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Here are some questions...
By skyteamst90
4/13/2007 9:21:58 PM

Ok, room, I have some questions...please feel free to respond. Maybe some of you have already told me and maybe I have already heard this, but I would really like some input to what you would have to say. DEREK, MCR285, and JR seem to have writtend some cool comments to me, so hopefully you can add something to these thoughts. I just need some help 'jump starting'

question 1-1
How do I get answers to my life questions, when I can't even get myself to be sober for a day? I mean why would he answer my questions if I can't even be good long enough to feel the spirit or notice the promptings? Does this make sense? (ok that was 3 really)

question 2-2
ok and lets say he does choose to answer my questions...how do i know the thing i am thinking is 'his' will and not my voice or satan's? I understand the burning spirit feeling, I have had that a lot, but not in relasion to answered prayers. More or less I 'feel the spirit' at church when I attend. I think I did feel it at general conf even though, I feel so far away.
I have heard most of the time, that he answers prayers through other people...and so the feeling or thought or 'prompting' thing confuses me....

question 3-3
how do i be patient enough with the LORD when I need answers right now? I mean I am in crisis mode and I need to know what to do...regards to moving, a place to stay, what to do with my x and kids, job wise, etc. The whole patience thing seems unbarrable, as its like, I leave a voice mail, and he'll call back on 'his time'...ahhh.
As a back round line to this, I have no self confidence in making decisions, ok well 'GOOD' ones. Most have been bad, and things have just blown up in my face.

question 4-4
How do I get myself JUMP STARTED again? Someone told me the lord isn't going to live my life for me, he isnt going to make my desicions for me, I have to choose...ok if that is true, but as an addict and lost so much of my 'agency', then I kinda need a little help to get started, how can I get his help to get started? I understand that really its my 'nature' that I war with. That at least one part really wants to devour the bad stuff....feast on the bad stuff...yum...but it is not right, but just like bingding on an M&m's bag, what happens? it becomes empty, and then what? you feel empty like the bag...

question 5-5
why would he help me, when i cant get it right at all? i cant be perfect, i can't do it all...it seems over whelming. i feel often times that I am the 3 servant in the talent parable. i would have buried it. i wouldn't have wanted to loose it. i dont have confidence. notice in that parable, there must have been a certain level of confidence in the 1st two, or they knew what to do with it...and they doubled it.


i may have other questions that I may post here as they come to me.

please, i hope you can help.

Comments:

Lacking    
"One word, FAITH, you need to have faith in the Lord and his atonement for you. Start as if you are a sunbeam, first comes faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, then repentance"
posted at 09:28:15 on April 25, 2007 by wife
Hope    
"For the last couple of weeks I have been attending a regular addiction group. It has been the best thing in the world for me. I have a brother who has multiple chemical addictions plus an addiction to porn. My husband is also addicted to porn. As I have listened to the men and women at the regular addiction group talk about these addictions it has given me a greater appreciation of just how hard it can be to overcome addiction. The questions you ask are not uncommon among addicts. My husband and my brother have asked many of those same questions. Talking to someone who is in recovery can really help.

There are many examples of people who have overcome even the most grievous sins. Alma the younger is my favorite. What a remarkable man. I have another man I admire and love. He has helped my husband a great deal. He has spent time in jail (twice I believe). He has lost most everything you could imagine because of his addiction. The spirit he carries is amazing. I know that he knows the Savior. You can feel it in his testimony. I guess what I am saying is there is hope. There are people who will love you in spite of the things you do. Listen to those who are in recovery testify of what it means to receive an answer, to feel the spirit, to know that you are loved. They understand where you are. Many have been at the place you are now.

The 12 steps are hard to do. I love in the first step where it say’s…

“Some people recognize the need to be free from addiction but are not yet willing to begin. If you are in that situation, perhaps you can begin by acknowledging your unwillingness and considering the costs of your addictions. You can list what is important to you. Look at you family and social relationships, your relationship to God, your spiritual strength, your ability to help and bless others, your health. Then look for contradictions between what you believe in and hope for and your behavior. Consider how your actions undermine what you value. You can pray that the Lord will help you see yourself and your life as He sees it--- with all your divine potential--- and what you risk by continuing in your addiction.” Maybe step one is the best place to start.

Without fail the recovering addicts that I know say working the steps is the best thing to getting back on track or getting on track at all. They also say that attending a meeting makes a big difference. Even if it is a regular addiction meeting. One of the men I know attends at least 3 meetings a week. He say’s that both the support from other addicts and the fact that he has to be honest has made all the difference to him. Actually I liked what one addict said this week. “You are only as sick as the secrets you keep”. That’s why he attends group.

