My Blog In A Nutshell

My Blog In A Nutshell
Listed in no particular order

This is a work-in-progress.  I’m adding to and updating this list on a regular basis.

Do Not Repent of Your Mission
To repent means to do an about-face and go in the opposite direction. Many young men, as they return from their missions do just that. They stop doing many of the good things they did on their missions. Yet most of those I know in the Addiction Recovery Program, including myself, are returned missionaries. Had we continued following the rules and standards that protected us while on our missions, we probably would have avoided the temptations that led to our addiction. I would suggest that if we were to go back and reinstate those same rules and standards into our lives we would be able to recover much faster. Link: Do Not Repent of Your Mission

Bed Bath & Beyond
A local bishop, while driving past Bed Bath & Beyond, had a burst of inspiration. The following Sunday he told his youth: “I am requesting that you not take any Internet-enabled device into your Bedroom or Bathroom. And Beyond that it’s up to your parents.” That’s great advice for youth. But it’s probably even better advice for addicts.

Look for Tender Mercies in Your Life--They are There!
My tender mercies seem to come in clusters of 2, 3 or 4; either minutes hours or days apart. As Elder Bednar has stated, we can identify tender mercies because of their unique timing in our lives. Consider writing your tender mercies down in a “Tender Mercies Journal.” You can then refer to them on hard days or when you want to relive a spiritual experience. Links: Various Tender Mercy Posts

Avoiding is Better Than Resisting
I pray almost every day to avoid rather than resist temptation. To resist temptation means that we come right up to it and then use all our might to push it back. However, if we avoid that temptation we don’t get anywhere near it.  We stay way far away. Link: Avoiding is Better Than Resisting

The Law of Moses
If you’re like me, you may need to live the Law of Moses before you can live the higher law. What I mean is; you may need to eliminate the Internet from you home and your smart phone, before the Lord can help you control your thoughts. Link: The Law of Moses

Sincere Prayer
Pray on your knees at least twice a day—out loud if possible. Actually have a conversation with Heavenly Father. Tell Him exactly how you are feeling about things. Avoid using lists. Remember to pray for others in the ARP program. They are praying for you! Also remember to tell Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost that you love them! Link: How My Prayers Have Changed

Prayers of Gratitude
I feel the need at times to just give thanks in my prayers and not ask for anything at all. Yes, it’s really hard to do. But I feel so good afterwards. Sometimes I give a prayer of gratitude at night and then have a more normal prayer the following morning. Link: Prayers of Gratitude

I can’t mention prayer and not mention fasting. We should fast at least once a month, if not more often. We should always have a purpose for our fast, either asking for blessing for ourselves, or family members, and/or others in the Addiction Recover Program. Link: Fasting Without A Reason

Don’t Plan to Taper Off
Tapering off doesn't work. The moment you either say or think, “This time I’ll try to go for 15 days”—the moment your say that, you are giving yourself permission to act out in 15 days—and you will. Your goal should always be to stay clean from now on. In practice that may not happen. You may lose your grip on the iron rod. But just grab hold where you left off and continue on. The time you spent being sober still counts! Link: Tapering Off Is A Bad Idea

Bishop’s Blessings
Ask your bishop to give you a blessing every time you meet with him. It will bless both your lives. My bishop now remembers my middle name. Link: A Bishop's Blessing

Don’t Isolate Yourself
Addiction thrives in isolation. Make friends with those in the ARP program. Exchange phone numbers. Call and text others during the week. Let them know that you would like support from them. Sometimes we will need support and other times we can give support. In both cases, both individuals are greatly blessed and their recovery is strengthened. Link: When Tempted, Apply PMS

Attend One or More ARP Meetings a Week
To work, this can’t be just a hit or miss situation. To feel support and support others, you need to commit to attend at least once a week if not more. And show up either early or on time. Plan to bring the Spirit with you and plan to share something that is working for you. Link: Let's Be Serious

Read Your Patriarchal Blessing Often
One of the reasons you were given a Patriarchal Blessing was to bless you in your time of need. This is your time of need! Your Heavenly Father sees you much differently than you see yourself. In reading your blessing, you can get a feel for how He sees you. And the messages you get out of your blessing will change as your circumstances change. President Monson referred to it as the “Liahona for our life.” Link: Why Read Your Patriarchal Blessing--Again?

