Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Emotional Detachment.......

Emotional  Detachment
(One Day at A Time)

ARP, like other groupings of people with a common interest or cause, has a language of its own—certain words and phrases which describe specific ideas.  We may recognize them and the use them without being quite clear as to their real meaning.
Take, for instance, the phrase: “Detach from the problem, but not from the person.”  Some have actually imagined it means that ARP advises against separation from the spouse!  Others think it means shutting your mind and coldly ignoring everything that happens.  Neither is true.

When we are urged to practice detachment, it never means disinterest or abandonment. The latter would express only despair and hopelessness, while loving detachment gives us every hope of better days.

Of course I must be concerned with what happens to the people in my life.  The purpose of EMOTIONAL DETACHMENT is to keep myself from being drawn into crises of the addicts making.  If I do not interfere, he will be compelled to find his own way out of his difficulties.  This is the wholesome, helpful ARP kind of detachment. It helps the person that we detach from grow.  That is God’s plan – GROWTH.

“Detachment motivated by love can shield us from needless pain and set the stage for a truly rewarding relationship.”

Sometimes we are given crosses so we can be taught to pray...

Some of us have a tendency to resent, resist, rebel, and delay, and to debate worthy direction, supervision, and communication. I plead with you to avoid the ranks of professional counsel resisters, who make such statements as, "Who are you to tell me?" "I didn't come here to be babysat." "Why all the restrictions?" "Where does the free agency come in?" "Why don't you just leave us alone?" Some carry that heavy cross of wanting to rebel or to resist counsel from friends. They reject that counsel because it may cause inconvenience, or because they may not be able to see far enough ahead to see its value.
Sometimes we are given crosses so we can be taught to pray. Crosses become lighter and more manageable when we learn to pray and when we learn to patiently wait for the answers to our prayers. 

An unwillingness to listen and learn can be a silent cross of considerable weight. Carry the cross of constant prayer even when answers are slow in coming or are difficult to accept.

Patience with God...How can I trust him....

Patience with God. How often have we heard people say, "I cannot believe or put my trust in an unknown being who permits my mother, my father, my brother, my sister, my child to die or suffer when I know I am entitled to have my prayers answered. If there is a God, he surely would have answered my prayers and heard my pleas."  Our relationship to God will improve as we learn to ask rather than to tell. Surely it is wisdom that we seek. Aren't we out of our realm when we judge or are inclined to second-guess God in our human frailties?
Doctrine and Covenants, section 54, verse 10: "And again, be patient in tribulation." Proper prayer teaches us patience. I declare to you, my friends, this morning, very often our prayers are best answered in silence. Sometimes the answers to our prayers are delayed so we may learn patience. I bear witness to you today our Heavenly Father is an almighty God because he has eternal patience with us. God lives; he loves us; he hears our prayers; he answers our prayers; he answers the prayers of the faithful; he hears the prayers of the repentant. God can be found if we have the patience to seek, knock, ask, and listen.
Patience Is a Great Power MARVIN J. ASHTON Brigham Young University on 13 February 1973
Sometimes the answers to our prayers not only seem unanswered because what is seemingly bad happens.  In the future, we find out that what happened was for our best or the best of the person we are praying for.  Example:  I pray for a beautiful son to be free of drugs, that doesn’t happen.  Bad answer to prayer?  My son then does enough wrong that he could go to prison.  I pray that this doesn’t happen, he goes to prison.  Bad answer to prayer?  Now I look back and Prison is where he finally changed and is now becoming who God knows he can become.  Conclusion, God does answer our prayers, not the way we think they should be answered but he answers with what he knows is BEST for us and our loved ones.  Sometimes we just don’t understand.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thy own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, (the key) and he shall direct thy paths.”

(Proverbs 3:5-6

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Boundaries in Marriage......

When we neglect setting boundaries with ourselves and focus instead on setting boundaries with those we think sorely need limits, we have limited our own spiritual growth.  As in any growth process, spiritual growth proceeds to the level that we invest in it.  When we only invest in changing someone else, they get the benefit of our efforts, but the important work we have to do has been neglected….

