Dr. David T. Morgan

September 23, 2021 05:00 AM MDT
"Recognize your limitations and strive to increase your capacities. Tune your mind and heart to hear Him. Strengthen your resolve to follow His counsel, even when conventional wisdom may dictate a different path."
7 Min Read
August 18, 2021 02:26 PM MDT
I used to believe that a life free of trials was the most desirable. I figured that if I were just righteous enough, I would be spared the difficulties and challenges experienced by others. As my understanding of the Father’s plan has increased, I’ve realized I’m wrong on both counts. A life free of trials is the least desirable mortal experience because it would lead to such little growth. And righteous behavior definitely does not exempt us from difficulties and challenges.
7 Min Read
July 29, 2021 08:00 AM MDT
Some years ago, I was taught by Elder David A. Bednar in a stake conference. It was one of the spiritual highlights of my life. Among other counsel, he invited us to study the war chapters in the book of Alma. But his invitation was not to study these events as past history, but as a prelude to coming events. From such chapters, many are familiar with the account of Helaman and his stripling warriors. We take courage from their remarkable success and miraculous protection during battles. But as we look closer at their story, their situation was not always so blessed. After the momentous, initial battle where all of their lives were spared, they faced a new task to capture the Lamanite city of Manti. Helaman knew his armies were insufficient to take the city by force. He requested help from other Nephite armies as fortification. Yet the troops did not come quickly. Months passed as Helaman waited for support, while his soldiers were weakened by periodic skirmishes with the Lamanites. On top of all that, their supplies were running short, so not only were they being constantly threatened by their enemies, they were also slowly starving to death.
7 Min Read
July 02, 2021 11:00 AM MDT
Our youngest child just graduated from high school. It was a strange experience, sitting in the same football stadium where we had watched her five older siblings celebrate the same accomplishment. Walking to the car, my wife and I reflected on the rapidly approaching end of our full-time parenting. There have been times of joy. There have been times of sorrow. There have been times when I wished I could crawl into a hole and not come out. There have been times when I gushed with tears of gratitude for the privilege of being a father to such amazing children. Coming to the end of this portion of the journey, I can truly say the overall experience has been happy and blessed. So, if my destination was joy, why was there so much difficulty, grief, and sorrow along the way?
6 Min Read
May 27, 2021 02:10 PM MDT
Recently, I had the blessed privilege to speak live and in person to the amazing women of the Prosper Texas Stake. When invited to teach such groups, my role is to impart positive, uplifting gospel truths to calm the hearts and fill the cups of those who attend. When I walked in the chapel that day, I had no idea that my emotional and spiritual cup would be filled as well.
7 Min Read
April 22, 2021 12:00 PM MDT
I recently received an email from a friend looking for advice. He related how he has been diagnosed with major depression for several decades. Throughout that time, he has gone to counseling, read self-help books, taken antidepressant medication, and done his best to keep his covenants. Still, his feelings of depression never fully resolved and have waxed and waned. Then about five years ago he was diagnosed with a chronic nervous system disease which has increased his suffering and decreased his hope. Although he tries every day to look forward with faith and gratitude, he finds this more and more difficult as his situation deteriorates. I empathized with his situation. Reflecting on his case, I realized he was definitely not alone. I have personally known many individuals who suffer with persistent problems. Despite their best efforts, they are not able to fully overcome their challenges.
7 Min Read
March 25, 2021 12:00 PM MDT
My dear grandmother recently passed away just a few days shy of her 100th birthday. My father tells the story of speaking with her many years ago, not long after he married my mother.
7 Min Read
February 26, 2021 02:17 PM MST
Almost everyone wants stronger and more resilient relationships but getting there can be a significant challenge. In many cases, the roadblocks to improved relationships consist primarily of fear.
7 Min Read
January 27, 2021 01:00 PM MST
When I was little, I begged my parents to let me stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve. I wanted to experience that magical moment when the old year passed, and the moment when a new year began. Sometimes they would humor me and set the clocks forward so that we could “ring in” the new year at 8:00 p.m. As I’ve grown older, I’ve struggled to stay awake until midnight but have had ample opportunities to witness the dawn of the new year. I have to say, it’s not as dramatic as my young, innocent brain imagined it to be. For sure, there are hugs and kisses and glasses of sparkling apple cider, but in reality, it’s just one moment going into the next. Even so, I believe many of us stayed up late on December 31, 2020, at the very least to bid good riddance to what had been a very difficult year. Almost all have looked forward to 2021 to be a better year than the previous. Truly, I hope it will be. But I’ve also discovered that a change in circumstance, like one year passing to another, does not automatically make things better.
7 Min Read
January 05, 2021 08:45 PM MST
This article was originally published by LDS Living in March 2020.
8 Min Read
December 16, 2020 05:58 PM MST
I have been a licensed psychologist for almost 20 years. I often get asked whether I think mental health challenges are on the rise, especially among today’s youth. The answer is complicated and involves a couple of factors: 1) The stigma of mental health concerns is slowly decreasing, creating greater willingness to talk about such issues, and 2) Society has more mental health resources than it has ever had before, particularly in the form of outreach.
