Thursday, January 16, 2014

Post 47x: In this Review of the October 2013 General Conference Talk Delivered by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I Have Provided You an Opportunity to Adequately Determine How You Personally Should Best Respond if Either You or One of Your Dear Loved Ones Will Have Found Themselves Confronted by a Serious Personal Mental/ Emotional Problem.

The Following Blog Description Explains Why My Blog is named: "Four Books of Scripture Testify of Jesus Christ!

Jesus the Christ -by Del Parson

in every additional post of this blog you will 
be led on a carefully and prayerfully planned 
exciting and inspiring journey as you prepare 
by means of a guided study of the four sacred 
books of scripture I am shown holding above; 
which will assist you in becoming more 
righteously happy now and more fully 
prepared for eventual After-Mortality Eternal 
Endeavors on your part, along with your loved 
ones and countless other mortals who are 
seeking to qualify as our Heavenly Father's 
worthy children. 

Those enabling Books of Scripture were 
brought about through the love of the 
Heavenly Father of our immortal spirits 
which now inhabit our mortal bodies; and 
were a key part of the Restoration of the 
Gospel, and of the establishment of The 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints, through the Prophet Joseph Smith 
early in the Nineteenth Century. 

Leading out in all of this, was of course, 
Our Heavenly Father's Only Begotten Son 
who is our Lord, Savior, and Redeemer, 
Jesus Christ (who initially was our eldest 
spirit brother and is the only one of us 
our Heavenly Father will have ever 
sired into mortality). 

Jesus accomplished His Infinite Atonement, 
the Ultimate Mortal Sacrifice, along with 
His infallibly witnessed Resurrection. He is 
our Redeemer and Savior who opened the 
way for each of us to learn with certainty 
through those four books of scripture, and 
through the inspired teachings of His 
prophets, seers and revelators of our day 
and those authorized by them; that some 
time after our mortal deaths, because of 
His atonement and resurrection, and 
depending on the level of individual 
righteousness we each attain to, through 
His grace, we can eventually experience 
Eternal Life in our own resurrected bodies, 
which in the case of those who fully heeded 
all of His scriptural guidance and the 
guidance of His authorized living servants, 
there will be full possession of Godly 

J. Neil Birch

To Access This Blog's Index, Please Scroll Down To the Fifth 
Paragraph From the End of This Post! For Those of You Who May 
Be In a Hurry to Access it, Here it is now: Neil Birch's Blog Index.



I, J. Neil Birch, Author of this Blog Post as you have 
been informed in my Introduction, have chosen this 
week to feature an October 2013 General Conference 
talk given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum 
of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints in Which He Sensitively Prepares 
Each of Us How To Adequately Prepare to Deal With 
Serious Emotional Problems With Which We Or a Close 
Family Member May Have Been Afflicted.  First, 
desire that you each learn about Elder Holland's 
background before he was called to his position as a 
Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Now I invite you to listen to the featured General Conference 
Talk which was delivered by Elder Holland at the October 
2013 General Conference:


You are next invited to thoughtfully and prayerfully
read through the printed version of Elder Holland's talk 
in which you will come across,  each of  the referencnotes 
he has inserted through which he,  with some assistance
from me through the means of the Internet which facilitates
this and all blogs, he gives us inspired guidance:

Like a Broken Vessel
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles 
Jeffrey R. Holland

How do you best respond when 
mental or emotional challenges 
confront you or those you love?

The Apostle Peter wrote that disciples of Jesus 
Christ are to have “compassion one of another.” 1 
                   1 Peter 3:8  Finally, be ye all of one  
mind, having compassion one of another,
 love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
In that spirit I wish to speak to those who suffer from 
some form of  mental illness or emotional disorder, 
whether those afflictions be slight or severe, of brief 
duration or persistent over a lifetime. We sense the 
complexity of such matters when we hear professionals 
speak of neuroses and psychoses, of genetic 
predispositions and chromosome defects, of bipolarity, 
paranoia, and schizophrenia. However bewildering this 
all may be, these afflictions are some of the realities of 
mortal life,  and there should be no more  shame in 
acknowledging them than in acknowledging battle 
with high blood pressure or the sudden appearance 
of a malignant tumor. 

    In striving for some peace and understanding in 
these difficult matters, it is crucial to remember that 
we are living—and chose to live—in a fallen world 
where for divine purposes our pursuit of  godliness will 
be tested and tried again and again. Of greatest 
assurance in God’s plan is that a Savior was promised, 
a Redeemer, who through our faith in Him would lift us 
triumphantly over those tests and trials, even though 
the cost to do so would be unfathomable for both the 
Father who sent Him and the Son who came. It is only 
an appreciation of this divine love that will make our 
own lesser suffering first bearable, then understandable, 
and finally redemptive. 

