JacoJohnson

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About JacoJohnson

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  1. JacoJohnson

    Mormon concept of hell

    D & C 76:89 And thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding; In the temple we are told that the telestial kingdom is equivalent to the world we now live in. Why the contradiction b/t the temple and the verse above?
  2. JacoJohnson

    Mormons and Gays

    Oh ok, that makes more sense. Although I would say there is a fine line here - sometimes hard not to have lustful thoughts about people you find attractive and I would think that MOST people have had lustful thoughts about someone other than their spouse, at some point.
  3. JacoJohnson

    Mormons and Gays

    Hi All, I have another question that I'm struggling with. According to our website www.mormonsandgays.com we are told that to have same sex attraction is not itself a sin but acting on it is. My question is what do Elder Oaks and Elder Christofferson mean by "attraction." I thought that having a sexual attraction to anyone aside from our spouse was a sin? (Jesus - To lust after another woman is to commit adultery in your heart). Are they speaking of a lesser kind of attraction and does such a thing exist? Please help. Thanks, JJ
  4. JacoJohnson

    Mormon concept of hell

    Hi all, I've been a member for my whole life and have always struggled with our religion's concept of spirit prison on who goes there. I'm struggling because I have several good friends of other faiths who are more devout than I am, probably more righteous, provide more service, more faith, etc. From what I've been taught, these people (who actually have been contacted by the missionaries and "rejected" mormonism) will go to hell/spirit prison. Spirit prison from what I understand, is hell. According to Alma 40: 12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow. 13 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil. 14 Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection. To ME this says that my friends will go paradise after they die. HOWEVER, we are taught that those who do not accept the restored gospel in this life will go to prison (hell). According to the Gospel Principles manual: "Spirit PrisonThe Apostle Peter referred to the postmortal spirit world as a prison, which it is for some (see 1 Peter 3:18–20). In the spirit prison are the spirits of those who have not yet received the gospel of Jesus Christ. These spirits have agency and may be enticed by both good and evil. If they accept the gospel and the ordinances performed for them in the temples, they may leave the spirit prison and dwell in paradise. Also in the spirit prison are those who rejected the gospel after it was preached to them either on earth or in the spirit prison. These spirits suffer in a condition known as hell. They have removed themselves from the mercy of Jesus Christ, who said, “Behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; but if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit” (D&C 19:16–18). After suffering for their sins, they will be allowed, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, to inherit the lowest degree of glory, which is the telestial kingdom." So what I'm trying to understand is why my friend should go to hell (spirit prison) after having lived such a good life and why not paradise ? Is prison divided up into those who suffer "hell" and those who are simply waiting to be taught and if so why does not Alma describe such a condition instead of just describing the suffering? My other concern about mormon theology is that I feel like we as members feel like everything will be well after we all die because EVERYONE (except sons of perdition) will be resurrected to a kingdom of glory. I feel like because of this understanding we get apathetic towards missionary work ("I can just baptize them after they die") because everything will work out, so to speak. God will beat the wicked in prison with a "few stripes" but afterwards the wicked will be saved in the telestial kingdom, a kingdom of glory beyond anything we can imagine (or is it? The temple describes this world as the telestial kingdom). With that attitude where is the urgency that we are expected to have to share the gospel ("warn our neighbor")? A baptist friend of mine almost fell over when I told him we believe that most everyone goes to heaven. However, after his reaction I went back and read Alma's words and realized that we do believe in hell but we call it spirit prison. So, I'm confused. Any thoughts? JJ
  5. JacoJohnson

    How do I bring this up??

    You can do it! Like others have said he's there to help. More teens (and adults) struggle with this in the church than we know. One Bishop I know said that he had dozens of people in his ward of 150-200 who were struggling with this. So it's not like it's something he hasn't heard before or will be at all shocked by. You'll feel a lot better after confession. Good luck you can do it.
  6. So my wife felt really compelled to try homeschooling our 10 year old daughter this year for various reasons. While we are happy overall with the school district she felt like our 10 year old (who probably has undiagnosed social anxiety) would benefit from more 1:1 interaction, teaching and love. Our daughter was very set on doing homeschooling and my wife was fully prepared with the curriculum and all. We even notified the superintendent to tell him we were homeschooling. Anyway, so our daughter gets a card in the mail from her new teacher telling her how excited she is for her to come to school (the teacher didn't yet know we opted for homeschool) and all of the fun things she has planned this year. A day later our daughter comes to us and says she's prayed about homeschooling and "feels really strongly" that she should attend public school this year instead. My wife and I were both really impressed that she felt like God was directing her in this matter. She said "My heart was really pounding." My question is if this is truly a revelation from God then why did my wife feel strongly to move towards homeschooling our daughter? Is this conflicting revelation or a new development in God's plan? Could either one be wrong? From my side when we first considered homeschooling back earlier this year I was against it because I felt like my daughter was sort of escaping her anxiety/fear by avoiding school. I thought it would be good to "face" those fears and keep attending school..continue with therapy (she gets therapy once a month, no medications though). However, with passing of time I thought homeschooling could be good and started to feel good about it. Any advice on how to proceed? Thanks! JJ
  7. JacoJohnson

