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Sunday, September 29, 2013

God's Plan For Sex

What do you think of?

Do you think... 
PORNOGRAPHY IS POISON. Pornography, with its sleazy filth, sweeps over the earth like a horrible, engulfing tide. It is poison. Do not watch it or read it. It will destroy you if you do. It will take from you your self-respect. It will rob you of a sense of the beauties of life. It will tear you down and pull you into a slough of evil thoughts and possibly of evil actions. Stay away from it. Shun it as you would a foul disease, for it is just as deadly” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Some Thoughts on Temples, Retention of Converts, and Missionary Service,” Ensign, Nov. 1997, 51).
(I realize this particular quote is about pornography... but let's not forget pornography is about sex.)

Or how about this one:

UNCHASTITY NEXT TO MURDER. In the category of sins, the Book of Mormon places unchastity next to murder. (See Alma 39:5.) As Alma states, “Now … I would that ye should repent and forsake your sins, and go no more after the lusts of your eyes, … for except ye do this ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.” (Alma 39:9.) (Cleansing the Inner Vessel, Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1986)
 Or this one:
INTENTIONAL CONTACT FORBIDDEN BY GOD. Any sexual intimacy outside of the bonds of marriage—I mean any intentional contact with the sacred, private parts of another’s body, with or without clothingis a sin and is forbidden by God” (Richard G. Scott, in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 51; or Ensign, Making the Right Choices, Nov. 1994, 38).
Or this one from the For The Strength of Youth:
DO NOT AROUSE SEXUAL FEELINGS. Never do anything that could lead to sexual transgression. ... Before marriage, do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not do anything else that arouses sexual feelings. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body. (Sexual Purity, For The Strength of Youth) 
Of course, these statements are 100% true.
However, these  and similar statements focus ONLY on
ONE aspect of sexual relations.
-spiritual consequences of misusing sex-

It's no wonder many of us view

As members of the Church, in our effort to promote sexual
abstinence before marriage and faithfulness after marriage we tend
to focus on this one aspect of sexual relations:

There is eternal harm to teenagers (and adults) walking around with boiling hormones believing:
-there is shame and embarrassment talking about sex.
-only bad people think about sex.
-if I enjoy sex therefore, I am evil.
-sex is dirty.
-sex is "carnal, sensual and devilish."

Oh the stories I could tell about strange believes religious persons have about sexual relations. ...

In my opinion, the world focusing on the physical body -sexual pleasure- aspect and we in the Church, focusing on the spiritual aspect  -particularly the negative aspects- causes a variety of problems including - increased pornography problems for our males and for our females -making the producer of "Magic Mike" and the author of "50 Shades of Grey" very very rich!

Hugh B. Brown sums up my thoughts: 
Sex is not an unmentionable human misfortune, and certainly it should not be regarded as a sordid but necessary part of marriage. There is no excuse for approaching this most intimate relationship in life without true knowledge of its meaning and its high purpose. (P. 76.) Thousands of young people come to the marriage altar almost illiterate insofar as this basic and fundamental function [of sex] is concerned. The sex instinct is not something which we need to fear or be ashamed of. It is God-given and has a high and holy purpose. (P. 73.)  (You and Your Marriage, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960)

The problem still exists in 2013. This "illiteracy," includes not only what they don't know, but also what they have learned or come to believe about sex.

The Problem: "SEXUAL FRAGMENTATION" -Satan's tool

The spirit and the body are the soul of man” (D&C 88:15); hence there are spiritual and physical aspects of sexuality. Remember "Wherefore, verily I say unto you that ALL THINGS unto me are spiritual..."  (D&C 29:34) that include sexual relations.

There is a spiritual aspect of sexual relations---
We in the Church tend to emphasize this aspect.
There is a physical aspect of sexual relations...
We in the World (particularly with pornography) tend to emphasize this aspect.
Thus, creating "fragmentation" of sexual relations.

