Here you will find holistic health in Latter-Day-Saint language. Who knew that prophets have spoken about these principles?! This site is about whole person healing and shares what I learned in searching to help my daughter w/ depression, anxiety & bipolar (and later on my son w/ Lyme Disease & co-infections.)


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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Turn a ‘Mess’ into a Message with the "Praise Principle”

“The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out [toward heaven],’ How could you do this to me?' 
“Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers. 'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied. 
The Moral of This Story: It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.”  (I wish I knew the author to credit them.)

That ‘islander’ had a paradigm shift about his little hut on fire. My feelings have also changed concerning two children’s chronic illnesses and other trials in my life.  At first, I felt like my ill daughter was a victim of poor genetics. I even wondered at times if we were somehow forgotten by God.  When one of my children was a victim of a violent crime, I really went down into despair.  

Back then, I did not realize fully that the Atonement could reach out and bless my tender heart at that moment and the next day, and the next. Studying spiritual re-patterning,
or energy healing has shown me that Jesus Christ's atonement can help with broken hearts and other emotions felt in suffering life's difficulties. 

“Some church members feel weighed down with discouragement about the circumstances of their personal lives, even when they are making sustained and admirable efforts,” said Elder Hafen.  “Frequently, these feelings of self-disappointment come not from wrongdoing, but from stresses for which they may not be fully to blame.  The atonement of Jesus Christ applies to all of life.  The Savior’s atonement is thus portrayed as the healing power not only for sin, but also for carelessness, inadequacy, and all mortal bitterness.  The Atonement is not just for sinners.” (Beauty for Ashes, Ensign, Apr 1997, 39)   Since depression filled days of despair years ago, I have learned a variety of ways to access healing power from the Atonement. One method called the “Praise Principle” involves perspective, gratitude, prayer and praise. 

Elder Maxwell encourages us to see our challenges and to pray with an eternal perspective. “If God chooses to teach us the things we most need to learn because he loves us, and if he seeks to tame our souls and gentle us in the way we most need to be tamed and most need to be gentled, it follows that he will customize the challenges he gives us and individualize them so that we will be prepared for life in a better world… We must pray, therefore, not that things be taken from us, but that God's will be accomplished through us.  What, therefore, may seem now to be mere unconnected pieces of tile will someday, when we look back, take form and pattern, and we will realize that God was making a mosaic. For there is in each of our lives this kind of divine design, this pattern, this purpose that is in the process of becoming, which is continually before the Lord but which for us, looking forward, is sometimes perplexing…. “(But For a Small Moment”, Sep 1 1974, BYU Fireside, emphasis added)    

Having the right perspective can calm our hearts. M. Catherine Thomas, a BYU professor and one of my favorite authors explains, "It is how we interpret what is happening to us that either liberates us or imprisons us.  If we interpret what is happening as something that should not be happening, and we can’t change it, then we will suffer.  If we can accept that which-cannot-be-changed as a reflection of what God would have unfold, then we can have peace.”  (Light in the Wilderness, 23)

In addition to perspective, gratitude can help bring us peace. Focusing on what is going right, instead of dwelling on struggles is health advice according to mind-body medicine and scripture. “President Kimball told of giving a woman a priesthood blessing and telling her that she would be healed of a malady.  A few weeks later, the woman came back, angry that she hadn’t yet been healed. President Kimball responded: ‘Now I understand why you have not been blessed.  You must be patient, do your part, and express gratitude for the smallest improvement noted.’  She repented, did as he counseled and was eventually healed.  We should express constant gratitude for even the smallest increment of blessing.” (Mary Jane Woolger, “What I Have Learned about Mighty Prayer,” Ensign, Dec. 2006, 54) 

I was deeply affected by Elder Dallin H. Oak’s talk “Give Thanks in All Things” where he said, “The revelations, for which we are grateful, show that we should even give thanks for our afflictions because they turn our hearts to God and give us opportunities to prepare for what God would have us become.” (Ensign, May 2003) Paul says, ”For my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly, therefore, will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore, I take pleasures in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”  (2 Cor. 12: 9-10).  It was difficult at first to even mouth words of thanks for heavy burdens, but I started thanking anyhow. In the beginning, I said the words but only half-heartedly believed them.  It felt like “chewing on concrete.” I was missing part of the praise principle process that I use now. 

