Several months ago my nephew received the Priesthood. As a special surprise for him my sister-in-law asked each member of our extended family to write him a note. In this note we were supposed to share something of ourselves. She gave us several ideas. The option I chose was to put into words some of the most important things I have ever learned. I’ve decided to share my letter with you:
As you know your Uncle and I are serving a mission. Our work is to help members of the Church who have become addicted to substances and behaviors that are destroying their lives. We have seen many miracles in our own lives and in the lives of others. I want to share some of the most important things I have learned about the Gospel during my mission.
1. Heavenly Father and Jesus and the Holy Spirit love me and you more than we can even imagine. Even though we have not been perfect, even though we make mistakes they still love us.
2. They are “omniscient.” That means they know everything in the universe. That includes everything about you and me. They know exactly what we need in order to continue to learn and grow.
3. They are “omnipotent.” That means that they have all the power. Any power you and I have comes from them. Any power we need must come from them.
4. So, when I do anything good (accomplish a goal, repent of a sin, serve another person) I am being directed and given power by God.
5. They will help me with anything I need help with – Nothing is too small and nothing is too big. I use to think that maybe some things were too insignificant, too small to bother my Heavenly Father about. I use to think that some things in my life were too hard, that even God couldn’t help me with some things. Today I know that if I am filled with worry and care over anything, Heavenly Father and Jesus and the Holy Spirit care too.
6. I use to think that they would only help me with “good kid problems” like if I lost my keys or I needed to find a job or had the flue. I’ve learned that they want to help me especially with things that cause me to feel bad about myself, things in my life I need to repent of, ways I need to change. In fact, I have learned that I can’t change without their help.
7. I have learned that I can go to them and be honest about any of my weaknesses and admit that I can’t change, or solve a particular problem, or endure a trial, or accomplish a goal by myself. I can ask them to change my heart and help me know what to do and to give me the power to do the right thing. They will always respond.
8. I have learned that when I live the commandments to the best of my ability it’s a way of telling them I love them and that I need their help. When I pray, or read the scriptures, or go the church it’s like sending them a little invitation giving them permission to help me.
9. Finally I have come to appreciate the life and work of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. It is because of the Atonement that I can receive help from Heavenly Father and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The help we receive because of the Atonement is called Grace. Grace is the “enabling power” that can help us do something we would not be able to do by ourselves. I need this power every day in small things and in big things. You will too.
10. One of my favorite songs is “Choose the Right.” Choosing the right is more than just knowing right from wrong. There are many people in the world who know what they should do. Today I know that the Jesus will not only help me know what is right but that He can give me the strength to actually do what is right.
I love you. You are going to be a great man. I hope the things I have shared with you will help you on your way.
With much love,
The things I shared with my nephew are foundational to Addiction Recovery, so why would I share them with a 12-year-old young man who is about to receive the Priesthood? I shared them because I believe they are not only foundational to recovery; they are the foundation of addiction prevention. Addiction is what I turn to habitually, that’s destructive, instead of turning to God. I wanted to share with my nephew and now with each of you the things I know about God today that help me feel comfortable and willing to turn to Him instead of anything else. They can be taught in very simple terms. They can be taught to children of every age, and they can be demonstrated in the way we solve our own problems in front of children.
By Nannette W.
Posted Sunday, October 24, 2009
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