Sunday, January 14, 2007

Thinking of Jesus

"There are several lessons I've gleaned from my experience coming out of the darkness of a sin that so thoroughly dominates the lives of the people it ensnares: (1) This is a major problem that is unbelievably difficult to overcome.... (2) The most important source of support and strength in the repentance process is the Savior....(3) Intense, daily scripture study, regular temple worship, and serious, contemplative participation in the ordinance of the sacrament are all indispensable parts of a true repentance process. This, I assume, is because all of these activities serve to deepen and strengthen one's relationship with the Savior, one's understanding of His atoning sacrifice, and one's faith in His healing power" (letter dated Oct. 24, 2005).

"I knew it would be difficult," he wrote, "but I didn't realize what I would have to go through." His letter describes the emptiness and loneliness and the incredible pain he experienced from deep within his soul as he sought to return. He prayed mightily for forgiveness, sometimes for hours at a time. He was sustained by reading the scriptures, by the companionship of a loving bishop, and by priesthood blessings. But what finally made the difference was the help of the Savior. He explained:

"It [was] only through Him and His Atonement.... I now feel an overwhelming gratitude. My pains have been almost more than I could bear at times, and yet they were so small compared to what He suffered. Where there once was darkness in my life, there is now love and gratitude."

He continues: "Some profess that change is possible and therapy is the only answer. They are very learned on the subject and have so much to offer those who struggle . . . , but I worry that they forget to involve Heavenly Father in the process. If change is to happen, it will happen according to the will of God. I also worry that many people focus on the causes of [same-gender attraction].... There is no need to determine why I have [this challenge]. I don't know if I was born with it, or if environmental factors contributed to it. The fact of the matter is that I have this struggle in my life and what I do with it from this point forward is what matters" (letter dated Mar. 25, 2006).

-As quoted by Dallin H. Oaks

The first quote is from a man who was struggling with pornography. The second is from a gay man who had been excommunicated and was returning to the church. Involving Heavenly Father and Jesus in dealing with all the struggles in my life should be obvious, but sometimes I have a hard time remembering to do it.

The sacrament, I suppose, would be the appropriate time to think about this. Jesus knows what I face and how I feel more than anyone in the world. He's better able to comfort me and give me help than anywhere else I might turn. Seems like a benefit I'd want to take advantage of.

If anyone needs me in the next little while, you'll find me over here thinking of Jesus.


Anonymous said...

I believe the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion because it is another testament of Jesus Christ. I have found personally that it isn't enough to think of the Savior just on Sunday, but I must always keep Him in my heart and thoughts, no matter what day of the week or what I am doing. This requires a strong commitment and determination on my part to remember my true purpose each day and to not get side tracked by the world. I read the first lesson in the new Spencer W. Kimball manual last night and I'd recommend reading it, it says what I am trying to convey here in a much better way.

mark said...

Your post made me want to say something to cheer you up...after all, my last few posts here have been pretty much rants and complaints about this or that much thinking...

I was reminded of a song I learned while playing around on the organ in the chapel of the Lutheran residence I lived in while going to law school. It is called "In Thee is Gladness", and it has become one of my favourite hymns because of what it expresses in words and the way the music carries them along. Here is a link to the words and a MIDI file of the tune.

G'pa Bob said...

My favorite hymn is 219. It reminds me that I have been given much and it reminds me that much of what I have I can share.

Kengo Biddles said...

You'll have to excuse the following, as I'm very, very stressed, and thus, very, very sappy.


"L's trying to think of Jesus...he's thinking of all the ways...he's trying to think of what He did..."

It's just what came to mind when you said you'd be over there, thinking of Jesus.