“If your spouse is…angry, irresponsible, inattentive, and self-centered, you will not grow if you continue to react to his sins. This is not seeking first God’s kingdom and righteousness (Matt. 6:33); it is seeking satisfaction from another person (codependency.)

“We must become more deeply concerned about our own issues than our spouse’s.  We cannot overstate the importance of this idea.  One of the most frightening facts in existence is that God will someday call us to account for our lives here on earth: ‘For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad’ (2 Cor 5:10).  At that meeting we will not be able to blame, hide behind, or deflect to the sins and problems of our spouse.  It will be a one-on-one conversation with God.

“Boundaries with yourself are a much bigger issue than boundaries in you marriage.  In the end, while we are only partly responsible for growing our marriages, we are completely responsible to God for developing our very souls.  You are responsible for half of you marriage and all of your soul. Boundaries on yourself are between you and God.”

Boundaries in Marriage,  Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, p65-66



Where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement…. For the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice upon all those who have not the law given to them.  2 Nephi 9: 25-26

This is a sweeping and basic promise:  Christ will cover with mercy all those who are with-out law—who don’t understand what God expects of them….

If adults without a sunrise are somewhat accountable, they are certainly not counted out.  “O how marvelous are the works of the Lord, and how long doth he suffer with his people”  His suffering isn’t mere silence.  WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT, HE SENDS UNDERSTANDING, UNTIL THEN, MERCY.  (101 Powerful Promises – Wayne Brickey)


“First let’s talk about what we don’t have power over.  We have no power over the attitudes and actions of other people.  We can’t make our spouse grow up.  We can’t stop our spouse from exhibiting a troublesome habit or character flaw.  We can’t force our spouse to come home on time for dinner, to refrain from yelling at us, or to initiate conversations with us.  The fruit of the Spirit is self-control, not other control. (Gal. 5:23).  God himself does not exercise such power over us, even though He could.  (2 Peter 3:9).
We don’t have the power to make our spouse into the person we would like him or her to be, but we don’t have the power to be the person we would like to be, either.  In and of ourselves we are powerless to change such things as our short temper or our eating problem.  To some extent, we all do what we have to do  (Rom 7:15).  It’s helpful to be aware of this powerlessness in our marriage, so we can be more understanding of our spouses’ struggle.  Also, being aware of our powerlessness over ourselves can help us realize how long it may take to learn to set appropriate limits in our marriage.”

Boundaries in Marriage, Henry Cloud, p 44

I am not alone. I have learned to comfort and encourage others,.....

During the days of dealing with terrible situations, every problem loomed so large that I was overwhelmed by it.  It was the most important thing in the world.  It was the final calamity.  Hysteria was in charge.  I must have known there was a world outside all this—a sane, comfortable way of living.  But this was way beyond me while I was wrestling with my daily shocks and despairs.  Now, when I turn to my Father in Heaven I look at my problems with a better sense of proportion and balance.  I see problems worse than mine which some handle with poise and courage.  Thus my difficulties are scaled down to normal sizes; I know I can do something about them because I will take care of myself.

Today’s Reminder

I am not alone.  I have learned to comfort and encourage others, and that gives me a fresh approach to my own difficulties.  I can help others, and they can help me.

“Woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him up.”  (Ecclesiastes)
(One day at a time)

We have each other but more importantly, we have our Father in Heaven who is always there to pick us up, especially when we ASK Him to

If You Don'y feel Worthy......

My dear brothers and sisters, don’t get discouraged if you stumble at times. Don’t feel downcast or despair if you don’t feel worthy to be a disciple of Christ at all times. The first step to walking in righteousness is simply to try. We must try to believe. Try to learn of God: read the scriptures; study the words of His latter-day prophets; choose to listen to the Father, and do the things He asks of us. Try and keep on trying until that which seems difficult becomes possible—and that which seems only possible becomes habit and a real part of you.

The Love of God, Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Ensign, Nov. 2009

Just Because Someone Has Pain......

“Just because someone is in pain doesn’t necessarily mean something bad is happening.  Something good might be going on, such as a spouse learning to grow up.  And this is the essence of the Law of Evaluation:  We need to evaluate the pain our boundaries cause others.  Do they cause pain that leads to injury?  Or do they cause pain that leads to growth?

