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My wife and I were good active Mormons having a great life. Eventually life took its toll. I lost 4 jobs in the space of 5 years. We moved into a ward that didn't care for our family or several high school age children. We could not meet our needs and were falling 15K into the hole every year. I am now headed for bankruptcy, and foreclosure. Our life in the bedroom was pathetic no passion no nothing. This was mostly because I had major knee surgery on both knees and it completely hampered sexual activity. All praying seamed to not help anything. On top of that both of our fathers and my wife's best friend died. All within a relatively short time. At the brink of filing for bankruptcy a recruiter called me for a job that would pay 2x what I was making and it would have basically save us from financial ruin. I had a priesthood blessing and the whole family prayed for me to get it, how could I fail. I nailed every interview and had great discussions and now it was close for the final decision. What I received devastated me with a cold email back saying sorry but we have decided to go with another candidate. Nearly immediately after the email, my current employer asked me to go overseas to work with some clients which was completely out of the blue which I had never done. I was to travel for over 1 month. Of course when i was there I was surrounded by sexual temptations as I was put in a hotel in the heart of this activity. So I went out and had a massage, nothing sexual but near erotic and they offered many other services which I said no. I called my wife and told what I had done and it didn't bother her at all!. Instead she was aroused by it and told me to go again and try those other services and find some passion. I struggled with this and eventually with her basically giving me a hall pass, I went. You can pretty much image what happened next. I committed adultery many times. With each time telling my wife the details and thinking she was living vicariously thru me. I have never done anything like this in my life but the passion and energy I could feel was unstoppable and thoroughly enjoyable. My spirit and guilt never showed up. As it turns out near the time I was to return home. My wife told me before I started to sin that she went to a bar picked a guy and had sex! She explained that it was the best sex she had in a long time. It didn't hurt me at the time because I had the same thing. Keep in mind that nothing like this ever took place in our lives before the previous month. This explains her trying to entice me to do wrong from the first call we had about this. It was almost like eve tasted the apple and now she wanted Adam to partake because of Satan's enticing's. Basically all the recent life experiences we had had up to this point broke and beat us down where we didn't care anymore. Eat, drink, and be merry right!. Oh yeah and my wife took up drinking alcohol too. When I got back I told her we need to repent of our ways and focus on fixing us regardless of how hard our life is. Well, we never repented, instead we added watching porn in the bedroom to supplement. That eventually only helped me. I enjoyed it and it restored some passion but for her not as much. This dragged on for 5 months which I got addicted to. My work then advised we need you to go back for another month. I said to myself, well here I go again, and my wife was telling me to go enjoy myself how ever I wanted, hall pass number #2. So As you can expect I had sex, well I should say paid for sex and each time telling my wife details since she liked it. I kept asking her if she was cheating on me too and she never said she was. When I got back we hugged each other, appeared to really miss each other, and I said this time we need to repent. She advised you can but I am not ready yet. So I said I can't unless we both go together so we never went. We stopped going to church to mostly not take the sacrament, but nobody in the ward really cared we were gone anyway. By this point she was going to happy hour every week. Fast forward 4 months and I am getting very suspicious of her and the way she is acting. I even told her I don't recognize you anymore. She said she had lost all feeling and didn't really care about anything. She did still say she loved me very much and would never cheat on me. On a couple of occasions I felt a burning sensation that she was cheating on me. Like the holy ghost or something was prompting me that she was cheating or too find out. I confronted her several times but she always denied it. Then one night i basically had a revelation or something that there was no doubt she was having an affair. I then confronted her and she broke down and told me that she met the same guy 2X while I was oversees and had sex. I felt relieved but not hurt since she said she broke off the affair when I came home. Well It gets worse. My promptings/intuition came back and I felt something still wasn't right. So I went to happy hour where she says she is and I wait. Sure enough as I expected, she comes out of happy hour and gets into another vehicle. The vehicle drives to a nearby empty lot and i follow. I wait 30 minutes and I can't take it anymore. So I walk up to the vehicle. The lights turn on and it peels out. Eventually the guy drops her off somewhere and she calls me to pick her up. Ugggggh!!! As you can expect I lose it and now I feel hurt, pain, betrayal. Lots of tears, a hard time sleeping, and going back to work. I thought her affair was over as mine surely was when I came home and I wanted to fix things. I love her deeply and she has committed to ending the affair after that night I caught her. In all honesty I think she really wants to this time. She has committed to stop happy hours too. I think she really loves me deep down for the 20+ years of marriage but its hard to tell exactly. She has been really nice to me and telling me shes sorry but still has no emotions and shows no remorse (IMO). She says something is biologically wrong with her and needs help from all the pain of life, finances, deaths, and lack of marital passion. I am a wreck because she was having a continued affair (10 months), she lied many times when we were together while I was being honest. Yet in the back of my mind I cheated too so why should I judge. She still doesn't hold that against me. So from here, we just started meeting with the bishop and soon the stake president and therapist. We need a lot of help. I am wondering if I should stay with her or leave. I think I should stay because I do love her but I know I would rather not be alone too. We are both messed up but the pain of her lying and the images I have catching her in the act are too great right now. I know to be Christlike I should stay and work it out but that is only if we are true and dedicated to each other from here on. Advice? be gentle....
