Mental Health Myths

Religious LDS culture has historically struggled to find a place for matters of mental health and depression as it dovetails with our mortal experience and our theology.

As a result, many members may be unsure of how we as a people stand with respect to issues of depression, anxiety, and other common mental health issues.

Elder Alexander B. Morrison writes: “I assure you that Latter-day Saints are in no way exempt from the burden of mental illness, either as victim, caregiver, family member, or friend. In every ward and stake, there are severely depressed men and women; elderly people with failing memories and reduced intellectual capacities; youth or adults struggling to escape the dark specter of suicide; persons of all ages, both sexes, and every walk of life, who exhibit aberrant, even bizarre behavior.”

Using Elder Morrison’s book “Valley of Sorrows” as a backdrop resource, Brian Murdock, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and LDS Perspectives host Nick Galieti begin their discussion by debunking common myths about mental health issues.

Murdock then addresses the topic of clinical depression: what depression is, and what it isn’t. He offers some insights to consider for people who are currently suffering from depression, as well as to those who are interacting with those experiencing clinical depression. This episode also offers some practical advice for bishops, or other members of the church who want to help those with depression.

This episode is a great introduction and survey of the subject of one of the most common mental health issues we find in our society.

Access mental health resources mentioned in this episode at LDS Perspectives Podcast.

Henry B. Eyring: Renaissance of Happy Marriage

EyringI’m sure you’ve seen by now that Tuesday, Pres. Henry B. Eyring spoke at the Vatican Summit on Marriage. This was a historic event, and one that I hope all members of the Church take note of. It was the first time a member of the First Presidency has met the Pope, and it was also historic in that people of many faiths have gathered to talk and teach about the importance of marriage and families to society.

The full transcript of Pres. Eyring’s remarks are (here) and the video of his remarks is (here).

I am a bit of a word-hound. I notice words in sentences and how they function to impart the meaning of the sentence. I am particularly keen on action verbs, as those usually invite us to do something or show how something was done. I’m going to share a few of these calls to action that popped out at me.

2 Nephi 2. 25Pres. Eyring began by stating he was there to, “give evidence that a man and a woman, united in marriage, have a transcendent power to create happiness for themselves, for their family, and for the people around them.” He was giving evidence that we are meant to be in families, and that families should create happiness. Next he stated, “I am an eyewitness of the power of the union of a man and a woman in marriage to produce happiness for each other and for their family.” Here several words are important. First, the “power of union” that is found in a marriage. The verb here is “to unite.” We are to be united to produce happiness. We are to be happy and have joy. I have noticed the theme of joy lately being taught by many of our Church leaders. And we all are very familiar with Nephi’s declaration in 2 Nephi 2:11 that “Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy.” Even when things are not perfect, he encouraged us to strive for the ideal, despite slow outcomes and mocking from the world. Continue reading

The Most Sensational Summer! – A Family Summer


BigHappyFamilyThe Most Sensational Summer!  – A Family Summer

by Nicholeen Peck


There are some people who dread the day their children come home from school and stay for the Summer.  They know there will be fighting, whining, boredom, noise, late nights, and just general chaos.  This Summer break seems like a prison sentence for some mothers.  I’ve even known mothers who throw parties when their children return back to school.  Continue reading

15 Minute Miracle-An Old Trick For Solving Modern Day Family Problems

15 Minute Miracle -An Old Trick For Solving Modern Day Family Problems

by Nicholeen Peck

How many times do we need to be promised that if we would just schedule one night a week for family night, or read and pray daily as a family that our family relationships and over-all Spirit of the home will change before we actually do it?

Or, maybe better questions are why don’t we consistently have family prayer and scripture study, and  why do we seem to keep forgetting it’s family night until after it’s too late to actually have an activity?

Why?  Because we are not in the habit of living deliberately.

Deliberate is one of my favorite words.  It means living on purpose.  In my mind it actually means living for purpose.  We all have a purpose in this life and sometimes day to day living can distract us from our purpose.

Christ’s purpose was to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”  If we have taken His name upon us as saints and disciples of Him, then that is also our purpose.  We can’t do all He did for us, but we can bring people to Him.  To do this we have to start by bringing ourselves to Him for His purposes.

