Day 27 – 12.20.14
Attend sacrament meeting; review and renew baptismal covenants
Taking step 3 and trusting God in all things can be like putting on a new pair of glasses and seeing everything with new eyes. By making the decision to turn your will over to God, you will begin to experience the comfort and joy that come from seeking and doing Heavenly Father’s will.
What does trusting God “in all things” mean to you?
It means that I am willing to submit to him in all things I do, not just in my recovery from my addictions. I can submit to him to have patience with my kids, I can submit to him in how I handle things with my career. I can submit to him and talk to him on a continual basis, just as Enos did in the Book of Mormon. I used to think, “Sure, pray all day, that’s crazy.” But now I understand more what that means. Enos was just submitting to God and asking for his help and guidance.
How do you feel about actually doing this?
I feel excited about practicing it and trying. I know I am not perfect at it, but I’m trying. I feel I’m doing pretty well at submitting to Him in the moment of temptation from my addictions, but in other things I can use work. I look forward to practicing this today and ongoing, although all I can think and worry about it TODAY.
Baptism and the sacrament symbolize your love for and surrender to Jesus Christ. You covenant to take His name upon you, to always remember Him, to follow Him and keep His commandments “that [you] may always have his Spirit to be with [you]” (Moroni 4:3;see also Moroni 5:2; D&C 20:77, 79).
How is taking step 3 similar to the decision to be baptized?
Well, honestly, my decision to be baptized was so long ago that I don’t really remember it too much. Taking the sacrament each week is like a re-baptism and I can see how these two relate directly. To “always remember Him” is what step 3 is. I’m hopeful that I can continue practicing this and getting better and better at it.
Right now I feel I need to go help Becky with the kids because they are being crazy on a Saturday morning. I’ll be back to finish this in a while when things settle down.
This was the right thing to do. I could tell Becky was getting a bit frazzled so I went and helped, vacuumed and got the kids ready to go shopping. I’m back now and ready to work on this step. I was happy to say that I went out to the grocery store with the family and then Costco and was able to focus on the kids, keep me chin up, and surrender my will to God.
I feel Step 3 is similar to baptism because it is a decision, a decision I have to make every day. To always remember Him and to submit my will to God are choices I get to make. The blessings of those choices are having His Spirit to be with me, guiding me to the blessings He has ready to give me as I’m worthy.
How are steps 4-12 similar to actually being baptized and living the gospel?
Step 4 and 5 are the coming clean steps, repentance and confession. The remaining steps are working every day to have a change of heart, to submit to God, to repair any damage I’ve done to others, and to help others. The entire program is a “How to live the Atonement each day of my life” program. I’m grateful to be a part of it and to be learning what it means to live in recovery one day at a time.
Speak with your bishop or branch president about your addiction and your decision to follow the will of God. Do your best to attend sacrament meeting each week. As you worship, listen carefully to the sacrament prayers and consider the gifts that Heavenly Father offers you. Then renew your commitment to accept and follow His will for your life by partaking of the sacrament if your bishop or branch president gives you permission to do so.
Have you spoken with your bishop about your addiction and your desire for recovery and repentance? If not, will you do so? Do you or will you continue to follow up with him regularly?
Yes, I have spoke with him a few times and yes, I’m willing to keep him posted on where I am. Today is day 316 in recovery from my addictions. Today has been a pretty good day. I’ve tried to be patient and submit my will to God regarding how I act and react to the kids. I’ve tried to be thoughtful of Becky during this stressful time of getting ready for family to come. I feel good about where I am today and I’m willing to continue communicating with my bishop.
Will you follow this action step to seek the blessings of the Atonement through partaking of the sacrament and renewing your baptismal covenants on a regular basis as part of your step 3 commitment, if you are not already doing so?
Yes, I have been following this step regularly. There was a time, after I initially confessed to the Bishop, that I wasn’t able to take the sacrament. But since then, I feel good about where I am and about the seriousness I give the sacrament. I’m grateful to be renewed each week. I want to be able to study more about what the sacrament means and how I can respect it more. But overall I feel good about where I am today.
As your recovery progresses, you will find yourself more willing to be among those who honor the sacrifice of the Savior. You will begin to experience the reality that “with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
Describe your feelings of attending church and associating with the saints.
Even when I was in my addiction, I like going to church. Part of this may be a “must be seen as” idea – where I care more about what people think than what God thinks. I’m hoping that today, that’s not the case though. I enjoy going to Church and learning about the gospel and how it can apply to me. I enjoy talking about what I learned with Becky. I enjoy feeling the Spirit again. I enjoy listening for direction from Heavenly Father as I try to listen to the talks and lessons. I’m grateful to have a calling and to want to be serving my best today.
