Mighty to Save July 6, 2015
I missed it. America
The Atonement can free anyone from their addictions.
Epistle to the World
Nothing too dramatic has happened this week in the work. We talked to a lot of people, got some lessons in, invited people to come to Christ... the usual. Although we were pleased to hear Mick come out with a major concern this week. He can't stop himself from telling everyone he's a Mormon Priest! Haha! There are worse things in the world.
Saturday morning for the 4th I was on exchange with Elder Graham (only other American on the island) so we were able to celebrate a little bit. We raided to tea section at Morrison's and threw all of that in the harbour, and then visited the American sweet shop for A&W root beer. It was depressing that nobody was celebrating but the root beer floats made me feel at home.
In my Book of Mormon study I am in the book of Mosiah. Through chapter 21 I was able to draw a great analogy between the people of Zeniff who are in bondage to the Lamanites and people in life who are encompassed with addictions. My heart goes out to anyone who is struggling right now. Please read these words and trust in the Lord who can deliver you.
In the first few verses of Mosiah 21 the conditions of their captivity slowly get worse. I am sure they are feeling worn by "heavy burdens upon their backs." In verse 5 it illustrates:
5 And now the afflictions of the Nephites were great, and there was no way that they could deliver themselves out of their hands, for the Lamanites had surrounded them on every side.
There may be people who feel they are trapped on every side by the effects of the burdens laid on them. For these people, please gain hope from learning how these people were delivered by the Lord.
Through verses 6-12 the people are tired. They have had enough. They are yearning to be liberated from their struggles. The people try to fight off the Lamanites three times, each time "suffering much loss." Most people facing addictions have tried to overcome them multiple times before they are successful. Relapses are common and each time can be discouraging.
The people of Zeniff here tried to free themselves three times but they forgot to rely on the strength of the Lord instead they are "trusting in the arm of flesh." At this point they decide to humble themselves. In verse 13 it almost sounds as if they want to give up because they submit to the desires of their enemies. They are at an all time low. It almost seems like there is no where else to turn. Then in the next two verses it reads:
14 And they did humble themselves even in the depths of humility; and they did cry mightily to God; yea, even all the day long did they cry unto their God that he would deliver them out of their afflictions.
15 And now the Lord was slow to hear their cry because of their iniquities; nevertheless the Lord did hear their cries, and began to soften the hearts of the Lamanites that they began to ease their burdens; yet the Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage.
They are now willing to turn to the Lord but I was shocked that it said he didn't see it fit to deliver them. That didn't sound right. Then I noticed in the next verse that they began to "prosper by degrees." God usually won't remove our trials, but He will give us strength to overcome them. It comes line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there a little, grace by grace, or in other words, by degrees.
As they begin to prosper bit by bit, they bond together. They find strength in numbers and begin to "succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees" (D&C 81:5). They "kept together in a body as much as it was possible." Then this next part struck me as well.
19 And the king himself did not trust his person without the walls of the city, unless he took his guards with him, fearing that he might by some means fall into the hands of the Lamanites.
Even the king, who is free to do whatever he pleases, does not trust himself without proper guards in place. One who is a recovering alcoholic does not meander through the alcohol isle at the shop and if necessary, doesn't even shop without a spouse, companion, or proper guards in place. They should not trust themselves enough to be there. They remain humble and call on the strength of others and the Lord. Similarly, one who is overcoming a pornography addiction should not and cannot trust themselves to "anonymously" surf the web. They should always have their guards with them to help protect them.
I know the Lord will deliver anyone who humbles themselves and call upon his mighty name. He truly is mighty to save. I know the power of the Atonement it real because I have experienced it. I know that Jesus Christ suffered for me and consequently, He knows how I feel. Forgiveness is waiting at the fingertips of anyone who will accept His grace by repenting and coming unto Christ. I am so grateful to know He lives today. Hallelujah, Jesus is alive! Jesus is the Christ! He truly is mighty to save.