…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

Why Do Some Not Recover?

By Rex Goode


This question, to some most horrible, rings in the ears and is cried out of the hurting soul like the moaning cry of the deeply wounded in the night. Yet, it brings no relief; for self-pity is just another form of that evil we refer to as pride. It is pride that keeps us from the recovery we tell one another that we so desperately want; yet we hold on to our addiction for all the comfort it has given us in the past. We are fearful that we will have to give up that security in order to find our recovery. And you know what? We do have to give it up. We have to give it up to the Lord, in faith, doubting nothing.

Sheri Dew in her remarks at the special symposium held at BYU on Christ, stated that “it is almost impossible to find your way, if you cannot see the way.” She went on to add that we need the guidance which only comes from he who sees and knows all. Stating that Jesus and His prophets are inseparably connected she went on to say that we must follow the path laid out for us by the Prophets from Adam to the present time.

But, one will say: I have been excluded! I have prayed until my bed sheets run like rivers because of my tears. I have suffered great pain to show the Savior how much I am willing to repent; to show Him how much I do want to rid myself of this terrible thing which holds my whole life hostage!

“I am the truth, the way and the life,” said Jesus to all who would come here to be tested in this mortality. Therefore, our showing Him how much we have suffered is our way of showing Him; it is not His way of liberating us from the bondage that holds us so tightly. It is important to note here that he has already suffered so we won’t (and don’t) have to suffer. If it is not done His way, it will not work. His only desire is to bring to pass our immortality and our eternal life. He is the one who sees the big picture. He is the one who know how to release us so that we can have the strength, the development, the learning, the added glory it will take to make us like he is; for that, and nothing short of that, is his goal for us!

I have stated over and over in this forum and in my daily speech to others who still suffer that the addict must stop focusing and dwelling on the addiction. We must stop thinking (even for a little bit) about how easy it is to slip again. When the alcoholic has stated that the hunger to drink can be felt again in his stomach, the question no longer is if the addict will drink; it is when will the addict drink. I can lay, at any odds, any amount of money on the table and I will collect the winnings because that addict will drink withing three days and maybe sooner!

We must focus on the solution; and His name is Jesus!

Speaking of this very point (focus on Jesus) Sister Dew states, “Every prophet from Adam to thepresent day has testified that Christ will lift us up, if we will let Him.” How do we do it? The answer comes, “Rivet our attention on the Lord and we may be joint heirs with Jesus Christ in all the Father has.” Sister Dew continues her remarks: “There is no faith [None, Nada, Zilch] unless it is in Jesus Christ. Otherwise it is only a belief or an idea; neither of which has the power to save. What Christ requires, first, of us is that we believe in Him. faith activates the power of the atonement in our lives.”

Jesus Christ is the only one who can release us from the monster that holds us bound. He is the only One who can bruise the serpent’s head. We do not have that power. The power to bruise the serpent’s head is only given to Christ. We do not qualify. We need Christ, period! Therefore we must have faith not only in the ideaof Christ; but also in the promises and the words He has spoken to us. Do each of us, individually, know that He will set you free? President Hinckley has a motto that all things will work out. He stated that this work (of freeing souls from bondage and bringing those souls to Christ) is guided by Christ Himself. President Hinckley is quoted as saying, “Where there is no way, the Lord will open the way.” It is the same for us and our addiction; we must have the same faith as the Prophet!

We see no way. We have tried all we know. We have prayed; we have pleaded; we hang on in sheer will until our fingers are white with the effort. We fill our mind with the fight and will our sobriety; yet it does not come. The reason is that we are not listening to Him! We are not doing it His way; we are not following Him; we have not turned our recovery over to Him, because He may ask us to do something hard. Yet the real truth is He will ask nothing of us except it be necessary for our eternal good; and He will give us the power needed to accomplish what He asks. Yet, we still fear. Maybe a quote from one of those prophets will help.

“The voice of the Spirit is described in the scripture as being neither ‘loud’ nor ‘harsh.’ It is ‘not a voice of thunder, neither … a voice of a great tumultuous noise.’ But rather, ‘a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper,’ and it can ‘pierce even to the very soul’ and ’cause [the heart] to burn.’ (3 Nephi. 11:3; Heleman. 5:30; D&C 85:67.) Remember, Elijah found the voice of the Lord was not in the wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but it was a ‘still small voice.’ (1 Kings. 19:12.)

President Packer continues, “The Spirit does not get our attention by shouting or shaking us with a heavy hand. Rather it whispers. *It caresses so gently that if we are preoccupied we may not feel it at all. (No wonder that the Word of Wisdom was revealed to us, for how could the drunkard or the addict feel such a voice?)

“Occasionally it will press just firmly enough for us to pay heed. But most of the time, if we do not heed the gentle feeling, the Spirit will withdraw and wait until we come seeking and listening and say in our manner and expression, like Samuel of ancient times, ‘Speak [Lord], for thy servant heareth.’ (1 Samual. 3:10.)” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Candle of the Lord,” new mission presidents seminar, June 25 1982; see Ensign, Jan. 1983, p. 53; emphasis mine.)

If the addict cannot hear the voice then something must bring us to the depths of sorrow so that we will listen, and seek the Lord. How well do I know this to be true. The Lord waited for over thirty years, for me. Natural events in an addict’s life brought me to such a place of sorrow, pain and anguish that I finally cried out, in a last desperate hope, to the Lord. The real sad thing about this is that I did not need to wait for those thirty years for the addiction to wreck my life. I could have chosen to seek Him earlier. Throughout all those thirty years, at any time, I could have turned my attention, my focus, to Him. I could have chosen to let my mind dwell on Him (anything about Him) and the healing would have begun. What a waste of my life! Yet the Lord has said that we are here to learn obedience, even if it be by the things which we suffer, so it is good that I eventually was brought to that horrible time in my life and I will praise the name of my God forever because of it.

As one who has walked the long road, I beg each of us to make the choice today to turn our life to Him. It is as easy as a decision; but it must be a decision set in stone. This is not something we can take lightly without impunity. We must be willing to do whatever it takes to focus our attention on Him, to dwell on Him. At first we may have to force our self to do it; that is all right, it will come easier with practice. And as this practice becomes a daily habit it will continue on in our lives long past the release from our addiction; it will assist us in becoming like Jesus in all aspects of our life.

In closing let me say I know what I have said is true. I know because I have lived it. This does not come of theory, or from some book written by an expert. It comes from the fire and crucible of life: my life. I tell you all that it is as simple as a decision. It is as simple as calling upon the Name of our God, and then listening and following what we feel the Spirit tell us to do. If we do not hear or feel the Holy Ghost right away, then we must pray more earnestly and pray continually. After all, this is our eternal life we are talking about. I know these things are true! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. Love, Duane.

Copyright 2000, Duane Call

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