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Loss of testimony
By loving wife
2/28/2011 7:44:12 AM
It's been a long time since I last wrote. The truth is, I'm broken and tired of dealing with addiction. For 29 years we have been there for each other, and the church was the focus of our lives. Now that the kids are grown (all strong in the gospel), my husband has decided that he never really had a testimony. He has no desire to return to the temple, and he has a big problem with Joseph Smith. The thing is, I KNOW he had a testimony. He is being fed lies by his addiction.
Has anyone caught in addiction felt this way? How has your addiction affected your testimony? How can you stay focused on the gospel even in addiction? I know it's possible, so please give us counsel on how it can happen.

Comments:

I feel your (and his) pain.    
"I know exactly how he feels. One of the problems I run/ran into is that nobody seems to think these addictions are unhealthy, to the contrary, they preach that sexual addiction is extremely healthy. It's hard to see the negative effects of the drug when everything else in life seems to be going well aside from it. It wasn't until my wife had my bags packed for me that I really woke up and realized. I have been able to hold on to my testimony through my addictions because I have nothing else to live for in my life besides the gospel (inclusive in that is my family, of course). I have met men and women in the sex industry and see what hell it brings to them. They are not attractive in the least and it scared me. No wonder my wife wanted me out, I was becoming like that. It took a real earth shattering event (like being kicked out of my own house) to understand how bad it effects people around me."
posted at 12:12:27 on February 28, 2011 by Tuetis
Loss of spirit!    
"the Spirit is the testifier, the member of the God Head that knows all and leads us and comforts us. He will not dwell in a vessel that is unworthy of his presence. thus those in addiction not only suffer from a wavering testimony, but have a distinct loss of spiritual maturity."
posted at 19:43:37 on February 28, 2011 by Hero
I second Tuetis    
"I too got a wake up call when it seemed I was losing my wife.
She just could not give a damn anymore, she took control.
About losing a testimony, well I lost a lot of mine. I never once got to the point where I told myself the gospel is lies and the restoration is a fable.
I always knew, I just got so discouraged that I did not have the light in my life.
I have had this monster for 20 years and I can tell you that were it not for my wifes faith and belief in me, who knows where I would be.

He is being tormented by the lies and darkness around him but only he can light the candle and keep it burning"
posted at 08:06:56 on March 1, 2011 by ruggaexpat
If the church isn't true, then there is no sin    
"This is his thinking. I've noticed the warping of logic and bending of truth in my own mind as I've struggled with addiction, and I've seen it claim my brother.

The initial reaction after sin is guilt and remorse. God gives us these to make us want to repent. Yet if the sinner wants to hold on to the sin, the only other option is to twist reality in a feeble effort to convince him or herself that the church isn't true, that there isn't a God who disapproves of the action. Satan can then easily present reasons for the untruth of the gospel: Brother So-and-so did this, 200 years ago Brigham Young said that, church leader X apostasized. The addicted mind seizes upon these things and happily blows them out of proportion, thinking it will justify their own actions.

It appears that your husband's untruth of choice involves Joseph Smith.

I don't know what to tell you as far as how to deal with it. I suppose the corrective action is different for everybody. But the key is to never let yourself or him pretend that the real problem isn't the addiction. Because that is the source of the cancer."
posted at 10:59:37 on March 1, 2011 by iwillnot
Agreed    
"His loss of faith is in repentance not Joseph Smith. At least if he's anything like me :) Christ lives. Joseph Smith is his prophet. And if I can't/won't repent all of that and the gospel they preach (the gospel of repentance) doesn't matter very much. So why vex myself with belief?

I've stayed focused because I never quite praying"
posted at 11:46:20 on March 1, 2011 by Anonymous
For Me    
"I've never lost my testimony. I've stayed focused on the gospel by continuing to go to church and trying to keep up on praying and scripture study. For me my addiction is what brought me to the church.

I wish I had some great insight into how to help your husband. I agree that the real problem is the addiction. I wish you and your husband the best."
posted at 23:38:13 on March 1, 2011 by dstanley
Your husband DOES know it's all still true    
"I think your husband still has a testimony...

but he's tired... tired of trying.. tired of trying to keep up appearances.

joseph smith was not perfect (Joseph Smith admitted that) but for some reason mormons have to have perfection in their prophets and in the temple.

as an addict... I'm very tired of 'overpromising and underdelivering'

At this point in my life... I would rather just go help the widows & the fatherless on sunday mornings.. than listen to cracker jack sermons of how to 'incorporate stuff into my daily life'

your husband is under very real stress... but just know that MEN have a very deep heart... and that he just needs time to process this.

I think it was joseph smith who said.. that a mind stretched and expanded by truth can never go back to it's previous self.

I went through the stage your husband went through... and what helped me
1) a few really good friends to just talk about whatever I wanted to
2) service (just helping people)
3) exercise
4) 2 months away from church... and chance for me to really know for sure what it was that I wanted.

after the fires/ashes my addiction left... god is truly building a mansion for me in my life.
It's sooo fun to watch him to do for me..."
posted at 09:41:55 on March 5, 2011 by Anonymous
Boundaries    
"Some addicts don't get it until they hit rock bottom (see TUETIS' first comment above). You may want to consider establishing boundaries with consequences. When/if he crosses the boundary, invoke the consequence - that may mean he leaves your home for a period of time, or he leaves until he's clean or until he regularly attends ARP meetings, or whatever you decide is appropriate.

You need to protect yourself and continue to work on your relationship with God. The fact is, your husband loves his addiction more than he loves you or God. That's a harsh reality but if your husband decides to wallow in his addiction and justify it with the "church isn't true" BS excuse (see IWILLNOT's comments), maybe it's time to let him go. If losing you and everything else in his life is not enough of a catalyst to change, maybe it's time to move on. Or not - that's just my opinion, and I don't live your life.

The Lord loves you and He loves your husband. And although that's true, many of us are stiffnecked blockheads that are past feeling and cannot abide the higher law (for now) and consequently we sometimes need "Law of Moses" type consequences to bring us to our knees and to Christ. When the pain of sin is greater than the pain of repentance, we're close to coming to Christ. I hope your husband gets there soon.

That having been said, the most important thing is for you to get your own personal revelation on what you should do. "
posted at 01:45:39 on March 8, 2011 by Anonymous


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"My brethren who are caught in this addiction or troubled by this temptation, there is a way. Don’t accommodate any degree of temptation. Prevent sin and avoid having to deal with its inevitable destruction. So, turn it off! Look away! Avoid it at all costs. Direct your thoughts in wholesome paths. Please heed these warnings. Let us all improve our personal behavior and redouble our efforts to protect our loved ones and our environment from the onslaught of ography that threatens our spirituality, our marriages, and our children. "

— Dallin H. Oaks

General Conference, April 2005