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SINNERS AND JESUS...
By iamstrong
3/15/2012 3:54:11 AM
I think a lot of us get to thinking that other people, without addiction, are saints. And we are sinners. Then we wonder how we got here. We used to be saints. How are we now sinners?

But really there have only been 2 types of people to live on this earth. Sinners and Jesus.

I'm not Jesus. I'm a sinner. Which means I need repentance. So does every other person in my ward. Every other person on this earth, unless they're Jesus, needs repentance.

Then some of us deny repentance. We think we got it figured out. We put the internet filters on. We go to church. We have a temple recommend now. We don't have to meet with the Bishop anymore. So we are free from sin. We stop repenting. We start believing that we are no longer sinners. But if we aren't sinners then we are Jesus. In a way, we start becoming our own Savior. Everything we've worked for in the steps is gone. We think that WE can do it ALONE. We think that we are worthy of grace.

I know that I thought that the first time I hit 40 days sober. I was done!

Nope. I'm not Jesus. I'm a sinner. Always. I try to get better and better. Christ helps me overcome. But I must remain in a state of repentance always.

And it doesn't matter what the sin is. I looked at a pornographic picture or I lied to my teacher about why my homework wasn't done. Sin is sin. And I need to repent.

This is just something that I learned this past year that has really influenced me and helped keep me close to Christ. It became more about correcting my relationship with Christ than correcting my relationship with the Church. So many times, I focused on the Church. I have to get off of probation. I gotta follow the rules. Then I had the privilege of hearing an Apostle speak. And it was just what I needed. He said that the Church is just a support system for the individual. The purpose of the Church is to help you with your relationship with Christ. I had subconsciously thought that Christ was to help my relationship with the Church. How silly.

Well that was my rant about what I learned.

Comments:

Good Thoughts    
"I thought the same way for a long time, I'm a sinner & no one else is. There was a counselor in the bishopric that bore his testimony & said that he had gone through periods of time that he had to deeply apply the atonement to his life. I thought to myself, "wow, this guy is really opening up." But then it occurred to me,WELL DUH, WE ALL DO. We all have to deeply apply the atonement to our lives.
I know what you mean about your relationship with Christ vs. the church. Somehow in our heads, because we have to "answer" to the Bishop, we think that it our relationship with him, that we need to improve on. But that isn't it at all. Maybe it's just me that thought that. I have realized that it doesn't matter my relationship with my Bishop or my counselor or Stake President or even my Husband, what matters is my relationship with Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ. Once I get those 2 relationships in order, the rest just sort of fall into place.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts."
posted at 04:32:12 on March 15, 2012 by ME
Very very true    
"So true, and something I'm working on. My parents never focused on "my relationship with Christ." It just never was discussed, just taken for granted. In church, when we did discuss it, I didn't really pay attention that much.

For me it was/day 31. I was nervous, about it, but so happy I'd gotten past 30. And then my bishop said, " you aren't relying on the savior" I didn't like hearing that, but I am, 19 days later still working towards that.

My Bishop has talked a lot about what the atonement means to him. Its given me a different perspective to know someone who has that relationship. Before I never did, or they never talked about it. I see a lot of people who talk about not wanting to tell their bishop, or parents because they are viewed as being "perfect" and they don't want to disappoint them. That was me. I didn't know my bishop well before he became bishop, but still didn't want to.

I'm the type that goes every week, knows my scriptures and is overall a good kid. So, people focused on the ones that they felt did need help, and never talked to me about anything, really. Its only as I've gotten older that people have noticed that I need help as well."
posted at 07:24:38 on March 15, 2012 by anon16
Read the book - Believing Christ    
"GREAT book. we are all sinners. It's easy to feel like we arent good enough or Christ will forgive others sins before ours. that is a blatant lie from the devil. All sin unjustifies us.

All we are required to do is BELIEVE that Christ has the power and the will to save us. Then do works based on that belief. the question really is.. do you REALLY believe that Christ is strong enough to pay for your sins? For me it took months to realized that my sins were forgiveable as well. My self-speak that my sins were "worse" or "less forgiveable" put me in a place above Christ. It was pride on my part. It took a Baptist to convince me otherwise. :-)"
posted at 09:56:44 on March 15, 2012 by Hurtallover
@IAmStrong Im not gonna lie    
"I can't help but connect this to some of the comments that I've made in various post. Your talking about people being saints and if we were once saints we dont understand how we got to be sinners. All I was saying I dont really deserve to be compared to Alms but whatever.

