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March 10, 2024 61 mins

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It was only upon reflection that Andrew realized how the light and beauty of specific spiritual experiences illuminated a path of subtle revelations and reminded him that the most profound encounters with Jesus Christ often unfold in the soft light of dawn, not in thunderous declarations. 

Join us for a deeply moving conversation that traverses the landscape of human experience, from the joyous union of marriage to the harrowing trials of addiction. Andrew's vulnerability in sharing his battle with pornography casts a light on the power of honesty, support, and love as cornerstones for healing. Alongside, we hear stories of divine guidance during financial hardship and the solace of prayer in the face of difficult loss. These narratives are a testament to an enduring divine presence and spiritual companionship that not only carry us through life's pivotal moments, but every daily one in between.

Please reach out to me if you are interested in sharing your story! I would LOVE to hear from you. :)

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Episode Transcript

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Lily (00:06):
Hello everyone and welcome to, More Than Coincidence,
Remembering Jesus Christ in yourStory.
As the author and finisher ofour faith, our Savior writes
personal experiences into eachof our lives which can later
strengthen, empower and bring uspeace upon reflection.
This podcast is dedicated tosharing these anchoring memories

(00:26):
from everyone's unique storiesin order to collectively
remember and testify of thereality of Jesus Christ and His
presence in our lives.
I'm your host, Lily, and I'mvery excited to share these
experiences together.
Alright, so tonight on thepodcast we have Andrew.
Andrew, what's up?

Andrew (00:45):
How's it going?

Lily (00:46):
It's going great.
Tell us about yourself.

Andrew (00:48):
Alright.
Well, I am a husband to anamazing woman and a father of
three and a half children.
One is coming up due in a fewmonths here.
In my professional life, I'm anengineer and I enjoy getting
out and doing things.
They're fun hunting, archery,playing with RC cars, really
anything.
Sometimes I feel like I'm stilla kid.

Lily (01:08):
Hey, that's awesome.

Andrew (01:09):
Absolutely.

Lily (01:11):
So what memories do you have that prick your heart and
remembrance of our Savior JesusChrist?

Andrew (01:17):
Yeah.
So as I was thinking about this, I had a lot of thoughts about
things and realized the amountof experiences that I have had
through my life.
With the exception of a handfulof them, I don't feel like in
those specific moments I reallyfully recognized what they were.

(01:40):
I've always wondered where'sthe big event that people talk
about?
Where is that in my life?
Everybody has these grandstories of things that happen
and I've wondered where that was.
I really wanted to bring this upbecause I think it's important

(02:00):
for a lot of people to feel thatit's okay to be how I was.
I think that most of us havelittle things each day that
build that relationship for us,and I think that as we look back
and reflect, we can begin tosee them in a different aspect
than we did before At least I do, especially as I was preparing

(02:22):
for this.
That's how I saw it.
So when I first heard yourpodcast, the big thing I wanted
to share was how I've only everhad little consistent
experiences that shaped myrelationship with Christ.
But as I have reflected a bitmore this week and after
scheduling this, I feel a bitguilty because the stories that

(02:43):
I'm going to go through mightlook large and special, but I
honestly never realized thatthey were until I've been
looking back at them and havingthis reflection and
introspection.
But as thinking on that, Ithink there's two principles
there.
First, something that I learnedon my mission from one of the
mission presidents, counselors.
He taught us regularly theimportance of writing things

(03:04):
down in our journal, writingdown our spiritual experiences
and writing down when we see thehand of God.
And the big thing he taught was, if you don't feel like you're
having any, start writing themdown with the little things
daily, each little spiritualimpression that you have, and

(03:24):
we'll start seeing them more,line upon line, whether we're
receiving them or not, we'll begiven them, we'll recognize them
and we'll start being able torecognize more and more.
And so we come to see that alot more in our lives.
Second was a talk by ElderBednar several years ago.

(03:45):
I'm sure you remember it, but hesaid, talking about faith, that
we hear people's stories offaith being flipped like a
switch in a room and where itgoes from darkness to immediate
brightness.
But most of us don'trealistically have that.
What we have is.

(04:05):
The second example that heshared was that faith is more
like a sunrise.
It's a gradual rise and wequickly adapt and familiarize to
the light that the sun isgiving off, sometimes without
recognizing that we've gotten tothe point of high noon already.
It's just happened so graduallythat nothing seems different.

Lily (04:24):
You're like, oh, suddenly it's daylight, what?

Andrew (04:26):
happened Exactly.

Lily (04:29):
I think they're actually they put together.
I think they used to be calledthe Mormon messages.
I think there was a three-partseries that he did about
personal revelation or somethingwhere I think he mentioned that
.

Andrew (04:38):
Yeah, I think that's what it was from, was there was
a video, because I know it wasin a book that he wrote?

Lily (04:44):
It all sounds really familiar, called.

Andrew (04:45):
Increase in Learning and then with that, yeah, I think
he had a little three-part videoseries where he talked about
that, and this was 15 years ago.

Lily (04:54):
It was a while ago, yeah.

Andrew (04:55):
I think right after I got home from my missions.

Lily (04:57):
Yeah, yeah, 12, 13 years ago.

Andrew (05:02):
That's for sure, but the so.

Lily (05:09):
There was never that single instant in my life where
I felt that overwhelmingenlightenment, an enlightenment
as in like oh God lives, orenlightenment like the church is
like or like what do you mean?

Andrew (05:24):
Yeah, any of that all of that Like I never.
There was never a moment whereit was like, oh my gosh, I have
to change my life right now,because I had this singular
experience that now I went frombeing like an arm of the younger
experience.

Lily (05:42):
Exactly yeah.

Andrew (05:43):
Yeah, I never had that and sometimes that's one thing
that I might talk about later isfeelings I had like that on my
mission, because I've alwayskind of questioned that in
myself if I was wrong for nothaving those experiences Right.
But coming full circle on that,looking back and reflecting, I

(06:04):
think sometimes it looks morelike those experiences are huge
and in your face, because nowI'm turning around and I'm
looking directly into the sun.
I'm looking at those experienceswhere before I was living it
while the sun was rising but,now it's like oh hey, I'm going
to turn around, I'm going tolook up into the sky and boom

(06:26):
bright.

