Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guest Post - From Duane's Journal - Healing the Wounded Soul

  Following are some notes I took from a talk given to me by Myke Weber while I was out visiting he and Booklogged. There is much insight in these notes and I pray the Lord will cause these insights to sink deep into the marrow of my bones, as it were.  Or, into the fibers of my spirit.  May He bless me that the Holy Ghost will be more active in my life so that I may remember, and have brought to my memory these things.  The CD was copyrighted in 2006. Here are the notes:

Healing the Wounded Soul
by Jack R. Christianson

    The speaker starts out by stating his intent in giving this talk.  It is found in 1Ne. 6:4: “For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob and be saved.”  This is also the intent of the Book of Mormon.  However, we as Spiritual Beings having a mortal experience all deal with heartache, tragedy, we are downtrodden and we all acquire wounds to the heart.  But we have a Savior and a Heavenly Father who are dedicated to “bring to pass the immortality and Eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39) and they have given us instructions as to how to avoid many of the vicissitudes of this life.  “And now, my son s, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall” (Hel. 5:12).
    We all experience the hail and the storm and the wind in this mortal realm.  It cannot be avoided.  These are the things that help us, and sometimes force us, to dwell on how to do things better, how to have an easier life.  But the answer is in the same verse, if you are built on the foundation of Christ, you will still have trials; but those trials shall not drag you down into endless wo (torment, depression, etc) or the gulf of endless misery.  You shall be delivered from these things if you are built on the foundation of Christ.
    How do we build that foundation under us?  He have to come to know Christ; not only know Him but to communicate with Him and receive answers to current challenges.  We do have prophets in the church; but we all have the right to individual revelation and answers to our current situations.
    The speaker then shares with us an insight that was very powerful in his life.  To set the scene for the scripture, Moroni had just appeared to Joseph Smith in his bedroom.  After the revelation closed, the boy Joseph says, “I lay musing on the singularity of the scene, and marveling greatly at what had been told to me... when in the midst of my meditation, I suddenly discovered... (JS-Hist. 1:44)
    Musing is defined as “absorbed in thought; meditative.”  It is much like pondering – the word used in Moroni 10:3-4; the promise of the Book of Mormon.  Pondering is defined in the dictionary as “to consider something deeply and thoroughly; meditate.”  So, Joseph Smith was mediating, pondering, thinking deeply, going over the revelation thoroughly when he “suddenly discovered.”
    Now what the Boy Prophet discovered was the light re-appearing in his room.  But let’s look at the phrase a little differently, shall we?
    As we go through our lives and we are faced with how to proceed, or maybe a question of the right or wrong of a course of action.  Or, maybe we have found ourselves in a position in life where making the wrong decision could be catastrophic or harmful.  In other words, we really need the right answer.  As we take our problem or question to the Lord, we should meditate upon the subject matter.  As we think deeply, consider thoroughly, ponder and do our musing, we can “suddenly discover” the answer we were seeking.  We can get answers to current questions about our current life challenges.
    But, in today’s world we face tremendous challenges when it comes to receiving revelation.  We are being taught by the world – and it is not a coincidence – that we just don’t have time for pondering, meditating, or being still.  We are caught up in the noise and hustle of everyday life and we just can’t seem to find the time.  Yet, the Lord keeps knocking at our doors asking us to take time for Him.  The real sad thing is that as many of us use our Ipods, talking on the phone, playing games or any myriad of other things so that we do not hear the Lord knocking.
    With knowing that all this would be facing us, the Lord spoke in D&C 101:16, “Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.”  Notice that it says to “be still” to “know that I am God.”  What happens of we aren’t still?
    Elder Boyd K. Packer gave an address at the graduation of BYU Hawaii.  He said, “These are sobering times.  You are going out into a different world than when I was nineteen.”  Pres. Packer continued, “You won’t survive spiritually unless you know how to receive revelation.”  He followed these quotes with how Elijah of the old testament did not receive revelation in the thunder, the lightning, or the wind.  Elijah received revelation “in the still small voice.”  But the thing we often miss is that Elijah was also telling us is that the wind, the thunder, the lightning were all too loud for hearing the still small voice.  We all need to take time out of our lives to find the quiet; because what are we going to miss if we do not find the quiet?
    Elder Packer continued by saying that in our lives today we are never quiet; we are always moving.  He followed that by stating that Revelation comes in the quiet time.  Elder Packer mentions the quiet of the morning before your brain is caught up with the things of the world.  From personal experience and other statements by Men of God, I know sometimes that quiet time needs to be so quiet and separate from the world and it’s cares that you feel like you could almost leave this world and come nearer to God.  Sometimes the voice is that still and that quiet.  If you are not listening that intently, you might not hear the voice.
