Tuesday, August 25, 2009

'The Atonement can heal what we can't'

Through a program adapted from the 12-step addiction recovery program, any Latter-day Saint can overcome the natural man or woman, said Kevin Hinckley at BYU's Campus Education Week on Aug. 21.

As with every classic hero tale, the greatest struggle man has on earth is against himself. People often have a predisposition for obsessive-compulsive behaviors, alcoholism, depression and other similar disorders, Brother Hinckley said, but these can be overcome with the power of God through the Atonement of Christ.

"The Atonement can heal what we can't, period," he said.

He referenced Ether 12 in which the Lord reveals that He gave man weaknesses in order to strengthen and humble His people. His grace is sufficient to make up for any weakness, it reads.

Brother Hinckley said in working with addiction recovery programs as a counselor, he has found that the steps to the LDS program can easily be translated into any weakness, not just addictions. From that, he has developed what he calls "Hurts, Habits and Hangups: the 12-step Program for Putting off the Natural Man." This is applicable to everyone, he said, as everyone has some aspect of the natural man they desire to be rid of. He cited Elder Jeffery R. Holland's statement that a person's heart desires goodness in the end, rather than worldly things.

The steps in the program include admitting one is powerless to overcome certain trials except with the help of the Atonement, coming to believe that the power of God can "cure all ills," decide to return one's will back to God, making a searching and honest inventory of one's shortcomings and strengths, a readiness to have God remove shortcomings, a humble supplication for the healing of such shortcomings, forgiveness and other steps. The full explanation can be found on his Web site, www.kevinhinckley.com.

Giving up one's will to God is the step most people have the hardest time with, he said.

"It takes us forever to give up our will because we work so hard to hang on to it," Brother Hinckley said. However, he noted, it is when a shortcoming is recognized and given to God for repair that true healing comes.

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