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Monday, May 27, 2013

I can't stop. Help!

Fall Season of Addiction/Sin

"Serious sin is addictive." (Richard G. Scott, "The Path to Peace and Joy," Ensign, Nov 2000)

Sin including addictions, strengthen across time. Sins and addictions typically have three seasons of growth.

Spring Season of Sin/Addiction
We know during this season Satan deceives us by allowing us to experience pleasure while we sin. Alcohol, drugs, (and other immoral behavior that triggers the sexual response) are effective and dependable- They can change the way you feel –usually “joy, pleasure and happiness”. We learned about the first or Spring Season of sin/addiction in the blog; Pleasures of Sin.

Summer Season of Sin/Addiction
During this season the habit of sin or addiction strengthens. The
person typically experiences “Pain” and learns to deal with that pain -negative consequences- by participating in the sin or addiction. At this point the sin or addiction continues to produce relief from the pain with - joy, pleasure or happiness. I refer to this group as "Successful Sinners". They enjoy the joy, pleasure or happiness of sin and have yet to experience the “bondage, loss of agency, addiction” that awaits them. Those in the Summer Season can successfully stop the sin or addiction by initiating self-recovery techniques and exercising willpower. The blog Successful Sinners teaches us about the Summer Season.

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

Our scripture 3 Nephi 27:11 illustrates the three seasons of Sin/Addiction. We read

Spring Season: ......"they have joy in their works for a season,"
Summer Season:...."and by and by the end cometh,"
Fall Season:............"and they are hewn down and cast into the fire,
from whence there is no return." (3 Nephi 27:11

Fall Season of Sin/Addiction
Perhaps one of the most difficult concepts to understand about Sin/Addiction is the bondage associated with the Fall Season. I refer to this stage as the "DISEASE" stage of addiction - suggesting recovery will require outside help.

 "Beer and other forms of alcohol will do you no good. Their use will be expensive, will dull your conscience, and could lead to the disease called alcoholism, which is humiliating, dangerous, and even deadly. Tobacco will shorten your life. Studies show that it will enslave you…. (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Four B's for Boys," Ensign, November 1981) Of course viewing pornography leads to a disease called “Porn addiction.” 


* Everyone who sins -uses alcohol, drugs, or views porn - DO NOT become addicted or "get the disease of addiction" - just those whose habit strengthened to the Fall Season.
As a result during the Fall Season:

* Progression through the Seasons of Addiction varies. For some the seasons may be short and the disease of addiction can onset with only one or two uses. For others, they may use for years and appear to never pass beyond a Spring or Summer Season.

* Will power and self-recovery techniques - ALONE- are no longer effective to STOP the sin and addiction. A person in this season can no longer “just stop for a good reason.” You can threaten them, divorce them, marry them, bribe them, put them in jail etc etc and the sin/addiction continues.

* The “pleasure, joy, and happiness” experienced in the Spring Season are gone. No longer does alcohol, drugs, porn, the sin bring the once felt pleasure. The addictive/sinful behavior is engaged in because of habit and the power of Satan's grip.


“Addiction to any substance enslaves not only the physical body but the spirit as well.” (Russell M. Nelson, Addiction or Freedom, Ensign, November 1988) And it's been my experience, because the Mind is in the Spirit Body the Mind also shows signs of addiction.

(To learn more about how the Physical Body, Spiritual Body and Mind influence one another see: Anatomy of a Soul.)

RECOVERY from addiction requires healing in all three systems of the SOUL.

During the Spring Season a choice was made.
A small seed of disobedience was planted.
For some the seed grows into addiction at which point
bondage of the Spirit Body, Physical Body, and Mind occur. 
But for some their use of the substance or porn will grow into-

"They have become so dependent on the substance that they no longer see how to abstain from it. They lose perspective and a sense of others priorities in their lives. Nothing matters more than satisfying their desperate need. When they try to abstain, they experience powerful physical, psychological, and emotional cravings. As they habitually make wrong choices they find their ability to choose the right diminished or restricted." (LDS Church Addiction Recovery Program pg. 5)

“Addiction surrenders later freedom to choose.
Through chemical means, one can literally become
disconnected from his or her own will!”
(Russell M. Nelson, “Addiction or Freedom,” New Era, Sep. 1989.)

