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Judge Not
By WHATTODO2
1/20/2015 6:45:56 PM
This was my post back in December on my little recovery website http://theprodigaladdict.org
I have been in recovery for over 3 years.

I thought I would share it here...
Judge Not

It is widely accepted in the Church, that those with mental disabilities are covered under the atonement, just as a child that never reached the age of accountability is covered by the grace of Christ.

Those special individuals have a mental deficiency that prevents their spirit, their true self, from being made manifest, through there physical bodies into the temporal world.

This same phenomena is made clear in individuals that have undergone significant brain trauma or surgery. Family members or spouses commonly report that, "they just aren't the same".

Are these people judged or condemned for this?

No, they are usually given a "pass" on their behaviors, even praised for being the choice souls that they are, and rightly so. After all, their condition had nothing to do with their choices.

Christ himself healed a man that was disabled from birth, he said the man was not this way because he was a sinner, or because his parents were sinners. The sole purpose of this man's affliction was to show the world the power that the Son of God has to heal.

My point...

Brains are not fully developed until early to mid 20's. Children are exposed to pornography at horribly early ages ( I was 9) with no parents to openly talk to or process that exposure with, or to properly educate them about it. These children are thrown into the shame filled world of behavioral based chemical addiction that atrophies the developing frontal cortex and down regulates sensitive dopamine receptors in the limbic part of the brain.

The logical, decision making part of their brain is physically, visibly (can be seen on scans) damaged! And the spirit in that body is incapable of being made fully manifest into the physical world, because of the physical limitations now placed upon the medium of expression, the brain.

The onset of this impairment is often in early youth, even prepubescent youth. Initially it is either a childlike curiosity, or an older child or adult introduces the material, or it pops up while searching for school related material, at no real fault of the child being exposed. These children don't have the mental capacity to fully grasp the lifelong consequences that will inevitably happen because of the "choices" they are making.

How different is this from a genetic or chromosomal disorder that impairs the brain?

If God is truly "No respecter of persons", isn't my spirit just as choice, in his eyes, as a spirit chosen to face temporal existence with Down's Syndrome?

So, why do we praise those with one form of brain damage and damn the other?

Addiction to food, soda, caffeine, nicotine, coffee, tobacco, narcotics, prescription drugs, alcoholism, sporting events, gambling, sex, pornography, bulimia, anorexia, extreme exercise (this list goes on and on) damages the brain in similar ways.

Yes, there are some that choose these substances as a method of coping or rebellion and suffer the sad consequences of enslavement. But some are raised in environments that predispose children to these types of behavioral addictions. Can you tell the difference? You may not know it, but odds are, you would be judging them through a flawed or damaged lens of reality, by way of the physical limitations placed upon your own brain!

When behavioral addictions are fully considered it is likely that we are all, to some degree, quite literally suffering from a form of brain damage or deficiency. This, perhaps, transcends the many addictions there are and could even be summed up in the condition of mortality itself. After all, don't we all want to be more than we are capable of being while in this life? Don't we all know, that inside, we are more than we are able to be or express on the outside? Even the varying degrees of brain disorders or conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc, are all malfunctions of brain. Do those conditions define our soul? Do those conditions really allow us to express who we truly are on the inside? Does mortality?

The more I learn about myself and life in general, the less judgmental I become. Who are we to judge anothers' condition? It may be that, in God's infinite wisdom, the soul purpose of my being exposed to pornography at age 9 and having to suffer through 20+ years of addiction was so that Christ could show someone that He has the power to heal. Are you wiser than Him?

Tread softly.

Judge not my friends

Comments:

Agreed    
posted at 22:09:29 on January 20, 2015 by they_speak
Nope, Don't agree    
"If you are saying that porn addiction that occurs as a child is a result of "brain damage," essentially you are saying that the addiction is not a free choice on the part of the addict. I could not disagree with you more. I became addicted to porn at age seven and I could have stopped looking when I got older, but I did not. The “brain damage” caused by porn is not a permanent physiological change and can be reversed. I know because this is what happened to me.