 James Cox teaches a recorded course on learning the Savior’s thought patterns and he explains the previous scripture  in 2 Corinthians well. “As one expands his capacity to feel sorrow, he is also expanding his capacity to feel joy, and his capacity to feel God’s perfect love.  As one takes this sorrow unto the spiritual word and is willing to go through it out of the love he feels for the Savior and Heavenly Father, the healing begins. . . . By thanking Heavenly Father for the adversity [it] changes our focus from the temporal [world.]… With a spiritual focus the Lord will ask if we are willing to go through this for Him.  As we think of what the Savior went through for our sins, it helps us to be willing to go through [adversity] for Him.  As we endure the pain and suffering for Him, we are transferring the pain to the spiritual world where the powers of heaven will help us to endure and overcome.” (James Cox, Becoming Spiritually Centered 76,79)  Elder Maxwell said it may be true (in some way we don’t understand) that the cavity which suffering carves into our souls will one day also be our receptacle for joy. (see “But For a Small Moment”, Sep 1 1974, BYU Fireside)

Marion G. Romney points out that God told the pioneers to praise Him when they were suffering the greatest!   This is advice to us, too, though hard doctrine, until one has experienced its blessings. I am amazed by what heroes in the scriptures do when it seems ‘huts’ have gone up in flames or under in floods.  They do things that would NOT come naturally without focusing on the Savior.  James 1:2 admonishes, “Count it all joy when ye fall into many afflictions.”  As Enoch saw the flood victims of Noah’s day he had bitterness of soul and said “I will refuse to be comforted.”  The Lord’s advice to him at that point in time is revealing.  It applies today. The Lord said to Enoch: “Lift up your heart, and be glad: and look.” Then He showed Enoch Christ’s atonement. 

There are other examples in the scriptures. Paul and Silas were thrown into prison and locked up in chains. At midnight they weren’t looking for pity, they were singing praises to God - and the prison doors opened. Nephi was tied up on a ship by his own brothers for days until his wrists and ankles were very swollen. The account says, “I did look unto my God and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.” (1 Nephi 18:16)  The converted Lamanites praised God in the very act of perishing under the sword. (Alma 24:23) I ask, is there a pattern here?!  I aspire to live more often in the attitude of forgiveness, gratitude and praise.

President Brigham Young taught, “Some hold grudges for a lifetime, unaware that courageously forgiving those who have wronged us is wholesome and therapeutic…. The Savior has offered to all of us a precious peace through his atonement, but this can come only as we are willing to cast out negative feelings of anger, spite, or revenge.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, ed John A. Widtsoe, (1954), 345.  quoted in Ensign, April 2007, 68,69) I teach my clients that it is one thing to forgive past trials, but quite another to express gratitude for going through the most difficult times we have ever had. I believe that whenever God gives us a challenge, He also has a gift for us in its hands. It is up to us to find the silver lining, the precious lessons, in the storms of our lives.

The Holy Ghost prompted me to take a class about praise from Judy Dunston of Saratoga Springs, UT.  Judy’s personal example of applying the Praise principle in various challenging times with her children were inspiring.  She teaches 4 practical steps that enable a person to praise in all things. Judy gave me permission to share these in my book Healing Arts-A Gift from God.  The principles she teaches are “1. Release judgment of what is going on currently.  2. See it as perfect for your learning.  3. Praise God for the event just as it is.  4. Turn this burden over to the Savior with gratitude for the learning.”  I feel this is similar to a modern day apostle telling us,  “The most profound relief waits to be claimed: our afflictions can be ‘swallowed up in the joy of Christ.’ Alma 31:38.” (Neal A. Maxwell, "If Thou Endure It Well," 3) I could finally see the wisdom in even our worst trials by praising God for them. Beyond forgiving the past, and being grateful for lessons we learned,  I believe it is exhibiting even higher consciousness to praise God for those heart wrenching experiences. Praising God in all things is a very high level of consciousness. (see David Hawkins, Power Vs. Force which has a chart titled "The Map of Consciousness.")

Learning to better and more quickly live the Praise Principle over the last few years has given me hope when I felt hope was gone.  It has saved me in very scary moments – the ones that take your breath (and life force/light of Christ/breath of life) away.   At those times we can pray in faith, giving gratitude for the hard lesson upon us, and give our burden to the Savior.  I have asked the Lord to take my burdens with gratitude and praise for the priceless learning I trust that I will gain with time.  I learned that in those moments that challenge us most, we can rely on this principle to give us hope again. 

