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Dear Gramps,
I have a close friend that has tried to quit smoking so she can be baptised and can’t suceed at it. She is getting so discouraged that she feels like an outsider and is pulling away from attending church. She belives in the truth but because of her addiction to the tobacco she feels like an outsider.  How can I help her to acheive her goal. She wants to be babtised but understands that untill she can stop smoking that it cant happen. How can I help her to find the strength? Thanks for any advice or help.
Harry

Dear Harry,

It is too bad that people don’t realize how difficult habits are to break before they smoke that first cigarette or take that first drink.  It is only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and hard work that one is able to break these habits.

In Matthew chapter 17 we read where the disciples were unable to cure a child.  Jesus chastised them for their lack of faith.  He then cast out the devil from the boy.  When the disciples asked Him why they were unable to cast out the devil, Jesus answered:  20″… Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.  21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”

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Just as casting out the devil was difficult, so is breaking the habit of smoking.  The same principles given to the disciples by Jesus also apply to your friend. The type of faith Jesus is speaking of is one based on a strong testimony of Him and His Gospel.  Her faith along with much fasting and prayer is what will help her stop her habit.  The faith and support of her friends will also be of great help.  It would be well to have the local congregation hold a fast in support of her and her ability to break this habit.  This will also help her feel welcome and part of the congregation.

We need to remember that through the grace of the Lord we are able to accomplish all that we need to.  In the Bible Dictionary it states:  “It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means.”

Gramps

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