Friday, March 30, 2012

That, my friends, is a spade.

This has been percolating for a long, long time, but I've struggled with actually recording it. So here it is, rapid-fire.

I struggle with depression, negative thoughts, OCD, etc. Have for much of my life, most of it since my early teens.

I'm a Daughter of the Most High.  My spirit doesn't like negativity.  I yearn for happiness, joy, light, truth, and kindness.

Nothing negative can come from God. Ever.

Nothing good can come from the enemy. Ever.

If a negative thought "occurs" to me, it's not coming from God. Guess where it's from? ;o)  It's a temptation, of sorts, even if we don't want to do whatever that feeling/thought/compulsion might be; an effort of the enemy to influence, or outright control, me.  My own thoughts aren't of that character.  My body communicates with me through physical sensation, not words.  It's not my thoughts that are dragging me down--it's not something inherent to my existence, or necessitating acceptance.  It's straight from the enemy of my soul, and as such, I don't own it. Talk about liberating!

If the Holy Spirit can only influence us when it has place in our hearts, what is happening when we feel the influence of one of the hosts of the enemy? Yep. One of them has place in our hearts. Literally. Just because the casting out of evil spirits has come to be considered, culturally, as a Biblical phenomenon doesn't mean that which prompted it no longer happens.

So, what do we do?

Two things: defense & offense.

Defense: Live righteously. Study the word every. single. day. Ponder on it throughout the day, and always be learning and reaching deep and listening to learn more.  Spend time in prayer and supplication (thanking and asking) . . . with a strong emphasis on the thanking. When I do this, I am always filled with the holy spirit, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. The longer I pour out gratitude, the more powerfully I can receive the holy ghost.  Prayer soothes children with nightmares, builds a firm foundation for their testimonies, opens the windows of heaven to allow the love of God to rush down upon us, and literally transform us into new, better creatures.

Offense: “The devil has no body, and herein is his punishment. He is pleased when he can obtain the tabernacle of man, and when cast out by the Savior he asked to go into the herd of swine, showing that he would prefer a swine’s body to having none. All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not.…Our organization* is such that we can resist the devil; if we were not organized so, we would not be free agents." (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 211.) *The way we were created.

So, we can think (or say, or pray) something like: "No one has permission to influence my body but me." I have used this affirmation so many, many times, and I can feel the heaviness of depression lift before I'm even done thinking the words.  Sounds strange to our modern, scientific, tangible, sensory-driven world, but it makes all the difference in how I feel.  Panic attacks, just feeling overwhelmed with life, negative thoughts (which often come phrased in the first person; the enemy knows how to couch his decoys), depression, and all such things have been helped with this.  In my church, we tend to leave all of this type of thing to the Priesthood, believing that we have no power ourselves.  We absolutely have stewardship over our own hearts, our own tabernacles, and who has place in them. (Genesis 3:15, Moses 4:21) We can also make the spirit so uncomfortable that it flees--including singing hymns, smiling, expressing love and forgiveness, joyous laughter, reading scripture, prayer, etc.

And that's all I've got time for right now.  Packing and various errands await . . .

These opinions and thoughts are just that: opinions and thoughts. I do not presume to speak for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, of which I am a member.

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