There are some amazing people out there who can help you. There are some amazing programs that can help you. However your recovery looks, I pray that you can find it. My husband and my brother still really struggle. I have seen miracles work in their lives. Sometimes they are not even aware of these miracles. I testify that no matter what or where you are in your life if you reach out to the Lord he will reach back. I have seen it over and over in the lives of so many people. He came among the sinners. He loved them and I know He will talk to all of us even in moments when we are not worthy of that blessing."
posted at 10:11:06 on April 26, 2007 by danielle o
My Experience    
"First of all, know that you are not alone. Others, including me, are praying for you.

Knowing where thoughts or impressions come from is a skill that I have had to develop, and I am still learning. I have experienced answers I thought were from God but weren't. I try to be really careful to verify the source if it is something I really want to do, by praying for a verification or discussing it with a trusted family member or friend or bishop. Last summer, when my bishop told me that my answer was not the Lord's way of dealing with the situation, I accepted his counsel and changed course. If a thought comes that I should do something I have not even considered, but it is according to gospel principles--building faith in Christ, serving others unselfishly, living the commandments--then I am more confident of the source. Answers that seem good but take my focus away from the Savior and from essentials like prayer and scripture study, have been proved not to be from God.

Often the answer doesn't come in feelings or while praying or meditating. As I am doing what seems to me to be the best choice, the way opens up for me to do it. Or if it is not right, circumstances come up that prevent me from doing it. Then in retrospect I can see that the Lord was directing what happened.

As for worthiness, I think sincerity is the key. Wanting to change and follow Christ is more important. The Lord knows our hearts and desires and will bless us and answer prayers even when we have no track record of worthiness. Like the doctors of this world, the great Physician doesn't wait until the patient is well but begins the healing process when the sick person asks for help.

Most of all, I know that the Lord Jesus Christ is there, that in His Atonement He experienced everything that you or I will ever experience, every pain, regret, and feeling of unworthiness or worthlessness. He knows you and He knows how to help you. Your prayers are heard and they are or will be answered. Every bit of recovery that I have experienced has been through Christ's influence, whether I knew it then or not. He lives! If He can heal me, He can heal you."
posted at 22:19:48 on May 3, 2007 by J R
GOD LOVES YOU!    
"This is mostly related to questions 1 - 3 more to follow.

You just have to understand that your Heavenly Father loves YOU! All those feelings of worthlessness and shame come from Satan. He wants you to feel hopeless to keep you where you are at or get you to move farther from God because "what does it matter anyway". I know because I've been there. Feelings of guilt are beneficial until we turn around and then continuing to beat ourselves up makes as much sense as trying to make headway in the right direction with the anchor still down.

When my oldest was 13 months old we had to clean out some burns he had three times a day. It was a two person job because one had to hold him down while the other cleaned. There is no way that I would ever want to go through that again, but it helped me realize what the Father must have been experiencing during the atonement. Why would He allow His perfect Son to go through that. The only reason I can think of is that He loves us so much that He was willing to go through anything to get us back. He did that for you. Christ feels the same way. It wasn't until He had taken care of everything you have done or will do, and after He had felt every pain you will ever feel that He declared the job complete. They did it for you and they are still pulling for you even if you can't imagine why. If your having trouble believing this, lean on the testimony of this expert reprobate.

I'm a porn addict, but at this point have not masturbated for years. (I'm not sure what my actual sobriety date was.) I do have occasional struggles with looking at things I shouldn't, but nothing like it was in the past. Most of it I wouldn't have even considered a problem when I was a practicing addict.

He will still answer your prayers, because He cares about you and wants to help. Most of the time when He hasn't helped me it is because I wouldn't really let Him. I found that He was much more concerned about my sincerity, desires, and honesty when I pled for His help than He was about whether I "deserved" help. He was willing to wait for my future actions to back up my sincere heart. This was true even if we had gone through this cycle hundreds of times before. After I had been in recovery for some time there would be times when I was relapsing and didn't really want to quit, but knew I should and knew I would be happier if I did. I would still call on His help. I would honestly tell Him where I was at and that I didn't really even care to quit at that point. (There's no point in trying to candy coat it anyway, because He knows all our thoughts and feelings.) I would then ask for His help in giving me the desire to change. And the crazy thing is that it would work!

The fact is that He would much rather hear from us right after a mistake or in the midst of the downward spiral than after we have waded through the mud for days, weeks or months because we didn't feel "worthy" to approach Him.

