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slamjet

Tempted Beyond Our Capacity?

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I always had a problem with anyone saying that they take comfort in knowing that they will not be tempted beyond that they can bear. I felt it flew in the face of what was said in GC talks, especially what I've heard, learned and experienced with addictions and it's ability to totally rob a person of their capacity to choose.

Then last night I read Alma 13:28:

28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;

I really believe that we can get chained so far into sins that we can be tempted beyond what we can overcome. I think it coincides with being so far gone as to loose the Light of Christ.

Is my thinking along the wrong track?

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I think there is a promise in that verse. That if you do call upon the Lord and keep close that you won't be tempted beyond that which you can bear.

I also see it as failing to do so rather voids that promise. Just my thinking.

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I think you're right, SlamJet. We are to pray that we be not tempted beyond our capacity, and are promised that if we live our covenants, we never will be so tempted. If we suffer ourselves to be led into temptation, then yes, I think it's undeniable that we can experience temptation above our weakened capacity to resist -- that is, we crave the sin so much that we willingly turn away from what we otherwise know to be right.

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Hello, Slamjet;

Your op reminds me of Ether 12:27~ "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

I don't believe all of us will not be tempted above that which we can bear....I think of all the atrocities committed by men against humanity in general. I think of the children who witnessed the atrocities of the holocaust and went insane as a result. They were certainly given more than what they could stand/bear. How I reconcile this with my belief in a kind, loving and just God is that we will not be held accountable for anything we do not have the strength to bear nor the knowledge to overcome because of the atonement. Meaning, if we lose it in our innocence, we will not be held accountable.

As far as addictions go, I'm so pleased and happy to report that I have been smoke free for over a month now. I have a profound testimony of the atonement and the grace of Christ in giving me the power to overcome this addiction. Even though I had a weak and vacillating desire to quit, this desire to quit was only granted through the atonement and; I believe, the faith and prayers of many people around me. I know it wasn't me only that I desired to do so....

I believe God is over all; even though there are so many horrors on earth. God is the perfect judge and perfectly merciful as well. I believe that He will see that it all comes out justly, fairly and for our best eternal benefit in the end.

Dove

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1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

I believe this is the scripture that is referenced most often when others assert that we will never be tempted above what we are capable.

The word "escape" cross references the following:

Doctrine and Covenants 95:1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you whom I love, and whom I love I also chasten that their sins may be forgiven, for with the chastisement I prepare a way for their deliverance in all things out of temptation, and I have loved you—

Seems to me that the one thing Heavenly Father will always do is to respect our agency. We choose to be acted upon instead of acting.

Instead, He makes a way to escape from things we should not do while making it possible to perform the acts we should do.

Humbling ourselves and calling upon the Lord allows the Atonement to work most effectively in our lives to unshackle us when we have chosen to be acted upon and strengthen us when we choose to act in accordance with Eternal laws.

As to the original post, I believe we should be patient and understanding when others insist that they will not be tempted above what they are able to bear as this is an attempt on their part to put their trust in God. Such should probably not be discouraged...

However, I DO understnad how it can be frustrating to listen to others reference such quips. I get the same way when others say "He never said it would be easy, He only said it would be worth it," when THIS is what He said.

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I believe we will not be tested beyond our ability to endure. A person still has the ability to resist temptation in the first place. But that doesn't change the consequences of our choices. If we choose to sin (take that first step towards addiction) then it will be a lot harder to resist temptation.

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I believe that the only way we can choose righteousness is through reliance on the atonement...Not through our own merit. Believing we can do it on our own is a form of pride~I'm thinking of the scripture I just quoted in my first thread...

I'm also thinking Ether 4:12, which quotes the Saviour saying; "And whatsoever persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good; he that will not believe my words will not believe me- that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me. For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world."

I can never forget what the Saviour has done for me and my own powerless state without Him...

Dove

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I think there is a promise in that verse. That if you do call upon the Lord and keep close that you won't be tempted beyond that which you can bear.

I also see it as failing to do so rather voids that promise. Just my thinking.

I agree that there is a promise in that verse.

