Dr. David T. Morgan: How to Avoid Overwhelming General Conference — Tips from a Licensed Psychologist


For some, the semiannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a joyful time. A weekend marked by delicious breakfasts, all-day pajamas, conference bingo, and other traditions. It is also a time of spiritual renewal as millions of people around the world, like King Benjamin’s people, will be taught by prophets and other church leaders.

However, general conference is a stressful time and can be guilt-inducing for some.It can be a stinging reminder of what they are no how and how a bit spiritual progress they have made. Some Church members may be tempted to avoid general conference for fear of evoking such feelings themselves, or to listen cautiously to the message in anticipation of the worst. .

However, the sister and brother leaders of the Church firmly believe that they do not intend to make their listeners feel that way. I am convinced that with a few adjustments in thinking and perception, feelings of overwhelm can be transformed into feelings of hope and encouragement. Here are her three suggestions for facilitating this process.

I think this suggestion is most important because it will not only help you throughout general conference weekend, but it will help you move forward in nearly every aspect of your life.

With few exceptions, We are our own worst critics. I know people who are very generous with the praise of others. They are always looking for the good in people. Every day they seek to “help the weak, lift up the hands that hang down, and strengthen the weak knees” (D&C 81:5). However, they are very critical when it comes to their own weaknesses and shortcomings.

If someone else made a mistake they say I’m sure they didn’t mean it. they were just doing their best. If they make the same mistake they say I am so stupid! I can’t get things right. This is a dramatic and unjustified disagreement. They are relentless in their support of others and equally relentless in self-deprecation. It’s an interesting paradox, but a very common one. Those who suffer from it can eventually fall into emotional pits of anxiety and depression, further complicating their ability to think positively.

Why is it difficult for some people to give themselves grace? I’m not sure. Perhaps we know ourselves so well and are acutely aware of our personal shortcomings that we are more likely to hold ourselves accountable than others. Growing up in an environment, I came to view myself mainly in negative terms over time.

Regardless of the origin of such patterns, the solution is the same. It is almost hidden in the second great commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).implicit There is a healthy self-love in this commandment. Certainly, this accusation does not mean that you can justifiably hate others just because you hate yourself. It assumes that we should treat others with kindness, acceptance, love and compassion. like we treat ourselves.

As we learn to love ourselves better, we grow in self-compassion and self-acceptance.

During general conference weekend, you may hear something that puts a spotlight on your weaknesses. Instead of leading with self-blame, say, “I know I am flawed, but I am trying to get better. You can strive every day in search of

You can also try to recognize the things you can change in life and the things you can’t. Try to focus your efforts on the areas you can control. I believe that when you give yourself grace and focus your efforts properly, hope and confidence are born instead of depression and anxiety.

Align your thoughts with reality

I have personally and professionally witnessed many things. many Relationship problems caused by what, not what was said was not told But it was estimated instead.

Here is an example. You show up late to your friend’s birthday party. Your friend will come over, say “thank you for coming” and resume interacting with the guest. Your friend just thanked you for attending and redid what normal people do at parties. But in my heart, I begin to add meaning and intent to what my friend says.

you think She’s probably angry that I was late. That’s why she didn’t tell me any more. As a result, distance yourself from your friends. She notices your behavior and She avoids me why would she do that? I have done nothing wrong. Excuse me. She will respond by giving you the cold shoulder. You notice her behavior and think: That’s rude! I tried so hard to come to her party, but now she gives me the cold shoulder. Because you left early, your friends speculate about your premature departure, and before long you two get into an altercation that weakens your friendship.

what happened? all the assumptions made in that silent exchange were wrongYour friends weren’t mad at you. You weren’t avoiding her. However, an unnecessary conflict arose based on a collective but inaccurate perception of reality.

How does this relate to general conference guilt? We encourage you not to make unsubstantiated guesses about what you think the speaker is saying “between the lines.” Remember they are speaking to a global audience. Their statements must be carefully crafted to apply to millions of listeners in a wide variety of situations. If a general conference speaker says something and you think, “That’s a personal, targeted criticism of me,” I’m simply wrong. The Holy Spirit sometimes pricks us and makes suggestions for improvement, but this is always done with love and compassion. Paul taught the Galatians, “The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faith” (Galatians 5:22).

As you increase the presence of the Holy Spirit in your mind and heart, you can create “thought filters” that help you see and perceive accurately. President Russell M. Nelson taught in his first general conference address as President of the Church: … If we are to have any hope of sifting through the myriad voices attacking truth and the philosophies of men, we must learn to receive revelation. … I ask you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation. … Choose to do the spiritual work necessary to enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost and hear the voice of the Spirit more often and clearly. ” Seek the Holy Spirit to come into your life so that your thoughts and perceptions are aligned with the truth.

As an adolescent, I had a summer job at a carrot processing plant. Harvested carrots were transported to the facility where they were sorted, washed, boxed and sold. Malformed or unsuitable carrots were placed on a separate conveyor belt and carried along the warehouse ceiling into giant bins.that is, they The usual Except that morning when I arrived, the conveyor belt was out of order, sending thousands of carrots to the warehouse floor.

The mountains were huge. Probably 30 feet tall and 100 feet in diameter. Some young workers were standing beside me looking out at a huge orange mountain. A foreman came up to us, pointed to a shovel and a rack of some bins, and said, “Please put away the carrots.” I must have misheard him. This was front-end loading his tractor job, not that of his six teenagers with puny shovels. But I hadn’t misheard him. We grabbed our shovels and went to work.

For the first hour, it seemed like there was no progress. The mountain looked as big as ever. By lunch we could see the fruits of our labor, but the mountain was still formidable. died.

Since then, I have pondered this experience and what it teaches about change. At first, the “carrot problem” seemed overwhelming. I was convinced that our joint efforts would not succeed. But all it took was a small, consistent effort. One shovel at a time he went over and over again and finally got rid of the problem.

General conference weekend is always accompanied by many invitations for personal change and improvement. This is a very important part of the meeting. We came to Earth to change and become more divine. Remaining stagnant is contrary to our divine purpose. So an invitation to change helps us move forward. Yet these invitations can feel overwhelming, as there is an insurmountable chasm between your current status and who you are invited to.

Can you suggest crossing such a chasm the way a carrot pile is removed? Consistent small efforts built up over days, weeks and years bring success. . This recipe is universally effective for making progress. The key is to be content with incremental gains. If we want to change everything tomorrow, we will be forever frustrated.

Bad habits are removed and good habits grow in their place (see James 5:65–66). Take time to make changes. Don’t be overwhelmed by the size of the problem. However, believe that applying consistent, diligent effort can eventually overcome the problem. And try to be content with your own efforts. It doesn’t matter how fast the person next to you is shoveling or how many carrots you get with one scoop. Shovel at your own pace. Take a break if necessary, then get back to work. Use wisdom and self-compassion to pace your progress.

I hope that your experience at general conference will be a wonderful one. I hope you learn to love yourself enough to avoid inappropriate self-blame. I hope the Spirit is with you to hear and understand the message as the Lord intended. And while God is willing to cheer you on, I hope that you are satisfied with your efforts to change and that you are making a small profit each day.





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