In the Church’s Addiction Recovery Program launched in September, there are 12 steps. These steps can be for everyone—from those who battle major addictions to the normal Joe who might bite his nails or have trouble curbing his tongue. We all have weaknesses we struggle with in life. This program gives excellent aid in overcoming sin in all its various forms. Step 1 (Honesty) and Step 2 (Hope) have already been covered.
After we are honest with ourselves, we begin to hope that we can overcome our sins that bind us to darkness. That leads to making a decision to turn our wills and lives over to Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
This decision is vital to progressing. Honesty and Hope allow us to realize what we can’t do ourselves and that we need God to step in and help us. Trusting in God means we become proactive and decide to change. We open ourselves up to God and surrender our entire lives (past, present and future) and our will about our lives to Him.
I love this quote by Neal A. Maxwell:
The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar….The many other things we give to God, however nice that may be of us, are actually things He has already given us, and He has loaned them to us. But when we begin to submit ourselves by letting wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him. (“Insights from my Life,” Ensign, Aug. 2000, 9)
We might stumble and fall as we take this step, but we shouldn’t ever think we have failed. Trust God. Trust His love for you. He will be patient and accepting of our faltering efforts to surrender to Him in all things. The important part is to keep trusting Him…even after we fall again. We’re not in a race. He just wants us to be striving to step in the right direction. When we show our trust by getting up after each time we stumble…and rededicating ourselves to His will each day (or each hour if need be); when we show our willingness to trust Him…
Then is His grace sufficient to enable us to do what we normally could not do.
In the Book of Mormon, it talks about how God blesses those who trust Him:
He did deliver them because they did humble themselves before him; and because they cried mightily unto him he did deliver them out of bondage; and thus doth the Lord work with his power in all cases among the children of men, extending the arm of mercy towards them that put their trust in Him. (Mosiah 29:20)
Our Heavenly Father wants us to succeed. He sent us to this earth to experience JOY...not be smothered and choked by the thorns of the flesh. Addictions, sins, character flaws, and weaknesses can all be overcome through the enabling power of our Savior’s atonement. And this step–Trusting Him–will put us on a path to recovery and spiritual joy.
Giving up our will can seem like a scary thing…because we’re human and think we know what will make us happy. But when we humble ourselves to truly trust God and surrender our desires to Him…then He can ignite spiritual change in us. He can give us new hearts and that little bit of happiness we had imagined for ourselves before we came unto Him will seem puny and insignificant compared to the JOY we receive from our God instead.
To me, that is the best reason in the world to trust in God over anyone else. Politicians change their minds as fast as celebrities changes partners; friends can sometimes be fickle; coworkers come and go; family can be demanding. No one else really understands us (sometimes, we don’t even quite get who we really are) or can judge what will give us joy.
But God knows us each individually. We’re His sons and daughters. All that He does is to help us grow to be worthy of ALL that He has (which is mighty). He doesn’t have a hidden agenda. He doesn’t have ulterior motives. His motivating force is love. When we understand and come to believe that…it becomes easier to sacrifice our wills for His. In fact, it becomes a blessing.