|Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Mormon Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (Photo credit: More Good Foundation)|
However, there is something about church members' reception of this talk that bothers me, and I want to address it. Now, I'm going to disclose right now that I'm not trying to be insensitive or unfeeling in what I have to say. Having a family member who struggles with Epilepsy, I know the difficulties of physical limitations in that regard. And I'm fully aware that there are illnesses and trials that we may go through that don't have a "quick fix" or "just stop being sad" resolution.
That being said, I feel like a lot of people heard this talk, read it again, and study it in class and come to the conclusion of "it's inevitable. I, and others like me, are dealing with depression, multiple sclerosis, postpartum depression, seasonal affective disorder, high blood pressure, cancer, fibromyalgia, lupus, anxiety, and many other physical ailments . . . and it's okay. As long as I face the issue, take my medication, and lean on Christ, I'll be blessed through this trial."
And that really bothers me.
Again, don't get me wrong, I truly, truly believe that these are not issues to brush off. They need serious help. But with all due respect to what people think Elder Holland was talking about . . . it's not about medicating. Even he said, "If we do not take time to be well, we most assuredly will take time later on to be ill."
But what does it take to be well? I'm afraid that many of us feel like being well consists of continuing to regularly take our medications, eating a "well-balanced" diet of meats, dairy, veggies and the lie that is low-carb, and taking a 30 minute walk every day.
Studies, studies, studies, studies, studies, studies, and more studies have shown that every disease I listed above (depression, MS, postpartum, SAD, high blood pressure, cancer, fibromyalgia, lupus, anxiety, etc.) can be prevented and treated with a plant-based whole foods diet (aka. The Word of Wisdom -- or the way God intends for us to eat). And these are not tales of "I finally have learned how to cope," these are stories of "I got rid of what hung over my head."
Yes, these illnesses are serious. They are not cured with just service towards your neighbor. They aren't cured with working harder and working out. They aren't cured with positive thoughts, prayer alone, or simple faith. They require a fix. Not a medicated mask, but a fix.
And again, I truly hope that you readers don't think I'm judgmental or uncaring. I know that there are even serious mental illness that can not be cured or completely cured.
But so much of it can. And we spend so many of our days "dealing with it." Coping. Trying to find that one shred of strength to get through another day -- when there is a possibility of being set free from the illness and/or the symptoms.
Like I said above, I have a family member who struggles with Epilepsy, and needs to be medicated daily as a protection to the individual, as well as the people around them. Yes, there are cases that are severe enough to require the blessings of modern medicine (I'm not a hippie, remember? I believe in the benefits and blessings of both worlds). In our day in age, however, I also feel we rely too heavily on the "pill fix."
Again, there are times where everything is crumbling around us and real depression can nearly tear us apart.
Life isn't easy.
But are we doing all we can to alleviate the pain?