Rocky Mountain High! (Thank God for Section 89!)

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TheDiscipleMD

A couple of years ago my wife and I drove to Denver from Provo, Utah. It took me over the Rocky Mountains. At times I needed to put my Jeep in overdrive. Once I felt like my Jeep was going to explode when I left it in overdrive for an extended period of time. I could tell by the sound of the engine that my poor Jeep was definitely laboring.  Even after reaching the top of the step incline, the trip down the mountain seemed to be just as taxing on my Jeep as the climb up. It was an exhausting experience for both car and driver. In today’s world it seems that our lives are in a constant mode of “overdrive”. We are either climbing up life’s mountains or hanging on for dear life as we speed down dangerous curves. For many of us, this prolonged stage of “overdrive” has produced extreme stress, which in turn produces anger and depression. Clinical depression, in all its various forms, has become a plague. Because it is such a debilitating type of illness, many have tried to self medicate. Here is an insight expressed by one of our active members who suffers from depression.

“… if alcohol or illicit drugs had been available, I would have reached out for anything to alleviate my suffering. Instead, I numbed my brain with food (or no food), television, or just round- the-clock sleeping. Regardless of one’s ineffective coping mechanisms (such as becoming a workaholic or participating in illicit sex), the primary reason these negative behaviors continue is because of the inability to rid oneself of intense emotional turmoil”. (Debbie Bake on “Understanding the Mindset of Those Suffering from Severe Depression”)

What this suffering saint is saying is far more profound than we might think. Because we have the revealed word of God from living prophets, we have been given guidelines and directions that help us stay away from the consequences of falling under the influence of addictive substances. It is sad that so many who suffer from mental illness fall into the trap of addictive drugs and alcohol, which further destroys their lives. And frankly, without a reason to stay away from such substances, is it any wonder some seek refuse in such chemicals. How many of our members, or us, would fall into such behavior if not for the “Word of Wisdom” as revealed in section eighty-nine of the Doctrine and Covenants? It is a great blessing to have guidance, strict guidance, on these products.

As we commit ourselves to the principles found in section eighty-nine, by staying away from destruction behavior, we can find refuse and relief through controlled medical treatment. In addition we have the gospel of Jesus Christ and it’s healing power. The Lord has revealed that through these avenues we can find hope. We may never feel the total healing power of our physical bodies here on earth, but we can be assured that help is not found in destructive chemicals that rob us of our minds, and free will. While I’m sure we all can see the great wisdom in a health code, if you have suffered from depression you can more clearly see the “hidden” wisdom” found in adhering to its words. For how many of us, given no health code, might have fallen victim to addictive behaviors when the dark of night seemed to overtake our souls?

I’m grateful for a loving father who gave to us a”greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom…” (vs.2) Then “knowing of the evils and designs of man”, which would put his people into “overdrive”, he made it a commandment. All of us should be forever grateful for a law that was “given for a principle with a promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints”. (vs. 3). Even in our weakness most of us should recognize that this “word of wisdom” might have saved some of us from utter destruction. It has led us on the path to better physical and mental heath here on earth. “Rocky Mountain High” (John Denver) is a fun song to sing but it’s no way to live a productive life.

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