How often should we bring ourselves to Christ?  We are pretty good at bringing ourselves to Him each week for regular church worship.  But, many of us struggle to bring ourselves to Him each day in family prayer and scripture study.  Why can we get up on Sunday, even though we stayed up too late on Saturday, but we can’t consistently wake up 15 minutes earlier each day to do family scripture study?

Why?  Because church starts at a certain time.  Simple.  People perform for deadlines and time limits.  Since church starts at 9:00 am, we get up in enough time to get there by 9:00 am, no matter how tired we are.

We need to ‘on purpose’ schedule time for the other important things in our life too.  If we deliberately scheduled 15 or 20 minutes each day for prayer and family scripture study, we would leave our homes feeling the Spirit with us and with renewed family perspective and more harmonious familial relationships, as well as having conquered a morning victory to start the day.

Many of us set goals for what we want to incorporate into our family cultures, but for some reason these things we hope for often stay as goals and don’t get accomplished.  If we set a time for the goal to happen, then the possibility of the goal actually being accomplished dramatically goes up.

As an added bonus, the whole family takes responsibility instead of just Mom or Dad.  The children help to hold the family accountable for keeping or not keeping to the schedule.  Yes, setting an actual time is the key to helping the family become more self-governing regarding morning devotional.  Once you have set a time, then you have to make yourself get up, or slow down for a short minute.

Added Power For a Busy World

 Where does your power come from?  My power comes from living who it is God intended me to be.  So, if I am a mother and wife, then my power comes from living that role.  If I am a father and husband, then living that divine role will also give me the strength and happiness to do all that is required of me.

We must recognize where our power comes from, and the minimal amount of time it takes to get that power.  Is family unity worth 15 minutes?  It is for our family.  If we take time to gather for 15 minutes each day to pray, read and discuss the scriptures our family is unified and full of love.

Once I recognized that my day is totally different if we miss family devotional, I look at that time as important as eating breakfast or taking a shower.  It gives me power to lead, teach, understand, encourage, work, drive, and influence all day long.  Who could imagine that 15 minutes could do that?

Did you know that you can read two and a half pages of scripture in 15 minutes?

Attitude Problems During The Power Boost?

I hear some of you saying that during that time there is only contention and selfishness.  Don’t worry, I know what that is like too.  When I was a teenager, I was the one at the kitchen table being grumpy and having an attitude problem during family devotional.  My parents didn’t know what to do with me.

Children can learn self-government.  They can learn to follow instructions and disagree appropriately if they have a problem.  And families can create a culture where children feel understood while also teaching them self-discipline.  Don’t give up.

What Time Is Best? 

One family I heard of had a 6:00 rule to keep them focused on family time and prayer.  Every day at 6:00 they would all stop what they were doing, gather together in the family room and pray and read scriptures.  This happened at 6:00 am and 6:00 pm.  Even if visitors were over, the family observed the 6:00 rule, inviting guests to join them in prayer and scripture time.

Set a time for daily family time, and make it sacred.  Nothing can interfere.  Do the same with Monday night family night. Set the time for say 7:00 and then you won’t forget.  Just saying Monday is family night is not enough.  Setting the time 7:00 gives you something to stop for.

Some families feel mornings are best for family devotional.  Others prefer evenings.  If children are small, evenings seem to work okay.  But, if families have older children mornings generally work better for devotional because activities often happen during the evening hours.  Decide which will work best for you, then set a time.

Family Relationships 

The trick to repairing and improving family relationships is not complicated.  In fact, it is quite old.  Some call it time management, some call it focus.  I call it acting deliberately.  However, you look at it, scheduling time will change your family culture for the better, increase the love in your home and give you all the power you need to stand firm in the difficult days ahead.

Set a habit now, so that you can have family strength for the future.

Visit Nicholeen Peck’s Blog For Articles, Books and Classes Designed to Help Your Family Learn Self-Government.     

A Mighty Change Of Heart – Solving Common Relationship Problems For Good!



By Nicholeen Peck


 Common Relationship Problems


 “Nicholeen, I feel really bad about saying this, but I really don’t like being around my sister.”  a friend said to me one day.   “She drives me crazy.  I wish she could just make good choices for herself.  It’s like she can’t see clearly at all.”  my friend explained.


 “I really shouldn’t feel this way about her.  She’s my sister.  But, really all I do is bail her out of problems.  Actually, that is usually when I hear from her; when she has a problem.  What should I do?  Is there any way I can help her get some sense?  Or, should I just keep my distance from her?” Continue reading