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Getting back to where I was
By purityquest
1/9/2009 1:01:13 AM
I used to be amazing. Not that I had anything that special about me or anything- its just that my choices made life pretty wonderful. Memorizing seminary scriptures, perfect attendance in institute, volunteering to give talks in sacrament when the spirit struck me with a topic. Just the idea of a movie on the lewder side of PG-13 made me sick inside. I remember my Junior year when our seminary teacher challenged us to read at least 10 min in the scriptures every day, no matter what, for the rest of our lives. Many times I went out to my car in pajamas and bad weather to retrieve my scriptures because I simply couldn't break that promise.

And then my first semester of college, when our stake president challenged us to read the Book of Mormon in 30 days. I did it- and I have never in my life felt the Spirit as strong as during that 30 days. For the first time in my life, I understood that the Gospel truly is a feast- and how gloriously wonderful it is to partake! I just couldn't get enough! Life was beautiful, I spoke to Heavenly Father, and He replied. I followed the Spirit. I knew where to go in life, what important decisions to make. I said "no" to sin. I wasn't perfect, but I was happy.

I dont feel that way anymore. Sometimes I cant even go across the room to get my scriptures, and when i do, I get distracted while reading. I broke my promise to my teacher, and so many more serious promises to myself and my Heavenly Father. I broke my own heart. I think i broke my Savior's heart. I forget what it feels like to feel the Spirit so strong it just fills you with pure joy. I forget what it feels like to pray, without seeming like I'm talking to a stranger or just reciting a wish list. I dont know how or when, but somewhere along the line I lost the most precious parts of my life. Or i walked away from them. I just didn't see it happening.

But I want it back.

For me, this addiction is more than just the fact that I am helpless when it comes to pornography/ acting out. Its a glaring indication that I have put myself in an environment in which the Devil has great power to influence me, and the Spirit can barely be heard. I have strayed from the Iron Rod, I have wandered off through the blinding mists of darkness, and walked along forbidden paths. In Lehi's dream, this is the point where the people become lost. I dont want to be lost. I want to hold to the Rod with everything I have- because I know that it will ALWAYS keep me on the correct path.

My Bishop's wife bore her testimony on Sunday, and quoted a General Authority (i'm not sure which) who said that if we spend 30 minutes a day studying the Book of Mormon, Satan has no hold on us. That time I read it in 30 days, Satan had no hold on me. 18 pages a day- roughly 45 min. And I was free.

I've been trying to "get over" this addiction. Focusing on "white knuckle" strategies to stop doing one thing or another. They work for awhile. But I haven't changed my life, I haven't altered the spiritual environment that has allowed me to be influenced so easily. So I fall, again and again. Isn't insanity doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results? :)

I need to focus on repairing my relationship with the Lord. On getting back where I need to be. This is where i will receive the strength I need to truly combat the addiction.

I'm going to do the 30 day challenge again, starting tomorrow morning. I know its alot to tackle, but I've felt the results and I want that again so bad! I've noticed that others are doing an intensive study of the Book of Mormon as well, and I'm so happy! Holding fast to the Word of God truly works.

1Nephi 15:24 "...whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction."

May the Lord bless us all in our paths to recovery!

Comments:

thank you    
"This is a beautiful post. I don't study the scriptures nearly as much as I should and you have inspired me. Thank you and may God bless you."
posted at 10:32:36 on January 9, 2009 by robin
I'll join with you    
"PurityQuest, I loved your reminder of the importance of holding fast to the rod - the word of God. I'll join you in the 30-day challenge."
posted at 17:47:07 on January 9, 2009 by derek
Yay!    
"I'd love to have you join me, Derek, as well as anyone else who wants to! Please keep me posted with your progress.

I started this morning, and it took me close to an hour to finish the 18 pages. It was slow going at first, but after awhile I just wanted to keep going! I realize that massive changes in spirituality dont come all at once, but it did make a noticeable difference. My whole day went a little better- and I know it can only go up from here. I cant wait to read tomorrow!"
posted at 00:07:24 on January 10, 2009 by purityquest
How's the Reading Purity    
"I am taking a different stance of just reading 30 minutes a day (not any number of pages or verses). but so far I am doing well :)"
posted at 19:49:02 on January 14, 2009 by nyronian
You go girl!    
"The Book of Mormon has real power. A couple of times since I go into recovery I have finished reading the Book of Mormon and started on the New Testament only to go back to the BofM before finishing because I felt I needed its power.

