One thing I’m hung up on is this – can an addict who has just acted out feel the Spirit strongly and be “at one” with God?
From my own experience, I think one can feel the Spirit, maybe a little, but the feelings when I was in my addiction were not common and were often hard to discern.
In fact, I was, as the scriptures say, “beyond feeling” as I was trying to come out of my addiction. I didn’t feel much of anything really.
This is why it’s hard for me to accept the statement that “relapse is part of recovery” and the comments on how someone who has recently acted out in addiction is feeling the Spirit so strong and being guided by God.
I found this scripture while reading with Becky last night in Alma 7:
20 I perceive that it has been made known unto you, by the testimony of his word, that he cannot awalk in crooked paths; neither doth he vary from that which he hath said; neither hath he a shadow of turning from the right to the left, or from that which is right to that which is wrong; therefore, his course is one eternal round.
21 And he doth not dwell in aunholy temples; neither can filthiness or anything which is unclean be received into the kingdom of God; therefore I say unto you the time shall come, yea, and it shall be at the last day, that he who is bfilthy shall remain in his filthiness.
How does this relate to hope?
Am I being too hard on myself and others?
How does this relate to me?
In 1 Cor. 3:16-17 it says:
By looking at pornography, by masturbating, and even by lusting, am I not “defiling the temple of God?”
Am I not challenging what I know to be true?
Defile means to spoil, corrupt, deprave. Other topical guide suggestions are Cleanliness, Filthiness, Loss of Holy Ghost, Pollution, Sacrilege, Uncleanness, Word of Wisdom.
Alma goes on to say:
22 And now my beloved brethren, I have said these things unto you that I might awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him, that ye may walk after the holy order of God, after which ye have been received.
23 And now I would that ye should be ahumble, and be bsubmissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.
I cross-referenced filthy as well and found this in 1 Nephi 15:33-35:
33 Wherefore, if they should die in their wickedness they must be cast off also, as to the things which are spiritual, which are pertaining to righteousness; wherefore, they must be brought to stand before God, to be judged of their works; and if their works have been filthiness they must needs be filthy; and if they be filthy it must needs be that they cannot dwell in the kingdom of God; if so, the kingdom of God must be filthy also.
34 But behold, I say unto you, the kingdom of God is not filthy, and there cannot any unclean thing enter into the kingdom of God; wherefore there must needs be a place of filthiness prepared for that which is filthy.
35 And there is a place prepared, yea, even that awful hell of which I have spoken, and the devil is the preparator of it; wherefore the final state of the souls of men is to dwell in the kingdom of God, or to be cast out because of that justice of which I have spoken.
And this in 2 Nephi 9:16:
16 And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it, and it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away, that they who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are filthy shall be filthy still; wherefore, they who are filthy are the devil and his angels; and they shall go away into everlasting fire, prepared for them; and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end.
And this in Mormon 9:14:
14 And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still.
And this answer, in D&C 88:35, is probably the best one:
35 That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still.
If I’m breaking a law of God and abiding not by the law; if I’m seeking to make my own laws and justify and rationalize and minimize my behavior; if I “willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin,” then God’s sanctification can’t help me until I truly and honestly and whole-heartedly repent, until I “stop and stay stopped.” Otherwise, I will remain filthy.
This scripture stuck out to me as well as I looked up Loss of the Holy Ghost in the topical guide:
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
And finally, these scriptures, which all talk about how the Spirit can’t be with me if I’m unholy, filthy, rebellious, and prideful:
- 2 Nephi 26:11 – the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man. And when the Spirit ceaseth to strive with man then cometh speedy destruction…
- Ether 15:19 – …the Spirit of the Lord had ceased striving with them, and Satan had full power over the hearts of the people; for they were given up unto the hardness of their hearts, and the blindness of their minds that they might be destroyed…
- Moroni 8:28 – …I fear lest the Spirit hath ceased striving with them; and in this part of the land they are also seeking to put down all power and authority which cometh from God…
- D&C 1:33 – And he that repents not, from his shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts.
- Jude 1:16,18-19 – These are amurmurers, complainers, walking after their own blusts; and their mouth cspeaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of dadvantage…How that they told you there should be amockers in the blast time, who should cwalk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
- Mosiah 2:36 – And now, I say unto you, my brethren, that after ye have known and have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go acontrary to that which has been spoken, that ye do bwithdraw yourselves from the Spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in you to guide you in wisdom’s paths that ye may be blessed, prospered, and preserved
- Helaman 4:24 – And they saw that they had become aweak, like unto their brethren, the Lamanites, and that the Spirit of the Lord did no more preserve them; yea, it had withdrawn from them because the Spirit of the Lord doth not bdwell incunholy dtemples—
These are answers to my questions. It seems pretty clear. I’ve felt this myself: as I’ve continued down Satan’s path of self-will and selfishness, I’ve lost the Spirit in my life. It couldn’t be there. It wasn’t there, no matter how hard I tried to serve two masters.
Yes, I may have felt pretty good if I was going to a meeting or trying to be good; but ultimately I was lying to myself and believing my own lies.
I was contradicting the scripture that says that I can’t serve two masters.
I’m grateful for this study and connection with God.
I’m hopeful that I can share what I’ve learned about real recovery tonight in my PASG meeting.
I can’t fear what others think – I can only share my experience, what I’ve been through, and where I am today.