    The speaker then makes an extraordinary observation.  He says, “Most misbehavior come from being wounded.”  We have found that the statement, “Unfulfilled expectations bring negative results” is true.  When you place your father’s persona onto God the expectations are not fulfilled.  A wound is opened and the wound is made worse in the memory because of all the pain and insecurity associated with it.  I know that usually the wound, the pain, the humiliation all go together; but they can happen by themselves and over time combine to cause deep and lasting wounds in the heart and Spirit of the children of God.  It is the nature of this type of wound that it must be healed from the inside out.  This particular type of healing takes time; so, you must be patient as the wound heals.
    That is why the speaker as a Stake President stopped asking people to buck up and change and started to ask things like, “What is it that has caused such deep wounds, pain and anguish that you would act out like this?”  “What is missing from your life?’  “What needs do you have that are not being met?”  It follows the point that Glenn Beck makes in his book “The Seven” when he asks you to look at someone who has wounded you and ask, “What happened in this person’s life to cause them to be like this?”  I found a huge compassion when I asked what had happened in my own father’s life that had split his personality into seven different persons;  one of which beat me up physically, mentally, and spiritually.  This is the compassion that can come when we look not at the misbehavior but at the causes beneath the behavior.  Once we are healed, we can act from the higher platform of our being healed; from the higher platform of our greater understanding of what the wounded need.
    How are these wounds healed?  Let’s look at Jacob 2:7-8.  Here Jacob is calling the men of the church to repentance for the way they have been treating their wives and children.  “And also it grieveth me that I must use so much boldness of speech concerning you, before your wives and your children many of whose feelings are exceedingly tender and chaste and delicate before God, which thing is pleasing unto God’ (v7).  So, here Jacob is saying that the Lord desires women and children to have feelings that are tender, chaste and delicate.  Women and children are supposed to be this way, as God intended.  What have we done as a society to both our women and children?  But Jacob goes on, “And it supposeth me that they (women and children) have come up hither to hear the pleasing word of God, yea the word which healeth the wounded soul.”
    It is the “pleasing word of God” that “healeth the wounded soul!”  There is the answer.  But, I ask a question.  Is it enough to read or listen to the word of God to heal spiritual wounds?  To me that sounds too easy; and I believe Eternal Life is not easy to come by.  The Greatest Gift of God is not a free gift.  The scriptures tell us that we must overcome our carnal, sensual and natural (devilish) selves and become like God to receive that high gift.  So what is the answer?  How do we get the word of God deeply into the people?  What about immersing ourselves in the pleasing word of God?  Devoting our lives to being truth seekers and seeking the truth until we find it.  Turning over every stone on the beach until we find the treasure.  Turning our whole souls over to scripture study just like the Lord expects us to eventually turn our very lives over to Him?
    The speaker then revealed something to me that was awesome.  He said that Jacob, the brother of Nephi was an abused child and my whole mental picture of Lehi’s family changed.  Here we go: “And now, Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my first-born in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness.  And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the rudeness of thy brethren” (2Ne 2:1).  Rudeness means, harsh, crude, course, or vulgar.  Being harsh, crude, course and vulgar causes wounds in the delicate natures of the children of God.
    Do you remember when Sam and Nephi came back without the plates the first time they tried to get them?  Laman and Lemuel beat Nephi so badly that an angel had to come break it up.  And when they were on the ship crossing the ocean, these eldest brothers tied Nephi to the mast of the ship and beat him.  This is harsh activity, this is a course life, this is a vulgar way to treat another human being, let alone a member of your family.
    Lehi’s family was not your typical family; it was an abusive family.  There were wounds in young Jacob’s soul.  But Lehi, in leaving his blessing upon this wounded child said this, “Nevertheless, Jacob, my first-born in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain” (2Ne 2:2).  Lehi went further and taught his wounded son that “redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth” (v6).
    Jacob, who learns to get real close to God (see 2Ne 2:4), lives to become the Prophet to the Lord’s people after his brother Nephi dies.  And what does he teach his people?  Although Jacob is very strong in opposition to sin, he teaches his people that it is the word of God that heals; it is the atonement of Christ and the blessings of grace which save men souls.  He teaches that tenderness, chastity, and delicate natures are desired by God in his people.  He teaches these things because he has lived them.
    In a meeting with President Faust that the speaker attended, the meeting was opened for questions.  The question was asked, “what are we going to do to overcome all the addictions we face in the world?”  Do you remember the statement by Elder Boyd K. Packer about behavior?  He said, “True doctrine understood changes attitudes and behavior quicker than the study of behavior.”  The study of behavior changes behavior; but that and true doctrine does it faster!  President Faust adopted a comfortable position with his mouth close to the microphone and said, “Get them to hold faster and tighter to the Iron Rod.  Next question?”
