As I start to write this article I’ve been thinking on what I can say that will help someone else with their own recovery. So instead of sitting right down and getting to work, I went for a hike in the woods with my dog to think and meditate. I was also thinking of everything that I had to do today, things like helping a family move, going to a ward fall festival, doing the dishes, the laundry, meeting with the missionaries, home teaching, and finding some time to can apples.
I came home from the fall festival feeling very low in the spirit and also like a complete failure because I knew there was no way that I was ever going to be able to get all of these things done. I called my wife and in tears explained my frustrations on not measuring up to what I felt was an acceptable example of what a Latter-day Saint should be able to do. It was then that I remembered a radio program, called Gospel Solutions for Families that I listened to the other day. The part of the broadcast that came to mind was that Satan says like “Are you there yet,” “Have you done anything yet?” Whereas God asks “Are you progressing?” It was then that I realized that I don’t need to be perfect, I just need to do the best that I can. (https://www.mormonchannel.org/listen/series/gospel-solutions-for-familiesaudio/how-to-know-if-you-are-a-good-parent-part-1)
I realized that Satan wants me to be frustrated, sad, and feeling like I don’t measure up. But when I realize that, I know that I need the Savior in my life daily and look for His uplifting spirit in my life. As it states in Step 11, you begin to understand and appreciate your need for the Savior, Jesus Christ, and His role in your life, and to treasure the Light of Christ. That is when I went to work and stopped letting Satan influence my life today.
First, I told myself that I am in control here and I have three great co-pilots in my life, God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. I started to pray and ask the Lord how I can progress today. So I went to see a less-active family and had a great visit. Then I was able to get some things done around my house and have a nice dinner with my family.
So in the past when I have had a frustrating day I would turn to my addiction. But through prayer and meditation, the Lord put me to work, much like President Hinckley’s father told him on his mission “forget yourself and go to work.” So a day that could have been a disaster has actually turned into a pretty good day.
In John 14:26 we read: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” When we turn to the scriptures, pray to the Father, seek personal revelation that we are entitled to, and seek the Lord’s will and carry it out, then the Lord will bless our lives. When we turn to the Lord we will be better able to resist temptations, have more faith that the Lord will strengthen and help us from being deceived.
There is a Mormon message that I like. A man goes to cut wood for his family in the winter but gets his truck stuck while driving. Through all his efforts to get unstuck nothing works. He finally says a prayer and goes to work cutting wood. After the pick-up is full, and he is ready to go home, he says one more prayer starts the truck. He is able to get out. It was the load of wood that made the difference. We will always have challenges and trials, but if we pray read our scriptures and trust the Lord then the Lord can work miracles in our lives. (https://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages/bearing-ourburdens-with-hope)
I am grateful that the Lord has blessed my life with trials because it is through these trials that I have learned that He does truly love me and accepts me even with all my faults. I know that as I read my scriptures and seek for personal revelation daily in my life that I will continue to grow and learn more about myself and God’s plan for me