G. Sheldon Martin, a seminary and institute instructor and licensed professional counselor, meets regularly with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are depressed and weighed down by the burdens of trying to live righteous lives. But, as he explains in his new book "Be Still: Using Principles of the Gospel to Lower Anxiety," (Covenant Communications, $10.99) righteousness should not be a burden: It should be the fruits of following principles and doctrines taught by the Savior.
One source of anxiety, identified by Martin, is the problem of incorrect ideas that create patterns of thought leading to unhealthy feelings. Overcoming these ideas is a major step in overcoming anxiety and depression in the individual life. Quoting President Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, the author teaches: "True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior."
But in order for doctrine to change personal feelings and ideas it must be understood as the Savior and his prophets have taught it.
"Be Still" is Martin's message on how to find peace in the struggles of mortal life. Sharing 12 principles that will guide the reader to a better understanding of basic gospel doctrines, the author invites readers to discover alternate ways they can affect change in how they view their lives.
Here are three tips Martin gives for finding more peace in daily living:
Recognize that personal purity comes through worthy partaking of the sacrament. Part of the plan of salvation is that all mankind will sin during their mortal experience. It is accounted for in God’s plan and he has provided a way to remove the burdens caused by sin. But when people forget this simple fact, the pressures of seeking for perfection can lead to incorrect thoughts about self-worth.
Remember, events from the past are over and done and cannot be affected by anything done in the present. The only action to be taken is to repent, repair as much as possible and move on with life. To constantly review past sins or events is counter-productive and will only lead to unhappiness and anxiety.
There is no "checklist" of righteous living. The standard is Jesus Christ and “if we look beyond sin, we miss the mark and never feel whole because we cannot be whole without him.”
Written in an easy-to-understand style and including references from the standard works and modern prophets, this little gem will help those suffering from anxiety find a road leading to the way of peace and comfort in the Spirit. Martin's words are gentle and carefully crafted to inspire hope in those who struggle with negative feelings of self-worth.
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