Lily (06:26):
Oh my gosh, yeah, like you can see it for what it is.
I had these huge experiences.
Yeah.

Andrew (06:31):
But yeah, again, genuinely.
I know I've said this a bunchof times, but in the moment,
sticking with the metaphor, Ithought it was barely dawn at
that point in time.
Right.
So, yeah, a lot of words there.
Hopefully that makes sense, butI wanted to touch on that
because I feel like that's avery important thing, especially
as people listen to yourpodcast and listen to other

(06:54):
people sharing their stories.
Like, yeah, they sound.
Some things might sound grandand big, but when we look at our
own lives, where we maybe feellike we've never had that, and
we reflect back, those littleconsistent things are a big
thing after a long time they alladd up.

Lily (07:11):
Right?
Well, I think that's the entirepoint of our baptismal covenant
to remember, right?
I love your metaphor of you.
Know you're standing there andthe sun's rising.
You might not notice, but you,when you finally turn around and
look at the sun and you look atthe light and you recognize
what's happening, then that'swhen it hits you, that's when
you feel the warmth, that's whenyou know everything comes into
the picture, and I think you canreally only do that upon

(07:34):
reflection, right?
So I really like that analogythat you came up with.

Andrew (07:38):
I think it's spot on honestly yeah Well, thank you, I
appreciate it All right.
Now onto some specific storiesand generalizations.

Lily (07:48):
Go for it.

Andrew (07:50):
I did try to select a few, but I feel like I could
write a book with everything Iwant to share.
So, starting out, I want to saythat there have been a lot of
times in my life where Istruggle to recognize and feel
love.
Especially Christ's love hasbeen a difficult thing to
recognize for me, just because Ihaven't really understood what

(08:12):
that felt like.
But to the point of yourquestion, what memories have
anchored me to Christ?
I've been able to look back andfeel that love and I'm finally
getting to that point where Ican feel it during these
experiences and not necessarilyjust back into reflection.
So, first and foremost, we'regoing to go back several years.

(08:37):
So when I was nine, I lost mydad to a heart attack and, to
make it worse, I was the onethat found him, and that day was
when I really began torecognize the Savior helping me
in my life.
That night I got a blessingthat I would be able to forget

(09:01):
what I saw of my dad when Ifound him.
And to this day I cannot recallthe images of what I saw when I
found him.
And I'm not talking like I justrepressed the whole thing
because of trauma or anythinglike that.
I still vividly remember everydetail of that day.
I know what I ate for dinner,because I never wanted to eat it

(09:23):
again for years.
I know what I was doing beforeI walked into his room like
detailed out, but what I have isa comforting blur of all the
scary parts that I saw to anine-year-old boy and as I've
grown and had other experiencesrelated to that, I've had the
very real recognition that myfather has been with me at very

(09:46):
important parts of my life, suchas when I gave one of my first
blessings ever on my mission,and that was such a cool
experience.
Out of nowhere I just felt thathe was there with me, helping me
give that blessing.

(10:07):
On my wedding day I got ablessing beforehand from some
good family friends and again Ifelt him there with his hands on
my head and I know that he wasdefinitely there during the
sailing, smiling with joy andlooking down on us.
It never was easy growing upwithout a father, but I've had
my testimony and the plan ofsalvation reassured over and
over again because of thatexperience and I can say that he

(10:32):
was at those importantexperiences in my life because
of the love of God that, withfamily being such an important
and critical thing and crucialthing in this world and to God's
plan, that there's no way thathe would not be able or he'd be
unable to leave the importantwork that he's doing on the
other side for a few minutes tobe with his family.
Yeah, and so that's like one ofthe first major things that I

(10:57):
recall happening in my life thatreally set me up to feeling
okay, god cares about me, hecares enough about me that in
that blessing and the power ofthe priestess is real, that I

(11:18):
was blessed to not be torturedby seeing what I saw that day
and to be able to move on.
and then to be able to, yeah,just feel him there and feel his
comfort throughout my lifeindividually because, as a boy,

(11:39):
needing that father figure in mylife, needing that love and
care, because my mom never didremarry and so I went through
everything without him.
So to know that God loves us somuch, that those experiences
not only is God there for, butmy earthly father was there for,
as huge and I absolutely loveit.

Lily (12:01):
Well, and it just shows how much love is in the plan of
salvation right and what acomfort that, yeah, that your
dad was able to be there ineverything and to show that love
.
I just that's incredible.
I can't even fathom that,honestly.

Andrew (12:16):
And that's been one of.
I would say, if there's oneanchor that I've ever had, at
any time where I was unsure, ifI had a testimony, that was the
one thing I could always lookback to and say no, I'm sealed
to my family, I will see my dadagain.
I have no doubt in that, I can'thave any doubt in that, because

(12:37):
I need that, and so that's beenthe one thing, that, yeah, if
there's ever been a struggle,I've always been able to hold on
to that piece of knowledge, andso, as much as I hate that,
that's the route that my lifetook and that it sucks like.
I am able to see the blessingsin there and what that provided

(13:00):
to me.

Lily (13:01):
That's so.
Wow, that's incredible.

Andrew (13:04):
So one of the other things that has anchored me to
Christ is I've received a lot ofguidance through my life as
I've had to make importantdecisions, and one that always
sticks in my mind was how I wasled to my sweetheart, anika.

Lily (13:23):
Oh, I love these stories.
Oh yeah, it's a good one.

Andrew (13:27):
It's a good one.
So after my mission, I wasready to move into the next
stage of my life obviously WowFind a wife.
Yeah, exactly, In my hometownit was not a.
There wasn't a huge LDSpopulation, so we had one YSA

(13:47):
ward encompassing three stakesover the entire valley that I
lived in.
Oh my gosh, so we're talkingfrom one end to the other, I
don't know an hour drive or moreso yeah, it was a large area.
Yeah, and one was I grew up withall those people and I just, I
don't know not to be rude, but Ididn't see any future with

(14:11):
anybody from there.
I wanted to leave, I wanted toget out and I was yeah, so it
wasn't going to happen there forme.

