Understanding Mental Illness:
An Intimate Perspective of Mind Disorders
By: Shane R. Brown
Table of Contents Part I: Looking Forward A. Forward
- Only in working and focusing forward can we expect healthy change to occur.
- At landmark points in our recovery we can then be ready to look back at our
past and finally deal with the emotional baggage we carry.
- Optimism for now and the future and faith in God work hand in hand.
B. Notes Important notes about the Mental Illness experience.
- All Mental Illnesses have similarities.
- People with or without Mental Illnesses are just as human.
- Loved ones can help by developing love and understanding.
C. Introduction A self-introduction.
- A detailed look at the reality of my personal diagnosis and condition
- Proof of the efficacy of this work’s shared ideas as correct and true through the
- Much can be learned by one who has walked the path of recovery successfully
that few have stayed on or have strayed therefrom.
Part II: Lessons on Recovery A. What is Mental illness? The Truth.
- What Mental Illness really is
- The Brain is a Body Organ.
B. Coping with Mental Illness A Clear Picture of what it takes.
- A brief Self History.
- Complete healing made possible only through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
- Ritualistic Abuse.
C. Treating Mental Illness A Better Way.
- Medications and coming to accept their necessary role.
- Working with Medications to Recover.
- Truth – the only sure foundation on which to build your mind.
Part III: A Full Return to Sanity A. A Message of True Recovery, Based on True Principles The Message that saves.
- A look at the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Why a fullness of truth is of utmost importance.
- Only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is found the priesthood
power of God for real and lasting healing.
B. A Personal Witness and Testimony of the Power of God My true witness of the enabling power of Jesus Christ to heal any ailment or trial, putting us on the path to succeed in all we do in life.
- Why God’s plan doesn’t fail.
- You can be a light in a darkened world.
- Trials and how God will help us exceed expectations.
C. A look at why secular recovery knowledge is incomplete
1. Recovery is about all aspects of our soul, mental, emotional and spiritual.
2. If we exclude God, everything in our search for healing will ultimately be misled.
3. Only in the acknowledgement of the truth and the embracing of the perfect love
from God can we discover the ultimate and complete healing we need.
Part I: Looking Forward Forward By: Shane R. Brown
I believe that the best way to start this book is to say that I myself am a person who has lived with, and lives with mental illness. In writing this book I have three basic goals in mind. First, to help people have a true awareness and understanding of what mental illness really is so that they can better understand those who suffer with mental illness, and help to erase stigmas. Second, to provide a better awareness for families and mental health workers, to provide more effective treatment for individuals through providing correct principles of recovery from both secular and spiritual sources. This of course has been successfully proven true by many persons who suffer with mental illness. And finally third and probably most important, to help those who have mental illness better cope through giving a more clear and precise picture of what it takes to recover, as well as tools and practices that will aid in the process, yielding better results. Whatever reason you have for reading this work, I hope you will gain something very valuable and special from it. I realize that being one who has a mental illness gives this book a greater credibility and value, for the proposal of such an accomplishment in and of itself, shows a measure of proof that the succeeding ideas and thoughts put forth are the fruits of a well lived, and correctly treated method of a serious mind disorder, or mental illness. Of course the accuracy and truth of this work, is rightly to be determined by the reader, for as we all have our own understandings and internal conscience of what is right, who am I to dictate your own? In writing this book I will mention personal feelings about how I have grown and developed, mentally and emotionally, to show the reality of my experience, and help in the overall effectiveness and impact of the before mentioned goals. It is with this great advantage vantage point of being one with a mental illness, yet having come to a place of health, which enables me to help and inspire others in a most effective way. The idea for this book came from a conversation I had with my Mother Judith Brown, at my having reached a low point in my progression and recovery. Of course, I had already come a very long way, but I felt then, that I did not have a clear direction, and having recovered substantially, I wanted to continue forward. At the point of first writing this, still having a very long way to go before I would reach a point in life, where I would feel that I had control back in my life, and having experienced mental illness head on like this for so many years, I must say to you the reader, that for the one’s that carry the burden of mental illness, both the individual and those who love them, it can, and will continue to get better. This is true, especially as the true principles and concepts shared in this book are exercised, and put into practice to the best of the ability of all those involved. It is, and will always continue to be worth it. As with anyone, if we do not exert ourselves forward in improvement through some discomfort, we are not going to grow, but the opposite is true, we will slide downward, for there is no real comfort zone at all. I would never be comfortable in digressing down in my function and growth, and yet improving also isn’t easy. It is really a matter of choosing which discomfort you prefer. As for me, not only does the way upward feel better, but I also prefer the results from fighting forward. So don’t let go, and don’t give up hope. In continuing to explain the reasons for this book, I will state the personal hope that came to me, as I undertook this project, for my original hope, was to understand myself better, through writing out my personal history, insights, lessons learned, and observations and experiences. I found greater joy however, when I realized that this work could also be of benefit to others. After having had this conversation with my mother, I realized that God was putting me to the test. He was going to give me another means of use from living with this struggle, that being of helping others, and it felt very right. I took the challenge of writing this book with delight, and determined that I would work on it, until satisfactorily complete.
Notes Important notes about Mental Illness experience
Although each person’s experience with mental illness is different, these shared experiences can benefit all who encounter it, for many similarities exist between the many different types of mental illness. As this is to be a well-rounded book, focusing on mental health through medication, support and spirituality, the principles discussed herein are efficacious to all. It is my prayer that as you read on with the intent to learn what you can, and apply that which you are able to, that you will find greater improvement for your own personal situation. While mental illness does not set a person apart from being a human being, whatever the form of illness, it truly is just another challenge in the huge trial pool that we as mortals are subject to.
Introduction A Self Introduction
Life can be hard for all, and especially for those who have a severe mental illness, as well as for those who truly love them. Before I go on, I want to give clear reference to the mental illness diagnosis that I have been given. It is called, schizo-affective bipolar-type disorder. Not exactly schizophrenia, but it has its similarities nonetheless. I chose to use the subtitle, “Understanding Mental illness: An Intimate Perspective of Mind Disorders,” because as I have learned about the many different types of mental illness, and wanting to make this a well rounded book, I have chosen to focus my college education on mental illness, so that I could professionally discuss these principles and dynamics together in correctness, regarding mental illness. It is also important to know that even as each person can relate to others through their own challenges and problems, even so, every disorder can be related to by the many others, and all can benefit from the understanding of another’s trials. This is so because we are all connected as humans, and mental illness or not, we all still effect one another, and are all still “players” in the “game” of life. The first concept I will bring up is truth, because when our minds are built on truth, they cannot fall. This is so important for anyone, but especially for an individual recovering from mental illness, for if an individual is in recovery, and they build their minds on faulty principles, when the stressors come, they will have a relapse. This is so because faulty building materials won’t hold up. Everyone is somewhere on the “table of life,” and even though we see things differently and have different understandings and challenges, there truly are absolute truths, that if lived by, can change us, and our world for good. Truths and love are great healing aids in the fight for recovery. It is the truth spoken in love that heals, and as our emotional, physical, mental and spiritual selves are all connected, we must consider all of these when looking at recovery. Even though a person’s mind may not be in reality, they can come back to reality through medication, support, spiritual truths, and righteous living. Each one of these factors are of utmost importance. To be fair here, I need to say that any time a person has a false belief about something, to that degree, they are out of touch with reality, and any time a person is taught, and learns a true and correct principle, in that regard, they are more in reality. The difference between someone who has to take medication for a mental illness, and someone who doesn’t, is that one person’s mind needs a chemical stabilizer (medication), and the other does not. Other than that, so far as any person has any fallacy in their belief system, we could say that they are not in reality. One objective I have in writing this book, is to show or expose, what people with mental illness really go through, in living their lives the best they can, and dispel any myths about what mental illness really is. Many people are not very familiar with mental illness, but have heard something about it, and with the growing need for better awareness and treatment, I will share some new focal points, which will help bridge the gap between people with mental illness, and others who do not require medications of this type. So with this in mind, let’s remember that mental illness is real, and truly learn together. In getting right to the first objective, I will now share a few brief feelings I experienced, as I worked to overcome my daily challenges: “Looking back on the years of my life, and since the onset of my illness of schizoaffective bipolar-type disorder, I often found myself having feelings of desperation and loneliness. I sometimes felt apathetic and incomplete. I realized however, that in it, God was stretching me forth, and helping me to move forward, for in this pursuit, I would uncover beautiful treasures of knowledge, that would one day be of service to others. It felt like I was in a panicked rat race, day in and out, trying to hold onto a healthy reality, improve my mental outlook, and expand my functioning capacity, all in the middle of a world that would not slow down for me to catch up. I was constantly racing, just to keep ten feet behind the world, out of step, and out of place.” There is also a symptom which many experience with mental illness, which I am also familiar with from experience. I will describe it in this way: “It is the feeling as though an extra 100 pounds of weight or so is burdening down upon my soul, and with this extreme race mentioned before, and the extra burden of weight upon my soul, life indeed got extremely exhausting, but somehow, I stayed in the battle.” Looking back, I now know that it was only the grace of God, that enabled me to keep in this process of improvement, and not get worse. It is also important to mention, that the things that make life so difficult, and such a struggle with having a mental illness, are going to be outlined and discussed in great detail in this book. In this way, much important and helpful learning can take place. To fairly do this, I will need to be descriptive of the thoughts and feelings I experienced, so that you may better understand what I, and many others with mental illness deal with, and/or have dealt with.
