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Seeking Advice And Insight Please...


Maestrophil

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Hi all,

 

I posted a while back about struggling with my 16 year-old son.  I had discovered that he had been involved in smoking pot.  Things came to a head when I found evidence and confronted him.  He finally admitted to everything, agreed to talk to the bishop and seemed to be back in course.

 

Last night, I found some videos on his phone of friends smoking.  I confronted my son about it and asked him if he had anything to tell me - seeing as everytime I asked how it was going with his sobriety, he said he was doing well.  He finally said "well if we are being honest, I smoked at least one time since then, and I don't think it is a big deal to smoke it."  I am ashamed to admit that I yelled at him and told him that I was more angry about his deciet and attitude than having a pot relapse once or twice.  I quickly calmed myself and apologized for loosing my cool, let him know I loved him no matter what and we continued.  I told him I was hurt and dissapointed and asked why he did not see a problem with pot.  He said that he has his own boundaries and does not need anyone elses including the church.

 

That led to a discussion where he outright said that he has no testimony and no desire to have one and is just biding his time until he is 18 and anything goes.  We talked around many aspects of the gospel and the most he would concede is that he feels there is a God but that is all - not even the divinity of Christ or the imprtance of commandments.  I told him his intergrity was important and that he needs to come clean to the bishop and, while we expect him to join us at church while a minor under our roof, we also expect him to not continue to bless and administer the sacrament as he has been doing.  

 

He shed some tears when he talked about his friends that were a good influence on him (he has some good ones, and some less desireables) and said that he feels good around them.  I ended by hugging him and assuring him I love him and that we will work togehter this year towards whatever may come.   But, frankly - I am devestated and exhauseted and fearful. I don't know how to go forward proactively with a child who is 17 and shows no sign of opening his heart.  He is a very good person with a good heart, yet I feel like a failure as a father and am having a hard time seeing past this and trusting that all will be well.  His mother and I divorced 5 years ago due to infidelity on her part and she married that man so he is not my son's step dad (butI have custody) - they both have sent him a strong message that the curch is "controlling" and that God does not expect anytihng of us because he loves us - and my son has bought into this.  He has so many immediate family influences that are apposed to religion and the gospel. 

 

Whew... thanks for reading this far if you have and for letting me vent here.  I have really valued all of the support and advice I have recieved on this board dating way back to when my own parents and siblings left the church and this board and the FAIR articles helped me navicate that devistation.  I am gratful for this resource and community.

 

Cheers,

 

MP

 

 

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I am sorry that he and you are going through this. When you get a chance FairMormon had a panel about dealing with this and other family situations involving lost faith or disaffection from the Church.

I know they were working on a transcript, let me see if it is up yet.

It is not up yet, but will be here when it is:

http://www.fairmormon.org/perspectives/fair-conferences/2014-fairmormon-conference

Does your son know your post here? Just saying be careful just in case, you haven't said anything you should feel uncomfortable about imo, but if intending to continue for support (not a bad idea) just remember he might read it.

Edited by calmoriah
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That can be a very rough situation. It is especially complicated by a similarly wayward mother.

 

Some recent talks about like questions have appeared in general conferences (though don't neglect Calmoriah's suggested talk).
https://www.lds.org/search?lang=eng&query=wayward+children

 

In the end, no talk, advice from an anonymous message board, or friends will end up being a suitable substitute for the comfort and revelation obtainable from omniscient and perfectly empathetic Heavenly Parents. Though I have yet to experience (and hopefully never will) similar parent trials I can express utter confidence that comfort and guidance are available to you. If some particular clarity comes your way and its not inappropriate to share, I'm sure many would appreciate hearing it. I would.

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Thanks Cal and Nofear...  I will look for that panel discussion to come online and revisit those talks from conferences.  I appreciate it!

 

My son does not know I come here, and as you said, I did not state anything here that would be news to him. 

 

I guess the hardiest thing for me now is that until last night, I had a hope that there was a part of him that could still be touched - that was not hardened against searching for a testimony.  But now I feel that hope is crushed and I see the son I love veering dwon a slippery slope - willingly.  I am just kind of in a kind of shicked grief right now.

 

 

If some particular clarity comes your way and its not inappropriate to share, I'm sure many would appreciate hearing it. I would.

