The women in Africa have nothing. All of the African women are happy. They have nothing, but they are all happy.
Anne C Pingree “Seeing the Promises Afar Off”
In African they went to visit, when they came to the meeting they saw 2 beautiful African women they were walking. Coming back they saw these women coming back from the other way. They had walked about 20 miles to go to the church to get their temple recommends. They had them in white hankies. They would probably never ever be able to use them but it was that important to them to walk that distance to have a current recommend.
Research was done about medication (Zoloft, Prozac) depression medication. They did a study about where in the United States and Utah has the highest rate of anti-depression medication in the United States.
There is something wrong with this picture. We who have the gospel and the truth are depressed. It should make us totally happy and free and at peace.
I was talking to a couple of bishops and Relief Society Presidents about the needs of the women in their stake. The number one concern in their stakes is depression. I don’t think they are talking about chemical imbalances. You need to know when you need counseling. Those things are good. I don’t think the average of us will go get help. We don’t think we are that bad, but we aren’t happy.
Spencer W. Kimball “The Role of Righteous Women”
“Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.”
Class member: I just feel overwhelmed as a Mom. We try to put all of these things on our plate.
This is the thing I’m talking about. Call it overwhelmed, depression, discouragement. It’s not necessarily a medicated problem.
Class member: I think we go to Relief Society and see the Molly Mormon who has it under control. I sit there and think I barely got my kids dressed and out the door on time. We compare ourselves to the surface.
Class member: My husband and I have been reading is “As a Man Thinketh” We have been working on trying to have a positive attitude. We have so much to do as Latter-Day Saints. It can be overwhelming if you write everything you have to do…read scriptures, say prayers, whatever we have to get done that day. If you change the mind set to “I get to read the scriptures and I get to say my prayers.” It really starts with your brain and the words that come out. I tried really hard that day to find the positive. Once I said those negative words it made the positive go away. I didn’t think I had a heavy burden until I said the negative words.
Class member: I didn’t have children for 8 years. I learned a lot and listened a lot. The one thing that I saw that kept reoccurring and the one thing I heard was the busyness. The busyness was a lot of what they created. It got to be like why are you doing all of that. Each kid had 7 things and our rule in our house is one thing at a time. There have been times when I sat back and looked at my planner and only have 2 things for the day. We sit around and try to decide what to do this weekend. I took it to heart and it’s one of my commandments. The busy-ness eats away at people. My kids are just not going to get to do that talent.
The thing I have also been reading lately is Isaiah in the Book of Mormon and been studying them almost word by word. I have a study guide. As we watch the signs of the times many of us may become fearful and really nervous. There is a lot of fear as we come into these times and see prophecies be fulfilled. As you watch our youth doing so much temple. That didn’t use to happen. The hastening of the work is going on.
We have unreal expectations. Think about what upsets you. Usually we are upset because things aren’t running smooth. We feel like if I’m really good and do all the things I should do then the consequence is life should be good. That is Satan’s tool. You look at Joseph Smith who lived a life committed. He never had a peaceful moment. “I am wont to swim in deep waters.” I don’t think he had any moments of peace because he was doing righteous things.
Life should not be easy. We came to be tried and tested and that means it’s not easy. The fact that we have challenges is part of being in this life. We voted for these opportunities to grow….a hard thing we get through. We should have hard things. We have to stop looking at hard things as being something bad. It’s part of life.
We need to focus on how to become strong. One of my concerns is how many of our missionaries are coming home? It was a huge influx in the beginning. Now it’s dropped back down to a normal amount of people going out, but we have far to many coming home.
My son works at the MTC and he deals with this all the time. One of the reasons they come home is because of anxiety and depression. There are legitimate reasons for coming home. I think there is a lot we can do in parenting that help our children be prepared for that. When they grow up on electronics they have to come home because they can’t live without their phone. They can’t live without Mom because they have had a helicopter Mom. We have to raise them to independence We don’t preach and talk that it is hard work. Marriage is hard work. The divorce rate in the church is just about equal with those not in the church. We have to prepare our children to do hard things.
When things get hard they want to quit…they come home from their mission or get divorced.
As a Mom you live in a ‘heavy’ box. You are radiating to your children that life is hard. You can see that this is a generic problem in the church and out of the church because Satan is so good about teaching the lie that life is easy because you deserve it. When it gets hard we want to quit. We don’t want to have to face hard things. When we become fixers as Mom’s we are intensifying those problems further down the road.
It is more important to teach them that they have power over feelings…every day hard life. I think life is hard and there are hard moments. I do think we can learn to live happy. That doesn’t mean we don’t have sad experiences.