D&C 82:10 I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.

By this verse I also show that I agree with the rest of what Pam says as well.

I've personally proved Alma 13:28's promise and experienced the results of both obedience and disobedience to it.

We surrender portions of our agency each time we commit sin. These are cumulative and you can reach a point where you loose your agency and capacity to resist temptation in regards to a given thing. At such a point only the Atonement accessed via repentance can allow the Lord to free you and restore your agency unto you. I speak from personal experience.

I believe that the only way someone can become subject to temptations beyond their capacity to endure/resist is if they are not keeping the commandment listed in verse 28.

That being said, there are a host of reasons why someone doesn't do so. Some are ignorant and others are apathetic. You even have some who are rebellious or simply careless. No matter what the reason, he's only bound when we do what he commands.

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I always had a problem with anyone saying that they take comfort in knowing that they will not be tempted beyond that they can bear... Then last night I read Alma 13:28:

28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;

I really believe that we can get chained so far into sins that we can be tempted beyond what we can overcome. I think it coincides with being so far gone as to loose the Light of Christ.

Is my thinking along the wrong track?

No- as others have testified so well, you're on the right track. However, IMO the implications of the verse deal with more than just addiction and being "so far gone" that the Spirit of the Lord ceases to strive with us.

Let us use the physical body as an analogy.

Our physical bodies require certain amounts of food to function properly- not just the right amount, but the right kinds as well. If a person lives on a steady diet of junk food and refuses to exercise, they would be physically unable to endure strenuous physical exertion.

So too do our spiritual bodies work. Our "food" is what we see with our spiritual eyes (as intelligences, we grow according to the light and truth we receive). Our "exercise" is living according to the light and truth we have been given. Good and healthy "food" would be the "living bread" that Christ offers to us; spiritual junk food is the worldly or satanic equivalent (false spirituality, false teachings, etc.).

The Lord knows every task that will be required of us. Being able to endure *every* foreordained trial, great and small, would require us to every day eschew all spiritual junk food and live by every word that proceeds forth out of the mouth of God (living solely by "living bread"). The only person who successfully did that from the day of His birth was Christ. For the rest of us, our diet consists partially of living bread and partially of junk food.

As physical food takes time to integrate its component elements into the physical body- and the effects can be felt long after physical food is eaten- so too does spiritual food take time to integrate itself into the spiritual body, and the effects can be felt long after the spiritual food is eaten. Thus, when we turn our eyes from the fount of living bread and living water (God) and look to Babylon and receive spiritual junk food, we literally are taken rotten elements into us that will hinder our ability to perform spiritual exertion in the future (such as overcoming trials).

So if we habitually turn from the LORD, we habitually weaken our ability to overcome trials and temptations- and it would be possible to weaken ourselves enough that it would be literally impossible for us to overcome our appointed temptations.

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It is because people misinterpret 1 Cor 10:13. They believe it states we will not be tempted greater than we are able to. But what it really says is that no temptation is given that we cannot overcome, because there is an escape. That escape is the atonement of Christ. Whether we end up overcoming in this life or in the Spirit world, we will overcome all things.

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It is because people misinterpret 1 Cor 10:13. They believe it states we will not be tempted greater than we are able to. But what it really says is that no temptation is given that we cannot overcome, because there is an escape. That escape is the atonement of Christ. Whether we end up overcoming in this life or in the Spirit world, we will overcome all things.

I believe that you are spot on. One thing that I would add it that no one can over come the powers of temptation without direct intervention by the L-rd. That is a condition of being in a fallen state or as the scriptures say a "Natural Man". Anyone that tries to go it on their own - relying on their own intelligence and logic - will fail and be overcome. Our ONLY hope is in Christ.

The Traveler

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This topic has fascinated me for a long time. Basically, in order to be tempted, you must have agency to choose one or the other. Otherwise, it's not a temptation, it's something done to you that you have no control over like a facial tick or having a house dropped on you while you sleep.

Consider the scenario of someone severely addicted to a serious drug like meth. They are not tempted to get their next fix - they're body demands it. They are out of control, and have no agency in the matter of their addiction. This is why there are bars on the windows and locks on the doors of many detox facilities. Because people often are unable to choose to not get their next hit.