Going through an incredibly difficult trial.
TheLizardofOZ posted a topic in Support in Hard TimesHi, I'm new here but I thought that perhaps someone out there would be able to share some advice on a difficult trial I'm currently going through. It's a long story; It began when I first met my girlfriend who lived in Utah while I lived in Australia. I met her through the internet while looking for someone to help me with a project I was working on. Over the months of working together and I talking every day we confessed our feelings towards each other and we're together since. I wasn't a member at the time but I was investigating after she shared some information about the church with me. It got to the mid year and I decided to head over to Utah to meet her in person. It was even better than I hoped it could be. My trip was cut short due to a family medical emergency but I knew that I would be back. Sure enough, come the end of the year, I was back in Utah and stayed for a few months this time. It was the best Christmas I've had. I was baptised in the church and the happiest I had been in a long, long time. I knew after much prayer, reading and discussion, that she was the one I wanted to spend eternity with. During the course of 2017, I worked hard to set myself up in order to make that goal a reality. Unfortunately I lost my job a few weeks before my intended leaving date. Immediately following that I lost the majority of my savings. Despite these difficulties, I persevered and headed back to the US with the intention of asking her to marry me. During the course of the visit, I became depressed at my personal situation as it suddenly hit me that I had lost nearly all of the finances I had. This affected my attitude and I was often quiet and spaced out. It put a great deal of pressure on my girlfriend and I was not fully aware of it. It gets worse though; come the new year, my ex-girlfriend contacted my girlfriend and her family and proceeded to spend the next few days slandering me with the full intention of causing me great pain. I won't go into the exact specifics here, but suffice to say they were ridiculous lies and incredibly hurtful. What's happened now is my girlfriend is trying to work through this situation herself, giving herself space. I've returned to Australia to clear my name (which has been positive) and to organise myself. It's been incredibly hard for me emotionally for the past month. I've lost the most important person in my life and it is just killing me. She asked me to fight for her and be worthy of her. I know there's still a chance for us but I am just barely hanging on right now. If anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated. I'm happy to provide more detail if needed. Thank you for your time. Kindest regards, M.