My friend, Kathy Truman, took Cliff and Judy Dunston’s “Praise Principles” class at the 2013 LDS Holistic Living Conference. Kathy wrote down her difficult life experiences and then turned them around, giving praise to the Lord for them. I was deeply touched by reading the harsh life experiences she had turned into expressions of gratitude.  I felt inspired by her example. Being a type 2 (4) (from Carol Tuttle’s It’s Just My Nature),  I made a template of how my  friend Kathy did that. Before I share that, let me introduce you to someone else I know.  First, the ‘bad’ news, and then the good news.

This woman had a daughter who was riddled with excessive anxiety, chronic depression and a diagnosis of mental illness. Her daughter was cutting and repeatedly suicidal.  For years there were 911 phone calls, police in her home, and trips to the emergency room.  The mother tried to protect her other children from the worst chaos.  However, the turmoil threatened to tear her family apart.  Another teenage daughter moved out of the home for a time in order to bear threats to safety and the roller coaster of emotional outbreaks. Adding stress, particularly to the father, was the family’s health insurance which refused to pay a dime toward any of the ill daughter’s expensive hospitalizations,
As if the illness wasn’t enough, the ill teen was also the victim of a violent crime and suffered post traumatic stress from the abuse afterward.

Years later, one of her sons suddenly became ill and doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong. An Energy Medicine machine found Lyme frequencies in his body, but doctors scoffed and said chronic Lyme didn’t exist and that such infections were not obtained in the state of Utah.  The family had trouble finding a doctor willing to test for Lyme disease. A clinical diagnosis was made and blood tests showed the co-infection Mycoplasma. For all the effort, the son still suffered in a recliner for over half a year without enough energy to even play a video game.

This nearly adult son finally admitted he had been exposed to something traumatic in grade school. The mother faced this sudden news and admitted addiction along with pained wonder at how the depth of emotional abuse he endured had escaped her observation.  This son moved out and sought relief by experimenting with substance abuse which led to hospitalization. 

The woman’s husband, the only breadwinner for the family, suddenly lost his job 3 times.
Not 1 of the woman’s 3 sons served a mission which was a heavy burden on her mother heart. One of her adult children was surrounded by an anti-Mormon environment from co-workers and left the religion that was so dear to her behind.

After 6 years of being off psychiatric meds, her daughter’s bipolar pattern resurfaced as post partum psychosis after childbirth. The adversary worked hard to convince this woman that such a setback was reason enough not to publish her stories sharing the integrative help they had found so beneficial for bipolar and other issues all those years previous.

Some people wondered if this woman was into something 'evil' because of her work in integrative health.  Her mentor in energy healing was falsely accused of the same type of things and called into her ecclesiastical leaders offices for investigation.  Other like minded friends who also experienced these kinds of complaints had experiences that did not always end as nicely as her mentor’s experience had with profuse apologies and heartfelt expressions of gratitude for dedicated, Christlike service.

This person is me.  The reason I shared the bad news is to testify of the miracle of God’s hand in my little family’s life and of “THE good news” of the Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am a witness of His love. I believe God is endeavoring to teach me that I can choose to experience and feel gratitude and even praise in all things.

A.  Praise God that I had a daughter with bipolar because it brought me to my knees, seeking answers and fasting often to learn truth.  I found out that God truly does know and love His children individually for answers came one line at a time to help that daughter.  I praise God for this illness for it taught me that forgiveness is a healing principle that affects bodies physically and that we could use forgiveness purposefully for that intent. I praise God for experiencing bipolar in our home because it led us to energy healing which later taught me how to assist in relieving the emotional pain of my family and others.  Unconventional answers in this field of medicine that surfaced to help one daughter, eventually blessed hundreds of other people’s lives!  Praise God I learned to have gratitude in all things because of this illness. Praise God for bipolar because it opened my eyes to the reality of opposition in all things:  God’s light was real and so was darkness from the adversary.  Praise God I learned how powerful men and women can be against this darkness. I praise God for very difficult times that taught me by experience that faith is a mighty power! I am grateful this illness taught me I could help my daughter and others with spiritual re-patterning at a distance. Today this brings days of extreme joy helping others that I would have otherwise missed. 