One thought on "white knuckle" strategies, I don't think any of us can do it that way. I've found if I stay humble and rely on the Lord, He does 95% of the work and I get to watch from the sidelines while He gives Satan a major whuppin'. Jesus Christ makes a great tag team partner. "Can I get some popcorn over here?""
posted at 00:02:55 on January 15, 2009 by justjohn
Satan    
"You have to expect that when you are trying to make any change for the better in your life, Satan will work 10 times as hard to try to keep you from succeeding, you have to put your faith in God and go through some really difficult times in order to make it to a better place. I've decided that sometimes you have to go through hell to realize that you don't want to stay there. A friend of mine always quotes a country song that says "if you're going through hell, just keep going...you might get through before the devil even knows you're there"."
posted at 10:51:40 on January 18, 2009 by ican
God is transforming me    
"Thank you all for your encouragement! I'm doing good so far- though I have gotten a few pages behind. (I almost wish i had committed to an amount of time because when I really get into studying and cross referencing it takes even longer to finish the quota. But this is what I said I would do so I;m stickin' to it!) And I am beginning to remember all the beautiful feelings I forgot- and resisting temptation is WAY easier! I've found that my former attitude begrudging the fact that I "cant" do the sins i want to do has totally melted away. I never thought that could happen- that I would actually desire the Lord's will instead of resenting it. I totally agree that the Book of Mormon has amazing power.

At the same time, I have noticed Satan working harder on me. I've been having major spells of discouragement wash over me, for everything from school, to my health, finding a good job, relationships- you name it, and the devil's hit me with it. Sometimes its so bad its everything i can do not to burst into tears in the middle of class- and the second I'm alone the floodgates burst open. I can feel God working in my life and i love it, but I really am being challenged.

Its times like these I've found true solace in prayer-another thing I wasn't really sure was possible. The other night I fell to my knees in a torrent of tears and just begged with everything in me for forgiveness of everything I've ever done wrong. halfway through a box of kleenex I realized I had to truly commit my life to God. In the past I have been an excellent "hearer of the Word" but not that much of a doer. I saw that that wasn't gonna cut it- that i actually had to practice what I preached. I realized that all the blessings and inspiration I had been receiving were because I was EXERCISING my faith, by actually doing the work of studying my scriptures regularly, instead of just believing that scriptures were good, but i just didn't have time for them. So I committed, in that moment, with more conviction than i have ever felt, to turn my will and my life over to God- for real, not just in word only. I just gave myself to Him. (and I didn't resent it!) For once I truly knew i couldn't do it alone.

So- I've got a long way to go, I know. But thats a step, right? I feel there is "Hope smiling brightly before me, and i know that deliverance is nigh!" Somehow the Lord will get me through the challenges facing me, and help me overcome this intense self-doubt and discouragement. I just have to remember that I'm His daughter and He loves me- because He shows me every day.

And regardless of any struggle- I feel truly happy. There is just so much joy to be found in the Gospel! I've know this for so long- why haven't I been doing it?! Ridiculous! :)"
posted at 01:57:58 on January 21, 2009 by purityquest
Thankful    
"Friends -- I am so thankful and grateful for brothers and sisters like you! When faced with this struggle of ours we don't run and hide - we just come out fighting -- sure we get knocked down and beated up a bit, but we don't run away -- we get right back up, find new things that can help us - and prepare ourselves for our next battle -- Thank you to all who have responded and thank you Purityquest -- I love your name because it is so appropriate for us all - the quest to be pure!

Power in Purity!"
posted at 07:45:16 on January 24, 2009 by whitewolf
Oak    
"I admire you so much for your bravery and I hope things go well for you with this new change. Thank you for starting the challenge, and for having the foresight to prepare and set aside a time to read. It may be a simple thing- but its something I neglected to do and now I have gotten behind on my reading. I have 6 days left- and I was about to give up when I read your post. I've got quite a bit of catching up to do, but I know it can be done if I follow your example and make the time. It is so worth it. The temptation to act out has been next to nothing, and I am getting close to my 30 day sober mark! Whatever you do don't give up- and don't believe a word Satan whispers in your ear to discourage you. God is supporting you, and if He can part the Red Sea and save thousands of Israelites, He can get you through these trials! Trust is something I'm learning, and sometimes Faith is hard for me to come by. But Heavenly Father is always there, and He believes in us, even when we have a hard time believing Him.

I am so impressed and proud of the wonderful choices you are making! You are in my prayers."
posted at 00:10:59 on February 3, 2009 by purityquest
Thanks    
"I have been looking over some older posts and enjoy them along with the comments. We all share a lot in common and the insights help me to clear my mind of distractions and temptation and stay on the road to recovery. The scriptures have been a big help along that road."
posted at 19:24:56 on June 20, 2009 by SandyMan


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"By emulating the Master, who endured temptations but “gave no heed unto them,” we, too, can live in a world filled with temptations “such as [are] common to man”. Of course Jesus noticed the tremendous temptations that came to him, but He did not process and reprocess them. Instead, He rejected them promptly. If we entertain temptations, soon they begin entertaining us! Turning these unwanted lodgers away at the doorstep of the mind is one way of giving “no heed.” Besides, these would-be lodgers are actually barbarians who, if admitted, can be evicted only with great trauma."

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987