Wednesday, October 1, 2008


It was one of the darkest days of my pornography addiction. I had relapsed yet again. My wife had been supportive through multiple mistakes, but this time was just too much. She was struggling with all of the natural feelings that come from being married to a man who falls to this devastating addiction. I had to pick our dog up from the vet and I was moping around, feeling sorry for myself. There happened to be a Deseret Book next door, and something led me to walk in and browse. I was guided to a book called Clean Hands, Pure Heart, by Philip A. Harrison. Even in my dark mood, I recognized a glimmer of the spirit gently nudging me to buy the book and apply it.

As it turns out, the book is a terrific look at recovery from pornography addiction. More important for me, however; was a short principle in the Appendix called "capturing". Capturing transformed the way I approach the scriptures and has led me to insights I never thought were possible.

In nutshell, for me capturing looks like this:

1) I study the scriptures intently, looking for passages or verses that catch my attention or touch my heart.
2) I then jot the verse down, word for word. For me it is easiest to type it in a document.
3) I then record every thought and impression I get as I contemplate the verse. The longer I take to let the verse sink in and allow the spirit to talk to me, the more insight I seem to get.

That's it. Pretty simple. It is hard to quantify how much this simple process has improved my scripture study. Instead of trying to plow through the Book of Mormon so I can claim I am "done", I find myself thinking about each verse, searching for the meaning that applies to me.

One example of how this has looked for me may help. So here is a verse I "captured" recently.

Doctrine and Covenants 1:28

And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong
They key to strength is humility. Strength is not about building up powerful muscles so I am strong enough to resist temptation. It is about learning to rely on the Lord. Humility means accepting the fact that I cannot do it, but the Lord can. So if He can do it, why don't I let him. I am strong when I choose to follow what the Lord wants me to do. I am weak when I try to decide how the Lord should answer prayers or figure I don't need to listen to the things he asks me to do. Humility = strength. That is an incredibly powerful concept.

and blessed from on high,
With humility comes blessings from heaven. The concepts follow each other. If I become humble and rely on the Lord, I start to follow all of the things he asks me to do. As I do that, I gain his trust. He knows if he commands I will obey, which means he can provide me with more instruction and with that instructions comes great blessings.

and receive knowledge from time to time.
As I obey and humble myself before the Lord, I then am worthy and able to receive knowledge from him. The "pure knowledge" that Joseph Smith talked about. Boyd K. Packer mentioned that learning Doctrine will improve behavior more than learning about behavior will. Pure doctrine from the Lord will increase my humility and my reliance on the Lord, and also my strength in the Lord.

I still have a lot of progress to make in studying the scriptures. There is so much power there. I hope I can continue to grow. But capturing has been a powerful tool for me to understand and learn from the scriptures. Perhaps most importantly, the Lord has been able to speak to me as I focus on learning his word.

1 comment:

Mary A said...

I apologize for leaving so many comments in one sitting! I have Bro. Harrison's wife's book, He Did Deliver Me From Bondage which also teaches about capturing. It is a wonderfully inspirational book, along with the LDS Addiction Recovery manual and another LDS 12-step manual I found called Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?. No matter what our particular problems, these books can help us by teaching us to turn to God and rely on Him. They provide specific steps to take and offer guidance through scriptures and I find them very helpful.