General Conference is always such a treat. I find that if I prepare myself mentally, I always find something of great value in nearly every talk. Many of the talks will speak to an issue that I am having. A select few might even give me chills as I sit in amazement at the love of a Heavenly Father who sends messages, often very specific to my own questions and concerns, to help me become a better version of myself.
One of my favorite speakers is Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. His messages, filled with passion and conviction, so often cut to the heart of sensitive matters. His latest General Conference address was no exception.
Had I ever known that Elder Holland once suffered through the “dark night” of depression? No I had not. But knowing that someone has felt even a part of what depression feels like comforts a fellow sufferer and weaves a connection between the two.
Depression, though not peculiar to our time, seems to me to be a trial characteristic of the last days. Whether it’s because of increased media influence or our hustle-and-bustle lifestyles, depression and many other mental and emotional disorders are a regular part of life. I have felt their impact both personally and by association. My own suffering in the past has been but a small taste of what I know others feel. And to know that others feel this nearly every moment of every day is a thought that makes me cringe and mourn for them.
Elder Holland addressed this topic with so much respect, compassion, and love. Any who suffer from depression or who have loved ones so afflicted should listen to this again and again. It offers so much empathy, understanding, and hope.
(Click on the picture to watch this stirring address, or visit http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/like-a-broken-vessel)