What’s With All the Guilt?

Mormon women are really good at laying on the guilt, and not just on our spouses and children, but on ourselves. I have had many conversations with women who have suffered from depression throughout their lives and felt immensely guilty for it. I mean, think about it. We’re mormon! We’re known for being joyful. We have good news. We know that Christ suffered for our sins, so we could return to live with our Heavenly Father. We call it the plan of happiness, so how is it that we get sad sometimes?

I don’t know why some struggle with depression more than others, but I do know that it’s nothing to feel guilty about. We tell our kids that it’s OK to feel sad sometimes, so why don’t we give ourselves the same leeway?

The scriptures are filled with examples of prophets who felt a full range of emotion, from grief, anguish and sorrow, to happiness, joy, and I’d even venture to say that Ammon is downright hyper from time to time.

Here are a few examples of prophets who have felt sorrow:

Jeremiah

Jeremiah 20:18 – Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?

Nephi

2 Nephi 4:17 – Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities

Isaac and Rebekah

Genesis 26:35 – Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah. (After Esau married outside the covenant)

Lehi and Sariah

1 Nephi 18:17 – Now my father, Lehi, had said many things unto them, and also unto the sons of Ishmael; but, behold, they did breathe out much threatenings against anyone that should speak for me; and my parents being stricken in years, and having suffered much grief because of their children, they were brought down, yea, even upon their sick-beds.

Our Savior Jesus Christ

Isaiah 53:3 – He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Jesus Christ

Even God feels sorrow when he sees the the pain of His children. So please, don’t feel guilty if you suffer from depression, and know that there is hope.

God loves us and wants us to be happy. Life is good.

“In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.”  – Gordon B Hinckley

Life is better because we experience a wide array of emotions. The good times are made that much sweeter because of the bad.

In one of my favorite musicals, Children of Eden, Adam and Eve are remembering their time in the garden, and they sing these words:

“And I remember, in someone else’s garden long ago
We had all we could eat
But it seems the fruit our own hands grow
Somehow tastes twice as sweet”

We’re here learning how to grow our own fruit. We’re not alone, He is here helping us along – we just can’t see Him. And I don’t think He is condemning us when we feel sad, I believe that He is crying with us.

I am not an official spokesperson for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This is my own personal opinion and perspective.

Thank You For the Prayers

Hi everyone,

It’s been a crazy few weeks. We still don’t have any solid news about little lion (new nickname for baby), but we do have some good news. She got her first tooth! That means that if she does have pituitary dwarfism she’s only partially affected by it. We’re breathing a big sigh of relief as her teeth pop up.

We’re still waiting on pins and needles but throughout this whole ordeal we’ve been immensely comforted, and I know part of that has been due to your prayers. So here’s a heartfelt thanks to everyone who’s been thinking about us and praying for us.

Prayer

I have a testimony that prayer works. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to my Heavenly Father and received comfort, instruction, and overwhelming love.

Life never slows down – we had another family death just last night – but through everything He is there waiting for us to pour out our hearts to him.

Thank you again and God bless.

- Amber Mae

 

Struck by my blessings

I was walking through my home the other day and I was suddenly struck with how blessed I am. With Thanksgiving just over I guess it’s a natural thing to be struck with, but it was a different kind of struck. I don’t know exactly how to describe it. Think of a clear bell, like the one that signifies an Angel got his/her wings in “It’s A Wonderful Life” – that’s the normal kind of struck, a pleasant sort of ah – ha moment. K, now think of the big bells in Quasimodo’s tower, those huge bells that require a grown man to sound them and have rendered poor Quasimodo deaf over the years. The ones that can knock you over with their power. It’s a struck that isn’t as pleasant but hopefully has more lasting effects.

You see, my struck came with a measure of shame and embarrassment. I felt like I was one of the nine lepers who didn’t come back to Christ to thank him. Instead I was dwelling on the negative and just skating through without appreciating my amazing life. I was focusing on all the wrong things, mainly all of the THINGS we needed to get done.

As I looked at my living room I noticed that I have a REALLY nice place to live – a place that I often describe as small, but is far more than we need. When so many families are living in squalor, or squished into one bedroom homes I live in a beautiful two bedroom rental. I noticed that my fridge is full of food when so many are hungry. I noticed the Christmas tree my husband and I lovingly put up – something we don’t really need but are blessed to have. I noticed the pictures on the walls: a large painting done by my husband’s late great grandmother, a photo of our baby when she was only a few weeks old, a wedding photo of myself and my husband. I felt the blessing of a caring and hard working husband, of a beautiful and healthy baby girl, and of an eternal family.

I was struck with my blessings, and after I took a moment to thank the Lord the Quasimodo bells changed from warning bells to clear strong and resonant bells – still the kind that knock you over, but with Heavenly Father’s love rather than my own shame. And I resolved to do better to remember what’s really important.