I remember one night a few years ago, shortly after I was excommunicated from the church, this lingering feeling of detachment and disconnection. It was very unpleasant and dark and I recognized it as the withdrawal of the Holy Ghost. From my experience, that was a real part of my process that I wish no one would have to go through but also I hope most will appreciate. Later I had a conversation with one of my closest friends, describing this and I recall telling him, “You don’t know what you have.”
I’d like to stress and emphasize the importance of the Holy Ghost in our lives. In a time of chaos happening around the world, uncertainty and where faith seems to be in question, you have been blessed to have a member of the Godhead to “be your constant companion” (D&C 121:46) and whatever concern you have or answers you seek you will know “in your mind and in your heart” (D&C 8:2) “the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10:5)
This sacred gift is given to enlighten, guide and comfort you along your path here as you continue to learn, grow and prepare to return home. It is crucial to recognize, understand and listen that you may be able to experience peace through your trials, knowledge in the things you seek and direction in the things you should do. There is nothing else in this world like it, and as you do the best you can it will always be a source of strength, healing and light.
“My beloved brothers and sisters, I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation. … Choose to do the spiritual work required to enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost and hear the voice of the Spirit more frequently and more clearly.” - President Russel M. Nelson.
The last several months I have had the opportunity to dive into the progressive mind of depression. As in every hardship or trial I seek for understanding, knowledge and to gain a full perspective. Right off the bat having a disorder of a psychiatric nature is embarrassing, self-destructive and can cause an inaccurate reality from the thought processes of those suffering and those in response to them.
Feeling the impossibility of hope, peace and happiness can debilitate every aspect of ones life. As dark as it may appear to be, and with no end in sight, one desperately grasps for something to hold on to. During these times when the feelings of abandonment, being forgotten and living unseen set in, it is important to remember that “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows... and that with His stripes we are healed.” (Mosiah 14:4-5)
From the many difficult experiences I have been blessed with, I have learned that some wounds don’t heal in this life and are carried with us to the next. But “because He ‘descended below ALL things’ He makes it possible for ALL things that have been broken in our lives to be mended.” (The Savior’s Touch, Elder Walter F. Gonzalez)
Though the promise of healing may not come today, tomorrow or on our mortal journey we do have a loving Savior who understands when it appears we are alone, who feels when you’re unable and who loves you when you feel undeserving. The day will come when your collective pleas will be answered by the Savior, “Be thou healed.”