It’s been a couple days since I read personally in my scriptures or wrote in my journal.
No, it’s not the end of the world and no, I haven’t relapsed or been tempted to even go there.
However, I truly don’t feel as close to Heavenly Father or the Spirit without this spiritual nutrition.
Some of the things I feel:
- More easily annoyed by the kids
- Quicker to yell or get defensive
- More sexually driven (there’s the limbic brain working)
- More nervous about the future for work
- More nervous about the future for my recovery
- Less inspired about things I can share at meetings
- Less directed to do things that are good
- More at war with myself and others
I’m grateful to want to recognize these things. I have been reading with Becky, which has been great; and I’m reading a really good book about shame and how that affects all kinds of triggers in my brain.
Because of this book, and because of how true I feel what the author is sharing really is in my addiction, I want to study about shame (or being ashamed) in the scriptures.
What do the scriptures teach about shame?
Ironically, I had 1 Nephi 8 open on my phone and the scripture that I found was 1 Nephi 8:28 that reads:
After they did what was right, the people were ashamed because people were laughing at them or making fun of them; and they ended up falling away from the Church and were lost.
I really like what this cross reference says about how we receive the word of God (Mark 4:14-20):
14 ¶The sower soweth the word.
15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
It’s hard for me not to think of Mandy when I read these verses, especially in the context of “falling away into forbidden paths and were lost”. But what can I learn about MYSELF from these verses?
The sower is Heavenly Father and His Son and the Spirit: they plant the seed of faith in my heart.
What do I do with that seed though?
I have let Satan come before and take what I just studied and trample it under his feet or cause me to just blow it off as “Whatever…” This would mean that I have been “by the way side” at times in my life.
I’ve also immediately received the word with gladness and been excited about what I’m reading and studying; then I endure it for a time, maybe sometimes even a long time, and then when “affliction or persecution ariseth” I’m offended or distracted or angry or lazy or whatever, and I make mistakes, perhaps even falling back into addiction.
The next example is definitely true of me too: I hear the word but the “cares of the world (my job and making money), and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” Wow, this one really can describe me. This seems to be where I am right now, today. In the last two days I haven’t made time to study or write; I focus more on the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches, and I let Satan start playing with my mind or making me frustrated with the kids.
What is the good fruit I can bring forth?
- PATIENCE with my kids, especially Caleb
- A hunger and thirst after righteousness – to me this means a strong desire to feed myself spiritually, to read and study the scriptures, to write, and to ponder on the things of God before anything else
- Working on the steps of the program and on Inner Gold workbook. This is practicing the word in my life, this is applying what I’m learning and showing God I want to have a change of heart
- Service to Becky and others
- Acting on impressions to do good
This is also an interesting cross reference in regard to being ashamed (Mark 8:38):
38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
What does it mean to be ashamed of the Savior or God?
To me it means that I don’t put them first in my life.
To me it means that I worship other Gods (work, money, prestige, honors of men, sports, etc).
To me it means that I choose to follow Satan’s promptings as opposed to God’s.
To me it means I become unaware of how important it is to keep the commandments – how this is how I show my love to God and His son.
It’s interesting that the words “in this adulterous and sinful generation”. It also talks about how those that are ashamed of God will feel, and how Jesus will feel, when He comes again and when we see Him. It reminds me of the scripture that says “can ye feel so now?”
If ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?
As I looked this up in Google, I found this talk by Elder Quintin L Cook titled “Can Ye Feel So Now?” This was one paragraph that really stuck out to me:
Today moral deterioration has escalated. One prominent writer recently said, “Everyone knows the culture is poisonous, and nobody expects that to change.”5 The constant portrayal of violence and immorality in music, entertainment, art, and other media in our day-to-day culture is unprecedented. This was dramatically described by a highly respected Baptist theologian when he stated, “The spiritual immune system of an entire civilization has been wounded.”6
It is not surprising that some in the Church believe they can’t answer Alma’s question with a resounding yes. They do not “feel so now.” They feel they are in a spiritual drought. Others are angry, hurt, or disillusioned. If these descriptions apply to you,7 it is important to evaluate why you cannot “feel so now.”
So why can’t we “feel so now”?
Elder Cook continues:
Many who are in a spiritual drought and lack commitment have not necessarily been involved in major sins or transgressions, but they have made unwise choices. Some are casual in their observance of sacred covenants. Others spend most of their time giving first-class devotion to lesser causes. Some allow intense cultural or political views to weaken their allegiance to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some have immersed themselves in Internet materials that magnify, exaggerate, and, in some cases, invent shortcomings of early Church leaders. Then they draw incorrect conclusions that can affect testimony. Any who have made these choices can repent and be spiritually renewed.
Immersion in the scriptures is essential for spiritual nourishment.8 The word of God inspires commitment and acts as a healing balm for hurt feelings, anger, or disillusionment.9 When our commitment is diminished for any reason, part of the solution is repentance.10 Commitment and repentance are closely intertwined. (bold added for emphasis)
This is where I’m at today.
Immersion in the scriptures is what I want. Immersion in the scriptures acts as a healing balm against anger.
This scripture is what I was thinking about before:
16 I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye ablessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?
18 Or otherwise, can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect aremembrance of all your wickedness, yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God?
If I’m ashamed or God and His teachings, will I feel comfortable in His presence? Of course not! I’ll want to hide, I’ll want to bury myself and never be seen.
I look forward to studying more about shame in the scriptures and feel good after this study and writing.