Friday, December 31, 2010

My First Attempt at Poetry


Dark and dreary
Not knowing where to turn
Hollow and empty
It’s hard not to feel alone
Yet, there in the tunnel
Is a small shimmering light
I approach it with caution
Not daring to hope
Unable to run
Not feeling much strength
Moving my feet seems out of reach
Yet the light shines in front of me
And the one thing I know
I must discover it’s source
So slowly I move
Until pain shoots through my body
But move I must
Eternity passes
The light glimmers closer
Drawing my gaze
Suddenly beams break apart
I am blinded and slam shut my eyes
Was I deceived all along
Was it only an illusion
Trembling I open my eyes
Wondering if I can go on without the light
Only to find
It wasn’t one light
But many
Shining brightly in the dark
The people who love me
And want me to break free
The Savior who died for me
Shining brightest of all
So I move my feet forward again
A little bit faster now
With a glimmer of hope
Instilled in my heart

Thursday, December 30, 2010


So after relapsing, and while dealing with the terrible feelings that come with slipping back into an addiction that is slowly destroying my life, I have been thinking about fruits.

I'm talking about the metaphorical fruits the scriptures mention again and again.

When I am thinking clearly, like I am right now, it's pretty easy to see what the fruits of my actions are.

When I act out in the addiction it brings nothing but pain, sorry, and self-doubt. Not only to me but to all those around me.

When I act righteously, stay in recovery, and live the gospel, I bring happiness, peace and calm. Along with a degree of self-confidence that the addiction destroys.

So why is that so hard to see during times I am struggling with addiction? How can it possibly seem like a good idea to do things that I know will destroy my happiness? It seems so completely crazy. There hasn't been one time that looking at pornography has brought me lasting peace and happiness. Not once. Yet I turn to it again and again.

I wish I understood it. If a tree gave off rotten apples I'd only have take a bit of one once to learn never to eat from that tree again. Yet I continually turn back to my addiction. least today I'm thinking clearly about this. And today is the day that matters.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Messed Up

I relapsed.

It's hard to say that. And it is hard to set the clock back to zero days, but that is reality.

Being an addict to pornography is such a crazy thing. It's almost impossible to describe how terrible I feel when I relapse. Yet, all of these feelings are brought about by decisions I freely choose. It doesn't make any sense to myself, let alone to those around me.

So here I am. With 20 hours of sobriety. Trying to understand how to put my life back together. Perhaps the biggest challenge is. My wife is broken too. She's broken because of the pain my decisions bring.

Now we are trying to work on our marriage, and trying to help each other heal, while both being damaged. That is a difficult thing to do.

For the next while I think this blog will be more personal, and more about my personal battle to recover. I'll see if the writing helps.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crossing the Delaware

On Christmas Day 1776, George Washington camped with his troops on the shores of the Delaware River. The war had started with great promise. The tenaciousness of Bunker Hill. A victory in Boston. The signing of the Declaration of Independence. The fledgling nation had held high hopes. Since then, the revolutionary effort had been full of defeat and despair. Driven out of New York, nearly destroyed at Fort Washington and pushed across New Jersey, the army was weary of defeat. General Washington's immediate problems were numerous. His troops had been reduced by nearly 90%. Of the 6400 men he did have left, 1/3 were too sick to participate in offensive action. His next two highest ranking Generals were ignoring his commands, attempting to make a case to take over as Commander in Chief themselves. Food, clothing and shelter were scarce and the winter was ruthlessly cold. Many of his men were from New England, and they bristled at the thought of following a Virginian they viewed as uppity. Desertions were an epidemic. Topping it off, the enlistment of the majority of his men expired on Dec. 31. Considering the rampant low morale, it seemed as if his entire army would walk out the day they had the opportunity.

