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aspen

Can Faith and Anxiety be complimentary attributes?

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When reading an article today the topic of faith and anxiety in some cases being complimentary attributes was covered. What do you think? We are told to be anxiously engaged in a good cause. What cases is anxiety a strength when paired with faith?

Jacob 1

5. For because of faith and great anxiety, it truly had been made manifest unto us concerning our people, what things should happen unto them.

6. And we also had many revelations, and the spirit of much prophecy; wherefore, we knew of Christ and his kingdom, which should come.

 

When reading an article today the topic of faith and anxiety in some cases being complimentary attributes was covered. What do you think?  What cases is anxiety a strength when paired with faith?

 

Here's the link to the article if any of you are interested. 

https://scripturenotes.com/overcoming-fud-through-the-proper-application-of-anxiety

Edited by aspen

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22 minutes ago, aspen said:

When reading an article today the topic of faith and anxiety in some cases being complimentary attributes was covered. What do you think? We are told to be anxiously engaged in a good cause. What cases is anxiety a strength when paired with faith?

Jacob 1

5. For because of faith and great anxiety, it truly had been made manifest unto us concerning our people, what things should happen unto them.

6. And we also had many revelations, and the spirit of much prophecy; wherefore, we knew of Christ and his kingdom, which should come.

 

When reading an article today the topic of faith and anxiety in some cases being complimentary attributes was covered. What do you think?  What cases is anxiety a strength when paired with faith?

 

Here's the link to the article if any of you are interested. 

https://scripturenotes.com/overcoming-fud-through-the-proper-application-of-anxiety

Interesting question!

I think the answer to that is where the anxiety comes from. If the anxiety is stemmed from feelings of wanting to fit in, look good, keep up with the Jones’ or other similar aspects than no. Any kind of debilitating anxiety that needs help from therapists or medicine to be controlled is not linked to faith.

But anxiety over the salvation of our fellow man or our need to repent is linked to faith, though should it get out of hand and we cannot function due to it, I would say we are straying into unhealthy territory.

Edited by Fether

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14 minutes ago, aspen said:

When reading an article today the topic of faith and anxiety in some cases being complimentary attributes was covered. What do you think? We are told to be anxiously engaged in a good cause. What cases is anxiety a strength when paired with faith?

We need to look at more than one definition of a word when interpreting the meaning.

Quote

1. Greatly concerned or solicitous, respecting something future or unknown; being in painful suspense; applied to persons; as, to be anxious for the issue of a battle.

2. Full of solicitude; unquiet; applied to things; as anxious thoughts or labor.

3. Very careful; solicitous; as, anxious to please; anxious to commit no mistake.

 -- Webster's 1828 Dictionary

Quote

1. Full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune; greatly worried; solicitous:Her parents were anxious about her poor health.

2. Earnestly desirous; eager (usually followed by an infinitive or for):anxious to please; anxious for our happiness.

3. Attended with or showing solicitude or uneasiness:

 -- Dictionary.com

Understanding these definitions may help answer the question.  The bolded phrases refer to one type of "anxious".  The underlined phrases refer to a different type of "anxious."

I believe the bolded is used in the phrase "anxiously engaged in a good cause." This is clearly something related to faith.

I believe the underlined is what Jacob was saying.  I don't know if I'd call it "complementary."  I'd say it is more disease vs cure.  Anxiety (fear) may be a disease (or ailment) of the soul.  Faith is the cure. I believe the article even says as much.

Quote

6. Be careful [anxious as in full of cares] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

It says:

  • Don't be anxious.  (Don't worry about a thing).
  • Pray instead with thanksgiving.

So, certainly there is a relationship of some sort.  But "complementary"?  I'm not seeing it.

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I believe it all depends on how someone thinks of being anxious.   If by using anxious they mean to be willing and excited - then yes - I believe the two go together quite well.

But if someone thinks of anxiety to be more associated with fear - the two cannot go together any better than light and darkness.

 

The Traveler

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Guest LiterateParakeet

When I think of anxiety, I think of mental anguish.  I think it could go together with faith in the sense of Ether 12:27...by FAITH the Lord can help us overcome our weaknesses (i.e. anxiety).  

I used that scripture to work with the Lord to build faith and overcome a weakness. It was a wonderful experience. 

Another way I can see faith and anxiety (mental anguish) go together is by using prayer and scripture study as a form of mindfulness.  There is a great book that explains it well called The Power of Stillness: Mindfulness for Latter-day Saints. Mindfulness is great for anxiety.

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12 hours ago, aspen said:

When reading an article today the topic of faith and anxiety in some cases being complimentary attributes was covered. What do you think?  What cases is anxiety a strength when paired with faith?

Yes, anxiety is able to be complimentary with faith depending on the definition you use for anxiety (as has been pointed out by @Carborendum). I also like how Jacob later says the following (Jacob 4:18), "Behold, my beloved brethren, I will unfold this mystery unto you; if I do not, by any means, get shaken from my firmness in the Spirit, and stumble because of my over anxiety for you." (emphasis mine). Over anxiety is what I would consider heightened mental awareness where it entertains an increase in worry (the mind is no longer still).

Anxiety is a strength when it stems from a sincere earnest desire to build up the kingdom of God, or to serve our fellow brothers and sisters. As an individual that struggled with an over anxious personality I was grateful to know that my anxiety was not the issue, but when I allowed myself to become over anxious. It took me 4 years to overcome a level of over anxiety through the atonement. Little by little the Lord showed me how to strengthen this weakness.

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Difficult to say. Anxiety has driven me to do good things in the past. I get it whenever I am not totally scrupulous.

But it isn't a solid foundation. I have come to learn that my multiple scripture studies per day do me no good at all, because faith is not present when I'm acting out of fear.

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@Moonbeast32 I've had a similar experience with scriptures but I still push myself to read. If I can make it past 10 minutes the feeling usually calms down and I can enjoy scriptures a bit more.  What have you found that works for you?

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On 6/22/2020 at 8:08 AM, aspen said:

@Moonbeast32 I've had a similar experience with scriptures but I still push myself to read. If I can make it past 10 minutes the feeling usually calms down and I can enjoy scriptures a bit more.  What have you found that works for you?

Thought to respond to your question.  If I attempt to read the scriptures like a novel - I struggle with focus.  If I study the scriptures like I would a resource library for various subjects and look up the various contexts of words and phrases - I can get caught up and can spend hours forgetting about the time but I do not get much volume read - in essence it takes much longer to get from cover to cover.  I once read the scriptures checking all the references and footnotes and then making notes.  It took 10 years to complete the standard works and my notes are contained in two large bound journal volumes.  I have found those notes to be a great resource in subsequent studying.   I have found electronic study of scripture a wonderful use of technology.

For Bible study I have several versions of the Bible that I will compare for differences - Often I like to review textual criticism of various version of the Bible to also compare variant readings.  I  like to include the reading of the Study Helps - particularly the Topical Guide and Bible Dictionary.    I also find it enlightening to read the Hymn book and look up any references to scripture.  My least enjoyable means is to just read cover to cover.  Once while traveling (flying) to Asia I attempted to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover in one sitting.  I fell asleep in Alma and though attempting this more than once - have never completed the task.  I have no desire to continue this effort - but speed reading of scripture can open up new ideas and links of scripture that cannot be obtained any other way. 

 

The Traveler

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