One more:

Addiction has the capacity to disconnect the human will
and nullify moral agency.
It can rob one of the power to decide.
(Boyd K. Packer “Revelation in a Changing World,” Ensign, Nov 1989)

And assuming Satan has the capacity to truly "enslave" us and "rob us of the power to decide" then this quote makes perfect sense:

“Some people roar with laughter as a television comic remarks,
‘The devil made me do it.’
Well, maybe he did! He will always try.”
(David B. Haight, Power of Evil, Ensign, Jul. 1973.)
(See Satan Exposed to learn more about the power of Satan and the consequence of sin/addiction.)
teaches how addictions influence the brain and behavior.  
Those who progress to Fall Season and experience "the disease of addiction/sin"  pay a heavy price ...

Psychiatric Unit,

Read this blog: Stuck On An Escalator. Explain how it relates to addiction a friend or family member.

I wish scare tactics were effective as a strategy to prevent addiction/sin. After 30+ years of working with Children of God whose heroin, alcohol, porn, casual sex etc etc have progressed to the Fall Season - believe me I could tell a few "scary stories." The jails, hospitals and courts are full of them.
But education and the exercise of agency appear to be the better strategy.

dr rick
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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Easy as 1, 2, 3... Unless an Angel tells you otherwise

“My 24 year old daughter is pregnant again. She called the other night needing a place to stay. Her live-in boyfriend from time to time has been physically abusive.”

The mother added “Of course I let her stay a few days.” The mom went on to say “It’s causing problems with my new husband. He says my daughter should figure things out on her own and he feels left out-less important.”

The mom concluded “It’s my grandbaby! How could I ever tell her she’s not welcome home. But he’s my husband. We were just married in the LDS temple. WHAT DO I DO?"

"I can’t do both.”

Wouldn't it be great if God came down and gave us a list of what is really important in His eyes?

He did.  Here is the list.

"Seek ye [YOU] first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness." Matthew 6:33

 Harold B. Lee makes it very clear:
Most men [and women] do not set priorities to guide them in allocating their time, and most men [and women] forget that the FIRST PRIORITY should be to maintain THEIR OWN spiritual and physical strength. " (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1996], 615).
If you're still not convinced of your #1 priority read My Spouse Is NOT My #1 Priority.

Conclusion: There is no other #1 priority.


That’s right, having a wife or a husband and being married to him/her in the temple is #2.
"I close with a final example of a desire that should be paramount for all men and women—those who are currently married and those who are single. ALL should desire and seriously work to secure a marriage for eternity. Those who already have a temple marriage should do all they can to preserve it. Those who are single should desire a temple marriage and exert priority efforts to obtain it. Youth and young singles should resist the politically correct but eternally false concept that discredits the importance of marrying and having children.( Dallin H. Oaks, Desire, General Conference April 2011).
Spencer W. Kimball clarifies what that mean as he commented on D & C 42:22:
 "... The words none else eliminate everyone and everything. The spouse then becomes preeminent in the life of the husband or wife and neither social life nor occupational life nor political life nor any other interest nor person nor thing shall ever take precedence over the companion spouse. [Except priority #1] We sometimes find women who absorb and hover over the children at the expense of the husband, sometimes even estranging them from him. This is in direct violation of the command: None else" (The Miracle of Forgiveness, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969], 250-51).
Conclusion: If you don't have a spouse-GET ONE! If you haven't married that spouse in the temple-GO THERE NOW! Your #2 priority is to preserve that temple marriage with your spouse.


