Help. Hope. Healing.

In the Space of Not Many Years

By Rex Goode


It is a question I often ask myself. Why do I never seem to get ahead or achieve the things I desire? It often seems like the cosmos is against me, and be a man of faith in God, I equate “the cosmos” with God.

I think that I must be a very wicked person. Reading the Book of Mormon and the saga of the fickle Nephites, I wonder just how committed I am. They were constantly fluctuating between faithfulness and pride.

I am often amazed at how rapidly they changed. In Helaman, it says:

For behold, they saw that the strength of the Lamanites was as great as their strength, even man for man. And thus had they fallen into this great transgression; yea, thus had they become weak, because of their transgression, in the space of not many years (Helaman 4:26, emphasis added).

Time is such a strange thing. If I look at my life, now approaching 53 years, I see a progression from innocence, to guilt, to redeemed. It seems that overall, I’m in an uphill trend.

At the same time, I feel like I struggle every day to do what I believe is right, to feel like I’ve progressed beyond the follies of my youth, and to exercise my faith in God in the form of daily worship. A moment of indulging a sinful thought feels like it can pull down decades of progress.

Intellectually, I know it isn’t true. A momentary lapse does not equate to starting over at square one. Even more than that, temptation in the present does not equate to committing the sins of my past. Just because I have thoughts and feelings occasionally that the struggle is just too much to bear, it does not mean that I’ve placed my feet on the road that will lead me away from truth and find myself, in the space of not many years, where I was before.

1 person likes this post.

9 Responses to “In the Space of Not Many Years”

  1. julie said:

    I often feel the same way Rex. It is weird how it seems to take so long to get to a point of feeling like things are looking up and then in just a moment of weakness, it feels like you have to start over. Why do we think this way? In SA they always say progress not perfection, but it’s sometimes hard to remember all the progress we’ve made when we are feeling down.

  2. Rex Goode said:

    Thanks, Julie. It’s hard for me also because I still struggle with the dilemma of having really liked my sins and still not entirely certain why they’re wrong.

    I still go on and try to progress. It’s hard to not look back. Check out my post about still wanting to act out here:

    I go on, sometimes not sure why.

  3. julie said:

    I like my sins very much. We probably wouldn’t turn to them so much if we didn’t like them. I have a hard time understanding why certain things are wrong too. I read you other blog. Everytime I read what you went through I just feel so bad for you. You have come a long way with a lot of hard work. Kudos to you Rex.

  4. urb0123 said:

    “A momentary lapse does not equate to starting over at square one. ”

    Initially, that belief chafed at me. I believe that for me, it isn’t true. A momentary lapse could easily put me back at square one. But that is probably because I am only on square two or three.

  5. urb0123 said:

    Another thought I had was that there is danger in believing you start over at square one from a momentary lapse, and there is danger in believing a momentary lapse doesn’t take you back to the beginning.

    On the one hand, the belief that you start all over can keep you safer initially, but if you(in the everyone sense) do slip, you can rationalize that since you are already at the beginning, might as well enjoy it for awhile.

    On the other hand, not feeling like you will start all over again can make you complacent, but it will defend you from the desire to wallow in the addiction if you do slip.

    I know there is a better way to approach this, I can feel it but I can’t quite grasp it. The best I can do is suggest that I view the concept in the light that a single lapse doesn’t wipe away all my progress, but it can be the beginning of undoing all my progress.

  6. Rex Goode said:

    Thanks, Julie. Sometimes it seems like something I read instead of something I experienced. That’s a form of dissociation for me, but it’snot all bad. If I compare my life now to my life then, I like where I am.

  7. Rex Goode said:

    Hey, urb, I think you’ve got it right. We need to give ourselves credit for progress even when we slip, but we also must take a slip seriously. It does represent a bad change in direction and we need to turn back around and face the light.

  8. Tim B said:

    There is always danger, but I’ve found much more danger in taking a slip too seriously than in not taking it seriously enough. When I stopped making it the end of the world, it was easier to let go of it and get back on program.


  9. Rex Goode said:

    I’ll buy that!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.