Sunday, October 12, 2008

Personal Change through Jesus Christ

In many ways, our entire purpose in this life can be summed up in one word..."change". We are to be changed to become like our Savior. We are commanded to "be ye therefore perfect" (Matt. 5:48). We become perfect through a series of changes in our lives which lead us to this ultimate goal. Dallin H. Oaks said "the Final Judgement is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts - what we have done. It as an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts - what we have become." (Ensign, Nov. 2000)

All of us have modifications we wish to make in our lives. Whether we desire to be more consistent in scripture study, improve kindness in our marriage, do a better job of home teaching, give more service, become a full tithe payer, remove a certain sin from our life, forgive another for a serious offense against us, or a thousand other important personal changes. What we become is a sum total of the key changes we make in our life.

Perhaps one of the most difficult changes a person can make is recovery from addiction. Addictions powerful grip makes change extremely hard. For this reason, I believe addiction recovery is a powerful metaphor for any gospel change we are attempting to make. The principles that lead out of addiction can be applied to any change with powerful results.

These principles, as taught in the Addiction Recovery Program, can be summed up in four thoughts.

1) Realize the need to change.
2) Admit that the change cannot be made without help.
3) Realize the Lord's help is the key to making the change.
4) Allow the Lord to change our nature by turning our will and life over to him.

I believe with all of my heart that applying these principles to any change will yield amazing results.

I hope that in sharing my story of recovery from addiction and the personal change it has required, others can see ways that may help with their own lasting personal change.


Tim Malone said...

I loved your introductory statement. I have heard the purpose of live summed up in many words: love, obedience, service, faith, sacrifice and growth. But I like your summary - change. We are to be changed from a natural man to a holy man. We become holy through a series of changes that we allow the Lord to bring about in our lives. Sometimes that change is painful but it is our hearts that he is trying to help us change the most. He do need his help, for without it, we might not even know that we need it.

Mary A said...

This is an inspiring post. I think that the LDS recovery programs are great for anyone, whatever changes they are trying to make in their lives. The central change is to turn our will and our lives over to our Heavenly Father's care and to become close to Him, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. This applies to all of us and helps us to make the ultimate change you and Tim speak of.