I have tried to live my life the way I should, and I continue to have problems. What should I do? I have tried to change, but I still cannot get a temple recommend. Gramps, I have a hard time getting to church, but I want to live a life that is going to get me to Heaven and the Celestial Kingdom. Please, can you help me?
Forces pull us in different directions. The entire purpose of this life is to overcome the inclinations to satisfy our bodily appetites and passions. Until the body is dominated by the spirit, we are to one degree or another under the influence of the Adversary. If you have a sincere desire to follow the Savior rather than the Adversary, there are several things that you could do to give you the necessary strength.
First, it is extremely important to choose carefully your associates. If you associate with those who act contrary to the will of God, you will undoubtedly participate with them in their unwholesome activities. It’s not an easy thing to give up friends and face ridicule from them. However, it shows what you want most. If you want their acceptance most, you will get it, but at the expense of all you profess to want.
Second, it is very important to keep your mind on the things of the Spirit. One, it helps to keep out unclean thoughts, and two, you may gain more knowledge, understanding, and insight of those things that have eternal value. I would suggest that it would be important to read the Book of Mormon every day–without exception. Make it a top priority. Spend at least thirty minutes a day, at the top of the day, in the scriptures.
Third, one must control his or her activity. If you have been involved in those things that are against the principles of the gospel, they must cease–immediately! Repent. Repentance is not just refraining from unclean actions; it is training the mind and the body to look upon such things with abhorrence. Then there is no temptation to repeat them.
Fourth, you must gain the strength to obey the commandments of God. No one is perfect; we all commit sin. However, the struggle to overcome sin and self should never cease. We progress from one small victory over self to another, and each victory gives us added strength.
Finally, it is vitally important to approach our Heavenly Father frequently in prayer. It is one thing to say one’s prayers morning and night, but what is really required is to have the Lord and His will for us in mind at all times. We can come to feel Him at our side; we can talk with Him and listen for the influence of His Spirit. It probably would be a good idea to memorize and frequently repeat the scripture found in D&C 6:36:
Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.