As we begin gearing up for general conference, we will be highlighting past conference talks to help us review, remember, and grow closer to the Spirit so that we can better recognize the Lord's voice and direction this coming October. The following is a small portion of a talk given by Sister Carole M. Stephens in October 2016. (Read the full talk here.)
I have recently become acquainted with a remarkable young woman named Josie who suffers from bipolar disorder. Here is just a little of her journey toward healing as she shared it with me:
“The worst of the darkness occurs on what my family and I have deemed ‘floor days.’ It begins with sensory overload and acute sensitivity and resistance to any type of sound, touch, or light. It is the apex of mental anguish. There is one day in particular that I will never forget.
“It was early in the journey, making the experience especially frightening. I can remember sobbing, tears racing down my face as I gasped for air. But even such intense suffering paled in comparison to the pain that followed as I observed panic overwhelm my mother, so desperate to help me.
“With my broken mind came her broken heart. But little did we know that despite the deepening darkness, we were just moments away from experiencing a mighty miracle.
“As a long hour continued, my mom whispered over and over and over again, ‘I would do anything to take this from you.’
“Meanwhile, the darkness intensified, and when I was convinced I could take no more, just then something marvelous occurred.
“A transcendent and wonderful power suddenly overtook my body. Then, with a ‘strength beyond my own,’14 I declared to my mom with great conviction seven life-changing words in response to her repeated desire to bear my pain. I said, ‘You don’t have to; Someone already has.’”
From the dark abyss of debilitating mental illness, Josie summoned the strength to testify of Jesus Christ and of His Atonement.
She was not healed completely that day, but she received the light of hope in a time of intense darkness. And today, supported by a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and refreshed daily by the Savior’s living water, Josie continues on her journey toward healing and exercises unshakable faith in the Master Healer. She helps others along the way. And she says, “When the darkness feels unremitting, I rely on the memory of His tender mercies. They serve as a guiding light as I navigate through hard times.”