In the face of these challenges, George Washington had two choices. He could sit in camp, wait for better weather and hope for the best, or he could make a bold move designed not only to put his enemy off guard, but to lift the spirits of his fledgling country. He chose the hard path. On the night of Dec. 25, he led his men across the Delaware River. A blowing ice and sleet storm stalled the other two divisions of the army, but Washington pushed his troops across the ice strewn river by the sheer force of his will. Landing on the opposite bank at 3:00 AM, knowing his plan for a three way attack had failed, his conviction never wavered. He led his men into battle and routed the army of Hessians camped nearby. This victory was followed by success in Princeton and the defeat of the British forces occupying New Jersey. The spirit of the new country was lifted, the troops morale skyrocketed and reenlistment was nearly unanimous. George Washington's courage to cross amid the ice of the Delaware River changed the face of a bleak situation, and kick started the spirit of patriotism of the country which would become the United States of America. On the night of Dec. 25, George Washington chose to do the hard thing, and it made all the difference.

What's my Delaware River?

What's yours?

What is that one hard thing that if done, will make all the difference. I know in making difficult changes, in particular overcoming addiction, there are often really difficult steps. Steps such as openly admitting and confessing our weakness, or going to an Addiction Recovery meeting, or apologizing to a person we've hurt. Often, however, these steps are the very steps which will propel us to make lasting change.

Is there something out there holding you back? Is there something that you just don't think you can do, yet you know would have a huge impact on your desired change?

Maybe it's a good time to take a lesson from our first President...and cross your Delaware.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Fight for Agency

There are many kinds of addictions, and it is difficult for someone who has one of these serious addictions to change because some of them are mind-altering. A recent article on addiction said, “In the brains of addicts, there is reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex, where rational thought can override impulse behavior.” Some addictions can control us to the point where they take away our God-given agency. - James E Faust - Ensign, Nov. 2007

In the pre-mortal life we learn that we all fought a battle with Satan. There was one principle reason for this agency. At that point, I thought gaining my agency was important enough to side with my Savior and fight the powers of Satan.

Now here on this earth, I seem to be re-fighting that same battle. Addiction takes away my agency. I become a slave to the addiction and lose the ability to choose rationally. My battle to recover really is a battle against Satan for my agency. The same battle I fought all that time ago.

And the victory will come in the same way. By siding with my Savior.

It's interesting how Satan attacks agency so forcefully. Addiction, drugs, alcohol. All of these seem to have a way of taking away our ability to choose rationally. It's also interesting how through misuse of this precious agency...we can lose all that we fought so valiantly for.

In my mind now, I often consider how I willingly gave that agency up with choice after poor choice. And now I have to regain it with choice after wise choice...each of which involves leaning completely on my Savior.

It is a glorious blessing each time I realize that I truly can choose...and then I choose freedom through righteous choices.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Making Change Easy

The title of this post is meant to be ironic...change is never easy. But sometimes we make it harder than it needs to be.

I enjoy running. With the busy schedule I have, it's often hard to find the time to run. In order to get a jog in, I generally have to do it very early in the morning. There is only one problem with this plan...waking up early is HARD.

I've learned something about myself. If I get everything...and I mean EVERYTHING ready for the run the night before, it's much more likely I will get up and run. If I lay my running clothes out, get a sports drink in the fridge, get my iPod ready, even having the right song cued up, have my watch ready, and in general prepare in every way possible, then I am launching myself to a greater chance of success.

Sometimes we think in order to make a change it needs to be all will power. But I think the opposite is true. The less we have to rely on will power, the better chance the change will stick. The more preparation we can do...the easier we make it to change...the better off we will be when the going gets tough (like when the alarm goes off at 5:00 AM).

How does this apply to more spiritual changes, such as recovering from addiction?

I've found if I put some boundaries in place, I have a much easier chance of staying away from pornography. I can do things such as putting my home computer in a public place, having internet restrictions on my mobile phone, or using a tracking service such as Covenant Eyes.

None of these items are "the cure" to my addiction. The cure is healing by my Savior Jesus Christ and my reliance on him.

However, each of these things make it easier to change. They help me rely less on will power. And for me, this change is hard enough already.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Story - Part 3

(I'm not really sure how I feel about telling my story...this is a long and painful journey. But my heart is telling me to write it down for two reasons. First, because there may be some therapy in it for me, and second, because maybe someone out there can relate and learn from my pain. I don't know if this will be as much a narrative as a brain dump of events. To start at the beginning of my story, click here.)

Acting out

As I have earlier described, I spent a good part of my younger years battling thoughts that were not clean. I wish I understood better where those thoughts came from, but even after deep contemplation I cannot locate their source. However, they were the stepping stone to my next behavior.

