How Does the Atonement Help With Depression

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Re: How Does the Atonement Help With Depression

Post by Roy »

Kipper wrote: 02 Nov 2021, 23:31 That whole life just vanished along with my financial and emotional investments. I never got any of it back.
Yeah, I can feel that. For me, I do not think that the atonement would be the best tool to use in this case. I might get more mileage out of the business concept of "sunk costs." Sunk costs refer to costs that were already invested in a particular project. Those are spent and gone. They should not be unduly considered when determining your next course of action. For example, if you have already invested $10k on a project that is projected to return $20k after 6 months, it might still make sense to terminate the project and switch to a different project that is projected to return $50k in the same time period. There is an opportunity cost that will be incurred by staying

Applying that in a non-business project context tells me that I need to make my decisions based on the choices ahead of me at the given moment and not become stuck because of what has come before. It is perhaps another way of saying that there is no use crying over spilled milk. Perhaps there is no use crying but surely there is a need to reduce the likelihood of future spilled milk.

For me in this current time this means that I take the church relationship based upon the current inputs and outputs. How much should I give based on how much I expect in return? If I reduce what I am willing to give how will that affect the return. For me, I believe that I have arrived at a reasonable and sustainable cost/benefit status quo.

I do receive benefits from the church that include a community to support us in challenging times (I also know that I need to reach out in those times to let community members know what specific help I need). I also feel that the church has been a stabilizing influence for my children (now teenagers) and can provide a decent circle of peers/friends. The cost/benefit analysis can change based upon my season in life.
Kipper wrote: 02 Nov 2021, 23:31 I am not "all in" and people can sense it and react accordingly. It's a consistent awkward experience that I would rather not deal with but what do you do.
I feel that too. Part of making this work for me is keeping the church at arms length and not putting much stock in what church people might think of me. Most people are nice, but they can still be patronizing (thinking that they know best for me and my family). Dealing with the awkward experience is just part of the cost for me.

In order to not care too much what church people think of me, I have had to diversify my social group. The church is still in my orbit, but it is just one of many people and organizations that I participate in and derive value from. To me, that puts all church interactions in a more balanced and manageable perspective.
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Re: How Does the Atonement Help With Depression

Post by DarkJedi »

Kipper wrote: 02 Nov 2021, 23:31 I was asked two or three times to be in young men's leadership (scouting, priesthood etc.). I told them I wouldn't be able to do it along with the other things I was working on but they were persistent and I was told everything would work out. It didn't. In fact it was ridiculous to think it could. I had a daily commute of an hour and 20 minutes after work and was at the peak of my continuing education effort with classes at a nearby JC three nights a week. After a couple of months the Scoutmaster quit to pursue his dream in law enforcement and it just became a disaster for me not being able to "magnify" or even dutifully fulfill my calling. I eventually dropped all classes and spent the next five years doing a poor job trying to keep up with activities and meetings along with my work schedule. By the time my son came home from his mission I was wrecked. That's another thing I gave up, my son and I spent lots and lots of time together outdoors while he was growing up - camping, fishing and dirt bike racing. That whole life just vanished along with my financial and emotional investments. I never got any of it back. I became and still am really disenchanted with the institution and see everything and hear everything in a different light now. I am not "all in" and people can sense it and react accordingly. It's a consistent awkward experience that I would rather not deal with but what do you do.
I think this is what Roy meant about setting boundaries(and referenced again in his more recent post). I've been there too, I know how it is with church culture and those that can't take no for an answer. But sometimes you have to just dig in and be firm. No means no. One or two occasions I've had to be a little more assertive than just firm - maybe even mean or rude, but that individual had to understand at some point that when I said no I meant it and while I'm often happy to explain why I'm saying no I also don't feel an obligation to explain. "I don't want to right now" is enough of an explanation as far as I'm concerned. Again, I know it's hard and different wards/stakes have some differences in culture and some are pretty hardcore, but I've reached that same place Roy has - I do like many of the people in my ward but I don't care what any of them think of me. If they're judging, that's their problem, not mine. I don't necessarily take Roy's route of different social circles, however, but that's my choice. I am an introvert and a sort of curmudgeonly hermit. I get all the socialization I need at work, and neither my work nor the church are my life (although my work can be very rewarding).
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Re: How Does the Atonement Help With Depression

Post by Heber13 »

To me, the atonement is about hope and connection.

Letting go of the past, hoping for a better future, accepting one's self as imperfect, and connecting to be at one with the divine as you are today and think outside ones self to get strength to act.

Those things can help someone to pull away from some levels of depression, but it is an oversimplification to say that is all a person needs.

Our brains and our ego are complex and often need a combination of factors and solutions including medication, therapy, and many other habits of self care.

Faith in the atonement can be one, of many, tactics to battle symptoms of depression. Probably not at the top of my list though.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."
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Re: How Does the Atonement Help With Depression

Post by Old-Timer »

In my experience with people, the Atonement can help with depression IF it is framed within grace and NOT if it is framed within absolute obedience.

The mindset of the person (worthy vs. unworthy) is the key, and any framing that emphasizes baseline unworthiness is damaging.

So, it isn't "the Atonement" that is helpful or unhelpful; it is how the concept of atonement is framed.
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Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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Re: How Does the Atonement Help With Depression

Post by Cadence »

Apply the atonement is just a Mormon catchphrase. What does it even mean? When peoples lives suck Mormons think this notion of an ambiguous atonement helps.

I am an old fashion bootstrap kind of person. If it is to be it is up to me.

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