Hope in God's Plan
spamlds posted a topic in Support in Hard TimesLike many of you, my life has had lots of ups and downs. We've had illnesses, layoffs, bad decisions, etc. that brought us into trials and unpleasant situations. Several years ago, I was reading about Joseph Smith's early life and something really struck me. Maybe it will be of help to someone who is currently undergoing trials right now. Joseph Smith's father, Joseph Smith, Senior, was a farmer in Vermont. His only ambition was to be a simple farmer and provide for his family. He was a man of meager means. He struggled to pay for land and raise a crop. Two years prior to 1816, Joseph Senior had experienced crop failures. The weather in Vermont wasn't cooperating. Trying to make payments on land was a challenge. Then, 1816 came. That was known in history as the "Year Without a Summer." In 1815, Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted. The volcano threw so much ash into the atmosphere that it changed weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere. In the summer of 1816, it snowed in Vermont. Father Smith sold the property (or had his land repossessed--it doesn't say which) and went down to Palmyra in New York to look for a place to start fresh. We've all heard the stories about young Joseph's leg surgery, which happened in 1815. Joseph Senior had to leave his family behind and, once he found a property, he sent a hired man to pick them up and bring them to Palmyra. The unpleasant fellow made Joseph Junior hobble along from Vermont to New York on the bad leg. If you've been to the Smiith Farm in Palmyra, which has historical reproductions of the original cabin and the frame home in which the family lived, you'll see evidence of a time of prosperity. The family began to prosper, but we learn that an unscrupulous lender swindled the nice frame house from the Smith family just as the sons finished building it for them. It seems that bad financial luck followed the Smith family. Again, I reiterate that all Father Smith wanted was to be a farmer. That was the extent of his ambitions. We know in hindsight, the Lord had different plans. Would Joseph Senior have moved from Vermont to New York if his farm had been successful? Did God tell him that he needed to move his family there so his youngest son would be near some ancient gold plates buried near the town of Palmyra? The Lord didn't tell him anything. Instead, he let failure and pain be the impetus to get him to move to New York. Likewise, had finances gone well at the Palmyra farm, how would things have gone when it came time to uproot and move to Kirtland, Missouri, and Nauvoo? The Lord used hardships to direct Joseph Smith, Senior to his foreordained role--to become the first patriarch of this dispensation. He was called to be a prophet in his own right, to declare the lineage of the saints and bless them. Would that have ever come to pass if he had been a success at farming? Trials and hardships are never enjoyable. However, we should look at them and ask, "Is the Lord directing me to a new path?" Some trials are meant to be endured well. Others are meant to cause us to act. When we act, the Lord may be directing us onto a new path. In that case, rest assured that he has you in the "palm of his hand." He will not let you fail in any eternally important way. He has placed a frame around you and the limits will not exceed his designs. God has a plan. Trust in him. Remember Joseph Smith, Senior--the aspiring farmer who became the Patriarch of the Church in the latter-days.
Agency, Faith, & Trials
Guest posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionSAITH EINSTIEN: Choice doesn’t really exist. It is just a figment of our imagination. We are all part of the most complex clock in the world. What we think of as choice is merely the forces of physics & chemistry combining at the right time in our brains to bring about a predestined course of events predictable since the big bang based on precise interactions of the forces of nature. SAITH MICHIO KAKU (I believe it was him. It’s been a while): Einstein was wrong. What about the uncertainty principle? That accounts for things that cannot be predicted. Thus choice is real. SAITH CARBORENDUM I believe both are correct. I also believe them to be incomplete because they lack the gospel. Suppose We have an infinitely sharp razor upon which we can perfectly balance as measured by an infinitely low-energy, infinitely high-frequency wave. I believe that this is what happens when we are placed in the refiner’s fire. All temporal forces are perfectly balanced and are predictable while providing us the illusion of choice. Satan will always add that extra photon to his side. At that point, only faith (defined as the motivating force of action) can push the balance to the other side and back to the Lord. It is faith that is our gateway to the power from another plane. Those who choose to use this power to do evil will find their agency reduced in a small way each time. Those who choose good will have their agency increased in a small way each time. Trials are not difficult to see how strong we are. Trials are what is required to make us exercise faith in such a way to make us grow. And the harder the trial, the more faith is required to push us to the Lord's side and the more we grow as a result of it. This is how faith and agency are intertwined. I do not believe this is so far above our understanding as one might suppose. If we have a choice to learn to speak Spanish, and I come across someone who only speaks Spanish, then I have the added choice of being able to communicate with him in his tongue or I can choose not to. If I decided not to learn, then that choice simply isn’t available to me. Also note that in this case, it did not decrease my agency from before I made that decision. It simply did not increase my choices at a later time. Some decisions (as is obvious with many forms of addiction) will decrease our ability to choose over time. All the commandments that are given to us are not simply hoops to jump through. They are there to increase our agency as we progress. Exaltation is nothing more than the continual pattern of making more choices that will continue to increase agency throughout Eternity. And those in lesser kingdoms eventually find increase in agency is halted (damnation).
