Conceptions of God
By man4healing
12/28/2012 11:34:48 PM
I was listening earlier to an SA conference tape I have -- the topic had to do with replacing old ideas about God with new ones. The man who was speaking was pretty much summing up my own addict beliefs about God -- very angry, distant, prone to leave me, a "checklist" God, one I have to work my rear off to please (and if I don't, look out!), etc. You get the idea.

This is something I have heard over and over in SA -- different members in the program telling me that my God (or at least my view) of God has got to go, because I won't ever be able to surrender to someone like that.

Where I run into problem is -- most of my beliefs about God come from the church. The church presents a very justice-exacting, checklist-type god. Do all the rules, follow all the commandments, OR ELSE. And he will surely be there on judgement day with his clipboard, and all the stuff we didn't do, or didn't do right, will be all laid out. "Mercy cannot rob justice" (how often do we hear that one?) The general conference talks we hear on the subject of pornography (and all sexual sin) are all about how terrible it is, how it falls into the category of the "sin next to murder," how those who have problems with such things are horrible, rotten, ought to be ashamed of themselves, and if it's not overcome will be thrown into hell. All that stuff. How it wrecks marriages, makes one unworthy (that word we love to use to shame people), etc. Also, just a general idea (independent of pornography) of the super-duper high requirements for salvation -- so high we'll barely make it to begin with -- which means I don't have a snowball's chance.

It's all very depressing. As I said to a counselor of mine a couple weeks ago, if you are going to have an addiction, this is NOT the church to be in. We are NOT known for our ideas about grace or God's love. We *are* known for perfectionistic, do-it-yourself salvation.

I almost feel at times as though I need to leave the church in order to recover/heal, because it's message tends to be one of a fear-based approach towards salvation. All about the punishment for NOT recovering, which often makes me panic because I better not dare die until this is FIXED (Yes I once had a bishop actually say that to me).

Truth be told, I don't think ANY of the apostles, including President Monson, understand addiction at all. Pornography and sexual sin is repeatedly called a "spiritual" or "moral" problem, which has undertones of those who engage in it and can't stop as being morally weak, depraved, etc. Recovery literature -- and even addiction science (brain chemistry, etc) is so much more understanding (for lack of a better word) of what is REALLY going on.


I used to believe the way you do.    
"I am a lifelong addict. I have been in recovery for 9 years, I have been serving as a missionary in the Church's PASG program for the last 8 years. I would highly suggest a book "clean hands pure heart" by phil Harrision. The first few chapters talk about firing your concept of God. Our chruch does not preach it very well, but does believe in the absolute doctrine of GRACE, early in my recovery I tried to find where the Brethern were preaching the opposite but could not find any of their teachings or doctrine against grace. Our church does focus on works, and not near enough on grace, I guess they figure that too many would rely on grace and forget works. The scriptures talk about coming to Christ to become clean NOT clean yourself up first and then come to Christ. For us in addiction we cannot perform good enough to merit help based on works and obedience. I am sure that works will unlock blessings down the road, but for the beginning of recovery, forget works, merit, obedience. Focus on the grace of Christ he will help because he is good, not us, repentance is a come as you are party in all our filth we can come to him and feel of his love. Do not let scriptures get twisted by Satan, or let him skew the character of Our Father and Elder Brother. I know our church seems to be populated by a museum of Saints instead of a hospital of sick and aflicted sinners who are in desperate need of Christ.

Please try to find the book, I think that they even have those chapters available for free to look at. Many years ago that book was our official text for the pasg program while the arp program used "He did Deliver me From Bondage" also a good book.

if you cannot find the book let me know I have links on a site that I have put together to store all the information that has helped me over the years the site is

Hang in there
your brother
posted at 11:08:13 on December 29, 2012 by harveyf
I feel the same way    
"Thanks Man for spelling out the way I am feeling also. I have also read the Clean Hands, Pure Heart parts that Harvey mentions. Those are good to read and when I do I feel a bit of hope. But my question is why are those voices in the minority?

I agree that the leaders do not understand addiction. I think they are getting better since I first started dealing with this and seeing Bishops - I've seen more of counsel from bishops to seek out spiritual sources (temple, sacrament, etc.) to help battle this rather than punishing (no sacrament until you're clean), but that's about it. I get the same answers - more scripture reading, FHE, family and personal prayer, etc.