You are parroting the line spouted by many scientists. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines addiction (including behavioral addictions, e.g., porn) primarily as a “primary disease - not caused by something else, such as a psychiatric or emotional problem.” The chairman of the ASAM committee that wrote this definition of addiction stated that "addiction is not a choice.” This idea actually is 180 degrees from the truth.

Here are a couple quotes from a book I am writing regarding porn addiction and one section covers this line of reasoning.

“Calling pornography addiction a disease or that it is the result of a defective gene, or a brain disorder that eliminates free choice places the fault of the addiction totally on a person’s body. The idea is that a ‘normal’ person can stop looking at pornography at any time. This, then, gives the addict a ‘medical’ excuse. Calling pornography addiction a disease gives the ‘diseased person’ a medical reason for his behavior, thereby putting the blame on the 'defective' body. Because the Church teaches that there is ‘no condemnation for our doing what we could not help,’ the addict would be blameless.”

“The main problem with this line of reasoning is that it eliminates the consequences of wrong choices by saying that the fault for the behavior is that of the body and not the spirit, because the behavior is not from freedom of choice. This would put us on the same level as animals, because they do not have moral agency. When that line of reasoning is taken one-step further, the ultimate logical conclusion must be that the addiction is actually our Heavenly Father’s fault, not the addict’s, because He created the defective body, therefore the ultimate responsibility for the addiction would be His.”

“In the October 1970 general conference, Elder Hartman Rector, Jr., gave a talk regarding this line of reasoning. ‘Sometimes we make excuses for ourselves, when we do what we should not do or fall short of what we should have done. We use such expressions as, “Oh! the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” With such rationalizations we insinuate that it is completely our physical body's fault that we sin. In my opinion, this is not true.’”

“Early church leaders taught that there are ‘diseases of the spirit as of the body’ and that ‘it is more difficult to understand and cure diseases of the spirit.’ This is the case with pornography addiction. It is not a disease of the body, but a disease of the spirit that has some physiological manifestations.”

- - - -

When we are born, we bring with us our premortal spirit personality, including all our talents, strengths, passions, appetites and weaknesses.

“As we grow, we learn to control that body. The real “us,” our spirit, controls our body, not the other way around. In the same general conference, Elder Rector continued his line of reasoning. “The body is very obedient; generally speaking, it will do exactly what the spirit tells it to do. So it is not the physical body that we are struggling with; it is the spirit we must bring into subjection.”
Brigham Young taught this same thing. “…Our spirits are striving to bring our bodies into subjection, and to overcome the Devil and the evils in the world. An Ensign article by Terrence D. Olson also restated this same position:

[We] …need to know that the spirit controls the body. One of the false notions of our society is that we are victims of our appetites and passions. But the truth is that the body is controlled by the spirit which inhabits it. No one can claim that his spirit is controlled by his body. The spirit tells the body what to do—and barring defects in physiology, the body responds. The body has the capacity only to respond; the spirit directs.

Realizing that it is the spirit which controls the body is one of the keys to understanding pornography addiction.

The next key to understanding this addiction was also given by Elder Rector. In his conference address, he gave us a clue as to the causes of pornography addiction:

…It is primarily the spirit that sees, hears, feels, knows passion and desire; it is the spirit that becomes addicted to drugs, bad habits, and evil desires. It is not just the physical body that is addicted, but the spirit also, which, of course, is the real you and me. We are spirits just as God is a spirit.

- - - -

I understand why you think that porn addiction can be a result of brain damage, but you need to rethink your ideas. The real reason for porn addiction will surprise you. If anyone wants the sources for the quotes, I will be more than happy to supply them."
posted at 04:18:58 on January 24, 2015 by Anonymous
You missed the point entirely my friend    
"Porn addiction doesn't result from brain damage, but it causes brain damage, at an early age.
It takes your agency from you, hence the addiction. You still have the agency to make certain choices to bring you out of addiction. But to claim that "you could stop at any time" you wanted is a terrible lie, that many addicts repeat to themselves over and over again. You could have reached out for help and gotten the assistance you needed, but not on your own.

