This post is a continuation from our last one about the recent LDS General Conference. As church members around the world tuned in to hear messages of hope and inspiration last month, we were happy to also hear encouraging spiritual guidance and comfort for those of us struggling with addiction at any phase. Below are two messages which we found to be especially helpful and important in view of addiction recovery, overcoming trials, and making powerful life changes. Full transcripts of all the talks can be found on lds.org.
Trusting in Christ
In his talk “Turn to the Lord,” W. Christopher Waddell reminded us that, although we can’t always control the things that happen in our lives, we can control our response to them. And the best response is always to turn to Christ for help and strength. “This does not imply that the challenges and trials we face are of no consequence and easily handled or dealt with. It does not imply that we will be free from pain or heartache. But it does mean that there is cause for hope and that due to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can move forward and find better days—even days full of joy, light, and happiness.”
We believe that true recovery and healing must include help from a loving God. This is because, as Waddell says, “He knows, in a way that no one else can understand, what it is that we need, individually, in order to move forward in the midst of change. Unlike friends and loved ones, the Savior not only sympathizes with us, but He can empathize perfectly because He has been where we are. In addition to paying the price and suffering for our sins, Jesus Christ also walked every path, dealt with every challenge, faced every hurt—physical, emotional, or spiritual—that we will ever encounter in mortality.” We can have comfort when we realize that Christ is with us in every trial and hardship that we encounter in life, whether it’s a circumstance that was brought on by the choices of others, or our own.
Purpose in Trials
Brother Ellis’ talk helped us to remember that although God will help us in our challenges, hardship is a necessary thing in this life. “In the world of nature, ‘hard’ is part of the circle of life. It is hard for a baby chick to hatch out of that tough eggshell. But when someone tries to make it easier, the chick does not develop the strength necessary to live. In a similar way, the struggle of a butterfly to escape the cocoon strengthens it for the life it will live. Through these examples, we see that hard is the constant! We all have challenges. The variable is our reaction to the hard.” Trials help us to grow and develop, as we came to this earth to do. He reminds us, once again, that we have a choice in these trials, which will determine our power to overcome them.
When we turn to God with our trials, we learn that He always has a way for us to come through those challenges, and He will transform our efforts and sacrifice into something better when we turn it over to Him. “The hard things in our lives should come as no surprise. One of the earliest covenants we make with the Lord is to live the law of sacrifice. Sacrifice, by definition, involves giving up something desirable. With experience we realize it is a small price to pay in relation to the blessings that follow.” Ultimately, weathering the challenges of life is a constant reminder to trust God and His plan for us.