I was told by my current bishop that I didn't understand the BofM scripture that says we are saved by grace "after all we can do." I interpreted it literally - we try our best and then God picks up the rest. He says that grace is always there, but I have no idea what that means. He said I have received grace because my wife and kids are still with me. Ok, fine. But what about overcoming this addiction? I have not felt any grace in making progress.

Sometimes I feel so "cliched" when I'm counseled. I've visited with so many bishops and counselors that I hear the same things over and over. I've also wondered if I need to be outside the church to feel what other faiths do. I'm currently disfellowshipped so I also feel doubly betrayed - not getting help from God and now kicked out."
posted at 09:10:37 on December 30, 2012 by yosemitesam
Step 2    
"Yes, throw out your past conception of "God" and ask yourself what attributes you would LIKE in a God of your own understanding. List these on a piece of paper. Mine included attributes like, "unconditionally forgiving" , "understanding", "loving", etc.

As you go about working the rest of the 12 Steps, you will come to realize that there really is NOTHING that is in conflict with an LDS teaching of our Heavenly Father.

I came to realize that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about Grace. As addicts, we are "sick". We of all religions seem to believe in the ultimate power of the Atonement. It doesn't seem like it with all the church discipline that goes on but that discipline is for the administration of the church and does not make statements on our ultimate salvation. That is left up to our Creator, who know our hearts. I think that is something we each need to find out for ourselves and working the 12 Steps gave me a better understanding of Grace and repentance than the church did by itself."
posted at 10:19:41 on December 30, 2012 by Anonymous
35+ years in addiction and an active member    
"If prayer,scripture study, and chruch attendance worked , most of us would be cured already. I am convinced that recovery is almost impossiable without the basics but I am just as convinved that these alone will not cure us. I have met with countless bishops and get the same pat answer with doing the above, along with "don't do that no more". I love that biships are now offering real help by getting them some real help like a 12 step group, I am partial to the pasg program, I have had seen such miracles in my group, me being the biggest one.
I hid my double life for decades, I was the most active, most faithful and dependable, and serving person I could be. I was trying to pay for my secret life, I had a lot to make up for. I do not know to this day who got me caught God or Satan, but caught I was. I was forced into the light and had to deal with this addiction or lose my family. I got to attend the very first pasg group meeting here in Las Vegas, early in 2005 I think, and I have been going ever since. I am a firm advocate of the Church's program, it has lots of flaws, and it will until it is solely under the direction of the Priesthood and not lds family services. My concept of Saved by grace after all we can do is: Christ wants to be there at the beginning, be there during our best efforts and be there to pick us up when we fall. He does not want us to do anything on our own, but with his help. My greastest strengh is knowing how weak I am and how much I need the Savior. I feel for those in the church not getting the help from our leaders, even here in a place with over 80 missionaries not including facilitators and one of the strongest programs out there, we still have 50 percent of the Stakes in the Las Vegas Valley NOT participating in any way. My rant is over, I am thankful for the help that is available and for places to get help like this online forum. I send everyone I can here to this site. There is alot of help both inside and outside the church, Christ will help without merit, without obedience, without church membership, he will help, it is so easy to get discouraged especially in our church where no blessings will come forth without obedience. In most cases that is true, but for addicts grace rules, help without merit is what I testify to.

I love coming here, I can relate to most frustrations"
posted at 15:44:02 on December 30, 2012 by harveyf
His Grace is sufficent By Brad Willcox    
"I love this talk, and it has helped me unwind some of my perfectionist ideas... We can understand God's love more clearly when we apply this talk."
posted at 17:04:35 on December 30, 2012 by Gondor44646
try reading "believing Christ"    
"We are saved by grace. End of story. Our God is one of mercy who forgives us as much as we need. We do ourselves a disservice in the church on this subject. I think its because we all judge each others public personas. "
posted at 22:56:39 on December 30, 2012 by Anonymous
Sadhu. Agreed. Amen.    
"Man!,4healing you nailed my feelings exactly. For better or for worse it sure is nice to know you're not alone.

I quit going to church because I was sick of having to filter everything I heard/saw/felt to fit what I thought was spiritually/emotionally healthy. I grew tired of having to convince myself over and over that doctrinally we believed in grace. Everything aside from pure doctrine (as I interpreted it which interpretation is dubious at best :) ) seemed to conflict with what I thought would be sound health promoting paradigms. So, I quit. I don't give a damn what the church believes doctrinally. I only care what I internalize truly via my participation. And it wasn't the doctrine. It was self abuse. Perfectionism. Work out your own salvation bla bla etc...I'm screwed. I believe i'm the one to blame for assuming that position however I decided if I was only going to allow myself to feel resentment when I went to church on Sunday better I just not go. If I was my Father I'd tell myself the same thing. "Come back to the dinner table when you can have a good attitude."