So, when we non-addicts wander by and want to pass judgement, we cannot say the addict is giving into temptation, and if they'd just stop, everything would be peachy. We do a grave disservice to the addict, ourselves, and our God when we do this.

Now, if you go to a fairly healthy, stable, recovered (or recovering) addict, they will talk all day about their choices. They will be able to tell you the exact moment in their life when they decided to no longer be an addict, and they will tell you about the actions they performed, or set in motion, in order to get themselves out of their pit. More often than not, they will tell you about how they took action that handed control of their body over to someone else (like a detox facility or an emergency room). So according to them, there is an element of choice/agency, and there is a way to get yourself healthy enough so the drug goes back to just being a temptation, and not something that runs your life.

Another situation is the person who committs suicide. We're told that murder is a sin. We're also told that some things that happen to us are out of our control and we bear no blame. In order for a murder/sin to occur, the person had to have the action in his/her control. There appears to be a line, which someone can be pushed past. Once past this line, someone is no longer in control of their actions. Did they chose to push themselves past this line? Did they realize what they were capable of once pushed past the line? Were they in fact past the line when they killed themselves? We fallible mortal humans are not equipped with the tools necessary to discern these answers. So any judgement we render on a suicide, is by definition, unrigheous and inadequate.

Edited by Loudmouth_Mormon

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This topic has fascinated me for a long time. Basically, in order to be tempted, you must have agency to choose one or the other. Otherwise, it's not a temptation, it's something done to you that you have no control over like a facial tick or having a house dropped on you while you sleep.

Consider the scenario of someone severely addicted to a serious drug like meth. They are not tempted to get their next fix - they're body demands it. They are out of control, and have no agency in the matter of their addiction. This is why there are bars on the windows and locks on the doors of many detox facilities. Because people often are unable to choose to not get their next hit.

So, when we non-addicts wander by and want to pass judgement, we cannot say the addict is giving into temptation, and if they'd just stop, everything would be peachy. We do a grave disservice to the addict, ourselves, and our God when we do this.

Now, if you go to a fairly healthy, stable, recovered (or recovering) addict, they will talk all day about their choices. They will be able to tell you the exact moment in their life when they decided to no longer be an addict, and they will tell you about the actions they performed, or set in motion, in order to get themselves out of their pit. More often than not, they will tell you about how they took action that handed control of their body over to someone else (like a detox facility or an emergency room). So according to them, there is an element of choice/agency, and there is a way to get yourself healthy enough so the drug goes back to just being a temptation, and not something that runs your life.

Another situation is the person who committs suicide. We're told that murder is a sin. We're also told that some things that happen to us are out of our control and we bear no blame. In order for a murder/sin to occur, the person had to have the action in his/her control. There appears to be a line, which someone can be pushed past. Once past this line, someone is no longer in control of their actions. Did they chose to push themselves past this line? Did they realize what they were capable of once pushed past the line? Were they in fact past the line when they killed themselves? We fallible mortal humans are not equipped with the tools necessary to discern these answers. So any judgement we render on a suicide, is by definition, unrigheous and inadequate.

And all of this is why we can't judge others. I was married to an addict. He was out of control. I still worry that he might someday commit suicide as has a threated many times. I can't tell you what he would or wouldn't be held responsible for in these matters. I don't know what state of menal health he is at any given moment.

I still believe, however that if he would have resisted the first time (about the drugs) he wouldn't have such issues in his life. I think he had that capibility. I think he didn't make that choice ahead of time, he was on the spot and wasn't prepared to make that choice, so he gave in.

Yes, I think people that are reading scriptures and praying are more prepared ot choose not to give in that first time. Not saing you will only be tempted once and that is the only time you will have to resist. Just mean the one time you give in, that's when, for some, things go down hill.

I have been to several symposiums about the subject, all the experts argree that some people are more "wired" to become addicted. However, everyone has the ability to not try it the first time. It's a choice. Once they try it, some can then stop, others get more and more caught up and addicted to it. Theysay that is where the difference comes in. So everyone can resist the first time, but some are more "wired" to become addicted, once they have tried it.

