Author: karlareflections

The Wayward Child of God

Posted on Updated on

How to Pray for a Wayward Child

There has been something placed upon my heart. When you are a parent you want the best for your children. You do your best to teach them good morals and standards so that they can live a life that is pleasing to their Heavenly Father. You hope that what you teach them in the days of their youth will carry with them into their adult years. Sometimes, however, it may not seem as though the gospel lessons that you taught while doing your best to raise them in a Godly home with structure, morals, and standards has any positive influence in their lives. And so, as a parent you feel devastated and ask yourself, “Why would my son or daughter choose the path that they are on when I spent so much time teaching them the right way to go?” You find yourself in despair over the matter and soon begin to feel as though you have in some way failed in your duty as a parent.

There is a verse found in Proverbs 22:6 which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”This verse not only applies to parents in raising their children, but it also applies to each of us as members of the Church because we are all children of God. The Church teaches us Godly principles to live by as we follow Jesus Christ’s commandments and are faithful to the covenants that we have made. When we are disobedient to God’s commandments and deny the covenants that we have made, we deny ourselves great blessings from the Lord. I am a witness of this as I have been a wayward member of the Church, and have found myself being disobedient to God’s commandments and not living the covenants that I have made. I cannot rationalize or prove the things that I have done as being right because they are not. God gave us commandments and covenants for a reason, and if we choose to live contrary to those things which we know are true, we can find ourselves falling into an empty pit of nothingness.

Because I know in my heart that the Church is true, I have repented and have come back to it, all the while experiencing the joy of knowing that my waywardness has been forgiven.

Karlyn Kay Stebbins
January 31, 2015

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.

The Almighty Orchestrator

Posted on Updated on

When I Lose Hope

Life is full of questions, uncertainties, and inconsistencies. I am sure that there have been times in all of our lives when we have asked the question, “Why did this happen to me?” Or, “Why do bad things happen to animals, innocent children, and genuinely good people?” As I am progressing on my journey to discover who the real Karlyn Stebbins is, I am learning that I can ask “Why this?” or “Why that?” all that I want, but the truth of the matter is that there are some questions that will never be answered in my lifetime. I am beginning to realize that the real question is not “Why?”, but rather the real question that I should be asking myself is “What is God orchestrating in my life?” In other words, what is His plan for my life? What is my real purpose?

This suggests a scripture found in Isaiah 61:3 which has meant a lot to me in my life, and I also believe is one that we all need to give some attention to. The scripture reads:

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

Sitting around and persistently asking “Why?” for every situation that occurs in life, especially those things that are a part of our past, can eventually cause us to become stagnant and can also seriously hinder our spiritual progression. This reminds me of the words of a poem called the “Serenity Prayer” :

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.

What this prayer is basically saying is that we cannot change people, places, things, past events, or future situations that we may encounter. However, we can change our attitude about and our outlook on life. We have to arrive at a point in our life when we finally realize that the things that may have occurred in the past were unjust, but the million dollar question is whether we are going to stay stuck in the past, or change our perspectives and move on with our life as best we can. This may involve taking some actions which may take us out of our comfort zone. But, another thing that I am learning is that if we are uncomfortable taking healthy actions which eventually lead to being part of a solution, then we are growing and truly progressing on our journey.

There is a saying, “Get off the cross, someone else needs the wood.” What that means is we need to stop acting like people are always out to crucify us and us alone, when that is not necessarily the case. For years I have kept myself “on the cross” and that has not provided any solutions to problems in my life either.

Our real purpose in life is to be of greatest service to God and to the people around us. Life itself is ever-changing, but through it all, God remains constant. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We must learn to call on and rely on Him during our times of challenges and struggles. He never changes, but the question is, “Are we willing to change for Him?’

Karlyn Kay Stebbins
January 31, 2015

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.

 

Live and Let Live!