I'm not sure what your trying to get @when you say some of us have it figured out. My suggestion about filters were just to get people to stop looking at porn then go through the repentance process. You can't do both and expect to be successful. But ya, you will always need god Christ and faith, I dont think anyone is trying to say otherwise.

I disagree, its not black and white like you suggest. Sure we are all sinners, and we are always improving. But you make it seem so hopeless, like we will never be good enough. Will we ever be happy with ourselves? Is there no point in our lives where you could say, if I die right now, I would be at peace know I've done everything i could.

I'm sorry if I sound mean but the whole time I read your post I was on the defensive. I didn't know why but I was."
posted at 19:27:50 on March 15, 2012 by moroni
I really didn't mean this as an attack...    
"This is really something that I think about every day. I bring it up in my SA group every time I go. I'm sorry if this put you on the defensive. I mostly talk to myself in my posts. My blogs are for me. So this is me reminding myself that I'm not done. I may have a high sobriety count but I'm never going to be done. This is my story. I was active. I thought I was safe from everything. I was a saint. I didn't dress immodestly. I didn't watch R Rated movies. So when I found myself addicted, I wondered how. I literally cried for days in the bathroom because that was the only privacy I could get. I was constantly called an example for young women in my stake. I was the face of Mormons at my High School. And the whole time I was taking part in what I saw as a disgusting sin. Heck, now I'm getting emotional just typing this. I felt helpless. Because I didn't know my Savior yet. I knew the do's and don'ts. I knew the Church. I knew the events of the Bible. But I didn't know Jesus. I knew his birthday. His biography. But we weren't friends. I didn't realize that everyone needs repentance. And the sad thing is, I thought I knew Christ until it actually seemed to matter. Until I was so far away from him.

So the day I started my ARP manual, I realized something. That manual is for everything. When I lie, I need to repent and those are steps to help me. When I push my sister down, repentance. I realized that I never want to slip away from Christ again. I never want to stop loving him. And the only way to stop loving him is to stop repenting. As a leader once told me "People don't fall out of love. They fall out of repentance."

And internet filters are important and I am really glad you are helping people with that! I really am. But this was for me. My internet filters went on. I stopped looking at porn. I started watching R Rated movies and swearing a lot. I wasn't any better than I was before. And when I met the Bishop, he reminded me that I have to keep progressing. I will never be done progressing. I have limitless potential. I am infinite.

And at first when I realized I would always be a sinner, but a progressing towards perfection sinner, I felt hopeless. That was until I realized what the Gospel is. It's not prophets, tithing, sunday school class. Don't get me wrong, those are important. And they help us IN the Gospel. But the Gospel is that God sent His Son to pay the price. God sent His Son for the sinners. If I wasn't a sinner, I wouldn't have the Gospel. Christ didn't come for the whole, he came for the sick and afflicted. And that is where my hope comes from! Not that I will be perfect but that I don't have to be!

Once again I apologize. I think because I've been talking to you on your posts a lot that it might seem like I'm directing everything at you. But very often, it is for me. I have a story too. And actually, it's quite similar to yours. Anyways, this site is just one of the many important parts of my recovery."
posted at 01:02:40 on March 16, 2012 by iamstrong
Believing Christ    
"is an excellent book! I loved it. The biggest thing that stood out to me is that I thought I couldn't be healed and that book taught me that Christ says we can be healed. And I need to believe Him. I was believing in Him but not really believing Him. I don't know if that makes sense."
posted at 01:05:38 on March 16, 2012 by iamstrong
Great Thoughts!    
"IAMSTRONG,
Thanks for this post. You said a lot of things that I have felt. I like how you said that we don't just need the atonement for our addiction, we need it for everything! I just recently finished steps six and seven, now I'm working on eight and nine, and what's really starting to stand out to me is that recovery has more to do with changing who I am than it does with abstaining from the addiction (although sobriety is definitely important too). I've noticed that my addiction was so big and prominent in my life that it hid most of my other defects.

I'm starting to realize that I relied heavily on my addiction because I needed to hide those defects. The pain of every day life was too much for me to bear, so I lost myself in my addiction. The beautiful part of learning to surrender the addiction is that it brings me closer to the Savior and brings me sobriety. As I have gained more sobriety, I have started surrendering all the negative influences in my life: discouragement, selfishness, pain, sorrow, lies, anger, self-pity, etc..

The 12 steps can change our lives if we let them because they bring us closer to Christ, we just need to sincerely work them."
posted at 10:55:37 on March 16, 2012 by ETTE


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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