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Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Secret: One Day At A Time

My father died. How am I ever going to live without my dad?
The doctor said it's cancer.
I can't deal with it anymore. My depression is just too much!
I just broke my shoulder. How am I going to get through the next few months?
My wife says she is leaving - - again.
It's been years now. All my parents do is fight. I hate it. All they think about is themselves.

One of the best coping skills for "enduring" chronic conditions --problems that seem to go-on-and-on-and-on.... is learning to live One Day at a Time.
"I have spoken over the years with many individuals who have told me, “I have so many problems, such real concerns. I’m overwhelmed with the challenges of life. What can I do?" I have offered to them, and I now offer to you, this specific suggestion: seek heavenly guidance ONE DAY AT A TIME. Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it’s a cinch. Each of us can be true for just one dayand then one more and then one more after that—until we’ve lived a lifetime guided by the Spirit, a lifetime close to the Lord, a lifetime of good deeds and righteousness." (Thomas S. Monson, "Believe, Obey, and Endure," General Young Women's Meeting, March 24, 2012)

If you’re not living in the present, you’re living in an illusion, a world that doesn't exist. The past is gone the future isn't here. Benefits of coping come when you live in the present-Just get through this day.

As a shrink I’ve learned MANY problems are caused by...
either from worrying about some aspect of their future or their past. (And in many cases both-their past and their future.) It’s been my experience this type of worry is like paying rent  (worry and anguish) on a house you don’t own-and never will.

As a shrink I’ve learned MANY problems are solved by...
learning to live in the present. Living in the present has a dramatic effect on our emotional well-being, and a positive impact on our physical health. It’s long been known that the amount of mental stress you carry can have a detrimental impact on your health. If you’re living in the present, you’re living in acceptance demonstrating an ability to "Let go and Let God " (See: Cosmically Competent).

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha

"One day at a time." - Alcoholic Anonymous slogan 

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."- (Matthew 6:34)
There is a whole field of psychology focused on the importance of living in the present-Mindfulness. For example, in Psychology Today "Mindfulness" is defined as"... state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience." Practicing mindfulness means we practice our awareness in all our actions. We must simply learn to live in the moment. See Mindfulness in Wikipedia

"The burden of future nurturing can seem overwhelming. Looking ahead to the uncertain years or even to a lifetime of constant, backbreaking care may seem more than one can bear. There are often many tears before reality is acknowledged. Parents and family members can then begin to accept and take the burden a day at a time"(In the Strength of the Lord: The Life and Teachings of James E. Faust pg. 286)
Or how about this SECRET:
"To travel from where you are to where you would like to be seems overwhelming and almost impossible. THE SECRET is to live the best you know how just ONE DAY AT A TIME, and if the day seems too long, we should break it down into hours or even minutes." (When a Prophet Speaks, Listen Well, Robert L. Simpson, Conference Report, October 1970)
"One Day at a Time" an essential Coping skill
Living in the present isn’t just a tip but an essential behavior for ENDURANCE. You will NOT successfully deal with  problems that go-on-and-on-and-on WITHOUT learning to live one day at time.

God's way of living eternity... one day at a time.
First: When you become aware that your thoughts are wandering off to the future challenges or past pain - change them Think in your mind- Just for today. Just for this hour. and perhaps just for this minute.

Second: Try one of the following Mindfulness exercises:

1) Two mindful bites. Instead of attempting to do mindful eating all the time, try mindful eating for the first two bites of any meal or snack. For the first two bites of any meal or snack you eat, pay attention to the sensory experiences - the texture, taste, smell, and appearance of the food, and the sounds when you bite into your food.

2) What one breath feels like. Instead of formal meditation, try paying attention to what one breath feels like. Feel the sensations of one breath flowing into and out from your body. Notice the sensations in your nostrils, your shoulders, your rib cage, your belly etc.

3) Take a mindful moment to give your brain a break instead of checking your email. Instead of checking my email in the 5 minutes between therapy clients, I spend a few seconds watching out my window. I usually watch the clouds floating through the sky.

