“Sow a thought, and you reap an act; Sow an act, and you reap a habit; Sow a habit, and you reap a character; Sow a character, and you reap a destiny”

Charles Reade

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 87- cheerfulness, joy, light, and good feelings.

Sometimes I just want someone to know I am put out, angry, hurt or whatever. I want to choose to do or say something to let them know.

Today was one of those days. As I dwelt on it and chose to whine to family about it, I did not feel happy. I remembered this quote from George Q. Cannon:

“Do not allow darkness and gloom to enter your hearts. I want to give you a rule by which you may know that the spirit you have is the right spirit. The Spirit of God produces cheerfulness, joy, light, and good feelings. Whenever you feel gloomy and despondent and are downcast, unless it be for you sins, ye may know it is not the spirit of God which you have. Fight against it and drive it out of your heart. The spirit of God is a spirit of hope; it is not a spirit of gloom.”

I may quote this one frequently on my blog because I use it frequently to help me change my thoughts and feelings.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 86- Happy Sabbath! “Our thoughts will also condemn us,”

…feelings of hate, envy, and jealousy, or of any other negative impulse or idea, can be changed by the control of one’s thoughts. And this is something which lies within the sole power of the individual. No one can prevent you from thinking what you wish. Within the sanctity of your mind, you are the king or the queen. There you rule. There you can determine which thoughts will be given precedence, which thoughts will be allowed to take root, and which will be expelled.

But with such control over thought comes a corresponding responsibility. We will be judged by our own thoughts as well as by our words and actions. “Our thoughts will also condemn us,” said Alma (Alma 12:14).

Elder Francis M. Gibbons

of the First Quorum of the Seventy

Thursday, May 26, 2011

day 85- get a life!

Was upset with Phil and allowed myself to dwell on it and get myself all worked up. It’s amazing how justified I feel when I’m filled with negative thoughts, but I have been reminding myself so often where those thoughts come from that I knew I had to find a way to clear my mind.

My computer was acting up so I had to go downstairs and use Phil’s computer. I typed in a few words about what was bothering me about him into google and started reading. It wasn’t long before what I needed hit me between the eyes, the words “get a life”. I realized I had spent so much time checking in on what he was saying and doing that I couldn’t help but find what I was looking for, something to complain about. (Phil works at home most of the time)

Today I spent more time getting a life of my own and thinking about how I am going to make something of it.
 Do I want to be a whimpy,whining woman or a woman of power? I want to be seen as strong and capable not needy and weak. Cheerful and happy, not gloomy and sad.

I think I can, I think I can. I think I can.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy Like Jesus

I know this is a plug for his book, but I love the message here. We can be positvely happy like Jesus!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day83- a bad habit

I found this 10 step habit breaking program on wikihow:

1Understand and admit to yourself that you have a bad habit. You won't get anywhere unless you can admit this fact. Ask yourself:

What is my bad habit?

Why can't I really get rid of it?

What things or people stop me from getting rid of it?

2Before doing anything, you must be willing to change, and be able to accept the changes it could make.

3Decide how you will break your habit. Here's a good method: Every time you catch yourself preparing to bite your nails, suck your thumb, or whatever else you do, stop yourself and make a mark on a calendar. If you really stick to your goal, you will see the number of marks steadily decrease over time.

4Build your own "NO" zone: Find someone you like who disapproves of your habit. Tell yourself you will not indulge in the act whenever you are around that person. If you like the person enough, you will find yourself having less desire to go back to the habit. Use the person as an anchor. Just be around this person whenever you feel like controlling the urge. (This doesn't necessarily mean you can't be around this person when indulging in the undesired habit, just try to use their dislike of the habit to fuel your own will to quit.)

5Capitalize on other negatives: Use any other clashing habit or negative about yourself to combat the habit. For instance, if you're lazy, be lazy about your habit. Think of it as too much effort. If you're a smoker, keep your pack locked up in your car down the street. Then you'll find it easy to be too lazy to go get one.

6Try to replace your habit with something new and positive in your life. The key is not to focus on the "not doing", but to think instead about "doing". Instead of thinking about missing that piece of chocolate cake after dinner, think about how good it is going to feel to take a long walk without all that sugar in your system.

