Attending Institute: Sometimes I attend Institute and I feel like I am learning amazing, new things that apply to my life. Sometimes I attend and feel like nothing the teacher says really applies. But even when Institute doesn’t seem applicable to my life, the Lord is still willing to bless and teach me. President Monson has promised blessings for attending Institute, and I definitely need them. I’ve seen them. Many of the sublime spiritual things I’ve learned were at Institute. They often had nothing to do with the lesson that was being taught, like this entry (I’m writing it at Institute). Sometimes I didn’t even know what was being taught. But because I was there, the Lord helped me with the things I faced in my life.

Sunday Worship: I think there’s something different between the idea of “attending Church” and Sunday Worship… and the latter is a much more powerful force in my life. Church, for me, is a social, emotional, intellectual, spiritual experience that involves meetings, talks, talking with people, classes… But Sunday Worship focuses everything on the Sacrament, my family, and taking time to reflect on what I’ve learned during the week. When I make all of Sunday a time to worship, the rest of my week goes much better.

Prayer: This is big enough to be its own post. Prayer is the only thing that has kept me alive during the course of my life. When I struggled with being attracted to guys, overcoming massive depression, and trying to live the perfect Mormon life, prayer was what helped me put everything into perspective. It gives me hope when I am down, and God directs my life in ways I would have never expected. I’ve talked with friends, and most of them, at one point or another, comment on the uniqueness with which I approach prayer… and the clarity of the responses I get. For me, prayer has developed into a powerful tool to understand the will of the Lord, prevent temptation before it happens, and pull me out of the darkest depths when they descend. When I make mistakes, I try to pray immediately… so that I can make it right. I pray in the morning, at night, over meals, while I drive; prayer is a constant communication with God – not just a short text message that we send before eating and going to sleep. And as I listen to Him throughout the day, He teaches me and helps me be a better servant.

All in all, spiritual resources are the most powerful in helping to overcome my own temptations. If I use these and others, I’ve found that facing my struggles becomes much more doable. Not that the urges go away, but I have strength, or faith, or whatever it takes, to face it and conquer it one day at a time.
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