Lily (14:19):
That's for sure.
An even new start.
Yeah, fresh.

Andrew (14:21):
Exactly so.
Long story short, a lot ofthings came together very
quickly for me to move toArizona.
I was in California at the time.
So after being out there for acouple months and going on my
fair share of dates, we hadanother family difficulty come
up.
As a result of that, I asked mybrother-in-law, who I was
living with at the time, if hewould give me a blessing, and in

(14:45):
it he instructed me that Ineeded to study the doctrine and
covenants more.
Not really sure why.
Like this was well before thedays of come follow me.
So I'm not quite sure where thatcame from, but, being a recent
RM, I thought I had pretty goodstudy habits and so yeah but for

(15:06):
some reason the only thing thatcame to my mind after hearing
that was all right, I need to gofind an institute class
teaching doctrine and covenantsto help me out on this one,
because it's never been mystrongest suit is studying
doctrine and covenants.
I've always it's been a littledifficult for me.
It's like Old Testament.
Sometimes, now, being inArizona, the college system has

(15:31):
institutes available.
Through them.
There's obviously a lot ofdifferent course options.
The only one that fit for myschedule was a 7am class at a
campus that I wasn't evenattending classes at.
It just worked out with, it wascloser to where I was and had
to go to my next job andeverything, yeah.
So I signed up for it.

(15:51):
I show up and there's fivepeople in the class One guy who
just sat in the back and, Ithink, was yet to go on a
mission, so a younger guy, me,and then three young ladies.
Now, obviously, I'm 21, I'm homefor my mission.
I have a singular goal in mind,so I scoped out my options
wherever I went.

(16:12):
It was just something thathappened.
Anytime I went somewhere new, Iwas on the prowl.
Well, there was only one inthat class that caught my eye
and now, almost 11 years later,she's my wife and we have three
great children and another oneon the way, and she's the
perfect match for me.
We've been through a lot andshe's stuck by my side and been
exactly what I've neededthroughout all of it.

(16:33):
So there's always been thoselittle bits of guidance that
have pointed me where I need togo, and that's a fun one.
I love that one.
That one's actually awesome.
And continuing on with that too.
Like a few months later, whilewe're still dating, I was

(16:55):
debating on marrying her and Iwas trying to figure out where
all that stood.
Yeah, so I was at the temple,being single, I went all the
time.
So I knew onica was there thatday with a friend of hers doing
baptisms, and I Think she knew Iwas there.
I'm not entirely sure, but Iwas doing something upstairs and

(17:15):
when I was done, gettingdressed and about to leave, I
had the distinct impression andthought of Go downstairs and
surprise your wife, or surpriseyour future wife, and I was like
Okay, that's a little ballsy ofthe spirit, yeah so I knew it
was time to go get a ring atthat point.

(17:35):
And yeah, it was.
Just out there, because it wasdefinitely before I had proposed
.
And yeah, it was.
I was like, oh Well, that's anew thought.
Yeah, all right, I guess.

Lily (17:48):
I'm going down stairs so, intimidated by that, like excuse
me, mm-hmm.

Andrew (17:53):
Yeah, it, yeah, it was there and it was pretty obvious.
So it was, that was cool.
But yeah, as I was reflectingback on that, I can never think
about meeting onica withoutknowing that I was directly
guided to her and at mydecisions on that were important
enough to Heavenly Father thatI was pushed in that direction.

(18:13):
And yeah, I just love thatbecause I mean, oh, who would
ever think that a blessingtelling you to go study the
doctrine covenants would beLeading to right finding my wife
right I?

Lily (18:27):
I did not think so, unless you would have prefaced it with
.
This is how I met my wife.
I would be like oh, this is anice story of you know doctor
and covenants.

Andrew (18:32):
Yeah, and actually for a while I had forgotten about it.
My sister brought it up afterwe'd been married a year or two
and was like hey, remember, myhusband gave you this blessing
for this and yeah.
Oh yeah, I do remember that now.
So another big Anchor for mehas been receiving comfort, and

(18:54):
I really hope that my storiesare not just bouncing all over
the place.
I really trying to tie themtogether, but Things flow a lot
better in my hand when I earn myhead and when I write them down
.
So, and I might cry a lotduring this one this one's still
a little fresh, but two yearsago, that same brother-in-law

(19:16):
that gave me that blessingpassed away.

Lily (19:19):
Yeah.

Andrew (19:22):
And that was very difficult.
We lost him almost in anidentical scenario to my dad,
and that brought back a lot ofmemories from that and sadness
of watching the Situation playout.
For my sister.
He'd been in my life for 26years way longer than my dad so
he was a firm part of mychildhood and my life.
Well, at the funeral, I wasasked to give the family prayer

(19:44):
and Anybody doesn't know whatthat is after the viewing.
Sometimes, though a lot oftimes they'll close the doors
and give the immediate familyJust one last gathering with the
family member and some things.
I think my niece is saying asong, and then they close the
casket for the final time.
Well, I had the privilege ofclosing that meeting with prayer

(20:06):
, and Let me tell you I had noclue what to say and almost
couldn't get any words past mytears.
But as I began, I felt thecomfort of the spirit like it
never fell in my life before.
I Was given exactly what to saythat not only I needed, but I

(20:30):
felt that other people in theroom needed to hear, and, and I
went from Barely being able totalk to being so comforted that
my tears subsided and I was ableto speak very clearly and very
directly, and it's a feelingthat I've never had before.

