Making Changes In Our Lives
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Copyright © 1999
As a recent convert to this church, I am immensely grateful for the changes that have been wrought in my life - My hot temper, cursing, coffee drinking (major coffee drinking!) and other things, all but disappeared when I made the decision to join this church. However, My thoughts on sexuality, which were before quite liberal, have been more difficult to adjust. I havenít acted on any of these thoughts - never did before, either, but now I feel guilty about them, and have a great deal of trouble handing them. I would like so much to clear my mind and soul of thoughts that I grew up believing to be normal. I would really appreciate any guidance you may have.
Someone in Need of Change
Dear Someone in Need of Change,
We have all made mistakes that unfortunately even though they have been repented of tend to haunt us. This has to be extremely hard given your problem in this sexually explicit and permissive world. We are surrounded almost suffocated under its daily influence. I do not tell you this to make it all right to have such thoughts. On the contrary. I do so to tell you that is bigger than you! Therefore you must seek help greater than yourself! Take it to the Lord!
The Lord can take away the unwanted thoughts and minimize the worldly enticings to the point that you can live at peace with your thoughts and the lousy world around you! Remember we have been admonished to be in the world and not of the world. You have pulled yourself out of the world in many areas of your life and for this you are applauded! Now get your sexual self out of the gutter.
You realize that the Lord gives us nothing that we don't work for ourselves. Therefore, merely asking for his help availeth us nothing.
Faith without works is dead!
What can you do to remove your thoughts from this things?
- Surround yourself with enriching things such as good music, art, movies, magazines, favorite colors, objects that would help you to focus on them instead of allowing your mind to go slumming.
- Memorize a favorite song, poem, or scripture that you can bring up to memory when the world would drag you down.
- When scantly clad women present themselves in public, refuse to look. If you need to look, focus only on their face! With practice you will find that you will only see their faces.
- When temptation gets the better of you, pray!
- Do not frequent places that would tend to have women in revealing attire.
- Start your day with a prayer to ask the Lord to help you overcome the problem today!
- Review with the Lord each night how the day went and thank Him for His help. Set a goal to overcome what went wrong today. Together with the Lord figure out alternatives you can use to succeed at the goal.
- Get a priesthood blessing from your home teachers to help you get maximum help with the problem.
- Put you name on the temple prayer rolls.
- Invite the Lord to be with you throughout the day as you talk/think to Him constantly throughout the day. As you do this He will think back to you. In this way you can make Him your best friend and confident!
Many people open their day with prayer planning the day with God and asking for help through the day. They leave their prayer open-ended so that the prayer lasts the whole day long. They literally share their whole day with the Lord. The scripture in Alma 34: 27 supports their actions. It states: "Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you." Here again you can see the use of silent pray of the heart. This time the Lord suggest that we use silent prayer to speak to Him constantly through the day.
Some people feel that they are imposing on the Lord when they do this, but this is not so. In Alma 34:19-25, it tells to pray unto the Lord about our fields, flocks, houses, household, against the power of your enemies, against the devil, the prospering of our crops, and the increase of our flocks. This shows us that God want to hear about every aspect of our lives and that there is nothing that He does not want to hear about that has to do with our lives. He wants us to be with Him whether it is with silent pray or vocal prayer. We are important to Him, because He is our Eternal Heavenly Father.
I am glad that you feel the need to purge yourself from worldly (sexual) thoughts. It is important to do so because the Lord states in 3 Nephi 12:28-30:
28- †"But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust
after her, hath committed adultery already in his heart.
I give unto you a commandment, that ye suffer none of these things to
enter unto your heart;
30- "For it is better that ye should deny yourselves of these things, wherein ye will take up your cross, than that ye should be cast into hell."
Further, Satan uses a person's appetite for worldly sexual appetites to drag individuals into acts that they would not have otherwise been induced into. The worst of these are adultery, lying, stealing, and murder.
"And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well - and thus the devil cheatheth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell."
- 2 Nephi 28: 21.
We must not give Satan a first toehold into destroying us. By eliminating the thought you remove yourself from the action.