Oh and also I don't think you could be more accurate in your assessment of the brain science. Starting (significantly in this generation at least) with Freud we begin making concessions to the growing body of evidence that not every mal-adaption was a moral weakness. And the broad claims of "bad" behavior do to moral weakness keeps getting more and more narrow as it continues to be reduced and refined more and more to it's physical components. I have great faith in the future of medicine and the science of the brain and behavior. Especially as we move further and further away from the distraction of moral judgment and closer and closer to the science of the brain. That's just one mans faith though. I could be totally wrong."
posted at 12:04:39 on December 31, 2012 by they_speak
The Peacegiver    
"I agree that so many of us in the church feel that we have to do all we can before the Lord will step in to help. I am learning more and more that this just isn't the case at all. Like Anonymou said "We are saved by grace. End of story! " Can I recommend the book "The Peacegiver" by James L. Ferrell. It has given me a greater understanding of the Atonement and how we are saved by grace."
posted at 15:26:52 on December 31, 2012 by Anonymous
In response to "Kick it"    
"I appreciate your, as you call it, brutal honesty. This is one of a few places where an honest and open exchange about all this can actually happen, and I welcome it.

There is some truth to what you say -- you bet I'm angry. You mentioned your childhood. I take it you meant that your childhood was less than perfect and possibly created breeding ground for addiction? If that isn't what you meant I don't mean to put words in your mouth; feel free to clarify. Along those same lines, yes I am angry. I'm angry that everything worked out the way it has for me to become a sex addict. (A very long story and chain of events that I won't go into, but abuse is involved).

And yes, you're right that I'm angry at God (and the church) as well. And here's why. You see, I'm not all of a sudden trying to stop this addiction out of nowhere. Granted it's only been in the past 2 years or so that I have opened up to the idea of 12-Step or anything like that, but I've been "trying" to stop this addiction as best as I have known how, for a total of 13 years. Yes, 13. And during those 13 years, I *have* humbled myself before God. I've cried enough tears in prayer before him to fill an ocean, begging for help. Cried so much my body hurt. I've fasted to the point of getting sick. I've had so many priesthood blessings (specifically about this problem) that I've lost count. When able, I've spent several days in a row, all day, in the temple, sobbing in the celestial room for God to heal me. Not to mention a very long list of workshops, retreats/seminars, books, therapy/counselors, counsel with 12 different bishops and 6 stake presidents. Let me ask you -- or anyone who reads this -- if all this is not enough to move God in my favor, then what is left? I don't think my frustration is unmerited. For some reason I do not understand, God remains silent in my life with regards to this issue. And yes, that is extremely frustrating."
posted at 01:29:06 on January 1, 2013 by man4healing
Kick it...    
"You're a scrotum. But I agree, you do make a terrible counselor.

-B.H. (Brutally Honest)"
posted at 01:36:15 on January 1, 2013 by Anonymous
I am an active member of the church    
"But I have had to put the church aside. I still go, pay tithing, and serve in a calling, but when it comes to addiction recovery and family support, I have not found much in the church. Some have and bless those leaders for following the Lord. For me there has been much shame and much shame placed upon my family.

I follow the Lord, The SA recovery, and have a counselor who is of another faith and it is much more helpful than anything I can find in any of the LDS referred programs. If any LDS programs are helping you, I am very happy for you and your family. I needed something real and something that holds me accountable to God and it just so happens to be outside the usual LDS circles.

My testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ is solid, but as I see it, the church has much denial to overcome before it or it's BYU trained counselors can help someone find their way out of porn. People are ready to drop the FAKEness and get real."
posted at 03:40:29 on January 1, 2013 by Anonymous
Kick it    
"Originally I said some unkind things. But then I thought "maybe this guy actually knows as much as he puts on". Who knows?, I haven't seen you around here. Maybe I can learn from you even if you do come across as an arrogant know nothing jester. So, Kick It, why do you ask "why are you even trying?"? You say that you're being brutally honest but that seems passive aggressive and I've never known passive aggressive to be an honest open disclosure of anything. Can you enlighten me? Will you tell me more about steps 1 through 7? Will you tell me how I'm using my anger to justify my addiction? How did you get brutally honest about what was behind your addiction? What was behind your addiction? What happened in your childhood? Can you expound on what is a "typical" opinion about God among those who don't want to quit and feel sorry for themselves? How do you figure a person does or does not want to quit? How do you figure someone feels sorry for themselves? Should we be ashamed when we feel sorry for ourselves? What do you mean duped by the world? How do you figure you were ever anything like me at all what so ever? What makes you think I don't get on my knees? What do you mean about Heavenly Father humbling me? Apparently you know something about getting humbled and how un-fun it is? You think counselors fail to be honest? That they fluff things up and sugar coat them? I think that covers all my curiosity.