Note: "Fragmentation"- dividing, separating, breaking up of - the spiritual and physical aspects of sexual relations.           

Talking about the danger of "fragmentation" of sexual relations Jeffrey Holland warns us,
"...and to give only part (the physical part) of that which cannot be followed with the gift of your whole heart and your whole life and your whole self  (the spiritual part) is its own form of emotional Russian roulette. If you persist in sharing part without the whole, ..., in giving parts and pieces and inflamed fragments only, you run the terrible risk of such spiritual, psychic damage that you may undermine both your physical intimacy and your wholehearted devotion to a truer, later love. " (Of Souls, Symbols and Sacraments, Jeffrey R. Holland, BYU Devotional 1988)
As a psychologist who specializes in sex (That sounds weird when I see it written) a red flag suggesting a need for "sex-specific treatment" is - casual sex, sex without a relationship-the spirit (mind and heart) is not involved. (This can be a problem even with couples "happily" married in the temple!)

This Mormon Channel interview What’s the biggest difference between what the world teaches and what the gospel teaches about sexuality? explains more about sexual fragmentation. You only need to watch the first 3 minutes.... it's worth it.

We need to honestly communicate the awesomeness of God’s gift of marital sex-both spiritual and physical. The sexual relationship in marriage was created by God with the intent of giving intense physical pleasure for both husbands and wives in marriage. (If your sexual relations is not doing this-its time to talk with your spouse.)  Read: God's Love Chemicals
God intended sex to unite us physically, emotionally, and spiritually as "ONE". I believe God would want us to tell the whole sexual story...in addition to reminding us that there are serious spiritual consequences to misusing sex, we should
emphasize the positive PLEASURABLE,
resulting when used
"within the bounds the Lord has set".
Sample physical aphrodisiacs might inlude: "Believe you are suppose to have a sex drive. Sex was created for you to feel great physically. And you're suppose to feel aroused!"

Sample spiritual aphrodisiacs might include: "a long conversation" or "prayer" before sex!

When we combine the physical with the spiritual, sex is stupendous, because it encompasses all that God has created it to be.

Expanding the concept of the physical aspect of sex David Bednar explains:
Sexual relations are in mortality one of the ultimate expressions of our divine nature and potential and a way of strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife. (We Believe in Being Chaste, Ensign, May 2013)
Perhaps Spencer W. Kimball says it best:
"The love of which the Lord speaks is not only physical attraction but spiritual attraction as well." (Faith Precedes the Miracle, 130–31).
And when we "fragment" the physical pleasure from the spiritual bonding, we lower sexual relations from its rightful spot in the Celestial Kingdom.

If you're married, have sex according to God's Plan.
If you're not married, wait.

dr rick
dr rick's blog index

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Got Depression? Do This...

In despair, Joe called - He suffers from severe depression and is often suicidal.  - the young man reassured me he has taken his guns to his parents' home. I could hear the panic in his voice as he described the world around him crumbling - He just ran out of his medication; Refuses to go to counseling; is underemployed; ....  The bishop has stopped helping him financially.

Current Score:
Resources = 0 (no counseling; no meds; no family support; no exercise; no spirituality; NO HOPE; etc etc)
Stress = 100+ (drinking alcohol to self medicate; can't keep a job; finances about ready to crash; wife is going to leave him; etc etc)

If he continues to have more stress than resources there will be a funeral or a psychiatric hospital admission coming his way. (I don't get why LDS people think they are immune to consequences of inadequate self-care.)
You go weeks having more stress than resources you're going to
get depressed and overwhelmed too!
Untreated depression is bad news :(


I'm going to tell you the road map I'm using with Joe (and others) - in changing  lifestyle away from "depression." I believe this road map...
....is consistent with God's plan and will facilitate the windows of heaven to open on your behalf;
....maximizes the effectiveness of medical and psychological resources available to you;
....strengthens your spirit body, mind, and physical body. (See: Anatomy of a Soul);
....relies heavily on your best resource: Self-Reliance.

