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I'm Back On My Own Terms. Also, a Rant About Prayer :)
By fatherofone
1/29/2013 2:14:07 PM
Well, I'm sure most of you don't remember me. I wonder if this place is more of a place where people pass in and out. I tend to just jump in here for a couple of weeks, then jump out because I get discouraged or don't want to focus on my addiction.

Anyways, since I was last here my screen name has actually become out of date, as we just had our second baby. A girl this time! So you can call me FatherOfTwo. Or FatherOfOne. Either one, I guess, since I apparently can't change my username. Oh well.

So this is mostly just me jumping back in. Since I was last here, I have had a bit of what some might call a faith transition. I still am active in the church, but I have taken a much more personal, non-orthodox approach to my Mormonism. I am no longer concerned with how the leaders of the Church say I should be dealing with my addictions. I take their words at face value, and consider them to be inspired word for the Church at large. However, let's face it, they're speaking to a group of over 12 million people. How can they know the ins-and-outs of each situation? A history of guilt and emotional pressure has left me in a place where confessing every little misdeed to my bishop leaves me feeling discouraged and disheartened. The process (except for one great bishop) has usually left me with nothing but increased guilt and depression.

So what did I do? I took this business to the Lord. I told him that I can't take this anymore, and I really am not comfortable with the system that is endorsed by his servants. Sure, it works great for people who need that confession to feel better about their repentence, but it doesn't work for me. I have serious conversations with God about stuff like that. I'm working on my addictions, but they're something that I really don't feel I need constant supervision from priesthood leadership in order to overcome.

So why am I back here writing then? I'm here because I'm ready to step it up. I'm here to make that extra effort, on my own terms, guided by the Lord, to be a better me. I'm here to support you guys as well. Let's keep our heads high, and move forward with our addictions. Let's have serious conversations with Heavenly Father about this kind of thing.

Speaking of which, let me share a bit about a little lesson I learned about prayer. I've never really jived with the whole concept about speaking in "thees" and "thous" in prayer. Its not how I usually pray, and I've always found it to serve as more of a barrier to prayer than anything else. Two things have changed my view on prayer language.

First, I can't even remember who told me this, but somebody told me to consider my prayers as a conversation with a best friend or confidant. To have a heart-to-heart with somebody, you really need to pour your heart out, and speak to them from the bottom of your heart. Just...TALK!

Second, I served my mission in the Philippines. I spoke Cebuano, which is basically a jungle language. They have no version of "thee" and "thou", so prayers were always in really basic, everyday language. What I found was that having really open talks enhanced the level of connection I felt with Heavenly Father.

And when it comes right down to it, every time I've ever heard that "voice" of prompting, it has been in plain language. God speaks for the purpose of enlightening and understanding. He's our Father, and he wants to enlighten and support us. Sure, we should pay respect, but if we are hurting, showing gratitude, or just excited to share something with our Father, who cares if we use thee and thou?! Just talk to Him! If you ever feel like you are experiencing a difficulty in getting your prayer started, just talk like you were talking to a parent, sibling, or friend. The thees and thous are nice, and show respect and reverence, but sometimes we need to express ourselves to Heavenly Father MORE than we need to show reverence. He knows that, He loves us, and He is much more interested in developing a relationship with us than having us use the proper language.

Wow, I don't know where that came from, but hopefully that helps somebody. I'm finding great strength and freedom in allowing myself to explore aspects of my spirituality that generally are not explored in orthodox LDS life. My new mindset is to set the personal feelings and impressions I receive from the Lord before the words of the gents in Salt Lake. Taking personal control of my relationship with the Lord has been really empowering and has helped me move forward even though I still struggle with some of my addictions.

