By Nicole M. Hilton
Sunday July 10th, 2022
There are subjects too dark or too sacred for others to handle. People who haven’t been exposed to a crystal meth addiction, for instance, would be uncomfortable talking about it—even for five minutes—and would say that the “spirit left” as soon as the person started to tell him or her about it in detail. People who haven’t been exposed to child sex trafficking would also be uncomfortable watching all of the many documentaries/movies about it, or reading about the details of what happens. They could, in fact, feel a darkness around these movies and the Spirit could tell them to stay away from them.
However, a victim of sex trafficking could be led to these books and films by the same Holy Ghost influence because it would provide an incredible source of healing and understanding for them—understanding from others who have been through it themselves. This is probably the only way for them to start the path to healing—it was for me.
The people who are judging others as representing things that are “dark” are usually using their private discomfort as a way to justify their judgment—and to say that the “spirit” told them to judge a certain way.
Also, Elder Patrick Kearon said in the last LDS General Conference that, “Our merciful Savior, victorious over darkness and depravity, has power to right all wrongs.”
Why is that? It’s because He descended below every experience or knowledge we have—every darkness and depravity—and He was victorious over everything! That means that He understands exactly how that rapist felt when he raped that little girl, or how that person felt when they murdered their kids. I know—this is dark. I know that you probably don’t want to read about these things—and I don’t, either.
You need to be sure that you learn to differentiate between being triggered—which is a psychological problem, and the spirit leaving—which is a spiritual problem. The spirit could warn you to leave simply because you are being triggered! In that case, the Spirit could leave you if you ignore it’s prompting, but that didn’t necessarily mean that it left the scene…this doesn’t mean that, say, an AA meeting doesn’t have the spirit there. It just means that you aren’t prepared for the information that is being shared.
Did the early Saints feel triggered when Joseph Smith introduced polygamy? You bet they did. Just because something seems strange or makes you feel uneasy, doesn’t mean it’s wrong—because paradigm shifts feel uneasy. Fear isn’t always an indication of darkness—which is why the angels often have to tell people to “fear not”. The fear isn’t because of darkness, the fear is because they are facing something new. Fear can be an indication of darkness, yes…but not always. If you aren’t prepared for the mysteries, then they will, in fact, be very triggering and cause fear for you! I’ve really learned this with my family, and I recently learned it at church—where a girl was triggered by what I was saying, she went and told the bishop, and the bishop came in and preached against what he supposed me to have said in front of everyone!
Do you ever think that the Savior is triggered, or that the Spirit leaves Him? I believe that we leave Him—not the other way around. If we are talking about some hefty subjects, but are pointed towards Him, then there is no reason at all for us to be far from Him. I’ve heard from Tim Ballard himself that there is no more sacred space than that around children who are being sex trafficked—because of all the angels there surrounding them who are not only prepared to understand, but who stick with them until the very end.