Please consider the following points about how we might better manage our emotional lives This is the outline for part of a recent presentation.
Be Not Afraid: The Lord has said, Fear thou not; for I am with thee…I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)
Defining Be not afraid: A feeling of agitation and anxiety , of disquiet or apprehension A reason for dread or apprehension. Fright, dread, terror, panic, alarm, dismay, consternation, trepidation.
Often fear is self generated: If you take each challenge one step at a time, with faith in every footstep, your strength and understanding will increase. You cannot foresee all of the turns and twists ahead. My counsel to you is to follow the direction of the Savior of the world: “Be not afraid, only believe. (James E. Faust, “Pioneers of the Future: ‘Be Not Afraid, Only Believe’,” Ensign, Nov 1997, 42)(Mark 5:36)
Our emotional storms interfere with our reception of the Spirit: As problems and difficulties have come in my life since, I have tried to face them as best I could, relying more on the help of our Heavenly Father than the comfort from tears. I learned the lesson that life’s burdens don’t seem to be so great if we don’t allow ourselves to get paralyzed into a stupor of inactivity by our sorrow and pain. As children of our Heavenly Father, we should learn to be happy, to trust in Him, and to not be afraid. (James E. Faust, “Be Not Afraid,” Liahona, Oct 2002, 3)
Our inner dialogue can hurt or help us: You talk to yourself constantly…and you become the architect and creator of the emotions you later experience through this self-talk. Emotions do not come as the result of an observation or an experience but rather as the result of the things we say to ourselves about those…situations. (Marilyn J. Sorensen, Phd, Breaking the Chain of Low Self-Esteem, Wolf Publishing Co., Sherwood, OR, 1998)
Develop a willing heart: ..willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him...(Mosiah 3:19)
He asks for childlike submission and willingness: …Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:1-3)
Learn to quiet yourself: Somewhat to my surprise, I found myself praying, “Heavenly Father, it doesn’t matter what I want. I don’t care anymore what I want. I only want that Thy will be done. That is all that I want. Please tell me what to do.” In that moment I felt as quiet inside as I had ever felt…(Henry B. Eyring, “As a Child,” Ensign, May 2006.)
Be Not Dismayed..The Lord has said, ...be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)
Defining Dismayed: To destroy the courage or resolution of by exciting apprehension. To cause to lose enthusiasm; disillusion: To upset or alarm. A sudden or complete loss of courage in the face of trouble or danger, The sense of dread, or consternation.
As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. (Prov. 23: 7)
Sometimes we think too much: It is rudimentary LDS doctrine that we are a spirit child of Heavenly Father that has been placed here on earth in a physical body to gain the experience and lessons of life. The body was provided to help and house our spirits in this process. The body is really a “tool” of the spirit, a tool that creates our presence and allows the interactions necessary in God’s plan for us. If the body is the tool, the spirit is surely meant to be the operator of the tool. The spirit should be in charge of managing, directing, and using the tool. Very, very often it is not.
Creating mental storms: When we fall victim to our own compulsive thoughts we create emotional storms of anxiety, fear, depression, etc. Those storms of emotion disrupt our connection with self. We get lost in them. We lose our ability to be in and experience the present moment. Like violent thunderstorms or tornados these emotional storms can lay us emotionally desolate, unable to nurture our connection with the spirit.
Our thoughts shape our lives… James Allen has expressed it this way in his book As a Man Thinketh: “As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them. This applies equally to those acts called ‘spontaneous’ and ‘unpremeditated’ as to those which are deliberately executed. “In the armoury of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself; he also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace. (L. Tom Perry, “Discipleship,” Ensign, Nov 2000)
The Savior offers the solution: “O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments—then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea” (1 Nephi 20:18; see also Isaiah 48:18). The words of Lehi are a clarion call to all men and boys of the priesthood. Said he with great conviction: “Awake, my sons; put on the armor of righteousness. Shake off the chains with which ye are bound, and come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust” (2 Nephi 1:23). (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Rise Up, O Men of God,” Ensign, Nov 2006, 59–61)
Living in the LDS NOW! Sometimes we get lost in the past, reliving, remembering, sometimes we get lost in the future with worry and anxiety…now, this present moment is where we can most effectively live our lives. The past is history we can not change it. The future does not exist yet, it is not real. Only now can we live and act and grow. Only now can we access the Saviors love.
“The spirit and the body are the soul of man” (D&C 88:15.): Both are of great importance. Since thoughts precede deeds, you must first learn to control your thoughts. (Russel M Nelson, Self-Mastery, ensign, Nov 1985) The doctrine explained in the scriptures, the revelations, tells us that we are dual beings. We know there is a spirit and a body. “The spirit and the body [when they are eternally combined, become] the soul of man” So there are two parts of you. There is a spirit inside of a body. (Boyd K. Packer, “The 20-Mark Note,” NewEra, Jun 2009, 2–6)
The spirit should be the operator: Put yourself in the position of operator of the tool. Consider your body and mind as tools of your spirit. Be the watcher or observer.
This moment is all we really have: This moment, right now, is the oasis between the anxiety of the future and our depression of the past. This is the moment in which we live our lives, this moment is the one in which we access the Saviors love.
Seek ye first the kingdom of God…Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof. (3 Nephi 13: 26-34)