I hope to never take these activities lightly again.
Will you strive to participate and contribute to your ward family as part of your step 3 commitment?
Yes, I’m striving to do that now. I’m grateful to have a new home teaching companion and I look forward to getting to know him. I’m grateful to be serving in Scouts and Webelos. I’m grateful to get to know the ward more through activities like basketball. I look forward to being “anxiously engaged in a good cause.”
Decide to trust and obey God; change what you can change; accept what you cannot change
These words—adapted from a prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr and known as the “Serenity Prayer”—can help you as you decide to trust and obey God, “God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
You can accept with serenity the current reality of your condition when you trust in God’s ability to help you. You can accept with serenity that although you cannot control the choices and actions of others, you can decide how you will act in each situation you face.
How do you feel about trusting in God and accepting your current reality?
I feel really good about trusting in God and accepting my current reality. I feel like I’ve been trying to do that now for the last 316 days. I will continue to do this one day at a time by submitting my will to Him, by being aware of my surroundings, and by working the steps of recovery.
Will you practice doing so?
Yes, I feel that’s where I’m at today and I am grateful to be here. I will strive to not get over-confident and acknowledge His hand in all I’m blessed with.
Can you accept that you cannot control the choices and actions of others?
Yes, and I feel looking at others from the chin up is one way I’m doing that. I no longer want to look at a woman to either lust after her or judge her for what she’s wearing. Instead, I look at their face and wish them the best. I keep a prayer in my heart that I can be strong and surrender my will to Him one moment at a time. What a blessing this is in my life to understand that this is what I need for full recovery today.
I’m grateful to be aware of the serenity prayer. I feel it applies to my relationship with Mandy too. I can’t control what choices she makes. All I can do is accept that I can’t change her and have the courage to make the choices I need to make – then to recognize the difference.
How will trusting in God make this easier?
When I trust in God, I feel I will be directed to know what I do and don’t have control over. He will help me know what to say, or not to say; He will help me watch myself, and my thoughts, and my words, and my deeds. He will help me protect myself from the fiery darts of the adversary.
I want to trust in Him completely. I feel I’m trying and want to continue to get better.
How can trusting in God enable you to decide how you will act in challenging situations?
I know He wants me to succeed. I know He wants Becky and I to be happy and to love and cherish one another. I know that as I put my trust in Him, He will direct both of us to do the things that will give us the best chance to succeed. I feel “burying my weapons of war” is part of this too. These are sacrifices I’m willing to make to show Him I trust Him and want to make Him happy.
I know that as I trust Him and do His will, I will have the Spirit stronger and stronger in my life and will be able to work through challenging situations.
Will you practice this, one day at time, by remaining abstinent and working the program?
Yes, I feel that’s where I am today and that’s where I’ve been now for the last 316 days. I’m so grateful to live one day at a time and be trying to practice these principles in all I do.
You can decide with courage to trust your Father in Heaven and act according to His will. You can turn your will and life over to His care. You can decide to do what He asks and to keep His commandments.
Do you believe that you can “decide” to trust Heavenly Father and do His will?
Yes, I believe this and yes, I feel I’m doing this. I’m deciding right now to trust in Him by working the steps of recovery. I’ve decided today to trust in Him by saying a prayer as I went into the grocery store and Costco – that He would be with me and help me keep my chin up. I’m grateful for this belief and the decision I’m making to put the belief into practice one day at a time.
Will you do what He asks by remaining abstinent, working the program, and progressing in the Gospel Plan?
Yes, one day at a time!
You may not be able to change some things in your life, but you can change your willingness to trust in God and obey Him. As you learn to trust Him, you will see that His plan is for you to follow what Alma called the “great plan of happiness” (Alma 42:8). You will learn that even in affliction and difficulty “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28) and keep His commandments (see also D&C 90:24; 98:3; 100:15; 105:40).
Will you accept the responsibility for changing your level of willingness, through faith, prayer, and action?
Yes. And I’m excited to continue to feel those changes in my life. I feel willing. I’ve been praying and practicing, and I want my faith to grow.
Do you have faith that “all things will work together for your good” as you love and trust your Heavenly Father and strive to do His will?
Yes, I believe I’m feeling this. Even though I’ve made such terrible mistakes, mistakes that I never want to even get close to again, I feel those mistakes, that “hitting rock bottom” has been a blessing in our family’s life. I’m a different person. I can see where I’ve been and the effects that has had on my kids, my wife and me. And I don’t want to ever go back there again. And I’m committed to full recovery one day at a time because I love the way recovery feels. I love the freedom it brings. And I’m grateful to be a part of the recovery process.