It is unloving  to set limits with a spouse to harm him.  This is revenge, which is in God’s hands, not ours (Rom. 12:19)  But it can be just as unloving to avoid setting a limit with your spouse because you’don’t want him to be uncomfortable.  Sometimes discomfort is an opportunity for growth.  You may need to confront your spouse, give him a warning, or set a consequence.  Do not neglect setting limits in your marriage because of a fear of causing pain.  Pain can be the best friend your relationship has ever had.”

Boundaries in Marriage,  Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, p52-53

Where Is The Key......

Where is the key?
Sometimes we spend so much time trying to determine what we did wrong in the past to deserve the unpleasant happenings of the moment that we fail to resolve the challenges of the present. Og Mandino wrote in his book The Greatest Miracle in the World, “If we lock ourselves in a prison of failure and self-pity, we are the only jailers … we have the only key to our freedom.” (New York: Frederick Fell Publishers, 1975, p. 61.)

Marvin J. Ashton, “‘If Thou Endure It Well’,” Ensign, Nov 1984, 20

Suffering, Prepares Us....

Many of the lessons we are to learn in mortality can only be received through the things we experience and sometimes suffer. And God expects and trusts us to face temporary mortal adversity with His help so we can learn what we need to learn and ultimately become what we are to become in eternity.”

That We Might "Not Shrink" (D&C 19:18), David A. Bednar Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

CES Devotional for Young Adults • March 3, 2013 • University of Texas Arlington

Carrying Crosses....

Today I'd like to talk in more detail about certain crosses in life that are real, but that are not always recognized or visible. Number one is the cross of the violated trust--on the part of a parent, a family member, a teacher, a bishop, a stake presidency member, a boyfriend, a classmate, a returned missionary, a girlfriend, and so on. Some of us let an act of mistrust on the part of someone close to us shatter our today’s and tomorrows. A friend of mine said, "When my endowed father left Mom for a scheming secretary, it was more than I could bear." She was bitter. This cross was causing her to crumble. She had never looked upon it as a cross, but it was a cross of hatred and resentment: "I can't believe my father would let us down! What is the use?"
Can even these hidden crosses be carried for future strength instead of causing us to fall and not get back up? "Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more" (D&C 58:42). Sometimes it is easier for the Lord not to remember our sins than it is for us. They become crosses because we will not do ourselves the favor of carrying on. "By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins--behold, he will confess them and forsake them" (D&C 58:43). Can you carry appropriately the cross of forgiveness? Some of us would rather carry a cross than confess and start anew.
Carry Your Cross MARVIN J. ASHTON Brigham Young University on 3 May 1987

Forgiving ourselves for our sins and forgiving others who have caused you pain frees us of burdens.  No longer does the pain live rent free in our minds, hearts and souls.  Forgiveness is for us because it sets us free.

“‘If Thou Endure It Well’,”

We can let ourselves out of prison by turning to the Lord for strength. With His help we can use our trials as stepping-stones. The keys are in our hands.
“I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” (D&C 82:10.)
If we are offended and resentful, can we believe that He is bound to help us in our tragedies and disappointments? This scripture does not tell us how or when this commitment will be effective or realized, but His promise is real and binding. Our challenge is to endure. There will always be testing’s and trials along life’s paths. Heartaches and tragedies need not defeat us if we remember God’s promise.

Marvin J. Ashton, “‘If Thou Endure It Well’,” Ensign, Nov 1984, 20

Fear, Faith and Love......

As we are called upon to suffer we need to ask ourselves the question:
“The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?” (D&C 122:8.)
When I think of the Savior’s admonition to do cheerfully all things that lie in our power, I think of the father of the prodigal son. The father was heartbroken by the loss and conduct of his wayward son. Yet we have no mention of his lamenting, “Where did I go wrong?” “What have I done to deserve this?” Or, “Where did I fail?”
Instead he seemed to have endured without bitterness his son’s misconduct and welcomed him back with love. “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.” (Luke 15:24.)
When family members disappoint us, we especially need to learn endurance. As long as we exercise love, patience, and understanding, even when no progress is apparent, we are not failing. We must keep trying.

