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What am I willing to do to overcome?
By nyronian
10/18/2009 4:50:08 PM
This morning I came on and read a few blogs. Some of them bothered me as how close to the edge we feel, how close to falling we feel.....how close to the edge I feel. I have been saddened by my actions this week. I have struggled (yet again) to stay clean and have fallen short in many respects. Today I went to church and thought through many of my struggles and wondered "What am I willing to do to make this sin 'go away'"? What would I be willing to do to truly allow the atonement of Jesus Christ change me, Change my heart and change who I am?

If I was Extremely obese and someone came up to me and challenged me to run a marathon in a year...what would i have to change to meet that challenge? My guess is that it would first laugh at even the thought. But, if I were to accept the challenge, what DRASTIC changes would I have to make?

I would change my diet for every second of the day.
I would be up early every morning and to bed early every night.
I would have to set smaller goals and meet those goals to make sure I am on track.
I would completely change my diet from junk food to fruits, vegetables and healthy eating.
I would be up early to work every part of my body. It would be difficult at first. I would hate getting up early. I would want to quit every five minutes.
I would fail MANY more times that I would succeed at first.
I would go to a doctor and have him monitor my health.
I would STUDY my brains out to help me understand health, my body, how to best nourish it and help it out of the condition it is in.
I may find that I have problems that need special care and monitoring while in my quest.
People around me would notice the change within me.

The list could go on and on. The point is that it would be DRASTIC changes. So why isn't the addiction just as serious? How serious do I take this? What DRASTIC measures have I changed in my behavior, thoughts, patterns etc. Do I wake up early to study and pray to God. If so, is it for 15 minutes? Is it just as I run out the door? Do I just listen to my scriptures in my car and never take the time to mark, look up references, study a specific topic, etc. Do I need 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours? Do I need to read and pray every morning till I feel his spirit teach me? I may take 2 hours.

What about at work and during the day? What about at lunch? How are my thoughts and behaviors during the day? Is my computer monitor always in a location that others can see it if they walk by? Do I need to pray every hour of the day until I feel his strength? Do I need to change my career to remove myself from the computer all day? Am I will to do whatever it takes to change me?

What about the evenings? Am I doing everything I can to keep my thoughts on the Savior? Do I need to forgo the evenings activities and study to keep my mind clean and on the Savior? What good have I done THIS DAY? By the end of the day have I accomplished what the Savior has asked me to do today?

At the end of each week have I studied my scriptures every day? Have I then studies my Sunday School lesson and I am prepared for Sunday? Have I studied my Priesthood lesson so I know ahead of time what is going to be said and can contribute effectively to the lesson? On Saturday, do I spend the time with my family? Do I do activities that will uplift and build others? Do I spend the time to bring the spirit into my life?

Do I have the faith necessary to ask God what to do? If I was just diagnosed with cancer what would change in my life? Well pornography is worse than cancer. It will destroy not only your life but your soul, your family and everything you hold dear.

Some of the above things may sound crazy. But maybe that is what it takes. What does it take for ME to change? What does it take for YOU to change. If what you are doing is not working are you HONESTLY asking God what to change in your life to that it DOES work? Am I just going through the motions or am I working my heart and soul until I feel a change in my heart EVERY day.

Am I doing good in the world? Am I loving and making the lives of those around me better? Am I forgetting my addictions while I serve others and thus "losing" myself in the service of my fellow men?

Comments:

Turning point    
"I think that in the life of every recovered addict, there is a point where they decide with every fiber of their being that enough is enough and that no matter what it takes, drastic changes need to be made. I can tell you exactly when that was for me. It was the first day in my now 246 day sobriety. I wrote in my journal, while in church about it, and I have been clean ever since. I have had a couple of close calls, but haven't acted out since then. Here is some of what I what I wrote:
I have decided to try to begin preparing to receive my endowment. I am afraid to talk to the Branch President because I know that right now I am not worthy, but I feel that I can do this with the help of the priesthood. I feel that Satan has been working really hard on my for the past few days because last Sunday I decided that I want to go to the temple, so Satan has been trying to keep me from talking to the Branch President. Whatever the Branch President says, I will do, I will wait as long as he says is right and I will remain clean until I make it (and beyond) I know with the Lord's help I can conquer this problem.

I have had many turning points in this addiction, but I would say that that day, that moment was THE turning point. It was the point at which completely put my faith in the Lord and surrendered my will to his, and that has made all of the difference. I know that without the earlier small turning points, that one would not have been possible because I needed to slowly build the faith and confidence in both myself and in the Lord in order to get to that point. But I know that for complete repentance and change to take place, there has to be a complete turning point. We have to not only turn away from the sin, but turn toward the Lord. This addiction is too powerful to conquer with just a turn away from the sin, it is only with the help of the Lord that it is possible. I hope that is helpful."
posted at 19:43:05 on October 18, 2009 by ican
Another analogy    
"This is a great post, and I'm glad Summer linked us back to it. I was not a member of the site when it was originally written.

