Conquering Addiction

One of you mentioned a lifelong addiction, and wondered how to finally overcome that trial and move on into the greater blessings you desire. I am inclined to believe that most of us struggle with addictions lesser or greater. Some people are addicted to anger, or money, or sex, or sexual orientation, or to being right all the time. Some are addicted to compliments and recognition, others to substances and illegal activities. But, we are all struggling with this problem on some level.

Since our entire spiritual evolution operates upon the principle of allowing the Holy Spirit to direct us in the pathway designated by Jesus Christ, then as long as we remain on that path, the Lord will take us line upon line to every spiritual accomplishment and destination we desire – and empower us to go there.

Let me say it another way: If you want to be fully clean through repentance – become flawlessly obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit, and you will succeed.

If you want to be born again – become flawlessly obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit and you will succeed.

If you want to have your Calling and Election made sure – become flawlessly obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit and you will succeed.

If you want to have miracles, power in the priesthood, prophetic understanding, visions, visitations of angels, and to see inside the veil – become flawlessly obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit and you will succeed.

If you want to overcome an addiction – become flawlessly obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit and you will succeed.

It is unlikely that your addiction will suddenly lose any of its persuasive pull in your life, but when the voice of addiction demands your attention, the Holy Spirit will guide you. You will know and see the correct actions and responses, and if you act with courage and obey, even when it is at great cost and discomfort, then the magic happens.

If you try to act on your own, by your own willpower, you are pitting your strength against the power of the addiction – and the fact that you even have an addiction stipulates that your strength isn’t up to the task. But, when the Holy Spirit speaks and urges you to not partake, and you choose to obey, then you are triggering the gears of heaven in dispensing grace to you to add to the battle what you have always lacked.

It is the same principle Nephi 3:7 promises in that the Lord always prepares a way for us to accomplish the thing which he commands us.

When acting in obedience you are no longer alone. It will take 100% of your courage and strength – which will probably not be enough still – but by obedience you invite and enable Christ to take up your cause – and He will lift your burden sufficiently that you will conquer. Then, you do it again, and again, and again, until the evil that is calling you to self-destruction has no more power over you.

No matter what we are seeking, and no matter how badly we lack, the method to obtain any blessing is everlastingly the same – identify the voice of the Holy Spirit and flawlessly obey it. Each further step will be opened to your mind, each a little more empowered by Christ. Your part in it remains the same – obey, obey, obey, obey, obey.

Brother John

© August 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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6 Responses to Conquering Addiction

  1. Maggie says:

    Thank you. Thank you.


  2. Donald says:

    John, it seems our personal weaknesses are intended to help us learn these critical lessons. The Lord, what a grand teacher.

    Ether 12:27
    27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.


  3. Anonymous says:

    I’d like to add an experience that’s helped me deal with the Telestial/carnal things that pull at me.

    About 10 months ago I started fasting weekly. I fast during the week so that no one will know I’m fasting. I’d had some lovely fasts and some not-so-lovely ones but wasn’t sure if I was actually “progressing” until just a couple weeks ago. The first hint started out small – I noticed that I had started to lose my desire for sweets and desserts. I eat less now and often pass them up entirely without thinking about it. Now it’s begun to branch out to other addictions I’d had. The claws that were once dug into me so deeply are now starting to loosen their grip. Yesterday I had a distinct impression that much of it was due to my weekly fasts that have been training my brain/body/spirit to say no to something worldly for 24 hours every week. It’s a great spiritual workout that will make us strong. There are some demons that will only go out through much prayer and fasting.


    • John Pontius says:

      An excellent comment. Thank you.


    • Donald says:

      Anonymous–My wife and I taught a temple prep. class in our ward earlier this summer. Each Sunday for the 6 weeks we taught the class I went fasting and praying. I was asking for guidance and approval for our class. I was grateful to have that prayer answered. My answers to questions were sometimes unexpected. What surprised me was the contributions from the small group we taught. My wife (who rarely makes comments in classes we attend) offered wonderful and inspired insights and thoughts…. regularly. A young couple that was preparing to be sealed with their baby daughter would also offer the most wonderful comments and observations. Visitors to our class would also share edifying insights. The Spirit was strong and present. I felt truly fed by the feeling of the spirit in our class…. something I honestly was not expecting this when asked to teach the class…. and I believe the kindness and generous spirit prompting our class was a direct result of fasting. That young couple is being sealed in the San Diego temple tomorrow (Friday the 19th of August). I am so happy for them and the things the Spirit taught us in that class.


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