Go, Bring Them In

My anxiety has come in surges throughout my life.

Thanks to therapy,  12-step work and a greater understanding of God’s will and ways… I can at least see that my anxiety is ANXIETY and not truth.

I’m picking at my skin unconsciously.  My dreams are restless and filled with various versions of my worst fears: getting in a car accident and then going unseen by everyone and wondering IF I’M ALLOWED TO NEED MEDICAL ATTENTION.  I try to take a nap and my mind fills with worries… what if the baby goes outside? What if she gets into the cow trough?  She will die.  Where is the baby?  Is the baby dead?  What was that noise?  Did someone cough?  IS IT EBOLA?!?!

I focus on my dailies.

Pray, scriptures, self-care, healthy breakfast, lemon water

My anxiety goes through the roof if I lose focus which tends to happen.

Yesterday, I didn’t take care of myself at all.  I think I did one daily.  My day was really busy and full, and sometimes that happens.  I decided to make today a “make up” day.  I made sure to ALL of my dailies in the morning.  I spent time on my body today: bath, face scrub… I went for a picnic with my kids, bathed my baby.  I ate healthy food (and some not so healthy).

This morning on my walk, I listened to President Monson’s last conference talk –Ponder the Path of Thy Feet.

As I listened to him talk about the Savior’s example, I wondered at the phrasing used in the Parable of the Lost Sheep.

So often as members, we are called on to “Rescue.”


The Savior didn’t call on us to SAVE but to rescue, to find.

I listened to the last half of his talk twice and wondered some more.

What IS the difference between rescuing and saving?  I know there are very important differences, but I felt some urgency to define exactly what they are for me right now.

I thought of the Parable of the Lost Sheep, and I thought of Brigham Young’s urgent call to rescue the saints crossing the snowy plains.

I asked friends and family.

I came across this quote on the LDS Church’s Facebook Page:

“I think that being courageous for someone else would be standing up for
others who can’t stand up for themselves, protecting those who can’t
protect themselves, and truly putting it into heart and mind and action
of loving your neighbor. And I think doing that is as courageous as you
can get when you’re doing it for others.” —Kurt

As I thought about it, I realized that what Kurt was saying went in line with what I was pondering… rescuing someone else is doing for them what they can’t do for themselves.  Others agreed with this line of thinking, and it is true.  It is.

But it still felt murky.

I realized after some reading an old Ensign article that the difference between rescuing and saving has NOTHING to do with the external circumstances and EVERYTHING to do with internal motivation.

In short, to rescue someone is a charitable act on the Savior’s part while saving someone is a frantic, fear-based act on our own part.

I found this truth for myself -not because someone told me or I watched it play out in history or anything smart like that. I learned it Alicia Style, which is, as always, THE HARD WAY.
Being married to someone with an addiction has really unveiled my weaknesses in a harsh way. One of my greatest weaknesses was recognizing Christ but taking his role on myself.
I honestly believed I had the capabilities required to save someone else.


When I tried to save Danny, I truly thought I was being charitable, but if I were ever questioned about WHY I was doing what I was doing (making suggestions, leaving articles out, snooping, FOREVER TRYING TO GET HIM TO SEE the truth), I guarantee the FIRST words out of my mouth would have been, “Because I’m afraid ____________________”

He’ll lose his soul.
Our marriage covenant will be for naught.
He’ll cheat.
He’ll mess up our children.
He’ll hurt me.
We will get divorced.

And so I tried to save Danny, save myself, save my kids, save the world!

This did NOTHING for my anxiety, by the way. When I try to save, I am -in very fact –attempting to do for others what they are capable of doing for themselves.

My Saving Prayers were so specific.  I asked God for SPECIFICS of what I WANTED.

“Please help Danny SEE what he’s doing.  Please help him to feel the Spirit.  Please make sure Danny comes with me to church because IT’S SO HARD GOING ALONE.”

When I save, we do things MY way.


When I try to engage in the act of rescuing, I find myself wearing anti-porn garb.  I share educational articles WHEN PROMPTED and not when I’m in a panic over the fact that most church members are unaware of the devastating severity of pornography, the far-reaching effects of lust.  Rescuing is raising awareness, it’s speaking out.  Rescuing is taking meals to sick people, donating clothing where it’s needed.  Rescuing is done most effectively when I’ve taken care of myself properly… when I’m fed right and my mind is calm and my thoughts are clear.  Rescuing is having a mind clear enough to hear God whisper the name of a sister in my ear.  It’s being able to hear God prompt me in my Next Right Thing.  Sometimes the Next Right Thing is standing up for my child.  Sometimes The Next Right Thing is resting up.  Sometimes the next right thing is sending out a loving text.  Sometimes it’s opening my door in the middle of the night to someone who needs a sitter on their way to the ER.  Sometimes it’s flowers.  Sometimes -oftentimes -it’s an earnest, heartfelt prayer.

Rescuing is “first observe, then serve.”

Rescuing is the verb form of charity. Rescuing is doing for others what they cannot do for themselves -therefore God calls on those who CAN DO… TO DO.

Tears come to my eyes as I think of the bloody, cold pioneers trapped on the plains… what they must have felt when they saw their rescuers rushing toward them!  So often I’ve seen a figurative version of that scene play out in my own mind:

My family crumpled together, alone and shivering and ready to give up.

The prayers of our friends and loved ones mounted up on angel’s wings come billowing toward us and I’ll be dammed if our marriage isn’t saved on those prayers alone.

(bedard fine art)

So yes -rescuing is praying, “Take care of my loved one, Lord.  Help me accept Thy Will for Them, for Me.  Help me accept Their Free Will.”

When I rescue, I do things GOD’S WAY, and in so doing work as a tool in guiding His children back to Him -The Savior.

I do believe the work being done to combat lust and sex addiction on every hand is a pioneering work.  With every outstretched hand, a victim is given hope.

“Perhaps their suffering seems less dramatic because the handcart
pioneers bore it meekly, praising God, instead of fighting for life with
the ferocity of animals,” wrote historian Wallace Stegner of the
handcart pioneers and their rescue. “But if courage and endurance make a
story, if human kindness and helpfulness and brotherly love in the
midst of raw horror are worth recording, this half-forgotten episode of
Mormon migration is one of the great tales of the West and of America.


The road to God -to Zion -is smoother for some.  It’s sunnier and there’s more flowers.  Their trial is not the road.

But mine is.  Would that I had more humility that it might not be so, but my face is Zionward, and I will press on.

I will rescue as I am called on by God to do, and I relinquish to God my own ego-driven, fear-ridden, shame-soaked urgency to save any soul, including my own.


  1. You are awesome. :-)

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