7Reward yourself. Once you have gone a week or so with no marks on the calendar, buy yourself a sundae, go shopping, eat at a fancy restaurant, or whatever makes you happy.

8Forgive yourself when you slip: Don't beat yourself up if you end up falling into the habit again. Pick yourself up and try again. Your efforts have not been wasted and you have not lost any ground. With every attempt you make yourself stronger.

9Open your eyes: Life shows you the way if you just listen. You always "know" when you're crossing a line. Go by your gut and avoid it when you "know" you should.

10Visualize the new you, without the habit: See it, feel it, hear the sounds of success. Hear the compliments. Hear your new thoughts of how great it feels to have made this change. Never stop trying to change and visually see your self in your mind succeeding.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I firmly believe that if you have a positive attitude you can accomplish anything, as long as:

1. It’s God’s will

2. You apply true principles.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Happy Sabbath! day81- Powerful beyond measure

“One of the greatest weaknesses in most of us is our lack of faith in ourselves. One of our common failings is to depreciate our tremendous worth”

-L. Tom Perry,

I read the following quote somewhere once and then I saw it recently on my son, Nate’s blog. It is so true.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

-Marianne Williamson

Friday, May 20, 2011

I am succeeding and feeling pretty good about my life and things in general.
Positive thinking really works!

Here are some don’ts.

Feel sorry for yourself

I really had to decide that I didn’t want to do these things anymore. I decided that I would choose faith instead, life is more pleasant and the spirit teaches me.

Faith=positive thinking

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 77- "though the darkness wars to hold us down"

Just over a week before our Women at the Well performance, I was asking one of the women in my Harmony group rehearsal if her daughters would play a small part as some of the 10 virgins during one of the songs. Another mother in our group mentioned that her daughter would probably be willing to do it too and I gratefully asked her to see if she would. Later she told me that her daughter would be willing to participate.

The day of the performance came and just shortly before we were to start my friend called and told me her daughter had changed her mind. I told her I didn’t know who else to call at such short notice but to tell her daughter that if she would get someone to take her place it would be ok with me.

(I didn’t stress or worry, I kept a positive, faithful attitude)

As usual, everything worked out and the daughter decided to come. The next day I got this email from her mother. I have eliminated her name.

"I just wanted to personally thank you for the wonderful production you directed on Sat. of Women at the Well. It was such a pleasure to be a part of it with so many talented women and girls. I really felt the spirit and know that many did also and were deeply touched by the beautiful music and readings.

(My Daughter) was also touched by the music and listened to the CD the rest of the weekend. She said later that she was glad she came and was able to participate with the other girls. I'm glad she decided to come, even though it took some encouragement to help her understand how much she was needed. I guess its like coming to the well and being filled. One of her favorite songs was the one Michaela sang of "Daughter Arise". She was very touched by the song and how your daughter performed it. (she)also enjoyed hearing your other daughters sing as well as your sister. I think we all enjoyed the way each song was portrayed."

In the song Michaela sang, "Daughter Arise" the words say “Though the darkness wars to hold us down, the Lord bids us look upward and leave the world behind” How many times has a negative thought and feeling tried to keep us from church, or service or some other good and worthwhile thing. That is the darkness trying to hold us down. That is our opportunity to remind ourselves that something good is about to happen so don’t give in to those negative thoughts.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Hymns, When Faith Endures, no. 128
I will not doubt, I will not fear;
God’s love and strength are always near.
His promised gift helps me to find
An inner strength and peace of mind.
I give the Father willingly
My trust, my prayers, humility.
His Spirit guides; his love assures
That fear departs when faith endures.
Text: Naomi W. Randall, 1908–2001. © 1985 IRI
Music: Stephen M. Jones, b. 1960. © 1985 IRI"

Monday, May 16, 2011

day 75- positive thoughts and inspiration

I put together a musical production for our community, our performance was last Saturday. I was apprehensive about doing it when the idea first occurred to me. I feared rejection from the people that I wanted to include, but because I knew fear was negative thinking and fear and faith can’t abide in me at the same time, I did not give into my fears(negative thinking), and moved forward in faith. What resulted was a beautiful production put on by women of different Christian faiths.