 

I did go to the temple, and was struck by the part in the presentation/creation when our Father forbids the fruit to be eaten but adds "neverthless thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee" and then reminds them again that he forbids it.  I felt promted that if Heavenly Father must allow agency, even knowing that is chidren will likely fall, then I must be able to understand how to instruct, love, and then stand back and allow my son his agency.  But it is so hard because I want to be able to get angry, or inflict punishment, or say a magic word or bear a perfect testimony that will MAKE him desire to choose the right.  Overall, I am surprized by my own feeling of helplessness, guilt, and discouragement in the face of it. 

 

MP

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So why are you making him see the bishop?   Repentance is about your son's choice, it isn't yours.   It isn't your place to judge him.

 

It is really really common when someone is sinning to resolve that dissonance by deciding that the church isn't true and isn't for you.   Spend time talking about what he does believe, and value.   Show him in the bible and literature of the world how to foster those values.   Focus on the things you still share.   This is most likely a temporary glitch, but if not, be the Christlike example he needs to understand fully the Atonement.  Agency is not for wimps, but you're going to get the precious experience of learning what unconditional love is and accepting him where he IS rather than where you wish he were.

 

And take your son to a lab and get a hair test. And do that every thirty days until he has three clean and then every couple of months for a year.   (He'll have to stay away from his smoking friends or he'll get a positive from the second hand smoke).   Provide him the current information about pot and its affect on teenage brains --- some published within the last two months.   And it is bad.   (Pot is detectable for thirty days after use.)   Ask him to anonymously call around to possible employers and ask if they drug test employees before hiring.  Help him to see the problem he is creating for himself.

 

Go to where he says he's going to be at random.   That will help him stay on the straight and narrow.

 

Tell him that he has to attend church with your family and sit with you and go to class and be respectful, because that is what your family does together.   But you do not require that he believe anything he hears.   You hope for that, but  you do not require it.

 

Search his room randomly, backpack randomly for paraphrenalia, if you are getting positive drug tests.

 

Consider sending him to Anasazi Foundation before he turns 18.  

 

Do not give up on him, but also do not expect him to believe that obedience to the commandments will solve his problem.    Lots of kids who once were in his shoes, work this out and become fine people.   

 

You will get through this.

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So why are you making him see the bishop?   Repentance is about your son's choice, it isn't yours.   It isn't your place to judge him.

 

I know... I struggled with this one.  The reason I told him I thouhgt he should see the bishop was two-fold.  1st we were already scheduled to do a bishops interview to attend the Ogden Temple Dedication.  2nd and biggest factor is that he has been serving in a priesthood capacity and attending the temple unworthily which meant he had lied to the bishop - and that the integrous thing to do was to go be honest.  He has made it clear repentance is not why he is going, but I think, to his credit, he sees the value in trying to keep some integrity

 

Thanks for all your other specific advice.  There is a lot there to digest, and I am afraid there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth on his part with many of them.

 

 

 

 

You will get through this.

 Most of all, thank you for this.  I believe you are right, but sure don't feel that way right now.

 

MP

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I did go to the temple, and was struck by the part in the presentation/creation when our Father forbids the fruit to be eaten but adds "neverthless thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee" and then reminds them again that he forbids it.  I felt promted that if Heavenly Father must allow agency, even knowing that is chidren will likely fall, then I must be able to understand how to instruct, love, and then stand back and allow my son his agency.  But it is so hard because I want to be able to get angry, or inflict punishment, or say a magic word or bear a perfect testimony that will MAKE him desire to choose the right.  Overall, I am surprized by my own feeling of helplessness, guilt, and discouragement in the face of it. 

 

MP

 

I'm so sorry you are experiencing this... I broke my parents' hearts when I went inactive at age 20... and for the next 34 years (married a wonderful non-LDS man, who they came to love dearly).  The only thing that helped ease their feelings was that they knew I still had a testimony, which I would tell them. 

There is not a thing you can do except what you are doing... loving your son, working with him as best you can.  My folks always lived by example, didn't nag me, etc.  The Spirit did that!!  Finally, I did return...

 

Your son is 17... these are his choices now... how do you know that when he matures, maybe even becomes a father himself, that he won't have a change of heart and mind?  You don't know, so don't close any doors but remain open and loving for him.  By your example he will know that you do not condone behavior not in keeping with our faith... but that you are his father and love him.  When he is in your home, keep your standards... for instance, saying the blessing on the food, etc. Just live the gospel, and love him... Good luck.  You are not a failure so nix the guilt... he is simply exercising his agency as painful as that is.  You can insist he respect you and your standards as long as he is under your roof...  