Comments:

Thanks    
"Thanks for the great words you wrote to me. I am.sure you will.be a great blessing and help through all of this. Thanks again"
posted at 14:53:56 on January 29, 2013 by Joshbc
Father of TWO    
"I really like your new approach! I agree! Didn't some prophet say something to the effect of "we claim TRUTH wherever it is found"
Here's to the spiritual journey!"
posted at 20:42:42 on January 29, 2013 by Anonymous
Thanks    
"I appreciate your comments, all. Kick It, what I was trying to say was that we should realize the General
Authorities provide general counsel to the church as a whole. However, each situation is different and so is every person. I have rarely found that the guilt-ridden weekly trips to the bishop are beneficial at all. I more advocating the we put our focus on finding new ways to fight addiction outside of the traditional methods. I highly doubt that God is going to hold it against me because I don't want to sit in front of an authority figure and confess to him that I MB'd again this week. I would rather skip the weekly guilt session, learn from my mistakes, and move forward."
posted at 14:06:03 on February 3, 2013 by FatherOfOne
avoidance....nasty pride    
"a nice post but still ur humilty isnt in the words. you dont accept the leaders of the church. christ called them not you to lead 12 million people. what has been revealed is the proper way to do things.

your guilt is a good thing, means the spirit is still workibg with you. your bishop is just part of ur recovery team to make it home. most bishops arent therapits + just.regular guys working regular jobs but they do have keys to help. they do want to help...imo u shud feel more guilty about seeing your dear wife everyday + fix ur life...ur not married to the bishop.........

i not perfect by any stretch, but i have a few pieces of insight my ownself. but failure to see the bishop because u dont want to, is pride. failure to not talk to him or sustain general authorites is pride. lets us trust them + pray for them that their words can help us, strengthen us...teach us, and as gods servants declare us clean + worthy.....

and those of us that still mb we havent learned to overcome the flesh. we havent accepted the atonement. we havent let it (what ever) go....

dude ur spirit needs light. need spritual recharging....u need to have ur bishop on ur recovery team...dont.let.satan decieve u any other way telling u can do it without ur bishop.......repent ,course correct...look up + keep,moving...

all the best
sky"
posted at 17:17:24 on February 3, 2013 by skyteamst90
Congrats    
"Well, it sounds like you are worshipping according to the dictates of your own conscious. Keep moving forward. And congrats on your new baby. :)"
posted at 07:44:43 on February 5, 2013 by Anonymous
Agreed    
"It doesn't sound to me like you'd resist talking to your Bishop if you thought it would help/you needed it or if worthiness questions arose. Sounds to me like you're simply looking for and willing to use the best available tools to you and right now. If you've ever worked on a car you become keenly aware of how important the right tools for the right job become. Especially when you're improvising with a less then ideal tool for a certain job.

On the prayer note - couldn't agree more! And actually the fact is in English we use to adrees everyone in thee and thou and you was plural. The plural eventually just replaced the singular. The respect factor is just a silly nuance. In fact for a time thou was used to address inferiors and ye superiors. But originally thee thou was simply singular. In Spanish they still distinguish singular plural but it has nothing to do with reverence that I'm aware of. The address the Father the as they would address their father. I beleive Jesus would have said (in fact if aramaic is simply like Spanish the correct translation into our language would be) freely "you're Kingdom come you're will be done". It's the Spirit in which he said that counts. And in individual (not general) terms I think the gents (general authorities) down in Salt Lake would agree. I like to think so anyway. Just talk to you Abba. Jeez."
posted at 12:58:22 on February 5, 2013 by Anonymous
sorry    
"... about the typos. You may have to do some translating of your own but I think you get the picture"
posted at 13:28:19 on February 5, 2013 by Anonymous
Humility and Confession    
""a nice post but still ur humilty isnt in the words. you dont accept the leaders of the church. christ called them not you to lead 12 million people. what has been revealed is the proper way to do things."

We hear that a lot in the gospel. We need to be humble. But what if we are not humble at that stage yet but just want to fix our problem. Is it possible to "generate" humility toward confessing every little thing to our Bishop? I confessed to my Bishop. I didn't feel any better. In fact, I felt worse. Sometimes confession can be counterproductive."
posted at 14:28:24 on March 14, 2013 by stayingclean


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"Are you battling a demon of addiction—tobacco or drugs, or the pernicious contemporary plague of ography? Whatever other steps you may need to take to resolve these concerns, come first to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Trust in heaven’s promises. In that regard Alma's testimony is my testimony: "I do know," he says, "that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions."

— Jeffrey R. Holland

General Conference, April 2006