I had wonderful responses from all who attended and they asked that we perform it again soon so that they could bring their friends.

Although everything turned out as well as I could have wanted, there were a few setbacks and problems, but they were all easily solved because I kept a positive, faithful attitude which allowed me to receive the inspiration I needed to work things out.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 74- happy sabbath!

Keeping Mentally Well By Jan Underwood Pinborough
Principle No. 4: Changing thoughts can change feelings.

Some of our emotional distress originates in negative thinking habits. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Prov. 23:7.) Larry Crenshaw, manager of special services for LDS Social Services at Church headquarters, explains: “If we are thinking unwholesome or negative thoughts, it’s going to show up in our emotions and eventually in our behavior.” Negative thinking patterns cause negative emotions; they can even trigger depression. And medical researchers are finding that some kinds of negative thinking can also make us more vulnerable to physical illnesses, including heart disease. (See Redford Williams, The Trusting Heart: Great News about Type A Behavior, New York City: Random House, 1989.)

Dr. Ken Tuttle, chairman of the department of psychiatry at Utah Valley Hospital, explains that having a negative style of perceiving reality is “like trying to watch general conference on a television set that has a fuzzy picture. The good is there, but we can’t perceive it very well.”

Negative thinking comes in many forms. We may magnify the negative aspects of a situation and minimize the positive. We may see every negative event as proving our unworthiness. We may think only in black-and-white extremes. Or we may use the words always and never in evaluating our failures and successes.

The first step in changing our negative thought patterns is monitoring our thoughts. “When I began to listen to my thoughts, I realized that I was often thinking illogically,” said one man. “If someone cut in front of me on the freeway, I would think, ‘That stupid teenager. He just has to show how smart he is by cutting me off.’ When I heard such thinking, I would remind myself, ‘That teenager wasn’t trying to cut me off—he was probably in a hurry and didn’t realize how close his turn was.’”

Because negative thoughts “feel” so right to the person who is thinking them, they can be difficult to turn off. Some therapists recommend mentally yelling “Stop!” to banish a negative thought and then applying reason to reevaluate the situation. One doctor suggests lifting the emotions by completing the sentence “I am thankful for …” with as many answers as possible.

This does not mean that we refuse to allow negative emotions or experiences. But it does mean that we do not ruminate about them and draw negative conclusions about our own worth. The rewards for redirecting thoughts in a more positive direction are great. Depression can subside, anxiety can diminish, and physical health can improve.

Self-help books can help us learn to change negative thinking patterns, as can therapists specializing in cognitive therapy.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 72- opportunity knocks

Cleaned up a yard in Roanoke today. I had a ton of things to do at home but I felt like I needed to help, as the debris we had to clean up at this house was massive. I had lots of opportunities to say positive things to my daughter, my husband and my son in law who were all working too. It felt good to think about kind things to say.

A homeless couple saw us and asked if we could pay them to help. We were happy to have the extra help as this job was taking far too long. It was nice to see them working so hard for their money. When they were done, my son in law went to get cash to pay them and he brought them back a meal as well. I was so impressed to see his generosity.

There are opportunities to do and say positive things every day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

day 70- I'm a believer!

I found this article on the internet. I’m a believer.

The Power of Positive Thinking

By Remez Sasson

Positive thinking is a mental attitude that admits into the mind thoughts, words and images that are conductive to growth, expansion and success. It is a mental attitude that expects good and favorable results. A positive mind anticipates happiness, joy, health and a successful outcome of every situation and action. Whatever the mind expects, it finds.

Not everyone accepts or believes in positive thinking. Some consider the subject as just nonsense, and others scoff at people who believe and accept it. Among the people who accept it, not many know how to use it effectively to get results. Yet, it seems that many are becoming attracted to this subject, as evidenced by the many books, lectures and courses about it. This is a subject that is gaining popularity.

It is quite common to hear people say: "Think positive!", to someone who feels down and worried. Most people do not take these words seriously, as they do not know what they really mean, or do not consider them as useful and effective. How many people do you know, who stop to think what the power of positive thinking means?