I am confident there is hope for you to lighten your depression as you change your depressive lifestyle. Research suggests - If you want to loose weight -change your lifestyle. If you want to manage your diabetes -change your lifestyle. If you want to lighten your depression -change your lifestyle.

Did I say,

If you have a moderate to serious depression
and you choose not to change your lifestyle;
You will NEVER significantly lighten your depression.
(This is true for any mental illness.) 


1) Accept responsibility for overcoming your depression.
Read:  Solving Emotional Problems in the Lord's Way.
Yes, you're going to use resources... as many as you can get!!!! And for serious depressions some of those resources will be Outside Professional Resources. The purpose of resources is NOT TO RELIEVE YOU from taking care of your depression; But, to HELP YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR DEPRESSION.

2) Identify -the best you can- the cause for your "depression".
Begin with a thorough physical exam to help identify the cause of your depression -Make sure you check the obvious: hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, low levels of iron, hormone levels, etc etc! When you initially search for the cause of your depression be very open minded, Remember, there are many causes of depression. See Causes of Depression from WebMD.  (Add to this list - sin - despair cometh because of iniquity.” (Moro. 10:22.) Oh yea ... when you get your physical exam and tell the doctor you are depressed and s/he offers you medication for depression (That's what doctors do is prescribe drugs.) consider telling the doctor "Let's wait, I want to see what  I can do on my own." Another important step if you're on medications already, is to call a pharmacist and ask if depression is the side-effect of any of you're medication.

3) Manage your thoughts.
Regardless of the cause for your depression, negative self-talk almost always makes it worse. Become aware of your THOUGHTS. Attempt to control them... especially the negative self-statements you make like "I'm crazy. I'm a bad mom. I'm borderline. I'm no good. Nothing works. I'm broken. I might as well be dead..." Read: Tell me your thoughts. I'll tell you your future.  Remember, if you have a "depression" caused by mental illness (or other mental illnesses like "obsessive compulsiveness" ) your ability to manage some thoughts WILL BE IMPAIRED - these diseases can cause certain thought patterns.  Simply use resources to distract from the negative - the best you can.

4) Evaluate your current resources and stress levels.
Read: Five to Survive
Follow-your impressions from personal revelation and common sense on developing resources and/or lowering stress. With depression, it’s clear that medication alone isn’t enough (it's only ONE resource)— one resource is not a "lifestyle" change. You'll need at least five resources. Developing resources that work for you - like nutrition, exercise, adequate sleep, hobbies, music, service etc etc  is a key part of changing your lifestyle and overcoming depression.

5) Pray daily out loud - about how
you might overcome your depression.
"Prayer in the hour of need is a great boon. From simple trials to our Gethsemanes, prayer can put us in touch with God, our greatest source of comfort and counsel. “Pray always, that you may come off conqueror” (D&C 10:5)—persistent prayer. “Exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me” is how the young Joseph Smith describes the method which he used in the Sacred Grove to keep the adversary from destroying him. (JS—H 1:16.) This is also a key to use in keeping depression from destroying us." (Do Not Despair, Ezra Taft Beson, Ensign Oct 1986)

Don't stop now you're half way through the road map....
It takes time to learn about overcoming depression.

6) Fast - about how you might
overcome your depression.
"Periodic fasting can help clear up the mind and strengthen the body and the spirit. The usual fast, the one we are asked to participate in for fast Sunday, is for 24 hours without food or drink. Some people, feeling the need, have gone on longer fasts of abstaining from food but have taken the needed liquids. Wisdom should be used, and the fast should be broken with light eating. To make a fast most fruitful, it should be coupled with prayer and meditation; physical work should be held to a minimum, and it’s a blessing if one can ponder on the scriptures and the reason for the fast." (Do Not Despair, Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign Oct 1986)