 

GG

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I had a friend tell me once, "agency is great till you become a parent." I really appreciated that at the time and since.

Elder Scott's talk from this last conference is helping me with my son. I have read it over and over, getting a little bit more from it each time.

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Alma The Elder felt like a failure as a parent, too.  (I know, I know: "Ken, his son repented and went on to become one of the greatest missionaries of his generation!  I don't know if I should feel encouraged by his story, since I don't know how ours will end up."  Touche!)  But Christ died so that we could all make the choices we do, good and bad.  And it doesn't matter if we're the vilest of sinners or the saintliest of saints, we would all be in a worse position without the Atonement.  Sometimes, the most we can do for wayward loved ones is to pray for them: it doesn't seem like much, but in the end, I believe we'll come to realize that it counts for more than we know.  While I cannot identify with parental angst, I do wish you well. :)

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I appreciate all of your kind words and advice.

 

My son has had a much softer demeanor lately.  His talk with the bishop went well, even though my son told the bishop he does not want to exercise his priesthood because of his doubts, he felt relieved he had told the bishop everything.  He did get a pass from he bishop to attend the temple dedication. 

 

My son told me the next morning that our talk had him up most of the night thinking and that he wanted to focus on academics this year to 'replace' his urge to smoke.  SO at least for now, we have a less tenuous situation, and a more open dialog.  And I feel he knows I love him still.

 

MP

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I've been dealing with a similar situation with my wife. She has been unwilling to listen and open her heart. And i understand he reasoning why. I am not the best example in the world and my family hasn't helped.

 

But the Gospel is true. So what else can I do other than have faith and put it in God's hands?

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I've been dealing with a similar situation with my wife. She has been unwilling to listen and open her heart. And i understand he reasoning why. I am not the best example in the world and my family hasn't helped.

But the Gospel is true. So what else can I do other than have faith and put it in God's hands?

I find myself over and over again trying to figure out what to say or do. I start getting more and more urgent on it in prayer. Then occasionally I get the answer back again and again, "trust me. He is my son."

Sometimes I feel peace and pray back to let me know when and if I should say or do something at some time. Other times I feel myself panicking and saying, "but, but, but...I gotta do SOMETHING!"

I always felt I was given the gift of faith, but where my loved ones are concerned I find my faith in the Lord lacking. Funny, because logically since He knows them best and can read their minds he is so much better equipped than I am.

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I find myself over and over again trying to figure out what to say or do. I start getting more and more urgent on it in prayer. Then occasionally I get the answer back again and again, "trust me. He is my son."

Sometimes I feel peace and pray back to let me know when and if I should say or do something at some time. Other times I feel myself panicking and saying, "but, but, but...I gotta do SOMETHING!"

I always felt I was given the gift of faith, but where my loved ones are concerned I find my faith in the Lord lacking. Funny, because logically since He knows them best and can read their minds he is so much better equipped than I am.

Rain,

 

I know exactly what you mean.  I feel like I need to do something that will immediately change the situation - after all, he is my stewardship, right? It is so hard to play the long game when family is involved. 

 

I think if my son's heart showed even a little sincere softness toward the commandments and the church, I would be hopeful, but his declarations seem so absolute - it is hard not to want to react in equal measure.

Edited by Maestrophil
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Rain,

 

I know exactly what you mean.  I feel like I need to do something that will immediately change the situation - after all, he is my stewardship, right? It is so hard to play the long game when family is involved. 

 

I think if my son's heart showed even a little sincere softness toward the commandments and the church, I would be hopeful, but his declarations seem so absolute - it is hard not to want to react in equal measure.

 

Rain and Maestrophil...

I am the perfect example of why you should not lose faith... no matter how long it takes... My mom must  have worn out her knees praying for me.  And still I did not listen... for those parents at Church who have wayward children, I always encourage them and as I said previously here... just live the gospel by example... Yes you feel helpless, but you've done your part.  Continue to do so by keeping your homes Christ centered and Church oriented.  Set your "rules" for the family, including all of your children, like you attend Church as a family as long as they are part of the household. 

