Elder Holland on Mental and Emotional Illness


Benjamin Franklin’s epitaph


Several excellent talks today during the two general sessions of conference.  I was very grateful to hear Elder Jeffrey Holland’s remarks about mental and emotional illness.  Having spent many (sometimes heartbreaking and difficult) hours counseling with members of the Church who suffer from such challenges, I loved his message of hope and understanding.  And, like him, I take enormous comfort in the doctrine of a glorious resurrection.  Not only the obvious physical ailments and disfigurations will be cured.



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  • Ben Tanner


  • Elizabeth Scott

    This truly was a beautiful message. Thanks for keeping us informed, Dan.

  • mike

    I appreciated his reference to George Albert Smith’s history of mental illness and to his own experience with depression. He helped humanize an issue that is sometimes kept in the dark.

  • David_Naas

    While it is true that Elder Holland said nothing “new” in regards the Church’s advocacy for those with problems (a search of Ensign back issues will demonstrate that), I love the way he said it.

  • Bernard_Gui

    This talk will bring hope to many of us who struggle with mental illness. I wish I had heard this 50 years ago.

  • RaymondSwenson

    Elder Holland’s messages are solid handholds along the iron rod.

    I am grateful for this message, because there are still some Latter-day Saints who have no direct experience with mental illness among those who are close to them, and think that it is caused by some mental or moral failure. I know of a young BYU student who had to withdraw from school for a time due to a severe anxiety disorder. One of his instructors insisted on giving him a grade of “Withdrawn Failing” because her father had told her that it is your own fault if you have a mental illness. The BYU administration fixed that problem. I hope that Elder Holland’s words will prompt reflection and repentance and more charity among such people.

    I have stood in the old cemetery near Independence Hall and read those words from Franklin’s modest tombstone. They deserve to be shared more widely whenever we teach our children about his contributions to the founding of the United States of America.