Sunday, July 19, 2009

The purpose of life

"We are in this life for the spirit to gain control over the body rather then the other way around." - James E. Faust (Ensign. Nov. 2007)

If our purpose in life is to gain control over our bodies, wouldn't that mean many of the commandments would lead specifically to that purpose. I can think of several....from the law of chastity to fasting to the Word of Wisdom. These commandments teach us the control that is absolutely essential to our mission in life.

So if our purpose is to gain control of our bodies, wouldn't Satan choose that aspect to attack? I can think of one weapon that is absolutely effective in taking away that control.


In addiction free agency is gone. Control is gone. We are at the mercy of the addiction. We don't get to make the decisions that we know will make us happy, because the addiction is constantly ruling our lives.

I wonder though, if the actions needed to overcome addiction, are the very actions which help us understand that we can control our bodies and let our spiritual side take over in our lives. Maybe those very actions, from honesty to turning our lives over to the Lord, will help anybody who wants to truly gain control over their body and thus fill their purpose in life.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sobriety vs. Recovery

In the Addiction Recovery Program, we are very fond of counting days of sobriety. There is good reason for this, working the program one day at a time is the only way many of us can even begin our recovery progress. One day of success is worth celebrating. In the AR group meetings, we clap and celebrate for any length of sobriety, whether it be 3 years or 2 hours.

For me personally, however, I can get caught in a trap. My goal with regards to my addiction is to recover. Stated more scripturally, to "experience the mighty change in my heart" and to "have no more disposition to do evil". Certainly these changes bring with them the wonderful side affect of sobriety. But sobriety is not my goal.

This may be a subtle difference, but it is important. I can be sober for months on end, without becoming converted completely to my Savior and becoming born again through Him. It can be easy for me to think because I am being sober I am being successful. Certainly sobriety is essential, but it's not enough. If I let my success in avoiding pornography make me complacent and keep me from doing the small, daily things which convert my soul, then truly sobriety is standing in the way of my recovery.

Humility is perhaps the key ingredient to recovery. When I am humble I am moldable, teachable, willing to listen to anything the Lord would have me do. Being the prideful man I am, as my sobriety builds I can start to think "I've got it. I can beat this...I....I....I" Nothing is more deadly for me than the "I" thoughts.

Recovery, for me, requires turning my life and will over to the Lord every single day. I have to be very aware that I take this step, no matter where my sobriety number lies. Because the day I forget to turn myself over to Him, is the day I start my slow descent. My goal, now and always, is to be converted to my Savior Jesus Christ.

Oh...and my sobriety is now at 150 days.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sentences to Ponder

How does this thought apply not only to those with addictions, but to anyone seeking to make the crucial changes which allow them to turn themselves over to God?

From Russel M. Nelson, Nov. 1988

Exercising the body and the spirit will aid in the climb toward recovery.
Appropriate physical activity helps to combat depression, which so often accompanies addiction.
But spiritual exercise is even more crucial. This battle will be more easily won with fervent prayer. If we truly “counsel with the Lord in all [our] doings, … he will direct [us] for good.” (Alma 37:37.)
Strength comes from uplifting music, good books, and feasting from the scriptures. Since the Book of Mormon was to come forth “when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth” (Morm. 8:31), study of that book in particular will fortify us. President Benson has issued that challenge. Exercise the body and the spirit and choose to exercise faith in God.