Question about Repentance and Sobriety
By dstanley
1/21/2011 4:58:15 PM
My bishop asked me to read the talk Boyd K Packer gave at the last conference called Cleansing the Inner Vessel. I have lots of thoughts about it, but it leaves me with a question. How can the key to sobriety be repentance if part of repentance is being sober? That seems to me to be a chicken or egg situation. Maybe it's just the mental state I'm in, but I'm not getting it. Any thoughts?


My understanding    
"Because repentance opens the door to sobriety.

Not 20 or 50 or 99,99999999%

100% repentance.

Thus 100% sobriety is a function of 100% repentance."
posted at 18:21:11 on January 21, 2011 by ruggaexpat
"How do you get 100% repentance without 100% sobriety?"
posted at 18:33:32 on January 21, 2011 by dstanley
"The way I managed to get free to this point is the other way round.

I cannot have sobriety without repentance.
I can have sobriety after repentance.

That is the real question you are asking, it is a good question.

Look at it the other way.
Don't worry about sobriety, worry about the repentance. If you do this I promise you sobriety will follow. It will be a natural result of your repentance. That is what Elder Packer is saying. That is what the savior has always taught.

Faith and repentance are the beginning to that new life you dream of. They are the basics but in my case the basics were gone with the wind since a year ago."
posted at 19:45:14 on January 21, 2011 by ruggaexpat
I have done it one day at a time as a repentance process    
"The result is freedom and lasting freedom.

Keep asking those questions, they were and still are also key to my repentance and sobriety."
posted at 19:48:03 on January 21, 2011 by ruggaexpat
"Sometimes I think we confuse forgiveness with repentance. We can be forgiven and still be in the repentance recovery process. Repentance is to exercise faith in your forgiveness. Recovery is the process of repentance. Forgiveness is immediate! Repentance is recovery in action. "Go and sin no more" Just my 2 cents."
posted at 22:33:29 on January 21, 2011 by Hero
I Am So Confused    
"I don't know what else to say. I totally don't know what I'm doing anymore."
posted at 22:39:39 on January 21, 2011 by dstanley
"I hear ya, one hundred percent! I'm confused MOST of the time. "Sobriety" is a gift that is given. It is grace. I will say that I have seen that gift given at many different stages of a persons repentence process. Some lucky ones get it right from the start. Others wait years. But you are IN recovery! You are putting yourself in alignment to recieve this gift. If it doesn't come right away...hang on and hang in there with your recovery efforts. The apostle Paul died with "a thorn" in his side. I am sure Jesus removed it in eternity. Sometimes we just need to put in the effort and continue to forgive ourselves for being imperfect and try to have joy in the fact that Heavenly Father blesses those "who hunger and thirst after righteousness". Jesus says that one day we will be filled with righteousness. Some of us are at a biological disadvantage and it is hard enough to get out of bed in the morning let alone, acccumlate years of sobriety. He is mindful of us and we must wait on the miracle. Maybe it will happen today..."
posted at 10:28:10 on January 22, 2011 by Anonymous
Hanging In    
"Funny that you should say hang on and hang in. I say that all the time on here. I guess I need to follow my own advice. I am really struggling with keeping up the spiritual stuff when I slip. I feel fake praying and studying when I've slipped the night before or that morning. My counselor told me I'm too hard on myself, and I think I'm seeing how right he is. I don't forgive myself. This is so frustrating."
posted at 14:10:53 on January 22, 2011 by dstanley
Maybe Getting It    
"One has to quit acting out to repent, and that process of repenting will bring about sobriety?"
posted at 20:06:14 on January 23, 2011 by dstanley
Oh yes    
"That is it D.

You got it.

But it goes further than acting out.
Cleansing the inner vessel involves cleaning the thoughts, the heart and the soul.


Don't get fooled like I was that anything else but acting out is fair game with the Lord. That is a big lie and by doing so I justified, rationalized and minimized the sorry state my soul was in."
posted at 21:47:10 on January 23, 2011 by ruggaexpat
I Get It    
"....and I so get that acting out is a demonstration of the inner problems. I'm trying to figure those out and work on them.

Thanks everybody for your help on this one. It was really frustrating me."
posted at 22:53:51 on January 23, 2011 by dstanley
the inner problem is your HUMAN.......    
"HUMAN....carnal senual and devilsih......MB is a symtom....and like have said before, a deeper one of LOVE,.....pure love. love from parents, friends, brothers, sisters, and your 1st marriage there was PORN, whish hasn't nothing to do with love, just knocking one out...hard to feel love when your thoughts are in that place instead of love and harmony...
so you have to recover from all that, which IMO is this.....(and me included) the lord has to change the can only do so much, but in the end, its his grace and power that changes you....our merits don't really equall sqaut.,,,,,,,,,,the truth sex addict, has to come to find the 100% rely on god....thats the trick.

i wouldnt get all tangled about words + meanings....repentence, sober, not a t doctor and it confuses me......ONE DAY AT A when someone ask how long has it been.....its been one day better........ONE DAY ONE DAY ONE DAY....thats all i say.

