Following the scriptural mandate to become a new creature in Jesus Christ may seem like an impossible task, and Mormon author Kevin Hinckley agrees that no amount of willpower, determination or human effort will change one's nature. Rather, only when a person fully relies on Christ and his Atonement can the Lord change a person’s nature to mirror his own.
Based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Addiction Recovery Program, Hinckley's “Habits, Hurts and Hangups: 12 Steps to Heal the Natural Man" (Cedar Fort, $9.99) is a blueprint for surrendering to Christ and allowing him to redeem, empower and transform.
The pathway to peace and healing is lined with some of the following steps:
- Visualize, then effectuate submission. Determine a current level of trust in the Lord and seek to more completely surrender to his solutions, counsel and direction.
- Make a written personal inventory. Complete the list by recording strengths and struggles, impactful people and relationships, lessons from family, and experiences from critical developmental years.
- Petition the Lord to remove shortcomings. Articulate thanksgiving and gratitude, then express hope and faith, and finally, seek to discover Heavenly Father's will and desires.
- Forgive those who might have been hurtful. Whether or not people seem to deserve forgiveness, granting it is the only way to find peace and thanksgiving instead of bitterness, anger and resentment.
- Take a daily personal inventory. Conducting a consistent evaluation ensures continued progression. Daily inventory begins with morning personal prayer and searching of the scriptures, a process which opens the heart to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
- Share the message of hope and healing with others. Upon seeing changes, express gratitude and increased charity by reaching out to those around you to follow the Savior’s admonition to feed his sheep.
Gail Sears is the mother of five children. She resides in Georgia and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.