May I suggest choosing your words wisely. Remember, if life hold true to Book of Mormon form those of us who have been "duped by the world" can be pretty crafty with words. Wouldn't want to try catching you in a snare and force you to humble me like Zeezrom. So do us both a favor and be thoughtful."
posted at 04:01:40 on January 1, 2013 by they_speak
"Man4healing, have you ever read the Bhagavad Gita? Was it you a few months back that I said it sounded like you took a page out of my journal? Your list of things you've done to lick thee ol' addiction is similar to mine. So are your frustrations. I've been studying and practicing an principle emphasized in Buddhism and Hinduism; non-attatchment. One angle of it is that we be not attached to the out come of our efforts. Kind of like "let go and let God". From a 12 step prospective it has added a TON of dimension to step 1, 2, and 3 for me.

Maybe it's just me but I've come to realize part of my problem, and please don't think I'm pointing the finger at you, but my problem I've realized is I get so wrapped up (here's the funny irony and full circle back to our original point) in what I've done that I forget to just trust it to God. I make my list: "What about that time I went for a full week with nothing but water and tried to read the whole book of mormon while praying at the same time like Joseph Smith when he translated the scriptures???". "What about how today I did all my dailies and called my sponsor and still fell???" "What about... What about... What about..." And it doesn't stop with morality. Oh no. Money/work. "I did everything I was suppose to. I studied. I worked. I put myself in the right place at the right time. And still you didn't help me pay off my house!". School? Yup. "All I ever prayed for growing up was to make my mom happy and proud. I tried. I tried. I tried. And I failed. WTF???" I used to even do it with skateboarding. "I've tried so hard! Why won't you bless me? My friends are so much better than me (in the end I was better :) ) and I try so much harder". Even video games. It's crazy. But I do. I think "Why? I'm following the laws upon which good gaming is predicated. Why do I suck!?" I think these things and get angry rather than just ruthlessly trusting in God and recognizing, as I'm coming to, that all "the things I've done" have been a great blessing in themselves and were worth doing with or without salvation...or a high KDR in Black Ops.

One last thing on the "after all we can do" note. Something happened this last semester that was interesting. I was reeling in my inadequacies like I sometimes do and getting upset with myself for not trying harder. I was sitting there when in mid, angry, thought I heard "you can only do your best". What was more interesting, and why I believe it was from God, is that with that simple statement sure intelligence came to into my being with it. And that light was this feeling of acceptance/understanding/comfort that "my best" was in fact not nor would it probably ever be perfect. And that that was okay. I could start right there where I was at and do "my best". My totally horrible best. I could never accept something so absurd on my own. God is a Wild Man. And you know what? I got a 4.0 for the first time since the semester off my mission. Did I do perfect? Hell no! But by hook and crook God earned me a 4.0! It was weird.

post script: about the 4.0. Here's the thing though, had I got a 1.5 I believe I would've had to be as cool with that, if I did "my best" as I am with good grades. I'm honestly coming to believe that I must learn the same art for the rest of my life. Morally. Spiritually. Financially. Etc. The fruit of my best effort is God's. I may plant. But he brings the rain...and drought. Sorry I don't know if any of that makes sense. I'm mostly talking to myself."
posted at 04:34:15 on January 1, 2013 by they_speak
So hard to figure out    
"Like many, I have "preached" before that we should be reading our scriptures and praying, daily and constantly for years. I have said that changes come gradually.

Most of us get the funny idea that if we "do enough," the Lord will swoop in and change us, erasing our problems in an instant. And we are very impatient when that instant doesn't happen when we are 15, or 25, or 35.

We have an entire LIFE given to us to figure out how to humble ourselves before our Maker, and for most of us, it will take our entire life.

Our actions do not and cannot save us. Our dailies will not call down God's grace and change us.

