The Graduate – Avoiding Relapse
“How can I prevent myself from falling back into this addiction?” The recent graduate will ask himself. “Will I be strong enough?” “Will I fall into Satan’s traps again?” “What can I do to prevent this?”
Alma the Younger, after receiving the mighty change in his heart, described what he did to keep that change:
“Yea, and from that time until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls to repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost” (Alma 36:24).
Alma defended his new self by launching an all-out offensive against Satan. He didn’t just say, “phew, I’m glad I got that off my back, now I can get back to normal life.” “Normal life” is just the first step to complacency and slipping up. We can’t go back to normality, we have to take a stand. We have to fight for others now.
The 12th step in Alcoholics Anonymous reads:
“Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
This is not just a weak acknolwedgement of enebtedness, “I guess I should help someone else since I was helped, maybe I owe it to them.” Rather this is our call to arms, and the very key to our long-term success.
The most successful graduates from Sons of Helaman are those who have directed their knowledge and energy gained from the program and learn to “practice these principles in all [their] affairs.” They throw themselves into fatherhood and being good husbands with the force they previously used to win battles. Work, and church callings take on a new light; they are now fighting to free others, and everywhere they look for someone to help and lift. The weapons of war we used to fight Satan can be used as tools of healing to “lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” (D&C 81:5).
Graduating from Sons of Helaman (going 12 consecutive weeks without any lost battles) isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning. It begins a new level of warfare: our spiritual D-Day.