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

FREE - According to the Flesh

Joe is in his 50s. He has Down's Syndrome. Early in his life he obtained a temple recommend. Since that time, he has been attending the temple regularly typically doing 3 sessions a day. At first he lived at home with his parents. After their death he was moved into a state ran group home. He continued to attend the temple- year after year.

While completing an IQ test Joe-as an older man- was asked "If I cut an apple in half, how many pieces will I have?" He responded "Four."

After a life time of temple service that was the best he could do. Joe still suffered from Down's Syndrome and related mental retardation.

Joe's earthly physical body has limited the capacity of his spirit body and mind to express themselves.

To better understand The Spirit Body, The Physical Body, and The Mind - See: Anatomy of a Soul

Joseph Fielding Smith explained that
ALL spirits while in the pre-existence were perfect in form, having ALL their faculties and mental powers unimpaired.Deformities are … physical.” (Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., 5 vols., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979, 3:19.)
Check out this quote:
We, as Latter-day Saints, believe that the spirits that occupy these tabernacles have form and likeness similar to the human tabernacle. Of course there may be deformities existing in connection with the outward tabernacle which do not exist in connection with the spirit that inhabits it. These (physical)tabernacles become deformed by accident in various ways, sometimes at birth, but this may not altogether or in any degree deform the spirits that dwell within them, (Parley P. Pratr, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 15, pg. 243)
Joe's physical body HAS Down's Syndrome. His physical body HAS mental retardation.

ALL disabilities - mental illness, blindness, mental retardation, etc etc are temporary conditions.  (The Church provides a "General List of Disabilities' the physical body can experience.)

A physical disability can  ONLY EXIST while we are on earth in a physical body.  ALL physical disabilities DIE when our earthly physical body DIES. (Remember our physical body becomes perfect when it is resurrected. See Alma 40:23-26)

While we are here on earth, our Spiritual Body and Mind  can be limited or restricted by our Physical Body.
"Wherefore, men (women, children, dogs, cats, etc etc) are free according to the flesh; (capacity of their phyiscal body & brain)"   
Here are a few more quotes supporting this "Physical Body" doctrine:
"Freedom may be qualified or taken away by physical laws, including the physical limitations with which we are born…" (Dallin H. Oaks, “Free Agency and Freedom” Brigham Young University on 11 October 1987.)

"...the conditions of mortality can limit our freedom..." (Dallin H. Oaks, Same-Gender Attraction,” Ensign, Oct 1995)
Let's take a look at the Physical Body. We'll use a "house" to illustrate the Physical Body.

There are two houses below-one a beat up old shack and another a mansion.  The "old shack" has a floor plan equivalent to a physical body with Cerebral Palsy. The "mansion" has a floor plan equivalent to the Gold medalist Phelps. 

At birth each perfect Spirit Body and Mind  takes up residence in a particular "physical body" or "house".

The pictures above illustrate how two perfect Spirit Bodies (of equal worth) are placed into two different Physical Bodies  (not of equal worth) create quite a contrast in earthly physical abilities.

Our Spirit Bodies and Minds have a capacity for emotions and intelligence in addition to physical. (Remember our personality and thoughts exist in the Spirit Body and Mind.) The neurotransmitters, hormones etc etc of the Physical Body limit or enhance our emotional and intellectual abilities. 

It has been my experience to one degree or another, that our Spirit Body's (and Mind's)capacity to experience happiness, to pay attention, to think clearly, to form close relationships,  etc etc  can be restricted or enhanced by our Physical Body. (When the disabilities are significant we call them "mental illnesses.")

Each Physical Body has some imperfections-some more noticeable than others. Disease, accidents, poor self-care etc etc can cause a perfectly healthy "mansion" to have problems-even burn a few rooms down or interfere with the plumbing etc etc.

Sometimes - Priesthood blessings, medications, counseling, exercise, nutrition etc etc can "repair the disabilities"  of a particular "floor plan" of a particular house, making it more livable for our Spirit Body and Mind. 

Sometimes - interventions do not work. For example, while Joe is in his earthly body he'll never teach even 1st grade math.