Tracy leaves tomorrow to go pick up Malary from her mission. Malary was off the charts fabulous young woman….straight A’s, distinguished young women winner. She went to BYU-Idaho and wanted to major in piano pedagogy. She got over there and was playing the piano and her hands would shake so bad she couldn’t play. She found out she had anxiety and that’s what was causing it. She put in her papers for her mission and received a call to Paris France. She got on some medication and counseling for it. She went to the MTC and pressure and anxiety increase.
Most missionaries that come home rarely go back out. She has had a fabulous mission out it the mission field, not without trials.
While she was home she went to counseling. I would grill her about the tools she was learning. We are going to talk about that process.
If you do this process it will not make you Polyanna. Life is still hard! If you learn to use this you will find peace IN stress. I think you can have peace in the midst of turmoil.
Challenge: I want you to write the word “Peace” on the top of a ponder pad sheet, starting with the Women’s session and then all the conference sessions I want you on that page to write down all the instructions where peace is the blessing.
I think you will be amazed at what the Lord has already told us.
But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.
We perish day by day by becoming insensitive to the spirit day after day which ends at the eternal perishing.
Continue in the faith….this is enduring to the end hour by hour by hour. That’s not easy. There is plenty to do, but we push back and make excuses.
My feeling is that the Lord will come save his covenant people. These are everyone who enters the covenant and keeps the covenant. We have those who have the covenant who aren’t ‘breaking’ their covenant, but are they ‘keeping’ their covenant. This is where the Lord is inviting us to become a covenant people and accept the invitation freely.
Positive ThoughtsàPositive FeelingsàPositive ActionsàPositive Character
“Watch your thoughts. They become your words. Watch your words they become your actions. Watch your actions they become your habits. Watch your habits they become your character. Watch your character. Watch your character it becomes your eternal destiny.”
As we have our lessons and talk about what we are going to do, you go home and say “I believe that’s true.” You go home having read it and so we start at the “Actions”. We are going to act different. We are going to change the behavior in this home. You have been trying so hard to change the behavior in the home, but it’s so hard. You get discouraged and depressed. Are we trying to do good things.
If you have a chemical equation and you change it in the middle of the equation it won’t work. If you change one side, but not the other it won’t work.
If you want to change what’s in the middle (action) you go back to the beginning and change the thoughts.
Whenever you want to change something you have to go back to the start.
C.S. Lewis Screwtape letters
How do you know that God is just if he judges you the same way he judges a little old lady in Africa? If you are raised in different places or times does the expectation change? No. He has one expectation and this is what it takes for everyone. He judges on the thoughts. This is where agency takes place. (PT-positive thoughts). We are the only one that controls our thoughts!
Man’s Search for Meaning (Viktor Frankl)
Our kids say, “You make me mad.” No one can make you anything. You choose to be mad!
Class member: I love how you were saying “faithful” thoughts. Sad things happen. Things happen. My dog died. There are unrighteous thoughts. I get depressed because I think I’m a bad mom. I think if we can control our thoughts it will influence our children to have positive thoughts.
When we got married my husband told me I was the most negative person he knew. Blues are very realist. Blues are very practical. He saw that as me being a downer/negative person.
Realizing this it’s important to understand this is where you have power. This is the heart of eternal destiny.
You have been given the power through the initiatory to do this…PTàPFàPAàPC
Class member: I believe that. Maybe the negative side or maybe why we get down on ourselves is because we know those scriptures that say, “Faith without works is dead.” We also know after all we can do the grace will cover it. I think that’s why we get down.
You have personal power! Heavenly Father has endowed you with so much power. It’s Satan who wants you to think you are hopeless and powerless. Can you change someone else? No. Can you take away someone else’s agency? No. We have power for us.
This comes back to choices that are not dependent on their choices. This is not dependent on what situation you are in.
Laman and Lemuel are talking in these scriptures. According to Laman & Lemuel possessions, luxury, not toiling bring happiness. It would be better to have died.
Do you mean during Sacrament I have to make my kids sit still and not do anything for 15 minutes? That’s ridiculous and crazy. You don’t know what it’s like.
These 3 “C’s” will destroy you faster than anything else you can do….Complain, Compare, Criticize.
- We complain about what we have to do.
- Your husband come and someone else received the raise and he didn’t. Can you find joy in something someone else does?
- We do it in a sacrament speakers talk….”That was so boring!”
- “The bishop wants us to do what? We can’t do that!”
- It is very dangerous when you criticize any priesthood leader.
- Criticizing our spouses…we find fault with them.
How to Discourage Discouragement
You have 8 seconds---you have 8 seconds to change your thoughts. If you don’t change your thoughts it will turn into a feeling.
In your head say to yourself….
It’s the first of the month. She is crazy. I just don’t know how I’m going to get over there. I wish they would give me someone else.