Posted on Updated on

Labeling People in Society

I have thought a lot lately about what I call the “variations of life.” The life that we each live is unique in many aspects. Each of us have had our own life experiences that to a great extent have brought us to our current station in life. Those life experiences also influence the way that we view the world in general. My personal life experiences are vastly different from yours, and your life experiences are vastly different from mine. We each view things in the world differently, but that does not signify that either one of us is totally right in our perspectives, and by the same token, it does not signify that we are totally wrong about our perspective either. It only means that we view things differently. What may seem “normal” to me, may not necessarily be “normal” to you.

Albeit, the society in which we live has a tendency to dictate to us what is “normal” and what is not. Any member of society who is found to live outside of the boundaries of that which is considered “normal” is considered to be “abnormal,” and is oftentimes labeled as a menace to society, and thus that person may be ostracized and treated as an outcast. But the question that begs an answer is, “Who determines what is normal, and what is not?” And with so many varying definitions of “normal,” which definition should be the one that is accepted by any given society.

In a pursuit to answer these questions, society has deemed it necessary to place labels on people who seem not to fit into the societal mold of normality. For example, if someone has a learning disability and is not capable of comprehending certain things, he or she is labeled as being mentally challenged or mentally retarded. If someone seems to be unstable in his or her behavior, then the label of mentally ill is used. If someone is addicted to drugs, that person is labeled as a junky. Or, if someone is sexually attracted to the same gender, he or she is labeled as a homosexual, lesbian, queer, etc.

Just because people are different, live different lifestyles, and have different challenges in life, does not call for putting labels on people who seemingly do not meet the standards for being classed as “normal.” We need to learn to appreciate our differences, and treat every person with dignity, self-worth, and respect. Let us learn from our differences and help build each other up instead of demeaning and degrading one another with the use of unwarranted labels.

Karlyn Kay Stebbins
January 26, 2015

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.

Leaving A Life of Haughtiness to Discover Who I Am

Posted on Updated on

The Sin of Pride

This year has started with much soul-searching, self-reflection, and the process of becoming more humble and less prideful. I have discovered that pride gets in the way of trying to come to terms with who I truly am as a person. Pride is a great facade in that it is often used to cover up a person’s inadequacies and puts on a false front causing other people to see that person as someone other than who he or she really is. Thus, that person is never truly honest with himself or herself, and fails to seek the help and guidance that is needed.

There is a scripture that comes to mind that supports what I am talking about. It is found in Galatians 6:3, and reads, “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” The truth is that things are not always as they seem to be. While it may seem that everything is going well in our lives, pride can actually cause us to fall into a pile of nothingness which can eventually lead to self-destruction. For example, some people, because they are too prideful to ask for help, turn to drugs or alcohol to mask the problems that they are having only to discover that after a time their consumption of drugs and/or alcohol leads to self-destruction. This suggests another verse of scripture which is found in Proverbs 16:18, and reads, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

I have reached the point in my life where I am beginning to be brutally honest with myself, but more importantly with the Lord, as I am discovering my true self. I am particularly thankful for a dear, special friend whom the Lord has placed in my life at this particular season to be a guide and a mentor as I go through this process. I am learning to put my pride aside, and I am learning who the real Karlyn Kay Stebbins is, one day at a time, one step at a time.

Doing away with the pride in my life has humbled me in many ways, one of which is being able to tell my dear and trusted friend about my inadequacies. We often times confuse humiliation with being humble. Being humble for me is admitting my short comings and no longer pretending to be someone who I am not, but allowing myself to trust the process of God’s plan for my life. I leave this with you in the powerful name of Jesus Christ! Amen.

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.

To Thine Own Self Be True

Posted on Updated on

To Thine Own Self Be True

There has been something weighing heavy on my mind and heart lately and that is the idea of being able to think for ourselves. It amazes me how institutions heavily influence people and dictate the definition of “normal” as it pertains to society. I am further amazed at how rigid the thinking and ideas of some people are and how non-accepting they are of anyone who doesn’t seem to fit the mold of what is deemed as “normal”. As a result, there are many people who are harshly judged, demeaned, and in some instances ostracized by certain institutions and/or the people affiliated with those institutions.

