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The following is excerpted from LDS Living. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

Often people ask, “Why would a loving God permit so much suffering? Why wouldn’t He just erase all pain and distress from His children?” For those with a true understanding of our purpose in life, we know we are here to become like God. Part of that process involves choosing righteousness over evil. That choice becomes a true test as opposition is introduced. Hence, Father in Heaven permits opposition so we can grow. At the same time, He provides ways to overcome such opposition. 

Anxiety is an “opposition” faced by many people. It creates difficulty and distress in their lives. Yet Heavenly Father has provided us with means, both spiritual and temporal, to decrease feelings of anxiety and stress. As I was reading the scriptures one day, I came across a passage that looked like a recipe for anxiety reduction: “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me” (D&C 19:23). In harmony with God’s plan, there are invitations to act followed by a promised blessing. Let’s look at these one by one and analyze how they can help reduce anxiety.

Learn of the Savior

As a psychologist, I deal with many individuals who struggle with anxiety. Some time ago, I was talking with a Latter-day Saint client. Despite daily striving to follow the commandments, she expressed concern over a recent poor choice she had made. In reality, her misstep was small and of little consequence. Yet she worried the Savior was highly disappointed in her because of her choice. That worry fueled her anxiety. As she expressed her fears, I thought of the remarkable character of Christ. I reflected on His loving, merciful, longsuffering, forgiving, and compassionate nature. I took the time to testify to my client of the Savior’s love for her and how I did not believe He was disappointed in her behavior. On the contrary, I felt He was very pleased with her and tolerant of her weakness. I then realized that part of my client’s problem was that she didn’t know, or didn’t truly understand, who the Savior is. 

To read the full article on LDS Living, CLICK HERE.