- Depression, anxiety and other emotional afflictions are real and can affect anyone and it is appropriate and important to seek help for such afflictions if they are ongoing.
- Disciples of Christ have made covenants with the Lord to help lift one another’s burdens. Followers of Christ therefore have a responsibility to care for those around them and help lift their burdens, whatever they may be.
- Listening with love and withholding judgement is a key aspect of increasing one’s compassion and learning to help others as Christ would do.
Dark clouds of “depression, anxiety and other forms of mental and emotional affliction” can often distort the way people perceive themselves, the world around them and even God.
“Like any part of the body, the brain is subject to illness, trauma and chemical imbalance. When our minds are suffering, it is appropriate to seek help from God, from those around us, and from medical and mental health professionals.”
While sadness and anxiety are natural emotions, to experience them constantly can block one’s ability to feel the love of Heavenly Father and the influence of the Holy Ghost in one’s life — but hiding that pain or “thinking we need to be perfect now” can make such times even more difficult.
“In contrast, when we open up about our emotional challenges, admitting we are not perfect, we give others permission to share their struggles. Together we realize there is hope and we do not have to suffer alone.”
Many individuals suffer from depression or other emotional and mental challenges alone and in fear of not meeting the expectations of an imaginary mold. But “we can help them know and feel that they do indeed belong with us.” Depression is not necessarily a result of sin or weakness and it increases when left alone.
“Together, we can break through the clouds of isolation and stigma so the burden of shame is lifted and miracles of healing can occur.”
Christ spent His mortal ministry tending to the sick and afflicted. “Let us follow the Savior’s path and increase our compassion, diminish our tendency to judge, and stop being the inspectors of the spirituality of others.”
Loving and helping to lift the burdens of others brings the light of Christ more brightly into the lives of both those helping and those being helped and offers hope in times of darkness.
In the news:
- Sister Aburto, who is on the steering committee of the Book of Mormon Videos series, shared her thoughts on the new series with the Church News on Sept. 3.
- During the 2019 BYU Women’s Conference, the Relief Society general presidency spoke on four key questions on women and the priesthood.
- Speaking to BYU-Idaho students on June 4, Sister Aburto gave five steps to help strengthen “divine relationships.”
About the speaker:
- Sister Reyna Isabel Aburto was called to serve as second counselor of the Relief Society general presidency during the April 2017 general conference.
- Sister Aburto was born and raised in Nicaragua. When she was in her 20s, she emigrated to the United States, where she met missionaries and joined the Church.
- The life of Sister Aburto was the subject of a series of videos published by the Church in 2018.
Recently on social:
- When the first segment of the new Book of Mormon Videos series was released, Sistere Aburto said she hoped the videos will bring people to the Book of Mormon. After all, “the book is always better than the movie,” she wrote in the Sept. 23 Facebook post.
- On Father’s Day, Sister Aburto honored all the men and boys who are fathers or are preparing to be fathers. “Through my life, I have had many father and masculine figures who have had a gently strong influence on me,” she wrote in the June 15 Facebook post, featuring a collage of male figures in her life.
- After her BYU-Idaho devotional on June 4, Sister Aburto posted a photo of her with four students. “Among other things, I counseled them to follow the Lord’s example in seeking a higher level of love, to get out of their shell, and to pray to be filled with charity, the pure love of Christ,” she wrote in the June 12 post.