I would like to emphatically state that there is only one true Judge, Juror, and Executioner, and that One is God Almighty. God has created us to be who we are according to His design and purposes. Therefore, we should not be forced to live up to the expectations of an institution or people who attempt to define who we are or who we should be, and how we should be living our lives. When God created us He made each of us uniquely different. There are no two people in the world who are exactly alike. Thus, we need to put aside the ideas, beliefs, and theories of certain institutions that we may be affiliated with, and begin developing our own ideas, opinions, and beliefs, or in other words, we need to start thinking for ourselves and not allow others to dictate to us what we should be thinking or believe. We were born an original, so let us not die being a copy.

I believe that a great number of people in society are inherently miserable because they are trying their best to adhere to what society deems as “normal,” however, deep down inside they know that they do not meet the necessary criteria to consider them “normal” by society’s standards. For example, if someone is slower at learning things than others, that person is referred to as a retard, or in the realm of political correctness, someone who is mentally challenged. If someone has a mental illness, he or she is labeled as a basket or mental case. And if someone’s sexual preference is for someone of the same gender, that person is called a faggot, gay, lesbian, or homosexual. Why must we use labels to identify people who are “different” from what is considered to be the norm? I don’t believe that we were labeled as “normal” or “different” when we were born into this world, so why must we live our lives being identified by such?

I believe that it is time that we come to terms with the fact that we are individuals, and we are different in many ways. We need to be who we are and stop allowing others to tell us who we should be. God gave us a brain and He expects us to use it to think for ourselves, and not allow everyone else to do our thinking for us. The word judgment in its simplest terms means “preconceived ideas contempt to earlier investigation.” Therefore, we also need to quit judging one another and start accepting one another for who we are. Above all else, we must learn to be true to ourselves.

Karlyn Stebbins
December 22, 2014

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.

False Gangsta’s Paradise

Posted on Updated on

Drug Addicted Person

What I am about to share with you is something that I wrote a few months ago describing my former life as a drug addict and the activities that I was involved in while living that lifestyle. I felt that this is a proper time to share these thoughts because on Saturday, 25 October 2014, I will be celebrating seven years of sobriety. That date is also significant because that is the day that my life began anew spiritually. What you are about to read adequately describes my life before recovery, as well as, my life today as I am privileged and honored to be a part of other people’s lives as I strive to help them cope with their struggles.

The title of this article is “False Gangsta’s Paradise” which is based on the song “Gangsta’s Paradise” which has lyrics that have meant a lot to me. The song has been instrumental in the sobriety process. During the time that I was in jail, this song continuously played in my head and became a powerful tool that helped me to get my life back on track. The song is from the sound track of the movie “Dangerous Minds.” It reminds me of the first part of the scripture found in Psalm 23:4 which reads, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” The song lyrics, ” As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I take a look at my life and realize there’s not much left, coz I’ve been blastin’ and laughin’ so long that even my momma thinks my mind is gone” perfectly described my life at that time. I used to live my life in a false gangsta’s paradise,” but on 25 October 2007, I am thankful to report that all that began to come to an end.

At the time that I was incarcerated, I weighed only 87 pounds. I was dead spiritually and was dying physically. I felt as if my life had been shattered into a million pieces and I did not know how to put them back together again. There was no one who could help me at this low point in my life. To the very core of my soul, I realized that I had hit rock bottom. As I was in jail for a long period without bond, it gave me the opportunity to look at my life more closely, and I realized that there was not much left. I had literally destroyed my life by being a hard-core, drug addicted prostitute for too many years. Even with the situation that I found myself in, at first, I still considered life as one big party and laughed at the consequences that I received because of my actions. My life was out of control and I literally felt insane. I went through detoxification for three weeks and almost physically died three times. I soon realized that there was nothing to laugh about anymore and that it was time to get serious and put the partying attitude behind me if I were to ever change my life for the better.