"Seeing the world through God's eyes"
spirettedotter posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionA non-Christian supportive friend/Alanon sponsor told me in person to try to see the world through God's eyes. A few days later, she emailed, "Let me know when God has helped you see the world through his eyes, even if it only lasts for moments, it will be trans-formative." While I understand the positive spirit in which she meant it, my first thought is that I can't possibly. I'm not knowledgeable, experienced, powerful, wise, or qualified to even come close to His infinite way of viewing & interpreting the world, let alone regarding the complex trials which triggered the conversation. I can do my best to discern how He might see things, based on my limited knowledge of good and evil. But . . . To ask for such vision, test faith by trying, based on a pretense that I might understand as He does, or imagine I can judge anything on an equal level with God--seems to me to be the opposite of having a humble spirit and a contrite heart. I believe I need to trust that he sees and knows all, infinitely beyond my capacity. I don't think it's my place to question His reason, knowledge, wisdom and will. Those mysteries are not mine to understand in this life. Instead, I think I must trust that He holds the keys, and the details are none of my business. I Googled the phrase & found it to be used in the Evangelical revival population. Can anyone comment with suggestions about how I might best reply on this topic--by sharing gospel principles, without offending or arguing religion? Or am I taking it too literal over-analyzing? Hope to get replies soon. Thanks!
A new take on trials
Guest posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionSo I'm sitting in church today... after a rough Saturday....well Ok weekend.... and I just settle into my tiny portion of a pew, tiny because we cram in like sardines and of course my girls need their coats, diaper bag, "primary bag", RS bag, scriptures, drinks, emergency snack, ... (you get the point).... I've been a member of this ward for almost 5 yrs and had somehow avoided ever being asked to give an opening or closing prayer for sacrament. When I'm asked to give the closing prayer. UGHHHHHHH. Another thing! I say yes, but if looks could kill, Man Br. Hansen would have been like drop dead fred. So as Im grumbling inside... the talks begin. Oddly, my girls sat down with a little toy in hand... and did I say... SAT DOWN... still, quiet. Instantly, I knew this was my Heavenly Father telling me that I needed to quit fuming about the prayer and to focus. So, if I may... I wanna sum up what was said... or, what hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew that trials came from our Heavenly Father out of a desire to make us more faithful. Afterall, when do people turn to prayer the most? When their life is the most messed up. I have always kept a good attitude when bearing my burdens, and have not said... Why me. I am not foolish enough to believe though, that my testimony can not be shaken - Im not that prideful - instead, I work each day like Im loosing it. So, Im not the one that sits in the corner and complains. (despite my reservation about saying the prayer hehahha) 1. Trials are a blessing. They happen so that our Heavenly Father can help us grow in the areas in which we are weakest. He is building our spiritual fortitude so that we will be able to endure to the end, but more than just that.... to prosper to the end. And He can bless us freely when we resist the verge of despair and lean upon him and exercise our faith. So, when we are given trials, we must think of them as a tool by which our loving Father can bless us in the end. And once the trial is over, we are able to understand where we were lacking. 2. Those who are loved by Heavenly Father are tested too keep them close. Our Father knows that we are more diligent to the gospel when things are not peachy in our lives. So He Draws us unto him - to keep us close and to guide us in the directions He knows we must go to find eternal happiness. 3. (This theme spilled over into SS and RS and this came in RS)... A sister said (paraphrasing)... You know... trials and test do make us stronger... spiritually stronger. And we know what happens to our bodies if we do not exercise... it gets limp and wiggly. By giving us trials, we are given the chance to exercise our faith. When you go to the gym you dont use the light weights (1-2lbs) you lift the heavy weights. So Heavenly Father has to give us mighty trials so that we can build up mighty spiritual muscles. My entire attitude changed today. And all I can say is that my Heavenly Father must love me enough to want me to be a spiritual body builder! Go Job... he must be like ... the incredible hulk! I didnt do this justice... so I hope you still can feel the spirit like I did.