Living By The Spirit : Mormon Mental Health

I have kept a copy of a handout entitled “Recognizing Promptings of the Holy Ghost” taken from John H. Groberg, “Investing for Eternity,” Ensign, Apr. 1986.

I don’t agree with everything on the handout (I left off parts I didn’t agree with), but overall I see it as a wonderful guide to happiness and mental health.  The parts in italics are my own feelings about the information.

When You Have The Spirit or In Other Words When Things Are Going Mostly Well and You Are Working Towards A Healthy, Nurturing Environment Externally and Internally:

You generally feel happy and calm, You feel full of light, Your mind is clear, You feel love for God and others, You feel generous, Nobody can offend you, You are very forgiving and kind, You feel confident in what you do, You don’t mind others seeing what you are doing, You want to be with those who love you – especially family members, You are glad when others succeed, You want to help others be happy/even those opposed to you, You feel like praying, You usually control your appetites and emotions, You are calm and control your speech, You feel no anger, You generally feel a deep desire to help others, You speak and think good about others, You feel sorrow when others have problems and sincerely desire to help them, You realize that your thoughts and actions are open to God.

When You Do Not Have The Spirit or in other words When You Are Depressed (or Mentally Unhealthy) Due To Your Own Actions, The Actions of Others, Your Own Thoughts Or Because of Severe Trials or Biological Reasons:

You may feel unhappy, depressed, confused, frustrated most of the time, You may feel heavy, full of darkness, Your mind may be muddled, You may feel empty, hollow, cold inside, You may feel selfish, possessive, self-centered, You may be offended easily, You may usually be on the defensive, You may become discouraged easily, You may become secretive, evasive, You may want to be alone most of the time. You avoid others- especially family members, You may be envious almost constantly of what others do and what they have, You may want to get even and show others up, You may not want to pray, You may find following ethical or moral rules senseless or restricting, You may be a slave to your appetites. You give way to strong anger and outspokenness, When you help others, your main desire may be to have your actions noticed, You are critical of others, You may often question others motives and secretly delight in others’ problems, You may feel that what you do and think is only your business and no one else knows or cares.

I really liked this handout because it is a part of Mormonism that I feel I can hold on to without reservation as a guide to mental and spiritual health. What do you think?

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4 Responses to Living By The Spirit : Mormon Mental Health

  1. dawn says:

    Is that Mormonism or common sense?

    • sarah says:

      I don’t know if it is entirely intuitive, but I think it would certainly be accepted by most people.

      The thing that makes it Mormon is the belief that you have the spirit if you are being “righteous” and you don’t have the spirit due to sin – Sin being the only possibility. Most people would agree that the feelings mentioned that are supposedly caused by sin and not having the spirit could be caused in fact by a myriad of reasons. Many Mormons who feel depressed or unhappy beat themselves up because they think they must be sinning in some way. In truth they just need to get some physical or psychological help- maybe even psychiatric help.

  2. dawn says:

    If that is a part of mormonism that causes people frustration, why would you want to keep it?

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