Never give up hope

The Morning Call - - Life - By Keith Wills Spe­cial To The Morn­ing Call

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 wills.keith@ya­hoo.com.

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.

CONTRIBUTE­D PHOTO

With faith, there is al­ways hope.

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