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I’ve alluded in previous posts to problems I’ve dealt with as a result of issues from my early childhood.  One of my most often read posts is the one I wrote last year about overcoming anxiety and depression.  I’m grateful that God has been able to reach so many people through my experiences and I hope that the reference in this post will help as well.

Along with dealing with the depression that I previously wrote about, I was dealing with certain addictions (which, I feel were a trigger for depression I was having).  I won’t go into detail about the addictions I had to overcome, but I will discuss the process I went through in overcoming them.

As a young child I had some traumatic events in my life that affected my views on various things in life.  Unintentionally I formed addictions later in life as a result of these early experiences.  The funny thing is that I knew what I was doing was wrong but I would seem to always revert back to my addictive behavior over and over again.  It affected my self-esteem and the way I viewed the world and it went on for many years.

Overcoming the addictions I dealt with were a process.  First, I was in denial and I would put the blame on others such as my parents or the people involved in my addictive habits.  However, after a few years and a serious wake up call I realized I had a problem and needed to overcome it.  The only problem was that I couldn’t stop myself from the habits that had been formed even when I knew they were wrong.

To make a long story short, God helped me through blessing me with determination, patience, and guidance from the Holy Ghost for a number of years.  One day as I was driving the Holy Spirit told me in my mind to contact an old friend I hadn’t talked with in years.  When I called her I thought I was going there to help her on an errand from God but soon found out that she had recently gone through an addiction recovery program.  She became my sponsor for the program which was a major part in my addiction recovery. 

Looking back on it, I am deeply grateful that God knew me personally and cared for me deeply enough to guide me to the right program.  For me, it was very helpful and worked in the end.  However, I did feel a bit of a void especially when talking with my church leaders.  I would have loved to have been in a session with people who had similar views on God but I don’t think the leaders were properly trained or aware that the LDS church has an addiction recovery program.

The other day I came across this LDS reference and thought it would be very helpful for people to know about. 

Here they have support groups, counseling services and publications for addictions dealing with the following issues:

  • Alcohol
  • Drugs (both prescription and illegal)
  • Tobacco
  • Coffee and tea
  • Pornography
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior
  • Gambling
  • Codependency
  • Disorders associated with eating
  • I encourage those of you who are either dealing with any of these issues or are in a leadership or counseling role to help others with these issues to use this website as a reference.  I think if I had known of this before-hand it could have saved me some time and I could have overcome the issues with much more support.

    If anyone else has ideas of good references for those dealing with addictions please feel free to share.

    As I was reading in the Book of Mormon the other day, the following part of a verse in Mosiah 2:9 stuck out to me:

    open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view.

    What are the mysteries of God?

    The Bible Dictionary contains numerous references to the “mysteries” of God.  In fact, the New Testament has the most references out of all scripture.  I like the Greek definition of what “mysteries” means.  According to one of the ministers of Spirit and Truth Fellowship International, “mysteries” or “musterion” in Greek means “Sacred Secret” in it’s purest English translation.  Therefore, when we read in scripture about the mysteries of God it is something sacred but secret to those who are not interested in “opening their minds, ears, and hearts.”

    The Bible contains numerous examples of people talking about the mysteries (sacred secrets) of God

    In Matthew 13 Jesus speaks in parables to a multitude.  His disciples then question him and ask him why he speaks in parables to the people rather than just come right out and say it directly.  Jesus then answers by saying “…it is given to you to know the mysteries of God but to them it is not given.”  This fits in with Jesus’ warning in Matthew 7 not to cast our pearls before swine.  In other words, some people haven’t opened their hearts and minds to be able to understand the sacred secrets of God and if they’re not ready it’s of no use to try to teach them.

    Another New Testament example is found in Ephesians 3.  In this verse Paul discusses how mysteries are made known to Jesus’ people through His apostles and prophets.

    Members of the Church of Jesus Christ or Mormons believe in modern-day apostles and prophets and that the mysteries of Jesus’ kingdom can be made known through them.  One mystery that many people from other faiths and also within the Mormon faith have a difficult time understanding is the temple ceremony and the ordinances and covenants made within the temple.

