Elder Erick W. Kopischke, a General Authority Seventy, spoke during the Saturday afternoon session of October 2021 general conference on how the gospel can help with mental illness. The following is a summary of what he said.
Notable quotes from Elder Kopischke
“Challenges often indicate a need for additional tools and support and are not a character defect.”
“Learning will lead to more understanding, more acceptance, more compassion, more love.”
“For all who are personally affected by mental illness, hold fast to your covenants, even if you might not feel God’s love at this time.”
Summary of Elder Kopischke’s talk
Many people worldwide have been affected by mental health struggles. Church members are not immune; too many suffer silently and believe they have no place in the Church.
“To combat such deception, it is important to remember that the Savior loves each of His Father’s children. … Challenges often indicate a need for additional tools and support and are not a character defect.”
It can be difficult for parents to identify their children’s mental health struggles, but they must educate themselves. “We … need to care for our children by helping them learn to be content with their sincere efforts as they strive to meet appropriate expectations.”
There is not a simple cure-all for emotional and mental wellness. Focusing on growth is healthier than obsessing about shortcomings.
Study the topic of “mental health” in the Life Help section of the Gospel Library app. “Learning will lead to more understanding, more acceptance, more compassion, more love.”
Constantly watch over each other. “We must love one another and be less judgmental — especially when our expectations are not immediately met.”
Those personally affected by mental illness need to “hold fast to your covenants, even if you might not feel God’s love at this time.”
About Elder Kopischke
- Elder Erich W. Kopischke was born in Elmshorn, Germany, on Oct. 20, 1956, to refugee parents who had just fled East Germany.
- Elder Kopischke married Christiane Glück in December 1978. They are the parents of seven children.
- Elder Kopischke has been serving as a General Authority Seventy since he was sustained on March 31, 2007. He has served as a full-time missionary in the Germany Munich Mission, stake president, district president, high councilor, branch president, bishopric counselor and president of the Germany Berlin Mission from 2003 to 2006.