Sunday, June 8, 2014

BECOMING ONE WITH GOD by Ronda Hinrichsen

One of the benefits I most appreciated about attending a church sponsored college was the freedom teachers had to unite secular knowledge with spiritual understanding. This blessing is also found in the church’s Addiction Recovery Program; for while it is based on the twelve steps developed by Alcoholics Anonymous, Church leaders have strengthened its principals with the spiritual truths of the gospel.

“A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing” can be found on, and many stakes provide organized classes on it. I have developed three Family Home Evening Lessons based on the Addiction Recovery Program manual because the truths taught in it can aid all church members in their personal struggles to overcome their individual weaknesses of the flesh. I’ve included Lesson One here. Lessons two and three will be published later this month.

Note: These Family Home Evening lessons are not meant to replace the church’s Addiction Recovery Program. 

Lesson 1

Purpose: Help family members understand all have weaknesses of the flesh, but as we turn our will to Christ, we can overcome them and grow closer to becoming “one” with God.

Preparation: Provide each family member with a small notebook they can use as a journal and/or individual copies of the assignment questions located near the end of this lesson on a separate sheet of paper, allowing room for their responses.

“I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.

Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things” (Alma 26:11–12).

 “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus” (Children’s Songbook, p. 78)

We Are Children of God with the Potential to Overcome All Things

President Spencer W. Kimball taught:

“When we were spiritual beings, fully organized and able to think and study and understand with him, our Heavenly Father said to us, in effect: 'Now, my beloved children, in your spirit state you have progressed about as far as you can. To continue your development, you need physical bodies. I intend to provide a plan whereby you may continue your growth. As you know, one can grow only by overcoming.

“'Now,' said the Lord, 'we shall take of the elements at hand and organize them into an earth, place thereon vegetation and animal life, and permit you to go down upon it. This will be your proving ground. We shall give you a rich earth, lavishly furnished for your benefit and enjoyment, and we shall see if you will prove true and do the things that are asked of you. I will enter into a contract with you. If you will agree to exercise control over your desires and continue to grow toward perfection and godhood by the plan which I shall provide, I will give to you a physical body of flesh and bones and a rich and productive earth, with sun, water, forests, metals, soils, and all other things necessary to feed and clothe and house you and give to you every enjoyment that is proper and for your good. In addition to this, I will make it possible for you to eventually return to me as you improve your life, overcoming obstacles and approaching perfection.'”

"To the above most generous offer, we as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father responded with gratitude.”

Song:  “I Am a Child of God” (Hymn #301)

Discussion Questions:
Many witnesses in heaven and in earth testify of God’s existence. What evidences of God and His love have you experienced?
How does it make you feel to know you are a child of God?
What do we need to do to become like our Heavenly Father?
One thing we must all do to be able to become like Heavenly Father is to overcome our weaknesses. What gift has Heavenly Father given us to help us with this task? (Correct answers may include: our strengths, families, keeping the commandments, and agency, but emphasize that one of His greatest gifts is our Savior, Jesus Christ.)

Have a family member read this statement by Elder D. Todd Christofferson:
"Jesus was also a being of flesh and spirit, but He yielded not to temptation (see Mosiah 15:5). We can turn to Him as we seek unity and peace within, because He understands. He understands the struggle, and He also understands how to win the struggle."

Discussion Questions:

How does it make you feel to know Jesus both understands and knows how to win our struggles?

What personal experiences have taught you that you can trust Jesus Christ? (Be prepared to share your own experiences as needed. You may also want to tell the story of Alma and his people found in Mosiah 24.)

We Can Overcome Our Weaknesses

Every person on the earth has physical weaknesses. Nephi said:

“Notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.

“I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me” (2 Nephi. 4:17–18).

But then, remembering the Savior, Nephi stated this hopeful conclusion: “Nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted” (2 Nephi. 4:19).

Discussion Questions:

Have you every tried to overcome a bad habit? Was it easy or difficult? What did you have to do in order to accomplish it?


Have a family member read this statement by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

If you’ve tangled your ordered life into a ball of knots, it has taken time to get it that way. It is unreasonable to expect to unravel it all at once. Start knot by knot, decision by decision, and be sure that while you are untying the knots, you don’t let any more get put there through transgression.This example suggests how your habit can be overcome.

Suppose a small child were to run in front of your car. What would you do? Careful analysis of each step taken will teach you how to overcome your serious habit:
  • First your mind decides to stop. Nothing else can happen until that decision is made.
  • Then you take your foot off the accelerator. Can you imagine stopping a car with one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brake?
  • Finally you firmly apply the brake.
The same pattern is followed to overcome your entrenched habit. Decide to stop what you are doing that is wrong. Then search out everything in your life that feeds the habit, such as negative thoughts, unwholesome environment, and your companions in mischief. Systematically eliminate or overcome everything that contributes to that negative part of your life. Then stop the negative things permanently.

For the next few weeks, we will be working toward overcoming our weaknesses. This week, please begin writing in a journal. List your weaknesses and strengths. Be honest with yourself and with God. In your inventory, you will not only discover your weaknesses but you will also understand and appreciate your strengths better. Include in your inventory your good traits and the positive things you have done. In truth, you are a combination of weaknesses and strengths. As you become willing to see the whole truth about your past—good and bad—you allow the powers of heaven to reveal the truth and help you put the past in proper perspective. The Lord will help you change your life’s course and fulfill your divine potential.

After you’ve completed your list, choose a weakness you want to work on and then write down events, feelings, and outcomes of times when you succumbed to that weakness. Ask yourself questions like:
  • What outcome did I want in this situation and why?
  • How did I try to control the situation?
  • Was it any of my business?
  • Was it any of my business?
  • What actions did I take or omit to get what I wanted?
  • Did I ignore reality?
  • Were my expectations reasonable for myself and for others?
  • Did I lie to myself or to others?
  • Did I ignore the feelings of others and think only of myself?
  • How did I act like a victim to control others, to get attention and sympathy, to be special, and so on?
  • Did I resist help from God and others?
  • Did I insist on being right?
  • Did I feel slighted for lack of recognition or acknowledgment?

President Spencer W. Kimball counseled, “Write . . . your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies” (“The Angels May Quote from It,” New Era, Oct. 1975, 5).
When we prayerfully write about our lives, we give the Holy Ghost an opportunity to help us see and understand the potential lessons that come from each of our experiences. We should be prayerful as we write so the Lord can teach us and enrich our understanding through His Spirit.


“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” (Ether 12:27).


Bear your testimony of the Savior, your reliance on Him, and your belief that we can overcome our weaknesses with His help.

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