    At this point the speaker made if very clear that he was not saying that medicines were not necessary to correct chemical imbalances and so forth.  He reminded us that Elder Ashton said that faith and medicine work like the two halves of scissors to do delicate work.
    Again, the pleasing word of God heals the wounded soul.  But, we have to get that word in you and not just on you.  The word of God will heal and change you.  There is a healing agent in the scriptures that is like no other.  But, again it is not just reading the scriptures, it is getting the truth and insights found in the scriptures inside of you, so that you become changed from carnal, sensual and devilish to a Child of God.
    The Lord in D&C 84:57 says, “And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments (Bible) which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written.”  From this statement I get that our scripture study should at least be concentrated enough to cause us not only to talk about the truth but to do, or live, the truth.  It is this kind of concentration that heals.  And when the healing takes place that which is holding the person back from obedience is removed.  If we can just get the wounded healed they will want to serve the King.
    Elder Faust said to get them to hold faster and tighter to the iron rod.  Nephi’s brothers asked him what the iron rod was and Nephi’s answer contains some pretty awesome promises.  “And they said unto me: what meaneth the rod of iron which our father saw that led to the tree?  And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction” (1Ne 51:23-24).  To hearken means to employ it; to use it.  And if we hold fast to the word of God we will not perish.  What a great promise.  And also we, by concentrating on the scriptures cannot, never mind being led away to destruction; but way before that we will not be blinded by the fiery darts of temptation.  That is a huge limitation on the power of our common enemy.
    Not only these great promises but we can lead and teach out of our own healed and changed hearts.  Remember, President Lee told us that we would never help another unless we re on higher ground than they.  We love, we nourish, we support and we are patient while the Lord heals the wounded soul from the inside out.
    President Hinkley asked the church to read the Book of Mormon in the coming year, while he was President of the Church.  In so doing he promised three things would happen in the lives of those who took up the challenge.  1) You would feel an additional measure of the Spirit of the Lord.  2) You would feel a stronger commitment to obey the commandments.  3) You would gain a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.  A little research showed that Elder Hinkley had made that exact promise in the exact words twice before becoming President of the Church.  Do you think the brethren want us to get into the Book of Mormon?  I am sure that one of the reasons the Prophets want us in the Book of Mormon is so the people of the Church can be healed: gaining a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God means you are coming to know the Healer.  What are we waiting for?
    Elder Russell M. Nelson has said, “Each individual who prayerfully studies the Book of Mormon can also receive a testimony of the divinity of the book.  In addition the book can help with personal problems in a very real way.  Do you want to get rid of a bad habit?  Do you want to improve relationships in your family?  Do you want to increase your spiritual capacity?  Read the Book of Mormon!  It will bring you closer to the Lord and His loving power...  He who helped the blind to see and the lame to walk can also bless you.  He has promised that those who live by the precepts of this book shall receive a Crown of Eternal Life.”
    The Book of Mormon is to teach us about the Great Healer.  What happens to the blind, the lame, the wounded, the weary, the downtrodden when they come in contact with the Creator of all things?  They are healed!  Why the Book of Mormon?  Because it can heal us no matter what our wounds.  Again, what are we waiting for before we jump in with both feet?  If you want to be healed of not being treated well, let the word of God get into you.
    It is often the case that we try to get others to comply with the truth we have found.  That is not our role or responsibility.  We cannot change others.  We can’t get them to read the Book of Mormon.  But we can love them, we can be tender, we can be delicate, and we can be chaste in our dealings with them.  In our relationships with others, especially our family, it doesn’t matter who is right.  What matters is what will bring the sweetness of the Spirit into our homes so that we don’t create wounds in the hearts of others, especially our children.  Fighting wounds children, always. We can and must not cause further wounds.  We can be examples of what God would want us to be.
    We come to know Him.  We separate ourselves out and we spend quiet time.  And in our quiet meditation and our pondering over the Word of God wounds are healed, ideas given, and solutions are found.
    Joseph Smith said, “If you do your duty, it will be just as well with you as if all men accept the gospel” (History of the Church, vol 1, pg 468).  Do your duty.  Live the gospel.  Love out of your own healed heart and it will be as though all men accepted the gospel; we won’t lose them.  On this same subject Joseph Smith said on another occasion, “All your loses will be made up to you in the resurrection, provided you live faithful.”  And then he adds this awesome declaration: “By the vision of the Almighty I have seen it” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg 296).  I may not understand all that these statements entail; but I do understand enough to know that doing my duty and living faithfully is a small price to pay for all that is promised.