The doctrine of the Physical Body limiting the freedom of The Spirit Body and Mind helps us understand homosexuality, addictions, mental illnesses, etc etc
"... some people seem to be unusually susceptible to particular actions, reactions, or addictions. Perhaps such susceptibilities are inborn or acquired without personal choice or fault, like the unnamed ailment the Apostle Paul called “a thorn in the flesh...” (2 Cor. 12:7). (Dallin H. Oaks, "Same-Gender Attraction,” Ensign, Oct 1995)
If your house "floor plan" or the "floor plan" of a loved one isn't the best and has some faulty wiring or plumbing here or there. It's only temporary. Just do the best you can.
YOUR JOB... is NOT "to make your physical body into a perfect floor plan"...
Only the resurrection can do that.
YOUR JOB is simple "Meet the measure of your creation-
growing your Spirit Body and Mind to the highest capacity your physical body allows."

My Friend Joe
I believe my friend Joe living in his "beat up old shack" is reaching the measure of his creation and after he is rid of the limitations of his physical body (Down's Syndrome & Mental Retardation) he will most certainly be some fantastic engineer somewhere in a Galaxy Far Far Away  - helping God build a new Earth or something. :)
There is little room for feelings of guilt in connection with handicaps (disabilities of the physical body). Some handicaps may result from carelessness or abuse, and some through addiction of parents. But most of them do not. Afflictions come to the innocent (Boyd K. Packer “The Moving of the Water,” Ensign, May 1991).
Would you feel guilty about the color of your eyes?

You are still responsible for your thoughts, feelings and behavior. See "The Gift- Between God and I"  Remember the Physical Body has no living parts. The "breath of life" resides in the Spirit Body and Mind. 

Ponder this thought:
Joseph F. Smith wrote, "Deformity will be removed; defects will be eliminated, and men and women shall attain to that perfection of their spirits, to the perfection that God designed in the beginning. (Our Indestructible Mortal Enemy, Improvement Era, June 1909, p. 592.)

Ponder this thought:
"If healing does not come in mortal life, it will come thereafter. Just as the gorgeous monarch butterfly emerges from a chrysalis, so will spirits emerge." (Boyd K. Packer, "The Moving of the Water," Ensign May 1991.)

For extra credit watch this video- My Brother Hyrum  :)

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Anatomy of a Soul

Anatomy-how things work

Let's take a look at the anatomy of your soul.

You need-to-know how your "Soul Systems" function BEFORE you can do things like: effectively break a bad habit, overcome depression, strengthen your testimony, or understand your responsibility in reaching the measure of your creation.

Soul Systems

Learn to identify the three major SOUL SYSTEMS and understand what each system does. The systems are Spirit Body, Mind, and Physical Body.

Typically we view the "Soul" as only the "Spirit" and "Body." (See: D & C 88:15). In addition, prophets have taught this simple doctrine. For example, David O. McKay said:

"Man has a natural body and a spiritual body. . . man’s body. . . is but the tabernacle in which his spirit dwells...." (Chapter 2: "The Dual Nature of Man" Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay)

Certainly, we don't know everything about our Spirit Body, Mind, and Physical Body. But, we do know some things. As a psychologist I have an interest in learning how to change behavior. In particular, I've pondered how one soul system influences another. For example, how the Physical Body can limit the expression of our Mind and Spirit Body during earth life. 

When we hear about the Spirit body it represents both the Spirit and Mind. For our purposes we're going to talk about them as separate systems. Therefore, when I hear the word "Spirit" (the Spirit which represents our "Spirit Body") I think in my mind "Spirit and Mind".

