“I’m Jesus, God has sent me to call you to repentance.”
The middle age man was in the Weber County Jail medical cell.
He rambled on -quoting scriptures etc etc. He refuses medications.
“There is no God. I use to believe that nonsense, but not anymore.”
The first words out of the young adult’s mouth
as the Church Disciplinary Council started.
“I believe in myself. I know God loves and cares for me.”
She repeated the affirmation several times a day.
As per her counselor’s instructions.
“I heard this still small voice answering my prayer saying– God lives!”
The older gentlemen closed his testimony with these words.
… are the product of mental activity; that which one thinks; most easily recognized as the act or process of “the talking” going on in the brain. Thoughts occur in the mind. The mind is in the brain. The mind is eternal the brain is not. (See: Anatomy of a Soul)
THOUGHTS ARE IMPORTANT
“Success in life depends upon the management of your thoughts. Your very salvation depends upon it.” (Boyd K. Packer, That All Might Be Edified, pg. 32)
“Contentment, complacency, peace—all that makes life worth living—have their source in the mind of the individual” (David O’ McKay, “Pathways to Happiness” pg. 320)
ENVIRONMENT INFLUENCES THOUGHTS
Examples include entertainment and pornography.
Your choice of music, media, and other forms of entertainment influence your thoughts.
I plead with you to leave it alone. Stay away from any movie, video, publication, or music—regardless of its rating—where illicit behavior and expressions are part of the action…. anytime we look at or listen to this kind of material—even in its mildest form—the light inside of us grows dimmer because the darkness inside increases. The effect of this is that we CANNOT THINK as clearly… (H. Burke Peterson, Leave it Alone, New Era Jan 1995)
Your viewing of pornography and other sexual material influences your thoughts. Speaking of the effects of pornography Dallin H. Oaks noted:
“…When persons entertain EVIL THOUGHTS long enough for the Spirit to withdraw, they lose their spiritual protection and they are subject to the power and direction of the evil one…Patrons of pornography also lose the companionship of the Spirit. …PORNOGRAPHY PRODUCES FANTASIES that destroy spirituality. .” (Pornography, Conference Talk April 2005).
THE BODY INFLUENCES THOUGHTS
Examples include: Nutrition, Sleep and Mental Illness.
“Retire to thy bed early, arise early that your bodies and MINDS MAY BE INVIGORATED.”
“The condition of the physical body can affect the spirit. That’s why the Lord gave us the Word of Wisdom. … FOOD CAN AFFECT THE MIND, and deficiencies in certain elements in the body can promote mental depression.”
(Ezra Taft Benson, Do Not Despair,
Ensign, October 1986)
And let’s talk for a minute about Mental Illness. The brain is part of the body. Any organ of the brain can get a disease. When the brain gets certain diseases we call them Mental Illnesses or Brain Disorders. Mental Illness can influence our mind and thoughts. For example look at these symptoms CAUSED by mental illnesses:
Symptoms caused by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:
Recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images or images that are experienced, at sometime during the disturbance, as intrusive and unwanted, and that is most individuals cause marked anxiety or distress.
Symptoms caused by Major Depressive Disorder:
Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt; Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness; Recurrent thoughts of death;
recurrent suicidal ideation;
Symptoms caused by a Manic episode as part of a Bipolar Disorder:
Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing; Inflated self-esteem;
Distractibility; Increased goal-directed activity…
There are many other examples, but this should suffice in convincing you the body including mental illness, has a tremendous capacity to influence our thoughts/minds.
SATAN INFLUENCES THOUGHTS
Let’s start with a couple of scriptures:
And behold others he flattereth away and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none – and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains…. (2 Nephi 28:22)
Following the feast of the Passover, for example, the devil “put into the heart of Judas Iscariot … to betray [Jesus]”
). During the translation of the Book of Mormon, Satan “put it into [the] hearts
” of wicked men to destroy the work of the Restoration (D&C 10:10–12
). And one more “For Satan putteth it into their hearts to anger.
..” (D&C 63:28
Other quotes suggesting Satan can “put thoughts into” our minds and hearts come from Joseph Fielding Smith:
We should be on guard to resist Satan’s advances. He has the power to place thoughts in our minds and to whisper to us in unspoken impressions to entice us to satisfy our appetites or desires, and in various other ways he plays upon our weaknesses and desires. (Answers to Gospel Questions, 3:81)
And this is one of my favorite Joseph Fielding Smith quotes talking about in our day, “turmoil and contentions in the world
” are due to the fact that some “leaders of nations” get “their inspiration from Satan
” (Answers to Gospel Questions
GOD INFLUENCES THOUGHTS
This is the one we’re most familiar with-personal revelation from the Holy Ghost. Unfortunately some believe that ALL impressions are from this source- and this is not true. As noted above.
YOU INFLUENCE THOUGHTS
And finally, clearly we have the ability to influence our mind.
As you learn to control your thoughts, you can overcome habits, even degrading personal habits. You can gain courage, conquer fear, and have a happy life. … the mind is like a stage. During every waking moment the curtain is up. There is always some act being performed on that stage. It may be a comedy, a tragedy, interesting or dull, good or bad; but always there is some act playing on the stage of your mind…. (Boyd K. Packer, “The Message: Worthy Music, Worthy Thoughts,” New Era, Apr 2008)
Ezra Taft Benson said “If our channels are not clear of sin, then we may think we have gotten inspiration on a matter when it is really ‘sin-spiration’—that is, promptings from the devil.”
(In His Steps,
in 1979 Devotional Speeches of the Year [Provo, Utah: BYU, 1980], p. 63.)
Ezra Taft Benson also likened our minds to a stage on which righteous and wicked thoughts constantly compete for audience.
“From one side of the wings the Lord, who loves us, is trying to put on the stage of our minds that which will bless us. From the other side of the wings the devil, who hates us, is trying to put on the stage of our minds that which will curse us. We are the stage managers; we are the ones who decide which thought will occupy the stage. … We are the ones who must decide whose thought will prevail. … We will be what we think about—what we consistently allow to occupy the stage of our minds” (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988,p. 382).
All thoughts are NOT created equal- some can be from the devil, some from God, some from mental illness, some from yourself etc etc
“Our accountability begins with how we handle the evil
(unwanted) thought immediately after it
is presented (on our stage).”
YOU ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS
–ONLY THE THOUGHTS YOU ALLOW TO REMAIN ON YOUR STAGE
ARE YOU RESPONSIBLE FOR
Makes perfect sense to me.
Unfortunately, with mental illness, addictions and other certain conditions our ability to control our thoughts –manage our stage– can TEMPORARILY be impaired here on earth 🙁 (See: Free- According to the Flesh)
Practice controlling your thoughts, now.
FIRST: Think about the statements at the beginning of the blog and identify their likely source?
Environment, Body, Personal Revelation, Satan, You etc etc
SECOND: Think about your thoughts from the past few days and see which sources they may have come from-Environment, Body, Personal Revelation, Satan, You etc etc