Before I began to get rigorously, deeply honest with myself about my childhood and allowed myself to grieve the deficits and losses I experienced in it, I was “put off” by Nephi from the second he introduced himself. He kept sharing, but I quit relating. My mind sort of shut down, my eyes glazed over, and even if I went on reading Nephi’s words, I kept thinking, “Sure, that’s easy for him to say, easy for him to choose, easy for him to “be good” like he is. Rich kid with attentive, caring parents. I wasn’t hearing a thing, submerged as I was in self pity and self will, in resentment. In scripture code: I hardened my heart against Nephi.
As I accepted and began to apply (practice) the Twelve Step principles of recovery (from the effects of addiction), something happened to me that awakened me from this trance of resentment. As I, like the wayward son in the parable of the prodigal, began to “come to myself,” the truth of the Restored Gospel was able to finally penetrate my softening heart. I had heard, for years, the concept, unique to Mormonism, that we are all children of not only a Heavenly Father, but a Heavenly Mother as well. I desired it to be true. I wanted it to be true. I even came to believe it was true. I taught it in Primary and in Sunday School. But did I act like it was true? Did I pray like I had a Father and Mother who I could run Home to, who would take me in their arms and delight in my existence and pay attention to my feelings, my thoughts, my needs? No.
In recovery, I eventually had a living experience with this reality that changed my mind-set and my heart forever. As I kept studying the Gospel in the light of these twelve true principles, I was restored to the sanity of knowing–truly knowing–that I am a beloved child of Heavenly Parents who want me, and who are, even now, in the process of training me, preparing me to inherit all that They have and–even more exciting to me–to become all that They are.
Prayerful thought: Lord, restore me to the sanity–to the Eternal Truth–that I, like Nephi, have also been born of goodly–even Godly–parents.