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Have I Ruined Everything?
By STANDUP
2/16/2014 12:53:05 AM
I just came upon this website today and decided it might be good for me to seek guidance here. I have had a problem with mb and porn ever sense I was 13 years old. The cycle of guilt and determination to quit and then relapse again was my life for five years. When I was 18 my dad found out about my problem and was able to help me quit. After that I started having trouble with this girl I was dating and we would go way to far. I am still a virgin but we basically broke every other law of chastity rule. A few months before I turned 19 I really wanted to serve a mission and I knew I couldn't with the sins that I had. So I talked to my bishop and my stake president in order to work through my problems. I wanted to stop my bad behavior but I could not let go of this girl because I thought I was in love with her. I continued to live in sin until we both finally drifted apart and I was able to get the temptation out of my life. By the time all of this was over I had delayed my mission for a year and a half, but many blessings came in that year and a half and I knew that God still loved me because of the great people he had placed in my life in that time that I would not have met if I had been on a mission. I finally got my mission call in October and everything was going well until Satan stepped in and threw temptations at me that I was not ready for. I have fallen a few times in the past 2 months into mb and porn. I am supposed to leave on my mission in less than 2 weeks and I have only been clean for about 3 weeks. Have I just delayed my mission again? Everything is almost ready to go and I have just put everything in jeopardy. I know that God wants me to serve him and I can be forgiven for anything through Christ, but have I ruined my mission? A part of me says that a minor slip up is fine and that I shouldn't tell my bishop and jeopardize my chances of leaving when I am supposed to, but another part of me says that if I don't tell him I will have a mission full of guilt and will have no success. One of my institute teachers said that he heard of some missionaries that had only been clean for 2 weeks that they sent out into the field. I really think they want missionaries to go, but they also want them to be clear of any sins. What should I do? Do you think my Bishop and my Stake President will still let me leave on time? Sorry for the long blog post.

Comments:

My two cents    
"Standup,
If you are asking for advie I would recommend that you follow the voice inside that is telling you to talk to your bishop. From my own experience I have struggled for years and one of the contributing factors to my challenge is the desire to keep things secret. While yes the P@rn is not okay and M@sturbation is not good for you it is the distancing yourself from the Lord that I would say is the bigger issue and that has the more lasting effect on your soul. I know that a number of the challenges I'm facing today are attributed to not taking care of my issues years ago. For what it is worth I have been able to make more forward proress in my life when I am upfront and honest. Hope this helps you! Hang in there Satan is working really really hard on you to get you to not fulfill your potential.

PS One other thing to remeber are the hormones/chemicals involved in your addiction. When you realize that there are chemicals in play that can influence your outlook. This is something I wish I would have known years ago. I tried to confess and foresake my sins and what I can remember was just don't use, avoid the unsavory thoughts. While those things helped a lot. It wasn't until I understood that some of my depression was related to my acting out and made it all the more likely for me to search out for more P#rn to try and fill that bottomless pit.