It took me many years to heed the promptings of the Spirit and return to Church... my deep regret, and pain, is that my mom did not live to see it... in fact, it was her sudden death that was the final catalyst that turned me around.  Now I wear out my knees that she knows that this daughter is now living the life she had wanted for me.

So Maestrophil... try not to let your disappointment dominate your feelings, and work to share memorable moments with your son, moments of humor and sharing, that he will look back on with real appreciation when he is a grown man...

It may take him many years as it did me, it may be that he will never return... but as Rain says, he still is and always will be your son.

Prayers for you both... and for your families...

 

from the beach... GG

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... And I feel he knows I love him still.

 

That, far and away, is the most important thing. :)  Our Heavenly Father is no different.  He doesn't love everything we do, but He'll never love us any less. :)

 

I feel like I need to do something that will immediately change the situation - after all, he is my stewardship, right? It is so hard to play the long game when family is involved. 

 

But, however you feel, in fact, you don't need to to anything more.  If you've done your best to teach him correct principles, and to put into context any instances in which you (or others in his life) did not fully live up to those principles (including how you/they repented, or that they can repent), and you've done what you can do to encourage him to live those principles, then, your only remaining responsibility is to follow Doctrine & Covenants 121:41-46.  You may not agree with how he chooses to exercise his agency, just as our Heavenly Father doesn't always agree with how we choose to exercise our agency, but once you've done the things I just mentioned, you have fulfilled your stewardship, regardless of how he chooses to use his agency. 

Edited by Kenngo1969
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Hi all,

 

I posted a while back about struggling with my 16 year-old son.  I had discovered that he had been involved in smoking pot.  Things came to a head when I found evidence and confronted him.  He finally admitted to everything, agreed to talk to the bishop and seemed to be back in course.

 

Last night, I found some videos on his phone of friends smoking.  I confronted my son about it and asked him if he had anything to tell me - seeing as everytime I asked how it was going with his sobriety, he said he was doing well.  He finally said "well if we are being honest, I smoked at least one time since then, and I don't think it is a big deal to smoke it."  I am ashamed to admit that I yelled at him and told him that I was more angry about his deciet and attitude than having a pot relapse once or twice.  I quickly calmed myself and apologized for loosing my cool, let him know I loved him no matter what and we continued.  I told him I was hurt and dissapointed and asked why he did not see a problem with pot.  He said that he has his own boundaries and does not need anyone elses including the church.

 

That led to a discussion where he outright said that he has no testimony and no desire to have one and is just biding his time until he is 18 and anything goes.  We talked around many aspects of the gospel and the most he would concede is that he feels there is a God but that is all - not even the divinity of Christ or the imprtance of commandments.  I told him his intergrity was important and that he needs to come clean to the bishop and, while we expect him to join us at church while a minor under our roof, we also expect him to not continue to bless and administer the sacrament as he has been doing.  

 

He shed some tears when he talked about his friends that were a good influence on him (he has some good ones, and some less desireables) and said that he feels good around them.  I ended by hugging him and assuring him I love him and that we will work togehter this year towards whatever may come.   But, frankly - I am devestated and exhauseted and fearful. I don't know how to go forward proactively with a child who is 17 and shows no sign of opening his heart.  He is a very good person with a good heart, yet I feel like a failure as a father and am having a hard time seeing past this and trusting that all will be well.  His mother and I divorced 5 years ago due to infidelity on her part and she married that man so he is not my son's step dad (butI have custody) - they both have sent him a strong message that the curch is "controlling" and that God does not expect anytihng of us because he loves us - and my son has bought into this.  He has so many immediate family influences that are apposed to religion and the gospel. 

 

Whew... thanks for reading this far if you have and for letting me vent here.  I have really valued all of the support and advice I have recieved on this board dating way back to when my own parents and siblings left the church and this board and the FAIR articles helped me navicate that devistation.  I am gratful for this resource and community.

 

Cheers,

 

MP

I don't know a lot about Mormon parents culture, whether it is more Calvinistic or Armenian. You mustn't blame yourself. He is 16 you know and will be experimenting and exploring from now on. Hopefully, his parents guidance will not be entirely forgotten. If you are all not regular attenders and involved in church activities he will have missed certain things.

 

My own son spent a year being drunk after he left home, and my oldest daughter had young adult onset of BPD. Who is to blame for that, and what is the remedy? I can tell you that a bucket full of tears won't solve it. Pray for him that God will watch over him.

