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Previous Blog: Priesthood Blessings 2
By josh
8/21/2006 12:00:00 AM
(Copied from a previous blog on a different site)

(continued from last blog)

To this day I have not completely overcome these feelings. I still feel guilt from these events, and I still feel I owe it to my brother (not to mention my wife, my children, myself, and my Heavenly Father) to completely overcome this addiction. I am always wondering how my life, and the lives of others around me, might have been better had I been able to be more in tune with the spirit. What blessings have I missed out on? What blessings have I kept from my family? It is so painful to ponder this, then determine that at least I have the future to make corrections, only to then succumb once again to temptation. I begin to see why I have at times become apathetic towards my addiction. I just can't handle the guilt, and there are only two ways to alleviate that guilt; either overcome the problem, or become apathetic to it. Since I have tried and tried to overcome and am always eventually unsuccessful, I gradually move (unintentionally) towards apathy.

Do you see why I simply must overcome at all costs? I don't care what it takes anymore! I am done! I have to be! I just can't take it anymore! Submit me to torture, take away my pride, humiliate me, embarass me, I just don't care! I will do anything to overcome! Yet past experience has taught me that committment is unfortunately fast fleeting. I am quite literally scared of myself. How can I guarantee that I will not give in to temptation? I can't! No one can guarantee what they will or will not do in the future. All I can do is take advantage of every possible tool available to me - daily. Going to LDS Addiction recovery meetings helps. Being honest with my spouse helps. Talking with my bishop will help. Even writing this blog helps - it helps me to broaden my base of accountability. Daily scripture study and prayer helps. I sometimes feel as though my pledge to overcome must be as consuming as the addiction has been in my life. Lately my thoughts have been consumed by overcoming this addiction. I can't wait to blog another day. I can't wait to attend the recovery meetings. I even look forward to speaking with my spouse about it, because I can look her in the eye and tell her that I am doing great. I am realizing as I write that my scripture study is not what it should be - I also need to study the 12 step program more. I'm going to the meetings, but I really need to take it to heart - both the program and the scriptures. I cannot afford to become apathetic even for a day. It is a battle that must be defeated, not just withstood. I must advance upon the enemy, not just defend myself against him. It is interesting to me that in Paul's discussion of the armor of God, there is not just a shield, a breastplate, and helmet. There is a sword - an offensive weapon. You don't use a sword to defend yourself - you use it to attack, to move forward. And so I must. I can't just eliminate pornography in my life, I must replace it with something else. The list of good things that will come to me in its absence is practically endless, but they will not come by themselves - I must pursue them and invite them in.

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"In recent years, as I have sung the hymns of the Atonement, it has been with an especially full heart—and also with full voice, when I can continue to sing—lines such as “How great thou art,” “I scarce can take it in,” “To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,” “I stand all amazed,” and “Oh, it is wonderful!”"

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987