I knew that I could never make such a drastic change on my own. I needed a Power greater than myself to pull me out of the miry clay that I had found myself hopelessly sinking in. On 8 December 2007, I got down on my hands and knees and said five words which saved my life. I said, “Dear God, please help. Thanks.” After uttering those words, I believe that God began to revive my life. Without His Divine Power and Matchless Love, I know for a certainty that I would have died.

It has by no means been an easy road to travel for these past seven years, but I am more at peace than I have ever been in my life. I was once a gangsta for Satan, but now I am a soldier in the army of the Lord.

Karlyn Kay Stebbins
June 14,2014

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.

We Walk By Faith

Posted on Updated on

Walk by faith, Not by sight

In the Bible, in Hebrews 11:1 we read, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. This verse of scripture is my favorite because of its  application in my life.

As early as seven years ago, I was living a life filled with utter chaos. If someone were to ask me about faith, I would have replied that the only faith that I had, was found in the chemical substances that I had become addicted to.

I am grateful, and give thanks to my Heavenly Father daily, that on 25 October 2007, my eyes became open, and I began to travel down an entirely different path on my life’s journey. I can honestly testify that my faith has grown stronger as I have remained clean and sober from all the drugs and alcohol that once plagued my life.

Albeit, that is not to say that my faith has not been tested. I believe that coping with the diagnosis of having Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.), a mental illness that I have had all of my life, is a test of my faith. The difference in my life today is that instead of turning to chemical substances for oblique answers to the trials that I face, I have learned to put my faith and trust in the Lord. Although I may not fully understand why I must suffer this illness, I can see the hand of God at work in my life, and I believe that He is using all things in my life for good – not only to bless me personally, but as a testimony to others who may suffer with the same or similar mental illnesses. The key, I have found, is to not lose hope and to stay true to the faith. The words of the prophet Moroni in the Book of Mormon as recorded in Ether 12:6 are a reminder that “ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”

I presently have 70 plus alters that I must deal with daily. Life for me in general gets really loud and noisy, and most of the time, it seems as if there is no real peace or comfort. However, I have the hope and assurance that the peace that I am seeking will come as I continue on my journey through life, walking by faith and putting my total trust and faith in the Lord.

Karlyn Kay Stebbins
September 18, 2014
Founder of The Conqueror Foundation

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chasm Between Mental Illness and Demon Possession

Posted on Updated on

He leadeth me beside still waters

A warm welcome to everyone who has taken the time to read my recent posts about living with a mental illness. More specifically, I have talked about being a member of the Church and living with a mental illness. This is part three of a series of posts that I am writing on this sensitive subject to help educate people, especially church members and their leaders, about the realities of mental illnesses. If you have not read the first two parts of this series, you can do so by going to part 1 and part 2. I hope that you find what I have to say to be enlightening.

Mental Illness Does Not Equate to Demon Possession

Dissociative Identity Disorder

In the Bible, in the New Testament, in Mark’s gospel account is recorded the story of a man with an unclean spirit who lived in the country of the Gadarenes. In Mark 5:9 we read, “And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.” This man had many “personalities” living inside of him. Those “personalities” were actually demons that were living inside of him.

I can personally relate to Legion only by virtue of the fact that I live with 30 or more personalities. However, the major difference is that I have a mental illness known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), but my mental illness is not caused by demon possession. Albeit there are people like Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahmer whose mental disorders could very well be attributed to demon possession, people who suffer from mental illnesses are not necessarily possessed by demons.

I have been told by pastors and others who are not educated as far as what mental illnesses are that I am demon possessed. Sadly, there are many well-intentioned pastors who become so entrenched in doctrine that they squander the opportunity to learn about things that are important to know to help those in need. Many good hearten people live inside of a proverbial box, and have tunnel vision which doesn’t allow them to see that there are people all around them who are crying for their help. I am blessed that I am able to think differently than the average person.