I realize it can be hard to be sure if we are hearing the right answer when our receiver is gummed up because of our current sinful state, but don't let that stop you from asking. Like you I have rarely felt the "burning of the bosom" when praying for an answer. There have been times when what I really wanted was a flashing neon sign. The most consistent type of answer I receive I would refer to as a calm, peaceful feeling. Sometimes it has taken me a while to receive that answer even after extended fasting and prayer. In my case I think it has mostly been because I have had trouble quieting my mind enough to hear the answer. It is hard for a calm peaceful feeling to fall over me when my mind is running a million miles an hour in a dozen directions trying to analyze all the angles and ramifications of a particular decision. Trust that he wants to help you and will try to give you guidance."
posted at 15:55:33 on May 14, 2007 by justjohn
How I give myself a kick in the butt    
"As far as jump-starting your recovery, the things that have worked for me are getting on my knees every morning and asking for His strength and protection from temptation, bombarding myself with the Spirit and meetings, meetings, meetings.

First of all nothing helps me more than realizing I would be safer walking naked onto a battlefield than to step out of the house in the morning without God's protection. One day I actually panicked on the way to work because I realized I hadn't prayed yet. I wish I was always that concerned. He won't live my life for me, but He has told us many times to ask and we will receive. I've found it works.

I find that if I bombard myself with the Spirit it may not totally eliminate Satan's influence on me, but it seriously reduces it. It is like pouring water into a glass. The air that occupied the glass is forced out because there eventually is no room for it. I don't know your situation, so maybe some of these ideas won't be available to you, but here are some things that have helped me.

The Book of Mormon. Any scripture reading can be helpful, but the Book of Mormon has a special spirit to me. There have been two times since getting into recovery that I have determined to read the New Testament as I was completing the BofM. Both times after finishing the Gospels and Acts I would soon find myself running back to the BofM because I felt I needed the spirit that I felt it alone could provide me. I think it is because it was compiled under inspiration with us specifically in mind.

Spiritual Music. Fortunately there is a wealth of spiritual music out there now. It used to seem like there was only two choices: the Tab Choir, and Saturday's Warrior. Now I can plug into my computer and listen to music most of the day at work and not repeat anything. Here are some of my favorites: "A Season For Courage- EFY 1999", Alex Boye' "The Love Goes On", MercyMe "Almost There", Hillary Weeks "Lead Me Home", and Michael McLean "The Collection Vol I". MercyMe isn't an LDS group, but I really like them. They did the song "I Can Only Imagine" that you may have heard on radio stations. It is about what will I do when I meet the Savior. After I spend a day listening to that kind of music I just find myself happier and filled with the love of God.

The temple. I'm lucky enough to have a temple recommend and live 7 minutes from a temple. I've found that getting to the temple at least once a week isn't too much for me. I can hit it right at 6:00 am when they open and do 5 names in initiatory and still make it to work in pretty good time. Then if I make it again on the weekend it really helps me stay on track. I realize that you may not be able to attend right now, but if you could even spend time on the grounds reading, writing, working through the steps and praying I would think that it would help you get back to attending faster. Wherever you can go and feel the Spirit, get there often.

Meetings, meetings, meetings. Nothing can replace working the 12 Steps if you want to recover. I know people recover without them, so I am not saying it is the only way, but to me the 12 Step are a way to apply the Atonement to any problem. I believe the Atonement is the only way I can really heal and be made whole. Since the 12 Steps is a proven way to apply the Atonement I figure I might as well use it. That said, I don't believe meetings can actually replace working the steps, (I've known people who have attended for years and not improved because they never really worked the steps, they just went through the motions.) but the meetings can provide the motivation needed to get me going. Most of the time that I have been in recovery I have attended multiple meetings a week. There have often been days when I wasn't planning to go to a meeting, but I was in such a place that I knew if I didn't get help I would be in trouble so I found the nearest meeting and went. About a year ago I felt that my recovery needed a jump-start so I committed myself to go to a meeting a day for a period of time. Some days I would have to attend two to keep on track, but it was well worth it. I got the idea from AA. They often talk about 90 meetings in 90 days. I even knew a guy that went to 3 meetings a day for a while. It really works. It is tough to hear people day after day tell your story and how they found their way out without being filled with hope, faith and the courage to try. Don't let fear stop you from going to meetings. If like me, you deal with porn and not chemical addiction it can be easy to fall into the trap of believing that you wouldn't be accepted at a general addiction meeting. My wife deals with an eating addiction and felt that if she attended a meeting with drug addicts and alcoholics they would look at her problem like it insignificant. We would both encourage you to go. Addicts understand addiction regardless of the "drug" of choice. They feel compassion for any that suffer. You can always just introduce yourself as an addict and not get specific. I don't have a chemical addiction, but most of the meetings I attend are general ones. I even attend an AA noon meeting that is close to my work.

