diary entry

Book of Mormon Journal:


Someone made the point that Satan will include some amount of truth in what lies he tells. We were reading in Alma 54:21, where Ammoron, under the influence of Satan, says, “We know not [whether that God you speak of exists] but that he hath made us as well as thee.” I might suggest that there is nothing that is completely false that someone will believe. Even many of the things that Ammoron is saying, which seem to be completely false, harbor some amount of truth in them. Nothing is completely false, rather anything that is false is also partially true. For example if I were to hold up a blue pen and say that it was a black pen, you could conceivably believe me; it is a pen, but it doesn’t look very blue. Now, if I held up the same blue pen and said that it was a yellow dog, an idea that is completely false, you would not be able to believe me. Anything that is completely false is not just false, but crazy. In many respects we see Satan as crazy because we separate the lie from the truth. The danger in rejecting things from Satan (besides the fact that it is not dangerous) is that when we reject those fallacies we may also “throw the baby out with the bath water;” we might throw the truth out with the lies. We need to have the Spirit with us, which will give us the ability to separate the fallacies from the truths. Joseph Smith said that “We accept truth wherever it comes from.” Whether Satan himself were to tell me the truth or Cain or my mother or Christ or anyone, if any of those people were to tell me the truth, I would believe them. Now, the likelihood of Satan telling me the truth without any mixture of fallacy is unlikely, if not impossible. What we learn is that fallacy alone is insanity (like I pointed out when I tried to say my pen was a dog) and so lies are just the truth with a bit of insanity mixed in. Elder Maxwell said that “sin is temporary insanity.” We lie to ourselves when we sin, mixing in truths that we can trust, but in reality we are ignoring the truths and acting as Satan.


Book of Mormon Quiz:


Elder Holland: Like a Broken Vessel


Elder Holland always seems to address a very specific audience. Over time one could refer to his library of speeches and find consolation for any hardship or malady.

He always directly and unabashedly connects his talks to Christ. There is no mistake, when he speaks, that the answer to any illness is Christ. 

We all get down, but he is “speaking of something more serious . . . a crater in the mind.” He speaks for the consolation of the depressed and for the understanding of those who do not have depression. 

Rhetorically he relates his experience with depression. He relates all the people that he saw it in, even himself; and then he transitions into his own story of how he empathizes and sought out Christ to heal him. 

I never knew that George Albert Smith suffered from depression. 

Never lose faith in your father in heaven. That’s his first answer to depression, as well as taking the sacrament, asking for blessings, and even believing. 

If the bitter cup does not pass, drink it. 

He warns to be aware of the body, and make the required adjustments, and he goes on to seek the help that the world offers: doctors, medical care, etc. (But I notice that he offers this as secondary, although not any less necessary). 

Patience. Don’t run faster than you are able. Suffer long with charity, bear all things, endure all things, never faileth: charity. 

He relates the story of Stephanie Nielson. 

Don’t end your life. 

Though we may feel that we are like the broken vessel, we are in the hands of the potter. 

The rest of us can be understanding and kind and compassionate. 

He speaks of the glorious resurrection.

This talk appealed to me because I have had debilitating depression before that has arrested me and left me at the brink of sanity and what’s real. And I have know the absolute power of the Atonement to overcome this. I, too, bear my testimony with Elder Holland that the Lord can take a broken vessel and bind it up. 


President Uchtdorf:  You Can Do It Now!


He, like always, starts his talk off with an anechdote, this one about a time he went skiing with his Grandson, fell over, and couldn’t get up.

How he relates the story shows me how he always has the gospel on his mind. Everything is a lesson and a way to understand, everything is a testimony, everything is testifying of the gospel, if we will only take the time to analyze it and relate it to ourselves; if we just “liken” it to ourselves. 

I am interested that he is talking about depression, just like Elder Holland. He also talks about helping others. President Monson gave a talk on home teaching. I wonder if the theme that the prophets are focusing on is helping others and serving. 

Like those who die with most of their music still in them. How tragic. Think of the bird dying with all its song, a lifetime of positive singing still in it. What if I died with thousands of good actions still in me? How tragic. 

Godly sorrow vs. worldly sorrow. Wow, I never thought that worldly sorrow “worketh death.” I think I’ve had my share of that kind of sorrow and self-loathing. But I’ve also felt a good share of Godly sorrow. Now it is so apparent what the differences are. I think I had a lame defining line between these two sorrows before this point, but now I understand it all the better. Thanks Elder Uchtdorf. 

Repentance is the desire to get back up; the Atonement is the ability to get back up. I don’t need to have the gusto to get up alone. I just need to have the desire. Desire is a simple thing. If I have it, and if I have it right, then I will take any opportunity that comes to help me. Desire is a powerful thing.