Spirit Body

The spirit body is eternal
"Spirit is a substance; . . . it is material, but . . . it is more pure, elastic and refined matter than the body; . . . it existed before the body, can exist in the body; and will exist separate from the body, when the body will be mouldering in the dust; and will in the resurrection, be again united with it." (Joseph Smith taught in History of the Church; 4:575) The Spirit Body has always existed and will always exist. It can be neither created nor destroyed. (Russell M. Nelson, “You Are a Child of God,” New Era, Jul 2008;  Abraham 3:18)
The spirit body functions through the mind
"Your spirit body operates through your mind." (Boyd K. Packer, "To Young Women and Men," Ensign, May 1989) In a similar way your physical body operates through your brain.
The spirit body has personality
"The spirit provides the body with animation and personality." (Russell M. Nelson, "You Are a Child of God."  New Era, Jul 2008)

There are no defective spirit bodies
We are each spirit sons and daughters of GOD. There is no "Spirit" body with mental retardation, Asperger's, bipolar, diabetes, high blood pressure etc. etc.  All such limitations / diseases exist in the physical body and can limit our Spirit and Mind's capacity during our earthly existence. It is the Physical Body that is defective, not the Spirit Body. "We have reason to believe that every spirit that comes into this world was whole and free from such defects in the pre-existence...it is a ridiculous notion that the spiritual offspring of God would be subject to spiritual defects before they were born into mortality." (Joseph Fielding Smith, "Answers to Gospel Questions, Volume 5" pg 49, 52)


The mind is in the spirit
"...It is clear that the mind of man rests in the eternal spirit." (Bruce R. McConkie, "Mormon Doctrine" pg 501 and Teachings of Prophet Joseph Smith pg 352-54.) 

God communicates to the mind
"Pure intelligence can be spoken into the mind. The Holy Ghost communicates with our spirits through the mind more than through the physical senses…." (Boyd K. Packer, "Prayer and Promptings," Ensign, Nov 2009)
Mind can control the physical body
"Your mind is in charge; your body is the instrument of your mind." (Boyd K. Packer, "Prayer and Promptings," Ensign, Nov 2009). Remember this as we talk later about using the mind system to effectively influence the other systems - spirit body and physical body (e.g. managing mental illness and overcoming addictions.)
Mind is like a stage
"… the mind is like a stage. During every waking moment the curtain is up. There is always some act being performed on that stage." (Boyd K. Packer, "The Message: Worthy Music, Worthy  "The Message: Worthy Music, Worthy Thoughts," New Era, Apr 2008)

Physical Body

God created the physical body
"our body …, is a magnificent creation of God. It is a tabernacle of flesh—a temple for your spirit." (Russell M. Nelson,  "Your Are a Child of God,"New Era, Jul 2008)

The physical body is sacred
"The body is sacred. It was created in the image of God. It is something to be cared for and used for good purposes." (Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Body Is Sacred," New Era, Nov 2006)

The spirit is housed in the physical body
"The body is designed to support…the eternal spirit, which dwells in each of our mortal frames. …" (Russell M. Nelson, "The Magnificence of Man," New Era, Oct 1987)

The physical body has the capacity to experience appetites and passions
"Carnal, sensual and devilish nature" of man is associated with the physical body. (See Alma 42:10). "The time of youth … is the proper time to gain mastery over bodily appetites and passions." Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Fruits of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ," Ensign, Nov 1991.) The "pleasure center" of the brain is in the body. For example, neurotransmitters and hormones associated with the sexual response are located in the pleasure center of the physical body -not in the spirit body. See: God's Love Chemicals.

All physical bodies are defective to some degree... until the resurrection
Mental illness, intellectual deficits etc etc are a result of the limitations of the physical body. Each of our bodies have some physical and intellectual limitations.  Nevertheless, the physical body will be made "perfect" at resurrection. (See Alma 40:23-26)

At death the physical body will die
"Death separates the spirit and the body." (Russell M. Nelson, "Doors of Death,"  Ensign, May 1992)


During earth life the spirit body, mind and physical body are so closely connected we can hardly tell them a part. They function like "one", but they are not.

