Dr. David Morgan received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Master of Science in Counseling and Guidance, and Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology, all from Brigham Young University. He has worked in the mental health field for more than 25 years and has been a licensed psychologist for almost 20 years. Dr. Morgan maintains a private psychology practice in Washington state. He is a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and currently serves as the elders quorum president in his ward.

Highlights

4:00 There are so many principles of the gospel that can help us with mental health
6:15 Alma 46 verse referencing physical health remedies: wouldn’t he have done the same for mental health? True principles founded in research and good psychological practice but also found in scripture
8:50 Six Gospel-Centered Principles

  1. Don’t worry about having anxiety
    • Some anxiety is good for us and helps improve our performance or gives us energy boosts; the problem comes when we have a chronic response to circumstances that are not dangerous
    • 12:30 It’s okay to have challenges and weaknesses; Ether 12:27: reach out for help; you are not broken or cursed
  2. 14:45 Understand diagnostic labels, but let the professionals determine what is going on
    • Diagnoses change as professional opinions change
    • Most mental health diagnoses are temporary
  3. 19:40 Realize the power of your thoughts
    • Our thoughts play a significant role in how we feel; scriptural example of the storm on the Sea of Galilee and the different reactions to it
    • 22:20 You can’t control everything that happens around you, but you can control what we think about those things
    • 24:20 “The challenge is closing the gap between our beliefs and the truth.”
  4. 26:00 Anxiety management involves confronting anxiety
    • Until you do the thing that is causing anxiety, you won’t know the result; not doing it reinforces the anxiety
    • “That wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.”
    • 29:50 Start with small steps: you become more tolerant and the anxiety lessens
  5. 31:30 Recognize anxiety as a means of building faith
    • Challenge exercises and strengthens our faith as we go through the process of growth
    • Parable of the talents; faith and fear are opposites and faith can replace anxiety
  6. 36:40 Be careful about what you feed your brain
    • The brain will respond and adapt to what we put into it
    • Our brains become better and better at what we do over and over
    • Find balance: the scriptures are full of the call to peace and faith, not anxiety
    • A gospel of action: Your brain can change and become better

44:00 Should members go to their church leaders or get professional help? It’s best to get as many people involved as possible when someone needs extra help dealing with mental health issues.

  • Church leaders aren’t therapists, but they can be a gateway to more help
  • 49:30 The bishop’s role in counseling is being minimized: elders quorum and Relief Society leaders can take much of the load off the bishop’s desk
  • 54:30 We are not alone: if we could see each other without pretence, we could relieve ourselves of the shame of struggling

  • You need to do everything that you have within your power to improve, and there is always something to do
  • Remaining static limits growth

1:08:20 Recognizing the Spirit and distinguishing it from our own thoughts is a subtle art that we can learn and develop; sometimes the Spirit is prompting us to do hard things and grow
1:11:30 Navigating anxiety focused on the Covid-19 pandemic: listen to the Spirit and be prayerful
1:16:20 Extend as much grace as possible to ourselves and to others

Links

Register to join the Mentally Healthy Saints Virtual Summit (link coming soon)
Stand Forever, by Lawrence E. Corbridge
ldspsychologist.com
Instagram: @ldspsychologist
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