Mental Illnesses are Often Misunderstood

People with mental illnesses are often misunderstood

I did not make a choice to have Dissociative Identity Disorder, but I have learned how to survive having it. To those who are reading this, I want you to know that it is extremely difficult for me to live with my mental illness from day-to-day, and constantly switching between personalities is exhausting to say the least. To be in the Church surrounded by people who really don’t understand what I am going through, and have no idea about what to say or do, is also very frustrating. Mental illness are not cured simply by members or church leaders quoting passages of scriptures. It goes deeper than that.

The Church teaches us that service to others is important, and so I hope that I am being of service to others in educating them about mental illnesses. Oftentimes it seems that those who suffer from mental illnesses get pushed aside or overlooked. It is unfortunate, but true. In order to be a true servant of God we must have a want to educate ourselves and bring ourselves up to speed on certain subjects to be of better service to others. And in serving others, we must be in tune to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and be willing to act upon those promptings.

As a member of the Church who has a mental illness, I am very often misunderstood. However, I do not rely on the arm of flesh for my spiritual growth and progression, but rather “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth” (Psalms 121:1,2). For, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalms 23:1-3). Therefore, I choose to remain faithful and immoveable. My question is, “How about you?”

Karlyn Kay Stebbins
August 20,2014
Founder of The Conqueror Foundation

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.

The Realities of Living with a Mental Illness

Posted on Updated on

Contemplating Life

Hello everyone! This is the second part of a series of articles that I will be writing about the sensitive subject of living with the realities of having a mental illness. As I mentioned in part one of this series, there are many diverse types of mental illnesses which include bi polar, schizophrenia, clinical depression, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder), and autism. It is my hope and prayer that the information that I will be sharing will help educate church members and their leaders (regardless of faith, denomination, or affiliation) about how they can recognize a person with a mental illness, and some of the things that they can do to help that person cope with his or her struggle.

Life is a Reality, Not an Illusion

Man on dock contemplating balance

I am a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was baptized almost four years ago, on 26 March 2011. When I first met the missionaries and began taking the gospel discussions, I was living in a group home and dealing with many personal issues. I somehow had the preconceived idea that if I got baptized and became a member of the Church, I would be really spiritual, and all the issues that I was dealing with at the time would simply disappear.

I was under the delusion that once a person gets baptized all of his or her pre-existing problems  and conditions (including mental illness) no longer exist. After all, the scriptures clearly teach us, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). To a certain extent my life has been changed for the better, but the reality is that I still struggle with the same mental illness that I began dealing with at 5 years of age known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). I live my life dealing with 30 or more different personalities which is a major challenge, but one of the major things having been baptized has taught me is that life is REAL, not an illusion. After many years, I am finally able to come to terms with the pointed question posed by Justin Alcala, a remarkable author, poet and freelance writer, “Which is the true nightmare, the horrific dream that you have in your sleep or the dissatisfied reality that awaits you when you awake?”

His Eye is on the Sparrow

Jesus Christ - The Good Shepherd

I believe that there are many sincere Christian people who live under the same delusion that I once did. They live the elusive dream of a life that will be paved with smooth roads to travel and a plethora of sweet-smelling roses to line the pathways now that they have been saved or baptized.

I am not insinuating that life is all doom and gloom. It definitely is not. I understand the power of the Atonement and all that Christ did for us at Calvary. I further understand that because of His infinite Atonement, if we are faithful, obedient, and endure to the end, one day we will return to our Heavenly Father and indeed all things will be made new. For now, while here in mortality, some of us have physical challenges and abnormalities which we must learn to cope with. However, we need not be alone in our struggles. The Savior beckons to us:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).

What I am trying to get people to understand is that struggles in life – such as mental illnesses – are real and can even affect the life of even the most faithful Christian. Accepting Christ and being baptized is not a cure-all, but it does help to make the journey through life easier to endure. I know this to be true as I came from a life of sexual abuse and hard-core drug addiction. I still struggle with nightmares of the daily sexual abuse at a young age by my father who is a Baptist minister. As for the drug addiction, I have been clean and sober since 25 October 2007.