My prayers are with you"
posted at 13:42:35 on February 16, 2014 by sjanderson
It's not ruined    
"Dear Standup,
I so admire your courage! SJANDERSON is right that you should follow the voice inside. It really is the Spirit directing you. Our Heavenly Father loves you, and yes, he wants you to serve Him, but more importantly He wants you! Please go to your bishop. If your mission is delayed, then it's delayed. No biggie. If people wonder why, oh well. It isn't their story to know. But by going forward through this with your courage you will be a more effective and productive missionary. You will have a greater sensitivity to the spirit and you will be better equipped to face what is ahead of you. You will also come in contact with others on your mission (companions included) who have struggled with the same thing. By facing this now you will be a great blessing in the lives of many ahead.
I am the wife of an addict and I wish he had your courage at your age. It took him many years until I discovered it. He has been clean for 2 years now. SJ is also right about the hormones and chemicals. Understanding the ins and outs of addiction will help you in your recovery.
If you live where there is a 12 step program, please go to as many meetings as you can before you leave on your mission. At the bottom of my comment is the link of how to find one. The 12 steps on the left hand side of this website are the same ones you will be discussing in these meetings. You will see how not alone you are and you will receive a lot of help and comfort in attending your meetings. Recovery is real and it is worth the price!
You can do this! I'd be so proud if I were your mom.
I'm praying for you!
http://addictionrecovery.lds.org/?lang=eng"
posted at 19:08:40 on February 16, 2014 by 1stepatatime
one more comment    
"standup to give you perspective I read a statistic the other day that said that 70% of men from 18-34 are using p#rn. It is not to justify the decisions or anthing like that it is just to describe how vast the problem is. we have become very numb to the offensive and what I've found is the more that I ignore the Spirit the further away from the Lord I move and the greater frustration i feel. as 1step said the Lord want's your will the one thing you can give him that he can't take. Being willing to follow his plan for you even if there is some "delay" is most important. Hang in there, the Lord knows you and your needs and will provide for you as you follow his direction. Hang in there!!"
posted at 20:45:41 on February 16, 2014 by sjanderson
My experience    
"The previous comments have been great. I just want to add my own experience. I acted out a week before my mission, after being clean for about three months or so before that and probably for about three months before that. I worried so much about what others thought, but I shouldn't have. Like 1stepatatime said, it's none of their business. I didn't tell my bishop but I wish I had. I did tell my mom. It was the first she found out about my addiction. I thought she would drag me by one ear to the bishop's house in the middle of the night, but she didn't. She reacted with love and urged me to still go on mission. I'm sure that my bishop would have still urged me to go, and it would have taken a burden I carried with me if I'd told him. Your bishop may or may not delay you, but if you are looking for advice from someone who's been there, I would talk to him.

I acted out a month after I got home from my mission and thought I'd just ruined my whole two years. When I told my bishop, he brought up my concern and said "You probably think you ruined the last two years. Well, you haven't." Those words gave me hope again."
posted at 21:47:42 on February 17, 2014 by tsquared
Temptation    
"Another temptation probably equally as damaging as Porn and Mb is Secrecy. The Adversary loves for us to keep secrets; they fester and destroy us. So you my friend have done a Great thing by opening up and getting it out on this site! I would also recommend not keeping secrets from the Bishop and SP, Nevertheless, I would think they want to hear a plan of action; one that is inspired from days of fasting and prayer...remember they are guided by the Spirit, so, if your plan is inspired of the spirit, then you are all on the same page, Right?"
posted at 08:01:41 on February 18, 2014 by R_Matt
Transparency and being fully honest    
"That is one of the best tools against the addiction. You will feel better, your conscience will be at peace.
If you have had a long history of the addiction, it will likely not go away anytime soon. That doesn't mean you should be discouraged it just means you may need a dose of reality. It takes hard, consistent work to uproot a problem as big as this.

It may not seem like it, but there are worse fates than not going on a mission. Yes, that would be hard and the shame would be hard to cope with. But so would the shame of being discovered to be a porn addict when you are an endowed return missionary, they are "supposed to be above such things", what about an RM at BYU? What about a endowed RM, going to BYU, married in the temple? The excuses, shame and rationalizations will forever keep you bound to the addiction. At some point, you will have to face that shame and the addiction head on. The earlier the better!!"
posted at 11:01:28 on March 7, 2014 by WHATTODO2
Mission    
"You haven't ruined everything....that is the adversary talking. You should talk to you Bishop otherwise there is a strong possibility that you won't get through the MTC let alone the mission.Better take care of it now that later."
posted at 21:07:44 on March 8, 2014 by jakey
New Online Website    
"Hi Standup! Recently a new program came online called Fortify. For those 20 and under it is free. For those 21 and up it is only $39. I know people that are using this right now and it is an incredible program. I hope that you come back to this page regularly and feast on the wisdom of the words above. There are many here that have traveled the road that you have and know how to help. It is possible. You haven't ruined everything. The Lord loves you! You can do this!
If you do not have a program that you are following already, here is the link to this new one:
www.fortifyprogram.org"
posted at 01:46:28 on March 11, 2014 by 1stepatatime


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"The Savior teaches that we will have tribulation in the world, but we should "be of good cheer" because He has "overcome the world". His Atonement reaches and is powerful enough not only to pay the price for sin but also to heal every mortal affliction… He knows of our anguish, and He is there for us. Like the good Samaritan in His parable, when He finds us wounded at the wayside, He binds up our wounds and cares for us. Brothers and sisters, the healing power of His Atonement is for you, for us, for all. "

— Dallin H. Oaks

General Conference October 2006