Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A "Mystic" Experience and Antidote for Depression--D&C 6:36

Early this morning, I received an email from a dear friend who spoke of the nearly constant challenge she has with depression.  In my "mystic" (predominantly spiritually-minded, spiritually oriented) way, I shared my experience and admitted the only Way I receive any strength and hope.  Here's my reply:

For me, I'm very aware that depression is the effort of negative spirits that I have to choose to ignore on the average of about once a minute if I'm "idling along."  This morning, I've been up about 1 hour and have made note (not at length) of about 10 temptations to think negative--in a "depressed" way.  Then the words came to my mind, "Temptations and sins which so easily beset me."  And I knew it was the Spirit of the Lord reminding me of those words.  They're Nephi's of course, from 2 Nephi 4.  And I felt/saw that they are the perfect words to describe the legions of evil (negative, discouraging, depressing, lying, truth-twisting) spirits and their constant effort to get to me.

Some people would define this as a physiological or psychological phenomenon, caused by chemistry or by past or current challenges in my temporal life.  I will not doubt that they (those various kinds of scientists) could trace the effect of this kind of spiritual influence in either of those ways, but I still cannot deny the witness of the Spirit of the Lord, of the Word, of the Truth to my soul that it is (at least for me) the effect of a spiritual phenomenon--whose name is "Legion."

What did I do to "deserve" this?  Nothing, except follow Christ into this "dark and dreary waste." (1 Nephi 8:7.) When will it be over?  It's over immediately, every time it happens and I look to Him in the thought, and receive His grace to get past that moment.  And then it has to happen again and then again and then again.  And as long as I keep turning each negative thought to Him, bringing the dark influence into the Light of His Spirit--it shrinks away and I am able to go on for another few minutes.  And that is my lot in life.  And it has seemed to get more necessary as the years have gone by.  And so I am left with the (by the world's standards) pitiful plight of needing to look unto Christ in every thought.

1 comment:

  1. I'm very grateful for this reminder that the root of depression is spiritual in nature and to be reminded that the spirits that are trying to stick me to it are my enemies.

    I have to admit it is easy to continue to want to take the easy way out and give into the lies that these spirits depress me with. I'm a lonely person much of the time...wishing for adult conversation and wise feedback...I've always had good luch getting that from therapists. However I am reminded that my most recent decision was to stop going to them. All I kept telling them was that I "felt inspired" to do this or that. When my therapist basically told me that I came to him already having my answers, that was when I knew I needed to stop paying for a friend. "For I know in whom I have trusted".
    Likewise, I know the physical aspect of my "depression" is solvable by counseling with the Lord. I know that I can get the same results from exercise and eating right that I can get from pills. I guess the question I have to keep asking myself is will I do it?
    I know I hope to. I hope the Lord will find a desire that is sincere that He can work with and give me the courage to stop listening to the lies. Thanks again. CB