(20:51):
But I was just filled with somuch love for everybody in that
room and the desire to just wrapthem all in the biggest hug.
And I wanted to strengthenthose in the room that didn't
have a testimony or had one thatwas failing them, that they
would be able to feel andunderstand the plan of salvation
in that moment and haveconfidence that we will see our

(21:12):
brother again.
And that was just such a movingexperience for me in a moment
where I really needed a lot ofcomfort and, yeah, like I said
before, it was Just soall-encompassing.
I don't, I can't, think ofanother time where I felt that

(21:35):
amount of comfort and thatamount of clarity and peace In
my life.
Right, but then the interestingpart of that like and as I'm
saying this, I'm thinking moreabout it, but you know, you read
in the book of Mormon aboutEnos praying for his sins to be

(21:57):
forgiven and then immediatelyfeeling an outpouring for All of
his brother and then for theLamanites and then for everybody
else in the world right.
And I've never Quite understoodwhat what that would feel like.
But again, as I'm thinkingabout like that's kind of how
that was like.
Initially the comfort was therefor me, yeah, but then it

(22:17):
didn't take much to comfort meand then immediately it turned
outward and I wanted to.
I feel like I was reaching outspiritually to everybody else in
the room and trying to touchand hug each person in there,
and I think a lot of people Feltit as well.

(22:40):
just from my position, it feltlike tears started increasing
people were starting to feel itand, you know, feel that comfort
as well and, yeah, it's just.
That's another one that I lookback to of.
Yeah, I hate funerals.
I hate everything about him.
I hate death more than anythingelse.
It's the last thing that I everwant to have to go through and

(23:04):
if I can avoid it I'm gonna domy best.
I'm gonna do my best, but to beable to know that Christ knew
that and gave me the comfortthat I needed then was Something
that I will cherish foreverbecause it was a moving, a
moving piece.

(23:26):
Now, my final example issomething that happened a little
bit more recently.
Again I've mentioned, my wifeis pregnant and we have been
having what we would we haveboth agreed has probably been
the most trying months in ourentire marriage, even given some
other things that have happened, and it hasn't been a her

(23:47):
against me kind of difficulty,but us against life.
I had shoulder surgeryscheduled, which I was in
desperate need of, and now we'realso looking at the cost of a
baby, and not to mention all theother medical bills that the
kids had just from accidents,from being kids.
Yeah it happens.
But we were very stressed outand we're losing our minds about

(24:09):
how we were supposed to pay foreverything, because it felt
like we were just getting by,despite having a fairly good
career, and Both of us got intoa pretty bad place and had some
pretty hard thoughts that werequite ashamed of that we had had
.
And yeah, it was not an easytime for us and yeah, there's no

(24:33):
other way to put that, but yeah, it was very difficult.
Well, right in the midst ofthat, we scheduled our tithing
declaration with the bishop.
Everything went pretty normalit's fairly standard but at the
end he turned on a cat and askedvery directly and specifically
what miracle Our family neededright now.

(24:57):
Well, she was honest with himabout what we needed, that we're
very concerned financially andwe both broke down crying as we
discussed that with the bishopand he told us to do something
that we've never reallyconsidered before.
It's very simple, but we'venever considered it.
He asked us to prayspecifically for a miracle and

(25:21):
I've never just I've never donethat.
You know, I've prayed forspecific things.
Oh, I need this or I'm lookingfor a new job.
I need help finding a new job,removing help me right decide if
this is the right move.
But we've never just prayedsaying, hey, I need a blanket

(25:42):
miracle, I need something.
I don't know what I need but Ineed something and he explained
how he came to feel to ask thatquestion and to ask onica
specifically and not me, becausehe was so inspired that I

(26:03):
Wouldn't give him the answer Iwouldn't tell the truth, but the
onica would.
And it's just amazing becauseour bishop is amazing and he's
very in tune with the spirit andunderstanding what Christ wants
him to do.
But we felt so much love fromthe bishop and from Christ in
that moment and and we knew thatChrist saw our struggles, that

(26:30):
we were having and just that wegot a big hug from the Savior
telling us that everything wasgonna be okay.

Lily (26:42):
Right.

Andrew (26:44):
Because that's one thing that we've wanted.
Like we're doing everythingright, why?

Lily (26:51):
Yeah.

Andrew (26:51):
We're going to church every Sunday.
We're doing everything that wecan.

Lily (26:55):
Right, like, what more do we do, are we?

Andrew (26:56):
being overlooked.
Yeah, are we?
Do you see us?
In this moment we felt seen andyou know that was even one
thing that Bishop said was youknow, god recognizes the
sacrifices that you've made incallings and in these things,

(27:18):
like he is aware you are seen,and that was just so comforting
to feel that.
So we prayed for a miracle atthe end of that meeting and by
the time we got home, a lot ofmy personal stress had melted
away.
I still didn't know how, and Istill don't know how we're gonna

(27:42):
pay for everything, but I knewthat things would be okay and
within the next week or maybetwo weeks, some things started
happening.
That could be the beginning ofthose miracles starting to
blossom.
I'm still waiting to see how allof that plays out, but I've

(28:03):
been able to see things from adifferent perspective and I
think that that's helped.
That's kind of been one of thefirst miracles was okay.
Let me look at my situationfrom a different point of view.
How can I change this?
How can I look at thisdifferently To be able to
provide and to take care of myfamily and do the things that I

(28:25):
need to, because as a husbandand father, that's the biggest
stress I have is how am Isupposed to take care of my
family when going to the grocerystore costs $60 for one night's
meals?
It's ridiculous.
I know that's what happened tous today too.

Lily (28:39):
I was like I can't do this .

Andrew (28:40):
I'm like I need it and then, on top of that, having to
pay for surgery and all thisstuff, it just adds up, and so
it was really getting to me thatwe still have those stresses,
we still have those worries, butI know, without a doubt, that
somehow God is going to make itwork for us, and the key

(29:02):
takeaway for us from thatmeeting was the outpouring of
God's love for me and for myfamily, and to be recognized, to
know that he is there and thatwe do have that relationship
with him.

Lily (29:17):
I feel like that reminds me when you were talking about
this.
I just had the scripture.
I don't know what the referenceis, but just be still and know
that I am God Right.
I just think it's so, it'spowerful that it wasn't like,
hey, God, I need this specificthing.
Can you please give me thisspecific thing?
It was no, I just need amiracle.
And then you just had to standback, be still and just wait and

(29:39):
just see how he maneuvered andhow he did things.
I think that is that takes alot of faith.
First off, you guys are awesome.
But too, I just can't evenimagine it does like you said.
It shifts your perspective andyou have to start looking for
things differently.
Where is his hand?
Where is he?