But, at the same time, I think we can be sure that if we are not humbly doing what the Lord has asked us to do, then we are not yet changed.

I love the comments on this thread. We must do our best, but that will never be "enough," and it will never be "perfect." We are perfected in Christ, when we simply move forward with life the best we can, trust Jesus, have faith in Christ, and leave everything up to him. Sometimes, it helps to just say, "Jesus, I can't solve that problem, so I'm not really going to try, and I'm not going to worry about it much. Instead, I know that I can do this...other thing, so I am going to work on that for a while. Will you please just take care of the things I can't, on your own time table, and I will trust you." Then, we should go about doing the things we CAN do, surrendering the things we can't to Him.

For me, almost everything I worry about is something I CAN'T solve or change. A score on a test. A deadline at work. A sickness in the family. All I can do is my best--study, go to work, pray, read scriptures, etc. I can still build a solid life, despite my problems and worries. I am not defined by those things--they aren't even in my control. I am defined by my faith that Christ will take care of those things in HIS own time and HIS own way, while I humbly do what I can to follow his example and the counsel of his servants. But my actions will NOT change me. He will."
posted at 12:35:40 on January 1, 2013 by beclean
I CAN be honest    
"I can't say it enough. One of the things that I, personally, AM in control of is how honest I am about my problems. I can't control that I will have temptations and problems. I can't control that I sometimes stumble and hurt other people. But I CAN control my honesty after I screw up.

I can honestly explain my problems, temptations, struggles, anger, and other feelings to the Lord in prayer.

I can honestly and immediately report to my sponsor, friend, wife, parents, and/or Bishop when I am tempted or struggling.

I can honestly and immediately confess my slip ups (in EVERY area of my life, not just my addiction) to my sponsor, friend, wife, parents, and/or Bishop.

I am in control of how honest I am, and for me, the Lord seems to bless me with strength to overcome the problems I CAN'T control when I choose to be completely open and honest.

Perhaps that's because I used to think I had to be perfect. I had to do everything right and put on a show for my family, my friends, and my ward. I had to be the perfect Mormon boy, Peter Priesthood. So, when I made a mistake, I would hide it with dishonesty--and my Priesthood and the Spirit would immediately evaporate ("Amen to the Priesthood"), leaving me alone to fight my battles. And I CANNOT fight my battles alone.

But I have found that the Priesthood and Spirit seem to return very quickly when I am open and honest, even if I have just recently sinned. The Lord doesn't expect me to be perfect. My wife, my friend, my sponsor, my parents, and my Bishop don't expect me to be perfect. No one expects me to be perfect. Why do I expect myself to be perfect?

I can honestly, openly admit that I AM NOT PERFECT! I make mistakes. Daily! Sometimes, I make terrible mistakes that hurt myself and others. I am powerless and not in control at times. I cannot manage my own life.

But, I can be honest about it. And that makes me feel REALLY good. I hope you'll try it, if you haven't already."
posted at 12:50:39 on January 1, 2013 by beclean
"The usual suspects are finally showing back up!"
posted at 15:12:15 on January 1, 2013 by Anonymous
Many good comments    
"I really appreciate all of the comments this thread has generated. What a hearty discussion.

As Anonymous said, I certainly agree that the church has a long way to go with regards to this issue. I know that God's authority is within the church (and in that sense the church is "true"), but there is also WAY too much posing and fakeness. So much is about image. (Do I have the perfect little Mormon image?) No one dares admit personally to any "big" issues like addiction, homosexuality, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, abortion, word of wisdom issues, etc. We'd all rather pretend we're perfect. I certainly don't speak for God, but I wonder were the Savior here, if he would not severely chastise us as a church for loving our self-righteous image of personal perfection more than embracing those who are struggling with sin.

We've heard enough talks by the GA's about how horrible pornography is, and what the consequences of it are, and the lovely little oft-repeated counsel "if you're involved with it, stop it!" Yep, we get the picture. What we addicts need to hear more of (and this is the part that I don't think the Brethren get), is how much God loves us, that there IS hope--and where to find it, and that if we are sincerely trying and we love God, that is good enough. We tend to skip over those parts of the scriptures that talk about prophets such as Nephi and Paul who struggled with sin. They weren't perfect, and God doesn't expect us to be either. That places an impossible burden on people.

