Self Worth & Motivation
By paul
10/20/2010 5:17:35 PM
I am approaching what I would consider to be a not-insignificant milestone in my recovery, that is, a record number of consecutive clean days since getting bogged down with this addiction after my mission. I feel very blessed to have made it this far and have definitely felt the hand of the Lord strengthen me each and every day since I began this latest recovery effort. I know that it is through his strength that I have achieved any success, relying on myself got me nowhere for so many years before this.

That being said, I can feel myself growing complacent. I am not really feeling tempted, the thought of looking at filth makes me feel physically sick. I know the toll it has taken on me, and the pain it has and will cause my wife and family. I cannot go back to who I was before. I still pray morning and night, study in the morning and sometimes during the day. I look forward to family home evenings, and chances to share testimony with my beautiful wife. And yet, I feel like I'm slowing down.

I have been thinking about my motivation for some time now, hoping to pick up some lost momentum and recommit myself, and I think I have come to some conclusions. That is, my family is my primary motivation in recovery, not me, not my own soul, not my eternal salvation. I seek forgiveness, not to hopefully one day gain exaltation, but to avoid losing my family. I feel like this is a sign of my weak faith. Maybe an artifact of years of shame and self doubt. I believe the Lord believes I'm worth saving. But I don't know that I believe I am. I believe that I can be forgiven of my sins, so long as my repentance is humble and sincere, but I don't know that I care. At least, not for myself. I care because I know gaining forgiveness is the only way to stay with my family. To stay with my wife and children that I love, cherish, and respect. They make me want to be better, I don't.

Does any of this make sense? Has anyone else been down this path? Why do we seek to better ourselves? Am I way off course here? How do I start to see things correctly?


"Congratulations. I don't think it's bad,necessarily, to have your motivation to stay clean be your family from time to time. Whatever it takes. My sobriety peaks and valleys. Sometimes I stay clean just to keep what I have. At other more spiritual times, I stay clean because I am grateful for the gift of recovery and I want to be obedient.

I can really relate to not caring, at time. I have even wondered if having "going to the Celestial Kingdom" as a primary motivation to be good, isn't just a little strange. I don't know the answer. I am glad you are doing good, Paul!"
posted at 18:14:29 on October 20, 2010 by Anonymous
The way I read the scriptures...    
"...and modern revelation, I get the idea that if we are worthy, we can receive the SAME blessings that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Adam, Isaiah, Nephi, Jacob, Mormon, Moroni, the Brother of Jared, Joseph Smith, and MANY others have received.

That is, through the ordinances of God (found in Holy Temples, the house of God), we can come back into God's presence and behold his face IN THIS LIFE. We can have our calling and election made sure, and we can have our marriage sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.

Could any of that become your motivation?"
posted at 18:54:09 on October 20, 2010 by BeClean

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"By emulating the Master, who endured temptations but “gave no heed unto them,” we, too, can live in a world filled with temptations “such as [are] common to man”. Of course Jesus noticed the tremendous temptations that came to him, but He did not process and reprocess them. Instead, He rejected them promptly. If we entertain temptations, soon they begin entertaining us! Turning these unwanted lodgers away at the doorstep of the mind is one way of giving “no heed.” Besides, these would-be lodgers are actually barbarians who, if admitted, can be evicted only with great trauma."

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987