(30:00):
What else can I do to bettersee or be his hand?
But to take that moment andpause and to be still and just
say, okay, God, you've got this.

Andrew (30:12):
And it is not easy.
Let me tell you.
The question we keep asking,that we've always asked, because
every time that we've had ablessing with something, whether
it was graduating college,without a job or anything it's
been the last minute and I'mlike can we please get something

(30:36):
a little more than last minute,because I just want to know
going into something that I'mgood, that I'm good right.
And so, yeah, that standingback and watching is hard, and I
came across something the otherday it might have been a
conference talk, I don't know.
Whatever it was.
They were referencing anapostle.

(30:57):
I want to say it might havebeen Elder Packer, but it was a
newly acculled apostle and hewas saying oh, I don't know if I
can do it, I need to be able tosee.
I want to see the end from thebeginning and see what's going
on.
Yeah, me too.
Me too, don't we all?
So he was on an assignment withthe senior apostle and the

(31:21):
senior apostle told him well,sometimes God needs us to walk
to the edge of the light andthen take a few steps into the
darkness, and I think the talkis called.
I think it's called the edge ofthe darkness, and I think it
was a talk somebody gave at BYU,right?
But I'm just sitting there like, yes, but does it have to be

(31:45):
every time?
So to that point?
Yes, like you said, standingback and watching God and
understanding that sometimesthose blessings might not come
right as early as we're hoping,really, how it's been all our
case in my life we can relate tothat.
Always been several steps intothe dark, maybe a step or two

(32:08):
before the dark, but not so muchmore than that but my thought
there.

Lily (32:13):
That's awesome.

Andrew (32:15):
All right, this next one .
This is just a quick one.
So, as I referenced beforeabout being on my mission and
wondering if it was okay that Inever had one of those huge come
to Jesus moments.
In the MTC, you're alwaysintroducing yourself.

(32:40):
You're always meeting newpeople.
There's always an introduction.
One of the questions that theyalways ask is why are you on a
mission?
And I hated that question.
And I hated it because youwould get missionaries that have
these grand stories, thesegrand explanations of oh, I
finally read the book of Mormonand I knew I had to go on a

(33:01):
mission and I'm just like, okay,great, that didn't happen to me
.
I felt bad because my reasoningwas oh, it's the next step in
my grasp of progression, it'swhat I'm going to do after I
graduate high school.
I'm going on a mission.

(33:22):
I didn't have any grandcommanding voice saying oh, you
need to go on a mission becausethis, that and the other.
And so at these introductions,I found myself looking like all
right, what can I say to justwow people?
How can I?
What twist can I put on my why?

Lily (33:41):
I'm here.

Andrew (33:48):
But I never made anything up.
It was just elaborating on mytrue stories.
But yeah, like I said, I justalways knew that it would happen
and that I had a testimony ofthe gospel because of my life
experiences and, as I mentioned,I had a very sure testimony of
the plan of salvation and thatthat was it.
I knew it was my priesthoodduty to serve and to share my
testimony with others and I wasthere to do that.

(34:10):
And I always felt like thatwasn't good enough.
But as I've looked back, likethat reasoning was perfect for
me personally.
I didn't need anything to pushme over the fence because I
never debated if it was anoption.
I was already so far gone.
I couldn't even see the fence.
I was like it was going tohappen.

(34:31):
I went because I knew that Iwould, and I don't feel guilty
that I didn't have a huge reasonLike I went.
Again, there's my priesthoodduty.
I knew that God wanted me toshare my testimony and I was
happy to do that.
I don't I didn't ever feel like, oh, I need to do it because I
know there's one personspecifically out there that

(34:52):
needed me.
I know that I helped peoplefind the church and it was great
and I love them because of itand I love those people that I
met in my mission.
But yeah, it was never.
You don't have to have thosebig experiences.
It is okay to just know whatyou're doing is on the path and

(35:15):
that's okay.
And I think Rachel mentionedsomething like that too, because
I remember listening to thatone and Rachel took what I
wanted to say because she talkedabout all the little things and
it is so true.

Lily (35:31):
By small and simple things .

Andrew (35:33):
Yep, exactly Small and simple things and line upon line
.

Lily (35:37):
But why does it have to be like that?
It'd be so much easier if itwas a big thing.
Just kidding.

Andrew (35:42):
I know, yeah, so I'm glad that I'm not the only one
who sees it, and other peoplesee it too.

Lily (35:49):
Yeah, you are not alone.

Andrew (35:56):
It does amaze me to know that God is always there and
he's always trying to reach us.
People always say God neverleaves us, we leave him, and I
have a testimony of this becauseI've managed to get little
glimpses of inspiration andconfirmation of my choices while

(36:19):
being engulfed in sin andaddiction.
For the longest time I struggledwith pornography addiction and
I really want to share this thatperhaps it might help somebody

(36:40):
listening, because I was greatlyhelped by somebody who shared
their story in a previous wardand it's not an easy thing to
talk about and this is one thatI really wanted to share it
because I really feel like Ineed to and it's not something I
talk about often or I talkabout lightly in any way.

(37:04):
Yeah, so I'm just going to jumpinto it because, again, I hope
that it can help somebody and Ifeel like I've been blessed to
be in a place that to where I'mat now and that, especially you
doing your podcast and beingable to be on here, that
hopefully my story can reachsomebody who does need it,

(37:26):
because it is such a problem now.
It is so hard to not comeacross it.
I mean, you have your phone inyour pocket, you can reach
anything, and I would almostargue that a large chunk I don't

(37:47):
want to say every man, but agood 95% of men and women I'm
coming to learn that more areexposed to it and from a young
age it starts.
It's a hard thing to get out ofand it's a hard thing to discuss

(38:07):
and talk about because of justhow it's portrayed and how
people think about it andbecause it is such an evil and
nobody wants to admit to havingstruggled with it or having that
as something that they have aproblem with.
So shortly into our marriage, Iconfessed to my wife that I was

(38:30):
struggling with that issue and,as you can imagine, that was
not an easy thing for her tohear, which is why it's also
interesting that, if I told herthis and our hard list time in
our marriage has been the pastcouple months, we've been in a
bad place past couple months.