In the 80's there were not the avenues to seek sexual material the way there is now. I couldn't get online and find pornography. Growing up in Utah County I couldn't go to the magazine rack and find a Playboy. But I did find my "pornography" in romance novels. Yep that's right, romance novels.

I would go to the store with my mom, and tell her that rather than shop, I wanted to go to the magazine rack and look at the sports magazines. I was obsessed with sports, so this little lie fit in perfectly. I would then locate the romance novel with the steamiest cover, and look for a sex scene. It took several efforts to find a scene that excited me. However, once I did it left an incredible impression on me.

How do I know it left such an impression? To this day, 20+ years later, I not only remember the name of the book, but the exact page number in which I found the scene. That day I got a hit of a drug so strong, that this many years later, I am still trying to overcome my bodies desire for it.

That drug has destroyed a marriage, and left a path of destruction through my life which is strewn with carnage. And now, my biggest desire is to live a life completely without that drug.

It is through my faith in Jesus Christ that i will be healed from an addiction that has lasted through all of those many years.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I read this article today about the affect of pornography on wives, and it absolutely broke my heart.

I am in love with my wife. Completely and totally in love with her.

And yet every emotion described in that article is an emotion she has felt due to my acting out in my addiction.

I believe there is a difference between shame/guilt and godly sorrow. It's easy for me to feel guilt and beat myself up my actions.

But when I think about the pain I have caused my wife, what I feel is a deep sorrow. This is a woman I love, who has had to suffer incredibly acute pain because of my choices.

True godly sorrow leads to change. And when I contemplate the destruction my choices have caused, it leads me to desire to turn myself to my Savior completely and totally, and do whatever he requires of me to heal my life, and my families lives.

Perhaps only those who have been in my position can understand the complex feelings that come from acting completely counter to how they feel. I believe that many men who live in pornography addiction truly love their wives. We would jump into a freezing cold river to save her. We would protect her life by giving up their own.

...and yet, in moments of weakness, we can't stop ourselves from behavior which brings her world crashing down.

That is the devastation of addiction. It destroys the wife...and it destroys the addict.

But their is great hope. Hope in Jesus Christ. He wants nothing more than to heal those painful wounds. And he can.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My Story - Part 2

(I'm not really sure how I feel about telling my story...this is a long and painful journey. But my heart is telling me to write it down for two reasons. First, because there may be some therapy in it for me, and second, because maybe someone out there can relate and learn from my pain. I don't know if this will be as much a narrative as a brain dump of events. To start at the beginning of my story, click here.)

Part 2 - Confession
I guess confession might be a weird place to pick up this story, but these events had a powerful impact on my life. About the time I was 11 I watched a couple of movies at a sleep over party that I knew I shouldn't have. Based on some of the thoughts I had been having, these movies excited me, but they also shamed me. I knew it was not the kind of thing I wanted to have in my life.

I carried these actions with me for a long period of time. They hung in my heart and cast a shadow across so much of my life. I just couldn't stop thinking about I had watched and how I needed to repent of it.

I learned during this time about the act of confession as part of repentance. In my heart I knew I had to confess what I had done. But then that thought which has haunted me for the past 20+ years came into my mind.

"You CAN'T tell anyone what you've done. If you tell them they will hate you, they will think you are a terrible person, they will shame you. You simply have to keep it secret".

I can't count how many times I have told myself that during my struggle with addiction. Unfortunately, I have listened to that message many times.

But this time, as an 11 year old, I finally got the courage to tell my mom as I was in bed one night. She listened to me, she talked to me, she told me she loved me, and she gave me a hug.

I wish I could say that night turned around my life. Unfortunately, as my story goes on you'll see that it didn't. However, I learned a valuable lesson that night. Confession is an act of humility which is necessary for repentance, necessary to have a clear conscience, and can lead to an outpouring of love.

I was not rejected by my mom because I told her that night, I was loved. I have had many times since then where I have known confession was the required step. Those times have never been easy, and many times I have not taken that step like I should. But I've never forgotten the lesson I learned that night that confession leads to peace.