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After reading all the really good responses to the question, I wonder if a person has been able to achieve the light by overcome a serious, grievous sin that had him down into some very deep, very dark places, does that make him stronger than most? I'm under the opinion that the strongest are the ones who don't go down that path to begin with. Ok, stronger to me is a synonym for "better person."

I struggle with this because I'm not sure what a person could have been able to choose seeing that most addicts have had things forced onto them as youngsters. We are all a product of our experiences. So if a person was raised in a terrifying home, my view is that the catalyst is set as to where the flowchart of their decision making process will go. I wonder about this not to abdicate their responsibility, but to understand where this sits in a gospel context, if we know where it sits at all.

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I wonder if a person has been able to achieve the light by overcome a serious, grievous sin that had him down into some very deep, very dark places, does that make him stronger than most?

Some people, absolutely yes. My wife endured years of abuse as a child, became an alcoholic at age 14, and stopped drinking around age 18. She not only is one of the most pragmatically grounded, strongest people I know, but she also works miracles in helping others who are in (or approaching) the situation she was in.

She tells me that she would not be who she is today, had the garbage in her past not happened. She figures she'd be a "much more superficial, much more ignorant, much happier twit of a woman" if she'd just been allowed to grow up normally.

But for the love of pete - don't anybody go off and get themselves into dark places because you want to be cool like my wife. She goes to waay more funerals than college graduations.

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There is something I forgot to mention.

There are those that didn't "choose" the first time with addiction and such. A child that was abused or shown porn at a young age might develope an addiction. Some children have been given alochol and other things to "keep them quite" or "ease pain" whatever other reasons. I have no opinion on that. My guess is if this kead to addiction, they would be less accountable (if accountable at all) for these the addictions.

As far as the people that might be stonger if the never started, I think that totally depends on the person and there are good cases that go both ways.

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After reading all the really good responses to the question, I wonder if a person has been able to achieve the light by overcome a serious, grievous sin that had him down into some very deep, very dark places, does that make him stronger than most? I'm under the opinion that the strongest are the ones who don't go down that path to begin with. Ok, stronger to me is a synonym for "better person."

It is all apples and oranges. What is a struggle for one person, isn't for another. And it isn't just sins, but all things in life. Some are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, and must learn to deal with the temptations and trials of wealth. Others are born blind, and must deal with that.

It does not make someone a "better person", only someone on a different path in life. Those who are redeemed, are redeemed. Period.

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After reading all the really good responses to the question, I wonder if a person has been able to achieve the light by overcome a serious, grievous sin that had him down into some very deep, very dark places, does that make him stronger than most?

The atonement applied to weakness is what makes one strong. Sometimes you learn to apply it when you fall in, sometimes you learn to apply it when you are looking over the edge.

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I struggle with this because I'm not sure what a person could have been able to choose seeing that most addicts have had things forced onto them as youngsters. We are all a product of our experiences. So if a person was raised in a terrifying home, my view is that the catalyst is set as to where the flowchart of their decision making process will go. I wonder about this not to abdicate their responsibility, but to understand where this sits in a gospel context, if we know where it sits at all.

Slamjet, my husbands youngest brother is a meth addict. He uses, he sells. He spent 2 years in prison for possession. His addiction was NOT forced on him as a result of his childhood or at any time in his adult life.

He willingly chose to use drugs.

His mother and father were divorced shortly after he was conceived. His mother was an accountant, his father a crop duster and an alcoholic. He might have been ignored during his childhood- at least that is his only complaint. His two older brothers are 15 and 10 years older than him. My husband being the oldest. From what I can make of the stories the two older brothers have related to me, this younger brother was spoiled. He also was not held accountable for his actions. Mom bailed him out of trouble. Eldest brother bailed him out of trouble. From my perspective, he never once was made to suffer the consequences of his actions.

So in that respect, I guess his childhood could be a catalyst to what he becomes as an adult. But it wasn't abuse.

