Dear Latter-day Mother:
You have been weighing on my mind lately. As I have interacted with thousands of you through presentations, or when working with your sons, I have experienced the overwhelming love you have for your family. I have seen you fight with such ferocity and strength that makes an actual “mama bear” seem insignificant. It is no wonder the adversary is working so hard on your children.
He is intimately aware of the strength you provide for your sons. Pair that with your son’s own power, intensity and divine birthright and you have created an atmosphere that has the adversary terrified…I am positive. The anxiety we facilitate in our enemies, whether with physical foes (think bullies or warring nations) or with the adversary, has a profound result in many instances.
The enemy begins to pull out all the stops….they fight even harder, especially when they know they have no chance of winning. In other words….they become desperate. That is right, Satan is desperate…and because of this the Adversary has opened the throttle and is waging a war on your sons at an unprecedented level.
Satan’s number one weapon of war is the feeling of shame he facilitates.
My work with individuals and families, and in Sons of Helaman groups, has given me insight into this war. Satan’s number one weapon of war, his nuclear bomb, is the feelings of shame he facilitates. This is not guilt or remorse, those are empowering feelings and turn us towards Christ.
Shame is feeling unworthy of love and belonging, especially with Deity. Shame is “I am stupid” rather than “I did something stupid.” One of Satan’s names is The Accuser (Revelations 12:10), a fitting title considering his constant attacks on our worth. He wants us swimming in shame. He knows that when we are in shame we are not in the mindset necessary for change.
In my experience his fiery darts are projectiles of shame and include:
- “I’m not good enough.”
- “The Atonement is not for me.”
- “I am beyond saving.”
- “I must be broken…why can’t I stop?”
- “No girl will ever want to date, let alone marry me.”
- “I have to be perfect.”
You can set up filters and accountability software, lock down all access to pornography or other things that are detrimental to your son’s soul, but until the root feelings of shame are addressed, we are fighting a losing battle. Luckily we have knowledge of how to mediate the adversary’s most potent weapon. We can fight back!!!
The antidote to shame is empathy.
The antidote to shame is empathy. Empathy is the most effective tool to combat shame and the first step towards recovery. I am so blessed to have a knowledge of my Savior and His grace….He is the only person who can offer me perfect empathy……and it tears my shame to shreds. The adversary has no chance.
The joy I feel when I have that knowledge, the knowledge that the Savior has my back, despite my failings, is indescribable. This knowledge, and the subsequent joy, is where I see long term change in behaviors within myself and those I work with. This is the peace of Christ’s message and it changes
Mothers can help.
Mothers, you can help facilitate this within your sons. The first step would be addressing your own shame, joining the free group “Mothers Who Know” is a great start. You will learn ways to help yourself and support your son.
Here are some other suggestions:
- Encourage your sons
- Listen to them and provide empathy
- Help them experience even more empathy, such as talking to a trusted leader or attending groups such as the Sons Of Helaman
- Facilitate them learning the tools necessary to win, such as warrior chemistry (check out the book Like Dragons They Did Fight for more information on this)
- Lessons from scriptural role models.
These tools are much more effective once the shame and its creator are decimated. The goal is to create an environment that is hostile to the adversary and his minions.
You can do this! I have seen too many families succeed to think otherwise.
If you feel like you need some more help in creating this, please reach out. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Myself and others like me are more than happy to be of service. For more information on the Sons of Helaman groups, visit the Sons of Helaman website. For information on all our groups offered, including the group in Las Vegas, check out the list of groups page.
Jeremy Leavitt is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Nevada and Utah. He facilitates Sons of Helaman groups as well as provides individual/family therapy, betrayal trauma therapy, and marriage repair.