A few months ago, I read a book written by a man who has struggled with obsessive-compulsive disorder his entire life. (I just wish I could remember the title and the author.) I read his description of the anxiety that underlay his compulsive behaviors and I empathized to a certain extent because I was struggling with anxiety at that time.
Then man shared a number of principles that he had to remind himself of often to deal with his obsessive-compulsion, and I really resonated with them. I could see that at bottom, they were part of the gospel.
I think they are worth sharing.
13 Principles for Building Belief in the Face of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD)
1. Choose to see the Universe as friendly. God is in charge, and the Universe is the friend and servant of God.
8 For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God.
9 Yea, behold at his voice do the hills and the mountains tremble and quake.
10 And by the power of his voice they are broken up, and become smooth, yea, even like unto a valley.
11 Yea, by the power of his voice doth the whole earth shake;
12 Yea, by the power of his voice, do the foundations rock, even to the very center.
13 Yea, and if he say unto the earth—Move—it is moved.
14 Yea, if he say unto the earth—Thou shalt go back, that it lengthen out the day for many hours—it is done;
15 And thus, according to his word the earth goeth back, and it appeareth unto man that the sun standeth still; yea, and behold, this is so; for surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun. (Helaman 12:8-15)
2. Affirm your divine potential and infinite worth.
Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; (D&C 19:10)
For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)
28 They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened.
29 Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness. (D&C 88:28-29)
3. Resolve to keep sight of the big picture
Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18)
20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.
22 He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.
23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.
24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.
25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them. (2 Nephi 4:20-25)
4. Accept and let go of what you can’t control. Let it go into the hands of God and the Universe.
5 ¶Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
When Joseph went to Carthage to deliver himself up to the pretended requirements of the law, two or three days previous to his assassination, he said: “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me—he was murdered in cold blood.” (D&C 135:4)
5. Allow for bigger plans than your own to unfold. Think, “This or something better.”
Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men; (D&C 3:3)
And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls. (Alma 37:7)
And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will. (Words of Mormon 1:7)
For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled. (Mormon 8:22)
6. Picture Possibility. Use your imagination to visualize the end you want.
And he shall be led in paths where the poisonous serpent cannot lay hold upon his heel, and he shall mount up in the imagination of his thoughts as upon eagles’ wings. (D&C 124:99)
28 And when [Jesus] was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.
29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. (Matthew 9:28-29)
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (Hebrews 11:13)
7. Embrace the possibility of every moment.
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. (Mark 9:23)
8. Direct your attention and choose what you pay attention to.
For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart? (Mosiah 5:13)
36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day. (Alma 37:36-37)
33 Therefore let the church take heed and pray always, lest they fall into temptation; (D&C 20:33)
…cast away your idle thoughts… (D&C 88:69)
How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! (Psalms 139:17)
9. Notice the abundance given to you from the abundance of God by counting your blessings
For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof. (1 Cor. 10:26)
For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things (D&C 104:17)
And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell? (Alma 26:2)
And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind. (2 Nephi 5:11)
And now, because of the steadiness of the church they began to be exceedingly rich, having abundance of all things whatsoever they stood in need—an abundance of flocks and herds, and fatlings of every kind, and also abundance of grain, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things, and abundance of silk and fine-twined linen, and all manner of good homely cloth. (Alma 1:29)
Who could have supposed that our God would have been so merciful as to have snatched us from our awful, sinful, and polluted state? (Alma 26:17)
Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name. (Alma 26:35)
Oliver Cowdery describes these events thus: “These were days never to be forgotten—to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom! (Joseph Smith History 1:75, footnote)
10. Go through the motions and act.
All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence. (D&C 93:30)
27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
28 For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.(D&C 58:27-28)
Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other. (2 Nephi 2:16)
Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life. (2 Nephi 10:23)
And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me. (Moroni 7:33)
11. Act to empower yourself and serve the Lord, not to assuage FUD.
Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! (D&C 128:22)
Wherefore, as ye are agents, ye are on the Lord’s errand; and whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord is the Lord’s business. (D&C 64:29)
36 The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.
37 Light and truth forsake that evil one. (D&C 93:30)
12. Resolve to put your commitments and covenants ahead of your comfort.
And thus ye shall become instructed in the law of my church, and be sanctified by that which ye have received, and ye shall bind yourselves to act in all holiness before me— (D&C 43:9)
8 Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me.
9 For I, the Lord, will cause them to bring forth as a very fruitful tree which is planted in a goodly land, by a pure stream, that yieldeth much precious fruit. (D&C 97:8-9)
13. Use purpose and service to overcome FUD.
Now they wept because of the fear of being slain. Now when Ammon saw this his heart was swollen within him with joy; for, said he, I will show forth my power unto these my fellow-servants, or the power which is in me, in restoring these flocks unto the king, that I may win the hearts of these my fellow-servants, that I may lead them to believe in my words. (Alma 17:29)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)
Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. (Alma 56:47)
I have to remind myself of these principles from time to time, and they have helped me. I hope they can help you too.