Part II Lessons on Recovery
What is Mental Illness?
The Truth The Brain is a Body Organ
The brain, heart, and liver; these are all parts of the body that are vital for our bodies system to function. If a person’s heart is having serious problems, it can lead to a heart attack. The liver can also have difficulties, and likewise cease in its functioning. If a person’s brain is having difficulties, it too can malfunction. Although each is a serious condition, we need not place a stigma on someone who is experiencing difficulties with their brain. It is, after all, another, and probably one of the most important organs in the body, along with the heart.
Mental Illness Myths/Causes
There are two faculties of the brain that I want to mention here. The part of the brain which includes the conscious thinking, reasoning, judgment, etc., I’ll refer to as the mental part of the brain, and the other part, which takes care of the everyday functions, such as the digestive system, the nerves, etc., I’ll nickname, the “animal” part of the brain. First I’ll talk about the Mental. In regards to mental illness, research has shown that people with poor nutritional habits are more susceptible to mental illness. This is only one factor that can contribute to mental illness. Stress is another factor which can contribute to it. Abuse, in any of its forms, which causes more extreme amounts of stress, can also be a factor. Street drug abuse is an additional factor which can help cause mental illness. Another circumstance that can occur is when a baby or child’s brain doesn’t develop the way it should, and the lack of growth causes a type of mental illness. This can be a gene inherent factor, as well as a nutritional or other factor. Another gene inherent factor is that mental illness can be handed down in a way that the probability of acquiring a mental illness is greater, though it does not necessarily result. This just means that the brain is not as “immune” to its acquisition, and under poor care, abuse, stress, drugs, or whatever, the mind can acquire a mental illness. Usually mental illness is caused by at least two or more of the above mentioned factors, but at least by one. Now for the “animal” part of the brain which functions on its own without thought and gives direction to the body in order to sustain life. This is not part of the mental process, but it has something to do with mental illness. For example, if the digestive system is not working well, affecting poor nutrition, or some other part of the body is failing, these too are related. It is important to note that in the body, each member plays a distinct and important role or function. Every body’s member’s health relies on the health of the other members. Hopefully you are able to see that each person’s case of acquiring a mental illness is different, as are the differences in each person’s mental illness. People are diagnosed with a label that most closely resembles the symptoms of that diagnosis, but a flat diagnosis never truly fits anyone with a mental illness, for each illness is unique and different. This labeling is done so that medications can be prescribed to most effectively help with what the person’s deficiency or challenge is.
Treating Mental Illness
A Better Way
The first step in recovery is finding the right medication. This is so because until you have the proper brain chemical balance, all of the other processes and helps used in recovery will not have the proper effect until this foundational aspect is first in place. The first thing to realize is that as a sufferer of mental illness, you still have the power to make choices in your life, especially on how to recover. The wonderful thing to discover is that when you take the prescribed medication for your particular mental challenge, your capacity to make choices actually broadens and increases. Thus your potential of achievement and advancement as a person and human being improves greatly. The thing to remember is that each element placed on this earth by God, our Heavenly Father, is, and can be used for the treatment of the ailments of the body, mind, and so forth. This is why the blessing of these medications is so wonderful. The elements they were derived from were placed here by God to help those whom He knew would be faced with just such a difficulty. Working With Medications to Recover Second on the list once you have taken the wonderful and bold step of accepting and taking medications, you now have the biggest role to play in your recovery, and that’s as it should be. This step involves putting your mental life in order, by filling up on truth, truths of every kind, and of every sort. The first, and most important truths that will help you to recover, are truths about you, in relationship to God. Yes, truth about scholastics and education are great and fine, but unless you have a foundation of spiritual truth to build these things on, they will not easily come. I find this to be a great blessing, for as this life is about coming unto God and Christ to gain salvation, you cannot fully recover, unless you have a foundation of faith. It’s a great win-win situation that I have come to appreciate, in that the very circumstance that makes life so difficult is actually the very thing in life that has been the greatest benefit and spiritual blessing to me. It has been these very blessings that have elevated my mental, emotion, physical, and every other type of my health. As I have come to accept God’s will for me more and more, I continue to grow more into what He wants me to be and become, the greatest me I can be.
Coping With Mental Illness
A Clear Picture
A Brief History
After I had stabilized on medication, and could again somewhat function, my mind began to remember events in my life that had been suppressed, until I was able to deal with them. The mind is sure a wonderful and complex piece of work, and I can think of no other member of our body that so fully has control over what we do and say, than our minds. It is true that what we put into them, and what we experience in large measure, affects who, and what we become. The determining factor of whether or not we become better depends on our desires and wisdom put into action, for it truly is not what happens to us, but what we do with it that matters. Hopefully from my experiences, you can see that growth is definitely possible, and as I am to teach you different ways to overcome mental illness problems, I can find no better way of teaching, than through experience, so with the experiences I’ve had with mental illness, I invite you to read, study, and ponder on. For history’s sake, I’m going to put in a few details of my life from my early childhood, for I can still remember some of the feelings I experienced as a young boy. I will include details even about where I was born, and so forth, to give a picture of life for me. I was born in a hospital that was then recently completed in Saint George, Utah, on the morning of the 25th of May, in 1976. My parents lived in Las Vegas, Nevada at the time, but drove to Utah to have me, their second child, because the bill there was much more affordable. I am told by my mother and father, that I was a very happy, content, and easy to be pleased child. In fact, as an infant, I would sometimes go two, to three days without crying, except when I was hungry, messy, or uncomfortable. As I grew in my world, I was a very observant boy, thinking, and learning much, as I perceived the truth around me for what it was, for I had a very special gift, to understand things very clearly, and concise. I was a very sober minded child, well mannered, and mostly happy. I remember my mother teaching me to pray to my Heavenly Father at a very young age, but feeling that I already knew about doing this, and wondering why it took her so long to tell me about it. I can remember talking to my Father in Heaven in perfect faith, and knowing that He would answer my prayers, and He always did. To share one example of this, I will tell of an incident when I found my missing penny. I was very young at the time. I don’t recall how old, but I had just lost a penny in the front yard grass, and prayed to find it. The grass was a little brown, so finding it wasn’t the easiest task. After I prayed, I immediately opened my eyes, which were steered right to the penny. It was as if I could not help but look right to where it was. Although I was a very trusting child, I did not understand why my dad seemed to feel so distant. He seemed to me to be afraid to share warmth or familiarity with me. I prayed for him very much. My mom was a kind refuge, but seemed to be carrying burdens of her own that she never told anyone about. I don’t know why, but I felt that my closest family members and friends were still on the other side of earth life, or mortality, either waiting to be born, or already having gone through their earthly mortal experience. I knew that my Father and Mother truly loved me, and yet I also felt that I was not alone, that others on the other side were aware of me too. Being the second oldest, with one older brother, and feeling that he was probably somewhat hung up with learning how to be the first child, taking more of the mistakes than I did, I was left much to my own, and much to my own imagination, from which came many creative mini-inventions and works. I am going to skip now to age three, to a significant event that changed things for me in a very painful way. At this time I was three, and my brother Jason was five. My parents had left the house; I’m not sure about why or where they went, but there was a neighbor girl over at the house with us. Soon, another girl came over, who was maybe two years older than the neighbor girl. She was about eleven or so. I don’t really know if the neighbor girl invited her over or not, but she was there. I was playing around on the living room floor, while my brother Jason was watching TV. The neighbor girl was using the phone, and the other girl, whom I assumed was her friend, although I don’t know for sure, came over to where I was, and started being friendly with me. She told me to follow her back into my bedroom, where we could play more. This was the first time