Moving Forward
By aurelius89
2/28/2011 8:11:14 PM
Step 6 - Key Principle — Become entirely ready to have God remove all your character weaknesses.
This is exciting for me to announce that I've decided to move forward boldly and filled with faith to the next step in my progression. Sunday was spent fasting almost the entire day with an uplifting night of music that drives my passionate side into connecting spiritually with the Savior as the general theme of the event was all about prayer. Today was somewhat frustrating as another job opportunity fell through, but after calming down and doing some proactive things around the house I'm feeling a lot better. It definitely helped to go to institute today as my spiritual health seeks and receives nourishment really well--it's almost like the idea of starving to death for so long and now finally being able to feast as mentioned in one of my favorite scriptures found in 2 Nephi 32 that says "Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do."

My first class discussed the importance of the restored Priesthood authority that we have to guide ourselves and receive direction and that all our blessed by it as a divine gift of our Heavenly Father. As someone that has made sacred covenants in the temple and receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood--well, I understand that the seriousness of my repentance and recovery now is much more serious now that it ever has been, and that this time is critical for me to make permanent changes as to avoid the pitfalls of relapses. Everything went well as expected with my Bishop as my heart was able to convey the sorrow that I've been feeling and the understanding that the Atonement is such a profound concept to heal the pains I've been carrying. The road is still long ahead and in my mind this step will take me more time to master as the objective is to allow the Atonement to correct my character weaknesses. Nonetheless I'm moving forward proudly knowing that I'm moving upward as long as I keep to the plan I've made and daily reflect on my personal inventory. We discussed how the natural man can destroy relationships today in my marriage prep class and the scripture found in Mosiah 3:19. "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." There are many things to be gathered and studied from this verse as it reminds me of all the attributes that I need to improve. The topic reminded me of a talk that I really enjoyed from this past General Conference during Priesthood Session. My plans are to really study this out to better understand how I can "yield to the enticings of the Spirit" as I work on being able to regain the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers--there are many more that stay in the darkness not knowing where to search for help. In our efforts to seek recovery, we must always be aware of those souls wandering by themselves trying to fight the addictions alone and inviting them to join us.


Glad things are going well    
"I'm glad things are going well for you. I hope that continues. Keep working hard at it."
posted at 00:21:43 on March 1, 2011 by dstanley
Faithfully Confronting Challenges    
"Tomorrow will be the second time I talk to my Bishop about the recent issues, and will likely be another week of fasting and reflection as it seemed very beneficial and cleansing last week. Having the old feelings of embarrassment and isolation of receiving a disfellowship status is always difficult, and most especially when asked to say the prayer in front of the Stake President and several ward members during a lesson that happened to follow on the day of Ward Conference. Nonetheless those feelings of inadequacy and shame subsided in order for me to see the greater purpose and those feelings will motivate me to stay away from this situation in the future. Frequently I think about my beautiful future wife and the family we want to raise, knowing that my spirituality must be strong so as to righteously lead my home with the Priesthood. The process of restitution and reconciliation will be determined by my dedication in staying consistent with my 5 points of successful recovery and repentance, which must be considered as two separate achievements, but both performed with the sacred power of the Atonement and actively accepting the will of the Lord, which may at times really be the will of others. That is also difficult for me as it triggers a challenge of letting down one of our greatest imperfections of mankind, pride. With complete humility and openness I wrote down every sin that came to mind in my personal inventory and since that time my temptations have not been as strong with the constant reminder of each mental trigger and spiritual detractor. It's hard to let the world see my weaknesses as it is for anybody, and even to reveal those weaknesses before loved ones and even to One who is in every way perfect. Likely it relates to childhood difficulties of having enmity towards myself and even acting out violently at times--not to say that I'm emotionally unstable now as I've had years of regaining control, but I have to bring light to every darkness that is associated with the addiction, and most especially to this time of my life. You could say that perfectionism and extreme criticism are major contributors to my emotions, but I'm even more confident that the Lord will be able to do as step 6 instructs, to purify character weaknesses. Going to school can be a major challenge for me because it places me in a situation where I'm surrounded by people that are usually older and not the most intellectual--almost uncontrollably I seek to somehow make myself feel better by demonstrating my educational aptitudes in a way of condescending everyone else. Other issues seem to be the difficulty in helping my fiancee's mother understand our desire to be married this year as she is convinced that waiting will somehow be easier financially, even though she doesn't understand much about the cruelties of the American education system, nor does she feel ready to let go of her youngest daughter. In truth I can completely understand as my own mother would react similarly if one of my sister's was to leave the country to be with their husband, but it seems ridiculous that those of older generations expect us to do otherwise when in truth there are some hypocrisies in their thinking. It doesn't seem meaningful to elaborate anymore, so please forgive me as I'm mostly releasing some frustration as a young adult."
posted at 14:32:49 on March 5, 2011 by aurelius89
"I counted four typos. : )"
posted at 16:45:11 on March 5, 2011 by Anonymous
Hang in there    
"I'm glad you're handling things well. Hang in there and keep up the good work."
posted at 15:40:46 on March 6, 2011 by dstanley
Heal first    
"God put the flesh back on Adams rib before presenting Eve. The importance of being healed before being qualified for union. Just a thought."
posted at 02:03:04 on March 7, 2011 by Hero
Hold Back    
"Firstly, not that it is really important, but I don't really see any typos besides the informal grammar that is somewhat expected in a blog.

Thanks D, your encouragement has been consistent and helpful this past week and so I really appreciate it.

