WE Can Change (1of 2)
By byourownhero
11/10/2010 2:39:40 PM
I wanted to share with you this talk that was given by a brother who sought recovery. He and his wife were recently sealed with their baby. This is a story of Healing and Success!

Every one of us need to change not simply on the basis of serious and severe moral transgressions but on the simple fact that all of us have fallen short of our inherit potential to be like our Heavenly Father. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”1 This is not a terrible thing. In fact this is the reason why we came to earth. Remember that Christ was chosen to be the Savior before the world was 2, before a mistake had been made. Remember that the war in Heaven was fought over if we could make mistakes or not 3. Now I know that this is a dangerous side of the argument to be on. I don’t want you to think that I am justifying sin or justifying any one to sin. From personal experience I know that sin can never be happiness and I know that our Heavenly Father does not want us to sin. I am talking about the plan of happiness and the reality that all of us can sit here and hear truth and know truth and believe this truth down to the very fiber of our beings; but at the same time I also know that each of us wake up each day with the reality that we have fallen short of the glory of God, of our potential. We are sinners.
So now what? What are the steps that we can take to bring us closer to our potential.
The first step is easy. It’s what I have just tried to convince to do. The first step is an honest look into our own personal situation. As I started to write this talk I wanted to use the idea of honest self-examination but I could find nothing in the scriptures that talked about being honest with one’s self. I looked and looked and one day while I was pondering this issue. I asked myself what is the opposite of honesty self examination and the answer came easy. It is pride; pride in our own strength, our own wisdom or our own timeline is in my experience, what has stood between me and an honest assessment of my situation. So what therefore is the opposite of pride? Humility. You mean to tell me, Troy, that you have lived your whole life in the church and never, up until recently, truly understood humility, one of the most talked about topics in the church. Yes, it is true. Up until recently I associated humility with poverty and self debasing behaviors. Brothers and Sisters I was wrong. As Elder Uchtdorf said in the Priesthood Session of this last conference, “Humility does not mean convincing ourselves that we are worthless, meaningless, or of little value. Nor does it mean denying or withholding the talents God has given us.”4 So what is Humility? First humility is an understanding of our relationship to God. King Benjamin Said “For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have...And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins...And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness.”5 Now remember humility is not self-debasing so anyone who reads that and says to themselves I’m nothing without finishing the thought as Ammon did when he said “Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things;”6 That is the essence of humility Brother and Sisters. I know that of myself I am weak but with God I can do all things. Now Brothers and Sisters I wish to stress the point of my talk here. Many try to change themselves alone. I heard a story of a man trying to change his life that makes this point clearer, he said “Before I truly understood the atonement, I met Christ at the door and told him that he didn’t need to come in - I made the mess, I would clean it up and some day my house would be clean enough for him to come in without judging me and thinking I was stupid, slothful, and filthy. I sent him away empty handed. As I tried later to apply the atonement in my life, I opened the door to Him, and quickly handed out a gift-wrapped bag of garbage for him to take with Him. I offered Him some surface temptations for Him to take. I made sure they were ok so He wouldn’t hate me and think I was a slob. Next, I finally realized I couldn’t clean up my house by myself. It was a filthy house and I was ashamed of it. Satan whispered “quick hide” whenever Christ came.