I know of a woman who my family hired as a caregiver to tend to our mother while my sisters went to work. Mom and my two sisters lived together. We couldn't leave Mom unattended. Over time this caregiver told of her childhood and the results of the horrible abuse that was heaped on her starting as a 1 week old infant.

She had been sexually molested, beaten and nearly starved to death. If it hadn't been for her 7 year old sister hiding her in the attic and bringing food to her, she would have died. She was molested and beaten all of her life, she finally went out on her own when she was 12 years old.

As a result, she developed multiple personalities. We knew this woman when she was in her mid thirties. One of her personalities was a grown man, he taught for a time at the U of Wash. Another was a woman who was a LPN. And yet another was a Pediatric Nurse.

She was not an addict, nor were any of her personalities. Her physical self joined the Church when she was 30. Yet the Professor identity smoked a pipe and loved coffee. I had been to her tiny little apartment and never saw any signs of smoking or smelled it for that matter. Coffee yes, tobacco no. In talking with the Professor, he said out of respect for her and the depth she felt regarding the Mormon church, he quit smoking.

None of her personalities ever molested or abused anyone. Some were petty thieves though. Yet if you asked them if they stole something, they would admit it and if they hadn't hocked it or spent the money you would get it back. None of them used drugs or drank alcohol.

When she took care of my mother, nearly all of her personalities came out and visited &/or played with Mom. Also at that time she had been in therapy for eight years. Twelve years after my Mom passed, she had integrated 32 personalities, leaving only one other than her physical self. Her psychiatrist decided that it would be best for her emotional health if she never knew what that personality did to protect her.

On the other side of that coin, my ex-husbands father used to smack his mother around. Never laid a hand on him or his two sisters though. My ex was abusive to me. At first it was just verbal and mental. Over time it evolved into physical.

Shortly before I left him, his mother revealed to me that she felt she deserved the beatings her husband gave her. That I deserved what her son said and did to me. I was absolutely appalled at this. I never did anything to deserve the beatings, or the verbal abuse.

He grew up thinking that this was how a husband treated his wife. He never berated me or verbally abused me until AFTER we were married, then I became his WIFE.

Fortunately for the women he dated and lived with after our divorce, he never married. Thus he never abused another woman.

I spent too many years while I was still married to him trying to understand why I was allowing this to happen to me. I understood why he was the way he was. I never could wrap my head around why he was unable to unlearn the bad though.

After I left him, I realized that I really would never know and let it go. I wasn't really eager to find out if I was sick in the mind or at fault. It wasn't long after that when I realized it wasn't me that was at fault- I embraced my faith once again and as time goes on my self esteem has been emboldened. My faith is stronger as each day passes.

I have hit many road blocks, bumps in the road and sometimes brick walls. My new husbands family are chock full of drama, trauma and heartache. I embrace the good parts. His son and next younger brother are jewels. His cousins are treasures. The rest are kept at bay. We pray for them, but we also don't let them have our physical address or phone numbers.

Without our faith, we would be doomed. We choose to hold to the rod. We choose the right. It is a struggle every Sunday morning for me to get out of bed. I LOVE to sleep. I love to snuggle close to husband and to have our cat Fred snuggle up against my back and have our other cat Ethel sit on husbands feet.

I do however get up, get dressed and then I am eager to get out the door and get to Church.

I wonder if a person has been able to achieve the light by overcome a serious, grievous sin that had him down into some very deep, very dark places, does that make him stronger than most? I'm under the opinion that the strongest are the ones who don't go down that path to begin with. OK, stronger to me is a synonym for "better person."

I think the person who has overcome is the stronger for it. When you have repented with Godly Sorrow, that strengthens you to never repeat or give in to the sin.

I smoked for 29 years. I had tried to quit smoking about 8 times. Didn't succeed until I used the Patch and came back to church. Smoking, drinking alcohol-coffee-tea are not grievous sins. They are addictions though. I had already quit alcohol 16 years earlier. There really wasn't any trouble or backsliding with that. Smokes- that was a different story altogether. During the time I was on the patch not smoking, I was also cleaning the house of the built up smoke/nicotine on the walls, ceilings, furniture and clothes (fabrics). By the time I used the last patch- I was done with the cleaning too.