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Rain and Maestrophil...

I am the perfect example of why you should not lose faith... no matter how long it takes... My mom must have worn out her knees praying for me. And still I did not listen... for those parents at Church who have wayward children, I always encourage them and as I said previously here... just live the gospel by example... Yes you feel helpless, but you've done your part. Continue to do so by keeping your homes Christ centered and Church oriented. Set your "rules" for the family, including all of your children, like you attend Church as a family as long as they are part of the household.

It took me many years to heed the promptings of the Spirit and return to Church... my deep regret, and pain, is that my mom did not live to see it... in fact, it was her sudden death that was the final catalyst that turned me around. Now I wear out my knees that she knows that this daughter is now living the life she had wanted for me.

So Maestrophil... try not to let your disappointment dominate your feelings, and work to share memorable moments with your son, moments of humor and sharing, that he will look back on with real appreciation when he is a grown man...

It may take him many years as it did me, it may be that he will never return... but as Rain says, he still is and always will be your son.

Prayers for you both... and for your families...

from the beach... GG

I had a period right after high school and before I met my return missionary husband that I went inactive and hung with kids that partied and didn't go to church. Somehow I changed and went back to church a few months before meeting my husband. And that is the same thing I'd say whenever the occasion arose, that my mom wore her knees off from praying for me!! I credited her and her prayers for my change of heart. :)

But look at you now GG!! Of course maybe your life, which IMHO, wasn't really all that wrong, maybe made you the person you are or HF wanted the direction of your life to go. Sometimes some people are too perfect and aren't very humble. But I might be up in the night.

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But look at you now GG!! Of course maybe your life, which IMHO, wasn't really all that wrong, maybe made you the person you are or HF wanted the direction of your life to go. Sometimes some people are too perfect and aren't very humble. But I might be up in the night.

 

I will say, that walking in the "world" gave me insights that have allowed me to have an understanding heart (in spite of my TBM-ness) when it comes to members who struggle with their faith, etc.  Sometimes I want to bop them over the head, but then I think of all the years I strayed... the difference though, is that always, deep down, I held my faith and testimony so I do have to be careful and be patient and encouraging.

 

GG 

Edited by Garden Girl
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Hi all,

 

I posted a while back about struggling with my 16 year-old son.  I had discovered that he had been involved in smoking pot.  Things came to a head when I found evidence and confronted him.  He finally admitted to everything, agreed to talk to the bishop and seemed to be back in course.

 

Last night, I found some videos on his phone of friends smoking.  I confronted my son about it and asked him if he had anything to tell me - seeing as everytime I asked how it was going with his sobriety, he said he was doing well.  He finally said "well if we are being honest, I smoked at least one time since then, and I don't think it is a big deal to smoke it."  I am ashamed to admit that I yelled at him and told him that I was more angry about his deciet and attitude than having a pot relapse once or twice.  I quickly calmed myself and apologized for loosing my cool, let him know I loved him no matter what and we continued.  I told him I was hurt and dissapointed and asked why he did not see a problem with pot.  He said that he has his own boundaries and does not need anyone elses including the church.

 

That led to a discussion where he outright said that he has no testimony and no desire to have one and is just biding his time until he is 18 and anything goes.  We talked around many aspects of the gospel and the most he would concede is that he feels there is a God but that is all - not even the divinity of Christ or the imprtance of commandments.  I told him his intergrity was important and that he needs to come clean to the bishop and, while we expect him to join us at church while a minor under our roof, we also expect him to not continue to bless and administer the sacrament as he has been doing.  

 

He shed some tears when he talked about his friends that were a good influence on him (he has some good ones, and some less desireables) and said that he feels good around them.  I ended by hugging him and assuring him I love him and that we will work togehter this year towards whatever may come.   But, frankly - I am devestated and exhauseted and fearful. I don't know how to go forward proactively with a child who is 17 and shows no sign of opening his heart.  He is a very good person with a good heart, yet I feel like a failure as a father and am having a hard time seeing past this and trusting that all will be well.  

 

I can relate.  I also felt devastated and exhausted and fearful when I found a bottle of vodka in my 17 year old daughter's purse several months ago.  I don't really have any advice to give you because I don't know you or your son but I do believe that a loving parent most likely has the best intuition to help their child unless there are serious addiction issues.  At any rate--you are NOT alone.  Most families struggle with at least one "black sheep" at some time.  Its one of those times you look back to your pre parent days and try to remember if you had any inkling of how painful parenting can be and often is.  God bless!

