Today will be an interesting day. Today is the day I meet a new counselor up in Pleasant Grove, one that came highly recommended for what I’ve been dealing with.
What I’m dealing with really is a war.
What I’m dealing with is a plague.
What I’m dealing with is so potentially dangerous for my kids and family.
What I’m dealing with is something I don’t want to have to deal with ever again in my life.
For this reason, I am choosing to submit my life and will over to God today.
One of the topics I’ve thought about studying today deals with how the war chapters in the Book of Mormon relate to the war I’m fighting against pornography. I did a search for “war chapters in the Book of Mormon” and found some information I’ll be using in my study. President Ezra Taft Benson stated that “from the Book of Mormon we learn how disciples of Christ live in times of war” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 5; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 7).
I found this in the Introduction section of the Book of Mormon teaching manual:
Sometimes teachers feel inclined to rush through the war chapters in the book of Alma, thinking that it is more important to move to other teachings and accounts. But these chapters include many rich insights that can be valuable for those you teach. In many ways, your students are under attack from the forces of evil. As they study these chapters, they can learn from great examples, such as Captain Moroni, Pahoran, and Helaman and his young soldiers—lessons that will help them stay safe and secure. They will learn the price of contention and the power of righteous unity. They will see the result of keeping covenants and the blessings that can flow from being true in whatever circumstances they face. They will see the blessings of gospel-centered homes. They will gain increased appreciation for the Lord’s closeness to His chosen servants in times of difficulty and trial.
I believe this – we are all under attack from the forces of evil.
The manual breaks down the war chapters into the following sections:
We Must Fortify Ourselves Against Satan’s Temptations
Keeping Covenants Leads to God’s Blessings and Protection
The Lord’s Disciples are True in Whatever They are Trusted to Do
Mothers Can Have Great Influence For Good on Their Children
God Grants Hope, Faith, Peace, and Assurances of Deliverance to the Righteous
We Must Cleanse the Inward Vessel
The Lord Expects Us to Defend Freedom
In Times of Adversity, Some People Humble Themselves before God, While Others Become Hardened
All of these are great topics to study. I think I’ll start with the first one today and then go through each of them throughout this week.
We Must Fortify Ourselves Against Satan’s Temptations
Before I look at the manual, this is what I think about this topic:
The war chapters are an analogy of the addictive cycle for me.
Captain Moroni is a powerful support person helping build fortifications. (I then shared Alma 48:11-13 about who Captain Moroni was and how I felt that related to recovery.)
Fortify can be synonymous with Submit. As I submit my will to God, I am fortifying myself against the power of the adversary.
What can I do in my personal life that is like building a wall of protection around myself?
My Personal Fortifications:
- – personal scripture study
- – personal and ongoing prayer and submissiveness
- – coming to meetings
- – writing in my journal
- – meeting with a counselor
- – praying in the moment of temptation
- – putting on the armor, building the walls, not letting the enemy in in any way, being aware that the enemy is there
- – avoiding internal contention so that the enemy can’t sneak up and attack
Are there other things I’m not thinking about?
- going to the temple
- serving others
- reading from good books (besides the scriptures)
- talking with Becky, although I don’t want her to feel she has to bear this burden and always be there to support me
- talking with a support person from the meeting
- fasting (which is one I hadn’t thought of)
Alma 37:6-7 confirms these ideas:
6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
7 And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.
It’s interesting – my Moller Marketing motto is “Small success leads to Big Success!” It’s the same in this situation too. It’s all about the small stuff I do every day – the small commitments.
Satan is the enemy of all righteousness, and he is frantically working to tear down our defense. Our personal fortifications must be firmly in place and regularly strengthened.
President Eyring had this to day about fortifications:
“As the forces around us increase in intensity, whatever spiritual strength was once sufficient will not be enough. And whatever growth in spiritual strength we once thought was possible, greater growth will be made available to us. Both the need for spiritual strength and the opportunity to acquire it will increase at rates which we underestimate at our peril” (“Always” [Church Educational System fireside for young adults], Jan. 3, 1999, 3, ldsces.org).
So how have I grown spiritually and what can I continue to do to grow spiritually?
I think the answers are similar to what I can do to fortify.
One thing I’d like to do is volunteer to work in the new Payson temple when it opens. I don’t know how much time they require but I feel that would be something I would be willing to “sacrifice” time wise.
I also feel like, when I’m able to, I would like to volunteer to be a facilitator and/or missionary for the 12 Step program. This too would be a sacrifice but would keep me committed to recovery.
I feel like CONSISTENCY is the key to my spiritual fortifications: I can’t get casual, I can’t say to myself – “I’m fine…I can skip a day and be ok…I’m in recovery.” Each day I want to wake up with a “hunger and thirst after righteousness”. Each day I want to put on the armor of God and fortify myself and my family against the power of the destroyer. Each day I want to be aware that Satan is out there as a sniper, waiting to attack at the moment I let down my guard.
The good news is that, as long as I keep my fortifications strong, he will have no power over me.
I’m excited to read more about these topics over the next few days and ongoing. I feel they apply so much to where I am and what I need to do to continue in recovery from the “war against Satan”.
I’m grateful to be on the Lord’s side today.
I’m grateful to have fortified myself this morning before doing anything else.
I’m grateful Becky is on my side.
I’m grateful to have her with me and be on the same team.
I’m grateful to have been able to go to church yesterday and feel the Spirit and make comments.
I’m grateful to be willing to submit my will to God today.
I’m grateful he will be there to help me and protect me as I submit.
I’m grateful to be a protector to my family.
I’m grateful that today is the day I am in recovery.
I look forward to today.