I will never smoke again. I will never drink alcohol again. Coffee and tea I struggle with- on a daily basis. I drink ice tea- when I eat in restaurants.

My thoughts about grievous sins- if it has been truly repented of, with a Godly Sorrow, then it will not be repeated. It has been washed clean from you. When God forgives you - the sin is no more. Gone. You are clean. You will remember it, so as not to repeat it, to not go down that path again.

Been there, done that, Do Not Want The T-Shirt. Won't Dance that Dance again, ever.

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Yeah, for people who are fascinated by mental illnesses and addictions, you haven't seen interesting stories until you've read some multiple personality stories (called Dissociative Identity Disorder these days).

Thanks for sharing Iggy. Kudos on breaking the destructive cycles, and keeping or obtaining the good ones.

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Hi Slamjet! I have encouraging words for you...provided by others

Struggling with something you believe to be harder than you can bear? You are not meant, and in fact do not ever face it alone...

The Savior has given this invitation to all:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).

A yoke is a device that allows two animals to fairly and comfortably share a burden that one alone would find difficult or impossible. It is still used in many parts of the world today where animals plow fields or pull wagons.

Speaking of the Savior’s yoke, President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95), fourteenth President of the Church, said: “His yoke requires a great and earnest effort, but for those who truly are converted, the yoke is easy and the burden becomes light. …

“Obviously, the personal burdens of life vary from person to person, but every one of us has them. … To one and all, Christ said, in effect: As long as we all must bear some burden and shoulder some yoke, why not let it be mine? My promise to you is that my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”1

Conversion is a process, not just a single event. Our Heavenly Father is patient, kind, and gracious. He gives gifts of the Spirit not only “to those who love [Him] and keep all [His] commandments” but also to “him that seeketh so to do” (D&C 46:9; emphasis added). Live what you know, and more knowledge and strength will come. Let the Lord make of you what you could never make of yourself. He promises, “My grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27).

Your temptations are burden, cast them upon the Lord and take up His yoke. How?

When in Doubt …

Doubts are natural. They can spring up from within, or they can come from others. Regardless of the source, there are some tried-and-true ways to deal successfully with doubt.

1. Remember the spiritual experiences you’ve already had. For example, Oliver Cowdery was Joseph Smith’s scribe during much of the translation of the Book of Mormon. He had already received a witness of the truthfulness of the Prophet Joseph’s testimony regarding the golden plates. But apparently he wanted additional reassurance from the Lord. Speaking through the Prophet, the Lord counseled Oliver:

“If you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon [remember] the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.

“Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?” (D&C 6:22–23).

The Lord expects us to remember the witness we have already received from the Spirit.

2. Be patient. When you come across things that you don’t understand, be patient. Hold fast to what you already know (in other words, remember). As Laura says, “I cling to what I already know and don’t let questions bother me. I keep asking in prayer, knowing the Lord will answer when I’m ready for it.”

3. Feed your faith; starve your doubts. As you continue to pray, search the scriptures, and keep the commandments, you will receive additional strength to your testimony. Alma compares this process to nurturing a seed as it sprouts and grows into a tree that provides sweet, precious fruit (see Alma 32:28–43). Nurturing doubts produces the opposite effect, and testimony withers.

Weathering the storms of life makes the tree stronger. The reward for faithful nurture and endurance is fruitful maturity and a bountiful harvest that is “sweet above all that is sweet” (see Alma 32:42).

Meeting the Challenges - Liahona Oct. 2006 - liahona

Here is something for you to study: From a teaching manual:Suggested Lesson Development

Attention Activity

As appropriate, use the following activity or one of your own to begin the lesson.

Ask a class member to come to the front of the class and hold out his or her hands. Place some books or other heavy items in this person’s hands. Continue loading the member’s hands with objects until he or she becomes somewhat burdened. Then ask:

How far could you carry this burden before stopping to rest? What arrangements would you have to make to carry the burden a great distance?