The following story illustrates how this power works:
Allan applied for a new job, but as his self-esteem was low, and he considered himself as a failure and unworthy of success, he was sure that he was not going to get the job. He had a negative attitude towards himself, and believed that the other applicants were better and more qualified than him. Allan manifested this attitude, due to his negative past experiences with job interviews.

His mind was filled with negative thoughts and fears concerning the job for the whole week before the job interview. He was sure he would be rejected. On the day of the interview he got up late, and to his horror he discovered that the shirt he had planned to wear was dirty, and the other one needed ironing. As it was already too late, he went out wearing a shirt full of wrinkles.

During the interview he was tense, displayed a negative attitude, worried about his shirt, and felt hungry because he did not have enough time to eat breakfast. All this distracted his mind and made it difficult for him to focus on the interview. His overall behavior made a bad impression, and consequently he materialized his fear and did not get the job.

Jim applied for the same job too, but approached the matter in a different way. He was sure that he was going to get the job. During the week preceding the interview he often visualized himself making a good impression and getting the job.

In the evening before the interview he prepared the clothes he was going to wear, and went to sleep a little earlier. On day of the interview he woke up earlier than usual, and had ample time to eat breakfast, and then to arrive to the interview before the scheduled time.

He got the job because he made a good impression. He had also of course, the proper qualifications for the job, but so had Allan.

What do we learn from these two stories? Is there any magic employed here? No, it is all natural. When the attitude is positive we entertain pleasant feelings and constructive images, and see in our mind's eye what we really want to happen. This brings brightness to the eyes, more energy and happiness. The whole being broadcasts good will, happiness and success. Even the health is affected in a beneficial way. We walk tall and the voice is more powerful. Our body language shows the way you feel inside.

Positive and negative thinking are both contagious.
All of us affect, in one way or another, the people we meet. This happens instinctively and on a subconscious level, through thoughts and feelings transference, and through body language. People sense our aura and are affected by our thoughts, and vice versa. Is it any wonder that we want to be around positive people and avoid negative ones? People are more disposed to help us if we are positive, and they dislike and avoid anyone broadcasting negativity.

Negative thoughts, words and attitude bring up negative and unhappy moods and actions. When the mind is negative, poisons are released into the blood, which cause more unhappiness and negativity. This is the way to failure, frustration and disappointment.

Practical Instructions

In order to turn the mind toward the positive, inner work and training are required. Attitude and thoughts do not change overnight.

Read about this subject, think about its benefits and persuade yourself to try it. The power of thoughts is a mighty power that is always shaping our life. This shaping is usually done subconsciously, but it is possible to make the process a conscious one. Even if the idea seems strange give it a try, as you have nothing to lose, but only to gain. Ignore what others might say or think about you, if they discover that you are changing the way you think.

Always visualize only favorable and beneficial situations. Use positive words in your inner dialogues or when talking with others. Smile a little more, as this helps to think positively. Disregard any feelings of laziness or a desire to quit. If you persevere, you will transform the way your mind thinks.

Once a negative thought enters your mind, you have to be aware of it and endeavor to replace it with a constructive one. The negative thought will try again to enter your mind, and then you have to replace it again with a positive one. It is as if there are two pictures in front of you, and you choose to look at one of them and disregard the other. Persistence will eventually teach your mind to think positively and ignore negative thoughts.

In case you feel any inner resistance when replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, do not give up, but keep looking only at the beneficial, good and happy thoughts in your mind.

It does not matter what your circumstances are at the present moment. Think positively, expect only favorable results and situations, and circumstances will change accordingly. It may take some time for the changes to take place, but eventually they do.

Monday, May 9, 2011

day 69- more on service

Serving others by listening and sharing my learning and experience has been vital in motivating me to stay on course.

From the LDS twelve step program:

Step 12 (cont.) SERVICE

President Ezra Taft Benson taught: "Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life" ("Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations," Ensign, Dec. 1988, 4). Be prayerful as you consider ways to serve, seeking always to be led by the Holy Ghost. If you are willing, you will find many opportunities to share the spiritual principles you have learned. You will find ways to share your testimony with others and opportunities to serve them in many other ways. As you serve others, you will maintain humility by focusing on the gospel principles and practices you have learned. Only then can you be assured that your motives and inspiration are good. Be sure to give freely, not expecting a particular result.

