Does seeking counseling indicate a lack of faith?

In the last article, I discussed the use of priesthood blessings in getting relief from mental illness. I believe that most Latter-day Saints understand that (1) healing through a priesthood blessing is contingent, not only on our own faith, but on God’s will, and that (2) a blessing that does not result in immediate relief does not necessarily mean that one was lacking in faith or worthiness. Blessings may instead offer encouragement, strength to endure one’s suffering, counsel to take appropriate action, a sense of peace and comfort, or any other blessing that the Lord sees fit to bestow at that time.

Still, there seems to be a sense that one who seeks counseling or psychiatric treatment is “giving up” or lacking the faith required to receive help through spiritual means. This is incorrect. I have never been present for a priesthood blessing in which one is counseled not to seek appropriate medical care or accept proper treatment for a physical or emotional illness. Seeking help prayerfully takes courage and faith; is not a cop-out.

This reminds me of the old joke about the old man watching the floodwaters rise. His neighbor says, “We need to evacuate! Hop in my car!”

“No need,” replies the old man. “God will save me.”

The floodwaters continue to rise. Looking out the second-story window, the old man sees a boat row by. “We need to get you out of here!” says a man in the boat. “Climb in my boat!”

“No need,” replies the old man. “God will save me.”

Finally, the old man takes refuge on the roof of his house. A rescue helicopter hovers above and a ladder drops. “Climb the ladder!” shout the would-be rescuers. “We need to get you out of here!”

“No need,” replies the man. “God will save me.”

The water continues to rise and the man perishes. When he goes to heaven and meets God he says, “Lord, I believed in you. I had faith in you. Why didn’t you save me?”

The Lord replies, “What more could I do? I sent you a car, a boat and a helicopter!”

Sometimes we pass up the simple blessings God offers us while waiting for some kind of dramatic, spectacular event that meets our expectations; we let our pride get in the way of graciously accepting the blessings others offer.

President Spencer W. Kimball said, “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets are our needs.” People are placed in our path for a reason. We need to be humble enough to accept their service and expertise to help us in times of trouble—and allow others to do the same.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s