Sunday, June 25, 2017

My Twelve Step Journey Steps Four and Five

This journey for me has given me some insight and has reminded me the many blessings that have been given to me.

For these two steps I have to go back a few years. 
During my dark days of inactivity I found a trusted Bishop and "Confessed" my sins to him.  
Now I visit with my Heavenly Father on a daily basis and share with Him where I have fallen short and have asked Him to help me do better.
Sundays seem to be the day I am able to do my deepest reflections and check myself.
How grateful I am to have a Father who truly loves hearing from His wayward child and how quick He is to offer hope and forgiveness.  
I will never forget how light my burdens felt once I got them off my chest.
There was finally a glimpse of light in my dark and dreary world.

Step five is "A Change of Heart."
I'll never forget the day I experienced my "Change of Heart.  It was my birthday in 1997.
And since that day my heart continues to be changed and molded by the Master Potter.
On that day I had a true desire not to commit any sin but in Mosiah 4:29 we find:


 "And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; 
for there are divers ways and means,even so many that I cannot number them."

but he continues with this counsel:

"But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, 
and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, 
and observe the commandments of God,
 and continue in the faith of what ye have heard 
concerning the coming of our Lord,
 even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. 
And now, O man, remember, and perish not."

Over the years since my change of heart I have noticed significant changes 
My swearing diminished, my choice in music changed, my choice in movies changed
and I've found myself developing attributes that have given me an increase in confidence;
and some amazing talents that I never dreamed I could develop.

Because this journey is so personal and each person has their own journey I have found that one mold does not fit all.  But I have found that our Father in Heaven will place in our path fellow brothers or sisters who journey parallels yours and your able to share insights which helps build a weakness or solidifies a strength you never knew you had.

One last thought I would like to share is found in Alma 5:


14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
15 Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?
16 I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?
17 Or do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say—Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth—and that he will save you?
18 Or otherwise, can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect remembrance of all your wickedness, yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God?
19 I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?
26 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?
27 Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins?
28 Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life.
29 Behold, I say, is there one among you who is not stripped of envy? I say unto you that such an one is not prepared; and I would that he should prepare quickly, for the hour is close at hand, and he knoweth not when the time shall come; for such an one is not found guiltless.
30 And again I say unto you, is there one among you that doth make a mock of his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions?
33 Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.

34 Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely
I love reflecting on these questions Alma poses.  
I use them as my ruler and where am I with my change of heart.
How grateful I am for finding the courage to step forward and start the journey which  changed my heart.