Lily (38:48):
It's been rough, buddy.

Andrew (38:52):
But she, as I said, she was exactly the wife that I
needed and she is something sospecial and truly was prepared
for me because she's shown me somuch love over the years when
she didn't have to.
This came out before we hadkids.

(39:14):
If she wanted to leave, itwould have been easy, but she
stuck with me and wanted to helpme out through it and I
wouldn't be where I am todaywithout her love and forgiveness
.
It wasn't easy for her and weworked through it together.
For a while I was filled with alot of shame of what I was

(39:36):
struggling with and I finallywent with her to talk to the
bishop and that was quitedifficult for me to agree to go
do, but I knew it was necessary.
And that was hard because Ialways felt like, oh, going to
the bishop is oh you've messedup like this isn't just a.

(39:58):
I never understood how much lovethe bishop could have for you.
I was always so scared.

Lily (40:04):
Of the judgment of like the punishment.
Punished and it's going to bebad things.

Andrew (40:10):
And I remember talking.
I talked to a bishop when I wasa teenager in this and that was
difficult and the interestingthing is that even he showed me
so much love but yet now,several years later, I was very
nervous to do it again becauseSatan was just blocking that

(40:31):
love and saying no, don't go tothe bishop, you're going to get
a consequence.
You could be kicked out of thechurch.
You could have that.
You could have that.

Lily (40:42):
Yeah.

Andrew (40:42):
That's not going to happen.
It's the bishop is going toapproach it with love and with
the spirit and help you out.
That's what they're there foris to help.
Yeah, they're a judge, butfirst and foremost, their
judgment is to help you.
so that you can get over it sothat you can be judged correctly
and be judged righteously whenthe time comes.

(41:04):
So after that I still struggleda lot for a few years.
I was really confident that Icould overcome it on my own and
I didn't need any help fromanybody else.
Yet again, another lie fromSatan.
So we set things up to try toprevent me from falling into

(41:27):
temptation behavioral checks,mostly just like having the
computer where it was visible,and just little things.
And it was a lot of trust onAnika's part that I was not
going to pull my phone out andlook at something.
I wasn't going to do, somethingthat I shouldn't, and it was

(41:52):
mostly just we set things up toprevent me from falling to
temptation.
But eventually I'd find waysaround those blocks because I
was just trying to stop theaction and not address the
deeper issues behind it.
Eventually I decided that Ineeded to attend the addiction
recovery program sponsored bythe church and that was probably

(42:13):
one of the hardest things I'veever had to do.
And the first day I went Iguess it was maybe a little
miracle because I was so scared.
I was the only person there.
It was me and the personrunning it, so it was a very
private thing, which I think wasgood for me at the time.
There was a brother in our wardat the time that I respected

(42:40):
and I knew that he helped outwith the diction recovery
program, and so I was verynervous of what he would think
when he saw me there.
Yeah, eventually I got overthat.
He never once said anythingabout it.
He still talked to us, just asnormal as could be, yeah.
Yeah, and absolutely no, nojudgment came from him.

(43:02):
So I attended quite regularlyand it helped a bit.
And one thing that I saw wasthat I wasn't in as bad of a
place as I potentially couldhave been, but I was still
ashamed of myself.
I still knew that I was, I wastrapped and that I couldn't get
out of it.
I still struggled to hide itfrom my wife and hide it from

(43:25):
the group because I didn't wantto be seen as a failure.
I didn't want to say, oh, Imessed up this weekend, right,
and one of the things is whenyou're starting, it's, you know,
introducing yourself and a lotof times I've been clean for so
long, yeah, and I really didn'twant to be the guy who was.

(43:46):
I've been clean for five hours,yeah, I did not want to do that
.
So I just continued to hide itand stretch the truth.
Oh, maybe that, maybe thatwasn't maybe I didn't really
look at something RightTechnically yeah, and so I was
still lying to myself and I wasonly making a partial effort to

(44:07):
work through it.
Then we moved to Utah and I wasstill struggling and despite
how forgiving and loving Anikawas when I confessed that I
wasn't doing good, I would stillhide it from her for months
when I would screw up.
That was not.
I still didn't want to tell her.
I didn't want her to know I wasweak.

(44:27):
I didn't want to keepdisappointing her.
Right, and I kept turning backto I can do this myself.
I've got this.
I've got the power.
I will be able to.
If I can just hold out forthree months, then I won't have
a temptation.
If I can hold out for a year,I'll never be tempted again.
Right, it's not true.
It was.

(44:48):
I failed every time because Iwas just relying on myself.
I say my prayers, ask for help,whatever.
But that was where it stoppedand it was not enough.
And now we're several yearssince I've told her and it was
still quite a challenge for me.
Then one Sunday at church abrother got up to speak and he

(45:12):
said he had a whole talk plannedout, but while he was sitting
on the stage he felt theprompting to abandon his talk
and instead tell his story abouthow he was in the middle of
recovery from his pornographyaddiction and at that point was
five years clean.
And that was directly for me, Ifeel like, because I think at
that time I was struggling and Idon't remember if I'd had a

(45:35):
setback relatively recently tothat but I was struggling and I
was so inspired that he wouldopen up about it and willingly
tell others to help somebody.
Um, and that was a place ofconfidence that I wanted to get
to.
I wanted to be able to stand upand say, hey, I did it, you can

(46:01):
do it, and I'm happy to beright here Like talking my way
through it.
And because I felt that spiritand that love of wanting to help
others, knowing how difficultit was for me and knowing how I
kept it so bottled up, andwanting to reach out and say,

(46:22):
brother, it's okay, you are notalone in this.
And so for him to get up wasmental.
Yeah, it meant a lot to me.
So after sacrament meeting,with a lot of encouragement from
Monica, uh, I went up to himand I grabbed him and I thanked
him and told him that I too wasstruggling and I just started
crying because, other than inaddiction recovery and my wife,

(46:45):
that was the first person that Ihad told that I was struggling
with it.
And he just wrapped me in a hugand told me it was okay and
I've never gotten that beforefrom complete stranger.
I didn't really know this guy.
We kind of hid in the ward andwe didn't have any close
relationships with anybody inthat ward and he just loved me

(47:09):
for who I was and loved me andknew that I could do it.
And that was a major turningpoint for me.
We got together shortly afterthat and talked about things and
one of the biggest things hetold me that I've really come to
understand and believe in isthat I needed to open up more to

(47:31):
others for help and support.