 B. Praise God two of my children experienced abuse because it taught us deeply of the ability of Jesus Christ’s atonement to remove personal suffering and trapped trauma.  Praise the Lord that we learned the power of having an eye of faith because of these trials. I learned that what I initially thought would be a useless process -- that of ‘mere’  imagery –- was actually very powerful. The imagery used was of being in a garden with the Savior and giving Him all of my deep grief, heartache and pain. That imagery work, in reality, brought waves of pulsing color and peaceful, forgiving feelings that have stayed with me ever since.  Praise God that now I can testify that Christ truly does swallow up our sorrows in His love.  Praise God for abuse because through it we learned the atonement is for far more than just sins alone!  The atonement offers us ongoing rescue and respite from  unwanted emotions, memories, feelings and thoughts. Because of trials, I have some beginning understandings of how my Savior’s light – the Light of Christ – is allowed more brightly in our lives. I've been so blessed by studying the integrative field of energy healing! It has educated me on the need to release trapped trauma and unresolved emotions from our bodies and differing methods on how to go about doing that.  I am grateful that this complementary medicine also teaches a person to prevent the need for future "emotional release" by living at a high level of consciousness, so as to avoid creating similar patterns again.

C. Praise God my son dealt with Lyme disease because it taught us about even deeper levels of healing.  It taught us to be grateful for energy medicine machines such as ASYRA which immediately found the frequency of Lyme in my son’s body when traditional medicine continued to be mystified.  Praise God for Lyme because it taught us of the power of Constitutional Homeopathy and Radionics to rid his body of toxins and pathogens. We are grateful for another platform to share the marvelous blessings of energy medicine with others. Lyme taught us to express praise in the midst of hard things and shorten the time it took to see the Lord’s hand in our lives.  This afforded us “aha” moments earlier on in trials.  We praise the Lord for illnesses that better prepare us to meet Him again.  Elder Hales said, “Sometimes we don’t understand death, illness, mental and physical disabilities, personal tragedies, war and other conflict.  Some of them are a necessary part of our mortal probation.  Others, as Enoch foresaw, are part of the preparation for the Savior’s Second Coming.”  (Ensign, May 2003 p 18) I feel there is so much truth in that apostolic statement that I can trust it fully concerning mystifying illnesses like Lyme Disease and brain disorders labeled mental illness that afflict ever younger ages.   

D.  Praise God for issues with addiction for it taught my son to turn to the Savior in all things.  I am grateful I had the learning experience of praying to experience mighty faith like Alma the Elder who prayed in faith for his son to be "brought to a knowledge of the truth."  Having this experience taught me love versus judgment and increased empathy and humility.  Praise God for the struggles of my children that taught me there is no disgrace in having suffered, in having been labeled, in having been addicted or heartbroken or sorrowful or misjudged. We are not our ‘stories.’ We are beloved children of the most High who are learning important lessons along our way. Praise God for addiction issues because I learned on a deeper level the power of spiritual gifts and a deeper level of trust in spiritual promptings and the wisdom of heeding them immediately. I am grateful this trial taught me about Maurice Harker’s book and work teaching Christ centered addiction prevention and recovery.  Like my book, he teaches of the adversary’s involvement in modern day issues. Praise God I have learned that I allow the Savior’s love and light in a greater or lesser degree inside and around me by the words I speak and allow to repeat in my mind.  What a blessing to have learned that when mindful and expressing higher consciousness, I feel a real difference in my body.

E. Praise God we lost our sole source of income repeatedly and had to live off of our food storage and savings more than once because it reinforced the importance of following the living prophet’s counsel to stay out of debt and store food and supplies to be prepared for the future.  We are grateful to be able to live peacefully in troubled times and aspire to be the calm in the eye of the storm, even while chaos swirls all around.

F. Praise God my sons didn’t or couldn’t go on missions because it taught me to desire a new heart. It taught me not to judge others or their challenges. Praise be to God for allowing me these priceless learning lessons – for I understand now that we are more than our experiences.  I praise the Lord for this opportunity to learn  sensitivity and that there are all kinds of missions being served by valiant young people who might not wear outward name tags.  Other servants of the Lord are tagged on the 'inside' by hearts written on by the spirit. Their missions are as diverse as their faces. Some have known the darkness and yet choose to stand and be warriors for Jesus Christ. Praise God that difficult parenting moments have helped me to develop a deep, abiding faith in God and trust in His plans and His timing, and a knowledge that my children have a powerful Savior who is more powerful than their problems and weaknesses.

