I have caused such difficult trials, both for myself and for Beck and my family, because of my selfish choices.
I’ve never felt so much pain, regret, or remorse for the things I’ve done. I’ve never before had that awful feeling in my stomach that this could be the end of a life that I’d always wanted: a beautiful wife who is my best friend, my helpmeet, someone who I look up to for all her amazing qualities, and someone I want to live the eternities with; a wonderful family with kids are who are active, happy, and talented. And I’d give all this up for a quick little fix of pornography or an online relationship that I didn’t even really want?
What was I thinking?
Although I don’t want to dwell on the past, I feel it’s good to remind myself from time to time of the terrible choices I made, just so I won’t fall into the trap the Nephites often fell into: prosperity, abundant blessings, then pride, resentment, and ultimately, painful sin.
It’s been so beneficial to read the Book of Mormon. It’s been so interesting how much it has spoken to me this time about the consequences of sin, about being submissive, and about putting my trust in God.
Today I read an article from LDS.org called The Promise of Our Future Together. It shared this quote that I thought spoke right to me:
“Difficulties come into our lives, problems we do not anticipate and which we would never choose. None of us is immune. The purpose of mortality is to learn and to grow to be more like our Father, and it is often during the difficult times that we learn the most, as painful as the lessons may be.”
President Thomas S. Monson, “God Be with You Till We Meet Again,” Liahona, Nov. 2012, 111.
I hope I’m learning. I hope I’m growing. I hope I making the necessary changes that will stick, that I won’t fall back into paths that have been patterns my entire life.
Some of the things I’m grateful for due to this painful time:
- I’m trying every day to fully submit my will to God through prayer, scripture study, journaling, and reviewing my day with Beck
- I’ve recognized this time more than any other time the terrible affects my addiction can and will continue to have on not just me, but on my entire family
- I’ve realized that if I don’t do the dailies (personal and couple scripture study, personal prayer, and submitting) I WILL fall back into my carnal ways. It’s not IF, just WHEN
- I’ve felt the Spirit so strong (and also the lack of the Spirit as well) and want to be worthy to have it always in my life
As I’ve been reading the war chapters in the Book of Mormon, I’ve realized something that had never occurred to me before: these chapters can be read as a parable about life, sin, and the war we all will go through to get back to our Heavenly Father.
Granted, I’m sure they are stories about what really happened to the people during this time. But I think Mormon (and Heavenly Father) put them in the Book as a teaching lesson – a way I can “liken all scriptures unto [me]”. I may never have to actually fight in a war with guns and artillery. However, I have been and will continue to be fighting a war, a war with my Spiritual vs. Carnal self, a war with Satan and his allies, a war with the power of the adversary who is trying to make me miserable like he is.
I haven’t ever noticed so much how much the Book of Mormon reminds me that “If I keep the commandments, I will prosper; and if I don’t, I will be cut off, or lose blessings, or a suffer the consequences”.
I’m grateful for this reminder.
I’m grateful that I feel hungry for the gospel today.
I’m grateful for another day I have to submit my will to God.
I’m grateful that I feel I’m starting to understand what it means to submit my will to God.
I’m grateful for the desire I have to practice submitting every day, every hour, every moment.
I’m grateful that Becky is still willing to work with me and be with me and love me despite my terrible mistakes.
I’m grateful for who she is, for her talents, for her testimony, for her desires to be her best self in everything she does.
I’m grateful that she supports me in my career and wants me to succeed.
I’m grateful that she is such an amazing mother and uses different experiences to teach our kids what’s right.
I’m grateful she’s from the mid-west where the culture is different, where people aren’t judgmental and just try to do their best.
I’m grateful that we are all healthy and have been blessed with lots of talents.
I’m grateful we live in such a wonderful community with people who are successful, supportive and friendly.
I’m grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ that gives me the opportunity to repent fully of my grave mistakes, that gives me the opportunity to submit my will to God, and that helps me become more than I ever imagine I can become.
I’m grateful for prayer, both for asking for help and for acknowledging my own nothingness – that I can’t do anything without God’s hand.
I’m grateful for the scriptures – all of them – but especially the clarity and directness of the Book of Mormon.
I’m grateful for journaling – I’m grateful that the men in the Book of Mormon times understood how important it was to write down their beliefs and record what was happening to them so that we can learn from their successes and failures.
I’m grateful to be alive and have another day to work on my salvation but submitting, by studying, and by trying to improve today.
I look forward to today.