Get and Use a Support Person
A support person can be a great blessing, if you use him. First, select one that you feel comfortable with. Don’t just get a support person in name only. Be open and honest with him. Try to understand what he is trying to get you to see or do. If you and he don’t work well together, change support persons. There is no shame in having to switch to a different support person. It needs to be for your benefit not his. Not every support person will be right for every person.
Links: How Much Is Overcoming This Addiction Worth? | What Works

Relapse Is NOT a Part of Recovery
Don’t just accept the phrase, “Relapse is a part of recovery.” I think that statement comes from AA. Sure, relapse does happen for many of us. But we shouldn't plan on it as being some kind of “normal.” If we truly believe in the atonement, and we actually put our faith and trust in the Lord, we should be able to avoid most relapses.
Links: Your Brain Has A Mind Of It's Own | Throwing Marbles at a Battleship | Is Relapse Normal? | Tapering Off Is A Bad Idea |

Be Honest
Addiction breeds dishonesty. We must strive to be honest with our family members, our bishops, our friends, our support persons. Without honesty, we will not and cannot recover.
Link: Who Am I Really?

Masturbation Feeds the Addiction
Masturbation is not a separate problem. It is just another manifestation of our real addiction, which is to lust. We might become sober from pornography for a period of time but if we continue with masturbation, we can expect pornography to ultimately return.
Links: Porn vs Drugs | The Icing on the Cake | Your Brain Has a Mind of It's Own | The "M" Word

Hold to the Iron Rod
I believe that to be perfect in this life means that we are holding on to the Iron Rod. And all of us are holding on to different sections of the same rod. We shouldn't compare ourselves to anyone else or judge anyone else. If we lose our grip, and wander for a while in strange roads, we can return and grab on where we left off. If we are holding to the rod, Christ will make up the difference.

Do The Work
Read from the Addiction Recovery Guide, follow the steps, and answer the questions. The guide was given to us for a reason. Don’t get stuck on any one step. Some have found success, when they feel stuck, to continue on through the guide and then return to that step. But don’t just stop! Take time each day to answer one question in the Study and Understanding section of the Guide.
Link: Study & Understanding Revisited

Read the Book of Mormon Daily
As my bishop pointed out to me, there are great promises given us by several prophets if we read the Book of Mormon daily. Those promises are not attached to any other book of scripture. And we need all the blessing we can get. Link: Stay by the Tree

Read the Scriptures First Thing in the Morning
If we are going to read the scriptures daily, it probably should be first thing in the morning—before our minds get cluttered with other activities and problems of the day. For me, I get up a half our earlier than I would otherwise, just to be able to read. It’s like I’m back in early morning seminary before High School. It always made the day better.
Links: What Works | Goals and Accountability | Early Morning Scripture Study

When Temptation Strikes—Pray
When temptation strikes, the very first thing you should do is pray. Don’t bother to call a friend, or hum a hymn; just pray to have Heavenly Father to remove those thoughts from your mind. He may then inspire you to call a friend or do something else helpful. But the first thing you should do is pray. Link: What To Do When Temptation Strikes

An Inspiring True Story
I know a young man who, at one point in his life, chose his addiction, over his activity in the church. Then, as you can imagine, his life went down hill, until one particular day. Here is a quote from his story: "I stood up from off the corner of my bed, and I crane kicked my computer into the wall. I then reclaimed it from the wall and slammed it onto the ground before me as hard as I could. This made a loud crashing sound. Then I lifted my knee high and crushed my heel down on the sidelying computer, bending its transparent style case into the motherboard. I proceeded to just stomp my heel into the computer almost violently until things stopped bending." You can read his full story in the following link. Link: Mike's Story  

Discouragement does not come from the Lord. It’s one of Satan’s most effective tools. I am reminded that two of the greatest blessing I received on my mission were preceded by periods of great discouragement. When things are not going the way we would like, we should just keep on keeping on. The Lord will ultimately bless us for our efforts. I am convinced that great blessings can follow great discouragement. It is a great blessing that we do not all get discouraged at the same time. We can take turns lifting each other up. Link: Hold On

Go To The Temple
If you have a recommend, use it. Go to the temple often. I try to attend the temple once a week. If your time is limited, do initatories and listen to the promises. Also while at the temple add names to the prayer roll for friends, family and others in the 12 Step Program. We need all the help we can get. If you don’t have a recommend, spend time on the temple grounds. Those grounds are sacred.
Link: What Works

I'd Rather Type Than Write
Following each step of the ARP Recovery Guide there is a section called "Study and Understanding." We are asked to answer the questions listed there. The questions are are a great resource.  However, I hate having to write the answers by hand. For many reasons, I would rather type than write. To make my life easier, I created a MS Word document containing those sections of the Guide.  Feel free to download it for yourself from here:  Link: Study & Understanding Revisited

Don’t Just Settle for Sobriety
Sobriety is not recovery. It is just a single step in the recovery process. We must be willing to change anything and everything in our life if we want full recovery. We each need a full change of heart to be healed. If we make a change and it's not through Christ, it will not be permanent.

 “Once an Addict Always an Addict” is a Myth
Let’s call a spade a spade. If we truly believe in the atonement of Jesus Christ we must also believe that Christ can actually heal us completely of our addiction.

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