Any Hope or Comfort?

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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Shawn
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Any Hope or Comfort?

Post by Shawn » 26 May 2016, 08:15

I don't really believe in a god anymore. I'm trying to have faith, though. Anyway, I feel very little hope and comfort. I'm not handling this very well. General depression and anxiety coupled with the loss of my faith is killing me.

Is there anyone here who has felt such despair and then regained hope and comfort?

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DarkJedi
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Re: Any Hope or Comfort?

Post by DarkJedi » 26 May 2016, 08:30

I have. It's not easy, and I don't think it probably works the same for any two individuals. My signature line contains the sentence "In the absence of faith or knowledge there is always hope." That is a summary of my years long struggle, and struggle I'm not sure will ever completely resolve. There is hope, but you have to hold onto it even when it seems like it's useless and not worth it. I just quoted this last Sunday in a talk I gave:
I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross.
On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth.
Those evil men who sought His life rejoiced. Now that Jesus was no more, surely those who followed Him would disperse. On that day they stood triumphant.
On that day the veil of the temple was rent in twain.
Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were both overcome with grief and despair. The superb man they had loved and honored hung lifeless upon the cross.
On that Friday the Apostles were devastated. Jesus, their Savior—the man who had walked on water and raised the dead—was Himself at the mercy of wicked men. They watched helplessly as He was overcome by His enemies.
On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled.
It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God.
I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world’s history, that Friday was the darkest.
But the doom of that day did not endure.
The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.
And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.
Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.
No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.
(Joseph B. Wirthlin, GC Oct. 2006)

Sunday will come, my brother.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Any Hope or Comfort?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 26 May 2016, 08:48

Love that quote; loved that man.

"Endure to the end" means something deeper for those who struggle with things like depression. I can't say I know it will get better, but I do have hope in the unseen.

Hang in their, friend. Are you seeing a professional and/or taking medication?
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

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.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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FaithfulSkeptic
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Re: Any Hope or Comfort?

Post by FaithfulSkeptic » 26 May 2016, 09:02

Shawn,

I think we're in a similar place right now. I'm more agnostic now about my belief in God. I do resonate with the teachings and life of Christ, whether they are historical or not. But I absolutely struggle with the Church, it's history, and many of its current leaders, policies and beliefs. I also struggle with anxiety and depression and have done so for years. On and off for 30+ years.

I, like you, am looking for comfort and hope from those that have gone down this path before and made it to a better place. I want to be able to reconcile the pain and anguish that is tearing my soul apart and find peace. I'm trying to hold on and find a way to have very nuanced beliefs and practices that work for me, but I don't know how much longer I can hang on. Perhaps this is not the path for me to find peace after all.

I feel for you brother! You are not alone.
I know of no sign on the doors of our meetinghouses that says, “Your testimony must be this tall to enter.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October 2014

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nibbler
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Re: Any Hope or Comfort?

Post by nibbler » 26 May 2016, 09:33

Shawn wrote:Is there anyone here who has felt such despair...
Yes.
Shawn wrote:...and then regained hope and comfort?
The jury is still out. :P

I've been through phases. When I was very orthodox I was constantly plagued with scrupulosity. I never felt good enough and had a hard time of discovering any self worth. When I was deconstructing god I lost the burden of guilt that I was carrying around but I also lost my sense of purpose and identity. That was perhaps the hardest for me to endure, far worse than the guilt I had carried. I felt completely empty. I found things get really bad when you lose all hope.

I eventually felt better. What I wish I could tell you is how the depression ebbed away. I don't know whether it was a "time heals all wounds" thing.

I started viewing my faith crisis as something that had a positive effect in my life. The unhealthy guilt was gone, perhaps god intended for me to have this crisis in order to free myself from those bonds. Framing things that way helped me be happy for a season but I still have lingering ripples of depression. Sometimes it helps to tell myself "oh, this is just me getting depressed again" and ride things out as if it was an expected, fleeting stage I'm going through. It doesn't always work.

I have hope that things will get better.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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Shawn
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Re: Any Hope or Comfort?

Post by Shawn » 26 May 2016, 09:38

Ray DeGraw wrote:Hang in their, friend. Are you seeing a professional and/or taking medication?
I have seen many doctors and psychologists over the last 16 years and I've been on many different medications. Last year I decided I was sick and tired of it all and quit taking meds. I confess that may have been a mistake and I am thinking about seeing my doctor again.

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Shawn
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Re: Any Hope or Comfort?

Post by Shawn » 26 May 2016, 09:42

DJ, thanks for your post. I like the thoughts expressed by Joseph B. Wirthlin. I would like to believe in Christ again.

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LookingHard
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Re: Any Hope or Comfort?

Post by LookingHard » 26 May 2016, 10:12

Yes, but I think I am not as far down in my journey as I first thought I would. I have no faith in the truthfulness of the lds church, but I can see it does great things for people and it helps many. I do want to continue to associate with the members of my ward. I don't know about Christ, but I have to admit when I am following the core tenants of loving others, I feel good and feel I am doing good. So that is what I am choosing.
I am sorry for your sorrow. I have had bouts of depression but I have never had it intensive for more that a year.


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DarkJedi
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Re: Any Hope or Comfort?

Post by DarkJedi » 26 May 2016, 10:24

Shawn wrote:DJ, thanks for your post. I like the thoughts expressed by Joseph B. Wirthlin. I would like to believe in Christ again.
If you don't believe, but want to, you can always at least hope there is a Christ/Savior/Messiah/God. I'm not sure there is any of those things, either, but I sure do hope so. I believe there is a Creator, and if there is a Supreme Being such as the Creator and that Being really does care for us then there could be a Savior. I don't take any of the Bible literally, and I'm not sure there was a Jesus and if there was I'm not sure he was the Messiah - it could be all symbolic. If it is symbolic, to me the whole of the New Testament (especially the gospels) symbolizes hope.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Ann
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Re: Any Hope or Comfort?

Post by Ann » 26 May 2016, 10:46

DarkJedi wrote:I'm not sure there was a Jesus and if there was I'm not sure he was the Messiah - it could be all symbolic. If it is symbolic, to me the whole of the New Testament (especially the gospels) symbolizes hope.
Some days I'm here, too. But it puts me somewhere real. These people did what they did and wrote what they wrote after tapping into something. I believe it's still out there for me to connect to, and it doesn't feel like a fool's errand to try.

Shawn, I hope the best for you.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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