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Continuing the Repentance/Recovery Process
By PaulThomas
9/20/2011 3:34:10 AM
This past Sunday my Bishop gave a lesson to my elders quorum on preparing to serve a mission that focused mainly on the law of chastity. He encouraged any of us who had issues to clear up to come and talk to him as soon as possible. I was already planning on talking to him in a week or two, but after the lesson I went looking for the ward secretary to set up an appointment for the following week. When I finally found him he was surrounded by a swarm of about 30 elders (there's about 150 elders in my student ward) who were trying to set up appointments. I think the lesson hit a lot of people pretty hard, and the poor 18 year old secretary got swamped on his first day on the job ;)

Later that day I was in my building common room with 9 other guys from my floor. We were sort of joking about the awkwardness of the lesson when one guy just blurted out and asked if anybody had ever masturbated or looked at porn. At first nobody answered but eventually every person admitted that they had (except one kid who was so red and shaky I think he was lying). I was sort of shocked, I knew I wasn't the only one that had masturbated before but I had no idea it was THAT widespread. So the reason I told this big boring story is because it gave me confidence (not in anyway justification) for batting my addiction. And it relaxed my nervousness about talking to the bishop knowing he's probably seeing 30 other people on the same day for the same or similar problem. And I hope it can be encouraging to anybody else in my situation or one similar.

Also, I looked at the addiction recovery manual for the first time. I think I've already done steps 1-3 without knowing what they are. I'm doing step 4 tonight and step 5 on Sunday. Along with the 9 other guys on my floor I've also been talking to my roommate about the same thing (shocker he had the problem too). He's been through the process in his home ward and he's helping me do the same thing. I'm almost convinced roommate selection at BYUI is determined by inspiration from President Monson himself. I'm so blessed to have my own SA recovery program on my floor and my own personal counselor across the room. And I'm also grateful for this site. I realize now that talking to my bishop will not end this addiction. I need to completely turn myself over to the Lord and there's a manual that tells me how to do it on this very site.

Thanks everybody for all your inspiring stories. They are definitley helping me to end my addiction.

Comments:

Wow just wow    
"I am not at all blown away by the extent of the problem, I am blown away by the courage and the outreach that was just shown.

In my opinion this could play out two ways, some will use this as a spring board to learn they are not alone, and that shame will only isolate and make the problem worse. Others will figure that 'everyone is doing it' and will use it as an excuse to not get better....but those people were going to find an excuse anyway. So in the end, I think that this is an amazing and surprising turn of events for a ward. What an inspired lesson. I wish you could have recorded it and uploaded it. :)"
posted at 07:09:27 on September 20, 2011 by maddy
Thank you    
"Thank you for posting this story. Inspiring to hear that so many people were touched by the lesson, enough to have the courage to come forward to talk to the bishop. Hopefully they won't resist the spirit's prompting to come clean with everything instead of minimizing, which is something I unfortunately did for years. But once I came clean with EVERYTHING, wow, how liberating!"
posted at 11:40:48 on September 20, 2011 by 1day@atime
This church is figuring it out    
"Thank you for sharing your story - one of the best stories I've heard in a long time.
WE are making progress as a church on this... and your story is evidence of this.

brothers helping brothers... bearing each others burdens... taking on us the name of christ I think that definitely means being willing to be vulnerable at times... and subjecting ourselves to ridicule and shame that others might have for us.... as we take up our cross daily.

I will go and kneel right now.. and say a prayer for you and your brothers to find the grace you need to keep having breakthroughs... and that Angels may assist you on your journey."
posted at 13:08:38 on September 20, 2011 by gracefull
Strength in numbers    
"I was impressed by the first individual who was bold enough to speak out. I confess I'm not that bold. I like the idea of teaching about chastity and then encouraging those with an issue to see the bishop. That ought to happen in more wards."
posted at 17:00:15 on September 20, 2011 by fwd2joy
Please think about slowing down    
"You are doing great and I am very happy you are embracing the recovery program. But please remember, it is a process and it takes time.

From your posting, it looks like you are speeding through these steps. This recovery is a process and takes thoughtful, prayerful time. It was never meant to be a "check off" list, which we all know we Mormons are great at.

Each step is something you must spend as much time as needed to complete. In order to complete step 4 properly you will need to spend much time in prayer, asking your Father in Heaven to show you your weaknesses . It may sound funny, but you may not know what your weaknesses are yet. You know you are an addict, but there is more to it. As you slow down and work this process, the spirit will speak to your heart and let you know when it is complete. This step is especially a deep soul searching experience (and I would add the most painful step). It is where you really begin to understand the pain you have caused to yourself and others. You see, when Father shows you your sins, he usually does so by allowing you the freedom to experience them with new eyes. For now you are searching to know all truth, and there are things which will be brought to your mind and heart over time.

I learned more about myself and my weaknesses as I spent 5 months in daily soul searching, prayer and study. It was painful to see my sins and more painful to understand what they have done to hurt those I love the most in this world.

I would ask you to slow down, breath, and listen for the spirit as you work each step. When you have done all you can on each step, you will know when it is time to move forward.

The 12 steps are not a check off list. in my opinion if you approach them in this way, you may find yourself blindsided by the Devil.

In all things, pray (and listen), and you will know his will for you as you diligently do this difficult yes necessary work."
posted at 00:34:51 on September 22, 2011 by Anonymous
Wise to consider slowing down    
"I agree with the previous post that you don't necessarily want to rush through the steps. Sure, there are some steps you might fly through quickly, but definitely don't speed through them just for the sake of being able to say, "I'm done." The 12 steps are introducing you to a new way of living and a new way of thinking and, if you're like me, even new way of connecting with the atonement. It is a lifelong process. Once you finish step 12, you turn right around and start step 1 all over again. You may even occasionally work one of the steps out of order as you face certain challenges. As someone wise once said, "It's called the 12 steps, not the 12 weeks." :)"
posted at 17:44:22 on September 22, 2011 by 1day@atime
Don't get me wrong...    
"I've tried too many strategies and had too many failed attempts to quit to know that nothing is a quick fix. When I say I've done steps 1-3 without realizing it, I mean I've been doing them for years, essentially since I started. I've recently been thinking about the pain I've caused myself and the potential for greater pain in the future for myself and loved ones; that is what brought me to this site. Me putting it all down on paper was just the final piece of step 4 for me.

I realize I made it sound like I was rushing, but trust me, it's the opposite. Honestly I think it's taken me too long to get to the point where I am now, to realize that it's not just a matter of will to quit, that it's not possible to do on your own. I think the rest of the steps are probably going to take a few more years until I am completely healed, and step 12 at least is something I want to continue for the rest of my life."
posted at 04:05:25 on September 23, 2011 by PaulThomas


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"Don’t live your life in despair, feeling sorry for yourself because of the mistakes you have made. Let the sunshine in by doing the right things—now. It may be difficult to begin, but pick up the scriptures and immerse yourself in them. Look for favorite passages. Lean on the Master’s teachings, on His servants’ testimonies. Refresh your parched soul with the word of God. The scriptures will give you comfort and the strength to overcome. "

— Richard G. Scott

General Conference May 1990