James E. Faust talks about a
shift in attitude about the purpose of marriage. More and more young people view marriage 'as a couples relationship, designed to fulfill the emotional needs of adults, rather than an institution for bringing up children.’... Children are becoming less valued..."  (Strengthening the Family:Multiply and Replenish the Earth, Apr 2005)

Gordon B. Hinckley talks about the importance of parenting saying we
work at our responsibility as parents as if everything in life counted on it, because in fact everything in life does count on it.” (“Each a Better Person,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 100.)
The importance of children has always been emphasized in our Church. Perhaps the simplest way to evaluate what priority you have placed your children is by asking When was the last time you had Family Home Evening? Check these First Presidencies Statements out on the importance of children and family home evening.

Conclusion: Many voices in the world today minimize the importance of having children or suggest delaying or limiting children in a family for items listed clear down as a #5 priority. This is wrong. Your #3 priority is to have children and parent those children.


This #4 priority is frequently confused with the #1 priority. Notice a person's personal spirituality  -relationship with God (Priority #1) is separate from church activity and service (Priority #4).
"Some have come to think of activity in the Church as the ultimate goal. Therein lies a danger. It is possible to be active in the Church and less active in the gospel. Let me stress: activity in the Church is a highly desirable goal; however, it is insufficient. Activity in the Church is an outward indication of our spiritual desire...By contrast, the things of the gospel are usually less visible and more difficult to measure, but they are of greater eternal importance." (Donald L. Hallstrom, Converted to His Gospel through His Church, General Conference Apr 2012)
Conclusion: Learning the difference between "Active in the Church (#4 priority) AND Active in the Gospel (#1 Priority)" is one of life's greatest challenges.


I wanted to take some time and develop this priority. But, I'm in California with my children and grandchildren- soon we are headed to Legoland.  But, let me say one thing -when we have our personal PPI with the Savior come judgment day, I'm pretty sure he's NOT going to ask how much money I make or how big is my house. 

It's Easy as 1,2, 3....If we use this of God's priorities as a guide, we will harvest blessings. But when we put things of less importance in positions of more importance, we will experience confusion and turmoil.

For example, it is a real temptation during the early days of marriage to become a workaholic and have the wife work in an attempt to acquire all that your parents have accumulated over a lifetime. It is an even greater temptation to rationalize that school has to come first for the next few years and delay children. The list of examples go on- in fact you have examples in your own life.

Keep it simple.

The only time it is okay to change God's priority list is

Personal revelation - when an angel tells you otherwise - can inspire us to change our priorities or even violate a commandment!
  • Remember Nephi (See: 1 Nephi 4) being commanded "By the Spirit"  to  violate the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" and ""Slay King Laban." And "to kill" was the "right" thing to do.
My only recommendation is to make sure, "like Nephi" 

"an angel has told you otherwise"   
usually a result of  thoughtful prayer and fasting - before you change God's priorities.


Harold B. Lee summarizes:
Most men [and women] do not set priorities to guide them in allocating their time, and most men [and women] forget that the FIRST PRIORITY should be to maintain THEIR OWN spiritual and physical strength. THEN comes THEIR FAMILY [spouse and children] then the CHURCH, and then their PROFESSIONS—and all need time (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1996], 615).
I reviewed the above list of God's priorities with the mom. I told her I believed her new husband was correct and she was wrong. He is #2 in her life and her daughter is #3. (This doesn't mean the Mom can't help e.g. give her daughter the number of the local YCC etc.)

I reminded her of the only exception-

An angel (personal revelation) having told her otherwise.  

Yes she was right about "I can't do both."

Many of my years in the helping profession as a shrink, have  been spent teaching God's list of priorities and the ONLY rule for exception.