    D&C 50:7 seems to add more to the statements by Joseph Smith.  “Behold, verily I say unto you, there are hypocrites among you, who have deceived some, which has given the adversary power; but behold such shall be reclaimed.”  So, if one’s wounds, insecurity, or failings come because of the deceit of hypocrites, that person will be recovered.  To me that means that the truth will be made known to you and you are held guiltless for anything you did because you were deceived.  This is the mercy of Christ which allows all to be punished for their own sins and not the sins of others.
    This love of the Savior is everywhere demonstrated.  In 3Ne 17:5, the gathered multitude gazes upon the Savior with tears in their eyes and the steadfastness of their gaze let the Lord know that they wished He would stay.  He told them so and said his bowels were filled with compassion towards them.  He asked if there were any sick among them.  He wanted to heal them.  And the multitude went forth with their sick and He did heal them “that were afflicted in any manner” (v9).  And then He prayed to The Father for them; and so great were the things that He prayed that they could not be written.  He is the Great Healer.  He wants to heal us if we will only come to Him.
    He is our advocate with the Father.  He pleads our case before our Heavenly Father.  “And I give unto you, who are the first laborers in this last kingdom, a commandment that you assemble yourselves together, and organize yourselves, and prepare yourselves, and sanctify yourselves; yea, purify your hearts, and cleanse your hands and your feet before me, that I may make you clean; that I may testify unto your Father and your God, and my God, that you are clean from the blood of this wicked generation; that I may fulfil this promise, this great and last promise, which I have made unto you, when I will” (D&C 88 74-75).
    Our duty, our level of concentration when learning of Him is laid out in these previous verses.  A pattern of behavior is laid out prior to Him making us clean.  This has significance for me because of my vision where the Lord tells me, “Duane, I have Power to Make You Clean.”  All of this is the doing of the word of God.  It is employing the word of God in our daily lives.  It is letting His word sink deep into the elements that make up our soul; and the soul is the body and the spirit.
    The speaker ended with an invitation; even an invitation from God.  It comes after the great destruction upon all the land in the Book of Mormon that occurred at the death of Jesus Christ, yet prior to his appearance to the people here in the western hemisphere.  The Lord rehearses unto those who were not destroyed by the destruction all the cities and souls that are gone.  He explains to the people who can hear His voice that it is because of wickedness and sin that the destruction and death has taken place.  Then the Healer invites His hearers to come unto Him, “O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?” (3Ne 9:13) Will you be healed?  Will you have the things that are holding you back removed?  Then study the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, like your life depends upon it; because your Eternal Life does depend on it.  (End of Notes)
    The purpose of this life is to come to know Jesus Christ, Him Crucified and why and for whom He was crucified.  You cannot learn about such things without revelation.  I define revelation as God speaking directly to you.  I have a knowledge that Heavenly Father set this life up so that we, each, individually, are responsible for our own lives.  We will be judged for our own sins and not anyone else’s.  We will also be blessed for our individual efforts to do, employ, use and obey the word of God.
    This life is a busy and noisy one; and a child of God seeking the truth, seeking to become like God, seeking to know Jesus Christ and Him Crucified needs to find quiet time.  Sleep less, get out of the city, go to the city park and block out the noise of the city.  Shut your windows and doors; do anything to find quiet.  And when the quiet is found do not let it go to waste; do not lose a millisecond.  Ponder, meditate, do your musing to that you can “suddenly discover” the right answer: the answer from the Lord.
    What a wonderful world it would be if we all could learn to do that.  The world would be so very different from the way it is now, if we do what we have to do to find the quiet time to commune with the Divine.
    This talk by Brother Christianson made a big impression on me.  I am one of the wounded.  I guess you could say I have been treated harshly, with much rudeness, a coarse vulgarity ran through my childhood.  Because of that example in my life, I have followed, for much of my own life, the same path. I exhibit some of these same traits.  There is something that is holding me back from being my best person, as Glenn Beck would put it.
    As I have read the Ablow and Beck book, a question of how to dig up those things holding me back has bothered me.  Brother Christianson’s talk tells me that if I would have these wounds healed I must immerse myself in the “pleasing word of God.”  As I do so, the Lord will heal those wounds.  But, in some way, during the healing process, those things that are holding me back will be removed through the atonement of Jesus Christ and I will be made whole.  It is my prayer that I will return to that chaste, tender, and delicate person the Lord would have me be so that I do not cause wounds in any of His other children.

1 comment:

Booklogged said...

Very insightful, Duane. I think a large part of immersing ourselves in the word of God is asking questions, looking for answers, and then being quiet and pondering. That personal revelation that Bro. Packard talked about is also like scripture and heals the wounded heart.

Thanks, Candleman, for sharing Duane's thoughts about this CD with us.

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