Every 6 months, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints holds its semiannual General Conference. During this weekend, everyone is invited to hear words of comfort, courage, and inspiration from leaders.
We’ve learned that when we come to conference with questions and concerns in our hearts, they’re answered through the inspiration of the Holy spirit. Last month, we enjoyed many messages that have special application to recovery and healing from addiction. Just a few of these lessons include: self-worth, forgiveness, the atonement of Christ, repentance, strength through adversity, and trust in God’s plan.
We’ve put together quotes and messages from some of our favorite talks below. Which messages stood out the most to you?
The Worth of a Soul
Joy D. Jones’ talk “Value beyond Measure” reminded all of us that true self-worth is found through an understanding of our relationship with God. Quoting a faithful convert of the church, Renu Singh, she said, “‘Before I had the gospel in my life, I was always trying to prove to others that I was someone special. But when I learned the truth, that I am a daughter of God, I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone. I knew that I was special.’”
This message is a powerful thing to us after we have experienced addiction and feel so personally the divide between God’s perfection and our own shortcomings. However, Sister Jones reminds us of an important distinction when we struggle with our own self-worth: the difference between “worth” and “worthiness.” “Our worth was determined before we ever came to this earth…” she clarifies, and therefore it cannot be changed or diminished, even through our own actions. “If we sin, we are less worthy, but we are never worth less!…No matter what, we always have worth in the eyes of our Heavenly Father.”
Repentance and Forgiveness
Both Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk and Stephen D. Owen’s address reminded us very well of the importance of God’s grace in our lives. Although none of us are perfect, we have the help of a perfect Savior to guide us and redeem us from our sins. Elder Holland reminds us, “Our only hope for true perfection is in receiving it as a gift from heaven—we can’t ‘earn’ it. Thus, the grace of Christ offers us not only salvation from sorrow and sin and death but also salvation from our own persistent self-criticism.”
Stephen D. Owen reminded us of the powerful, positive effects of repentance when he said, “The joy of repentance is more than the joy of living a decent life. It’s the joy of forgiveness, of being clean again, and of drawing closer to God. Once you’ve experienced that joy, no lesser substitute will do.” Repentance is not a punishment, but a gift that’s freely available to each of us, no matter what has happened in the past.