Print
So much has happened!!!
By purityquest
5/29/2009 12:16:33 AM
Hi everyone!

It has been a very long time since I have blogged, and so much has changed! This is gonna be a little long- but the experience is precious to me and I really wanted to share it with all of you!

Last time I happily wrote about having 32 days sobriety. Well, I made it about 45 days, and then fell hard multiple times in one week. I got so depressed, lower than I think I've ever been. At the same time I was having serious doubts about continuing in the gospel. I felt that following all the commandments was a hellish torture, and breaking the commandments and the guilt and depression that came after was just as torturous- but with a little pleasure first.

I came to a serious point where I could no longer sit on the fence. I had to make a choice, once and for all, if I was going to be a disciple of Christ, or a woman of the world. One torturous existence or the other. Obviously we all know the correct answer- but at the time Satan was working on me so hard, and my life was way out of control. I was so blazingly angry at the "rules" that kept me from experiencing what I felt was the only pleasure to be found in my life, that I seriously considered giving up on righteousness all together.

I cannot begin to describe what I went through over the next month, but some important events stood out to me. One was when I was bawling to my best friend that I couldn't handle being Mormon anymore, that there were too many things required of me. She looked at me and said, "But, you do them because you WANT to, not because you HAVE to." That was like a bucket of water dumped on my head- really woke me up to the truth. I thought alot about it over the next few days and knew she was right- I needed to stop whining about how hard it all is, and realize that I chose this life- I WANTED to be obedient. I repented like crazy and thought that since I really truly had a change of heart and wanted righteousness that it would all be fine.

It worked for a few days- I was on cloud 9. Then temptation reared its ugly head and I found myself back in the bishop’s office, totally shocked that I had given in when I really hadn't wanted to! That was my second big lesson- you do have to want to be righteous, but that doesn’t make the temptation disappear. You have to WORK very very hard on it, too. So I did…

And even then, I fell again!

I went right back to the bishop- completely flabbergasted at my own weakness. He could tell my remorse was very real, and to my surprise, suggested I prepare to go through the temple in a few months. I thought he was crazy! I couldn't make it a few days with all my desire and effort put together, let alone a few months! And even if I did, would I really be clean enough for the temple in such a short time? But he felt like I needed a tangible goal, and challenged me to set a date. So I made a very serious choice that no matter what, I was going to the temple in May. I called my mom and asked her to be my escort, and told my friends and family when I was going to the temple. Talk about pressure!!!

Over the next few months I cried and prayed and tried my hardest to be as Molly Mormonish as possible- failing miserably in everything from visiting teaching to scripture study- but somehow I kept the law of chastity. I agonized over going to the temple, because this time it was actually going to happen instead of just being a future dream! I was terrified of going there unworthily or without a real testimony. After deep reflection, many nights of tears and freaking out, and long conversations with Heavenly Father, I came to a few powerful, personal realizations. I knew I had a solid testimony of my Savior, that He had forgiven me of all my sins and recognized my efforts in spite of my many imperfections, and that He loved me and truly wanted little, hopelessly flawed me to attend the temple so that He would have the opportunity to bless me. And I learned my third lesson: We must try our best, and beg and plead to show the Lord through our actions that we desire forgiveness and to follow Him. But we don’t actually change ourselves, we are far too weak. He changes us.

So It didn't matter that I couldn't make it a few days on my own. I made the very serious choice to follow His command to come to the temple, and He made me strong. He made me completely clean in a few short months! (I guess if Alma was forgiven in 3 days, anything is possible!) And when I went in for my recommend, the Spirit witnessed to me that my scarlet sins had become white as snow, and God remembered them no more. What a miracle!

I have never been happier in my life than when I was answering those questions with all the right responses, KNOWING every word I spoke was true. I was grinning like an idiot, I was so excited!! My recommend is my most precious possession- it represents so much more than entrance to a pretty building. It is who I am now. I have been to the temple twice now, and have found healing and power within its walls- and great protection in the covenants I have made.

This is not to say I am not tempted- a fourth lesson I just experienced yesterday- even after all the wonderful transformations I have been through. Once an addict, always an addict, the natural man doesn’t just disappear. I found myself partway through a rather explicit romance story when some very powerful physical urges hit me like a whirlwind. I thought about the temple, I thought about my garments, I thought about the promises I had made. But I kept reading anyway, rationalizing that I was strong enough to read the story without acting out. Then suddenly I knew I wasn't strong enough for anything!! If my covenants were really important, I had better stop that instant, no matter what pleasure would be lost. So I did, and logged on here immediately, thank goodness. And I am in the process of repenting.

So though I have attained it in one way, my quest for purity is still in progress.

I am nowhere near perfect. I am still an addict with serious cravings most girls do not deal with. But that does not put me beyond the reach of Christ, nor does it exclude me from the temple and all the blessings of worthiness. Because in reality, it has nothing to do with who I am or how God sees me. Addiction does not define me. It’s simply one of my struggles in this life.

