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A vision
By dog
12/19/2011 3:45:00 PM
actually, two.

It seems to me that everyone who has an addiction has low self esteem. Concerning that (and how to be better parents), I offer the following:

I took a temple preparation course in my last ward. In it, the instructor (a previous bishop and temple worker with sealing powers) told how one man in that ward had lived what he thought was a good life: he had served a worthy mission, got married worthily in the temple, had provided well for his family, magnified his callings, paid a full tithing, went to the temple frequently, and so forth.

So he frankly asked the Lord to see a vision, because he had been living a good life and he had the faith to see a vision.

The next time he went to the temple, he had a full-on, biblical, honest-to-goodness vision. Of himself shouting angrily at his wife.

He went home, told his wife of his experience, apologized profusely and repented completely.

He went to the temple again, and had a second vision, quite like the first, but in this one he saw himself shouting angrily at his children. So when he went home, he apologized to his children and repented.

And that was the end of his visions. But I wonder if by changing his behavior, by no longer undermining the self esteem of his children, maybe he prevented them from becoming pre-addictive, and thus they avoided an addiction?

Whatever, I think we should do all in our power to build up others' self esteem. I know that I have prayed for the power to make others feel important. I think it would be a great gift to have and to use. And who knows, maybe we could help prevent someone from becoming addicted?

Comments:

The power to make others feel important    
"This is such a great insight! I have never thought about the ability to build someone's self esteem as a gift of the spirit, but I believe it could be one. I know that some people are much better at it than others.

I also totally agree that we are most vulnerable to MB/P when we are feeling bad about ourselves because that is when we feel like we need a quick pick-me-up.

I had never considered that we might have a responsibility to try and help others feel good about themselves to help them stay close to God and to avoid turning to addictive behaviors.

Great thoughts. Thanks."
posted at 21:56:44 on December 19, 2011 by DH
DH    
"I don't want to sound like a white winged angel (I'm not, you all know that), but I formed a friendship with a young girl (19 years old, and NO, it wasn't a romantic relationship, and, btw, she started the whole thing by striking up a conversation with me when I was sitting about four rows ahead of her on a bus) who was in trouble. She had a drug addiction and had done some time in prison for it, and was in a halfway house at the time.

I have a strong nurturing streak, which is one reason why I think I'm a half-decent teacher: I really care (I teach Elder's Quorum twice a month, even though I don't hold the Priesthood, and I get lots of compliments on the lessons I teach).

As I listened to her story and learned more about her, I was able to respond with what I thought was good advice and a lot of encouragement. I really tried to build her self esteem, not with platitudes or false hopes, but with real heart-felt belief in her ability to overcome her problems and become whatever she wanted.

After a few months of this, we were talking one day and tears started streaming down her face. Then she said, "You make me feel so very important. No one has ever made me feel important before." And my immediate thought was, "Where were your parents?"

If only she had parents who had cared about her (her present stepdad really does care, and she thinks the world of him, but her mother is not so nice -- the opposite of what one might assume), she would have been a great kid. But she hit the road at 13, got on drugs, lived with a rock star, then ended up in prison (yeah, and she's still in love with the rock star). None of these rotten things would have happened had she had decent parents who built up her self image instead of tearing it down.

This was just a few months before I came back into the Church. And shortly after I came back, someone spoke about gifts of the Spirit at church, and she went quite outside the box and mentioned some things as examples, but the one that stuck in my mind was when she proposed the thought that some might have the gift to make others feel important, and that perhaps we might want to pray for that gift.

Since I have no money and I don't hold the Priesthood, what can I give? Maybe I can help build someone's self esteem. And help change their lives.

That's what I like about this site, 1) we're really trying to get well (though we all struggle), and 2) we build each other up and encourage each other. "
posted at 16:47:54 on December 21, 2011 by dog
Self Esteem    
"As the world calls it is a misnomer. Self esteem will at some point take you down. God esteem is what leaders like Nephi had. They knew that on their own he could do nothing. But only through Christ was he able to build a ship. He had no idea what he was doing. It was when he trusted in his Lord that he was able to cause great things to come to pass.

I have a child that use to make me us like this girls parents. The problem is that it wasn't true. He just wanted to blame someone for his choices. Her story might be accurate, but it also may not. Please do not be so quick to blame parents. I have known kids with dish rages for parents who went on to build great lives. On the flip side, my son grew up in a loving home and made different choices. In a perfect world, all parents would be loving and nurturing but we all know that is not always the case. We must all take personal responsibility and not blame anyone, else we will not overcome our addictions.

It is great when a person can say nice things and make someone feel important. It is a gift for sure, but if her self confidence is wrapped up in how anyone treats her in her life, she needs to find out where all true self esteem comes from, God and God alone. We all come here with holes in our heart. That is why we are all here. We can fill our holes with Christ or something else. People can add something great, but they are till something else.

I am happy to hear you lifted another child of God, but be careful that it is not you that is doing the lifting, otherwise it is not real. What I am saying here is to never put your trust in people because at some point people will always fail you. God on the other hand will never fail you. "
posted at 18:35:33 on December 21, 2011 by Anonymous


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