Marvin J. Ashton, “‘If Thou Endure It Well’,” Ensign, Nov 1984, 20

Sometimes we must wait and trust in the Lord to help our loved one back.  Do not fear, but have faith in our Father in Heaven to do the things that we cannot.  Fear comes from Satan.  Believing in our Heavenly Father to do the things He promised is Faith.  Trust God, He will not fail you.


He (Elder A. Theodore Tuttle) said:
“Adversity, in one form or another, is the universal experience of man. It is the common lot of all … to experience misfortune, suffering, sickness, or other adversities. Ofttimes our work is arduous and unnecessarily demanding. Our faith is tried in various ways—sometimes unjustly tried [it seems]. At times it seems that even God is punishing us and ours. One of the things that makes all this so hard to bear is that we ourselves appear to be chosen for this affliction while others presumably escape these adversities. …

“[But] we cannot indulge ourselves the luxury of self-pity” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1967, pp. 14–15).

Elder Tuttle then left us these lines from Robert Browning Hamilton titled “Along the Road,” which teach a lesson on pleasure and a lesson on sorrow:

I walked a mile with Pleasure.
She chattered all the way,
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne’er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me!

The Opening and Closing of Doors, HOWARD W. HUNTER, OCT. CONFERENCE, 1987


We must change anything we can change that may be part of the problem. In short we must repent, perhaps the most hopeful and encouraging word in the Christian vocabulary. We thank our Father in Heaven we are allowed to change, we thank Jesus we can change, and ultimately we do so only with Their divine assistance. Certainly not everything we struggle with is a result of our actions. Often it is the result of the actions of others or just the mortal events of life. But anything we can change we should change, and we must forgive the rest. In this way our access to the Savior’s Atonement becomes as unimpeded as we, with our imperfections, can make it. HE WILL TAKE IT FROM THERE.

Broken Things to Mend, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, May, 2006


In whatever circumstance we may find ourselves, whether in the midst of tragedy, the pain of misconduct, or merely the daily struggle to live the life of a faithful Latter-day Saint, we must remember “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
Sometimes as children we were told everything would be all right. But life is not like that. No matter who you are, you will have problems. Tragedy and frustration are the unexpected intruders on life’s plans. Someone has said, “Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans.” It is important that we not look upon our afflictions as a punishment from God. True, our own actions may cause some of our problems, but often there is no evident misconduct that has caused our trials. Just the normal journey through life teaches us that nothing worthwhile comes easy.
Marvin J. Ashton, “‘If Thou Endure It Well’,” Ensign, Nov 1984, 20


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Why of Priesthood Service

We know that despite our best intentions, things do not always go according to plan. We make mistakes in life.  Occasionally we stumble and fall short.

When the Lord advises us to “continue in patience until [we] are perfected,” 6 He is acknowledging that it takes time and perseverance. Understanding the why of the gospel  will help us to see the divine purpose of all of this. It will give us motivation and strength to do the right things, even when they are hard. Staying focused on the basic principles of gospel living will bless us with clarity, wisdom, and direction.

The Why of Priesthood Service, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Ensign, May, 2012

What is a Name?

n the April 2012 general conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf reminded us to “stop judging others and replace judgmental 
thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children” (“The Merciful Obtain Mercy,” Ensign, May 2012, 75). Name-calling and 
labeling are forms of judgment, and the problem with judgment is its finality. As disciples of Jesus Christ we should encourage people to change and 
improve. If we believe that others have taken a wrong turn, one of the greatest acts of charity that we can perform is to give them room to 

What's in a Name?, D. Gordon Smith, BYU, June 26, 2012

Christ will take on Himself

“The innocent victim should not be required to carry guilt and scars and baggage of shame.  A loving and willing Master desires to lift those things from our hearts and minds and replace them with His love and sweet peace. Christ will take on Himself our illnesses, our sicknesses, our sufferings-but we must let Him.”