Mosiah 26:29
... and if he confess his sins before thee and me, and repenteth in the sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive, and I will forgive him also.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Drop the Rope

In 2003 Rick Moody gave a talk entitled: For Ecclesiastical Leaders, Family, and Friends: Supporting Those Who Struggle With Sexual Compulsions.

In that talk he gave a metaphor which has been powerful for me as I think about recovery. He talked about picturing my struggle as a tug-of-war with a monster. I pull and pull as hard as I can, putting as much resistance on the rope as possible, but the monster keeps pulling also. As I fight, I am slowly pulled towards the pit which seperates us, and no matter how hard I fight, eventually I get pulled into the deep dark abyss of relapse.

Bro. Moody says that rather than fight and fight a losing battle, what I really need to do is drop the rope and walk away.

How does this apply to me?

I spend so much time fighting the addiction. I despise every sexual thought I have. I sing a million hymns and quote a thousand scriptures trying to get these thoughts out of my head. I tell myself I "cannot think that"... and I battle to clear my mind of it. I white knuckle my way through situations where temptation feels so strong I can't breathe. And often I end up losing the battle.

So how do I drop the rope?

I guess maybe that is the real question, and I'm not sure I have an answer to that question completely. But I do think that focusing my life on other pursuits is a good start.

Perhaps a concerted effort to build my marriage and get closer to my family.

Maybe an exercise program designed to lift my health and my spirits.

Or a program of service to help others.

This blog acts a bit as an outlet for me that leads to recovery, but hopefully isn't obsessed with a constant fight against addiction.

What I do get from this metaphor is a desire to set my sights on what is good, and what is uplifting, and what is encouraging, rather than spending all of my time fighting against the evil that seems to invade my life.

I can drop the rope. I can let it go, and spend my efforts pursuing righteousness and a relationship with my Savior.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Story - Part 1

(I'm not really sure how I feel about telling my story...this is a long and painful journey. But my heart is telling me to write it down for two reasons. First, because there may be some therapy in it for me, and second, because maybe someone out there can relate and learn from my pain. I don't know if this will be as much a narrative as a brain dump of events. To start at the beginning of my story, click here.)

Part 1

When I hear people talk about what lead them into a pornography or sexual addiction, there is often a specific event. For some it is something traumatic such as sexual abuse. For others it is a particular sleepover where they were introduced to pornography, or an uncle who thought they should "see the world" and showed them something pornographic. I have searched and searched my mind, but I cannot remember a single event which led me down this path.

I remember very clearly taking long road trips in the car with my parents. I would often lay on the floor, or lay down in the backseat and try to sleep. My brother was much better at falling asleep in the car than I was, and he was also older than me, so I would get crammed into a small space and would make every effort to sleep away the long hours. About the age of 9 or 10 I started thinking thoughts while I was in this stage. Dirty thoughts. I can't remember exactly what they were, or what even led me to those type of thoughts. But they were there at a young age, and they were real.

There was a time when I heard a primary lesson or a talk in church, or maybe even a Family Home Evening, which talked about controlling your thoughts. I felt the impact of that lesson deep in my heart, and I knew that I needed to stop thinking these thoughts, these early 'fantasies".

So I did. For a time. But for some reason I didn't keep that control, and about a year later I started thinking those same thoughts. In some ways it is very odd to me. We were very careful in my house about what we watched on TV. I wasn't reading anything sexual. What led me to those thoughts? I really don't know, but they were real. And if I analyze my life carefully, they were the beginning of a long and painful road that has led me to being a 39 year old sex addiction who continues to destroy his own life and the life of others.

Alma 12:14
...and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Peace and Sin

One of the most difficult parts of living in addiction, or living in sin of any of it's forms, is the lack of peace in life.

Over the past six years I have been actively seeking recovery from my addiction to pornography and other sexual sins. (The 20 years before that I was living in addiction without really trying to overcome it). During those six years I have had several stretches of 60-180 days of sobriety. When I am living a clean life, free of pornography, I feel such peace in my daily life. I wake up without an ache in my heart. I feel no fear of getting caught. I take the Sacrament with my head held high. I pray and feel close to my Savior. My heart is at peace.

When I am acting out in my addiction...when I am sinning...I feel the opposite. I feel turmoil and pain. I feel constant fear that I will be caught or that I will just have to admit to my failings. I feel like a failure in nearly all aspects of my life.

