Never give up hope
No matter what your current circumstances are or what your loved one is going through, there is hope!
Some of us are struggling with depression, anxiety or addiction. Where do you start? There is nothing “too hard for the Lord” (Genesis 18:14). Here are some steps that might help you in your journey.
An honest evaluation
It can be difficult to admit that addiction is present in our lives. The word addiction is often associated with fear, stigma, shame, anger and pain. How do we know if the word addiction even describes what is happening?
To answer that question, it’s important to be honest about our behaviors. Those who struggle with addiction have a tendency to lie to themselves about how much power the behavior has. “This isn’t a big deal” or “I can quit anytime I want” are common phrases people hide behind to avoid facing the truth.
If you have questions about whether you have a habit, compulsion or addiction, reach out to someone you trust. Talk to them about your concerns. Consider asking your clergyman to help you connect with counselors in your area. Secrecy is not the answer to any of these problems. Choose now to start healing.
For additional information, see “HowcanI tell if I amaddicted?” at ChurchofJesusChrist.org/ study/manual/help-for-me/ recognizing-addiction.
We choose each day
We can choose each day to turn to our heavenly Father for direction and help. For example, while we can’t control when or where depression, anxiety, cravings or compulsions come, or how powerful they might be, we can control other simple choices such as turning toward God in prayer or practicing a healthy coping skill.
We don’t have to be overwhelmed. Wecanask Godto help us see the next right decision and ask for the power to do it. Little by little, we can use our agency (the privilege of making a choice) to move us closer to God and healing. We are not alone.
Many parts need healing
The good news is that healing and recovery is possible for our mind, heart and body. Similar to the way someone with diabetes acknowledges they must monitor their blood sugar, take medication and see a doctor when needed, we need to get the best help we can. The healing process involves developing new skills, strengthening meaningful connections with others, and relying on the Lord. Sometimes, seeking help from a counselor or doctor is necessary. In addition, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Addiction Recovery Program offers free confidential support groups. Those suffering from depression or with addiction are learning to be healthy through this program.
Healing and change is possible
“Come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health.” We should never limit the Lord’s ability to heal. As the scriptures testify, “mighty change” is possible through the atonement of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Ghost (Mosiah 3:19; 5:2, The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ). We all have to endure challenges here on earth, but God can ultimately heal us from any pain we experience.
Moving forward together
We can help those around us understand our divine identity and purpose on earth. We can also be honest about our struggles and create a safe environment for others to be honest as well. Perhaps most importantly, wecan honor the power and ability of our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to heal every single person. Because of them, there is always hope!
Look at www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/ a d d i c t i o n- r e c over y- p r o - gram-a-guide-to-addiction-recovery-and-healing. This program is not only for overcoming addiction. It helps everyone draw unto our savior and understand and access his atoning and healing love in our lives.
For free addiction/recovery courses/groups, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I share this message with love and hope in the name of our savior, Jesus Christ.
Keith Wills is president of The Reading Pennsylvania Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and directs the spiritual leadership of 13 congregations throughout eastern Pennsylvania. Wills can be contacted at wills.keith@yahoo. com. For more information about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, go to www. comeuntochrist.org.
With faith, there is always hope.