that I encountered sexual abuse. It was horrible. I was only three, but I can still remember the details of it. This experience made me know about an evil in the world, that I did not before comprehend. It hurt me, and I was not as quick-witted, funny, friendly, confident, or trusting after that. Life went on, and my parents did not know it had happened, but noticed that I was not the happy little Shane they knew, and my moods were not content. I began experiencing body troubles, starting in my digestive system, which led to a mal-absorption problem. I became more of an introvert, with an extravert spirit and personality inside. I became more interested in God’s creations, than His children. I would spend hours around the yard, exploring, and getting lost in my thoughts. I would find myself under a bush, studying the leaves and bugs, and was fascinated by the detail there. It was abuse that caused me to begin to live within my mind, in a smaller world, which made the real world harder to function in. As life went on, I started school, and will tell of my early experiences with school, starting with my enrollment in a pre-school at age four. My mother and I had somehow grown closer, because she had recognized my needs, and in an attempt to help me, she enrolled me in a Baptist preschool. Although we as a family were, and are, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, my mother knew that a Christian school was better than any other type of daycare. My mom enrolled me in the school, to help me develop more socially, and scholastically. She wanted me to have the best preparation in life that I could. At this time I was very shy, and I mainly stuck to myself, because I felt different. I remember however, that on the first day in school, the teacher asked, “Does anyone like broccoli?” and I said, “Yes, I do!” to which the other children made an “Ewe, yucky!” reaction, which left me feeling embarrassed and more different. Then at age six I started kindergarten, and I remember trying to make friends with a colored girl my first day. I had somehow got infected with lice that week, and I was telling her about how it was so itchy. She started calling me, “lice head, lice head!” in front of the class. These were my first experiences with other children at school. I knew inside that I was worth more than how I was being treated, but I did not know how to relate with others very well at all.
Ritualistic Abuse Now I must introduce a very dark, subtle, and satanic type of abuse that took place when I was six. It is called, Ritualistic Abuse. I have since learned that this type abuse is quite common, but not widely known about or acknowledged, because of the bizarre nature of it. I will start off by telling a bit about my life, growing up with the other boys in the neighborhood, and then go into the events which took place. First, I had become friends with another boy my same age, named Blaise, who is two days younger than me, and lived just four houses down from us. He belongs to the Catholic Church. We became best friends, and later, we became friends with two other boys who lived on a cross street, just a little ways from his house, one house from the corner. These other two boys had no religious affiliation. They had many toys and other perks for young kids, which drew us over to their house on a constant basis. I remember one such perk being that their mom would allow me to hide my Halloween candy at their house, so that my mother wouldn’t throw it out the next day or so. Of course my mother was correct when she said that too much sugar isn’t good for anyone. We boys would all spend hours there, playing Legos, building space ships with them, and role playing defending galaxies. We would do many other things with those boys, such as making active functioning exhibits of underwater sea life, and dinosaur times in my parent’s garage. We made these sea life and other exhibit adventures very intricate, with string, cardboard, tape, paper, and a lot of creativity, then invited people to walk through and explore, while we operated the various stations which brought them to life. One feature in the sea life extravaganza, was a sea anemone which ate a fish that floated by. It was as though these kids had been taught about how to make these kinds of things from adults, for even kids at the most creative level would have had difficulty coming up with this type of stuff. I wondered how these other two kids could come up with these interesting ideas, but they were alluring nonetheless. Instead of growing up closer to my family, I spent more time with these other boys. I didn’t get as many opportunities to grow and develop naturally, because instead of learning and adapting properly with other kids, I was trapped by my limited social abilities with them. I had church exposure, which to this day is my lifeline, but even that was tainted over, because of their negative influence they had over me. As life went on, and things generally got worse for me, my bitter feelings inside built up so strong, that I could not pretend to my family any more, and I just became what I was. Although I was Shane, I had become something else that I despised, but I didn’t know how to change. It got so bad, that my mother and father didn’t know what to do, and it broke their hearts. These other kids and I started playing video games like it was a way of life, and making movies, or home videos, which were entirely vulgar. The videos were well thought out, and very humorous, but also very base. We let our imaginations fly, and kept things going until years later, and into my last year in high school, when I was sure that I had FINALLY had enough! I then decided that I was going to leave everything that I had ever known, and try to make something new for myself. You may ask me, why did I ever allow myself to get caught up in such influences, and even stay subjected to them? Well, to answer that, I must continue to explain this unhealthy mind controlling relationship. Now, having created a brief, yet proper description of these other boys, and some of our experiences, I will proceed to describe the events of ritualistic abuse as promised. It was at this age of six that I had the most horrifying experience in my life up to that point. As I mentioned earlier, the name of the first boy who was Catholic, and lived four houses down from me is Blaise. The names of the two boys in the other family, with the many toys and perks, who lived on the cross street are, in order from the oldest to youngest, Kelly, and Danny. Their father’s name is Bud, and their mother’s name is Ida. Their last name is Ramsey. I was six years old, and had just been called to go over to the Ramsey’s by Danny. Later as an adult, he was called Dan. When I arrived, Blaise was already there. At having just walked in, the mother said to me, “We were just going to the circus, and when Danny said you were coming over, I called and asked your mom if you could go with us. She said you could.” I replied, “OK,” but at that time, I had a strange feeling that she was lying, because Danny had just called me to come over there, and I had run there, which didn’t take long. This wouldn’t have given her much time to call my Mom, and usually these types of events are planned anyway, so why didn’t Danny just call and say, “Ask your Mom if you can go to the circus with us.” Things just didn’t seem right, but I justified that they had worked things out, so I went anyhow. I was deceived. All of us who were leaving, were Blaise, Danny, Ida, and myself. When we got to the vehicle, it wasn’t even theirs. They said it was one that an uncle had loaned them. We got in the back of the black GMC, and drove off. For a bit we looked outside, not talking much, which was unusual for us, for usually Danny, who was seven years old at the time, would be spouting off about some jingle or another. Then Danny told both of us to lie down on the floor, and play an imagination game, one that we could see the stars through the roof of the Jimmy. He said it was more comfortable lying down there anyway, but I wanted to look at where we were going, for I still felt uneasy. I tried to get up, but Danny pushed me down. Finally, after what seemed like quite a long drive, we ended up at someone’s house. The mom Ida said, that she needed to go in and get something from the man inside, before taking us to the circus, and that she wouldn’t be long. She said that we could come in and meet them. “They are really nice people, and that way you don’t have to wait in the car,” she told us. I was reluctant, and wanted to get going, but Blaise was already heading out, and I didn’t want to wait alone in the GMC. I finally went out when Danny yelled at me to get out, and go in. I reluctantly did so. I remember the house was an ugly lime color, with a blank front yard, and not much green grass. In fact, it was mostly brown, probably only watered by the rain. The door was an unpainted brown finish. The house was on a corner. When the door opened, Blaise and I walked in after Ida. Danny suddenly went back to the GMC. There were teenage kids all around the room, seated on fold up chairs against the walls. There were maybe one or two lamps in the poorly lit room. When I went in, I felt uneasy, but they began asking our names, and talking to us. They asked us how old we were and I told them that I was two days older than Blaise. I began asking about where Ida had gone. She had begun by conversing with a man in the kitchen, which was off to the left, but then they had disappeared into a room further back. Looking back on the incident, I remember that there were two men in the living room, who had gotten up, and walked down the hall, and turned off the hall lights. They proceeded around the corner of the hall, which turned right, and they didn’t come back. Then suddenly, I heard our names cried out in horror, “Shane! Blaise! Help, aaah! Help us!” I was the first on my feet. I ran to the hall where the noise originated, which was located at the back of the living room down the hall. With the hall lights off, but the living room lamp lights on, I could still see where I was. After I made that right turn into the hall where it was darker, I