A discussion has been taking place in our Sons of Mosiah on-line training program that relates to why we are so strict with starting over if you have a lost battle anytime before reaching the 12 week goal. The following is my response:
With respect to counting days. Keep in mind that the role this training plays in your life is different than the role the atonement and the gospel plays in your life. My job is to work with you in preparation for life in the same way that a Boot Camp instructor works with you in preparation for war. Why does a boot camp instructor make such a big deal out of one mistake?
I have been in the jungles of Vietnam and have seen the death and carnage of war (figuratively speaking). I spend about half of every day working with the wives of men who have lost too many battles. I hear their tears and pain. I hear their confusion.
I am so grateful for the Atonement which when I make a mistake, I can be cleansed. My garments can be washed white in the blood of Christ. I can be released from the pain of my own errors. But Brethren, your future wives are not going to have the same, immortal recovery skills that Christ has. What do you plan to say to your young, beautiful bride when she walks in on you looking at the unclothed,computer enhanced bodies of other women just hours or days after she has be brave enough to expose her imperfect body to you, “Sorry?” What will you say after you have a sexual experience without her (masturbation), just hours or days after being with her?
Gentlemen, there are many areas of our lives that could take years for us to become “perfect”, but controlling sexual behavior does not need to be one of them. We CAN become perfect in THIS area. I have gone over 15 years without a lost battle. You must expect yourself to do whatever it takes to gain the ability to be perfect in this area.
Yes, it is painful to have a lost battle and going back to zero is not fun, but if we are going to be ready for the real battle ground (when you have a wife to protect), you will thank me for being so strict during this boot camp phase of your life. I love you, Brethren, but I love your future wives even more. I am willing to cause you discomfort now, to protect your future wives from discomfort in the future.
So, use the atonement to keep from feeling completely broken and worthless. Do not wallow in your imperfections when you discover you still have more skills to gain in order to defeat the enemy. Bounce back up! Study what you did wrong. Strategize what needs to be done differently in order to win next time! Drill, drill, drill, with determination and ferocity. And win! Proceed into the serious dating stage of life, the mate selection stage of life with great confidence, knowing you have defeated one of the most difficult enemies known to man in the history of the world. Pick a good woman who you have worked hard to deserve and spend then next 50+ years doing miracles on this planet!
Your fellow warrior,