And that statement goes for every member of this site. We are divine children of a God who has the power to exalt us to the highest degree of glory if we but come unto Him and be healed.- regardless of the seriousness of our sinful lives. Don't let Satan convince you to be defined by your status as an “addict,” as though it makes you a "different kind of person" than the rest of the sinners in this world that must repent and gain forgiveness. Liars, thieves, pornography addicts, gossipers, adulterers, tithing withholders, lazy bums- Christ is big enough for all of us. NEVER forget that.

And get to the temple as fast as your prayers and heart can take you! I know it’s hard. It’s INSANELY hard. But it’s also very doable. Our agency is the only real power we have in this life, and honestly, the hardest part is truly choosing in your heart that you want to change. Christ pretty much takes care of the rest of it, if you truly make that serious choice- and continue in that choice. He literally snatched me from the jaws of Hell that I was running toward, simply because I chose to turn around.

Well, I just had to get these thoughts out in writing- my life has changed in ways I had never imagined possible, and I am so grateful for the Atonement right now. I truly hope these lessons I have learned can help someone else as much as they have helped me.
Love you guys!!!!

Comments:

Temple    
"I was talking to my friend about my problem and she suggested I should go to the temple to do baptisms and set a goal to eventually do my endowment. I have been making progress and I'm trying to not get so down on myself(Which is hard since I do have depression problems in the first place) but I still feel like a perverted person for what I do to myself."
posted at 12:35:55 on May 29, 2009 by shadow
Yeah temple!    
"I just wanted to write a bit because your story seems so similar to my own. I made the goal almost a year ago that I wanted to go to the temple. My first few months were really difficult...I think it was mostly that I didn't really believe that I could change. This problem had been a part of my life for almost as far back as I could remember, and I thought it would just always be a part of me. But I went and talked to my branch president. He suggested that I try the 12 step book. I remember thinking "I'm not an addict...am I?". After falling to temptation, perhaps even more often than I had before talking to my branch president, I realized that I really did have a problem. I look back now and I realize that I didn't really believe in the atonement...at least not for me. After a couple of months of futile half-effort, I was about ready to give up completely, but something changed. I decided that I needed to change. I started to have a sincere desire to be able to worthily enter the temple, so I asked my branch president when he thought I would be ready to get a limited use recommend. Although the endowment was the eventual goal, I didn't tell that to my branch president, because I wanted to make sure I was REALLY ready before taking that step. My branch president told me that after 3 months clean I would be ready. It became the goal. Every time I even thought about giving in to temptation, or putting myself in tempting situations, I would think about the temple, and my desire to go. I made it to that goal and got my limited use recommend. I cannot even describe the feeling of KNOWING that I was worthy to hold that recommend. It had been about 8 years since I had gone to do baptisms, and I'm pretty sure I never had been worthy before that. I had decided that I didn't want to lie to a bishop any more, so I never went.

After getting my limited use recommend, I started to go to the temple as often as I was able. I am lucky to live in Idaho Falls, where the temple accepts "walk-ins" for baptisms. So I made a goal to go once a week--but it ended up being every 2-3 weeks.

Then I had a bit of a rough spot with my addiction--mind you, not nearly as bad as I have had in the past. But it came at a time when my branch president was released and a new one was put in--which made it harder for a bit. It took me about a month to get up the courage to go and talk to the new branch president. I did it, though. This time, I told my branch president that I wanted to prepare to receive my own endowment. He asked me how long I thought it would take for me to be ready. I told him I wanted 90 days clean. I am happy to report that I am now 124 days clean (despite a few close calls). I started taking temple prep courses a month ago and will soon be finished with them and finally be able to go to the temple.

It is amazing the power that seriously setting my focus on the temple has had in my recovery. When I have had the temple as my goal, it has been easier to resist temptation. I have literally felt the presence of angels helping me and protecting me. I am so excited to be able to go to the temple. I never, ever thought I would be able to go. But I know this is what the Lord wants for me, and what he has been preparing me for.

I am so grateful for the strength of the Lord, and for the role this site and the people here have played in this recovery. I testify that through the Lord's plan we can be completely cleansed from any sin, addiction or problem we may have. The Lord loves us, and he WILL heal us if we put our faith in him."
posted at 00:02:26 on June 19, 2009 by ican
Thanks    
"While my wife is out of town for a few weeks I will try and follow your example and attend the temple on my own."
posted at 22:43:58 on June 19, 2009 by SandyMan


Add a Comment:


***Anonymous User***     (login above to post UN-anonymously)








help
join
"I will speak briefly of the principle of repentance. How grateful I am for the understanding we have of this great principle. It is not a harsh principle, as I thought when I was a boy. It is kind and merciful. The Hebrew root of the word means, simply, "to turn," or to return, to God. Jehovah pled with the children of Israel: "Return . . . and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful . . . and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God." When we acknowledge our sins, confess them and forsake them, and turn to God, He will forgive us."

— Richard G. Hinckley

General Conference April 2006