Nyronian's post is a tangible example of what we mean when we say, "Put God First..." and everything else will work out. We must ALL sacrifice EVERYTHING for God. We must do what he asks. We must turn our thoughts, our heart, our strength over to him. Whether we are the addicted person or a loved one, we must turn ourselves over to God in precisely the fashion Nyronian describes, if we are ever to let the atonement change us and heal us and bring us home to our Father in Heaven.

I'd like to add one more thought that connects to Nyronian's example of being overweight. Back when I struggled much more than I do now, my wife and I used to wonder why it was so hard for me to commit to change. Why couldn't I just sever myself from my temptations and be clean? I knew pornography and other selfish sins would eventually destroy my soul and my eternal family, so why couldn't I quit!? I had no answer for that question, and my wife didn't understand why it was so hard.

I'm still not sure I have an answer, but I have an analogy that helps us makes sense of the problem. The analogy relates to the question, "Why are so many people overweight in America?" The answer is we eat too much, and we don't exercise enough. We eat donuts and cookies and cakes. We eat large helpings at nice restaurants, and we eat far too much junk from McDonald's and Burger King. And then, we don't walk anywhere, and we don't work out.

Don't we know that being overweight will shorten our lives? It will ruin our knees; it will damage our heart and other vital organs; it will increase our risk for diabetes and several other diseases. Being overweight will eventually cause us pain and suffering we could avoid. So, why don't we change? Why don't we start exercising? Why don't we stop eating chocolate and candy? Why can't we commit to being better, when we know we should?

Isn't that question for the overweight American the same question you ask an addict? Why can't you be better, when you know you should? You're killing yourself!

Is it because the problems that come from being overweight are so far in the future, that they seem unreal? I'd rather have the cream-filled doughnut right now than a carrot and a longer, healthier life. Pretend you have the following choice. Choice A: Eat a cookie right now, and you will have a heart attack tomorrow, or Choice B: Eat an apple right now, and you will not have a heart attack tomorrow. Easy choice, right? But it gets all complicated when we start saying, "Eat the cookie right now, and you may or may not have a heart attack in 20-50 years, depending on whether or not you change your habits in time..."

Can we all understand why it might be hard for an overweight person to stop eating sweets? Sweets taste good, even though they do nothing but destroy our body. The problem is, we don't FEEL them slowly destroying our body. We don't SEE them slowly destroying our body, so, we just keep eating!

Perhaps that is one reason why it's difficult for a porn addict to "just stop!""
posted at 14:28:47 on March 16, 2010 by BeClean
Wow    
"I love this post. What a great perspective. Thanks so much for sharing!"
posted at 16:20:24 on March 16, 2010 by CLO
Wow...Thanks!    
"God just answered my prayers through all of you. Thank you so very much. This is EXACATLY what I needed to hear this morning. I will apply this to my life and become a better person. I am down with this fight, I need to give every fiber of my body to God so that he can better me and help me. This is a whole leap and faith- but this is a fight I have been trying to win on my own for way too long. THANK YOU!"
posted at 10:38:37 on March 17, 2010 by helpme
Amen    
"I’ve had a copy of an old army recruiting poster hanging in my cube at work for about a week now and I think it ties in, so I’ll share it here.

It shows a determined WWII soldier with his pack, rifle and bazooka marching along in the winter. Then it tells how during the “Battle of the Bulge” there was an entire U.S. armored division retreating from the Germans. A sergeant retreating in a tank destroyer saw an American G.I. digging a foxhole. The G.I. told him if he was looking for a safe place to, “just pull your vehicle behind me. I’m the 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as [they] are going.”

I agree with ICan. We all have to come to the point where we are ready to say, “It ends right here!” I have it hanging up to remind me that I am not going to allow anything to get in the way of my continued growth and recovery. I don’t need to stay up for any of numerous reasons because they will hamper my recovery. I will get out of bed much earlier than I need to get ready for work because there are things I need to do to prepare spiritually for the day. I don’t need to go to this fairly benign web site, because it could lead to trouble. I don’t need to worry about offending people by asking them not to send me risqué emails or to stop other things that harm my ability to stay on track. If I miss some really funny emails or activities that would have been enjoyable in some way, so what, I’ll live without them. I won’t survive if I return to my addiction. If there is any part of me that I am not willing to give up and turn over to the Lord it could lead to my downfall.

In the spirit of that G.I. “I’m the 61st Airborne and this is as far as it is going!”"
posted at 17:24:42 on March 19, 2010 by justjohn


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"In recent years, as I have sung the hymns of the Atonement, it has been with an especially full heart—and also with full voice, when I can continue to sing—lines such as “How great thou art,” “I scarce can take it in,” “To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,” “I stand all amazed,” and “Oh, it is wonderful!”"

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987