“The Incomparable Christ, Our Master and Model, Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, 1995

“Forgiveness Will Change Bitterness to Love

Forgiveness means that problems of the past no longer dictate our destinies, and we can focus on the future with God’s love in our hearts.
I would like to make it clear that forgiveness of sins should not be confused with tolerating evil. In fact, in the Joseph Smith Translation, the Lord said, “Judge righteous judgment.”  The Savior asks us to forsake and combat evil in all its forms, and although we must forgive a neighbor who injures us, we should still work constructively to prevent that injury from being repeated. A woman who is abused should not seek revenge, but neither should she feel that she cannot take steps to prevent further abuse. A businessperson treated unfairly in a transaction should not hate the person who was dishonest but could take appropriate steps to remedy the wrong. Forgiveness does not require us to accept or tolerate evil. It does not require us to ignore the wrong that we see in the world around us or in our own lives. But as we fight against sin, we must not allow hatred or anger to control our thoughts or actions.
This is not to say that forgiveness is easy. When someone has hurt us or those we care about, that pain can almost be overwhelming. It can feel as if the pain or the injustice is the most important thing in the world and that we have no choice but to seek vengeance. But Christ, the Prince of Peace, teaches us a better way. It can be very difficult to forgive someone the harm they’ve done us, but when we do, we open ourselves up to a better future. No longer does someone else’s wrongdoing control our course. When we forgive others, it frees us to choose how we will live our own lives. Forgiveness means that problems of the past no longer dictate our destinies, and we can focus on the future with God’s love in our hearts.
David E. Sorensen, “Forgiveness Will Change Bitterness to Love,” Ensign, May 2003, 10

Forgiving does not mean what they did was ok, it means that I will not let what someone does live rent free in my head.  I will set myself free.

Learning Experiences and Growth!

Spiritual Lightening – M. Catherine Thomas
Although we bring personal weaknesses to our parenting that may provide real opposition for our children, we do not need to feel that all is lost. We remember that our Heavenly Father knows the end from the beginning. (See Abr. 2:8.) He knew beforehand the ignorance, the failings, the confusion, and the spiritual infirmities of each of his children— including those who would become parents. Knowing all these things, the Lord prepared the gospel plan and allowed us the experiences of mortality, with certain compensations and blessings and talents available within the child or along life’s path that would help the child as he or she struggled with opposition. God provides ample opportunity to learn and recover from the opposition. (See 2 Ne. 2:11, 15; Ether 12:27, 37.)

Some of the learning experiences we undergo may cause us heartache. But fortunately, divine growth can be the outcome of the pain and opposition in anyone’s life

"Why should I let him decide how I'm going to act?"

I recall a memorable lesson I learned from Chicago Daily News columnist Sydney J. Harris. He wrote: 
I walked with my friend, a Quaker, to the newsstand the other night, and he bought a paper, thanking the newsie politely. The newsie didn't even acknowledge it. 
"A sullen fellow, isn't he?" I commented. 
"Oh, he's that way every night," shrugged my friend. 
"Then why do you continue to be so polite to him?" I asked. 
"Why not?" inquired my friend. "Why should I let him decide how I'm going to act?" 
Dallin H. Oaks,  Brigham Young University on 17 January 1995 I learned from Chicago Daily News columnist Sydney J. Harris. He wrote: 
I walked with my friend, a Quaker, to the newsstand the other night, and he bought a paper, thanking the newsie politely. The newsie didn't even acknowledge it. 
"A sullen fellow, isn't he?" I commented. 
"Oh, he's that way every night," shrugged my friend. 
"Then why do you continue to be so polite to him?" I asked. 
"Why not?" inquired my friend. "Why should I let him decide how I'm going to act?" 

Dallin H. Oaks,  Brigham Young University on 17 January 1995

“Can I ever be forgiven?”

Letters come from those who have made tragic mistakes. They ask, “Can I ever be forgiven?”

The answer is yes!

The gospel teaches us that relief from torment and guilt can be earned through repentance. Save for those few who defect to perdition after having known a fullness, there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness.

When your desire is firm and you are willing to pay the “uttermost farthing,”  the law of restitution is suspended. Your obligation is transferred to the Lord. He will settle your accounts.

I repeat, save for the exception of the very few who defect to perdition, there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no apostasy, no crime exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness. That is the promise of the atonement of Christ.

This knowledge should be as comforting to the innocent as it is to the guilty. I am thinking of parents who suffer unbearably for the mistakes of their wayward children and are losing hope.

The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness, Pres Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1995