As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, we gather twice per year, worldwide, to listen to church leaders share messages.
We call it General Conference ("conference" for short). It can be an awesome experience.
If you're like me, watching General Conference has not always been the easiest or most positive thing.
I know I'm no the only one.
If this describes you too, it's okay to admit this. There's nothing wrong with you.
My relationship with conference has changed over the years and has gone something like this:
You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. You don't have to watch conference.
Reminding myself I don't "have to" do things that I kinda wanna get myself to do, can often help me to do it. You can call me prideful, but I'm okay treating one of my most precious gifts from God (agency) seriously.
You'll access more authenticity and genuineness this way.
A lot of you have tried internet filters on your computers. What about a shame filter on your brain?
I've made an agreement with myself that I will no longer make church-related choices (like watching conference, or ministering visits, temple work, etc.) out of shame.
If putting shame on front and center stage becomes a regular habit, then we will more likely turn to things that we view as "shameful."
Remember, thoughts create the feeling of shame in your brain. Be on high alert for thoughts that create shame.
It is part of our church culture to, at times, use shame as a motivator, or personally interpret things we hear/read in a shameful way. I'm okay taking responsibility for my own thoughts that I have allowed to create shame in me. I want that power.
Turn on the shame filter in your brain and refuse to join this narrative. Choose love and self-compassion instead. They are much more powerful and sustainable motivators. This especially goes for your goals with porn too.
You don't have to feel bad about yourself to motivate yourself to grow/learn/develop/change? What?! Who knew?!
I can disagree with a prophet and still be okay with God.
Yes, I said it. (audience gasps!!)
It is okay that the church leaders are human. It is okay that they sometimes get it wrong. It doesn't mean that everything in the church is wrong.
There is supposed to be a human element mixed in to all of this.
Even if I disagree, instead of skedaddling, I choose to stay and be a part of the solution.
Giving myself permission to disagree with a prophet AND still be okay with God, has only strengthened my relationship with God.
The more I accept my human-ness, the more easily I accept the human-ness of church leaders.
Our brains like all-or-nothing because it's easier and takes less energy and effort.
But what if it's okay to take what's helpful with you and leave what isn't helpful behind.
What if it's okay to have doubts/questions? What if real faith can't be cultivated without honestly examining doubts?
If an idea serves me in an empowering, love-filled, way to develop as the man I want to be, then I am in.
If an idea makes me feel small, insignificant, fearful, or like I can't trust myself at all to sort through and make good decisions, then I am out. That thinking is not for me. It doesn't serve me. It doesn't help me be the man that, I believe, Heavenly Father is guiding me to be.
The main purpose of conference is meant to be to bring us closer to Christ.
Jesus will love you just as much even if you don't change a thing, just as you are, right now. This unconditional love/acceptance is part of what actually empowers you to change.
If we're trying to be like Jesus, are we willing to be more like him by loving ourselves the way he loves us? Or do we want to treat ourselves more like the other guy would treat us?
Life can be great with or without conference. If you choose conference for you, then decide to intentionally make it something useful for your human experience and progression.
That's what I call bringing more Jesus to conference.
You don't even know yet how good life without porn can be.
The stakes are higher than you realize.
Come learn how to make sure you are progressing.
Are you going to be a part of this movement?
If so, let's talk.
Find out more now.