Lily (47:35):
And you know, you kind of think yeah, I, I thought it's
counterintuitive and that's likeexactly what the devil tells
you not to do.
Keep a secret, keep it safe.

Andrew (47:43):
Exactly.
And you know, he told me like,yeah, the hiding and the fear
all came from shame.
And what would people think ofme, especially my family, when I
tell them this?
And he pointed out well, whatwould happen?
Either they support you andunderstand, right, or they hate

(48:06):
you and don't talk to you again.
What do you think is morelikely to happen from your
family?
Right, I'm like, true, I guessyou're right, like, and if they
do hate me, okay?

Lily (48:23):
Well, that's on them.

Andrew (48:24):
Yeah, I guess that really doesn't affect me much
because I know I'm trying to doright by God, and that was what
mattered most.
And the next thing he told meis exactly what you said Satan
uses shame to keep his chains onme, and that is so true.

(48:44):
I have so come to understandthis that pornography addiction
is something that happens insecret and is kept from others.
So by keeping it secret out ofshame, we're still playing into
his power.
We are still saying, oh yeah,man, I don't want to tell

(49:05):
anybody about this because it'sshameful.
It's evil.
I'm just going to keep it asecret, and that's how Satan
keeps you in his loop.
And that's where I was at.

Lily (49:16):
Right, and it's like you're playing a game in his
home turf.

Andrew (49:19):
Yeah.

Lily (49:19):
Right, like you say, I can do this.
I know that I'm strong enoughto overcome this, but you're
playing on his field.

Andrew (49:25):
Yeah.

Lily (49:25):
Right, he has, he literally has you isolated.
Yeah, right.

Andrew (49:30):
And it's impossible to leave at that point, and as soon
as we open up to other peopleand we get out of that secrecy,
it takes his power away.
We walk off of his field and wesay no, we're playing this by
different rules.
Now Right.

Lily (49:52):
And Jesus yeah.

Andrew (49:54):
I'm on team Jesus 100% now, and that was the key for me
.
That was the piece that I wasmissing.
I struggled because I just toldAnika I was doing fine and
could do it alone, and I wouldhide it when I was messed up and
then would have less strengthto overcome as time went on.
I would feel it wearing me down.
I would start just like, oh,this isn't that bad.

(50:15):
I would justify my way Right,until I found myself oh man,
I've gone in too deep and now Idon't want to tell Anika,
because not only do I have totell her that, I messed up, but
that, hey, I've been messing upfor the past couple months and
it's gotten worse and that isnot easy and so, yeah, at most I

(50:40):
could only stay clean for acouple of months during those
times.
So after that, after we had thatconversation, I was determined
to be 100% open with my wife.
She would check in on regularlyon me, not only if I messed up,
but now we started adding if Iwas tempted, and we started
talking more about just about itin general and what I was doing

(51:02):
to kill the temptations, howthey came up, what was the
triggers for me and what youknow, the biggest thing for me.
It turned into a two-part thingof one being overly stressed
out and that's when I wouldalways have a setback was when I

(51:23):
was just out of my mind,stressed about something and the
other one that I reflected onwas the feeling of not being I
can see, if I can remember theright way to phrase it like not
feeling important to otherpeople, I guess, and feeling

(51:45):
like feeling forgotten, I guess,is what it is, yeah, and maybe
not loneliness, but feelingforgotten, like I was just there
around other people, but Iwasn't being seen yeah.
And that and I turned topornography because it felt like
as much of a lie as it is.

(52:07):
Yeah, it's like oh well, thisis, this is directly to me.

Lily (52:11):
This is giving me attention, yeah.

Andrew (52:14):
It's making me feel like , oh, this is being done so that
I can be happy, right yeah,which is a complete lie.
False For the record.

Lily (52:24):
That is a lie.

Andrew (52:27):
And so those were the two biggest things.
But, yeah, really the key shiftstill was that shame being able
to look away from that shame,because I never was able to
realize those two big triggersuntil I got out of it to this
point.
We still had protections inplace passwords on computers,
locked my phone out of theinternet, web browsers and app

(52:50):
stores but those things werethere now instead of stopping me
.
They were there just to help meavoid a temptation.
Correct, I'm sure I could finda way around them if I really
wanted to, but because I'veshifted my mindset now it's a oh
, I just need, I need justsomething little to help me snap

(53:13):
out of it and say oh, what areyou doing?
Like you don't want to do this,Get away from here.
To gut, check me into realizingthat, hey, I'm walking the
wrong way right now.
I need to turn around.

Lily (53:26):
Right, well, and I feel like we've seen similar things
in our marriage too, where myhusband and I have had to sit
down and have the conversationof what are the triggers,
because I really like how youbrought that up, because his are
similar and mine are similarwhere it's.
You know, are we too stressedout?
Are we feeling lonely?
I think there was some acronymthat Michael likes to bring up,
like BLAST or something.
It stands for something.

(53:47):
But you know, tired, stressedout, sad.
You know all of these things, Ithink, once you figure out what
feeds into it, because in whatI've seen anyway, at least in
our marriage and ourrelationship, it's like a coping
mechanism, right, all of thesethings, whether it's eating,
drinking, pornography.
You know, being grumpy likeanger all these things, you know
, there there are reaction andthere a way to kind of cope with

(54:14):
what's happening in your brainand in your body.
So I think it's so incrediblethat you guys were able to have
that vulnerability, becausethat's the hardest part.
I remember when because I, youknow, I struggled with an eating
disorder like all throughouthigh school and all throughout
college, and my husband's hasstruggled with some things too
and so both of us havingseparately to come and sit
together and be like, have thatvulnerability and and and talk

(54:38):
about that.
These are the triggers.
This is how we're gonna avoidthe temptation.
But it's that change of heart.
You have to really have thatchange of heart, and being
vulnerable sucks like exposingyourself sucks so bad.
But it's exactly what you saidit's once you start allowing
that light to come in, then youcan slowly start taking those

(54:58):
steps forward and getting allieson your team rather than
playing a game against the devil.
And that's it right.
There's no way you're gonna winon his home turf.
But once you're able to bevulnerable and allow others in
and recognize things and getmore tools and change your heart
, I feel like that's maybe wherethe change can really take root

(55:18):
.
Right?
Yeah, you've seen it in yourlife and I've seen it in my life
.

