Tuesday, August 31

Intellectual Resources in Overcoming Temptation

Intellectual resources have played an interesting role in overcoming temptation in my life. For the most part, by themselves, they don't work at all. New inventions seem to work for a bit, then break down as technology is bypassed or circumstances change. Internet filters are easily circumvented, no matter how much I wanted them to be secure upon installation. Playing mind games, counting backwards by 14's from 1020, or trying to clear my mind or fill it with better images works only so much... and it usually only works for a few seconds or maybe a few minutes.

But, often, a few seconds is all I need in order to actually turn on my brain in the midst of temptation. I can think of things I believe in, of my family, my friends, and the people who rely on me in life. And if I've read the Bible and the Book of Mormon that day, I can remember the things I read, and feel closer to Christ.

I think the most important intellectual resource in overcoming temptation is the ability to deal with new situations. It's easy right now in my life to forget about temptation - when I'm surrounded by people who love me, I'm super-busy in life and Church, and everything seems to be going right. But if everything fell apart tomorrow, then I would need the ability to deal with those stresses... or else my life would start to fall apart, too. And when life falls apart, temptation becomes a much bigger piece of the puzzle. I have to develop habits of reading the scriptures, praying, and helping others live better lives, and then, hopefully, when my own life gets hard, I'll have the intellectual resources to deal with stress, chaos, ambiguity, and an ever-present attraction to other guys.

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