Living a life without peace is very difficult. In fact, after having experienced so much pain, I would have to say that peace is one of the greatest gifts of the Spirit and of the atonement.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

When I have relapsed, along with all the pain of letting myself, my savior, my wife, and my family down. The loss of that peace is one of most difficult aspects. Peace is a true blessing from my Savior. And it comes from living the commandments and serving others.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Capturing - Part 1

For a description of capturing, see here.

From the LDS Family Services Addiction Recovery Program Guide Book - Page v

We have known great sorrow, but we have seen the power of the Savior turn our most devastating defeats into glorious victories.

Anyone who has suffered from addiction can relate to sections of this sentence. I know what great sorrow feels like. I know what devastating defeats feel like. In fact, devastating defeats is the perfect description of many of my relapses. Time after time I have worked to stay sober. Time after time I have felt success and peace as the Lord blesses me with a slowly changing heart. And time after time I have felt completely and utterly devastated when I fall yet again.

But, I think I am focusing on the wrong part of this sentence (as my character weakness of self-pity would want me to do). The great part of this sentence is the victory. These people have experienced victory in the atonement of Jesus Christ. They have felt the sorrow and pain I have felt and have come out on the other side with a tremendous victory in Christ. That is a powerful message of hope.

We who once lived with daily depression, anxiety, fear, and debilitating anger now experience joy and peace.

Once again I love the contrast of this sentence. I have felt all of the emotions in this sentence. I know how painful it is to live in addiction. I've done it for 24 years. It brings on feelings that I can't escape. It makes me feel worthless and useless. More than that, it makes me feel like a tool of destruction. I feel like every relationship I build is destroyed by my actions.

There I go again, finding it easier to focus on the negative than the positive. What is the real message of this sentence? That there is joy and peace out there to be enjoyed. I have felt that too. Anytime I turn to the Lord and experience a period of righteousness, I feel calm in my life. I feel peace. And there is no feeling greater than the gift of peace from my Savior when I am making efforts to live His way.

We have witnessed miracles in our own lives and in the lives of others who were ensnared in addiction.

That is what I need...a miracle. But you know what? A miracle is what is out there waiting for me. It's happened to others. In fact, I believe it happens to every single person who will truly humble themselves before the Lord and turn their live and will over to Him. It is this miracle of healing that I ask the Lord for every day, and this miracle of healing that keeps me going in the face of the devastating defeats.

I believe in the miracle of healing from my Savior Jesus Christ. That faith, no matter how wavering it is at times, keeps me getting up every time I fall.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thought to Ponder

With the help of the Holy Ghost, we can watch over ourselves. We can pray to recognize and reject the first thoughts of sin. We can pray to recognize a warning not to speak words which would hurt or tempt someone else. And we can, when we must, pray for the humility and the faith to repent.

There will surely be some who hear my voice who will have this thought come into their minds: “But the temptations are too great for me. I have resisted as long as I can. For me, the commandments are too hard. The standard is too high.”

That is not so. The Savior is our Advocate with the Father. He knows our weaknesses. He knows how to succor those who are tempted.

- Henry B. Eyring, Ensign May 2006

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thought to Ponder

Any kind of addiction inflicts a terrible price in pain and suffering, and it can even affect us spiritually. However, there is hope because most addictions can over time be overcome. We can change, but it will be difficult.

A complete change in lifestyle may be necessary. We must desire with all our hearts, minds, and strength to overcome these harmful addictions. We must be prepared to renounce totally and absolutely our participation in any of these addictive substances or practices.

- James E. Faust, Ensign Nov. 2007

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Progress Matters

Recovering from addiction is often seen as black and white. We count days of sobriety with acute attention to detail. We talk about our last relapse and work every single day to avoid the next. In many ways that is as it should be. After all, the goal of recovery is to remove this addiction from our lives completely.

But I think an important point can often be missed:

Progress Matters

In my efforts to recover, I have suffered through many relapses. They are always painful. They also seem to be the end of the world at the time. My thoughts are a jumbled mess of "How could this happen...I've been trying so hard...I've done everything the Lord could I possibly be back HERE."