7 Min Read
November 24, 2020 11:39 AM MST
Not long ago, I was at Walt Disney World with family. We were in line for one of the more intense attractions at the resort—the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. This attraction is housed in a very creepy-looking hotel, full of ghostly sights and sounds. Following an elaborate preshow, you enter a modified elevator where you are strapped into your seat. At some point, in the pitch black and without warning, the elevator car plunges more than 10 stories to the ground, then accelerates up and down the shaft in a frantic motion. The experience is incredible, potentially terrifying, and one of my favorites.
8 Min Read
October 09, 2020 01:09 PM MDT
As a mental health professional whose desire is to help people with mental health concerns, I was dismayed by some of the feedback I received publicly and privately about a recent article of mine that was shared on LDS Living.
7 Min Read
September 29, 2020 01:18 PM MDT
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has provided wonderful mental health resources in recent years. There is even an entire “mental health” section in the Gospel Library on the Church’s website. The content is excellent, and I encourage you to explore it.
9 Min Read
August 27, 2020 12:02 PM MDT
The April 2020 general conference was like no other. Broadcasting from a small auditorium, there was no general admission, prophets sat six feet apart from one another, and I imagine their words echoed from the walls of the mostly empty room. We listened from home and other locations, where fear was an emotional common denominator. COVID-19 was relatively new to the United States at that time and much was unknown, so families and individuals tuned in to conference to hear words of solace and peace. I was one of those. I was scared, upset, and fearful of what the future held. I wanted to hear from my prophet, as I truly believed he would provide a message of faith and comfort.
7 Min Read
July 13, 2020 10:00 PM MDT
COVID-19 has introduced major disruptions into our society, including into the Lord’s restored church. We can’t gather as we used to. Ministering efforts are now critical, but many still struggle to reach out to others. Local Church leaders have become overwhelmed with the unique trials faced by their members, for which there is no preexisting list of remedies. While burnout isn't a new phenomenon among Church members, it has certainly been on the rise as a result of the pandemic.
7 Min Read
June 25, 2020 12:00 PM MDT
When I was about 13 years of age, a new family moved into our ward. They had a 12-year-old son. He and I had some things in common. He was the oldest in his family; I was the oldest in my family. He had an alpha male personality; I had an alpha male personality. But perhaps the thing we had most in common was a very strong dislike for one another. I don’t know why—we didn’t even know each other well enough to be enemies. Yet it was true that we did not get along at all.
7 Min Read
May 26, 2020 09:40 AM MDT
In Washington state, we are in our eighth week of our governor’s “stay at home” order to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Personally, I try to look forward to better times, but there is a lot of pessimism out there. I’ve stopped reading certain news outlets because it seems the only information it publishes is dire predictions and dismal forecasts. As a social scientist, I know that statistics can be adjusted to make almost anything appear factual, so it’s difficult to know which reports are accurate and which are exaggerations or half-truths. Sometimes it is hard for me to stay positive and endure well when negativity is often the prevailing sentiment; perhaps you have had a similar experience lately.
8 Min Read
April 20, 2020 10:41 PM MDT
True confession: I have always been somewhat anxious. But I think this liability has been a blessing to me inasmuch as it has encouraged me to be more diligent in my efforts to develop faith in the Lord. Even so, I have developed many physical strategies to manage anxiety symptoms. One of these strategies has been to become a planner and organizer. I love routine. I like being able to look at my long-term calendar and see what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, and next month. Doing this helps decrease my anxiety symptoms and provides a little relief.
8 Min Read
February 25, 2020 11:01 AM MST
When asked to return to Jerusalem and retrieve the plates of brass, Nephi responded in faith that he would “go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded” (1 Nephi 3:7). He later learned from experience that the Lord was true to His word, providing divine assistance to help him accomplish the task. As I talk with Latter-day Saints who struggle with anxiety or other mental health issues, they often look to the example of Nephi. If the Lord wants me to overcome anxiety, He will provide a way, they reason. But what is the way? How much am I supposed to do and how much will He help? It is a very legitimate question. We know the Lord will bless us with divine assistance, but He also insists we do our part. So, what is our part? Coincidentally, Nephi’s own life experience also answers that question.
8 Min Read
January 22, 2020 10:58 PM MST
This article is written by Dr. David T. Morgan, who writes for LDS Living under the title of “Latter-day Saint Psychologist.” He has a special connection with the person featured in this post.
8 Min Read
December 30, 2019 10:00 PM MST
Our son returned home early from his mission due to anxiety and depression symptoms. His early return was the culmination of weeks of discussions with his mission president and medical professionals who determined that the best thing would be for our son to come home.
7 Min Read
December 20, 2019 01:59 PM MST
When I was a seminary student many years ago, I loved short scripture mastery scriptures, as they were easy to memorize. One still lingers in my mind today: “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25). Back then, this scripture didn’t mean much to me besides being an easy “check off” on my scripture mastery list. Now 30 years later, after disappointments and stress and challenges and heartbreak, this scripture carries more personal meaning. If men and women exist to be joyful and happy, they why do so many seem to be unhappy and depressed? If happiness is the design of our existence, has that design been thwarted?
7 Min Read
November 22, 2019 10:00 PM MST
I recently experienced a couple of events that taught me about why some trials persist even though we are working hard to defeat them. Before I tell you about that, I need to provide some background. First, you should know we currently have two children at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg. Second, you should know that we live in Vancouver, Washington, which is about 700 miles from there. Third, I should tell you that I enjoy indoor cycling, which is a specific type of stationary bike—some know it as spinning. Please bear with me while I explain how these things are related.
8 Min Read