Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Help from the Book of Mormon

"The Book of Mormon teaches us truth [and] bears testimony of Christ. ... But there is something more.  There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book.  You will find greater power to resist temptation.  You will find the power to avoid deception.  You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path.  The scriptures are called 'the words of life,' and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon" (Conference Report, Oct. 1986).

The above words were shared by President Ezra Taft Benson, previous President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He spoke those words long before I was even born, but it wasn't until just a few years ago that I understood the power of its application.

I have grown up with a bad case of manic-depression, to which I thought there was no cure.  Of course I have medications that help, but the eventual depression was always bound to come back at some point, and I felt trapped.  Not knowing how to feel better I met with a friend who told me I needed to read the Book of Mormon.  I'd read the book before and knew it wasn't about mental illnesses, or depression, or anything of that sort, but out of respect and love for my friend I followed her counsel and got the book out again.

For the first few days nothing changed about my situation, but over time I did notice something strange.  I found that when I read my Book of Mormon in the morning I was able to focus more during the day, free of the distractions of depression.  Additionally, I noticed that when I read at night I was able to get to sleep much faster and sleep better than I did beforehand.  Although it is not specifically mentioned in President Benson's address above, I would add to all who need help with depression (or other mental illnesses) can find help and comfort through reading the Book of Mormon.

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