Most of the ailments in our society are due to people not knowing "where to turn for peace", so they turn to all sorts of other temporary escapes to find relief from the pain. Where the true relief comes from Christ.

My point is, it isn't our place to judge others who are struggling to find their way, with a varying degree of "talent' or "intelligence" or life's circumstances that has been allotted to them.

I am not looking for a fight, and I hope that we are arguing in the same direction. It was my choice to seek help and be honest that lead me out of the shadows and into recovery. It was my agency that I used to take control of my body, and Christ has been there every step of the way to free me one step at a time."
posted at 11:07:02 on January 24, 2015 by WHATTODO2
Not really    
"I didn't lie when I said I could stop at any time. This is exactly what I did after decades of addiction. That doesn't take into account my struggles because there is a LOT that I left out. A person can stop once they hit absolute rock bottom. The problem is that rock bottom isn't the same for every person. Elder Bednar unknowlingly describes some of the process in his book, "Increase in Learning."

He talks about the stages of intelligence. Not IQ or secular knowledge, but spiritual knowledge. Elder Bednar said, "Intelligence is the righteous application of knowledge and understanding in action and judgment." Every Mormon has knowledge, but not many have understanding. It is when understanding is reached that changes take place. Understanding happens when the Holy Spirit confirms to a person the knowledge they have is correct. It goes from an intellectual understand to conversion and conversion is a commitment to action.

I knew porn was wrong, but I didn't do anything about it until I understood and then implemented this understanding in my life. I gained knowledge as to the real reasons behind porn addiction and it isn't because of our body or bodily processes. I am now fully healed after nearly five decades of addiction. I no longer have any desire to look at porn. I am repulsed and sickened by it.

If you want to discuss this more, I'll visit your web site and drop you a line."
posted at 15:20:06 on January 24, 2015 by Anonymous
do I smell bacon?    
posted at 17:54:48 on January 24, 2015 by they_speak
Like it    
"Great post Whattodo. I've heard people in meetings talk so many times how they felt mentally and emotionally stunted due to their acdictions. I have felt it myself with an anger problem. Anger and a lack of forgiveness in my life seemed to on a physical level reduce my capacity for emotional maturity and development. What you are talking about here is one of the many reasons I think that we should never feel shame for our struggles (or someone else's struggles for all us codependents out there). The soul of man is body and spirit in perfect unity. It seems obvious to me that addiction effects us both spiritually and physically. We should never judge a physical ailment or a spiritual one."
posted at 18:40:49 on January 25, 2015 by maddy
Anonymous,    
"Can you please share the name of your upcoming book?
I would really like to not buy it."
posted at 23:10:26 on January 25, 2015 by Anonymous
Hmmmm    
"If Brigham Young said that we are "striving" to bring our bodies into subjection of our spirits, wouldn't the opposite of what you are arguing be true, anonymous?
You are preaching the gospel of power when recovery begins with a realization of powerlessness."
posted at 23:14:32 on January 25, 2015 by Anonymous
You people are interesting    
"I've read through many of the posts on this blog and all I see are people running around and not making one real step toward recovery. You give encouragement, lots of atta boys, tell each other not to stress, pat each other on the back, but I don't see much of anything substantial mentioned that will really help anyone. Almost every single person on this blog relapses time and time again. It may take a few days or a few months, but it is inevitable.

Mr. Hmmmm says that recovery begins with a realization of powerlessness and I agree, but that comes only once you hit rock bottom. When a person keeps relapsing, they have not yet hit rock bottom yet. The only people I’ve read so far who occasionally gives some decent advice are Maddy and Be Clean.

You're all good at sarcastic comments when someone posts something you don't like or if something doesn't go along with your "mormonized" version of the wisdom of the world. I took some time to read back over several of your blogs, Mr. They Speak, and you have not made one significant step toward recovery in several years. You drink, smoke pot, cuss, swear, are deceitful at your job, like prostitutes, are switching addictions and yet you seem to think you can feel the Holy Spirit.

