What have you learned from this experience?
What signs will tell you if you are starting to get too comfortable?
These are questions Becky and I have talked about that I want to think about and attempt to answer today.
First off, what have I learned from this experience:
- It’s not just about me; when I choose to look at pornography and give in to my addictions, I’m choosing to hurt Becky and the kids, both immediately and long-term.
- The pain I have caused Becky and the kids is too much; viewing pornography isn’t worth it at all, ever.
- Submitting my will to God has to be something I practice and continue working on for the rest of my life.
- Writing in my journal is helpful in determining what I’m thinking and where I’m at in my recovery.
- Working with a professional counselor who specializes in pornography and sexual addiction has given me new perspective on recovery.
- Studying the scriptures is one way I can “feed my spirit”, which in turn will help me stay far away from my addictive tendencies.
- Sharing my experience with those closest to me – letting family and friends know what I’m struggling with – has helped alleviate the shame and temptation to keep secrets.
- Watching TV really is a waste of time – I’d much rather go to bed early and have great talks with Becky about recovery and assessing our day.
- Taking one day at a time is not just a cliche, it really is how I have to live my life; I can’t get complacent or casual in my recovery.
- The AEIOUY’s are a good way to practice Step 10 in the Addiction Recovery manual: they help me assess how the day has gone and take an inventory of my day.
I’m working on reading the Book of Mormon again as well. I found this 90 Day Reading Challenge image and decided to start on day 75 – 3 Nephi 16-18. Last night I ready to 3 Nephi 23 so today I’m going to read for 20 minutes and see how far I can get. I will keep track of scriptures that stick out to me and try to break them down, focusing on “What I’ve learned…” as the title of my study.
3 Nephi 23:1
And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently…
This is one thing I’ve really been reminded of – how important it is to search the scriptures diligently and look for answers and direction every day in my life. I want to feel that if I haven’t read the scriptures, that I’m “hungry“.
3 Nephi 23:4
Therefore give heed to my words; write the things which I have told you; and according to the time and the will of the Father, they shall go forth unto the Gentiles.
I know this is speaking to the Nephites but I feel it’s applicable to me too. I want to read the things Heavenly Father and Jesus are trying to tell me via the scriptures and words of the prophets. Then I want to write down what I think and feel and be willing to share this with others.
3 Nephi 24:2
But who may abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like a fuller’s soap.
The word “refiner’s fire” sticks out to me in this scripture.
Cross references to “refiner’s fire”:
- 24 For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. (Deut. 4:24)
- 9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. (Zech. 13:9)
3 Nephi 24:14-15
14 Ye have said: It is vain to serve God, and what doth it profit that we have kept his ordinances and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts?
15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
I think this is interesting – this seems to be the world’s view on serving God – that it “profit’s them nothing”. The world, and even I at times, see the proud and the rich as “happy and care-free”, we see them as set up and with all the pleasures and treasures of the world. But this is what Satan wants me to see – he wants me to set my heart upon the riches and the vain things of the world.
3 Nephi 13:31-34
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.
I like this scripture passage because it causes me to put my faith in God and believe that he knoweth I have need of all these things. It’s basically saying, “If I put my trust in Him and seek Him first, then all other things I need to support my family will be added unto me.”
I also like how it talks about living “one day at a time” – “Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself…”
3 Nephi 24:16
16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another…
…but they did walk after the commandments which they had received from their Lord and their God, continuing in fasting and prayer, and in meeting together oft both to pray and to hear the word of the Lord. (4 Nephi 1:12)
5 And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls.
6 And they did meet together oft to partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus.
3 Nephi 26:4-5
4 And even unto the great and last day, when all people, and all kindreds, and all nations and tongues shall stand before God, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—
5 If they be good, to the resurrection of everlasting life; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of damnation; being on a parallel, the one on the one hand and the other on the other hand, according to the mercy, and the justice, and the holiness which is in Christ, who was before the world began.
I like what it says here and feel this explains beliefs about grace – that yes, ALL will be saved that initially chose Jesus as their Savior. However, we will also be judged by our works, whether they be good or evil. If they’re good, we’ll be “resurrected to everlasting life”; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of damnation.
To me, this is saying all will be resurrected, or saved, in the kingdom of God; however, we will “reap what we sow“.
3 Nephi 26:12 Therefore I, Mormon, do write the things which have been commanded me of the Lord. And now I, Mormon, make an end of my sayings, and proceed to write the things which have been commanded me…
It’s interesting: sometimes Mormon expounds on what he is compiling. Then, at times like this, he wants to share everything but is commanded by God to stick to the objective and “try the people’s faith”.
I’m grateful for the time I took today to study and write.
I’m grateful for Becky.
I’m grateful she still loves me and is willing to be with me after all I’ve put her through.
I’m grateful with have children who we love (and who test us at times).
I’m grateful for our wonderful home and neighborhood.
I’m grateful for the scriptures that speak plainly and directly about what I need to do today to return to live with my Heavenly Father.
I’m grateful for the Spirit that testifies of truth and makes things clear.
I’m grateful for a new day of recovery.