Shifting gears. For the longest time, my goal was to "overcome" sex addiction so that I could be "worthy"-- so that nothing would impede my progress in the church, so that I could do the "Mormon thing" -- and so that God wouldn't hurl me into the burning pit upon my death. I am starting to see now, that sex addiction is its own punishment and that a much, much more important reason for wanting to overcome (or manage?) sex addiction is to find peace in my heart. Isn't that what life and existence is about? To find peace -- and joy? (Men are that they might have joy). Isn't that why sin is sin? Because it is contrary to eternal laws? Who cares about Mormon culture, image, people's opinions, and the idealistic BYU-bubble way of viewing everything."
posted at 15:22:12 on January 1, 2013 by man4healing
One other thing    
"At the end of the day, everything about life boils down to my relationship with God, my Father. The church at times presents itself (and some members view it) as the end-all-be-all. The goal in and of itself. That the only way to God is through the church (and what this one or that one says, or even what a bishop says). I've been on this journey of shifting this opinion for a while now, but I am really starting to embrace the idea more that the church is a vehicle. A means to an end. The church is (supposed to be) a congregation of Christ's people. Christ himself is the gatekeeper. He alone knows my heart."
posted at 15:27:26 on January 1, 2013 by man4healing
"For me this has turned to be one of the best threads I've been apart of on here. I haven't been getting rowdy on here as often lately but I think I needed this one. Glad I hoped on and took part. I feel genuinely more enlightened. It's clarified a lot that was already swirling around in my head. Thanks dudes"
posted at 19:05:45 on January 1, 2013 by they_speak
"that honesty bit, beclean. Damn son. You said it. What can I say more? Amen."
posted at 19:16:47 on January 1, 2013 by they_speak
kick it    
"Why do you seem to keep assuming what I and others think? No, I don't think that's impossible. Isn't that everyone's story give or take? Welcome to the site man.

P.s. I think you'll get along better if you come from a place of admitted ignorance about the people here and assume positive intent from them before you claim understanding. You came out guns blazin making assertions about people you don't even know. Not wise and certainly not indicative of the humility you suggested we are so in need of. If you know all about addiction having rapport among those you might school couldn't hurt. I look forward to hearing about your recovery."
posted at 14:49:46 on January 2, 2013 by they_speak
Oh my goodness...    
"Kick its wife. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do a little more research on schizophrenia. Your assumption is about 200 years out of date. It is NOT your daughter's fault that she has this disease of the brain. I cannot stress enough, it IS a disease of the BRAIN! It is not a moral weakness. She did not "open herself up to being possessed". It is an overproduction of dopamine in her brain and it can most likely be managed with medication.

I am trying to tread very lightly because I know that it is devastating for families that suffer along with someone with schizophrenia. But at the same time, I am appalled that this belief still persists in our community. I work with people that suffer from schizophrenia daily and in most cases it can be managed. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read "Surviving Schizophrenia" by E. Fuller Torrey. He is one of the foremost medical authorities and researchers in the field.

True humility cannot repel schizophrenia and it is most definitely NOT your daughters fault that she suffers from this. You are making sweeping assumptions about this disease that are downright dangerous to make. Please allow for the possibility that you may be misinterpreting what is going on with your daughter. I know there have been paranormal activities surrounding this disease. (And let me guess, they began to happen when your daughter was between the ages of 17-23) It is not what it appears. It is possible that evil spirits took advantage of a situation or two but your daughter's problem is not "being possessed by evil spirits". IT IS A DISEASE OF THE BRAIN."
posted at 20:54:06 on January 2, 2013 by Anonymous
Kick its wife...    
"I'm sorry. I may have misread your post. I was assuming you were saying your daughters schizophrenia was actually caused by evil spirits. I realize that you may not have been saying that at all. I am so sorry.

My heart goes out to you and your family. I think it is TERRIBLE that you have been mistreated by bishops and counselors. I really hope I did not add myself to that crowd. I have a special place in my heart for people that suffer from this debilitating illness because I lost someone close who committed suicide during a psychotic break. Please keep talking on this site. We are all a little rough around the edges but many of us have been mistreated, as well. We understand."
posted at 21:02:54 on January 2, 2013 by Anonymous

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"Brothers and sisters, stay on the straight and narrow path. No, stay in the middle of the straight and narrow path. Don't drift; don't wander; don't dabble; be careful. Remember, do not flirt with evil. Stay out of the devil's territory. Do not give Satan any home-field advantage. Living the commandments will bring you the happiness that too many look for in other places. "

— Larry W. Gibbons

General Conference October 2006