You feel it coming down. Now think about the times you’ve had a discussion with your children and your spouse. Think about how long you think about it in the negative. As you feed the ‘thoughtsàfeelings’.
If you have a discussion with your spouse how long do we ‘mull’ in the thoughts about what we should have said or done. It changes our feelings and we get ourselves in a funk and we can’t get out of it. You have created such deep feelings that your actions are changing.
Close your eyes again….
Sister Lewis just got out of Safe Haven. She has been really, really depressed. I think I need to see her more than once this month. I’m very concerned about her and what I can do.
Where are your feelings? The situation hasn’t changed.
The 2nd one opens the door on the Holy Ghost and empowers you.
Elder Richard G. Scott “Trust in the Lord”
“Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this, now? What have I done to cause this? will lead you into blind alleys. It really does no good to ask questions that reflect opposition to the will of God.“
These are dead end questions. We shut the door to the Holy Ghost…..
Why does this have to happen to me?
Why do I have to suffer this now?
What have I done to cause this?
Why is this trial lasting so long?
The Lord won’t answer these questions. These feelings continue to go downhill and the problem intensifies. The feelings become heavier. The actions are crying, snapping, withdrawn. What are we thinking…poor me. It’s totally self focused. We are taking our own temperature.
“I realized I knew what to do and what was right. Now I have changed my prayers to help me ‘have the power’ to do what was right.”
His job is to walk with us and enable us.
Nephi is having the same experience! 1 Nephi 17:2-3
They focused on the positive things.
You might have ‘emotional’ strength to bear your journey without complaining.
The people of Alma were in bondage. Instead of being delivered Heavenly Father strengthens them to bear up their burdens. “We did bear our burdens with patience and cheerfully”.
We choose what side of the line we are on.
Questions to ask….
Elder Richard G. Scott “Trust in the Lord”
“Rather ask, What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial? Willing sacrifice of deeply held personal desires in favor of the will of God is very hard to do. Yet, when you pray with real conviction, “Please let me know Thy will” and “May Thy will be done,” you are in the strongest position to receive the maximum help from your loving Father.”
The Spirit will tell you what to do.
It may be you are told to find some help. Be wise enough to understand you need some help. Pray about it and be open to what the answer is.
That service might be to a child that has an empty bank account or a spouse. You have to do it. We get these feelings, but we are so weary and discouraged we choose not to do it. The answer comes, but you have to do the answer.
Sometimes that means you have to say, “I don’t have the strength to do the answer can you lift me a little.”
Class member: In Elder Lawrence’s talk he says the Holy Ghost is the only one that will tell us what we need and individualizes what we need.
We tend to not want to do anything to lift ourselves. We want to sit in our pity party and grovel. If you don’t go to the Lord.
If I am still feeling the “Complain, compare, criticize” and doing more prayers and scriptures it will still not work. This is the law of the harvest. You have to change what you are going.
You pray for the empowering part of the Atonement that you can do the ‘positive thoughts’ with greater intent. You choose this at the first thoughts of discouragement! If you wait until your feelings are really black and you feel helpless and hopeless and want to do something different. In this situation it is hard to black out the negative and get you back in the positive because it’s become a habit. The Holy Ghost brings in light and sunshine and gives you a sense of peace in the midst of trial.
As you watch the world come down around you we need to be on the Lord’s side of the line.
When you listen to Conference the prophet and the Twelve will give you invitations to become a more covenant holy people. It is critically important we do it now. We need to make it through what is coming we have to do this with real intent. When you hear the words of the prophets that’s a personal invitation to become more holy, the better you listen, the better you will be prepared.
Children on Israel were walking for 40 years in the wilderness. The Lord provided manna each day.
Exodus 16:4 Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
I’m going to give them food every day to see if they will keep the commandments. They took it every day. If they took more it went bad.
They had to do something..everyday. They had to get up with their baskets go out and get the manna for all day for their family. They were told how much they could have. They had to gather with exactness. It was to test them to see if they will keep the commandment. Daily they had to do it.
Scriptures are the bread of life and we need it daily.
Do you put enough toothpaste on the toothbrush to last for the whole week?
If you do walk in my way you will be fed. They were fed spiritually and physically.
The other test was the fiery serpents. They had to look at the serpent on the staff and they wouldn’t die. He put the staff at the front of the camp. You can’t avoid these fiery serpents. Look at the staff and you will be healed.
The Lord did straighten them (test and try them) he sent (gave them trials, allowed them to have trials) fiery flying serpents among them. He prepared away for them to be healed. The labor which they had to perform was to look. And because of the simpleness of the way or the easiness of it there were many that perished. (Book of Mormon)
Look and do and come to Him and He will heal us! We don’t have to live there. We can live in joy and peace. We will still have trial. Look and do not perish!