Spiritual


was last week.  I love conference weekends, both because I get to stay home and listen and watch on TV, so it’s like a day off (which I hardly ever get these days), and because the messages really are great.

I waited to post about conference until the written transcripts were published.  Anyone interested may find video, audio, and written versions at http://lds.org

I would like to mention in particular a talk by Richard G. Scott about healing the Shattering Consequences of Abuse that may be of particular interest here. 

Here is a brief excerpt:

To find relief from the consequences of abuse, it is helpful to understand their source. Satan is the author of all of the destructive outcomes of abuse. He has extraordinary capacity to lead an individual into blind alleys where the solution to extremely challenging problems cannot be found. His strategy is to separate the suffering soul from the healing attainable from a compassionate Heavenly Father and a loving Redeemer.

If you have been abused, Satan will strive to convince you that there is no solution. Yet he knows perfectly well that there is. Satan recognizes that healing comes through the unwavering love of Heavenly Father for each of His children. He also understands that the power of healing is inherent in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Therefore, his strategy is to do all possible to separate you from your Father and His Son. Do not let Satan convince you that you are beyond help.

Satan uses your abuse to undermine your self-confidence, destroy trust in authority, create fear, and generate feelings of despair. Abuse can damage your ability to form healthy human relationships. You must have faith that all of these negative consequences can be resolved; otherwise they will keep you from full recovery. While these outcomes have powerful influence in your life, they do not define the real you.

Satan will strive to alienate you from your Father in Heaven with the thought that if He loved you He would have prevented the tragedy. Do not be kept from the very source of true healing by the craftiness of the prince of evil and his wicked lies. Recognize that if you have feelings that you are not loved by your Father in Heaven, you are being manipulated by Satan. Even when it may seem very difficult to pray, kneel and ask Father in Heaven to give you the capacity to trust Him and to feel His love for you. Ask to come to know that His Son can heal you through His merciful Atonement.

Last night my family and I had the honor of attending the confirmation of a pair of sisters who have become friends with my daughters.  Our families came together when my daughter became friends with one of the girls in orchestra, and now we do a lot together.

To return to the subject of Easter, the comfirmation was held as part of a full Pascal celebration and Mass.  Please forgive me if my terminology is less than accurate.  I am a non-Catholic attempting to describe a Catholic religious service.  In fact, we were not the only non-Catholics invited to support people receiving ordinances at that service.  We were told that the man sitting in front of us was an atheist.  My family and I are LDS.  I had been to a Catholic baptism before, but not a complete worship service.

The service was beautiful, especially the music.  I often wish for more music in the church meetings that I normally attend, and I think that we are limited by some drive to try to compete with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir every time we sing, and thus we overcomplicate everything.  This Catholic congregation (I don’t know enough about others to compare or generalize) had a simple choir with piano and guitar, and the congregation followed along in places with one person leading a simple one-part melody.  It was easy enough to pick up and join in.  It was entrancing.

Apart from some small doctrinal and procedural differences, the messages, themes and the scriptures used were familiar.  The Priest spent some time explaining the meanings and encouraged the congregation to ponder and find meaning.  I was also impressed with the spirit of peace and goodwill that was there, especially at the end when people got up and hugged each other and wished each other peace.  We don’t do much of that in my church.  They accepted us, and recognized our beliefs as valid also.

I miss the similar sharing that we have lost on Psych Central.  It is rare that I have the opportunity, as I did yesterday, of visiting and learning about someone else’s beliefs that are different from mine.  We could learn so much from each other if we would listen to each other with acceptance, and without judgement.  I feel very unqualified to judge anyone, because I know that what they believe makes sense to them.  Although I do believe in the necessity of the atonement and resurrection of Christ, I believe that those gifts are or will be offered to everyone, whether in this life or the next.  According to my beliefs, we all knew the plan, that Christ would come to Earth as our brother and show us the way and pay the price for us, before we were born.  But if we are not taught in this life, all is not lost.  We will be judged according to what we have been given, and will be offered the necessary keys as we are ready for them.  I can’t judge anyone because I don’t know what they are accountable for, or the path that was chosen for them.  I don’t profess to know and understand everything, and I believe that everyone has some truth that they could share with me if I would listen.

I welcome comments here, both questions, and sharing, as long as it is kept respectful.  I can’t promise when I will have time to answer, but I will do what I can.

From time to time, I would like to share some of what I believe and value.  Today it seems fitting to share a link to a new site about The Savior, JesusChrist.lds.org . If you are interested, please take a look. I find comfort in that He cares about us so much to give everything for us, and also that He took upon Himself all of our suffering. He knows everything that we are going through, because He suffered our pains. It’s hard for me sometimes to believe that anyone could care that much about me, but He did that for all of us.

 I hope that you had a good Easter, however you celebrated it.