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Shouldn’t you be able to rely on people? What if others are not meeting your needs?

In today’s society, a prevailing theme – evolving gradually over time – implies that God’s existence is doubtful.

Many, if not most, have tried wrestling with psychological challenges without experiencing a connection with a Divine Being, a Holy Ghost, or Christ for guidance, healing and support.

This is an unfortunate digression from the original meaning of “Psych-ology”. 

As far back as 1640, the prefix “psych” has meant, “animating spirit, the human spirit or mind,” from Latin psyche, from Greek psykhē “the soul, mind, spirit; life, one’s life, the invisible animating principle or entity which occupies and directs the physical body; understanding, the mind (as the seat of thought), faculty of reason,” also “ghost, spirit of a dead person;” probably akin to psykhein “to blow, breathe,” also “to cool, to make dry.

Therefore, psychology should mean, the Study of the Spirit

Because of the lack of inclusion of spiritual realities in the formulation of psychology theory, unexpected contradictions have surfaced. 

This perspective is what led to teachings that seemingly conflict with the counsel not to rely upon the arm of flesh.

While modern psychology advocates reaching out to other people to “meet your needs”, they fail to take into consideration the wisdom of the prophets, both modern and ancient who strongly declare, “do not rely upon the arm of flesh.” 

Let’s explore this contradiction.

Observe: the same institutions that caution against codependency state that failing to seek support from others will inevitably lead to a breach of your value system and yield negative outcomes, such as sin, alcohol consumption, or pornography consumption. Then the same pundits caution us to remember, “humans are unreliable.” 

Contemplating these contradictory statements can create internal turbulence.

Here is another confusing example…

Frequently, one might hear phrases like, “you need to share your feelings,” or “you need someone else to pull you out of your emotional struggle.”

These sayings can embed themselves deeply in our psyche, shaping our expectations and an approach that sets us up, naively, into codependent interactions. 

It is becoming more common for people to subtly or overtly manipulate others when they “share their feelings”, hoping for or expecting a change in the other person’s behavior.

Additionally, they, the sharer, might believe their happiness depends on someone else’s change of actions, remaining in a painful situation until the other person changes.

It’s crucial to question these belief systems and recognize that they can trap us in unending emotional turmoil as a result of this powerless codependency.

Modern social scientists may unexpectedly endorse this pattern when they advocate for expressing your needs until they’re fulfilled by others. Imagine, in contrast, being on the receiving end of such demands.  It does not take long to feel how this can be a draining experience. While being aware of your grief and needs is essential. 

But remember, it is crucial, for your own mental health as well as that of others, to consider that the other person may also be dealing with their own difficulties. When two people are drowning in the depths of life’s challenges, often they cannot “be there” for each other, even if they want to.

Lazarus Lectures

Gratefully, LDS scriptures offer guiding principles on these matters. As found in 2 Nephi 4, “O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh.” This advice emerges from Nephi’s experiences, highlighting the potential harm in putting too much faith in humans’ ability to “be there for” us. 

True doctrine emphasizes not relying on worldly advice but turning to God’s pure truth, as revealed through His prophets. We can access these revelations at any time, digitally, offering invaluable resources during our struggles.

Take the biblical figure, Joseph of Egypt, for example. Despite experiencing physical, emotional, and psychological abuse from his brothers, being sold into slavery, and being removed from his parents, he managed to rise above his circumstances.

It is clear that those who were supposed to be there for him were not. 

Modern psychologists imply that Joseph could not have become successful without someone there to validate his feelings or meet his needs. 

Yet, he didn’t become bitter or resentful, but instead rose to a position of leadership. He even forgave his brothers, attributing his life’s course to God’s plan (Genesis 45:5). 

Joseph’s story reminds us that regardless of our past traumas or who hurt us, and regardless of whether or not others are “there for us”, we can overcome, find peace, and fulfill our divine stewardships.

While the healing process isn’t overnight and can vary based on each person’s experiences, it’s vital to remember that it’s possible to fully heal, while connecting to God, his Son and the Holy Ghost, contrary to what some social scientists may suggest.

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  1. Harper, D. (n.d.). Online Etymology Dictionary: “Psyche”. Retrieved from

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