Mortal (Mormon) Man

Navigating Same Gender Attraction

iPhones and Shovels

Over the past few weeks a friend and I have taken the challenge to rid our lives of pornography and the ill effects of its influence.  Without a brother that can understand my SSA struggle, I am not sure how successful I would be.  I am a justifier.  I love to justify all my sins.  Yes, I want to move on with my life.  Yes, I want to be free from the burdens pornography offers.  I want to heal.  So, we took the drastic step of placing filters on each others’ iPhones.   I control his phone; he controls the settings of mine.  It was a bold move, but necessary.  The Church’s Addiction Recovery Program encourages us to admit to ourselves that we have a problem, and acknowledge that we are incapable of overcoming it by ourselves.

Anothmaxresdefaulter key to overcoming the addictions in our lives is to seek help and find a healthy support system.  My friend is my healthy support system.  We struggle together and we know how to succor each other in our infirmities.  For me, I have been 100% successful in leaving the porn on the internet and not on my screen.  For me, I feel accountable.  This support structure gives me an added boost of determination.  I don’t want to fail my friend (and I hope he doesn’t want to fail me).  Yesterday we discussed the difficulties of ridding our lives of all forms of pornography.  It is a very real struggle that will not just be a commitment for a few weeks.  It will take a lifetime of dedication.  We both have recognized greater light and freedom in our personal lives as a reward for our efforts.  I suppose this will be a line-upon-line precept-upon-precept recovery.

As we were discussing our struggles and successes I thought of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies or the people of Ammon.   These Ammonites were converted by the sons of Mosiah.  After their conversion, they were faithful throughout their lives.  They refused to shed blood and, as you may remember, they buried their weapons of war.  Even more remarkable is that they began to prepare their sons, approximately 2,000 of them, to be strong leaders and valiant sons of God.

As I thought of this story I thought of my current situation.  I grabbed my Book of Mormon and began to reread their account found in Alma.  I then started to replace a few words with my “weapons.”

And now, my brethren, if pornography seeks to destroy us, behold, we will hide away our iPhones, yea, even we will bury them deep in the earth, that they may be kept bright, as a testimony that we have never used them, at the last day; and if our weaknesses do destroy us, behold, we shall go to our God and shall be saved.

And now it came to pass that when the king had made an end of these sayings, and all the people were assembled together, they took their iPhones, and all the tempations which were used for the shedding of our spiritual growth, and they did bury them up deep in the earth.

Now, in what manner did they bury their weapons?  Deep.  They weren’t placed just under the surface, not within reach, and not accessible in panic or rage.  They buried them so deep that if they were tempted they wouldn’t be able to reach them before they would be overtaken by the enemy.   Without such depth, temptations will increase and we will grab our dulled shovels and begin to recover our vices.

That is where my friend and I are at today.  We have taken control of each others’ weapons of war, and with shovels in hand we are digging a really deep hole.  Today we are safe and are finding success because we are accountable to each other.  There will come a time when we have to deposit our weapons of war.  We will have to bury them and allow them to remain secured in the earth.  I look forward to that day.

I am grateful for sharp shovels.  Don’t get discouraged. It takes time to dig deep holes.

 

5 Comments

  1. So – mortalmormonman –
    When I received a copy of this post about iPhones and shovels, I noted that it was written by the same Kylen who responded to Rodrigo – and said, ” I know living the gospel and living with SSA is so restrictive, but think of a kite soaring in the sky. Without the restriction provided by the string the kite would be motionless and unfulfilled. Instead of living below our privilege, don’t we owe it to ourselves to fly?” – I flagged this email so I could read it over and over – thank you.
    Just today I received another NorthStar email from “Kylen” – and noted the blog address. Your articulate and insightful blog posts are honest and uplifting. I have been a part of NorthStar email groups for over 10 years. Having several emotionally intimate male friend has been a powerful influence in my addiction recovery. In addition to those who experience SSA, my closest friends are men who do not experience SSA. These few amazing men I met through ARP, and Sexaholics Anonymous (which I highly recommend). One OSA (other sex attracted) friend from SA asked me to be his sponsor 9 years ago. He knew of my attractions but somehow he said my recovery was something he wanted. . . so our relationship began as we worked thru the 12 steps together. He was single and never thought he would get married. He knew he would need to be honest with the girl he was dating about his porn addiction, and he thought no good Mormon girl would have him. Well – when he met a member of his BYU Stake RS Society Presidency – they began dating, he disclosed, and because he was in recovery, she said yes when he proposed. He and I had many hour long phone calls twice weekly during their engagement. We went to the temple together several times and always shared a long celestial embrace in the Celestial room. They now have 3 children and we talk weekly and often pray together on the phone. It thrills me at the end of each conversation when he tells me – “I love you.”
    –So keep writing these honest blogs. I am uplifted by your words.
    –A new friend in recovery, Eddie H.

  2. ManchurianMan

    May 31, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    I want to say that this article is amazing, perfectly written and comes with the spirit. Thank you for sharing your life and experiences with me.

  3. I agree 100% with this blog. It has been a good read. Keep posting.

  4. Awesome analogy!

    I am writing this down and saving it in my scriptures. I love the concept of burying your weapons deep in the ground, not because they are an evil temptation now, but because they could be in the future. I guess it reflects back to the parable of the 10 virgins. Nothing will replace your preparation today…especially when you need it tomorrow.

    Again, thanks for the blog. I love the insights you provide.

  5. You get a lot of respect from me for writing these helpful articles.

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