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Question

 

Gramps,

When you truly repent for the sins you’ve committed and do them again are they still considered forgiven as long as you are seriously making an effort to change for the better? Like an addiction. Your mind knows it’s not what you really want, but your body is craving fleshly desires. Will sacrament help with this as long as I strive to do better as well? Please help me understand.

Summer

 

Answer

 

Dear Summer,

Thank you for your letter.  Depending on what sort of addiction you are talking about, this is likely better a question for your Bishop.  Remember the Bishop is there to help you.  Sometimes people have the mistaken idea that going to a Bishop about repentance is like going to the school principal, i.e. as if you were in trouble and going to be punished.  That is not the role of a Bishop, he is there to help you not punish you.  I believe the Lord gave us Bishops because He can’t physically be there to help each of us, but He wants to be sure we get the help that we need.

Remember also that because of the Atonement, Christ understands what you are going through.  He understands the battle between the desire to do better and the addiction.  He understands the physical, emotional and spiritual needs.  Because of His Atonement, He can help you.

In addition to the Atonement, and a Bishop, the Lord has provided another tool to help people struggling with addictions, the church’s Addiction Recovery Program.  Your Bishop can give you more information about local meetings.  You can read more about the program here: Addiction Recovery Program: A Journey to Repentance

I love what Elder Uchtdorf said about our weaknesses and the Savior’s love:

“I marvel to think that the Son of God would condescend to save us, as imperfect, impure, mistake prone, and ungrateful as we often are. I have tried to understand the Savior’s Atonement with my finite mind, and the only explanation I can come up with is this: God loves us deeply, perfectly, and everlastingly. I cannot even begin to estimate “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height … [of] the love of Christ.” The Gift of Grace

The Lord loves you and He understands that addictions are not resolved overnight.  He knows your heart and your desire to improve and He will be with you through this process.  Be sure to use the resources He has provided, you don’t need to do this alone.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

 

 

 

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