Serve others who struggle with addiction by sharing the principles of recovery; apply these principles in all aspects of life The LDS Family Services Addiction Recovery Program offers great opportunities for service. You can serve others by attending meetings and sharing your experience, faith, and hope. You can support others and strengthen them. As you have practiced the principles of the gospel, you have learned that the Atonement applies in every aspect of life. President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles testified: "For some reason we think the Atonement of Christ applies only at the end of mortal life to redemption from the Fall, from spiritual death. It is much more than that. It is an ever- present power to call upon in everyday life. When we are racked or harrowed up or tormented by guilt or burdened with grief, He can heal us" (in Conference Report, Apr. 2001, 28; or Ensign, May 2001, 23). You can share this message with others through your example and your words of encouragement. When you meet people throughout the day, greet them with a smile. Show gratitude for what they do. When opportunities arise, bear testimony of the hope that comes through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 66- I can’t believe it might happen again.

Had an embarrassing and horrible thing happen that is testing my positive thinking resolve. Not ready to talk about it, but it could hurt us financially in a very big way. We have had set backs so many times, and every time we work so hard to dig ourselves out. I can’t believe it might happen again.

But I have been using what I have been learning to help me through it.

I can handle it! Whatever happens, there will be something positive to learn from it and if its God’s will, we will be delivered.

I refuse to fret, and entertain negative thoughts and fears, and place blame.

Positive thinking = faith, faith precedes the miracle.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

day 65-seeking the praiseworthy

I just taught a class on praise and constructive criticism for young mothers at my church. I got to do step twelve and serve as I reminded myself of important positive thinking and communication skills and was taught by the members of the class.

We cannot praise people enough, especially our children. We should be genuine and generous in praising others, not pretentious or insincere.

Thinking the best of others, looking for the best in others and praising all the good we catch others doing, results in more praiseworthy behavior.

If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we SEEK after these things.

Articles of Faith 1:13

Maybe if we seek for what is virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we will find it and praise it more, and criticize less.

One of the women Jessica Casperson, said “Say what you want them to be.”

People become what we say they are. May we think and say positive things.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 62- Service

Sharing these principles on my blog and in my support group has blessed others and myself in the process.

From the LDS 12 step program


KEY PRINCIPLE: Having had a spiritual
awakening as a result of the Atonement of
Jesus Christ, share this message with others
and practice these principles in all you do.
Service will help you grow in the light of the
Spirit throughout the rest of your life. In step 10,
you learned to evaluate your life each day and to be
accountable for your actions. In step 11, you learned
to remember the Savior from moment to moment
so you might have the guidance of the Holy Ghost as
continuously as possible. Step 12 involves the third
anchor—service to others—that ensures a continued
recovery and a remission of sin.

To remain free of addiction, you must get outside
yourself and serve. The desire to help others is a natural
result of spiritual awakening.
You have a message of hope for other addicts, for all
afflicted and troubled people who are willing to consider
a spiritual approach to changing their lives, and
for anyone seeking truth and righteousness. The message
is that God is a God of miracles, just as He has
always been (see Moroni 7:29). Your life proves that.
You are becoming a new person through the Atonement
of Jesus Christ. You will share this message best
through your efforts to serve others. As you serve,
your understanding and knowledge of this process
is strengthened and deepened.

Sharing your testimony of His mercy and His grace
is one of the most important services you can offer.
Bearing the burdens of others through acts of kindness
and selfless service is part of your new life as a follower
of Christ (see Mosiah 18:8).

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 61

Happy Sabbath!

Words from Dallin Oaks:

“Different persons have different physical characteristics and different susceptibilities to the various physical and emotional pressures we may encounter in our childhood and adult environments. We did not choose these personal susceptibilities either, but we do choose and will be accountable for the attitudes, priorities, behavior, and “lifestyle” we engraft upon them.