Hero, I'm not trying to be rude, but it doesn't seem right for anyone else to say when the right time for marriage is if we're first making goals to be married civilly. If you've ever been in love, well you understand the need to be together when spirituality is magnified and strengthened that way. Companionship life can be a powerful way to recover from the traps of addictions when the other is not tempted by them so that he or she may be a source of comfort and strength. My bishop has encouraged me towards the goal and so have several LDS experts in the field of psychology. Yes, it's true that I must be focused on getting better, but refraining from marriage when the right steps have already been made is only denying a blessing that is already there. We look to heal together and become completely clean before entering the temple, which will probably not be so until next year, but it would do more harm than good for me to let go of the greatest person in my life."
posted at 14:19:01 on March 7, 2011 by aurelius89
"I wasn't giving my advice. Just sharing information from the scriptures. I believe the scriptures to be my road map for life.

I am concerned for your future wife. I am a missionary for spouses whose loved ones are addicted sexually. Many Bishops do not have a full understanding of sexual addiction. Many feel erroneously that marriage will cure and help heal the addict. This is not true. The addict has to heal the addict....with the help of our Saviour of course and His redeeming sacrifice and the gift of the Atonement. 12 step attendance as I understand you are doing, and many other recovery practices.

It does not matter if the marriage is a civil marriage or one that has been sealed in the temple. God is still involved in the process.

So many of the Sisters in the PASGS program have testified.....I knew before we were married, (his addiction), but I had no idea how painful this would be and how powerless I am over giving any significant help to his recovery. How it has effected me and who I am, what I think of him and myself. If I knew then what I know now, I am not sure I would have made the decision for marriage.

So Aurelius, I make these comments not discourage you, or make you feel less than, but in a true effort to help you see that you may be impacting your sweethearts life in a way you do not wish or even imagine you could. I pray you have been truthful with your future wife. If so, you could give her some books to read on the subject. "He Restoreth My Soul" or "From Heartache to Healing". It would be wise for you to download the family spouse manual on the left of this screen and give that to her. She will need support just as you do. If you truly love her you will make sure she is prepared. Otherwise the companionship and support you are expecting can become more of an obstacle to your recovery, seeing your sweethearts tears of anguish, betrayal, sorrow, despair can be a HUGE trigger for you if you have not learned how to be emotionally mature. How to deal with emotions that you have self medicated previously.

Be as honest with your sweetheart as I hope you would be if your DNA exposed a threat to the health and welfare of your future children. Because the reality of this addiction is that if one does not thoroughly repent and forsake any sin, it will be passed on to future generations. Not my opinion, but what our scriptures tell us. And because I am from a much older generation and have experienced much and gained more wisdom, I testify this to be true.

Love and prayers to you and your sweetheart!"
posted at 17:06:53 on March 7, 2011 by Hero
Hero has a point    
"Addicts often think that marriage will help keep them clean. Even thou the enter into the covenant with the best intention of living a clean life. Marriage is already challenging and asks for countless sacrifices when both parties are emotionnally and spiritually healthy. The added weight of bringing a sexual addiction is often too much for marriage and especially for a young bride to go trough. Sobriety takes time, if one is not completely clean before marriage, it exposes the other spouse to a huge amount of pain and suffering. I do not know the wife of an addict who has had a happy and fulffiled marriage. My husband thought that marriage was going to help him stay clean, not so, it went on for years as he struggled up and down, taking me and our young children to an emotionnally hell with him. I have been married ten years and all if not most have been painful years, I have to walk a long road of recovery that will take years to heal from all the scars his addiction inflicted upon me. My husband was not an evil man, he just struggled with this addiction. I will not council any young couple to get married before a good and solid period of sobriety and recovery (at least a year or more). I think it is worth the wait to spare a loved one crushing pain and painfull scars. I think we must enter into marriage not only willing but emotionnaly and physically and spiritually ready and able to keep the law of chastity. But then, your bishop who knows you more and her bishop would be able to guide. It is just my experience, that so much pain would have been spared and pain on my beautiful small children, had my husband really been completely cleaned and recovered before marriage. This addiction is like a cancer that eats at marriage, as you well know.
Good luck"
posted at 19:55:39 on March 7, 2011 by Anonymous
My thoughts    
"Is your fiance getting counseling from someone with experience with addiction? I think if she knows fully (or as fully as one can) what she's getting into, it is her choice. I don't know if it's any less painful to be engaged to an addict than to be married to one. I don't know that getting married is going to make it easier to be sober. It might in some ways, but I wouldn't count on it or let your fiance count on it either. If you weren't already engaged, I would say wait to get into a relationship, but you're already in one. Sometimes it is better to be married than to date, and your counselors and bishops are the ones best able to advise the two of you. Pray lots and make sure you both understand what you're getting in to. Having been married to two addicts, I will say that the addiction wasn't what caused the marriage to end. Good luck."
posted at 21:53:53 on March 7, 2011 by dstanley
Good Advice    
"Going in with both eyes wide open is a great way to start out. It is awesome the love you have for one another. Trials can make a marriage amazing - or can break it easily dependent upon circumstances.

No one here is trying to discourage in any way. We are just speaking experience.

I am strengthened by your faith. Your resolve. Your desire to do right, by God, By yourself, and by your sweet wife-to-be. Good luck. This is a great place to be."
posted at 22:50:08 on March 7, 2011 by 4intow

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"Now, my brothers and sisters, let not Jesus’ redemption for us stop at the immortalizing dimension of the Atonement, “the loosing of the bands of death”. Let us grasp the proffered gift of eternal life! We will end up either choosing Christ’s manner of living or His manner of suffering! It is either “suffer even as I”, or overcome “even as [He] … overcame”. His beckoning command is to become “even as I am”. The spiritually settled accept that invitation, and “through the atonement of Christ,” they become and overcome! "

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987