G. Praise God one of my sons left the church because it affords me opportunities for spiritual growth. I've come to understand that my children’s choices do not reflect my ability as a parent, but agency.  Praise God I am allowing my children their agency and putting my trust in the Savior for I have a covenant relationship with Him. God IS LOVE – and He loves in all things!  He ALLOWS for agency and I can too while continuing to love my wayward son. Praise God for this opportunity to learn to extend invitations in love and to learn of love’s greater power than emotions tied more closely to force.  Praise God for another chance to use the Praise Principle, to rely on the Savior to take this burden, and to envision the power of God working in my family. Praise God for trials which bring practice in assurance and confidence to trust in God – now, and during future prophesied calamities that will precede our Savior Jesus Christ’s return to this earth as King of Kings!

H. Praise God my daughter experienced a bipolar pattern again with postpartum psychosis after giving birth for it provided opportunities to be taught other paradigm shifting solutions for mental illness. We learned of another LDS family’s amazing, God-given insight into the brain, mental illness and also addictions! Praise God my daughter thought she could go without this other family's supplement (Q96) for a time - for her choice taught all of us how powerful that inspired micronutrient for brain health really is. I praise God for a driving need to understand more about the physical body level, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, pro-biotics, and minerals connection to Chi. I'm grateful we learned how having confidence in both God and ourselves can affect the physical level through Vibrational Medicine and Radionics for I had marginalized energy work’s power to affect people physically and had mostly concentrated on its mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits. 

I.  Praise God that my mentor was hauled in to her Stake Presidents office for it stirred in me a great desire to seek and search in depth for truths regarding forms of healing arts.  Without my mentor undergoing this extremely hard time, I may not have had the motivation to learn that there are examples of all sorts of alternative healing methods in the Bible and validation for them in modern scripture and the words of prophets.  Praise God that I know today because of trials, of the healing arts – of energy healing and emotional release,  hands-on-healing, long-distance healing, vibrational healing and generational healing…  I think of all the families who lives would not have been blessed by energy work and phone sessions without my mentor’s sacrifice.  Praise God her example has blessed a multitude of people’s lives today! In the end her trial brought more clarity!

I know the bitterness of life can be perceived this way for each of us through the marvelous Atonement of our Savior! Praising God in all things opens effectual doors to miracles in our lives. I have experienced them.  Through the Atonement we can be made whole. With the Savior’s help, we can learn to be thankful even for our trials.

 “Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future experience. Often we can’t see the Lord’s hand in our lives until long after trials have passed. Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future opportunity, understanding, and happiness.” (Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Continue in Patience," Ensign , May, 2010, 58)  I have lived that and have also experienced understanding the blessings of trials in their midst by living the Praise Principle. Past unhappiness can reap future joys.  I experience joy now because of the trials I went through.

I have had wonderful wounds to make me the person I am today. I aspire to praise the Lord for each one of them. Jesus Christ’s atonement offers incredible hope in our day to day lives.  The Lord has already felt our pain and is willing to carry our burdens. I am blessed by using the praise principle’s practical steps to access the Savior’s rescue of me.  I am grateful to have learned that my little hut “catching fire” really can be a signal that summons the grace of God. I testify of the miracles of God! 

Only the Messiah can turn a Mess into a Message, A Test into a Testimony, A Victim into Victorious.  Praise Him!



(Template included here.)

Let me introduce you to someone I know.  She/he was (list trials).

A._______________________________________________________________________________
 ________________________________________________________________________________.

B._______________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________.

C._______________________________________________________________________________
 ________________________________________________________________________________.

D._______________________________________________________________________________
 ________________________________________________________________________________.

E._______________________________________________________________________________
 ________________________________________________________________________________.

F._______________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________.


This person is me.  

Summarize or expound on each concept above. Realize how it made you a better person, (more empathetic, more apt to fall on your knees in prayer, strengthened your testimony...) taught you something, or provided an opportunity to develop a new quality. Discover what God's purpose may be for that event in your life.)


A. Praise God I was  ________________________________________________________because
________________________________________________________________________________.

B. Praise God I ____________________________________________________________because
________________________________________________________________________________.

C. Praise God _____________________________________________________________because
________________________________________________________________________________.

D. Praise God I was ________________________________________________________because
________________________________________________________________________________.

E. Praise God I ____________________________________________________________because
________________________________________________________________________________.

F. Praise God _____________________________________________________________because
________________________________________________________________________________.

1 comment:

Tawny Stephens said...

How I needed to hear this today. I'm so glad I listened and read. Thank you Tamara for the great goodness if your heart that is so inspiring to me. Love ya!