“Lifting Burdens: The Atonement of Jesus Christ,”

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Step 12

Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, share this message with others and practice these principles in all you do.


I must say that this is probably my most favorite step out of all of the 12 steps that I have taught in the Addiction Recovery Program. This step is like the icing on the cake for an Addict because he or she has come to the point of being forgiven of their sins, had taken the steps to make restitution to all of those they have harmed, and these things by themselves must feel like 100 lb. weights have been lifted off of each of their shoulders. This also means that they have felt the Spirit of the Lord and have learned to acknowledge the Lords hand in their lives. They now understand that Heavenly Father knows and loves them and wants to be there for them and will be as they kneel in prayer and keep Heavenly Father a part of their lives.

This step 12 is the Service Step. It is the step that is for me and for everyone else, the "Feel Good Step." What I mean by that is that when we are serving others, it simply recharges our batteries on feeling good. It feels good to do something for someone else. It feels good to know that we are helping others. It feels good to know that we no longer participate in our Addictive behaviors and have found that by going out and doing something for someone else, relieves our minds of wanting to indulge in addiction, ever. It may seem sort of selfish to think of it in these terms, but how long has it been for you to really feel good, and clean and forgiven of your sins and indiscretions? You deserve to feel good because you have lost your desire to do what you know you shouldn't and you are taking the steps that will draw you closer to your Heavenly Father. You deserve a pat on the back and a huge hug, because so many are so proud of you.

Overcoming Addiction is a huge and long and drawn out process. It isn't something that just happens overnight. For most with addiction they come to understand that though they have overcome the need and desire for their addiction, it will always be there, and so will Satan to tempt them and try to draw them back into their old ways. Some people fall but those who hold fast to all that they have learned in these 12 steps and know how much better they feel inside and out, they will be the winners.

This whole world is like a Cinderella land in that seemingly individuals who appear to be losing the battle, can become winners... each and every day. Remember the story about how Cinderella slipped her foot into the glass slipper and found the prince of her dreams? Well that didn't happen until she had gone through some pretty rough times and some pretty serious struggles. Cinderella gave service for abuse, and love for hate, but Cinderella was a loser who became a winner. How does this relate to Step 12? Addiction is a disease that drags us down into the depths of despair. Addicts do things that they fell like they have to do to support their habit. But one day when they are at a point when they know that something must be done, they give up their will to the Higher power, which is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They pull themselves up by the boot straps, and reach out to those who can help them. They begin to understand that their situation isn't something that can't be changed. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, or relating to the Cinderella story... there is a glass slipper out there and there is also someone eager for you to find it.

Cinderella elevated herself out of the seemingly hopeless situation and found the prince her dreams. She lived happily ever after. What I think we can learn from this story is that all things are possible, and even when we are having a difficult time, if we give service to others, that will lift our spirits and the hearts of others. Service is a way of contributing to the betterment of others. We can give service in our own families, our church, and in our community. Service is a way of saying thank you to Jesus Christ for his atoning sacrifice that made it possible to be forgiven of our sins.

What a tremendous glass slipper we have been offered, and when we slip our foot inside and embrace this gift we feel so much better, and that is the way it was intended. When the Lord sent us to earth, he didn't intend for us to be miserable, he wanted us to be happy. He provided us with beauty all around us in nature, in our friends, and our families, our faith and church, and gave each of us talents to use and develop and find joy in this life.

It is my testimony the "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God." I pray that you will find the joy in giving of yourself in the service of others, thereby showing your gratitude to the Lord.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Step 11 Personal Revelation

Seek through prayer and meditation to know the Lord’s will and to have the power to carry it out.

Step 11
This step to me is the one that most closely relates to the term that we have all heard and that is to "Be born again." When a person is born again, to me it means that they have fully committed themselves to a desire to only do good and are desirous of doing only that which Heavenly Father would have them do. It is a life long commitment to do the Lords will one day at a time. You now understand that through living the commandments of the Lord, your desire is to do those things that bring peace, joy and fulfilment and you understand that nothing of this world can fill your soul with you that peace.

You understand that prayer is a portal to the Lord and that He is there to listen. You understand that as you strive to keep yourself clean and in tune with the promptings of the Holy Ghost, you can be guided on a path that will help you achieve the goal that Heavenly Father sent you on this earth to do. In the Addiction Recovery Manuel it gives a quote form Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Qurorm of the twelve. He says, "The Holy Ghost will protect us against being deceived, by to realize that wonderful blessing, we must always do the things necessary to retain that spirit. We must keep the commandments , pray for guidance, and attend church and partake of the sacrament each Sunday. And we must never do anything to drive away that Spirit. Specifically we should avoid pornography, alcohol, tobacco and drugs and always avoid violations of the law of chastity. We must never take things into our bodies or do things with our bodies that drive away the Spirit of the Lord and leave us without our spiritual protection against deception."

Prayer and meditation are powerful antidotes to fear and depression. Step 11 represents a commitment to improve your relationship with God through a lifetime practice of seeking guidance daily and obeying the commandments. Once again, being born again is a change of heart and soul, and to me, this is what step 11 is talking about. Working on your heart and your soul will bring you the peace that you have desired for so long and it is yours for the taking when you turn your life around, and keep clean from your addiction.

It is my testimony that Prayer is an opportunity for all of us to get closer to our Heavenly Father. I have heard so many friends and associates tell me that they didn't have a relationship with their own fathers, so if this is you, what a great blessing for you to have a genuine relationship with your Heavenly Father. He will never disappoint you as you draw closer to him. He will always be there to listen to the pleadings of your heart. Pray in the morning, pray at night, pray on your meals and for thanks to Him who has given you, your all. Take the time you need to pray and soak in the peace and love that only a loving Father can give to you.