    Depression and church callings

    Thanks all for your comments and support. I have actually been taking citalopram (anti-depressant) since I had my panic attack/break down several years ago. I honestly don't know how I managed life without it prior to that time as I've always had an anxious/nervous disposition and the meds have helped me to mellow out a lot since then. I'm really thankful for that medicine! One thing that I did over the weekend was read a lot about George Albert Smith. It gave me some hope knowing that as an apostle he was essentially bedridden for 3 years at one time because of depression. He battled with this for all of his life but still was able to function in his calling. So I'm leaning towards trying to stay in this calling, "Let go and let God" and just take it one day at a time. At least that's what I'm thinking for now...
  8. JacoJohnson

    Depression and church callings

    That's interesting you mention the overactive sympathetic nervous system. I actually had hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating, especially in the hands) which I believe is also a symptom of the overactive nerves. This worsened when in ANY social situation especially when hand shakes were anticipated. I actually had a surgery done just before my mission to correct it (Thankfully it was covered by insurance) and I can now shake hands with confidence, write without getting papers soaking wet with sweat, and play instruments! Things I couldn't do before surgery. Thanks for your comments.
  9. JacoJohnson

    Depression and church callings

    When I was first called I was very humbled because I didn't think I would be called. When the calling was extended to me I told the stake pres. counselor that I had a lot on my plate - 5 kids ages 2 to 12, working 55 hours per week in my job, watching my kids while my wife works and just trying to do basic stuff in the church like home teaching (which I wasn't usually able to accomplish). What makes me feel anxious and depressed? To be quite honest one thing that makes me anxious is I like to have control in my life. When I was in graduate school I felt like I had no control for those 3 years. At that time we had 3 small kids, very little income and I was called to serve in YM and EQ presidencies (not at the same time) where the presidents were not available or reliable and I felt like the programs suffered. After school and once I got through my panic attacks, I felt like I had some control. For example,before being called I had a set time frame in mind when I would advance in my career and get certified in my specialty field. I also wanted to be moved out of our small apartment and into a home where we could have some space and breathing room. I wanted to have all this done by this summer. The bishopric calling effectively eliminates study time because I'm too stressed thinking about bishopricing and all that needs to be done to move the Lord's work along that I no longer have study time. Less study time means not certifying until 1-2 years from now and waiting even longer to get out this cramped up apt. We would move somewhere else but my kids would literally die because they don't want to leave their friends at school and we can't afford any house in this school district. Moving out of the district would be appealing because it would get me out of the calling and get us into a larger place however I don't want to dissapoint my kids. I don't think I would mind staying in this apt. or district longer if I had not been called. So knowing that I could relieve some stress by moving into a larger well staffed ward makes me want to move out of the district. So I'm probably being selfish but at the same time I feel like my kids could make new friends in another district just fine but they don't think so. Another downside to moving out of the district is that it's one of the best in the nation (hence higher home prices) and moving out would put us in a very good, but not "top notch," district. So there are a lot of dynamics and I'm having some trouble thinking clearly on this.
  10. JacoJohnson

    Depression and church callings

    The other part of this is my patriarchal blessing states I was "foreordained to leadership and greatness." Leadership to me means serving in these more visible, public callings. It's pretty daunting and terrifying to read. If I could just be "cured" I could do it :-)
  11. JacoJohnson

    Depression and church callings

    Thanks everyone for the advice. I think I am going to schedule a follow-up with my doctor. I too really liked Elder Holland's talk I just still feel like there is still that stigma that holds me back from getting more help. I also like the suggestion from Irishcolleen about having a hobby to focus on and providing service.
  12. JacoJohnson

    Depression and church callings

    Hello, I'm writing this post to both "get this off my chest" and to get advice. First some background info: I served a mission some years ago and struggled with undiagnosed anxiety/mild depression. I was still able to function as a missionary but found the daily routines and social demands to be so great that towards the end of my mission I cried often due to stress/depression. So I really struggled with dailiy functioning. I never mentioned this to anyone, not even my companions, for fear of decreased acceptance or even rejection. I also thought that maybe I wasn’t being mentally faithful. Fast forward several years and I just graduated from college (struggled there as well) and moved with my family to a new city to take my first job out of college. Due to the slow hiring process with this company it took several months to get hired. During this time we had very little income and depended on assistance from the government and the church. When I finally did start my job I experienced some light “hazing.” The hazing threw me “over the edge” and I had my wife take me to the ER because I was having panic attacks/major depressive episodes. So I was finally officially diagnosed with panic disorder and dysthymia (mild chronic depression). With meds, therapy, and priesthood blessings I made a recovery such that my psychiatrist said that the panic disorder and dysthymia were in remission. Fast forward again to earlier this year. I got a calling to serve in a bishopric and one of the things that gives me a lot of stress are meetings and public speaking. As you know, in the bishopric you do a lot of both. I felt like the call was inspired and that God can help me do this calling but I’m struggling again with the feelings of depression, inadequacy, and anxiety. I’m still functioning but feeling miserable. I can’t pinpoint what the source of these feelings are. I am reading my scriptures, exercising, and both seem to help. I don’t like asking for help and would feel bad going to a priesthood leader to discuss these issues because 1) I don’t know who to speak with and 2) I know how busy priesthood leaders are and don’t want to place any more burden on them than what they already have. Anyone struggled with this or have any advice? Thank you!