I used to put my faith in a powdered substance, but now I put my faith and trust in the Lord. I have a strong testimony that I know it was the Lord who delivered me from drug addiction and the deviant lifestyle that accompanied it. I realize that in this life I may never be delivered from my mental illness, but if I am faithful, the Lord will make a way for me to cope with it. Like the Apostle Paul, the Lord has promised me that His grace is enough.

Hebrews 11:1 reminds me, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I am living my life walking by faith and doing the best that I can to be faithful and immovable. It is a very painful and devastating process, but I have faith that the Lord will give me the necessary strength and endurance to run the race of life to the end. I may feel like an outcast at times, but I am often reminded that during His earthly ministry, the Savior’s focus was on those who were sick and in need of a physician (the outcasts), not those who were whole. Although, that is not to say that He does not care for each of us as individuals, for He does. ” Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31).

Karlyn Kay Stebbins
August 19,2014
Founder of The Conqueror Foundation

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.

I Am a Mormon and I Have a Mental Illness

Posted on Updated on

I want to thank everyone who will take the time to read my comments about a subject that appears to be “taboo” in many religious circles, in particular in churches. The subject that I will be discussing is mental illness – its cause and how it affects not only the person with the mental illness, but their families as well.

Dealing with depression

It is important to note that there are many diverse types of mental illnesses – bi polar, schizophrenia, clinical depression, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, and autism to name but a few. The DSM 5 Diagnosis book has a more exhaustive list. I suffer from the mental illness known as Dissociative Identity Disorder. In addition, some of the personalities which are exhibited fall under the class of Borderline Personality Disorder, which makes my struggle even more difficult and challenging.

I am a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was baptized almost four years ago, and at that time I was living in a group home. Since then, I have managed to have a place of my own and have done the best that I can. I was originally diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, but a most recent diagnosis reveals that I am capable of having 30 different personalities. Constantly switching between the many different personalities causes me to have severe migraine headaches, and at times, I even black out.

The Cause and Affects of Dissociative Identity Disorder on My Life

Depressed Woman

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is caused from being extremely abused. My father,  who is a Baptist minister, sexually abused me at a young age. I could go into details, but I choose not to do so. Suffice it to say that when a victim is sexually abused, the after effects last a lifetime.

I find that it is even extremely hard for me to attend Church on a regular basis because my alter personalities do not want me to go. When I do attend Church, I am still not able to bring myself to attend Relief Society. The only meeting that seems to keep me calm is Sunday school. Perhaps part of the reason that I feel so uncomfortable is because of the innate fear of rejection by others who would not even try to understand my story or mental condition. I perceive that they would view me as being totally different or even as an outcast.

Now is the Time to Address This Important Issue

Dealing with mental illness

We talk of physical illnesses all the time and many members ask for and receive Priesthood blessings for their ailments, but the subject of mental illnesses seems to be dismissed. I believe that now is the time to discuss this sensitive subject as there are no doubt many other members of the Church who suffer from some sort of mental illness and feel trapped and alone, as there seems to be no one that they can turn to. As a result, they go through the motions, just as I have done, of pretending to be alright, when in reality, they are not alright.

Those of us who suffer from mental illnesses need to be understood and not feel as though we are somehow isolated from the mainstream membership population. Our healing is just as important as anyone who has a physical illness. therefore, the subject of mental illness needs to be discussed more openly in the Church with the understanding that being physically and mentally fit is a large part of being spiritually fit. It also needs to be understood that a mental illness not only directly affects the victim, but the victim’s family and loved ones as well.

I can’t help but wonder how many members hide their mental illness and secretly take medications for depression and such, or visit a Psychiatrist or Therapist on a regular basis. I want to let these precious individuals know that they are not alone under any circumstance.

The prophet Jeremiah asked the pointed question, “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” (Jeremiah 8:22). Our illness may make us to appear to be different to others, but I know that through the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is a balm is Gilead to make the wounded whole.

Karlyn Kay Stebbins
August 18,2014
Founder of The Conqueror Foundation

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.