7) Search the Internet for ideas on how you might overcome
your depression - including LDS.org.
Read these for starters:
Depression: A Dark Angel (dr rick's blog)
Solving Emotional Problems in the Lord's Way (dr rick's blog)
Do Not Despair (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign Oct 1986)
Signs of Mental Illness - Help for Mental Illness (LDS.org Disability Resources)
Self-Help and Coping Tips to Overcome Depression (HelpGuide.org)

8) Talk about ideas of how you might overcome your
depression with a trusted family member or friend.
"The fellowship of true friends who can hear you out, share your joys, help carry your burdens, and correctly counsel you is priceless. For one who has been in the prison of depression, the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith have special meaning when he said, “How sweet the voice of a friend is; one token of friendship from any source whatever awakens and calls into action every sympathetic feeling.”  (Do Not Despair, Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign Oct 1986) If you do not have a trusted family member or friend with whom you can talk, find one.

9) Have your name placed on the "prayer roll" in the local LDS Temple
and ask for a Priesthood Blessing.
Treat your "depression" like any other disease you might encounter and use spiritual resources!!!  Get a Priesthood Blessing. If you don't have access to active Priesthood holders contact the missionaries they'd love to come into your home and give you a Priesthood Blessing. See: Meet the Missionaries.  Another often forgotten resource is putting your name on the local LDS Temple Prayer roll. Look here to find the temple closest to you: Contact information for LDS Temples. Simply call them and request your name be placed on the prayer roll. They'll know what you mean. To receive, and then consistently and prayerfully ponder, your patriarchal blessing can also provide help.

10. Give it time - There is hope.
"Hope in God, His goodness, and His power refreshes us with courage during difficult challenges." (The Infinite Power of Hope, Dieter F. Uchtdorf,  Oct 2008 General Conference). 
   It takes time to overcome depression.
For example, even medicines take a few weeks to become most effective. Time is part of healing.

-Let's be honest
You're not going to do all of this stuff anyway...

I've spent 30+ years learning the lifestyle change necessary to lighten your depression. The road map works.
But, I realize I can talk until I'm blue in the face. :) 
and most of you aren't going to follow the road map anyway, even though you suffer from depression.

(Which is okay I understand human nature a little.  Feel free to do nothing -or just take a pill - and keep paying me that $100 a therapy session....Karla and I want to get to Hawaii sometime soon. :)

Why not?
One reason is ...Unfortunately, the "symptoms of the depression" are often the vary obstacles preventing you from change - Remember symptoms of depression e.g. fatigue, easily overwhelmed, hopelessness, worthlessness, low self-esteem, .... thoughts that you DO NOT BELIEVE in you -
--- AND You're going to do ten more things-yea right! It's not going to happen.
You're depressed!

:( That's okay -let's keep this simple. 

Do This...
Review the ten tasks above. As you do, be open to your personal impressions. ( Personal Impressions include personal revelation and common sense. It's been my experience that MOST impressions come from common sense.) So while you're reviewing the list of ten, be receptive to

personal revelation
common sense.

Common sense may tell you...
Personal revelation may inspire you...
...to do all or some of the steps above for another week.
... to slow down.
...to tell ___ NO!
...to get away from ___ for awhile.
...to get a good night's sleep.
...to exercise a little more.
...to make an appointment with a Outside Professional Resource.
etc etc 
Select ONE impression.
Do it. The best you can.

dr rick
dr rick's blog index

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Solving Emotional Problems in the Lord's Way

As part of Heavenly Father's plan of redemption, all of us experience adversity. Trials, disappointments, sadness, sickness, and emotional problems are a difficult part of everyone's life. By learning to approach these problems in the Lord's way we will grow spiritual and progress.

