To my sisters whose addicts caused unbearable anguish- I hope you don't think this post means I am insensitive to your sorrow. No addict is blameless, all began and continued their path by making bad choices. And as it has been said before, finding forgiveness and developing a Christlike love for the sinner is totally different than the romantic and trusting love of a marriage, and distinguishing the two is essential.
A friend of ours was recently studying at a local library when he noticed the two LDS missionaries at nearby computers. From a distance it appeared that one of the elders was looking at something inappropriate on the computer. In disbelief he walked closer and saw in fact, the young man was viewing hard-core pornography on a public computer with all who walked past to see.
When I heard about this my initial reacion was the me of years past, months past, full of self-rightous judgment and disgust with anyone who viewed pornography. I was mad at him for compromising the reputation of the church and for being so careless.
Our friend is an incredibly loving and kind guy. He approached the other elder and suggested he remove his companion from the library ASAP. He later found the elders and kindly visited with them, while firmly rebuking the behavior.
Before I understood addiction, and even now that I do, I get so frustrated with the behavior of these guys. I want to scream and shake them
"REALLY?! You couldn't stop yourself?"
But I've learned that all reason and logic go out the window. And inevitably exquisite remorse follows. Men all cope with that remorse in a different way, some become vulnerable and let their sorrow and shame show. Others close off, put up walls and blame shift.
I chose the name "Pete" for my husband's alias on this blog because of Peter from the New Testament. In the Bible Dictionary it says this about Peter:
"Peter was one of the greatest of men. It is true that the N.T. recounts some mortal weaknesses, but it also illustrates that he overcame them and was made strong by his faith in Jesus Christ."
Peter probably felt that exquisite remorse after three times denying the Savior. He probably felt sick, and thought
"Did I really just do that? What overcame me? What changed? How could I do that?"
and then again:
"I did it again! How did I do it again? I felt so awful the first time? What is wrong with me?"
and then again.
Matt 26:75 "And he went out, and wept bitterly."
I love Peter, he overcame his shame, he made resititution, he sought the Savior's forgiveness.
I love all addicts, but I admire the ones that can follow the example of Peter. Who can put their mortal weakness in the hands of the Savior and partake of his atonement.
This is my wish for my husband, for the young missionary, and all the addicts in your lives.