DS don't beat your self up cause you masterbate....theres worse you could be doing. look at it this know, i am sure that you have or know someone that loves a cat or dog....dont you? maybe you even had one growning up didn't you? you loved was your friend, and you could wait to get home to see your animal..........well one day as animals do, they do what animals do......lets take a cat for example.....lets saw, your cat named, MOUSER, was outside and caought himself a rat, and played with it outside, and then decided to leave the after math on your porch, as a token of his shiverly ( or what ever the hell they think).....and you like a good owner (or slave) go and pick it up. and clean it up....but, has your love for your animal changed? did you spot loving him? did you banesh him from the house? did you kick him in the gut the next time he walked by you and siad he was hungry? nope- no- still llove him even though he has this animal side.....the deviant part..........gods the same should see yourself the same way too....

posted at 05:15:17 on January 24, 2011 by Anonymous
"That was good stuff, my friend! I like the analogy!"
posted at 06:18:03 on January 24, 2011 by Anonymous
Mind Games    
"D--I had to smile at your question. For me mind games are often stumbling blocks when I'm trying to work through the steps.

For me a mind game that was challenging was "If I am powerless but God can give me power how does he do it...How can I have the power if I am powerless?" I kept trying to figure out exactly how God could help me overcome my addiction--especially if I am powerless. One day I realized I was focused on the wrong thing. I didn't need to know the "how" I just needed to follow through with the "do"--I needed to turn to him and seek his help. This seems simple (primary) but it made all the difference for me. I started praying in ways I had never prayed before. Simple but incredibly sincere prayers. During the day "God help me to stay clean today"..."Heavenly father I want to be clean please help me". When I stopped worrying about how and just started to ask for help it clicked for me. The power came.

Since then I've learned that some mind games just don't need to be played. If I get stuck in one I might bring it up in group or with my sponsor. Often my sponsor will smile or even laugh at (with) me. Another mind game I was focused on was this desire to have months of recovery (at the time I was <90 days into recovery). I wanted to know I would make it to 6 months, a year....I wanted to see & have the future. I was focusing on the future (and forgetting today) My sponsor encouraged me to not worry about the months or the years--to forget them--just focus on that day. That has been a blessing.

My sponsor says this (addiction) is a thinking disease. How nice when we are able to find a new way of thinking that helps rather than hinders us.

Best Wishes,

posted at 06:48:49 on January 24, 2011 by Seekrecovery
Good thoughts skyteam and seeking    
"Thanks for the comments. My counselor has me working on not being so hard on myself and not beating myself up. I get frustrated when I don't understand things, especially when I'm told (or it's implied) that understanding them is important to the repentance process or recovery."
posted at 23:59:58 on January 24, 2011 by dstanley
God's way    
"I found that for 18 years I tried to gain sobriety my way: quitting. Once I let go and started to repent I found myself experiencing sobriety! Quitting was my way to get there and repenting was God's way. God's way is the only way to be free!"
posted at 16:30:51 on January 25, 2011 by hubster
"I think I'll spend some time on the church site reading talks about repentance."
posted at 20:42:28 on January 25, 2011 by dstanley
"Anyone have any good suggestions of talks/articles or anything else to read on repentance?"
posted at 20:57:24 on January 25, 2011 by dstanley
Neil Anderson    
""Don’t be discouraged. If you are striving and working to repent, you are in the process of repenting." -N.A. Anderson

posted at 09:15:26 on January 26, 2011 by lawrence
Boyd K. Packer    
"Boyd K. Packer, “The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 19."
posted at 09:18:17 on January 26, 2011 by lawrence
"Thanks Lawrence. I printed them out to read."
posted at 00:09:54 on January 27, 2011 by dstanley

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"Freedom from your transgression will come through sincere faith, true repentance, willing obedience, and the giving of self. Why the giving of self? Because selfishness is at the root of your problem. Where selfishness and transgression flourish, the Spirit of the Lord can’t enter your life to bless you. To succeed, you must conquer your selfishness. When your beacon is focused on self, it does little more than blind your vision. When turned outward through acts of kindness and love, it will light your path to happiness and peace. "

— Richard G. Scott

General Conference May 1990