"I used to go primarily to help other people. But now I have to choose to go for myself. It's a wonderful mid-week gospel study and testimony meeting. You don't have to have an addiction or know someone who has an addiction to benefit from this group!
"I'm trying to be better (again) about my personal nightly scripture study. I've decided that every night I am going to study the Spouse and Family Support Guide. This is the manual we discuss in the meetings. I'm journaling my answers to the discussion questions, and thoughts I have as I study the Personal Learning and Application section. And since I do better at sticking to things when I have outside accountability and feel obligated, I'm going to blog my journals here.
"These will not be my unedited journal entries. The really personal stuff will be saved for my own reflection and for sharing in the confidential meetings. I also won't be including the many, many quotes that touched my heart and that I highlighted in the additional readings linked at the end of each chapter. You're going to have to go read and find those gems yourself!"
Please follow the link, read along, and share your own thoughts in the comments if you feel so inspired.
Chapter 5 Working Out Our Own Salvation
“Forced obedience yields no blessings.” True with spouses and children!
When we desire to support a loved one, it's because we love them. Because we love them, we want them to have peace and joy. We think we can give that to them, but we can't. They have to use their own agency to CHOOSE for themselves to turn to the Savior. We cannot override their agency and force them to do anything. That's not God's plan!
I can't force others to change. I can't make others make right choices. Trying to change others only brings me pain, frustration, despair. But I CAN change myself. I CAN turn myself towards my Savior. Jesus will heal me if I let Him. I let Him by placing my loved ones and my burdens at His feet and surrendering myself in faith to Him, trusting that He knows best in all cases.
I have to focus on myself and take care of myself (physically, emotionally, spiritually) in order to be fit and in a good position to be Christ's hands in serving others. But as I do that, I need to make sure I am heeding revelation and serving others as Christ would have me do, not the way I think should be done. Otherwise, I end up back in the codependent habit of trying to override others' agency.
To take care of myself, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I need to be better about eating healthy, exercising, and studying and pondering the scriptures.
I see all of life as a big balancing act. One thing that we need to balance is service to others vs. taking care of ourselves. We are constantly told to “lose ourselves in service” and to be selfless. But I also need to remember that I cannot fix everything for other people. I cannot fix others. I cannot take away others' agency. And I need to focus on myself. Take care of my own physical, spiritual, and emotional needs so that I can be a better servant to others from a place of strength.
Partaking of the Sacrament is one time that is entirely for ME. It is not a time to think of others and their problems. The ordinance of the Sacrament is the time for ME to talk with my Savior and rededicate MYSELF to following Him.
Participation in temple ordinances is a time when I am providing selfless service to others on the other side of the veil. But I also go to the temple for MYSELF to fill MY spiritual cup and receive revelation for ME. We need balance!
I can be sure of the Lord's promises.
Establish a house of order-a house of God. All things balanced. All things done with wisdom.
How do I put God first in my life? I need to reprioritize morning personal scripture study and prayer. I should not let myself get distracted with doing dishes or any chores that I should have done the night before.
The Church is constantly improving and seeking to better align itself with God's doctrine and the purpose of His church as we gain more knowledge and insight into His will and plan. Therefore, I would rather study and focus on the words of recent Prophets and Apostles rather than those of the early Saints of this dispensation. So what if there's “precedence” for this-or-that?? It went away for a reason. I have faith that that “reason” is revelation. I'm so thankful for General Conference!