I have two comments that I think relate in a way to the topics of this article:
I was told once that the second most common problem that brings students to the BYU counseling center is perfectionism.
There is a form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder called Scrupulosity. The OCD thoughts and actions are based in religious belief and principles and result in guilt, anxiety, feelings of failure, etc. Martin Luther, for example, suffered from scrupulosity manifest as obsessive doubts. If someone suffers from this disease to the extent that is ruining relationships, accomplishment, causing overwhelming guilt, physical symptoms etc it's time to get professional help.
I think you're one of the best writers I know. I find myself getting excited whenever I see you've written another article because I know how happy they make me and have helped me soo much over the years. But this one is my ultimate favorite! Oh how I wish every member could read this! Great job and thank you thank you!
Thank you, Darla! It is so important to become aware of spiritual abuse! I have learned that there is no such thing as negative self-talk--it all comes from the enemy. We only have 1 enemy. It's not ourselves or others, it's Satan. It is critical to acknowledge that he is bad, and we are good. Brigham Young taught that we wouldn't have so much as a bad thought if it weren't for Satan. Acknowledging that these thoughts come from him (that he is the abuser) is empowering to me. I pray daily for discernment so I don't get hijacked by the master of lies. He is always trying to destroy our peace. We need to know how to fight for our happiness and peace of mind (that we are all entitled to). This is the kind of knowledge Joseph Smith urged us to gain so that the enemy will not have power over us. Most people are unaware that they are fighting an unseen enemy with invisible weapons! Your article helps sheds some light on that! Awareness (with discernment) is key. Then, the knowledge of how to fight the enemy is critical. I have found it helpful learning how the Savior dealt with Satan. On occasion, He ignored him (gave him no heed), and other times, he quoted scripture, then cast him out. Casting out is something every LDS needs to know how to do and feel free to do it regularly, as needed. Another strategy is filling our lives with Light, by consciously engineering our atmosphere through music, media, etc., by studying, connecting with God, serving, and enduring--moment by moment. This will be a lifelong battle, but it is what will refine us and make us the Zion people we are striving to become. As we do so, it will be well with us!
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