was grabbed by evil arms, and swung around so that my mouth could be covered, and I was carried into a bathroom in total darkness. The hall which had made that right, then made a quick left, whereupon there was the bathroom on the right. This was the family bathroom of the house, and is where I was taken. I was somehow very detail oriented at this point, whereon at being grabbed, I saw hall cupboards set in the wall, where I had just turned right, upon entering the hall, meaning that the width of the wall, from the living room to the hall had cupboards incased in them. I saw this because as I turned the corner, and was picked up and twisted around so that my mouth could be covered, my senses were heightened, and I noticed them clearly. Once inside the bathroom for a bit, the light was flashed on to reveal my exploiter. He was older then the kids who were in the living room before, one of the two men who had gotten up earlier to go down the hall, and one of the two who had called out our names. He wore the normal clothes of the day, and seemed to be led by some sort of time limit, because he rushed to get my clothes off me. I would not let go of my underwear, and so he resolved to just stick me in the tub anyway. The tub was filled with hot scalding water. Now it is important to note here, that I had angelic intervention, not unto deliverance, but unto endurance, for I heard a voice say to me, “When he puts you in the water, scream really really loud. I mean loud.” But when I got in, it only felt warm to me, and I began to kick around in the warmth. “Now, yell! Get into it! Make it really come out, act like it really hurts! Cry, now!” came the voice of the Angel again at me so loud. So I did just as he, the angel had said. I put on a show, and when that was done, the man took me out. I noticed however that my skin was a very dark red. That was part A. Part B was much worse. This man then turned me over to another man, who took me out into the hall, which was again dark, and led me back farther into the hall, and around another corner just to the left, to a room on the right, where part B was to happen. In this room, there was a black table type bed, the kind that is used to tie down psychiatric patients who are violent, and in danger of hurting themselves, or others. It had slight padding, except where my head was put, which meant that they put me on it backwards. My head was put on the feet part. They tied me down, and half of the teen kids from the room before came in, but through a second door that was on the wall off to the right side. They began to have an orgy in front of me. I remember the girls hanging over me with their chests over my face, and one girl cutting herself on the wrist, and trying to put her blood into my mouth. The guys tried to put their mouths on my private part, but I covered it as best I could with my right hand, and with my left hand, which I managed to free, I pushed them back. It took many years for my left wrist to fully recover from this, and to this day, I still notice it to be a little weaker from time to time. Then in walked a catholic priest, or so he appeared to be dressed, with a white veil over his face. They all gathered in a circle, and he began to say some words that I did not understand. Then the man who brought me into the room, brought out a knife, and they began chanting some sort of, anti-Christ pledge, and told me that if I did not deny Jesus Christ and join them, that they would kill me. I would not do it, so they brought the knife to my neck, and cut just slightly. I cried out in my heart, “Oh, Jesus! These terrible people are going to kill me if I don’t deny You. Please, save me! Please, help me! I am going to say what they want, but I won’t really mean it, OK?” Then immediately came His answer to me, “Yes my son, say it! Say it now, and I’ll get you out of this Shane.” was the Lord’s answer. So I said it, and they cried out, and untied me. Then they said, “We have a special pill for you that will help you feel better. It will help you be like us. I said, “I don’t want to take it.” They said “If you take it, you will forget everything, and it will be like none of this ever happened.” It was a small white pill. They said that they would not take me back, until I took it. I asked God in my heart if I should take it. He said, “Yes, and I will help you to move on.” After I took the pill, I remember seeing the other half of the teenagers come in through that second side door, and they brought with them Blaise. This other door somehow connected up to the room where Blaise had suffered a similar fate. They brought in with them a cake, which said, “Blaise is rad.” painted in red. Since I only got a quick look at the cake, I thought I saw that the other colors where blue and gray. They drug him in, and he looked like he was nearly dead, sitting in a hunch against the wall. They cheered for him briefly, “Blaise is rad, Blaise is rad,” and then swept me out into the dark kitchen. After having taking the pill, and as a result of it, I found myself dumped on the kitchen floor, my body giving way to a deep troubled sleep. I soon lost consciousness minutes after having taken the drug. I imagine that at first, Ida had gone through the kitchen, and into the back part of the hall to avoid being seen. After that, I don’t know where she had gone, but somehow, I ended up back at her house later that evening. Sometime later, I woke up in this instigating family’s house, on their crimson red couch. It was around dinnertime by then and dark outside. The mother Ida was cooking bacon and eggs, breakfast food for dinner, and I remember her saying to me, “You fell asleep on the way home from the circus.” And “You can go home now.” I did just that. When I got up, I felt a bit unsteady, but I got home OK. I remember feeling different inside as I walked home, almost as if I wasn’t as smart as I used to be. This was somewhat true, because the drug they had given my six year old body, did some damage, developmentally as well as otherwise. I never did find out what the drug was, but my best guess is that it was an early anti-psychotic medicine, Haldol. This whole experience had been a bad one for me, to say the least. Because of the nature of the experience, and the drug I had been given, I didn’t remember the events that had taken place, until many years later, when I was finally ready to, and true to the nature of my mind, I clearly remembered the events in much detail. So that was it, I had been abused, and awakened sexually in a major way; what to do with it, especially when I had no memory of it to tell anyone what had happened? There was no way to get help through talking about it, and hence, no way to properly vent either. I realize now that abuse causes people to do destructive things, often to ones’ self. I can still remember the first time that I took things out on myself sexually when I was six. Now I will tell you more of my life, and how I acquired mental illness, or more appropriately, I will tell about the incident that finally broke my mind. Like I said, I had continued going on like this with these other kids and family, until I was eighteen, and almost ready to drop, cave in, and give up, with all the pressures on me. Still, God was holding me together somehow. Then, somehow, I was endowed with a new strength, and they saw that I was again on the rise, but this time in a manner to break free. Like I stated before, I had finally had enough, and was ready to break away, and come clean, leaving this so-called family. Still knowing that my own family could not handle me, but feeling it was a better way to live, I resolved that I was through with them. The instigators knew that something was up, and they called me to come back over one last time, to “say good bye,” and play monopoly. They even had Blaise try to convince me to come over, knowing that somewhere in me, I sensed that he had gone through this evil ordeal with me, although he had turned more like into one like them. I said no, but then gave in thinking that I could just play the game, and then leave, showing them that I was strong enough, but I did not know what they had in store. This was not a good idea. The interesting thing is that when I got there, Blaise immediately left. It was only Dan and I. Going there was my way of letting go, and having some sort of closure. It was a big mistake. They were not going to be treated lightly. The game of monopoly started with a quick set up. Dan seemed overly excited to get it under way. Soon after, he brought in some cheddar fish snacks, which he knew I loved. Next he asked if I wanted something to drink with it. I said no, but he brought out something that looked extremely appetizing anyway. It had little soda bubbles which I liked at the time. I remember clearly that it was a pink drink, probably a ruby red pink grapefruit soda, which I can remember liking back then. As many have now heard of these date rape drinks, back then I had not. They were not big on the news yet, and so such knowledge was not at my discretion. I remember that as we played, he kept bugging me to drink it. I had an uneasy feeling about drinking it, which I didn’t understand, so I hesitated for quite a while. Finally he said to me, “If you don’t take a drink, I’m not going to take my turn.” This sounded very odd to me, but he was serious, and so I did finally take a drink, so we could get on with the game. After I took the drink, Dan became lacks about the game, and didn’t seem to care who won. I became unconscious without knowing it, and woke up on my side. Of course, something had happened, but one thing for sure did occur. They had injected poison into the roof of my mouth. When I woke up, I asked, “What happened? Did I faint?” He said, “You must have.” Then I saw something on the floor next to me, and I pointed to it. It was a hair that comes from the groin area. I asked him, “What is that?” He said, “What? Do you think we pick our pubic hairs?!” After a few more rolls of the dice, he threw them at me, and said, “We’re done, go home!” As I walked home, I felt my mind descend deeper and deeper down. I could not stop it from doing so, and even exerting all of my powers, I