Now for the first principle associated with the Anatomy of a Soul -
By influencing one of these systems- the mind, the body, and the spirit - you can influence another --- Here are some brief examples:
Using physical body to improve the mind - "Retire to thy bed early, arise early that your bodies and minds may be invigorated." (D&C 88:124
A physical body addiction also addicts the spirit body - “Addiction to any substance enslaves not only the physical body but the spirit as well.”(Russell M. Nelson, Addiction or Freedom, Ensign, November 1988)
Using the mind to improve physical body - "the study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve (physical) behavior..." (Boyd K Packer “Little Children,” Ensign, Nov. 1986)
"The condition of the physical body can affect the spirit. That’s why the Lord gave us the Word of Wisdom. … Food can affect the mind, and deficiencies in certain elements in the body can promote mental depression." (Ezra Taft Benson, Do Not Despair, Ensign, October 1986)
“The spirit is influenced by the body and the body by the spirit.” (Brigham Young. Journal of Discourses, 2:255–56.)

I would add:
THE BODY influences THE MIND
THE MIND influences THE BODY

At times the "influence" of one system can "limit the capacity" of another.

Pause your handheld devices.
Think of a specific example in your life, of how you can change the physical body (bad habit) by using each the spirit and the mind systems.

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Cosmically Competent

Let me share some comments from this week from different people:
   - I've been trying to overcome this masturbation and porn problem for several years now. I've read the books. I've been to the meetings. I've tried my hardest. I just can't do it. I've tried everything.
   - We've been to marriage counselors, we've talked to bishops and stake presidents, nothing has worked.  I even tried my own ideas. When I see my husband all I experience is poison-hate resentment. We've tried everything.
   - I just wish I was dead. I can't keep going on like this. The medicine doesn't work. I have no energy. I've been to every doctor and they don't know what to do either. I've tried everything.

My response:
YES - there are some life-challenges that you will not overcome on your own.
NO - you haven't tried everything.

There comes a point in each of our lives that we'll face our personal "bitter cup" - a life challenge bigger than our personal resources can manage. A time when circumstances go beyond our control and our lives become unmanageable -and without a miracle we are doomed :(
"The truth is, 'when the very jaws of hell gape open the mouth wide after [us]' (see D&C 122:7), turning to the Lord helps develop in us a kind of spirituality that can be gained only in extremity. That spirituality is necessary to our salvation." (Robert D. Hales, “Return: Four Phases of Our Mortal Journey Home”)
 "With God all things are possible," (Matthew 19:26)

"For with God nothing shall be impossible." (Luke 1:37)

"In the strength of the Lord we can do all things." (Alma 20:4)

"Having genuine faith in God clearly requires not only believing that He is there but also that He is cosmically competent" (Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book, pg 233)

God is supreme, having power over ALL things. No one or no force or happening can frustrate or prevent Him from accomplishing His designs. (See: D&C 3:1-3)

Whatever our personal bitter cup - we know with assurance that our Father in Heaven never intended to leave us to ourselves when life gets tough. He is able to make those things work for our good, if we will let go and let Him.

God can change our minds and hearts. He can change our views and attitudes. He can change our appetites and refine our passions. He can change feelings that we sometimes can't help feeling if we are left on our own without another perspective. He can cause us to see things in new and different ways. He can heal emotional wounds as well as psychological trauma and spiritual scars. There is no heart he cannot heal. There is no problem he cannot solve. There is no sickness he cannot cure. There is no wound he cannot bind up.

Think about it...
If God exists and is all powerful why wouldn't you want to put him in charge of your toughest problems?

Makes perfect sense to me. But yet what do we do....

You take your kids-your most precious gift - to the baby sitter or daycare. You drop them off and you drive away.

...but you won't let go of your CHILDREN to God?
You'll go to marriage counseling listen to some "almost stranger" tell you how to solve your marriage problems. And even try to do what s/he says. 
...but you won't let go of your MARRIAGE to GOD?
You'll go to the doctors. Some guy you hardly even know is going to "put you out"-With some % risk of dying. And let them cut on you.
...but you won't let go of your HEALTH to GOD?
You'll read a 100 books, go to 100 meetings, worry about it, stay awake about it, talk to the bishop and anyone else that will listen to "fight your addiction" or "your need to control" or '"your anger and resentment" or "your habit of blaming"---Hundreds of hours and years of your life. With continued failure.
...but you won't let go of your PRIDE to God? 