    In his book “The Inevitable Apostasy,” Tad Callister quotes Origen (an early Christian leader from the first century) on page 250, saying of the primitive Christian church:

    Whoever is pure not only from all defilement, but from what are regarde as lesser transgressions, let him be boldly initiated in the mysteries of Jesus, which properly are made known only to the holy and the pure.

    This quote shows that in the early Christian church there were certain “mysteries” of Jesus only reserved for those who had prepared themselves spiritually.  Furthermore, it mentions an initiation process.

    In addition, Callister references the scripture in 1 Corinthians 4:1 that talks about the leaders of the church being the “stewards over the mysteries of God.”

    Modern-day LDS temple ceremonies are similar to this concept.  Within the Mormon temples LDS members who have prepared themselves participate in ordinances and ceremonies and make covenants with God that could be compared to the initiations mentioned by Origen from the original Christian church. 

    What happens inside the temple is very symbolic and in order to understand the ceremonies and ordinances one must be spiritually prepared and willing to receive the “mysteries” of God.  If one hasn’t taken time to prepare spiritually, it will be hidden from our view much like those of Jesus’ day who did not understand His parables.

    My first temple endowment experience was very overwhelming and confusing to me.  Upon entering the temple I hadn’t properly prayed, studied about the temple and in the scriptures, and prepared for the experience.  Therefore, it was very overwhelming and confusing.  Looking back on it God didn’t reveal anything to me because it would have been similar to casting pearls before swine.  I wasn’t humble and didn’t have the right attitude upon entering the temple.  It wasn’t until years later when I had humbled myself more and taken time to pray, prepare, and develop the desire to learn the “mysteries of God” found in the temple that I started having amazing and sacred spiritual experiences within the temple.

    It is my testimony that if we prepare ourselves before going to the temple we can and will receive amazing communication from God and the sacred secrets He would have us know in our lives will be revealed. 

    What are your thoughts about the temple ordinances being a “sacred secret?”

    This General Conference was very uplifting for me in many ways.  Some of my favorite talks were those specifically about Jesus which included “The Way of the Disciple” by Dieter Uchtdorf, and “None were with Him” by Jeffrey Holland, apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ. 

    This morning I was on the lds.org website and came across this short video about Jesus and commemorating His atonement and resurrection, which also highlighted some of Holland’s talk from last weekend.  I hope this helps you remember the Savior and what He did for us as you celebrate this Easter season. 

    Happy Easter to you all!

    I recently read a great post over on the Mormanity website on a guy named “Bookslinger” who has been flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon as well as the Bible.

    After reading this post and the comments people mentioned how the Bookslinger isn’t currently a member of the LDS church, but after reading Bookslinger’s website I can see he’s a dedicated disciple of Jesus.  On this site, he shares amazing stories of meeting people from all walks of life and languages and sharing both the Bible and Book of Mormon with them.

    After learning that he isn’t currently a member of the LDS church it reminded me of the Baptist Preacher who believes in the Book of Mormon and preaches it to his congregation.

    Personally, I have seen the power of Jesus that comes from reading the words of the Book of Mormon.  After I read the Book of Mormon when I was 13 I had an intense desire to share it with the world.  I have personally experienced what Joseph Smith stated when he said the Book of Mormon will bring you closer to God than any other book.

    People may wonder how one can be a firm believer in the Book of Mormon but be a member of the LDS church. 

    Personally I think it is awesome that these people are true to their testimonies of the Book of Mormon even though for whatever reason they are not currently members of the LDS church.  I hope we can all learn from their examples in sharing the scriptures with others.

    Due to various circumstances there are people like those mentioned who are not members of the LDS church.  Why do you think some people aren’t members yet still believe?

    04-05-09

    I can tell from some of the comments below that my intention for this post didn’t come across like I’d like it to have.

    As LDS I feel we too often focus on one’s “membership” status in the church.  We are all sinners and beggars and are all in need.  I wanted to highlight the good that many “non-members” of the LDS church do and how God works through them.  I apologize if the post came across as being offensive to Bookslinger, the Baptist Preacher, or anyone else.

    Cleanse your Soul with Grace for Grace “Spiritual SOAP”

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