sank. Even with this confusion, I still pressed on, believing that though the road still descended, I could have hope. When I got home, my mind was totally different. I was mentally numb, and was not as insightful anymore. I could tell that something was seriously wrong with me. To get back to my point, and answer the question of why I allowed myself to be caught up in such influences, I will now unfold this mystery to you. I am the type of person that believes that people can change. Of course not knowing what was really behind this family’s motives, and being young and naïve, not remembering what had happened, I thought that I could help them, and in so doing, somehow help myself. You see, even though I endured emotional torture as I grew up around them, there was still a twisted form of connection that kept me bound to them. I will attempt to describe it here. I had been hurt sexually at age three, and initially they seemed to accept me as I was. Because I did not remember the incident at age six with them, which I have just described, they somehow became a strange sort of refuge. They took me down strange fantasy roads, like those of the sea life and other exhibits, and later such things as AD&D, when we got older. I know for a fact, that AD&D, which stands for, advanced dungeons and dragons, is completely Satanic. That stuff is designed to teach people how to live like devils. These days however, those “games” are flying so rampant, that there are all kinds of “brand names,” of such types of “games.” It is a common “game” among many kids. That family didn’t care about me, but wanted to destroy me, in a way that would cause me to fail. I know that had they been given the chance, they would have had me dead, but because I was protected by the Lord, I am alive and doing well today. Because I did not remember the incident before mentioned, but still sensing that something was wrong, I still felt that I could fix things, if I kept on trying. This was my way of trying to fix, or fit what I needed, but as time went on, I eventually blended more into what they enforced upon me, and in a morbid way, it felt assuring to make friends with the enemy, and although I could never put a finger on what I felt, or why, even sensing that something was wrong with them, I continued on. With the fantasies and other distracting elements that we engaged in, I slowly forgot my fears about them, and just lived my life the best I could. It was all I knew. Pain, confusion, abuse, and fear, is my explanation of why I allowed myself to be caught under such influences, and that is something that ruled in my life for a long time after that. It was a calculated type of control they exercised over me. This family constantly tried to play me into the darkness, but looking back, I know that I had so much divine intervention. Later in life, after I had finally broken away, still alive, but severely damaged, I had to come to terms with the fact my parents had tried hard to pull me away from them, but all I did was try to blame them for my bad childhood. It was a long time before I saw things in a better way, and because of all the abuse and confusion, it took a long time for me to trust my parents as intelligent people. It really all boiled down to forgiveness. After this commenced, there was a bunch of, trying to figure out what was “wrong” with me, and I was hospitalized in an adolescent mental health hospital. Many kids who go through there have severe emotional/mental, drug, or other problems. With all of the challenges I had then, I am surprised that it took them a long while, and a second hospitalization there, to finally figure out that something was wrong with me, mentally speaking. I guess I just tried to get along my best, and they couldn’t detect anything. When they did, they tried this or that kind of drug, which didn’t do much. All I had at that time to express emotionally was either compassion for the other kids there, or extreme hate, coming from inside a place that I did not yet own, myself. One factor that I want to mention about treating mental illness is, that without proper knowledge, it will completely fight itself. There are many difficulties caused by mental illness, but the saddest factor, is that all too often, on a social/emotional/mental level, it is not treated correctly, by virtue that no one who has it, has come to a place where they can accurately describe what it really is like, and those who don’t have it, can’t truly know what it’s like. This is why these forthcoming insights on mental illness are so powerful, and are the main thrust for this book. So now you can see how my illness was acquired. Some factors that can cause mental illnesses are a lack of proper nutrients, abuse, harmful drugs, and dispositions/genes which carry a higher possibility for acquiring a mental illness. In the case of a disposition being more susceptible to mental illness, I believe that these individuals are actually more diverse, broad, and expansive, thus they have a lot more to deal with, and when the pressures of life hit, it all hits with a larger span of negative content for them, then the average person. I do believe that a baby may be born with mental illness, as a developmental issue so I’ve heard, but I personally have not encountered such a case. In many cases, mental illness is caused more than one factor. Not only did I have the harmful drugs part, with the injection into the roof of my mouth, but I also had the harsh emotional reality of the many years of Harsh emotional abuse, and this over the more diverse disposition, Causing it to be more debilitating. And finally third, the molestation at age three and ritualistic abuse at age six. All these things resulted finally in the complete breakdown of my brain’s chemical function. At this time in my life, all I had was God, and a family who loved me. Perfect resources, but it took a lot of work to get these right and myself right with them. Now I want to talk about the struggles of my everyday life at the present time, but first, I want to add in a dream that I had which sums up my feelings of where I was spiritually when I had the dream at about age 21 or so. It had such an impact, that I still remember it to this day. The dream had to do with being involved with the Ramseys, and Blaise. In the dream I believe I was around maybe fourteen. In 2003, I wrote a poem about the dream, to express my feelings on the matter. It is called, From the Halls of Heaven, and I will insert it into here after this shared experience. In my dream I was about 14, and my brother Brian was with me, who would have been at least ten at the time. He may have still been in the mode where he respected me as an older brother, but didn’t like many of the things I was doing, and knew that I needed some help in life. Somehow Brian and I came with Dan to a house, different than the one before with the satanic procedures, and Dan knocked on the door. Then he opened the door, and ran off around the corner. Inside the house were about 12 model type women, all naked, having sex in the most disturbing of ways. They didn’t give much heed to us, until I took one step forward. Brian said that we ought to leave now. He said, “Let’s get out of here Shane.” But I was too curious. As I watched a little more, they one by one started to look over at me, and it looked like they were going to, “make room” for me as well. I stepped into the house, and Brian left at that point. Then something amazing happened, which I am still in debt to. The Lord Jesus Christ suddenly appeared before me, with his right hand outstretched before me, to stop me. He said, “Don’t take another step!” Then I replied, “Why? You’ve never been there for me!” Then He replied back, “I can make it all better, if you just turn around, and leave. Everything…” And I just swooshed Him aside, and went forth that one more step. Then something even greater happened. Heavenly Father came running down to my rescue. At least I think it must have been Him. As He reached out to grab a hold on me, two of the women in the grotesque orgy reached out to grab me. One latched onto my leg, and the other my arm. Then their grip was loosed away, as the Father took hold of me. To my remembrance, the Father was large in stature, and he covered me in as He pulled me out of that house. Although he had me from behind, I could see his white hair overlapping my own head, for he literally carried me, as a Father carries a child. His garments were a whitish bluish shiny color, and He didn’t say a word. He just did what had to be done. This experience may not make since to some, but I know that many things happen, that cannot always easily be explained, but the Father knows all things. I believe that this dream covers symbolically what happened to me. Here is the poem:
The Halls of Heaven
It was just before my time was to come.
I would be leaving Thy presence until it was done.
“It will be hard,” Thou had told me,
How hard you know not,
How exquisite you know not,
Yea, how hard to bear you know not,
But fear not, for I have already sent
Your older Brother, and He will make it all right.”
Then Thou didst hold me in Thy arms for five hours,
Comforting, speaking to and loving me,
Preparing me for what was to come,
For it was very, very scary.
“I’ll come down when it comes to this time,
And witness to all, That if you truly love me,
I will not let you fall, but in due time,
You will conquer and fulfill all your godly call.”
Then, with trepidation and faith,
I walked with the Son to the portal,
And when to the place, we left with a kiss,
As Jesus said in a peaceful whisper,
“My son, you put me through more
Than anyone else, but it was worth it,
Knowing who you are to become to me.”
And we parted in a loving embrace.
Now, it wasn’t more what I would do,
That would make Him suffer so,
But what would be done to me,
That would cause me to wholly abandon Him, and go.
Then, at the peak, when my life was much too bleak,
I totally decided to take the spiritual leap,
And jump off into all oblivion,
Where Satan has all dominion.
So, with Satan and all his devils,
His whole host prodding and shouting on,
My Father did something so miraculous,
For His hurt rebellious little son.