The most powerful treasure of the eternities "Let go and let God" but yet it is rarely applied in today's world.

"Come unto me," the Lord pleaded, "all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matt. 11:28-30).
The most powerful treasure in psychology. Part of the strategy to "Let go and let God" is learning to surrender, that's right GIVE-UP YOU CANNOT FIX THIS ONE!
"I want you to know that what we're talking about is real. This is not just 'Wouldn't it be nice?' but something that can be done. Let me tell you how. The key is found in one word, and the word is surrender. Now, some people are used to being tough and strong, and they feel that surrendering is not something you should do very often. But we're not talking about surrendering to a human being...." (Henry B. Eyring; "Surrender to Christ" To Draw Closer to God: A Collection of Discourses; pg. 106)    
President David O. McKay said that "human nature can be changed, here and now...You do change human nature, your own human nature, if you surrender it to Christ. ...." (As quoted in Ezra Taft Benson, "Born of God," Ensign, July 1989)
Perhaps Neal A. Maxwell says it best:

One simply surrenders,
caring only about what God thinks,
not what “they” think, ... 
(Neal A. Maxwell, Repentance, Conference October 1991)
(Sorry for yelling! But all the red large letters represent such an eternal powerful principle I just feel like I can't say it loud enough.)

And why wouldn't an all powerful God intervene and help His children?
Remember how much he loves you. (See: God Loves You THIS MUCH!)

When you let go and let God help... miracles happen. And some of you need a miracle.

Made a decision to turn (surrender) your will and your life over to the care of God....
Begin by identifying one personal problem that is just tooooo much for you to handle.

Remember: It's not what you bring.... sickness, depression, family problems, addictions, etc etc .... that matters.
It's WHO you are bringing it too that makes the difference.
Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27

dr rick
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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dr. Rick's Index

          "A Time To... " Shut Up!
          You Get What You Faith For
          When Caring Hurts
          Over Anxiety
          Must-Follow Relationship Rules
          Mom and Honor
          Its the Law. - The Laws of Justice and of the Harvest
          Help! My Husband is on Porn
          If I ... God will ... - Family Home Evening a Standard of Care for saving your family

          Not Enough of Me
          My Spouse Is NOT My #1 Priority
          Easy as 1,2,3...Unless an Angel tells you otherwise
          The Gift - Between God And I
          Missing Christmas

          Five To Survive - The need for resources
          dr rick's - Five To Survive - What I do
          Counselitis - Emotional dependence on others
          The Gift - Between God And I
          My Spouse Is NOT My #1 Priority
          He wants GODS not ROBOTS
          Solving Emotional Problems in the Lord's Way
          What Satan Doesn't Want You To Know About The War - Understanding agency
          Stuck on an Escalator -Accountability is essential to agency
         What other people think of you is none of your business.

          I Dare You - Try new behavior
          Jesus' Stepdad - Acceptance of being "Ordinary"
          Spiritual Anorexia- Importance of spiritual food
          The Only Path  - Understanding opposition
          Hello, Is The President Available? - Prayer
          God Loves You THIS MUCH!
          Cosmically Competent - Letting God help you
          The Secret: One day at a time
          Good and Bad News about the "Crown of Glory" - Your measure of creation
          ITsTrials and tribulations "came to pass"
          Where do thoughts come from?
          Why Are We So Unhappy?

          Satan Exposed
          Good or Evil?
          What Satan Doesn't Want You To Know About The WarUnderstanding agency
          Stuck on an Escalator - Accountability is essential to agency
          Your Personal Devil

