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This podcast series features past FairMormon Conference presentations. Please join us for the 2019 FairMormon Conference coming up August 7-9! You can attend in person or purchase the video streaming.
Steve Densley and Geret Giles, Barriers to Belief: Mental Distress and Disaffection from the Church
Transcript available here.
Steve Densley, Jr. is a Utah attorney (J.D., Brigham Young University). He graduated with University Honors from BYU with a combined B.A./M.A. in public policy and political science. He has published articles in the Utah Bar Journal, the Journal of Law and Family Studies, Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, and Meridian Magazine. He currently serves as an executive board member of The Interpreter Foundation. He was the Executive Vice President of FairMormon from 2013-15, a recipient of the John Taylor Defender of the Faith Award, and was a producer of FairMormon’s podcast when it twice won the People’s Choice Award for Best Podcast in the Religion & Spirituality category. He has served as an elders quorum president, high councilor, young men’s president, gospel doctrine teacher, and is currently the 1st counselor in his ward’s bishopric. He and his wife Heather have four children and a grandchild on the way.
Geret Giles is a psychologist in private practice since 1995. He has a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University. He treats couples, families, individuals, adolescents, and children for issues such as depression, anxiety, and relationship issues. For the past 15 years Dr. Giles has also worked with Utah’s Division of Human Services to provide forensic evaluations when questions arise as to the competence and mental state of criminal defendants. He is married to the former Kelley Clements. Together they have four children—three of whom are married—and three grandchildren. Their youngest is currently serving an LDS mission in Brazil. Geret and his wife are getting used to being “empty nesters” and are finding the transition more delightful than they expected!
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Juan Carlos Hurtado says
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Sandra Devenney says
It is hard for people who suffer from mental health challenges that include strong emotions. I was able to gain more understanding and compassion from the words of Richard G. Scott 2009: To Acquire Spiritual Guidance
Father in Heaven knew that you would face challenges and be required to make some decisions that would be beyond your own ability to decide correctly. In His plan of happiness, He included a provision for you to receive help with such challenges and decisions during your mortal life. That assistance will come to you through the Holy Ghost as spiritual guidance. It is a power, beyond your own capability, that a loving Heavenly Father wants you to use consistently for your peace and happiness.
The inspiring influence of the Holy Spirit can be overcome or masked by strong emotions, such as anger, hate, passion, fear, or pride. When such influences are present, it is like trying to savor the delicate flavor of a grape while eating a jalapeño pepper. Both flavors are present, but one completely overpowers the other. In like manner, strong emotions overcome the delicate promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Sandra Devenney says
People who suffer from a disease of their emotions can be helped to accept their challenges and trust God’s plan through the affection, respect and care they experience from you.
Marvin J. Ashton, “Trusting Our Father,” Friend, Jun 1988, inside front cover (Adapted from an October 1985 general conference address. See Ensign, November 1985, pages 69–71.)
Many years ago I heard a story that impressed me. A beautiful little blind girl was sitting on the lap of her father in a crowded compartment in a train. A friend seated nearby said to the father, “Let me give you a little rest,” and he reached over and took the little girl on his lap. A few moments later the father said to her, “Do you know who is holding you?” “No,” the little girl replied, “but you do.” Affection, respect, and care over the years had placed in this little girl’s heart a peace that surpasseth all understanding. She was at peace because she knew and trusted her father. Our trust and our relationship with our Heavenly Father should be similar to that of the little blind girl with her earthly father. When sorrow, tragedy, and heartbreaks occur in our lives, wouldn’t it be comforting if when the whisperings of God say, “Do you know why this has happened to you?” we could have the peace of mind to answer, “No, but You do.”