I was listening to Elder Sabin’s talk, “Stand Up Inside and Be All In,” this past General Conference while in the car, and I have to say that honestly, it made me worried for all of the members of the Church out there with scrupulosity. I worried for everyone who has this religious form of obsessive compulsive disorder, listening to a General Authority telling them to do more and “be all in.” 

Yes, it is a valuable idea. We should be committed to the Gospel and to following the laws and ordinances, keeping our covenants, etc. But for those of us who struggle with obsessions about religious worthiness and have great anxiety about whether or not we are keeping all of the commandments “perfectly,” this kind of message can egg on the OCD rather than appease it.

“All In”

Elder Sabin said “when we are fully committed and ‘all in,’ heaven shakes for our good. When we are lukewarm or only partially committed, we lose out on some of heaven’s choicest blessings.” 

Scrupulosity might make you feel like you are not fully committed. The OCD will probably tell you that you could be more committed. You could be doing more. Maybe you are not totally “all in.”

But really, we could probably all always be doing more. Right? We could be serving more, assisting others more, being better. But I don’t think the Lord wants us to over exert ourselves or even serve others to the point that we take away the lessons that they may need to learn in regards to their own agency and self sufficiency.

Doing Things “In Order”

Let’s also remember when it comes to this “all in” discussion the words of Mosiah 4:27 where it says,

27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

Things must be done in order. Be diligent, not overly ambitious to get everything done perfectly right now. Do not run faster than you have strength.

Pushing Back

Of course, scrupulosity will probably whisper to you that you have the strength or should have the strength or need to acquire the strength to run faster. What then?

Elder Sabin said, “Standing up inside in spite of difficulties is possible because of a clear conscience, the strengthening and comforting assurance from the Holy Ghost, and an eternal perspective which surpasses mortal understanding. In our premortal life we shouted for joy at the opportunity to experience mortality. We were “all in” as we excitedly made the decision to be valiant defenders of our Heavenly Father’s plan. It is time to stand up and defend His plan again!”

I think it’s important to note here that being “all in” might be more of a mind set and spiritual commitment. Let’s not feel like we have to beat ourselves up to be perfect in keeping all the commandments, doing all the service, or whatever else scrupulosity or OCD might say you “have to do” in order to be righteous and worthy.

Remember that the point of the Gospel is to rely on and use the Atonement of Jesus Christ in order to return home to Heavenly Father. Be committed to that. Be committed to grace taking over after your works. Don’t feel like your works have to shoulder the entire responsibility for your own salvation and exaltation. That is not the plan, even if that might be what OCD is telling you. Separate your own knowledge of the Gospel from what OCD tries to convince you is truth—this can be so difficult, but it is essential.

As you read or reread Elder Sabin’s talk, don’t let scrupulosity tear at you and make you feel like you are not “all in” or committed enough to the Gospel. Try to rise above the anxiety and remember that you are doing enough. You are enough. God loves you.

Did you have any issues or concerns related to OCD during any General Conference talks? Which ones and why?

2 thoughts on “Scripture Snapshot: Elder Sabin “Stand Up Inside and Be All In””

  1. This is a great post! I love it that you really address the issue a lot of people have and what separates good Christian people from the radicals. I think there’s a difference having “an eternal perspective” and only focusing on the future. This life isn’t just for lessons and overcoming failures. This life is for joy! It’s for happiness and feeling close to God even if we can’t be in His presence! I find myself going through waves of fanatical religious dedication and when I get overwhelmed with it I just want to disappear and never set foot in church again. Finding that balance is what I need to beat the OCD and learning to love my life while also keeping my heart fixed on my eternity with Christ. Thanks!

  2. thank you !!!! I was just called to teach in relief society. This talk is the one I get to teach about today. I read it earlier in the week and it triggered me. It hit all my sore spots in regards to perfectionism. It gave me so much anxiety that I couldn’t even let myself think about it for days. I had a really great therapy session where I was able to discuss it and work through it. Honestly, it still causes anxiety, but you are definitely correct when you said “I think it’s important to note here that being “all in” might be more of a mind set and spiritual commitment”. That is something I’m working through with this talk. Also, I came across a WONDERFUL talk that helped me put all of this into better perspective. A talk by Elder J. Devn Cornish called “Am I good Enough? Will I make it?” He was truly inspired when he wrote it. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/am-i-good-enough-will-i-make-it?lang=eng

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