Talk Review: I'll Never Do it Again and Other Broken Promises that Need the Continuous Atonement
By rmww
11/7/2014 8:17:24 PM
I hate it when this site goes days without a post, so I figured I'd post something myself. :-) This is a review of a talk that I believe has special application to those of us that struggle with addiction.

Talk Review: I'll Never Do it Again and Other Broken Promises that Need the Continuous Atonement
by Brad Wilcox

Available on CD (although hard to find), or as an MP3 download from Deseret Book (for under $10)

Brad Wilcox has quickly become my second favorite speaker in the church over the last couple of years. Bro. Wilcox provides an excellent mixture of humor, analogies, and fun stories to teach others about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how we can apply it in our lives. Compulsive behaviors and addictions are mentioned several times in the talk, which makes it very relevant for most of us here. Many of us sincerely promise "I'll never do it again", then somehow we still end up messing up over, and over, and over. However, there is ALWAYS hope in Jesus Christ when we apply the Continuous Atonement to our lives, no matter how many times we fail after promising "I'll never do it again".

One of the stories Bro. Wilcox tells early in the talk is about a young priest that messes up several times as he's trying to say the Sacrament prayer in church. The Sacrament prayers must be perfect, and it's not something that the Bishop can excuse or overlook when it's not perfect. However, once the prayer is said perfectly, the final attempt is accepted as perfect, no matter how many times it took to get there.

Even though this was an awkward time for the ward, it became a moving experience for Bro. Wilcox as he compared the experience to the repentance process. From the talk: "No matter how many mistakes are made and corrected along the way, the final outcome is counted as perfect, and acceptable. God, like the Bishop, can't lower the standards that we ultimately become perfect. But he can give us many opportunities to start again. Like the young priest, we can be given the time we need to correct our mistakes. Perfection is our long term goal, but for now, our goal is progress, in that direction. Continuous progress that is made possible through the continuous atonement."

Another great analogy relates to learning a foreign language. There really isn't a time where you don't know Spanish one day and you know it the next day, but rather it's a continuous process of learning. Repentance usually works the same way, where we develop a pattern of repentance to make continuous improvements in our life. The Savior has promised to forgive us as often as we repent, even when we make the same mistakes over and over. "What chance do any of us have? We have a second chance. We have a third chance. A fourth chance. We have as many times as we need to get it right. God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, but he can certainly look upon sinners, repentant sinners, with a great deal of allowance, and a great deal of patience."

This talk provides a wonder message of hope. It is particularly applicable to those that struggle with addictions and compulsive behaviors. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is at the center of the message, right where it should be. I highly recommend this talk, especially to all of my friends that struggle with addiction.

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Side note: If you can't afford it in the immediate future, a similar talk from Brad Wilcox (His Grace is Sufficient) is available on Youtube. Also highly recommended.


"I had read the Brad Wilcox talk - His Grace is Sufficient a while back, but I hadn't watched the talk yet. It was a great way to start my day. Thanks for the link."
posted at 08:22:03 on November 8, 2014 by Anonymous

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"I have come to know that thoughts, like water, will stay on course if we make a place for them to go. Otherwise, our thoughts follow the course of least resistance, always seeking the lower levels. Probably the greatest challenge and the most difficult thing you will face in mortal life is to learn to control your thoughts. In the Bible it says, as a man ‘thinketh in his heart, so is he’ (Prov. 23:7). One who can control his thoughts has conquered himself. As you learn to control your thoughts, you can overcome habits, even degrading personal habits. You can gain courage, conquer fear, and have a happy life. "

— Boyd K. Packer

BYU, Speeches of the Year, 26 Sept. 1967