Essential to our doctrinal position on these matters is the difference between our freedom and our agency. Our freedom can be limited by various conditions of mortality, but God’s gift of agency cannot be limited by outside forces, because it is the basis for our accountability to him. The contrast between freedom and agency can be illustrated in the context of a hypothetical progression from feelings to thoughts to behavior to addiction. This progression can be seen on a variety of matters, such as gambling and the use of tobacco and alcohol.

Just as some people have different feelings than others, some people seem to be unusually susceptible to particular actions, reactions, or addictions. Perhaps such susceptibilities are inborn or acquired without personal choice or fault, like the unnamed ailment the Apostle Paul called “a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure” (2 Cor. 12:7). One person may have feelings that draw him toward gambling, but unlike those who only dabble, he becomes a compulsive gambler. Another person may have a taste for tobacco and a susceptibility to its addiction. Still another may have an unusual attraction to alcohol and the vulnerability to be readily propelled into alcoholism. Other examples may include a hot temper, a contentious manner, a covetous attitude, and so on.

In each case (and in other examples that could be given) the feelings or other characteristics that increase susceptibility to certain behavior may have some relationship to inheritance. But the relationship is probably very complex. The inherited element may be nothing more than an increased likelihood that an individual will acquire certain feelings if he or she encounters particular influences during the developmental years. But regardless of our different susceptibilities or vulnerabilities, which represent only variations on our mortal freedom (in mortality we are only “free according to the flesh” [2 Ne. 2:27]), we remain responsible for the exercise of our agency in the thoughts we entertain and the behavior we choose. I discussed this contrast in a talk I gave at Brigham Young University several years ago:

“Most of us are born with [or develop] thorns in the flesh, some more visible, some more serious than others. We all seem to have susceptibilities to one disorder or another, but whatever our susceptibilities, we have the will and the power to control our thoughts and our actions. This must be so. God has said that he holds us accountable for what we do and what we think, so our thoughts and actions must be controllable by our agency. Once we have reached the age or condition of accountability, the claim ‘I was born that way’ does not excuse actions or thoughts that fail to conform to the commandments of God. We need to learn how to live so that a weakness that is mortal will not prevent us from achieving the goal that is eternal.”

“God has promised that he will consecrate our afflictions for our gain (see 2 Ne. 2:2). The efforts we expend in overcoming any inherited [or developed] weakness build a spiritual strength that will serve us throughout eternity. Thus, when Paul prayed thrice that his ‘thorn in the flesh’ would depart from him, the Lord replied, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Obedient, Paul concluded:

“‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

“‘Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong’ (2 Cor. 12:9–10).

“Whatever our susceptibilities or tendencies [feelings], they cannot subject us to eternal consequences unless we exercise our free agency to do or think the things forbidden by the commandments of God. For example, a susceptibility to alcoholism impairs its victim’s freedom to partake without addiction, but his free agency allows him to abstain and thus escape the physical debilitation of alcohol and the spiritual deterioration of addiction.

“… Beware the argument that because a person has strong drives toward a particular act, he has no power of choice and therefore no responsibility for his actions. This contention runs counter to the most fundamental premises of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Satan would like us to believe that we are not responsible in this life. That is the result he tried to achieve by his contest in the pre-existence. A person who insists that he is not responsible for the exercise of his free agency because he was ‘born that way’ is trying to ignore the outcome of the War in Heaven. We are responsible, and if we argue otherwise, our efforts become part of the propaganda effort of the Adversary.

“Individual responsibility is a law of life. It applies in the law of man and the law of God. Society holds people responsible to control their impulses so we can live in a civilized society. God holds his children responsible to control their impulses in order that they can keep his commandments and realize their eternal destiny. The law does not excuse the short-tempered man who surrenders to his impulse to pull a trigger on his tormentor, or the greedy man who surrenders to his impulse to steal, or the pedophile who surrenders to his impulse to satisfy his sexual urges with children. …

“There is much we do not know about the extent of freedom we have in view of the various thorns in the flesh that afflict us in mortality. But this much we do know; we all have our free agency and God holds us accountable for the way we use it in thought and deed. That is fundamental.” 7