Calling addictions a mental illness is nothing more than giving the addict an excuse for his addiction. Pornography addiction for all of you is a choice. Do any of you realize that if you die in your addictions, you take them with you? Do you realize that you have the exact same attitude at death when you become a disembodied spirit? Does anyone here take initiative to do any research, gain any knowledge that isn't spoon fed to you at church? You want to know what it's like to die in your addictions, try reading the book, "Return From Tomorrow" by Dr. George C. Ritchie. I've found that the near death experience of the author is exactly in line with what is taught by church leaders from the time of Joseph Smith onward. You think you’ve got problems now? What the author wrote is terrifying to anyone who dies in their addictions.

Your problems with addictions are primarily spiritual with some physiological symptoms. Drugs won’t help with your addictions; they only mask the symptoms. You can only fight your addictions spiritually. Have any of you researched the ideas behind the 12 Step Program? Have you gone and read through all the talks, put in key words on the church web site or at BYU? That’s what I did. The church only has given you the basics to get better. You’ve got to get beyond the basics and stop using the spoon feeding method. Look deeper into what’s behind the program. Joseph Smith told us we have to work out our own salvation. He said that knowledge is power, so do yourselves a favor and get some knowledge.

I’m quite sure that what I’ve just written won’t make an ounce of difference with anyone, so ta ta. I truly feel so sorry for you people. "
posted at 04:01:41 on January 26, 2015 by Anonymous
Awkward    
"Well, that was...something."
posted at 11:48:06 on January 26, 2015 by maddy
My point    
"I am pretty sure my point was proven... I am sad to hear condemnation and judgement coming from a fellow addict in recovery. But who am I to judge another? I don't know that person, he does not know me or my heart. I am sure he/she had good intentions. We are all just mortals trying to figure this life out and trying find our way home.

I come here for positive thoughts, to be reminded of my mortality and to help lift others. I am grateful for this site and those that have lifted me along the way. This site was key to starting my recovery. Keep trying! Get help! Be humble! Change can happen, but lasting change won't happen if you go at it alone!:)"
posted at 19:32:30 on January 29, 2015 by WHATTODO2
positive thoughts    
"good points whattodo2. this link isn't about addiction but the little dude is an inspiration. I really could relate when he said:

"I know more about it genetically. so it's less of an embodiment now. it used to be this thing that prevents me from doing all this stuff, that causes other kids to die, that causes everybody to be stressed and now it's um, y'know, a protein that is abnormal that weakens the structure of cells. so.. and it takes a burden off me because now I don't have to think of progeria as, an entity."

...I think everyone can "liken [that] unto themselves". change a few words and it's my story. I think that's all any of us are trying to do here. just understand. find out what's actually going on. find what works. for us. I believe we all will. via con Dios peeps.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=36m1o-tM05g"
posted at 00:03:09 on January 30, 2015 by they_speak
brother Brigham kills it    
"In a word, if “Mormonism” is not my life, I do not know that I have any. I do not understand anything else, for it embraces everything that comes within the range of the understanding of man. If it does not circumscribe every thing that is in heaven and on earth, it is not what it purports to be (DBY, 2).

I want to say to my friends that we believe in all good. If you can find a truth in heaven, earth or hell, it belongs to our doctrine. We believe it; it is ours; we claim it (DBY, 2).

[The gospel] embraces all morality, all virtue, all light, all intelligence, all greatness, and all goodness. It introduces a system of laws and ordinances (DBY, 3).

Such a plan incorporates every system of true doctrine on the earth, whether it be ecclesiastical, moral, philosophical, or civil; it incorporates all good laws that have been made from the days of Adam until now; it swallows up the laws of nations, for it exceeds them all in knowledge and purity, it circumscribes the doctrines of the day, and takes from the right and the left, and brings all truth together in one system, and leaves the chaff to be scattered hither and thither (DBY, 3–4).