If while reading this blog - you sensed some guilt or had an impression of an 
"Angel whispering in your heart"
to live your priorities differently
- make those changes now.

dr rick
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Other similar blogs:
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

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mom and Honor

My diary entry for May 22, 2012

While talking to my sister Darlene on the phone she described Mom’s behavior the last few days by saying: “Mom was doing her family pedigree chart using 3 paper clips. The first one she called ‘Faye Eudora Anderson.’ She said it over and over again…100 times a day. She wouldn’t let nobody else talk. Then she’d say my father is ‘Arthur Raymond Anderson’ and then ‘My mother is “Mary Alice Hill’. She would say it over and over again as she lined up the paperclips along the straight line of her kitchen table. She would sit for an hour with those paper clips saying the same things over and over again. She told David my brother, and I we were not even born yet..."  

My mom was suffering from dementia during her last few weeks here on earth. Dementia is the loss of mental functions such as thinking, memory, and reasoning (See Dementia).  


Satan, responded to God's question - Whom shall I send? by saying,
Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore GIVE ME ..... (Moses 4:1).
Satan had a plan he thought would solve Heavenly Father's problem. He wanted to force us all to do his will. Under his plan, we would not be allowed to choose but,  in exchange for our agency we would ALL be saved.

Satan had a price for his service of saving all mankind.

If you were making a deal with God- who has created galaxies, planets unnumbered,.... who in many ways owns EVERYTHING, knows EVERYTHING, has ALL POWER etc etc,


A million dollars? A new car? What did Satan desire ABOVE everything that ever existed or will exist ....

"Thine Honor".(Moses 4:1).

God explains: "The devil rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine HONOR, which is my POWER." D&C 29:36

I'm not sure how or why but- One of the most important commodities in eternities must be "Honor."

Want to give your mother THE most valuable gift EVER..... Give her "Honor" .

"Honor" is in the scriptures about 15 times. Three of the "honors" are related to one of the Ten Commandments. In the fifth commandment we read:
HONOUR thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Ex. 20:12
The divine direction to honor our mother (and father) has never been revoked. (See Mosiah 13:20; Matt. 19:19; Luke 18:20.)

There are several aspects of how to "honor" someone including: SHOW THEM RESPECT AND REVERENCE and RESPOND TO THEIR TEACHINGS.

Let's talk about this one as it relates to "honoring" our mothers.

"Honor is a simple word; it means to give special respect and to pay tribute. It means to respond to teachings that have been patiently and thoughtfully given." (Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother, Hugh W. Pinnock, New Era, June 1982

If we truly honor [our mothers], we will seek to emulate their best characteristics and to fulfill their highest aspirations for us. ... Nothing we could give them would be more prized than righteous living ....” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982, p. 348.)
Sons of Helaman are an example of "Honoring Moms."
In Alma 56:47-48 we read: "...yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them." Later after a great victory over the Lamanites and no "son " was killed,  Helaman wrote "... they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it."

Their mothers taught their sons.
The sons "honored" their mothers by believing and living what they were taught.

As I ponder how my current live reflects my mother's teachings and how I might emulate her best characteristics - I quickly recognize her powerful influence in my life even after her death.

Mom's teachings:

Hard work
We have lived on a farm off-and-on throughout my growing up years. I have many memories working side-by-side with my mom hauling hay, fixing fences, raising and killing chickens, chasing animals that got out, etc etc. She was right there doing the same work as I. I remember once about 5 of our steers got out of their pasture into our hay field. I noticed a couple in the hay field already down, bloating. I ran into the house to tell mom. She grabbed a butcher knife and handed me one. We ran out the door. We arrived at the dying cows. She showed me where to stab the cow at.  After a few times of the knife bouncing off the skin I finally got the knife through the thick skin. We saved the cows and called the vet the next day to come stitch them up.

As I review my life and accomplishments I realize my mother's example of hard work has influenced me greatly. I honor her as I continue to "work hard."

A Hawks never gives up
Ever since I can remember Mom has said "A Hawks never gives up."  Whether I was trying to fix something and it just didn't work or a physical task just too hard- Mom's answer was always the same "A Hawks never gives up."  Take for example Mom's interest in scouting. It started when she was a Cubscout leader and I was about 5 visiting the local newspaper publisher. I had four brothers-all of us received our Eagle Scout-in part because our Mom "never gave up on getting scouting in us." She never gave up on the Boy Scouts of America.