We Can Change ( 2of 2)    
"Finally, I was done hiding and with so much fear I let Him in. I showed Him around nervously just waiting for Him to start telling me how dumb I was to have let my house get so dirty and for not knowing how to clean it up. I wept inside, bracing myself for His wrath. Instead, He quietly knelt down and started cleaning, inviting me to help were I could. After a while of this, He was over helping me clean again, and He heard cries coming from the basement - a place I had not taken Him yet. It had barbed wire and insulation stacked as high as I could get it to keep it hidden. He said nothing - waiting for me to invite Him down there. Once He left, I went downstairs and found myself as two people sitting on the floor exhausted from one of me beating the other for years. Neither of them know how to stop it. They both looked at each other and cried. They had had enough and in their hearts they invited Christ into the room. He walked in and quietly took the place of the one of me being beaten.” This story stresses the point that we need Christ and his atonement in every part of our lives that we wish to change but he waits until we invite him in. Christ waits hopefully for the day that we will invite him into every part of our lives and his “grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves.”7
The next part of the process is more than a realization of our true situation. Not only do we have to understand how weak we are and conversely how strong we are with Christ. We have to understand how to apply this knowledge daily. Some ways that I have found successful, for remember I am still new to this realization, are sanctifying my scripture study, purifying my home, personalizing my prayers, and most importantly practicing my religion. Because the last is the most important I will address it first. Practicing my religion has been one of the biggest paradigm shifts in my life. What it means is that I am practicing what my religion teaches me to do like I practice tennis every Wednesday and Saturday. For those of you who have not played sports I will explain myself further. Practice is a consistent event over time with the intent to improve performance. Practice as a I have experienced it, cannot make me worse at my desired activity, it might make me more aware of my shortcomings but the beauty of practice is it gives me time to correct those shortcomings that would have gone unnoticed if it were not for my consistent practice. To put it succinctly practice gives me permission to be bad at something now because I am working to be better at it later. I am not perfect and I have fallen short of the glory of God but the grace of Jesus Christ is sufficient for me that if I will practice what he teaches everyday I can be saved in the Kingdom of my Father.
The next parts are ways that I have applied the idea of practicing my religion in my life. First sanctifying my scripture study. This has not been easy Brothers and Sisters. I believe it has not been easy because the Advisory knows of the power to resist him that lies in the scriptures and he has done everything to keep me from that power. The principle of sanctifying my scripture study is nothing most of you do not know already. First I have to start in the morning. To me it says to my Heavenly Father you are the first thing on my plate and I will not start anything else until I have had my time with you. I start with a prayer and basically say Heavenly Father this is what I can do, I can read five minutes or half and hour or whatever it may be, please let it be enough to uplift me and sustain me through this day and then I read my scriptures. Now I do not have a Mount Sinai experience every time I read the scriptures, actually some days, most days its quite ordinary. But remember I am practicing, everyday I am getting better at feeling the spirit and feeling the peace that my Heavenly Father brings to me through the scriptures. Second, was Purifying my home. I really cannot take any credit for this one because mostly it has been my Wife’s shining example that has helped purify our home. In our home we have chosen to remove Tv and Video games. Trust me when I say this was not easy. Anyone who knows me well knows whether it be an infomercial or a suspense thriller I love my TV. As well I have always deeply enjoyed video games from Super Mario Brothers to Starcraft 2. I love video games but Brothers and Sisters I can testify to you today that the hours and days that I have wasted on TV and Video Games will never compare to the few months that I have experienced in my home free of distractions and noise. I have found time that I did not know existed, to be with my daughter, to connect with my wife and improve upon my talents. I know it may be hard for many of you to give up your TV or video games. The only reason I know is because it was, and is hard for me. For you I would suggest that you take a close look at what you are letting into your home through your television. If the programs that you are watching are risqué, immodest, promote sexual intimacy outside of marriage, condone homosexuality, or belittle the proper roles of a Mother and Father in a family, I would strongly suggest that you eliminate those programs from your home. No amount of entertainment pleasure can justify bringing into our homes strong and believable messages contrary to the doctrines of Jesus Christ. Elder Packer wrote “Largely because of television, instead of looking over into that spacious building, we are, in effect, living inside of it.”8 Brothers and Sisters we can purify our homes. I know because I have watched my Wife do it in mine. We are not perfect and we still have our fights and disagreements but we have the undistracted time to resolve our problems and overcome Satan who tries very hard to destroy our family. Lastly personalizing my prayers. This has to be the area that I need the most work. Alma said to his son Helaman “O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God. Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support;”9. It is only when we are humble enough to ask for the Lord’s support that we will get it. Brother Bassett said something so profound during an elders quorum lesson, he said “God is not obligated to give us anything. That is why when we receive things from God they are called gifts. What Heavenly Father wants us to learn is how to receive his gifts.”10 For me one of the best ways to receive gifts from Heavenly Father is to allow him to take an active role in helping me change that which I need to change."
posted at 14:40:39 on November 10, 2010 by byourownhero

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"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."

— Terrance D. Olson

“Teaching Morality to Your Children,” Ensign, Mar. 1981