He hurriedly left the halls of heaven,
Where He is sung to, loved and adored,
And rushed to our earth so sordid, so full of hate
And scorn, and fulfilled what he vowed that morn.
Yes, my Father, the God of all the universe,
Left His heavenly throne, to rescue among the demon’s
Hateful harm and abase, and wrapped me in His arms,
Pulling me steadily away from that ledge,
While I screamed and kicked Him in the face.
I will not repeat the words I cried,
As I cursed my Father so, but all the while
He knew who I really was, and would not let me go.
So there it had happened, as He said I would see,
“I will personally come down to save you,
And bring you back with Me.
I went down into to depths of hell to rescue you,
And I’d do it all over again, because you are my son,
And never ending Friend. I will never let my children fall,
Who truly love me, and give me their all.
Our relationship will never end, for I am Thy Father, Amen.”
By: Shane R. Brown
Over the course of years that followed, my recovery progressed in miraculous ways. I was strengthened in a way that I still can’t define, but I know that it truly was God, and not just me. He strengthened me to keep me going, despite the weight I bore. I realize that I have not given a substantial account of my mental and emotional sufferings, related to the events I have suffered, but I feel that in making the attempt to do so, I would hardly be able to describe what things I have trodden through. One, because it has been so long that I hardly remember, and two, even if I could remember, I’m sure it couldn’t be accurately described. Therefore, I will not make the attempt, but rather state the events, and leave behind what has transpired, seeing that I have gained the healing necessary from the atonement of Jesus Christ to move on. Needless to say, all these things happened until I was able to truly get away from these destructive people, and go on with my life with my family, church, the gospel, scriptures, and major prayers as my recourses. My Mom learned all she could about mental illness through NAMI, and even became very successful in teaching “Family to Family,” a group which helps give support to families who have mental illness concerns with a family member. Because I had trust issues with my parents, I never got into the secular way of dealing with my illness, due to my parents incorrect view of me, and the illness I carried. My only experience in anything to help in recovery from a non-religious source was what little I learned from things my Mom did show me that came from books and little things that did fit what I knew to be true. I did also attend a group called “Peer to Peer” twice, and it was not helpful at all. I feel that God is in everything, and anything that leaves out God, is going to be lacking. With what I had already gained and knew, I knew that the secular route alone was not my course.
Part III A Full Return to Sanity
A Message of True Recovery, Based on True Principles
The Message that saves
A look at the restored gospel of Jesus Christ
Why a fullness of truth is of utmost importance
A Personal Witness and Testimony of the Power of God
My true witness of the enabling power of Jesus Christ to heal any ailment or trial, putting us on the path to succeed in all we do in life.
Why God’s plan doesn’t fail
You can be a light in a darkened world
Trials and how God will help us exceed expectations
There is an account in Holy writ were a man named Zeezrom, a corrupt lawyer and judge, who has used his worldly knowledge and educated use of the language to pervert the laws and blind and corrupt the people of his ancient city. There comes to this city a man of God, prophet and High Priest over the land, who at returning a second time after being commanded to do so, having first been rejected and thrown out, is taken in and cared for by another man from this city. The Prophet’s name is Alma, and the merciful caretaker is Amulek.
After a time of Alma ministering to Amulek and his household, Amulek agrees to preach with him to the people of his city. At this time they go before the people and Alma begins to preach the word of God with the scriptures and through the Holy Spirit. All of the evil lawyers, judges and leaders of the people are the first accusers of the two men sent from God, because they are the ones who had caused such evil deeds to be sown in the hearts of the people.
After a bunch of accusations and Alma and Amulek confounding the evil designs of those who lay in wait to deceive, expounding the scriptures and teaching true doctrine, one of the lawyers named Zeezrom begins to feel a piercing in his heart, and the Holy Ghost bears witness to him that these men are from God and are speaking the truth. With this breakthrough, Zeezrom begins to plead with the people saying, “Behold, I am guilty, and these men are spotless before God.”
After many of the people began to believe the words of Alma and Amulek, there commenced a great martyrdom of those that believed being thrown into the fire. Other believers were thrown out and stoned. Those who survived took refuge in the land of Sidom, among whom was Zeezrom. I now quote, “…Zeezrom lay sick at Sidom, with a burning fever, which was caused by the great tribulations of his mind on account of his wickedness, for he supposed that Alma and Amulek were no more; and he supposed that they had been slain because of his iniquity. And this great sin, and his many other sins, did harrow up his mind until it did become exceedingly sore, having no deliverance; therefore he began to be scorched with a burning heat.”
This burning heat is a fever that became so bad, that he lay sick and could not recover. Some time later, after Alma and Amulek had been spared and delivered out of prison by God, they came to Sidom where Zeezrom lay ill. Now, this is where the subject of this post comes into play.
Zeezrom had, over the course of his poor and evil choices, set his mind on the evil and deceit he had subscribed to. With those changes of evil upon his soul, it also took effect on his body, little by little, bit by bit, as he had thought of and done wrong from one thing to the next. At this point in time when we find him in Sidom, his spirit is convinced of the evil and error of his ways, and he has a spiritual change of heart. This change had happened so fast because of the bearing of testimony and pure doctrine, coupled with the fact that Alma and Amulek were given to know the thoughts and intents of Zeezrom’s heart while he was yet contending against them, from which Zeezrom was brought to know the power of God. Zeezrom’s change of heart had come so quickly, that his body did not have time to re-climatize to the polarization of good and righteousness.
The outcome of this was the burning fever upon him, for his body was in contrast to his spirit, good vs. evil, and the carnal body of Zeezrom had been climatized to evil. The outcome of this is that, “when [Zeezrom] heard that Alma and Amulek were in the land of Sidom, his heart began to take courage; and he sent a message immediately unto them, desiring them to come unto him.
“And it came to pass that they went immediately, obeying the message which he had sent unto them; and they went in unto the house unto Zeezrom; and they found him upon his bed, sick, being very low with a burning fever; and his mind also was exceedingly sore because of his iniquities; and when he saw them he stretched forth his hand, and besought them that they would heal him. And it came to pass that Alma said unto him, taking him by the hand: Believest thou in the power of Christ unto salvation? And he answered and said: Yea, I believe all the words that thou hast taught. And Alma said: If thou believest in the redemption of Christ thou canst be healed. And he said: Yea, I believe according to thy words. And then Alma cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, have mercy on this man, and heal him according to his faith which is in Christ. And when Alma had said these words, Zeezrom leaped upon his feet, and began to walk; and this was done to the great astonishment of all the people; and the knowledge of this went forth throughout all the land of Sidom.”
Yes, God always does provide a way for the sinner to repent and be made whole. Often times it’s the small, everyday changes for good that we do, which allow us to repent, become better, and as we do so, our bodies will acclimate and change accordingly for the good, to where we won’t desire evil in our spirits or our bodies. We have the choice. The climatizing of our bodies for either good or bad.
One of the great comparisons in life I like to look at, are the power of God, and the pseudo “power” of Satan. For an example of this let’s look at the power and energy of light as we know it. For as the semblance of everything denotes there is a God, and in each thing there is a blueprint, or an example of God as He is as Creator and Master, we too can take a look at and study the concept of God, and see Him and His power in all things.
In light is the essence and matter of all the colors in the color spectrum that we have in our planet’s sphere. So when light is shining on an object, the only color that the object does not “absorb,” is reflected back to the eye, and it appears as that color. It is the object then that determines what color not to “accept,” which is then seen by our eyes, and then interpreted back by our brain to what the color’s representation is.
When light is broken down, you can see then that it’s combined complexities consist of all the colors of the rainbow in one. The result is a brilliant and ennobling pure light, white in color. Every color combined in and through the power of God creates this great white light, which helps give order and structure to the world we know around us.
Now let’s look at the adversaries “power.” He can only take of the things God has created and try to use them for harm, or against that for which they were intended or created. He cannot create anything. For an example and metaphor, let’s speak in these terms. Satan will take of the products of God’s creations, such as in this case an artist’s paint. He will take of the pigments of the colors of paint, and try to manipulate them to make something, or to paint a picture to look as though it were something which is pleasing, good or desirable, but of course he cannot deliver. By the very nature of the way Satan uses and abuses what God has created, for his own cunning design, he can never deliver the “promised” result. Satan is not capable one bit of telling the truth, and he can do no good thing. He will take of the colors, put them together and get black.