But with the passage of some time, and a lot of prayer and (forced) humility, I begin to understand that I am not BACK anywhere. In fact, I am far from where I used to be. Even in my relapse I see differences. Rather than hiding my actions, I go to a recovery meeting and admit what I've done. Rather than letting the cycle drag me down into months of acting out, I allow the Lord to pull me back up and start moving forward again.

If I look at where I am now compared to where I was four years ago, two things are abundantly clear. First, I have a lot of work to do to be where I want to be. Second, I have come a LONG way from where I was.

Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that I am progressing. But it is the very progress that I make every day, the progress which builds my testimony and strengthens my faith, that is driving my recovery.

No matter the change you are trying to make in your life, you will nearly always have setbacks. You will yell at your kids after promising you wouldn't. You will drink that Cherry Coke after swearing off soda. You will not wake up as early as you committed. When you do, the temptation will be to feel like a failure. To say to yourself "I can't do this, why did I even bother trying." But before the frustration sets in, take just a second and think about where you are. If you are honest with yourself, you will likely see that you are far from where you were. You will see something to build on.

Remember...Progress Matters.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Thought to Ponder

How do we decide where our repentance should be focused? When a loved one or friend suggests things we need to change, the natural man in us sometimes pops up his head and responds, “Oh, you think I should change? Well, let me tell you about some of your problems.” A better approach is to humbly petition the Lord: “Father, what wouldst Thou have me do?” The answers come. We feel the changes we need to make. The Lord tells us in our mind and in our heart.

- Neil L. Andersen, Ensign, Nov. 2009

Monday, March 1, 2010

The 10 Lost Years

As part of my recovery I attend LDS Family Services Addiction Recovery meetings. These meetings are a safe place to honestly share my thoughts and feelings with others suffering from addiction, and also to hear their successes and trials.

After one particularly powerful meeting, I was talking to one of my friends from the group. We were pondering some of opportunities we had lost due to being so caught up in addictive behaviors. We discussed the time wasted, the relationships that we never developed, the goals we could have accomplished. Near the end of our discussion, he verbalized the thought we both had in our mind.

"Oh if I could only have those ten years back"

I would imagine most recovering addicts know exactly what he meant by that. There was so much we could have accomplished if we hadn't been spending all our time, energy, and thought to fulfill our insane cravings.

But then it hit me...those ten years might be gone, but the next ten were still in front of me. While I can't change what happened over the past decade, I can change what will happen in the next. The real tragedy would looking back in ten years and saying "Oh, if I could only have those years back."

Isn't that true of any change we want to make? It's easy to beat ourselves up for past failures.

...Oh if I had only started exercising years ago

...Oh if I had only read the scriptures more with my family

...Oh if I had only spend more time with my kids

What has happened in the past can't be changed, but the real issue is, what we will do with the future? Will I work today to overcome addiction? Will I work today to be kinder, give more service, love more, control my temper?

Or will I look back next year and say "Oh, if I only..."

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thought of the Day

It is not possible to make real change all by ourselves. Our own willpower and our own good intentions are not enough. When we make mistakes or choose poorly, we must have the help of our Savior to get back on track. We partake of the sacrament week after week to show our faith in His power to change us. We confess our sins and promise to forsake them.

When our best efforts are not quite enough, it is through His grace that we receive the strength to keep trying. The Lord says: "If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

- Julie Beck, Ensign, May 2007

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I write a lot about overcoming addiction to pornography, because that is the challenge I am fighting in my life. But as I think about change, I think maybe the entire purpose of our lives is to change. To change from letting the natural man rule our decisions to turning our life and will over to our Savior.

Change is hard. Just ask anyone who has tried to lose weight...or start an exercise program...or start waking up earlier...or stop losing their temper...or stop procrastinating. Why is change so hard, and how can we make changes that stick?

I don't have all the answers.

I do think I would like to study change more and gain a better understanding.

For now I will leave two thoughts.

1) It is through the atonement of Jesus Christ that our greatest and most powerful changes come. When we learn to rely on him and allow him to change us, we find great success.

2) Notwithstanding #1, there are practical lessons that can teach us how to make successful change. In many ways I think it falls on us to understand how to practically change our lives, and then rely on the Lord to help us achieve that change.

It is that familiar refrain. Pray like it all depends on the Lord, and then work like it all depends on us.