Because brain matter is essentially soft with the consistency of toothpaste, it has the ability to reform, John P. Livingston, associate professor of church history and doctrine with a doctorate in counseling psychology, told his audience.
Therefore, people who've been molested or abused as children or young adults can change the way they feel about the past.
They can form new thinking patterns, which can then allow them to let go of destructive thinking cycles and move forward to lead successful, fulfilling lives.
"This is a tough topic to talk about. This whole area is charged with tension," Livingston told his audience. "As Latter-day Saints, we know we lived before we came here in a highly secure environment. Here we are with real bodies with real hormones. Things can happen to us to cause us to retreat and lose faith."
Livingston said while the pain and suffering caused by abuse is spectacular, victims have the power to change the patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving that lock them into emotional prisons.