          Satan Exposed
          The Lion Sleeps Tonight- NOT!
          Pleasures of Sin
          Successful Sinners
          The Safest Road to Hell... -- "Gradual Process" used by Satan 
          The Safest Road to Heaven...-- Gradual Process" used by God
          Satan's Finest Tool - Placing thoughts of discouragement in our minds
          You Can't Say That In The ChapelIP rights for sexual messaging
          Where Do Thoughts Come From?
          What Satan Doesn't Want You To Know About The War- Understanding agency
          Stuck on an Escalator - Accountability is essential to agency
          Satan's Special Forces
          hyp-o-crite: Pretends to be what he is not
          Where Is Satan When You Need Him?- Use Satan to teach a gospel principle
          Good or Evil?
          Your Personal Devil
          Your Personal Armor
          I'm Sober Today - An example of how Satan works
          Are You "Good" To Be Deceived? 
          God's Word vs. Satan's Word
          Pleasures of Sin - Spring Season of sin/addiction
          Successful Sinners - Summer Season of sin/addiction
          I can't stop. Help! - Fall Season of sin/addiction
          Viewing Leads to Doing - Winter Season of sin/addiction
          Cosmically Competent - Let go and let God, Surrender
          Reefer Madness - How to teach about marijuana
          Help! My Husband is on Porn
          My "our son is on porn" Rant
          Overcoming Porn: A Plain and Simple Path
          Stopping the Sin does not equal Repentance
          A Seared Conscience By 14. Impossible?
          Where Did You Learn About Sex?
          God's Love Chemicals - The chemical basis of the sexual response
          You Can't Say That In The Chapel - IP rights for sexual messaging
          When Homosexuality was a "Mental Illness."
          Puberty: The Second Fire
          God's Plan for Sex
          5th Sunday and Another Lesson About Porn
          My "our son is on porn" Rant
          Help! My Husband is on Porn
          What Every 12 Year Old Needs To Know About Sex
          Stopping the Sin does not equal Repentance
          LGBT ... PRBFMP ... - Sexual interests and the temple
          What Do Twinkies And Porn Have In Common?

          A Fence or an Ambulance? How's Your Family Dealing with Porn?
          Porn Proofing Kids- Intro
          Porn Proofing Kids- Directions
          Porn Proofing Kids Booster#1: The Body
          Body Booster Resources
          "Muscles and Men" and a 9 year old boy - An example of a Body Booster
          Porn Proofing Kids Booster#2: Gender
          Gender Booster Resources
          Coming to a School Near You- LGBTQ - An example of a Gender Booster
          Porn Proofing Kids Booster#3: Intimacy
          Intimacy Booster Resources
          Porn Proofing Kids Booster#4: Screen time

         Anatomy of a Soul  -Introduction to the Soul Systems
         God's Love Chemicals - The chemical basis of the sexual response is in the physical body
         FREE - According to the Flesh - The physical body can limit or enhance the spirit body or mind
         Good and Bad News about the "Crown of Glory" - Your measure of creation
         Tell me your thoughts. I'll tell you your future - The power of the mind
         Believe me, You'll want a "Celestial Body" - Nine reasons to exercise
         Where Do Thoughts Come From?
         Worth vs. Worthiness - The worth of a soul, any soul.
         The Changing "Conscience"

         God doesn't need a psychiatrist, but... - Understanding mental illness
         Where Do Thoughts Come From?
         Depression: A Dark Angel
         Solving Emotional Problems in the Lord's Way
         Got Depression? Do This...
         Yea! - For Elder Holland's Talk on Mental Illness
         One More Thing About Depression - Healing is gradual
          It's Bad Memory, Not Money - Not the love of money, we forget Jesus
          40 Seconds - Suicide
          Missing Christmas

Friday, March 1, 2013

Successful Sinners

Forty eight year-old Joe had been masturbating and viewing porn for several months BEFORE his wife accidentally discovered a credit card charge for some explicit porn in a random email.   With tears in her eyes and a broken heart she confronted him with the “The Golden Question” which is “Who is looking at this?” (Knowing deep down inside it could only have been Joe.) Joe responded with “The Golden Answer” which is “I have no clue honey. It wasn't me. You know I’d never look at porn. I'll check it out tomorrow...”

Joe recognized his porn problem. It took him awhile but he quit. Later, he told his wife the truth.

Serious sin is addictive.
It forges binding habits that are difficult to sever.
(Richard G. Scott, "The Path to Peace and Joy” Ensign 11/00)
Conclusion: Sin is addictive and addictions are sin.