On July 29, 2007 I made an entry in my journal:

"Mom recently registered to be a merit badge counselor for 10 merit badges including: Pets, Public Speaking, Farm Mechanics, Genealogy, Disabilities Awareness, Indian Lore, Citizenship in the World, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the Community, and Family Life.” She said, “I had some new boys come over just the night before last. I passed the Family Life merit badge with all four of them… I love scouting."  

She was 85 at the time.  

As I review my life and accomplishments I realize my mother's counsel "A Hawks never gives up" has influenced me greatly. I honor her as I remind myself "I can do hard things" and continue to "Never giving up."

One more diary entry from May 22, 2012 as I spoke with my brother Terry in St. George.
"While at the Senior Citizen Center, Terry put a puzzle in front of mom. Terry would give her the next piece and she could put it in.... The Senior Citizen’s Center has special tables for those with Alzheimer's to give them special assistance. At lunch, for a moment Mom knew where that table was she didn’t want to sit on the Alzheimer’s table. But she was too confused to decide where else to sit. She was just too confused. It was not a good experience. We had to take her home during the middle of our visit. Someone was talking to me over her and said 'Your mom has lost her mind… ' Both mom and I got upset...This was her last trip to the senior citizen center. "

My mom Faye, was born into Paradise (See Paradise) on May 27, 2012.

I don't focus on remembering my mom living with dementia the last few weeks of her life. 

No, not at all. I remember her for her decades of hard work, never giving up and perhaps my mother's most important teaching of all
her testimony of Jesus Christ and the gospel.

She, like I- know God lives.
She, like I- know about the truthfulness of the Gospel.

As I live up to the hopes and expectations of my mother and live by her teachings, I bring "Honor" to her.

I like Abraham Lincoln believe
"All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother."
(Quoted in John Wesley Hill, Abraham Lincoln, Man of God
(New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1927), p. 40.)

God didn't choose Satan's plan of taking away my agency. God did not give his "HONOR" to Satan. God chose Jesus' plan allowing for me to have my agency and saying to God "and the Glory (Honor) be thine." (Moses 4:2)

Gift the "Gift of Honor" to your mother this day.
Think about your mom.
Select one of her best teachings.
Believe it and live it.
(Husbands- This means if we honor our "Wife" we do the righteous things they ask us to do.)

dr rick
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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Good and Bad News about the "Crown of Glory"

I read Emma's patriarchal blessing. I couldn't believe it.

How could this be?

Emma was 16. She has been living in a state institution for about 3. Her IQ was normal but she had significant emotional and behavioral problems. Unfortunately medical and psychological interventions had not worked.

I had reviewed the two thick binders documenting Emma's condition and previous treatment. I administered still additional psychological testing.

My recommendation...

Keep Emma in the state mental institution.

She would likely never leave. 


Emma's mom, a single parent, let me read Emma's patriarchal blessing. As I recall the blessing stated,
"You'll reach the measure of your creation.... You'll accomplish everything the Savior intended for you to accomplish here on earth... you will return to live with your Father in Heaven..."
How could Emma reach the "measure of her creation;" AND "accomplish all the goals the Savior had for her;" AND "return to live with her Father in Heaven" - AND - be locked up in mental institution her entire earthly life?

I didn't understand then, but I understand now.

MY "measure of creation" for Emma was for her to marry a return missionary in the temple, have 5 kids, be the relief society president, etc etc
GOD'S "measure of creation" for Emma was very different.

One of the most important truths is EVERYTHING God created was for a purpose and has a measure of creation.... 

