He stands to lose family, employment, personal pride, and his own life. The use of cocaine and other drugs causes those involved to become totally chained to their addiction. Those who peddle drugs not only provide chains for others, but shackle themselves with the weights of unrighteousness as well.
To those not involved, avoid drugs in any form with all of your might. To those involved, seek help to remove the chains that will drag you down and smother you.
Believe me when I tell you that some of the saddest sights I have ever witnessed in my life are people living with drug addiction. They are prisoners within their own bodies. Many feel totally helpless, dependent, and desperate.
Shake Away These Constant Days
But none should feel hopeless. Lift those chains and fight back for personal dignity, peace, and purpose. I am acquainted with a wife and mother who is chained securely at the present time to a life-style of murmuring and criticism. She is the first to point out faults in her husband or to repeat neighborhood gossip.
How damaging is a habit that permits fault-finding, character assassination, and the sharing of malicious rumors!
Gossip and caustic comments often create chains of contention. These chains may appear to be very small, but what misery and woe they can cause! Listen to the words of a friend who understands well the meaning of this scripture, a man who was bound by the chains of indifference. This letter was received a few weeks ago. At the time, I was employed in a job that required my having to work on Sundays. This, combined with my lack of strength in the gospel, prevented me from becoming an active and faithful member of the Church. Over the years I neglected my daily study and prayers.
Throughout this time in my life I drifted farther and farther from the Church and the teachings of the gospel. This neglect brought disappointment after disappointment to myself and my family.
I was discouraged, disillusioned, and I lacked self-respect and confidence. We decided to watch and see what was going on as we had lost complete contact with the Church, and I, frankly, could not have told you who the prophet was at the time. The message stayed with me for the next couple of days.
December 12, 2012
I commented to my wife how much better I felt about myself and my relationship with others as a result of simply applying some recommended principles. We have since returned to a faithful and active involvement in our ward. What a blessing it is to rise from the dust and the chains of indifference. They can only be broken by people who are willing to change. We must face up to the hard reality of life that damaging chains are broken only by people of courage and commitment who are willing to struggle and weather the pain.
It is true some people do not want to change, even though they may say they do.
Only you can supply the motivation, and only you can decide to change. The Church, the home, the family, friends, and those professionally trained can aid, support, encourage, empathize, and guide, but the work of change belongs to the person. Most often, it is plain hard work.
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To change or break some of our chains even in a small way means to give up some behavior or habits that have been very important to us in the past. Generally this is frightening. Change involves risks. If fear and an unwillingness to take the risk and challenge of the better way of life gain the upper hand, we will not be able to change. A truly wise person will constantly move forward, striving for self-improvement, knowing that daily repentance is needed for progress.
He will realize the good life is simply conforming to a standard of right and justice. Ryan writes with authority, skill, and passion, not only about the Midwest, but about youth and what it means to be young. This, to me, is what great fiction is concerned with. All ache is oblique ache. The alacrity with which the writer hurls bolts of narrative energy down upon the page is understated, subtle, devious, smartly crafted.
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Every car crash here betrays a more sinister phantom behind the wheel. Each story an icicle aimed at your eye, a bright bayonet of light, pre-dripping the poison of a writer just getting warmed up. It makes me want. It makes me want to read this book over and over. Hilarious, witty, ghostly: people and body parts go missing and sometimes reappear. But the Truth, dammit, is elusive and pervasive at the same time. How does he do it? It makes me squirm.
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