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Dear Gramps,

What you wrote about depression doesn’t seem to make sense to me. First off we didn’t have medication for depression until our present day. Doesn’t that show you people who existed before this medication dealt with it in another way? Wouldn’t Christ’s atonement and spirit be a better substitute than relying on a chemical daily? If you could please explain that would be great.

Stetson, from Gilbert, Arizona

 

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Dear Stetson,

You are absolutely right. Before our medication approach to depression it was indeed handled in another way. In the first place, depression was not very well understood, and severely depressed persons were diagnosed as being insane, and were placed in insane asylums–usually for the remainder of their lives.

The Savior’s great sacrifice did not atone for illness, but for sin. So relying on the Savior’s atonement to cure one of depression just wouldn’t work. However, having faith in the power of the Savior to heal illness would and does indeed work. Healing the sick by the power of the priesthood is a very common procedure in the Mormon church. But it is always accompanied by the faith the person being healed and the faith of those who administer to the person. From the Doctrine & Covenants we read—

And again, to some it is given to have faith to be healed; And to others it is given to have faith to heal. (Doctrine &Covenants 46:19-20)

Gramps

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