All Things Witness

Thoughts on the mission and power of Jesus Christ


Really? Wow!: A Discussion about Mental Illness and the Atonement

Stairs up to the lightI’ve found this a particularly difficult post to write, so I hope that a) I can do it some justice, and b) those with particular insights and experience will comment*. It is a subject we rarely discuss, but which I feel we need to gain greater insight into, so that we are better able to comfort those in need.

A few months go I posted a couple of articles on the subject of depression, one of the great plagues of our age, and how we can find relief through Christ. Those posts can be found here, and here. While depression is fortunately becoming increasingly discussed in the Church (not enough yet I think, but we’re making some positive progress), other aspects of mental illness or disability are generally discussed either rarely and on obscure internet forums, or (more likely) not at all.

But if Christ suffered for ALL of our pains, sicknesses, and afflictions, that means he suffered also for our mental illnesses and disabilities; it means that through His atoning sacrifice there is power for those suffering. Elder Joseph B Wirthlin said, “No grief is so great, no pain so profound, no burden so unbearable that it is beyond His healing touch.” (Special Witnesses of Christ, Ensign, April 2001).  That includes Continue reading


The Witness Cycle

I was reading through Mosiah some time ago, and read again of Alma as he first believed the words of Abinadi, and then began to teach others the gospel. As I read I was Helping man across the streetstruck by the wording used by Alma as he taught the people. The passage in chapter 18 of Mosiah is well known as it relates what we often refer to as some of the covenants we make in baptism, but two things struck me which I hadn’t noticed before Continue reading

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A Chosen Witness

Last year I was asked to write something as part of a Church Easter programme.  My taskGethsemane was to write as if I were the Apostle James, watching Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. The writing below is the outcome of that effort.  Although I tried hard to use the scriptural account from the New Testament gospels as the starting point, it is of course a work of fiction, but is how I imagine one of the Apostles might relate the events of that evening.

How grateful I am that we have witnesses both past and present. Continue reading


Night’s Reminders

Moon and Stars

As we start this Easter week I post the poem below, in which I do my best to sum up some of my feelings about what happened during that week so long ago. The central act of eternity began on the Thursday night, and so the poem concentrates on that evening.

As I ponder the events of that evening, I imagine the night being very still, with stars shining – the universe itself almost holding its breath Continue reading


When Our Preparations are not Enough

In my last post I talked about how Joseph’s brothers were given a second chance. They Sacks of Grainhad acted in the most appalling way when they sold their younger brother Joseph and then deceived their father. Having then lived with the consequences of their actions for more than 20 years, they were placed in an almost identical situation, as a test to determine whether they had changed. Continue reading

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Of Second Chances and Forgiveness

10724789955_7762dccb22_mThe story of Joseph, son of Jacob (Israel) is one of the better-known ones from the Old Testament. Eldest son of his father’s beloved Rachel, Joseph was consequently apparently doted on, which led to resentment from his older brothers, which in turn led to his being sold into slavery and ending up in Egypt.

Joseph must have been an incredibly talented man, for everywhere he went he ended up being placed in positions of authority. Continue reading