked.  When his character is wronged, he thinks HE has been wronged.  But in reality he has been perfectly safe all along, perfectly loved and cherished all along, surrounded by his loved ones all along.  He can shift his awareness and that reality becomes obvious, so despite how convincing the game is, it does not really have power over him.  By remembering at any time that he is perfectly safe, he can choose to be "in the game but not of the game", just as we can be "in the world but not of the world."

In my opinion. 

Do not worry, no matter how I feel, or how wronged I feel. In addition to reading the scriptures (again), to find my testimony. Part of this means returning to Church, so I will be there tomorrow morning. 

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36 minutes ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

Do not worry, no matter how I feel, or how wronged I feel. In addition to reading the scriptures (again), to find my testimony. Part of this means returning to Church, so I will be there tomorrow morning. 

If you want to up the spiritual environment around you, you could try listening to or reading old conference talks available on the Church website.  They have devotionals and other talks as well.  Their resources keep getting added to, the Church History Library https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/landing/museum?lang=eng , the Art section https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/faq/museum/church-history-museum-art-collection?lang=eng .  I wander around the Church website every now and then to see what’s new.
 

Also available are talks and articles at BYU.  Links are https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu and https://speeches.byu.edu .  Other websites with great study resources are BookofMormonCentral and its spin-offs ( https://bookofmormoncentral.org  and then check under Come Follow Me at top of page), Ben Spackman’s stuff ( https://benspackman.com ), and Russell Stevenson for History ( https://mormonhistoryguy.com ).  Interpreter and FAIR, of course, I am assuming those get mentioned enough here you know how to find them.

I have a system of reading scriptures first, then I check resources for the verses I just read….first I check out the JSPP for what I just read (for the D&C) but that is pretty dry so see it as more research than enlightenment, then the Church’s Come Follow Me pages, BookofMormonCentral’s CMF, FAIR, and then Ben.  Don’t do it all every day and much of the sites cover multiple days of scripture reading, I don’t reread if it is the same chapter, so it is not as much as it seems, but my goal is to do at least some every day.  Not been doing it very long as I have only manage to come out of some bad depression myself that has been dragging on me for quite a bit (think Mom’s dementia shut me down and then the Meniere’s hitting around the time of her passing took it several levels deeper), but I keep all the pages open together in my browser so cycling through is easy, it is just a case of not getting distracted. I find it really calms my brain down, very easy to settle and fall asleep afterwards…okay, I will admit to falling asleep in the middle of it, but that saves me an Ambien so 👍.

Edited by Calm
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17 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Sorry, no real advice.

My life has been generally depressing and lonely. There isn’t any option but to keep living.

 

Well, until you stop I guess. Until then maybe it will get better and maybe it will get worse.

I hope after It ends, it will be better, oh how I hope for better. 

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On 11/12/2021 at 4:20 PM, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

I am reading the Book of Mormon, as I am trying to find what I seem to have lost. In addition, I am also reading the New Testament, as I am searching for both my God, and my fading testimony. Hopefully within the Book of Mormon, I will find the testimony I once enjoyed, and embraced; who knows. 
 

A question for members of the Church, and for members of this website. Do those here, is the the path I should walk, to find the path I once walked? Or is this the path you recommend? If not, what would you suggest, to find my way, and to overcome the hurt that I have experienced? 
 

Even more important, should I come here for advice? I ask, as my current Ward, and that membership could lead to even more hurt. 
 

So, looking for your advice. 

I finished reading Bishop Barron's word on fire bible, I highly recommend it.  I'd also check out Arndt's true Christianity as well as Spener's pia desideria.  I can't speak for people here but for me, they really helped me make some choices in my own life.  

Know much about Ignatius Loyola?  One of the things that led to him dedicating his life to Christ was the long time he spent in bed after having his military career ruined via cannonball.  All he could do is read and pray, according to the priest who  told me that all he had on hand were church books.  If all else fails, maybe seek therapy from a Christian counselor?  

BTW, another book idea for you.  

What’s with the buzz about The Benedict Option? (denvercatholic.org)

c70l-square-400.jpg

 

Edited by poptart
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By all means, read in the Book of Mormon. Read Alma chapter 32 and Moroni chapter 7. Then,

Go and find a charity where you can do volunteer work.  

Read to old folks in a facility.  

Cook a meal for a shut-in.

Visit sick children.

Do everything you can think of and find to serve others.  

Deliver meals.

Share a coat with a homeless person.

Walk someone's dog.

Teach an English lesson.

Give someone else hope.

"For whosoever will save his life will lose it.  But whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."

Trust Jesus Christ.

Edited by Mark Beesley
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On 11/13/2021 at 4:57 AM, Mike Drop said:

First, if the scriptures bring you joy, then read as much as you can. If you’re reading the scriptures in hope of finding some peace, joy and comfort in your life and it isn’t helping, it’s probably time to start doing something else instead of wasting time reading scriptures. It sounds like you’re a little depressed to me. If so, don’t be ashamed to seek help from a doctor. 
       And to me, the most important thing you can do to help combat depression and the feeling of overwhelming dread, is serving other people. Here, I’ll tell you what I do when I feel like all hope is lost. First, I write everything down, everything! Then I just make sure I complete all the task I wrote down. There’s something about writing down what needs to be done and finishing task that helps rewire your depressed brain over time. Make sure there’s lots of task that serves others. If you can’t think of any task, find them, don’t say there’s nothing you can do, there’s always something you can do. Start small if you need to. Hang up a curtain, tighten a toilet seat, level the oven, wash the inside the garbage can so it smells good. Then start working your way outside the house if you can. Pick the trash out of your neighbors ditch, go buy someone $10 worth of groceries, go talk to a homeless person, go sing in front of the grocery store, bake cookies and give them to neighbors, volunteer at a shelter. And if you really want to freak your brain out😂, go stand on a street corner and hold a sign that says “I LOVE YOU” and just wave and smile. I guarantee you’ll feel better. The more time you spend helping others, the less time you spend THINKING about how awful life is. Everything I have mentioned is all about rewiring your brain and getting it to understand life is wonderful. 

I should have read your offering before I repeated it I my own abbreviated way. 😀

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  • 1 month later...

I feel for anyone suffering with depression, and grieving adds to its debilitating effects. I am so sorry for your sadness, I have never suffered fro depression, but have been of low mood at times. The Gospels, especially that of John can be very consoling, but sometimes they aren't. So then I have found strength and consolation in St Paul's Epistles. His teachings give so much hope and assurance. And then there is prayer. In Orthodoxy we use the very simple formula if the Jesus Prayer which can be said anywhere, any time, especially if prayer seems difficult. It is simple, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy on me a sinner". It can be said as often as you wish, trust in the power of His name.

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