Explain that there are many kinds of loads, or burdens. Some are physical, while others are spiritual or emotional and not as easy to see. Many unseen burdens can exceed our strength to bear them alone, and we become weary. This lesson discusses how the Lord can lighten our burdens and bring us rest.

Jesus forgives a woman in the house of Simon the Pharisee.

.

The woman who entered the house of Simon the Pharisee carried the burden of sin (Luke 7:37). What did the woman do that allowed Jesus to take away her burden? (See Luke 7:38, 44–50.) What can we do so the Savior will remove the burden of sin from our lives?

How did the sinful woman and Simon the Pharisee differ in their attitudes toward Jesus? (Contrast the woman’s repentance, respect, humility, and love with Simon’s pride, lack of courtesy, and judgmental attitude. See also the quotation below.) Why are the qualities that the woman possessed important as we repent and seek forgiveness? How do the qualities that Simon possessed keep us from repenting?

Elder James E. Talmage taught: “It was a custom of the times to treat a distinguished guest with marked attention; to receive him with a kiss of welcome, to provide water for washing the dust from his feet, and oil for anointing the hair of the head and the beard. All these courteous attentions were omitted by Simon” (Jesus the Christ, 3rd ed. [1916], 261).

How would Simon’s attitude toward the woman have made her burden seem heavier? How might we sometimes make another person’s burden of sin seem heavier? What can we learn from the Savior’s response to the woman?

Even though she had not been invited and would risk being treated unkindly by Simon and his household, the woman came directly to Christ as soon as she knew where to find him (Luke 7:37). What can we learn from her example? What obstacles might keep us from repenting and coming unto Christ? How can we overcome these obstacles?

What can we learn from the parable of the two debtors? (See Luke 7:41–50.) How is sin comparable to debt? (See Luke 7:44–50.) How can having Christ as our “creditor” make our burdens light?

That whole lesson is great for just this thing, find it here New Testament Gospel Doctrine Teacher?s Manual Lesson 10: ?Take My Yoke upon You, and Learn of Me?

Also, here is a great Ensign article by a Seventy: Facing the Future with Hope - Ensign Dec. 2007 - ensign

Remember John 16: 33

These things I have spoken unto you that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

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After reading all the really good responses to the question, I wonder if a person has been able to achieve the light by overcome a serious, grievous sin that had him down into some very deep, very dark places, does that make him stronger than most? I'm under the opinion that the strongest are the ones who don't go down that path to begin with. Ok, stronger to me is a synonym for "better person."

I struggle with this because I'm not sure what a person could have been able to choose seeing that most addicts have had things forced onto them as youngsters. We are all a product of our experiences. So if a person was raised in a terrifying home, my view is that the catalyst is set as to where the flowchart of their decision making process will go. I wonder about this not to abdicate their responsibility, but to understand where this sits in a gospel context, if we know where it sits at all.

Hello, Slamjet;

I really appreciate you bringing up this point....Yeah, I believe, and feel I have seen many times where people who have been abused growing up are rather doomed to making bad choices in their life as a result of the abuse...My life has played this out as well as many others I have seen who have gone through similar circumstances I have (abuse in our childhoods). If I know the statistics correctly, they will support what I'm saying. (Correct me if I'm wrong, LMM. :) ) I have also heard that the most formative years in a persons' life are the first six years. That what they experience in these years are like an imprint for how they know to act/relate to others for the rest of their lives...

I think this simply brings us to the first point about the atonement, that all of us are powerless to make righteous choices without the effects of the atonement in each of our lives. Each one of us need the Saviour to avoid destruction. This is perhaps just more apparent in the lives of those who have suffered abuse and have not been able to cope with it well, which is the vast majority of people who have experienced this....

Also, I take comfort in the fact that God, the Father and the Son, know perfectly what contributes to the choices each one of us make....and will judge us accordingly. Yeah, I do believe there are different levels of accountability for each individual who "chooses" to sin. I say it this way, because all of us sin to one degree or another. That is our natural and fallen state. I believe choice truly comes in when we go against the natural inclination to sin and, through the atonement, choose righteousness instead.

Dove

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