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I can relate. I also felt devastated and exhausted and fearful when I found a bottle of vodka in my 17 year old daughter's purse several months ago. I don't really have any advice to give you because I don't know you or your son but I do believe that a loving parent most likely has the best intuition to help their child unless there are serious addiction issues. At any rate--you are NOT alone. Most families struggle with at least one "black sheep" at some time. Its one of those times you look back to your pre parent days and try to remember if you had any inkling of how painful parenting can be and often is. God bless!

It's pretty painful. There are some awesome parents out there who have children stray from what the LDS pattern of living is and feel so guilt ridden they didn't do enough. I wish some of them could look ouside the box and really see their children's good points. I have children who've chosen different paths than the church, if I hadn't had my faith thwarted and had my testimony in tact I'd venture to say that I might be one heart sick person 24/7. But even w/o that full testimony my husband and I spent the whole night with being heart sick over a really good son's choice of a girlfriend who we see as giving him a lifetime of woes.

Sometime we wonder if we should have had kids, it's so hard, which sounds so awful. More from the standpoint that we did things wrong and they'd been better with parents that were more intelligent in how they speak and teach.

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I hope this does not come across strange, but I know this works.  When a person is involved at all with any drugs or alcohol, or even any sin, there is a necessity of casting out evil spirits.  Just like it is shown us all through the scriptures, the Lord spent most of His time, and then the apostles did the same by first casting out the unclean, or foul, or evil spirits.  Just being around certain people can bring them into your home, or literally into a person.

 

You have the stewardship and the right, (and obligation) with faith being the parent to do this.  They do not even need to know that this is the case.  I have done this in the middle of the night for my own daughter, who had an immediate response when she was away from me.  I felt like I just had to, and followed the pattern shown in the temple.  I have done this many times.  You just command the spirits that they must leave.  This absolutely makes a very noticeable difference, and can be done often.  

 

We often forget that we are in a constant war and have been shown the necessity of doing this.   Some do only leave by fasting, but they do have to leave, and it gives extra strength and space to be left without this extra temptation.  Christ showed this perfect example.

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I hope this does not come across strange, but I know this works.  When a person is involved at all with any drugs or alcohol, or even any sin, there is a necessity of casting out evil spirits.  Just like it is shown us all through the scriptures, the Lord spent most of His time, and then the apostles did the same by first casting out the unclean, or foul, or evil spirits.  Just being around certain people can bring them into your home, or literally into a person.

 

You have the stewardship and the right, (and obligation) with faith being the parent to do this.  They do not even need to know that this is the case.  I have done this in the middle of the night for my own daughter, who had an immediate response when she was away from me.  I felt like I just had to, and followed the pattern shown in the temple.  I have done this many times.  You just command the spirits that they must leave.  This absolutely makes a very noticeable difference, and can be done often.  

 

We often forget that we are in a constant war and have been shown the necessity of doing this.   Some do only leave by fasting, but they do have to leave, and it gives extra strength and space to be left without this extra temptation.  Christ showed this perfect example.

 

I've never heard of this before, but it seems in line with some impressions I've partially gotten in the past. It's something I will need to think over.

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I hope this does not come across strange, but I know this works.  When a person is involved at all with any drugs or alcohol, or even any sin, there is a necessity of casting out evil spirits.  Just like it is shown us all through the scriptures, the Lord spent most of His time, and then the apostles did the same by first casting out the unclean, or foul, or evil spirits.  Just being around certain people can bring them into your home, or literally into a person.

 

You have the stewardship and the right, (and obligation) with faith being the parent to do this.  They do not even need to know that this is the case.  I have done this in the middle of the night for my own daughter, who had an immediate response when she was away from me.  I felt like I just had to, and followed the pattern shown in the temple.  I have done this many times.  You just command the spirits that they must leave.  This absolutely makes a very noticeable difference, and can be done often.  

 

We often forget that we are in a constant war and have been shown the necessity of doing this.   Some do only leave by fasting, but they do have to leave, and it gives extra strength and space to be left without this extra temptation.  Christ showed this perfect example.

I totally am onboard with this idea!  I'm trying it next time and maybe with myself!  Not even kidding.  Well I was at first....

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