   Let me leave the extraordinary illnesses I have 
mentioned to concentrate on MDD —“major depressive 
disorder”—or, more commonly, “depression.” When I 
speak of this, I am not speaking of bad hair days, tax 
deadlines, or other discouraging moments we all have. 
Everyone is going to be anxious or downhearted on 
occasion. The Book of  Mormon says Ammon and his 
brethren were depressed at a very difficult time, 2 
2Alma 26:27 Now when our hearts were 
depressed, and we were about to turn back, 
behold, the Lord comforted us, and said:
Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and
 bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will
give unto you success.
Ammon, one of the
 Sons of the king of the Nephites
is guided  by the Lord in saving
the Lamanite king's flock.

and so can the rest of us be. But today I am speaking of 
something more serious, of an affliction so severe that it 
significantly restricts a person’s ability to function fully, 
a crater in the mind so deep that no one can responsibly 
suggest it would surely go away if those victims would 
just square their shoulders and think more positively
—though I am a vigorous advocate of square shoulders 
and positive thinking! 

     No, this dark night of the mind and spirit is more than 
mere discouragement. I have seen it come to an 
absolutely angelic man when his beloved spouse of 50 
years passed away. I have seen it in new mothers with 
what is euphemistically labeled “after-baby blues.” 
I have seen it strike anxious students, military veterans,
 and grandmothers worried about the well-being of their 
grown children. 
    And I have seen it in young fathers trying to provide 
for their families. In that regard I once terrifyingly saw 
it in myself. At one point in our married life when financial 
fears collided with staggering fatigue, I took a psychic blow 
that was as unanticipated as it was real. With the grace of 
God and the love of my family, I kept functioning and kept 
working, but even after all these years I continue to feel a 
deep sympathy for others more chronically or more deeply 
afflicted with such gloom than I was. In any case we have 
all taken courage from those who, in the words of the 
Prophet Joseph, “search[ed] … and contemplate[d] the 
darkest abyss” 3 
Joseph Smith

3 Teachings of the Presi-
dents of the Church: 
Joseph Smith (2007, p.267

"...Let Honesty, and sobriety, and candor, and 

solemnity, and virtue, and pureness, and 

meekness, and simplicity crown our heads 

in every place; and in fine, become as little 

children, without malice,  guile or 


And now, brethren, after your tribulations, if 

you do these things, and exercise fervent prayer 

and faith in the sight of God always, He shall give 

unto you knowledge by His Holy spirit, yea by 

the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost. "

Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost

D.C. 121:26 God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy 
Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has 
not been revealed since the world was until now; been revealed 
since the world was until now;

and persevered through it —not the least of whom were 
Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Elder 

George Albert Smith, the latter being one of the most 
gentle and Christlike men of our dispensation, who battled 
recurring depression for some years before later becoming 
the universally beloved eighth prophet and President of 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

So 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. As President Monson
said to the Relief Society sisters so movingly last Saturday
evening: “That love never changes. … It is there for you
when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s
love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve
[it]. It is simply always there.” 4  
4 Thomas S. Monson, November 2013 Ensign, pages 123-124.
Never, ever doubt that, and never harden your heart. 
Faithfully 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. 

Christ in Gethsemane

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. 5
 Mathew 26:39  And he went a little further, and fell on his face, 
and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this
 cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

In preventing illness whenever possible, watch for the stress 
indicators in yourself and in others you may be able to help. 
As with your automobile, be alert to rising temperatures, 
excessive speed, or a tank low on fuel. When you face 
“depletion depression,” make the requisite adjustments. 
Fatigue is the common enemy of us all—so slow down, rest 
up, replenish, and refill. Physicians promise us that if we 
do not take time to be well, we most assuredly will take time 
later on to be ill. If things continue to be debilitating, seek 
the advice of reputable people with certified training, 
professional skills, and good values. Be honest with 
them about your history and your struggles. 
Prayerfully and responsibly consider the counsel they 
give and the solutions they prescribe. If you had 
appendicitis, God would expect you to seek a 
priesthood blessing and get the best medical care 
So too with emotional disorders. Our Father in Heaven 
expects us to use all of the marvelous gifts He has provided
in this glorious dispensation. 
If you are the one afflicted or a caregiver to such, try not 
to be overwhelmed with the size of your task. Don’t 
assume you can fix everything, but fix what you can. 
If those are only small victories, be grateful for them and
be patient. Dozens of  times in the scriptures, the Lord
commands someone to “stand still” or “be still”
—and wait. 6 
6 6 Psalm 4:4  Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with 
your own heart upon your bed and be still. Selah. 
D. and C. 101:16  Therefore, let your hearts be comforted 
concerning  Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and 
know that I am God.
Patiently enduring some things is part of our mortal
For caregivers, in your devoted effort to assist with
another’s health, do not destroy your own.  In all
these things be wise. Do not run faster than you have
strength. 7 
7 Mosiah 4: 27 And see that all these things are done 
in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man 
should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is 
expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he 
might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done 
in order.
Whatever else you may or may not be able to provide,
you can offer your prayers and you can give “love
unfeigned.” 8 
D. and C. 121:41 “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; 
… [it] beareth all things, … hopeth all things, endureth 
all things. Charity never faileth.” 9
9  1Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is 
kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, 
is not puffed up,
9 Moroni 7:45 And charity suffereth long, and is 
kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh 
not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, 
and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the 
truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth 
all things, endureth all things.
  46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not 
charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. 
Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest 
of all, for all things must fail—