Have a terrific week and practice what you have learned from this step.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Step 10 Daily Accountability

Step 10 - Continue to take personal inventory, and when you are wrong promptly admit it.

My husband had surgery this past week and we were not able to go to serve as missionaries for our ARP meeting this week, however I wanted to make sure to include a message about this wonderful step.

In Alma 5:14-15, he taught that maintaining a might change of heart takes effort. In verse after verse, he indicated that honest, prayerful self appraisal and immediate repentance must be a continual part of life. The guide says that to retain what you have gained, you must stay in fit spiritual condition. To do this you continually ask searching questions about your feelings, thoughts, motives and conduct. This will keep you from slipping back into the habits you are leaving behind. Take your weaknesses to your Heavenly Father in prayer and ask him to help you find peace. Keep your heart open and focused on the lessons that you have learned from the life of our Savior and what he taught.

Serve others and in doing so, the focus of your own problems, troubles and thoughts will soon turn toward humbling yourself and the desire to help others. It is amazing to me how simple service is yet so many of us somehow let this slip in our lives. One of my favorite stories that I have listened to as a child as well as passed on to my children is a story of an old man who wants to be happy. He finds that when he gives away service to others, he finds happiness within. The words go like this...."Said Old Gentleman Gray, on a Christmas Day... if you want to be happy, give something away." You can find the whole story in this blog archives by going back to Thursday, November 20, 2008 posting entitled: Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving time. Read through this story and listen to the message. It is simple yet profound. Impliment service in your life and think about this quote as you serve..."If you want to be happy, give something away!"

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve was quoted in the ARP manuel saying: “Worthiness interviews, sacrament meetings, temple attendance, and other Church meetings are all part of the plan that the Lord provides to educate our souls, to help us develop the healthy habit of constantly checking our bearings to stay on the path of faith. Regular spiritual checkups help us navigate life’s highways and byways. . . .
“. . . We can all . . . benefit by looking deep inside our hearts during reverent moments of worship and prayer and asking ourselves this simple question, ‘Am
I true?’ “The question becomes more powerfully useful if we are completely honest with our answers and if it motivates us to make repentant course corrections
that keep us on the path of faith” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1997, 20; or Ensign, May 1997, 17).

Imagine how wonderful it will be, actually you don't have to imagine if you really do it.... but how nice will it be for you to know that you are forgiven of your past sins and finally able to worthily partake of the sacrament. In a past poste, I quoted someone who said that partaking of the sacrament each week is like being rebaptized. When we are baptized we are made clean and promise to keep the commandments that the Lord has given us. There is no more wonderful feeling than to know we are clean and pure once again. This is definately something that we all need to work toward in the remission of our sins and addictions.

As you work this step, you will become more aware of Heavenly Father's prsence in your life as you call upon Him to help you stay spiritually clean. You will even be less judgemental of others and be able to forgive others imperfections as well as your own. It is such a joy to realize that anytime and anywhere we feel a need to pray, that Heavenly Father will give his undivided attention and listen to the pleading of our hearts and be receptive to our needs. Your love for Him will increase and you will know that He is the guiding light and power for good in your life. He is also a loving father who wants nothing more than for you to come home to him one day after you have learned all that you have been sent here to earth to do. We always have a understanding and loving Father in our lifes!

I pray that you will have a good week and will exercise the principles taught in step 10 as well as continue to work the other steps as well.

Hope ya know we had a hard time

This is a great video for everyone to view. There isn't anyone who gets out of this life with out experiencing some challenges, hurts, sorrows, and all manner of adversities.

Beautiful and inspiring video of Hope - music "Broken" by Kenneth Cope

Kenneth Cope - Broken

[via FoxyTunes / Kenneth Cope]

Broken by Kenneth Cope - Broken clouds give rain. Broken soil grows grain. Broken bread feeds man for one more day. Broken storms yield light. Break of day heals night. Broken pride turns blindness into sight. Broken souls that need His mending. Broken hearts for offering. Could it be that God loves broken things? Broken chains set free. Broken swords bring peace. Broken walls make friends of you and me. To break the ranks of sin. To break the news of Him. To put on Christ ‘til his name feels broken in. Broken souls that need His mending. Broken hearts for offering. I believe that God loves broken things. And yet our broken faith, our broken promises Sent love to the cross. And still that broken flesh, that broken heart of His Offers us a trace and mercy, covers us with love undeserving.

Come to Jesus and Live - Kenneth Cope

Come to Jesus by Kenneth Cope

[via FoxyTunes / Kenneth Cope]

Do you need some inspiration to get clean and sober?

Please view this very inspirational video clip of Nick (below), who from his outward appearance seems to have nothing to offer or live for. BUT.. when you watch it you will see that his positive attitude and outlook on what he has been given to deal with in life, should inspire you to want to make your life better.

Quoting from the video, Nick says that with trials, "It is not the end, it matters how you finnish... are you going to finnish strong? You will find the strength to get back up".

I hope you will find the hope to help yourself with your addiction, because as you look around, there is always someone who has it worse off than you . Is the way you are currently dealing with your life life the way that God meant for you to liv? Nick has learned from his challenges, and is making something out of his life. How about you? Pick yourself up by your boot straps and conquer your addiction. You can do it and must do it because living with addiction isn't the quality of life that God planned for you. Heavenly Father wants you to be happy and you can be just as happy as you choose to be.

This clip is not a part of the Addiction Recovery Program but one that I found that I felt personally could touch your heart.
I also don't know what the language is that is shown at the bottom of the video clip, so disregard it, just listen to the inspirational message that Nick offers. ... Also you may need to have some tissue handy.

So you have fallen? Well get back up! Enjoy this inspirational video.