For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

- Mosiah 3:19

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Giving My Life Over

I still do not entirely trust God can actually heal me. Heal in the sense of helping me overcome the addictions in my life: pornography and masturbation. But He can also heal the way I see myself and others. He can change the desires of my heart. But I have trouble believing this. Why?

I slipped again last night and this morning. It is so easy for me to doubt God can actually help even when I do not feel His presence. He is still helping, at least I hope, at least I am told.

I have not fully converted to the gospel. Why?

I am not sure.

I suppose, there is a part of me that still feels I can do all things by myself. It is this part of me that seeks to gratify my intellectual, physical, and emotional pursuits. It is this part of me that assumes I my have greater wisdom, by the capacity of reason and rationality.

I found a loophole in the internet filter. But I suppose a part of me knew I would. I denied that this would happen. It only took two days. This part of me that knew refused to accept that I can't do this alone - that is to break the addiction of pornography.

Certainly, pornography has given me a very unhealthy conception of sexuality, of relationships, and of love. Whether it is gay porn or not, there are numerous studies that document this is the case, though some stop short of saying pornography is not healthy.

Whatever the case maybe, viewing people engaging in a sacred practice defames the sacred and cheapens what love actually is. There is a connection to sexuality, emotions, spirituality, and the like that pornography affects. I am not entirely certain what it is, but most certainly it affects me and my own self-confidence.

But I have denied this. I have assumed I have the power of my own accord to overcome these addictions; and of my own accord re-shape my own sense of self-worth.

Nephi notes that "it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." I failed to believe and failed to fully grasp what that means. Doing all we can in part is a recognition that I can't do most things of my own accord, and therefore I need to find as many resources as I can to strengthen me against sin, then comes the grace to makeup for what I cannot do.

I do not have a completely broken heart, nor a contrite spirit. My heart is not shattered, and my spirit not sufficiently contrite.

I am a prideful man. It is hard for me to admit in some areas of my life I do not have control. Yet, I do not have control of my physical desires because I have become submissive to my addiction.

I need to learn how to come to God with a broken heart. I need to learn how to come to God with a contrite spirit.

This process is hard. This process of coming to "see" my weakness is hard. But it is humbling. I am coming to realize that I have not the sufficient strength to do things on my own. I am coming to realize that I need a Savior more than ever. Not someone to simply rescue me from the anguish of sin, but to rescue me from my very desires and thoughts. Someone to rescue me from the natural man.

It's hard and most of the time I feel nothing, but I trust something is happening. When I slip, which I hope does not happen again, I feel as if I have to start over from the very bottom. But I am not sure that is the case, there is grace that has helped me progress. While I still stumble, the fall is not so far, if I am trying to learn from my mistakes.

My confidence needs to be boosted. Giving my life over the Lord seems inapposite from boosting self-confidence. At this moment, that seems to be the case, but I am trusting that something good will happen.

I know this theologically and intellectually, but I have never really applied my heart to understanding so that I might gain the spiritual knowledge that I so desperately want now.

I am weak. My heart is saddened. I do not feel the presence of Heaven, but that does not mean He is not there concerned deeply - I have to engraven this in the fleshly tablets of my heart. But it is hard to believe.

I wish God would simply take my addictions from me. But I know that is not the case, He will not do this. But how I wish this. I need to learn how to access the atonement. I desire for the atoning blood to be applied to me.

1 comment:

  1. Such sincerity and honesty. I have often felt as you have expressed. Pornography robs the soul right out of us. It cheapens and trivializes the divine within. I desensitizes our God given enmity toward evil, replacing it with a lust for the flesh.

    The good news is that we can overcome the flesh and put this addiction behind us. We can lay it at the feet of the Savior and walk away unashamed.

    I am just one mouse click away, but have confidence that, with the Savior's help, I can remain a click away, not giving in to my baser desires.

    You can do this! Prayers heading your way.