For example, check out the "measure of creation" for
  - the earth (See: D & C 88:25)
  - the Church (See: "Its Not Good for Man or Woman to be Alone," Ensign, Oct 2001)
  - a bag of sand ...
YES! Even a bag of sand.
Heber C. Kimball, an early Church leader, suggested that even "sand" can be successful at its measure of creation. He stated the purpose of sand is to "keep the mighty ocean in its place." (Iniquity, Journal of Discourses, Volume III, pg. 124.) He explained that without sand the oceans would wear away the coastal land over time.

Every animal, every plant, every human, etc etc has a "measure of creation."

Every one of us has been designed with a unique divine role and mission in mind.
No two patriarchal blessings are exactly the same.
In part, differences exist because:
  • Each of us have different "Gifts" and "Blessings"  AND
  • Each of us have some type of limitations in our "Physical Body." (No physical body is perfect.)
According to D & C 46: 11-26 TO SOME IT IS GIVEN
- To know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God
- To believe on their words
- To have faith to be healed
- To have faith to heal
- The working of miracles
- To prophesy
- The discerning of spirits
- To speak with tongues
- The interpretation of tongues
etc etc

While we are here on earth, our Spiritual Body and Mind can be limited or restricted by our imperfections of the Physical Body- like in the case of Emma and her serious mental illness.
"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.)  
To learn more about how the "spirit body" and "mind" can be limited by our "physical body" read the blog: "FREE-According to the Flesh."

Ev'ry star is diff'rent,
And so is ev'ry child.
(Every Star Is Different, Children's Songbook)

“Men will be held accountable for the things which they have and NOT for the things they have not. … All the light and intelligence communicated to them from their beneficent creator, whether it is much or little, by the same they in justice will be judged, and … they are required to yield obedience and improve upon that and that only which is given ....” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith 2007, pg 405)

Look at these quotes:
"The Lord doesn’t expect us to work harder than we are able. He doesn’t (nor should we) compare our efforts to those of others. Our Heavenly Father asks only that we do the best we can—that we work according to our full capacity, however great or small that may be." (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Two Principles for Any Economy," Conference Oct 2009).

"If we are doing the best we can, we should not become discouraged." (Boyd K. Packer. "A Defense and a Refuge" Conference Oct 2006)

"We don’t have to be perfect today. We don’t have to be better than someone else. All we have to do is to be the very best we can." (Joseph B. Wirthlin, "One Step After Another", Conference Oct 2001)
"In the judgment with which we shall be judged, all the conditions and circumstances of our lives shall be considered. The inborn tendencies due to heredity, the effect of environment whether conducive to good or evil, the wholesome teachings of youth, or the absence of good instruction - - these and all other contributory elements must be taken into account in the rendering of a just verdict as to the soul’s guilt or innocence." (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ, pp 29)
So, IF all we have to do is the best we can -and the Atonement makes up the difference - than
.....others with serious mental illness like Emma,
.....perhaps even some: with drug addictions, in prison, who are homeless, with Down's Syndrome, addicted to porn, or etc etc,
.....although these "persons" may be perceived by US as failures
.....believed by us NOT to have met the "measure of creation" WE WOULD HAVE FOR THEM 
.....as a result surely  we believe, these "persons" are doomed to a lower Kingdom of God - and perhaps even outer darkness.

We may be very surprised who is in the Celestial Kingdom.

I am driven to believe, that any soul that
hath filled the measure of its creation, it shall be crowned with glory,
 even with the presence of God the Father”. (D & C 88:19)

Emma's patriarchal blessing now makes perfect sense. Emma does her best. The Atonement makes up the difference. She receives the Crown of Glory.

 In Believing Christ: A Practical Approach to the Atonement  (BYU Speeches May 29, 1990) Stephen E Robinson says:

There is good news and bad news here. The bad news is that
he still requires our best effort. We must try, we must work
we must do all that we can. But the good news is that having done all we can, IT IS ENOUGH....

Memorize Joseph B. Wirthlin's statement:  "I don’t have to be perfect today. I don’t have to be better than someone else. All I have to do is to be the very best I can.".

Your life will never be the same as you

dr rick
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