Here are some places to start finding meetings: ldsfamilyservices.org, heart-t-heart.org, and aa.org. If you are lucky enough to live on the Wasatch Front you could fill your schedule with LDS meetings. They even have noon meetings in Davis, Salt Lake and Utah counties. Salt Lake actually has noon meetings every day except Sunday, and a few early morning meetings.

Give it some thought. Whether it is 30, 60 or 90 days, if you end up doing it you will be in a better place afterwards."
posted at 16:02:55 on May 14, 2007 by justjohn
None of us are perfect    
"As far as question(s) 5 I hope I have adequately covered why he would help you. Your His son. He loves you regardless. Also, keep this in mind, He doesn't expect perfection from you. That is a bar that Satan puts up there. If he sets it at an impossible height and you try to jump it you will always have evidence that you are a failure. Pray that you can come to see your self as God sees you. Christ didn't even include Himself in the perfection list during His earthly ministry. He told us to be perfect like our Father in heaven. (Matt 5:48) After His resurrection He told us to be perfect like Him or our Father. (3 Nephi 12:48) The thing I get from that is that I should be striving towards perfection, but God doesn't expect me to get there in this life and I shouldn't demand it of myself. That doesn't give me an out, allowing me to continually relapse. I just need to allow myself to be human as I continue to push for the goal.

The greatest thing I got from reading "Believing Christ" by Stephen Robinson is that God isn't looking to make a profit on me. He was discussing Mosiah 2:21 "...I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants." If there is anyone living that has served God with their whole soul it is Pres. Hinckley and so he is calling Pres. Hinckley an unprofitable servant. Then I realized our Heavenly Father isn't expecting repayment for every penny He has put into us. I can't earn my way into heaven so I don't worry about that any more. Now I just try to do what He has asked of me for today. I can never go back and redo the past, so I try to learn from and never repeat the mistakes. I start each day with a clean slate and through the grace (enabling power) of God I can make it through this day clean and sober.

I like this scripture:
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28 - 30
I found that if I put down the burden I have been trying to carry and just take the one He asks me to carry it is much lighter. If I am yoked with Him, He does most of the pulling and it is easier. He does about 95% of the fighting against my addiction and I do about 5% now. If I feel like getting the crap kicked out of me again, I just have to take back control.

I hope some of all that helps. The thoughts I've shared may not be what you were looking for. I just know they have worked for me. I'm not an expert, just a fellow traveler a little further up the trail. I'll continue praying for you. I put your name in the temple Friday. Even if I don't have any idea who skyteamst90 is your Father knows exactly who you are."
posted at 16:14:42 on May 14, 2007 by justjohn
The power of the word of God    
"I really liked a lot of what justjohn had to say, especailly about the part of reading the Book of Mormon. I was just reading in another book about the power of the word of God and how it can change us. This book quoted Pres. Ezra Taft Benson who said, "It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. ...There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your live the moment you begin a serious study of the book." I have read the Book of Mormon many times throughtout my life but never has it meant so much to me as it did this past year. I study the Book of Mormon seriously. I had to - that is where I found answers to the situation I found myself in. That is where my mind was opened up and the word of God poured into my soul and I discovered for the first time a part of the Atonement I never knew was there. I discovered so many things about myself, about the world we live in right now, about repentace and forgiveness and God's love for His children. I know that the Book of Mormon was written for our day, for us. I know that our modern day prophets constantly encourage us and command us to read it over and over again because it is does have a power to influence and change our lives if we as Pres. Benson said study it seriously.
I also feel that has been a big, big reason for the changes that have taken place within my husband. He faithfully reads and studys his scriptures each morning and records certian verses or feelings he has. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God and how grateful I am to have it in my life."
posted at 19:37:57 on May 14, 2007 by julieann


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"Now, my brothers and sisters, let not Jesus’ redemption for us stop at the immortalizing dimension of the Atonement, “the loosing of the bands of death”. Let us grasp the proffered gift of eternal life! We will end up either choosing Christ’s manner of living or His manner of suffering! It is either “suffer even as I”, or overcome “even as [He] … overcame”. His beckoning command is to become “even as I am”. The spiritually settled accept that invitation, and “through the atonement of Christ,” they become and overcome! "

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987