Andrew (55:21):
Yeah, it's made it so much easier Since realizing that
and, yeah, taking that poweraway from him, because now I'll
go months without a temptation,yeah, instead of before it was
like made it through another dayand like barely a week, and you
know, and now it's been acouple years that I've been

(55:42):
Completely clean and it's such agreat feeling.
And when I do have, when I havehad slip-ups, like it wasn't
nearly as bad as before I I wasa lot quicker to realize, ah, I
know, and I gotta go to Alonika.
But one thing too that Shiftedin my perspective because of

(56:04):
that too, is I used to feel likewhen I had a mistake and I had
a slip-up, that I had taken ahundred steps forward, but now I
just backslid all the way and Iwas at negative again right.
But I finally started to realizethat no.

(56:25):
I might have taken a hundredsteps and, yeah, I messed up,
but I only went back a couplesteps, I didn't go back to
ground zero here, yeah and I'mgonna take another hundred
before the next one and another.
like it keeps adding up, yeah,and I was always moving in a
positive direction and that wasthat was the key, like being

(56:46):
able to see that me like, okay,yeah, this is going to be a
struggle for a while, like evennow, it's still going to be a
struggle is not something thatI'm cured of?
Yeah but I have a lot moreresources and a lot more
confidence to sell.
Tell Satan that Get out.
I don't want you here anymoreright.

(57:08):
I'm not hiding in the closet,I'm not Keeping this.
I'm going to tell Everybody, sothat you can't get me and
better yet.
I'm gonna take what people awayfrom you.
So suck on that one, becauseI'm part of the other team and
I'm recruiting and I'm inbusiness.

(57:28):
So Now, closing that story offand coming back to what I
brought at the beginning, I wasstill able to get glimpses of
the spirit during this.
God was still there, trying tosend me answers to things.

(57:50):
This was a several year period.
We still had prayers, we stillneeded revelation of how, what
moves to make for our family,and at times I was able to peek
through the blinds, away fromthe chains that I tied myself
inside with, and Receive therevelation, but I was blocking
the full extent of his love andguidance.

(58:10):
Since all of this, I've grabbedthe key, I've unlocked my
chains, I've walked outside andhe's still there and I still,
and I feel his love so much moreBecause I got out of the walls
that I put up.
The thing I have to say toanybody listening like if you're
struggling with a secretaddiction, open up and let those

(58:31):
who love you help you and takethe power of secrecy away from
Satan.
Recognize that your HeavenlyFather is still there for you
and he's trying to help you.
All you have to do is get aglimpse through your walls and I
can personally testify that thepower of the atonement and the
joy that comes from healing froman addiction, even if only the

(58:54):
start to healing, feels so great.
It is so much better thanhiding in shame.
You know, as Alma said, my soulwas filled with joy, as
exceeding as was my pain, andthat I could remember my pains
no more.
This was after feeling andwishing that he could have been
banished and become extinctrather than be judged for his
deeds.

(59:14):
I know I felt like thatsometimes, like please don't let
me have to be judged for this.
I would rather Anything elsethan that.
But now, having that joy andand those words are true I felt
the pains of my sin to thatextent and the fear of judgment,
and the fear of judgment frommy wife and God.

(59:36):
But the atonement does removethat pain and I'm so grateful
for the Savior and what he didevery single day Because of how
I feel, or how I feel now.
It is real, there is no doubtabout that.

Lily (59:51):
That I literally am speechless, like I really don't.
That's incredible, andrew, andI I really appreciate all of the
stories that you've shared andeverything I I can really feel
the spirit.
It's tangible in this roomright now and you said a lot of
things that have really helpedme too.
And Are there any other finalthoughts, or would you like to
leave us with a little testimonyreally quick?

Andrew (01:00:13):
Yeah, just Again, I know that Christ is there, I know he
loves us so much and I knowthat there are little things in
our lives every single day andwhen we look back on those and
ponder Christ in our lives, webegin to see those.

(01:00:36):
And as we begin to see those, Iknow that we come closer to
Christ.
And you know the past a littlebit.
While I've been getting readyfor this and thinking about this
, I've had such a spiritualcouple weeks because of focusing
on this.
And, yeah, I know that, I knowthat God lives, I know that

(01:00:58):
Christ is there and that theylove us and they want the best
for us.
And, yeah, I say that in thename of Jesus Christ, amen.

Lily (01:01:07):
Amen.
Thank you, andrew, for sharingyour stories tonight.

Andrew (01:01:09):
Thank you.

Lily (01:01:13):
Thanks again for tuning into more than coincidence,
remembering Jesus Christ in yourstory.
Please follow us on socialmedia or share us with a friend.
If you have an experience you'dlike to share, feel free to
reach out.
To more than coincidence, Ican't wait to hear all of the
amazing memories you all have ofour Savior.

(01:01:33):
See you next time.
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2. Dateline NBC

Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

3. Amy and T.J. Podcast

3. Amy and T.J. Podcast

"Amy and T.J." is hosted by renowned television news anchors Amy Robach and T. J. Holmes. Hosts and executive producers Robach and Holmes are a formidable broadcasting team with decades of experience delivering headline news and captivating viewers nationwide. Now, the duo will get behind the microphone to explore meaningful conversations about current events, pop culture and everything in between. Nothing is off limits. “Amy & T.J.” is guaranteed to be informative, entertaining and above all, authentic. It marks the first time Robach and Holmes speak publicly since their own names became a part of the headlines. Follow @ajrobach, and @officialtjholmes on Instagram for updates.

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