To start, I shared this comment based on a post I received from one of my good friends who’s working the steps of the program:
Thanks for the post Raul!
One thing that helped me (and continues to help me) quite a bit with step 4 was the outline my sponsor shared with me to help me discover the core issues I was (and am) having.
Granted, there is not a “right” or “wrong” way to do Step 4; but, what I found helpful was to read both the manual and the AA book’s perspective on completing step 4 thoroughly.
Sorry I missed your call last night. I saw that’d I’d missed it a bit too late. I’m happy to call you today sometime – let me know when is best via text.
Here are a few talks I read recently that gave me a lot of insight in submitting my will to God:
Willing to Submit by Neal A. Maxwell
Behold the Man by Richard C. Edgley
One other thing my sponsor shared with me the other day via email was the challenge to feel the “red flag” when and if I miss of day of working the steps in the program/studying and writing about the step I’m on and sharing it with my sponsor. I extend that same challenge to you and feel it’s all about consistency!
Today I’m studying more about “submitting to the will of the Father”. I found a talk titled “Book of Mormon Principles: Submitting Our Will to the Father’s” by Elder Benjamin De Hoyos.
One aspect of the Atonement made clear by Abinadi has to do with the power we receive as we follow the Savior’s example and submit the desires of the flesh to the will of God. The prophet Abinadi describes this characteristic:
“I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.
“And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son. …
“And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people. …
“Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father” (Mosiah 15:1–2, 5, 7).
Submitting the desires of the flesh to the will of God…what are specific ways I can do that:
- making study of the doctrine, the 12 step program and writing in my journal a top priority at the start of every day
- when the “desires of the flesh” come, quickly asking God to help me via His Son and the Atonement
- having a “conversation prayer” with Heavenly Father at least morning and night where I’m on my knees and really listen, in addition to speaking with Him
- diligently serving in Church callings (taking the time during the week – not at the last minute – to prepare my lessons for the boys I teach)
- attend the temple on a consistent basis
- fasting for a specific purpose, not necessarily ONLY on fast Sunday
- looking for opportunities to serve others via visits, help, home teaching, etc.
Elder De Hoyos reminds me that when I do these things, “…the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent can work a mighty change in our hearts.”
“Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked” (Hel. 3:29).
I feel this is one of the things I was doing fairly consistently during my courtship with Becky – studying the scriptures. Just doing this one simple thing helped me follow the Spirit, which led me to marry my best friend.
This scripture is PERFECT too for the resentments I feel due to my own character weaknesses:
“Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. (this is exactly how I felt yesterday – I wasn’t mad at Becky and not even really mad at the kids; I was just upset because of my weaknesses, because I know I should be more patient and loving and grateful, but at times I’m not)
“I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me. …
“And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy? …
“O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm” (2 Ne. 4:17–18, 27, 34).
The talk I plan to study tomorrow is “Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father” by Elder Neal A. Maxwell.
Things I’m Grateful For:
- The good talk Becky and I had last night about submitting our will to God in all things
- The chance I have to coach Caleb’s soccer team – we’re now 5 – 2 (Caleb has one goal!)
- The good job that I have that allows me to support my family while at the same time working on my own businesses
- The colleagues I work with, even the ones I have a hard time with sometimes who help me see my character weaknesses even more
- My sponsor: his insight, his time, his experience, his patience, and his belief in me
- The chance I have to sponsor others and help them
- My family: Becky, Caleb, Madi and Chloe
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