Tuesday, February 24, 2009

To Ask or Not to Ask....That is the Question

So I have for the last few years had wondered why the Church has not made an open statement about Mental Illness & the reality that it truly is & how it is NOT cured by reading your scriptures & going to church. While at Nate's grandfather's funeral we were seated next to Sister Beck & her counselors. I thought wow Here I am sitting next to the General Relief Society President of the Church & I have this burning question when will I ever be in this situation again? but this isn't really the place to ask. When the funeral was over & we stood for the Pall Bearers to take their place, Nate walked out with the others & she put her arm around me & said I didn't know your husband was a grandson, you have the most beautiful little family. I thought score she has made conversation so maybe I can get an answer to my burning question. She then asked me which child Nate belonged to & how he has taken care of her down at headquarters. So I went in for the move. I know not the place but like I said when was I ever going to have the chance again to know where they stood? So I asked her & was so thrilled for the revelation that I had been waiting for the last few years. What she said was ever so disappointing. She simply said that they feel that it is like any other illness & that it takes faith & a testimony. I told her I didn't think she understood me. I explained that I wanted to know why they didn't define the reality of it. As we stood there she just wrapped her arms around me & told me that she loved me & that she knew the Lord loved me & that that's all she knew as tears began to role down her checks & then mine as well. I wasn't sure what to think. Surely she had to have something more profound for me than that. I already knew that my Heavenly Father loved me. As I have thought about that conversation the last couple of weeks I have pondered on somethings are not as important as we make them out to be. We can spend so much time worring or wanting something that really isn't there to want or need. Though it was comforthing to have her assureance of love & support what she told me I already knew. I know for myself there is a lot in my life that is stuff that is matter I don't need to foccuss my thoughts & time on or things because they cluter my time & energy. I need to be more simple minded. Pick my issues wisely.


Gold-E said...

I have to admit, that is a pretty lame answer. Although what she says is true, I would have hoped she would have also confirmed that the Church (or at least herself) understands, like any illness, mental illness requires care by trained medical professionals, education to understand the illness for the family (and society!), accompanied by faith and testimony. Maybe that's just implied? Good for you for asking the question.

Marcel said...

I was very touched by your post Leah. Thank you for your courage to share what's in your heart.

Mental illness is a disease and like cancer sometimes can not be conquered with faith and testimony alone. Unfornately, every day we lose brillant talented individuals to this disease and then we ask why prayer was not enough. My uncle died of cancer. Was it because he lacked faith?

We are so young in our understanding of how the brain functions. God bless you in this journey and KNOW that you are not alone. We all have family, friends, or someone we love who may struggle with mental illness to some degree. We are here with you, together.

Anonymous said...

Leah - I love this. My sister has boardline personality disorder. It hard and sad and frustrating all rolled into one. I know the church as done some stories on mental illness in the ensign. Have you ever looked into classes by NAMI? We should talk.
You are great.