Church members should make a diligent effort, including earnest prayer and scripture study, to find solutions and answers themselves. IF they still need help, they should counsel first with their bishop. Leaders encourage members to develop spiritual self-reliance. Leaders avoid making decisions for those whom they counsel. Instead, leaders help them make their own decisions with the Lord's guidance. The stake president or bishop should also avoid immediately offering solutions to those he counsels. To the extent possible, he helps them analyze and resolve their own problems or questions in the context of the doctrines of the gospel and the plan of salvation. Ideally, he teaches members how to find solutions and strength from the scriptures on their own. (Handbook 1, LDS Church, 2010,  Pg. 79)
This is also a very clear guideline....
The responsibility for each person’s social, emotional, spiritual, physical, or economic well-being rests first upon himself, No true Latter-day Saint, while physically or emotionally able will voluntarily shift the burden of his own … well-being to someone else. So long as he can, under the inspiration of the Lord and with his own labors, he will supply himself … with the spiritual and temporal necessities of life.  (Spencer W. Kimball, Welfare Services: The Gospel in Action, Ensign, Nov 1977)
Perhaps this process can best be depicted in the figure below. First, recognize the life challenge; explore personal resources; and if your personal resources are unsuccessful in resolving the life challenge, then use Outside Resources.

Unless it's a matter of "life-and-death" or "an angel tells you otherwise" never START solving a emotional problem with outside resources.
Some want to start with psychologists, with professional counselors, or to go directly to the General Authorities to begin with. The problems may need that kind of attention but only after every personal, and family, and every local resource has been exhausted. ...There may be a time when deep-seated emotional problems need more help than can be given by the family, the bishop, or the stake president. (Boyd K. Packer, Solving Emotional Problems in the Lord’s Own Way, Ensign Jan 2010 & May 1978)

EVEN when you are using Outside Resources ...
you peronally continue to remain responsible for you.  Sure you might be involved with a counselor, a prescriber, medication etc etc and they might be a TREMENDOUS help - but they are your resources. 

In other words:
Zoloft, a therapist, a sponsor, a whatever ... is not responsible for you -regardless how helpful they might be. (See: The Gift: Between God and I)

They are a resource that YOU use to deal with YOUR emotional problem. You - remain responsible to do your best to reach the Measure of Your Creation

This is how I view an individual experiencing something like depression and sample resources they might use.

Identify at least five resources (See: Five to Survive). From time-to-time your resources will change. But you being responsible for your emotional problem - will not.

The purpose of resources is NOT TO RELIEVE YOU from
taking care of yourself. But, to HELP YOU
 To do otherwise will do more harm than good in the long run.

There are many reasons why the principle of Self-Reliance is so important other than "God Says So."
...We as mental health professionals are very busy. We make mistakes.You need to monitor us.
...The necessary personal growth to "perfection" is omitted if you skip "Personal Resources."

Unfortunately, what I typically see with individuals is they recognized a Life challenge and immediately consider outside resources.

For example, if you're experiencing depression resources suggested by others and the media often include - medication. An appointment is made with the general practioner or OBGYN and within a few days you're taking Zoloft.  Typically with very little time spent on personal problem solving.

NOTE: No, I have no problem people taking medications for mental illnesses-I often refer people to prescribers myself. My problem is seeking outside resources BEFORE you explored/exhausted personal resources.

Here is a four minute video illustrating The Wrong Way - Developing Self Reliance

Here is Boyd Packer's original 1978 talk: Solving Emotional Problems in the Lord's Own Way.

Ponder. As you watch this video search for an impression on how you might strengthen your self-reliance or the self-reliance of a loved one.

Note: I still haven't shared ideas of personal resources that would prove helpful in dealing with depression.  Maybe this week. :) But.... self-reliance is a corner stone for solving emotional problems and frankly it took longer to develop than I thought.

