How many times a day at work as a psychologist do you think I hear phrases like…
They made me… !
He thinks I… !
They told me… !
She said that I… !
I heard that they… !
Too many to count.
The amount of “power” some folks give to others is incredible!!
I’ve seen people … stop going to church … stop talking to family members … stop eating … stop having kids … etc etc … because of what others have said (or what they thought they have said or thought)…
Here’s a rule I’ve come to respect:
You might think… wait a minute dr. rick what about My wife? My church leader? My boss? Shouldn’t I care what they think of me…
You’ll understand what I mean as you learn and practice this GOSPEL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL TRUTH. Your eternity will change! Your outlook will immediately become more hopeful and your freedom to act will increase.
HERE WE GO-
FIRST:You are accountable for you – your “thoughts, words, and deeds” (Mosiah 4:30)!
… it ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me. Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false. To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else. In the grand division of all of God’s creations, there are things to act and things to be acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:13–14). As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we have been blessed with the gift of moral agency, the capacity for independent action and choice. Endowed with agency, you and I are agents, and we primarily are to act and not just be acted upon. To believe that someone or something can make us feel offended, angry, hurt, or bitter diminishes our moral agency and transforms us into objects to be acted upon. As agents, however, you and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond to an offensive or hurtful situation… (And Nothing Shall Offend Them, October 2006, Sunday Afternoon Session. David A. Bednar)
There is no exception. The responsibility for your anger, your depression, your weight, your whatever …BELONGS TO YOU! YOUR SPOUSE CANNOT MAKE YOU SAD! YOUR CHILDREN CANNOT MAKE YOU MAD! (Even if it is a physical or mental illness-you’re responsible and accountable to manage your condition whatever the circumstance.)
Did I say, there is no exception?
Brigham Young illustrates personal responsibility when he says:
If Brother Brigham shall take a wrong track, and be shut out of the Kingdom of Heaven, no person will be to blame but Brother Brigham. I am the only being in heaven, earth, or hell, that can be blamed [for my behavior]. (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1941], pg. 390.)
“We determine our happiness. You and I are ultimately in charge of our own happiness.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Of Regrets and Resolutions” Conference 2012.)
SECOND: Your accountability is to God.
How you behave, think and feel is “Between You and God.” This is the starting point for solving any personal or emotional problem-you are accountable for you and your accountability is to God.
You come to my office expressing a marriage concern-eventually I’m going to tell you It’s not between you and your spouse. It’s between you and God. You come to my office expressing a parenting concern-eventually I’m going to tell you It’s not between you and your child. It’s between you and God. You come to my office expressing a pornography concern-eventually I’m going to tell you It’s not between you and porn. It’s between you and god. There is a pattern here… do you understand it? .
This is an eternal truth. It will work ALL the time every time.
“Making your behavior an issue between you and God” has to be done FIRST before YOU change and before YOU CAN CHANGE ANOTHER.
Check these out. There is an emphasis placed on the individual’s behavior being between God and the individual, not between the individual and someone or something else.
In Acts the story is told of Ananias. He and his wife sold a possession and hid some of the money, not giving it to the church. The sin would appear to be only between Ananias and the church. However, Peter confronted them saying: “thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” (Acts 5:4) Also see: Alma 12:3.
For days Joseph resisted the advances of Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39). Nevertheless, he is falsely accused, and cast into prison. In verse 9 we discover the source of his strength to resist when he said, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9) Joseph wasn’t worried about offending Potiphar or Portiphar’s wife, but God.
Anti-Nephi-Lehies figthing Lamanites. The Lamanites come against the people of God—The Anti-Nephi-Lehies—They choose to fight using the most powerful offense available to them (and to us) – GOD! “Now when the people saw that they were coming (to war) against them (their enemy) they went out to meet them, and prostrated themselves before them to the earth,” And how did they fight: “began to call on the name of the Lord; and thus they were in this attitude when the Lamanites began to fall upon them, and began to slay them with the sword.” (Alma 24: 21) The Anti-Nephi-Lehies won the battle as they realized the real battle wasn’t with the Lamanites, but with the Lord. Also see 3 Nephi 4:7-10.
KEEPER OF THE GATE
Christ is the judge “The keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate.” (2 Nephi 9:41) Jesus is at the gate-not your spouse, your child, your parent, your neighbor etc. etc. (See Alma 41:3-4)
The moment you take responsibility for your life and make your personal challenge an issue between you and God you’ll immediately gain freedom to clearly see and do the right thing.
Don’t believe me.
Remember, remember ... the next time you sense you are reacting to a family or ward member or neighbor or someone else, say to yourself….
Within a week you’ll recognize the power of which I speak. You will experience more clearly the eternal power associated with correctly understanding the gift of agency.
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(P.S. If you apply this TRUTH and it doesn’t work, I’ll refund your money.)