Wednesday, April 7, 2010

So, I'm not entirely sure what to write. It has been an interesting week. Life really is good. The challenges and stresses never seem to cease, although it does seem that they are always changing. As I figure one set of trials out and grow until I can handle them, something else always comes up and makes me grow further. I really am grateful for the plan of the Lord that is designed to maximize our growth. I'm amazed how it is possible to feel peace and joy even when life is stressful and chaotic.

I loved General Conference. It is always good to listen to the words of inspired men. I had what I consider to be a fairly odd reaction to the messages I heard. While there were many moments of inspiration and encouragement, the main impression I came away with was that I am simply not normal. That doesn't necessarily mean anything bad. I don't feel any shame or isolation as a result of that realization. I'm not beating myself up, nor am I bragging in the least. Most of what was said just didn't feel like it was directed at me. Maybe I'm just totally insensitive to the Spirit and super prideful and hardened. But I really don't feel like that.

I really do feel like the Holy Ghost was passing on a message from my Father that said, "You're doing really well. Don't get too worked up about any of these talks." I felt a lot of help accepting that message. In the past, I've had some very different reactions to General Conference talks. I used to get so caught up in the literal message--or to use King Benjamin's words, I used to trifle with the words--that I would frequently miss the message that the Lord was trying to teach me. I would get discourage when Apostles would exhort us to do better in our callings. I was already giving my best effort. Or when they would counsel us to just have faith and be obedient. I was doing the best I could and I was still miserable. Why weren't they addressing the real issues that I was dealing with? I knew that I wasn't the only one. And not just SSA. Depression, Loneliness, a lack of charity in the ward. Why were they ignoring the real problems? I was so frustrated. Could this really be God's Church, under His direction, if this is what the leaders were saying?

I've come to realize that the Lord is really, intimately involved in my life. He is willing to teach me everything I need to know. He can match his message to my exact situation. After all, He understands it better than anyone else, even better than I do. It is just interesting how often His answers to my problems are in opposition (or more often, in addition) to what is being said at the pulpit. Am I totally misunderstanding the Spirit? I have a hard time believing that. I am way too happy and I feel way too much peace.

Some might say that I've been brainwashed by the philosophies of men as I've studied psychology. I sure don't feel like that is true. I find it easy to fit what I'm learning into the framework provided by the Gospel and the Plan of Salvation. It feels good and right. I just think that there are times when we need more than scripture reading, prayers, and faith. I'm not saying those things are ever unimportant and I certainly don't believe that any of them are ever harmful. But in circumstances where there is a need for additional help and counsel, focusing too much on those solutions as a panacea for all mortal problems may prevent some from receiving the help they need. Even more risky is the possibility that some individuals will give up on the Gospel because faith, prayer, and other basic answers are too often the only answers given. I see that way too often.

I don't know how many people read my blog, I bet even fewer people are still reading at this point. I feel like I'm rambling, but I guess that's kind of the whole reason I have a blog in the first place. Mostly I write just to journal and process my thoughts and feelings, but I'm really curious what my readers (if I have any) think. Is there a place for psychological principles in the lives of Latter-Day Saints? Are there times when the "basics of the gospel" are not enough to deal with the issues in our lives? If the answer is yes, how do I reconcile that with the fact that the General Authorities don't talk about more than they do? Or was my initial impression correct and I am just crazy?


Bravone said...

I read and appreciate Kev. Too tired to type my thoughts. We'll talk.

Kevin L. said...

Thanks, Buddy! I look forward to chatting.

Walking Bear said...

So. At a class at BYU-I we were talking about logical fallacies. My teacher mentioned that there were several in the Book of Mormon, and hopefully your testimony doesn't rest on those arguments.

His point--which I'm about to not make very well--was that our modern knowledges and techniques, and scientific discriminations more than likely disprove the Gospel. However, our testimony should be based in faith, not in science.

So, go ahead and psych it up, but don't let it get in the way of your spiritual health.

Hidden said...

I still read. Always. You give me hope in my world of confusion. Keep rambling.

Kevin L. said...


Thanks for the encouragement.