Q&A: Questions and Answers


Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

Every now and then, I feel so bad. It seems like everything is going wrong, not just in my life but in the world. It feels like Satan is getting too strong. Is there anything I can do?

New Era

Think about the last time you felt really bad about something. Not the kind of pervasive “everything is bad” feeling described in the question asked here, but something specific. Like getting a bad grade on a test. Or hearing some bad news. Or having someone say something unkind to you. What did you do to make yourself feel better?

Helping yourself feel better about the world at large follows basically the same formula as feeling better about specific problems. Focus on the good, do what you can about the bad, and then just leave it alone. The earth is one of God’s creations, and, therefore, must be a good place to be. Remember to put things in an eternal perspective. When you’re doing what’s right, you’re on the side of our Heavenly Father, and no matter how bleak circumstances may get, He will always prevail. The discouragement you may be feeling is a trick that the adversary uses to get us to stop trying to do what’s right. So if you’re feeling down about the world, maybe you just need to adjust your perspective a bit. The challenge, of course, is that there are reminders everywhere of unpleasant things, while good things sometimes take some effort to find. Here are some tips to help you in your search for reasons to have hope in this life:

Read the scriptures. Feel like you need a pep talk? The scriptures are chock-full of statements about life being a time of joy (see 2 Ne. 2:25), a time of learning (see D&C 93:36), and a time to reach out to others in love (see John 13:34). To fully partake of these great parts of life, you must get rid of your fear (see 2 Tim. 1:7) by following the counsel found in the scriptures.

Watch less television. It is good to be informed and enjoy some entertainment, but a steady diet of television can give you a skewed and depressing perception of the world. Television’s focus often does not reflect the lives of many good people the world over who are living good lives and helping others. Be selective and wise about what you watch.

Develop healthy habits. A positive approach to physical health can sometimes help you keep a healthy outlook on life. Eat wholesome foods and get adequate rest and exercise. Follow the Word of Wisdom.

Make and keep good friends. The people you associate with are an important part of an uplifting environment. Make an effort to be the kind of person that good people want to be friends with.

Develop your God-given talents and abilities. Spending time making yourself a better person enables you to make a contribution to improving the world. It also keeps you busy so that you don’t have time to focus on things that are depressing.

Serve those less fortunate than you. It’s what the Savior taught us to do, and helping others and seeing their lives improve brings joy. Being around people who have hardships can sometimes help you see that your problems aren’t so bad. And sometimes you meet someone who has to deal with difficult situations and has learned to do so cheerfully.

Pray. Remember that Heavenly Father is your greatest ally and will always be willing to listen to your pleas for help.

Keep an eternal perspective. Remember that no matter how bleak things look, our Father in Heaven is in control. He will always guide us in finding solutions to our problems.

Readers

Remember that you are a child of God and that you can always turn to Him by kneeling and praying. Ask Heavenly Father to send the Holy Ghost to comfort and protect you. The Holy Ghost has helped me in many situations. Also, study your scriptures on a regular basis and you will feel better during the day.

Nathan Unck, 17 West Jordan, Utah

I think the best thing you can do to make the world a happier place is to try to forget the troubling issues of the world. Focus on the good aspects of life by making a special effort to brighten someone’s day. By helping others feel good, you’ll feel good, too.

Marnie Jeziorski, 13 Scottsdale, Arizona

I think you should kneel down and pray to our Heavenly Father and ask for guidance. Ask for the Spirit to be with you so that you won’t feel tempted by Satan.

Lucy Fauatea, 14 Waipahu, Hawaii

Try not to think about all the bad things in the world and focus on the good things instead. Sometimes when I’m feeling really rotten, I say a prayer. Our Heavenly Father loves us and will always listen to us.

Max Moreno, 14 West Jordan, Utah

Satan may be strong, but always remember that our Heavenly Father is stronger and always will be. As for the rest of the people in the world, it is up to us to be examples to them. Be sure to share the gospel at every opportunity so that others may also have a chance to find the right path.

Matthew Bundy, 16 Charlotte, North Carolina

Satan is strong, but he is never too strong. Just work on making your own little corner of the world brighter. Look for the positive, and soon you’ll feel better about things.

Anita Thompson, 14 East Wenatchee, Washington

We are getting closer to the Second Coming, so Satan is working harder than ever to tempt us. But not to worry. Why do you think Heavenly Father waited until now to send us to this earth? He knew we were up to the challenge.

Yvonne Withers, 17 Idaho Falls, Idaho

[photo] Photography by Welden Andersen; posed by model

[illustration] In his vision of the tree of life, Lehi saw many things that represented the temptations and schemes devised by Satan: a great and spacious building, a fountain of filthy water, and mists of darkness. Lehi explained to his family that in order to avoid the unhappiness and frustration that was caused by these temptations, they should focus on the words and commandments of God. He told them that this was the only way they could make it to the tree of life, “whose fruit was desirable to make one happy” (1 Ne. 8:10). (Painting Lehi’s Vision by Jerry Thompson.)