Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when we handle mental and emotional challenges in an appropriate manner.
How we respond when faced with these challenges can greatly affect ourselves and others.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke wisely about how to respond in the best way to mental and emotional challenges. “How do you best respond when mental or emotional challenges confront you or those you love? Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend…. Never, ever doubt that, and never harden your heart. Faithful pursue the time-tested devotional practices that bring the Spirit of the Lord into your life. Seek the counsel of those who hold keys for your spiritual well-being. Ask for and cherish priesthood blessings. Take the sacrament every week, and hold fast to the perfecting promises of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Believe in miracles. I have seen so many of them come when every other indication would say that hope was lost. Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead….
“Whatever your struggle, my brothers and sisters – mental or emotional or physical or otherwise – do not vote against the preciousness of life by ending it! Trust in God. Hold on in His love. Know that one day the dawn will break brightly and all shadows of mortality will flee. Though we may feel we are `like a broken vessel,’ as the Psalmist says, we must remember, that vessel is in the hands of the divine potter. Broken minds can be healed just the way broken bones and broken hearts are healed. While God is at work making those repairs, the rest of us can help by being merciful, nonjudgmental, and kind.
“I testify of the holy Resurrection, that unspeakable cornerstone gift in the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ! With the Apostle Paul, I testify that that which was sown in corruption will one day be raised in incorruption and that which was sown in weakness will ultimately be raised in power. I bear witness of that day when loved ones whom we knew to have disabilities in mortality will stand before us glorified and grand, breathtakingly perfect in body and mind. What a thrilling moment that will be! I do not know whether we will be happier for ourselves that we have witnessed such a miracle or happier for them that they are fully perfect and finally `free at last.’ Until that hour when Christ’s consummate gift is evident to us all, may we live by faith, hold fast to hope, and show `compassion one of another,’ ….
Elder Holland’s counsel can help all of us, those with serious mental and emotional challenges as well as those of us simply struggling with life. Whether or not we personally suffer from mental or emotional challenges, most of us know someone who is struggling. We strengthen ourselves and others by exercising faith in Jesus Christ and His ability to heal every problem, hope in a brighter tomorrow, and charity for all. As we deal appropriately with mental and emotional challenges, we can strengthen our families, communities, and nations.