Sin (and addictions) strengthen across time. Sins typically have three seasons of growth. We learned about the first or Spring Season of Sin in the blog; Pleasures of Sin.  We know during this season Satan deceives us by allowing us to experience pleasure while we sin. During the second or Summer Season of Sin we learn this pleasure begins to end.

"[They have]...joy in their works for a season,
and by and by the end cometh" 3 Nephi 27:11.

Summer Season of Sin is characterized by the following:
The "Seed of Disobedience" (the Spirit withdrawing) is planted during the Spring Season (See: Pleasures of Sin). During the Summer Season of Sin this seed sprouts into several forms of dishonesty like lying, stealing, cheating etc etc

For example, 
"Teens [and adults] in substance-abuse trouble invariably tax their parents' [and spouses'] patience to the very limit. They [the sinners] are almost always deceptive, secretive, manipulative, and belligerent." ("When a Teenager Uses Drugs or Alcohol: How to Cope ...," Ensign, Mar. 1988).
You've heard the saying before: How do you tell if an addict is lying or not?---"Their lips move." Well, for the most part it's true.
A sure sign of an individual being in the "Summer Season of Sin" is DISHONESTY.

Satan's effective use of the Gradual Process Principle increases the individual's willingness and ability to live with more and more of the sin. The mind, the physical body and the spirit each develop tolerance while leading to the Fall Season of Sin - bondage/addiction.

One aspect of tolerance means eventually it takes more of the sin to get the same level of "pleasure" received in the Spring Season-this is especially true for alcohol, drugs and porn.  

Here's an example of pornography and tolerance.

Pornography in all its forms is especially dangerous and addictive. What may begin as a curious indulgence can become a destructive habit that takes control of your life. It can lead you to sexual transgression and criminal behavior. (For The Strength of Youth, pg. 17)
(Tolerance is powerful. I've seen people who have developed a tolerance to amounts of drugs or alcohol in the Summer Season that if taken during the Spring Season would have been lethal.)
OTHER CHARACTERISTICS of the Summer Season of Sin

* The sin continues to effectively cause pleasure.
Summer Sun * Pain begins to occur- guilt and shame; lack of money; school and work failure; STDs; getting caught; relationship conflict with others; etc etc
* The sinner realizes they can cope with "the pain" by engaging in the sin to "feel pleasure." 
* Will power is still intact the sinner can stop -for a good reason.  Individuals in the Summer of Season of Sin can successfully stop the sin by initiating self-recovery techniques and exercising willpower.  

The Spring and Summer Season of Sin binds loosely like ..................
"A [one] flaxen cord"
 and NOT YET like "the strong cords [many]"  that "bindeth forever." (2 Nephi 26:22)

Joe's Example
In our example above, Joe appears to be in the Summer Season of Sin by demonstrating: 
  * tolerance having moved from "free porn" to "paying for more explicit porn".
  * dishonesty by hiding and lying about - his porn use.

  * quitting by using will power and personal resources.

A typical attitude of someone in the Spring and Summer Season -of sin is that they believe it is possible-to experience the pleasures of the sin but avoid the effects of bondage. In some ways they believe they have "beat the system" and can successfully sin. 

- Be immoral on Saturday Night - Take the Sacrament on Sunday Morning -

Dallin Oaks says it this way:
"...members of the Church who commit serious transgressions knowingly and deliberately, relying on their supposed ability to repent speedily and be 'as good as new.'  Such persons want the present convenience or enjoyment of sin AND the future effects of righteousness, in that order. They want to experience the sin but avoid its effects." (Sin and Suffering, Ensign, July 1992.)
Which, for the most part the successful sinner appears to accomplish  - "enjoy sin AND yet avoid it's bondage" - during the Spring and Summer Seasons. (One of Satan's powerful tools of deception.)

The Prophet Joseph Smith observed that “there are so many fools in the world for the devil to operate upon, it gives him the advantage oftentimes.” (Teachings, 331).

Evaluate your life.
Are there sins/addictions that you need to stop NOW before they strengthen.
Change (repentance) is always easier before the sin has strengthened.

dr rick