Here ya go... the blog dealing with overcoming depression: Got Depression? Do This...

dr rick
dr rick's blog index


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Depression: A Dark Angel

As you read this story, guess who is the "Apostle ?" -soon to be prophet- the story is talking about.
On November 9, 1962, "Apostle ?" with a heavy heart, and Brother Stover left from the Salt Lake Airport for Europe. Elders Spencer W. Kimball, Mark E. Petersen, and Richard L. Evans were there with family members to see him off and give him the encouragement he so much needed. No sooner did they arrive in Europe than memories began to hamper  "Apostle ?'s" slight grasp on emotional control. November 14 was his wedding anniversary and Fern's birthday. He called it "a most difficult day of memories." Two nights later he wrote, "Nervous tensions and depression turned last night into a nightmare." On Saturday, November 17, he received his first letters from home and suffered another emotional setback. After a full day of conference meetings on Sunday in Berlin, "Apostle ?" had such a severe nervous reaction that he remained away from the Monday evening meetings which were highly advertised and attended... A traveling companion wrote - In Berlin "Apostle ?" was so depressed he had to go to his hotel room and turn the conference over to me…. resulting in "Apostle ?" making journal entries such as this: "My nerves were so disturbed that it took me until 1:30 a.m. before I could get to sleep." On September 28, 1965, "Apostle?" wrote: "It seems as though I was experiencing some reaction following the strains of the past months. I find it difficult to sleep.“…The grieving continued sporadically for another year or more as "Apostle ?" struggled to gain an emotional foothold and make a new life  
Who is "Apostle ? "
... Harold B. Lee
Read the Chapter: Death's Dark Angel Strikes
[Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1985], 351

Like Harold B. Lee, you and I will experience some type of depression. Boyd K Packer explains it this way:
It was meant to be that life would be a challenge. To suffer some anxiety, some depression, some disappointment, even some failure is normal. Teach our members that if they have a good, miserable day once in a while, or several in a row, to stand steady and face them. Things will straighten out. There is great purpose in our struggle in life. ("Solving Emotional Problems in the Lord’s Own Way,” Ensign, May 1978)
Robert D. Hales puts it this way:
The story of Job in the Old Testament relates three of the great tests we all should be prepared to face at some period in our lives. First, temporal setbacks. Job lost all he owned. Second, physical illness that will test our faith and testimony. And third, depression. Job said, “Why died I not from the womb?” (Job 3:11.) “My soul is weary of my life.” (Job 10:1.) (“Examples from the Life of a Prophet,” Ensign, Nov. 1981)
There are a variety of causes of "depression" and therefore a variety of "Types of depressions." We use the same word "depression" to describe a variety of very different conditions. For example check out the graph below.  Many different factors can cause "depression".

Think of it this way, why is it someone can say
"I was depressed and....
I talked to the bishop, repented and got over it."
I started exercising and eating right and got over it."
I stopped taking that high blood pressure medication and got over it."
I started taking that medication - Zoloft - and got over it."
I just told myself I wasn't going to be depressed any more and got over it."
 I did all of the above and I'm still depressed."

These and similar testimonies, are shared by others. (I'll bet you've heard a few yourself.)
And they are probably "TRUE"... for that individual. But it may not be true for you because your type of "depression" may be different than their type of "depression."

"Depression" is not "Depression" is not "Depression."

This is why it's so important for prescribers, physicians, mental health professionals, church leaders, and YOU AND Ito initially think broadly about the possible underlying causes of a depression. In order to effectively manage and eliminate depression knowing the type of depression can help. For example,
...for a depression related to sin one needs to visit with his/her clergy.
...for a depression related to a brain disorder one may need to visit a psychiatrist.
NOTE: Therefore, if you've been working for years on overcoming a "depression" using a specific strategy it's possible you've got a different type of "depression" and need to use a different strategy!

The word "depression" seems to have become so commonly used now days that any time a person feels the slightest bit of sadness, they call it "depression." Recently I heard a young adult say, "I'm so depressed I could die ... I can't find my cell phone!"  For the word "depression" on the Topical Guide at LDS.org you are told "See Despair; Sorrow."

As a shrink -It's difficult to know what you mean when you tell me "I'm depressed."