Also let us remember that through any illness 
or difficult challenge, there is still much in life to 
be hopeful about and grateful for. We are infinitely 
more than our limitations or our afflictions! 

Stephanie Clark Nielson and her family have been 
our friends for more than 30 years. On August 16, 
2008, Stephanie and her husband, Christian, were 
in a plane crash and subsequent fire that scarred 
her so horrifically that only her painted toenails 
were recognizable when family members came to 
identify the victims. There was almost no chance 
Stephanie could live. After three months in a 
sleep-induced coma, she awoke to see herself. 
With that, the psyche-scarring and horrendous 
depression came. Having four children under 
the age of seven, Stephanie did not want them 
to see her ever again. She felt it would be better 
not to live. “I thought it would be easier,” 
Stephanie once told me in my office, “if they 
just forgot about me and I quietly slipped 
out of their life.”

But to her eternal credit, and with the prayers
of her husband, family, friends, four beautiful
children, and a fifth born to the Nielsons just
18 months ago, Stephanie fought her way back
from the abyss of self-destruction to be one
of the most popular “mommy bloggers” in
the nation, openly declaring to the four
million who follow her blog that her “divine
purpose” in life is to be a mom and to cherish
every day she has been given on this beautiful

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, 10 
10Psalm 31:12  I am forgotten as a dead man 
out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
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.
Behold My Hands and Feet

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. 11 
11 1 Corinthians 15:42   So also is 
the resurrection of the dead. It is sown 
in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in 
glory: it is sown in weakness; it is 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.” 

Free at last, free at last
I thank God I'm free at last
Free at last, free at last
I thank God I'm free at last
Way down yonder in the graveyard walk
I thank God I'm free at last
Me and my Jesus going to meet and talk
I thank God I'm free at last
On my knees when the light pass'd by
I thank God I'm free at last
Tho't my soul would rise and fly
I thank God I'm free at last
Some of these mornings, bright and fair
I thank God I'm free at last
Goin' meet King Jesus in the air

                                  I thank God I'm free at last!   

  1. “Free at Last,” in John W. Work, comp., American Negro 
  2. Songs: 230 Folk Songs and Spirituals, Religious and Secular 
  3. (1998), 197.
  5. __________________________________________
  6. Elder Holland's Notes (Each note was incorporated by this 
  7. blogger into the his talk as it is given above (as much as seemed possible).

    2. See Alma 26:27; see also Alma 56:16.
    3. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 267.
    4. Thomas S. Monson, “We Never Walk Alone,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 123, 124.
    5. See Matthew 26:39.
    6. See, for example, Psalm 4:4Doctrine and Covenants 101:16.
    7. See Mosiah 4:27.
    9. 1 Corinthians 13:4, 7–8; emphasis added; see also Moroni 7:45–46.
    12. “Free at Last,” in John W. Work, comp., American Negro 
  19. Songs: 230 Folk Songs and Spirituals, Religious and Secular 
  20. (1998), 197.

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Index Item Which Refers To This Blog Post, (Or An Item Which Refers To Any Other 
Blog Post You May Desire To Access)After Reading All of This Paragraph Please 
Click on the Post Title Shown at the End of this following paragraph: 
When You See a Portrayal of  Our Savior Jesus Christ Sitting Next To 
Little Boy, Please, Scroll Down To our Target: Mental or Emotional 
Problems! If You or a Close Loved One are Afflicted with Such
How do You Best Respond? This Blog Post is Based on the October 2013 
General Conference Talk of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of 
Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 
-Post 47x

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I deeply appreciate your readership and hope you found
very beneficial, that which was presented to you in this 
blog post.

If you have any questions about what you have read or 
viewed in this post or in any previous posts of mine, 
or if you even have a curiosity about the Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-day Saints, and or its teachings, please 
e-mail me. I'm Neil and my e-mail address is: If you contact me I'll get back 
to you just as soon as possible.

Neil Birch