Only God can create, put His colors together and get a bright white light which gives life place and meaning, for Christ is the light and life of the world.
Many people have often born strong witness of the power of the atonement in their lives with adding somewhere in that declaration that, “I don’t know how it works, I only know that it does.” Recently I had an impression and inspiration of how it does work. I will start off by saying that the Lord did experience everything with us, so this means He’s with you right now. He is with everyone and the thoughts, feelings, experiences and acts they do and go through every day.
When in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus Christ experienced our life as Himself going through it. Of course when He went through it (our life), He expended and sent forth every good and righteousness expression and spiritual act and input into it unto the fullness. As I think of this, I am led to deeply desire to make every acting effort to make use of His powerful love and enlightened enablement which He extended and extends to each of us through His atonement. As we think about our lives and the use of the atonement of our Savior in it, we need to remember this, that we have every power and gift extended and granted unto us through His expression of great loving sacrifice, of both mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, social, and in every other way being wrought, that we need and must take merit and make all use of all of it. For that is it’s purpose.
Yes, Christ literally experienced our lives with us, and for us, that is to say, until we actually started living it out in the flesh as well. Then at that time, we started to experience our lives, and can now come to know our Savior, that He is with us, because of His atonement, for He truly did go with us, and is with us even now. You can even say that as He went through His atonement, He came to know us, and now that we are living our lives searching for Him and using His atonement, we are coming to know Him. He has already come through our lives with the remedies and cure for our lives spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, socially and in every other manner, both in time and in eternity. With some things being overcome in the next life, but all things for sure for the faithful followers of Christ who passionately use His loving atoning sacrificing gift and endure.
So what is the secret to or of life? To learn how to and to readily and actively use the atonement in our lives to the end of our days. This is the only success and measure of a man. To be a man as He, a godly man. So, how do we learn to use the atonement? This is how. The atonement makes it possible for us to mentally seek a higher plain in us, to grow in spiritual maturity and change our natures, or the desires of our hearts. From lust to love, indecency to decency. degradation to nobility. It comes about by our using our agency to yield ourselves to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, or to use our agency to make correct choices and bring our hearts more in line with the truth and love, thus becoming more righteous and pleasing to God. It is truthfully the atonement that even allows and gives us our agency, for without it, we could not choose good, for there would be no influence of good for us to act with.
Following the Spirit and making good choices over time and every time changes our nature to become more sanctified and pure. This is what it means to use our Lord’s atonement. To use the power He has given us by being with us every step of the way, and being the only way. This is the great cause and call to all then, to be the living recipients of the Son of God and His fruits.
Look for more in Part Two
I have thought much about my life and the influence I have to make a difference in the lives of others around me, particularly in the field of missionary work. I have at times been frustrated at how life in general can feel as though I am being encroached upon by the actions of others, not doing what they ought, and how that makes me feel in reference to my spiritual equilibrium. As I have battled that war, and have become victorious, I want to share some inspirational points that may help one make it through these challenges, and better serve the Lord. Since then, I have found myself in the natural flow and current of the atonement, where stuff like previously mentioned doesn’t bother me, because I live with the Holy Spirit guiding my life, and act out of Heavenly Father’s will as a daily experience. In this I feel that He is in me and I in He. This of course came with some significant course corrections and realignment, as well as adjustments along the way. Now I feel I’m doing pretty good, and the prompting and message of this piece, which Heavenly Father told me I ought to finish tonight, is more on the grounds of how to get to the place I’ve found of doing God’s will, from where I was before when I felt I was a victim, rather than playing my role as a good and faithful servant of God, so I could share and spread the gospel.
I have often been drawn in my life, to the analogy of the lobsters trying to fight their way out of boiling hot water. As they fight frantically for a way to stop the pain, there are some who look up for higher solutions. Time and time again we see how the lower creatures pull down on the ones trying to escape over the top and side of the burning pit, making it much harder for any chance of escape. I see this as a true principle in life. Yes, people are going to present themselves in opposition to progress, anytime someone decides to reach for a higher plain. History repeats itself in this way many times, and I have seen this much in my own life.
At this point in my life, I sort of see myself as one who no longer has to deal with this kind of all for one and none for all behavior, because I have already risen to a place where this doesn’t affect me anymore. I just stand up, and do what God wants, because that’s what He said. As a person continues to progress and move up from one thing to another, the ability to do more and better things increases, as does the speed and capacity to do so.
Now for the thought that inspired this post. It is this: To see the sin around me as opportunities to help, serve, and give light and love to others. Wow! What a game changer! As this post’s focus is on missionary work, what better way to utilize ourselves than as ministers of need. So, with this in mind, know that there is a way to get from point ‘A’ (I want to share my testimony and knowledge of the gospel) to point ‘B’ (I am sharing my influence and testimony, as well as serving and teaching others the gospel).
As the Lord has commanded, “Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men.” D&C 11: 21 This pertains to having and living the word, for without living the word, you will not have the Spirit, as stated in the above verse. Of course, the word changes us internally to desire to live worthily and keep the commandments, but if we hold on to our sins, or seek to excuse them, we will not have the Holy Spirit with us, and we will be deceived in our gospel learning, even if we do desire to share our gospel light.
A huge part of desiring to share the gospel and our success in doing so is our faithful diligence in living it. We cannot have our bodies full of light if our eyes are not singly fixed upon our Savior who is our divine light and perfect exemplar. My deepest most innermost desire in sharing this with you, is to plead with you, to come, come unto Christ, and be one who battles above the other “lobsters”. Be the one who acknowledges the frailties of men, but then gets right up there and says, “Just because everyone else in doing it, doesn’t mean it’s correct or right. I choose to follow the Lord.” And then go out and do it!
Please don’t rationalize desinsitizing media, or worldly hobbies that take you off your life’s path to God. Yes, everyone else may do it, but when Noah was told not to participate, but to save himself and family, he did! And you should too. Remember who you are. Remember why you are here. “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.” Alma 34:32
And now I ask, what will you do with your time? How will you work out your eternity? What will you anchor your heart to or set your heart upon, that it may lead you to God, for remember, “…where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:34 If your treasures are stored up in heaven, there will your heart be, and your salvation too. If your treasures are of or upon the world, there is your heart, and your reward, namely death and hell, for these are the fruits of a fallen heart.
If you want to abide in the presence of God, not just then and there but now, then live with Him, do His will, and follow His path. You will find the way, He is the way, the truth and the life. The prophets and scriptures teach us how to live and what is real; about the spiritual relms and what faith is. For there are things existing, which though we do not currently see with our mortal eyes, are just as real and substantial, as a broken chair or an umbrella right before our eyes. Our task is to learn how to navigate through these spiritual realities, through learning and understanding the truth as it is, and applying it in all these avenues, and then do it every day, each day coming closer and closer to God, as we find out who we are, and what roles we play.
What a blessing to have the fullness of the gospel restored to us, where Jesus Christ reigns at the head, and a prophet upon the earth in our day. For this I am ever grateful and will always be Heavenly Father’s loving child.
Note: This is an excerpt from my current project “Reflections: An Intimate Perspective of Mind Disorders”, an autobiography I am excited to bring to fruition.
At this point in my writing, I will now add in spiritual experiences I’ve had that I feel are exponentially important to the subject of interest at hand. These I will enter in, as this is the first attempt I’ve ever made to write them out. I will also portray the truthfulness of these experiences, for had these experiences not been true, and given to me by the Holy Spirit and spiritual nature of them, I would have long forgotten them, after these many years which have since transpired from the time that I received them.
As I have mentioned somewhat of the difficulties which I have faced with my mental illness, I have not as yet mentioned the reality of the gross hold which the adversary did once have on me. Although I have always been a good person at heart, and never intentionally evil, despite the fact of all the abuse and pressure upon my soul, I was further wrought upon by the influence of evil spirits, to the fact they had more power over me due to my mental illness. If I have not as yet made myself clear of the unfair advantage that evil can have on persons with mental illness, I will do so here.