It is our duty and calling, as ministers of the same salvation and Gospel, to gather every item of truth and reject every error. Whether a truth be found with professed infidels, or with the Universalists, or the Church of Rome, or the Methodists, the Church of England, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Quakers, the Shakers, or any other of the various and numerous different sects and parties, all of whom have more or less truth, it is the business of the Elders of this Church (Jesus, their Elder Brother, being at their head) to gather up all the truths in the world pertaining to life and salvation, to the Gospel we preach, … to the sciences, and to philosophy, wherever it may be found in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people and bring it to Zion (DBY, 248).

All knowledge and wisdom and every good that the heart of man can desire is within the circuit and circle of the faith we have embraced (DBY, 446).

I just thought a little more positivity wouldn't hurt.

https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-2?lang=eng"
posted at 02:10:43 on January 30, 2015 by they_speak
A valid point    
"that anonymous made, we do have a responsibility to choose freedom. I have read "Return from tomorrow" and if true, the prospects are truly terrifying if one dies in their addiction. I agree that we need to educate ourselves and go beyond what is rehashed in a 12 step program. Knowledge is power. What I was trying to get at was that judgement need not be heaped on anyone in any circumstance by imperfect people that are in different stages of their mortal journey, whether they are addicted or not.

Just because, in our life's circumstances, we may not have been dealt a "full deck" of cards, we are not relieved of our responsibility to do well with what we have been given. That is taught well by the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. The guy that was given only one talent wasted it. Even he was expected to do something good with the fraction of intelligence/life's circumstances/ability he was endowed with.

As are we. Freedom is a choice. But not one that you can make and keep without help. So get help. Take the steps necessary to come out of hiding and into the freedom of the Light. Life is better in the Light.:)"
posted at 07:07:06 on January 30, 2015 by WHATTODO2
exactly    
"and I don't think anywhere in your post did you suggest we don't have choice. but like Sam we have to understand what our condition is and make proper accommodations. he didn't have the choice to march with a 40 lb snare drum being that he only weighs 50 lbs. but that didn't stop him from choosing to march in the marching band with a properly engineered 6 lb snare drum. by comparison I felt all you're saying and I know all I've ever suggested is that our "choices" are heavily qualify by the conditions that bare upon them. to ignore such facts is ignorant. I even went so far as to compare us to broken cars. but I still said we fix them. we just don't blame (or judge) them for being broken. fallen if you will.

Ps my brother Brigham quote might have seemed off handed however I posted it because abinadi incognito (mr. not so anonymous) loves to rally on us for being worldly wise but supposedly not understanding anything anytime we parrot science-y stuff. I was just pointing out that if it's true, it's mormonism. I do agree that Zion has imbibed Babylon. but that's a whole other story. and I don't believe that's what anyone was doing here."
posted at 07:53:34 on January 30, 2015 by they_speak
and    
"I might add that those conditions which bare upon our choices might include unclean spirits and what not. I've never read anyone on here myself included deny that possibility or the steps recommended by the scriptures in how to handle such things. we only reject the messenger. and his supposed proof of complete and absolute healing by the only possible method in the universe and damming of any talk pertaining to different understanding than his own. his one convert on this blog was jerking off 3 weeks after he had the devil cast out. and he says he's not even tempted but admits of getting the shakes when a scantily clad babe walks by. I have no reason to assume he has it figured out any more than anyone else here and certainly hasn't earned himself the credibility to talk down to anyone. besides which it's always been pretty obvious to me that the thrust behind his whole charade has been showing off for his wife. an effort to prove his own healing to her. not to heal any of us."
posted at 08:12:06 on January 30, 2015 by they_speak


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"Man has a dual nature; one, related to the earthly or animal life; the other, akin to the divine. Whether a man remains satisfied within what we designate the animal world, satisfied with what the animal world will give him, yielding without effort to the whim of his appetites and passions and slipping farther and farther into the realm of indulgence, or whether, through self-mastery, he rises toward intellectual, moral, and spiritual enjoyments depends upon the kind of choice he makes every day, nay, every hour of his life"

— David O. McKay