The misuse of the word "depression" can confuse those persons who suffer from a debilitating "illness" that I'll call "clinical depression." When you have a "clinical depression", it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. At times those persons with a "clinical depression"  believe they are experiencing a less severe "depression" and all they need to do is something like:
"...try harder or read more scriptures..."

These strategies will NOT effectively deal with a "clinical depression."

Nevertheless, as Elder Hales suggests, everyone occasionally feels blue or sad - depressed. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days .... or when she finds her cell phone :).

Here is an overview of what I'm calling a "Clinical Depression" as per DSM-V.  Generally speaking you qualify for the diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder - mild, 296.21 if the following symptoms have been present for a couple of weeks.

1) Depression typically includes several (5 is the sign of major concern!) of the following symptoms:
-*Feeling depressed, sad, empty or hopeless
-*Decline in interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities
-Significant weight loss or decrease in appetite
-Sleep problems -sleeping too much or not enough
-Feelings of restlessness or being slowed down
-Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (This is a confusing one for Mormons)
-Decline in ability to think or concentrate, or decisiveness
-Recurrent thoughts of death even suicide

2) The symptoms typically cause impairment in daily living and/or significant personal distress. (DSM-V, pg. 180-181).

By the way- using these criteria, do you think Harold B. Lee was experiencing
some level of "Clinical Depression" in the story above?

NOTE: As an Apostle, Harold B. Lee suffered from depression for years, and still became the Prophet...
   - it's okay if you have depression, if you do
   - and there is great HOPE for your future too!!!!!
"About two-thirds of people with major depression never seek appropriate treatment, and the consequences can be devastating: personal suffering, missed work, broken marriages, health problems and, in the worst cases, death. The World Health Organization ranks depression as one of the world’s most disabling diseases. Yet with treatment, 70% of people with clinical depression can improve, often in a matter of weeks. (Depression Health Center, WebMD)"
"Clinical Depression" is a medical condition, just like any other medical condition. An illness that can happen to anyone - even apostles, even people who seem to have it all. Check out: 50 Famous People With Depression, Mental Illness.

Ready to get started in overcoming your depression? Read this: Got Depression? Do This...

To more carefully assess your personal depression consider taking this brief depression checklist: Depression Screening Test on PyschCentral. To better understand the mental illness "clinical depression" check out National Institute of Mental Health-Depression.

---  I'll do a follow-up blog on this Depression: A Dark Angel blog and offer some suggestions of how to deal with clinical depression. Maybe even this week. We'll see how the week goes. :) ---

dr rick
dr rick blog index


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Puberty: The Second Fire

While transporting Young Men along I-15 in Utah to a church activity, there is a giggle from a 13 year-old as he reads the bill board-

While teaching at BYU education week a mom told me "My 11 year old daughter and I were watching America's Most Funniest Home Videos and a K-Y Jelly commercial comes on talking about 'pleasuring one another.' She asked me what does that mean? What do I tell her?"

The First - Baptism of fire is by the Holy Ghost. (D&C 39:6)
In my opinion, The Second - Baptism of fire is Puberty.
“A youth boiling with hormones will wonder why he should not give full freedom to his sexual desires; and if he is unchecked by custom, morals, or laws, he may ruin his life before he matures sufficiently to understand that sex is a river of FIRE that must be banked and cooled by a hundred restraints if it is not to consume both the individual and the group.” (As quoted by Neil A. Maxwell Behold, the Enemy Is Combined” (D&C 38:12), General Conference April 1993)

Each of these fires-the Holy Ghost and Puberty
...are part of God's plan.
...make powerful changes in our lives.
...require preparation and teaching from others.
...must be successfully engaged to enter the Celestial Kingdom.