First I will need to go into some true doctrines taught in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are this: We lived before we came here as spirit children of our Heavenly Father. We knew and loved Him, and He us. He presented a plan that would send us here to earth, to provide us with physical bodies, which would also be a part of our test. We are to be stewards of our bodies, and learn to take care of them and make correct choices, thus keeping the commandments of God. Heavenly Father knew that we would need to have these earthly experiences to enable us to become more like Him, and gain the reward of all that He is and has. For this is His desire, work and glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
As part of this plan we would need to forget about our prior life with Him, and learn to walk by faith. All of this to create the proper battle ground to achieve the very best in who we are, and who we are to become. This forgetting is referred to as having a veil placed over our minds, to cover that part of our memory, so that we cannot remember living with God, so that we may learn to have faith, walk in obedience, and earn our reward in heaven. I believe that this veil has two parts. The first is to veil the feelings we had from living with our Father in Heaven, so that we would need to again learn to know Him, and the second, to veil the memories we had with Him there too.
Now I will explain the portion of evil that the adversary had over me. It is true that there is a portion of the veil which is thinner, or less in force, for people with mental illness. It is the portion of the veil which deals with having the ability to feel what we had with Heavenly Father in the world before we came to earth. Satan fully knows this, and has jumped right in to take full advantage of this. This state of having a thinner veil in this manner is really a condition of being able to feel heaven’s presence stronger, or the devil’s presence stronger.
With people who become mentally ill, it is usually because of some abuse they’ve had in life, or drugs, or other factors related to genes passed down from their family. I will not attempt to discuss this subject in any detail here, because there is so much to know, but it will be discussed in another part of this book.
Because of these situations of how and why people become mentally ill, Satan already has some form of darkness to hang over the heads of individuals with mental illness, and he goes full force and all out to stop these individuals from any progression they might have, if they were to realize their ability to also become closer to God through this condition. With this in mind, know that it is truly a miracle which can happen for anyone and everyone who has a mental illness, to go from the death, hell and misery of mental illness, to the ability to be and feel closer to God, through the means previously discussed. As for me, it is a great and treasured privilege I possess, to be able to have a closer, more perfect way of accessing the powers of the Lord and heaven, through this thinner portion of the veil.
It is now time to tell you of the first experience I had of a spiritual nature, which you might not have understood or appreciated, had I not first instructed you concerning the nature of these things. It was at this time in my life, when I had evil doing all it could to overpower me. I must first describe the three levels at which evil can influence us. The first is darkness and temptation, as all are viable to. The second, being what is called possessed by a demon or devil, as was recorded in different places in the Holy Bible, where the devils had a measure of physical and mental control over the individuals. The third, is what is in-between these two. This third, or middle area, is the category I fell into. I know for a fact, that had I been evil in my core, I would have been possessed. It was my good heart and intentions which prevented this from being the case.
In this state of me fighting the evil which sought to ultimately possess me and bring me to destruction, I fought moment to moment, with no time for rest or respite. A time in which it was the devil’s desire to fight me into a place where I would succumb to the evil being pushed upon me, so that they, or it, could have total possession of my body, with me still inside it.
I fought, and fought, and fought, but oh how hard it was, when at every turn they would hamper and influence me toward other stuff, poisonous to my soul, as well as my family’s.
It was during this difficult time in our lives, when I was seeing an LDS counselor, who was in the middle of getting his practitioners license. He had been a convert to the church, and had experienced many great and wonderful things concerning the church, with spiritual experiences and feelings. He had been giving firesides, which is a term for describing an event in which a person or persons would have the opportunity to go to various Wards and Stakes to share their story, experiences, and testimony. He was well loved and highly respected.
It was at this time that I was in a session with him, and because of the evil spirits interfering with my very soul, it was evident that not much progress was being able to be made. At this point the room got very quiet, even in a manner which silenced the adversary which was upon me. Then this good brother commenced, in a noticeable difference of tone and spirit, and he said to me, “Now, let’s try something different. I want to try an experiment with you. Let’s just play a game and say that you can go anywhere you want to. If you want to go to the right, move you hand to the right, and you can go as far to the right as you want.” And he motioned to me with his hand. He then continued, “If you want to go to the left, move your hand to the left, and you can go as far to the left as you want.” He then said, “If you want to go up…,” and as soon as he said this, I moved my hand up.
As soon as I had done so, I literally left my body and went up, up, up into space, where it looked darker, as it would look being above the earth from space, intermittently dotted with the stars of heaven. Once at a certain place I stopped, and there I saw the Lord Jesus Christ appear about 10 feet away. He was not facing me, but was facing sideways, even to my right. It was there that something very significant and spiritual happened.
At this time I need to teach another doctrine taught in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints so that you can understand what I’m about to discuss. In the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, we are taught that we have always existed as intelligences, and were then born as the literal children of our Heavenly Father. This means that our intelligent spirits were then clothed upon through birth from our Heavenly parents, with an added dimension. This was that our intelligences were then added upon with the ability to feel, have emotions, and to give and receive love. Interesting to know as well, is that both parts of our spirits, the knowledge or intelligence, and the emotional or feelings parts, are both in the image of God, even as we now look. For as the scripture states, we were formed (our physical bodies) in the image of God. We are our spirits, with the ability to learn and feel, now clothed in a physical body, all in the image of God, for He is our literal Father. All three parts of us together are referred to in the church as the soul. We are now living with the veil to help us be tested and prepared to live with God again.
Now for the experience. At this time, as I saw the Lord ahead of me, a part of my spirit separated from me, and went and stood before the Lord. I could not see any form or part of this other part of me, but I knew that it was in the shape of a man, because the Lord reached around and embraced it, and in the same motion, kissed this other spirit half of me on the face, three times on each cheek. I then became aware that this other part of me, the feelings part, began to converse with the Lord. The Lord told it, that He would grant me a gift, any gift I would ask. I was then aware that this part of me asked the Lord for protection from the evil which so easily had influence in me, that they could no longer enter in to torment me. The Lord granted.
This emotion part of me then came back to me, the Lord left, and again united, I moved my hand down so that I began to come back down to where my body was. It was at this time that a curious phenomenon occurred. As I now had my hand moved down, moving back down to again enter into my body from space, my body’s hand was still moved up as previously, to have me go up. As I rejoined with my body, the strangest feeling happened regarding my hand. It was as if moving my hand down when it was already down, for my spiritual hand was already down, and my body’s hand was up. This felt so strange, and it puzzled me to a great degree.
When I again was in the presence of the councilor, he continued on as he was, and he then suggested to me that we say a prayer. He asked if I would have him or I say the prayer. I said him. We then closed our eyes and he began. It wasn’t long into the prayer when he suddenly stopped and said to me, “Shane, do you know that there is fire all around you?” I said, “No.” He said, “Yes, that’s why I stopped praying.”
Then as he continued, I kept sensing something off to my left which was troubling to me. The councilor prompted me and said, “Don’t worry, they are angry, but they can’t hurt you.” I then ignored these evil spirits, and they went away, now having no more power to be in me, or even around me as powerfully as before. With this gift which gladly took place, my recovery was now on a more even playing battleground, and I was able to begin to make some real progress.
I was recently graced by the presence of a young man in a situation where we had the opportunity to have a pretty good sized conversion. While in the interest of getting to know each other, he happened to confide in me of a challenge he faces. That of homosexuality. This young man had been faithfully doing his best to fulfill a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, when his companion stole a peak at his journal, and discovered this about him.
After being sent home, this young man felt frustrated and confused. We talked about this same church’s doctrine of the reality of him having an eternal and divine nature, which includes gender. We have always existed, and have always been, either male or female.
I told him that his spirit, who he really is, is, and always has been male. I helped him understand that this particular trial was not him, but his fallen body.
I exorted him to not let his body defeat him, but to overcome and be victorious. I told him that he, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, could change the nature of his body, so that it wouldn’t trouble him in this way anymore. I also told him that he could have the true desires of his heart, that of family, as he had related to me. I gave him proper praise for choosing not to act out on his bodily trials, and I believe and hope I made a good difference for him.
It was nice to meet this individual’s acquaintance, and give counsel I felt was appropriate. God speed friend.