"The power of procreation is NOT an incidental part of the plan of happiness; it is THE KEY
(Boyd K. Packer "The Fountain of Life" Eternal Marriage Student Manual)

The parents asked.
I said, "You're kidding me right?"
"Remember what I do for a living?"
I evaluate sex offenders-mostly juveniles. Just this week I've seen two 12 year boys for felony hands-on touching offenses (Both are active LDS and go to Church).  I've completed thousands of sexual evaluations. Tragically, there have been plenty of times where  I - "Dr. Rick" - was the first adult to have a frank and personal "sex talk" with that youth :(  At times, the young man has his Eagle Scout and president of the Teacher's quorum, but one-on-one with an adult was too embarrassed to say out loud the names for male and female private body parts.... etc etc

Simply said, if it was 1840 and you're a pioneer coming across the plains maybe it was okay to have "A" sex talk with your kid when he was 13 or 14. It is now 2013 and you're not a pioneer and IF you're asking the question -
Don't you get it?
Satan and his angels have been having the "sex talk" with (you,) your children and grandchildren for years -
- since they started watching TV,
- since they started listening to he radio,
- since they started going to a public school,
- since they started riding in a car on a freeway,
- since they started listening to music,
etc etc
Satan successfully influences us and our children everyday about "the power of procreation" - using his doctrine as the guide. (See: You Can't Say That in a Chapel! and Satan Exposed.)

Never, Never, Never, .... miss a opportunity to talk to your children and grandchildren (or spouse for that matter) about sexual relations in God's way - ideally EACH TIME a SEXUAL CONVERSATION IS TRIGGERED by a song, by a billboard, by a commercial, by a public display of affection, etc etc-

We cannot continue to let Satan's team be the primary source for "power of procreation" information.
DEMAND EQUAL time for discussions on healthy and divine sexuality.
If you need a strong reminder of just how powerful Satan's sexual influences are just take a look at Carl's Junior commercials - ... these commercials have all aired on public TV. : (CAUTION to those of us who have reached puberty: These are very sexual commercials... Satan has engineered these commercials to trigger God's Love Chemicals. 
Can you imagine what a naive 14 year old boy might experience in watching these commercials?
If hamburger commercials can be this sexual, can you imagine what kind of addiction potential "real" porn has on young men and women?

A sexualized world including pornographic materials, will continue to be readily accessible to our children and adolescents. Sexualized messaging influences the development of our children and adolescents, it affects how they think and behave sexually.

One might ask How do I help my children and grandchildren "develop a hundred restraints" to manage the "FIRE" associated with puberty?

- PREPARE youth (if they are prepubescent) INFORM youth (if they are already pubescent) about the changes that occur during puberty. Be sure to include the part about the heightened pleasures of touch and arousal-
"You should prepare your children for the changes that accompany puberty before these changes actually begin. (If it is too late have discussions with them anyway.) Puberty is the process by which hormones cause the body to change in ways that make procreation possible. These changes mark the passage from childhood to adulthood. The processes are clean, good, and divinely mandated. There is no certain schedule, but this process usually begins between ages eleven and thirteen ...The changes of puberty permit us to experience remarkably heightened pleasures of touch and arousal. But we have the agency to control the emotions and behaviors leading up to intentional sexual arousal. " (A Parent's Guide Chapter 5: Teaching Adolescents: from Twelve to Eighteen Years)
Follow the baptismal pattern .... missionaries, home teachers and/or parents take time -often several lessons- to teach about baptism and the holy ghost before the first fire-and the Gift of the Holy Ghost is given.
I'm asking you to do the same, before the baptism of the second fire-puberty.

Talk openly about normal processes of puberty like menstruation for girls and nocturnal emissions or “wet dreams” for boys. Use the correct language for body parts. Never use slang.

If you have trouble using these words with your children or grandchildren - get over it. (Watch: What if talking about sexual intimacy makes me uncomfortable?)

If your child is already pubescent read this chapter out loud together.

If your child is prepubescent you and your spouse read this chapter and decide how to proceed.

(I mean really, how "Sexy" could it be - it's on LDS.org and an official Church Guidebook?)

Follow up with ongoing brief discussions as they are triggered in your day -to-day living.
Teaching them along the way
dr rick
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