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Welcome to Recovery, Light, and Life... I am Chris Epson and I am in recovery from pornography and sex addiction.  I know there are people who believe that those are not addictions, but just choices.  But I can affirm that they are addictions, as insidious and dark as any addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or anything else.  I struggled with this on and off for over fifty years, and at the rock bottom of my struggle I had lost my ability to choose...I was "past feeling".  But I was saved, literally.  And to go from darkness to light has been the greatest blessing of my life. I am married to an amazing, very forgiving wife, Marilyn.  We have two grown children, Kristen and Adam, and six awesome grandchildren.  We are both from California, and have lived many years in the Salt Lake Valley of Utah.  We are Christians, and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Why is this important?  Because this jo
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  "We're here to experience life, not to understand it."                   Shane Scott "You're not a product of your circumstances, you're a product of your choices."                   Lynne Clark Brunson "Life is like a box of chocolates..."                     Forrest Gump I remember the first time at Desert Solace when Shane held out two dry erase markers and said, "chocolate or vanilla?  Make a choice."  We all looked at him like he'd lost his mind, but one of us finally said "chocolate".  Shane asked "why"?  "Well, I like chocolate tastes better."  Shane..."No.  Choose again, that's a decision, not a choice."  What?!  I didn't get it.  What's the difference between a choice and a decision?  Aren't they the same thing?  Well, I learned over time that they are not the same thing.  What Shane was teaching us is that a choice doesn't need a reason.  It's


  "I am the light of the world"                     Jesus "It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ's Atonement shines"                     Jeffrey R. Holland "It is my belief that He (Jesus) can bring light into even the darkest spaces and the best parts of our stories will be the parts where he enters in"                     Morgan Jones I remember vividly the day I returned home from my ninety days at Desert Solace...March 10th, 2017.  The inside of our home seemed so light...everything was just so much brighter than I remember.  It was weird, but so amazing.  As I thought about it, I realized I was seeing with new eyes.  I was sober, clean, and really paying attention for the first time in many, many years.  What a difference! As winter turned to spring in Saint George, the days began to get longer, and the sun set later.  So some of us would sit on the balcony of our Desert Solace home and watch the sun set each e


  "Our beliefs and fears result from our giving meaning to our experiences"                     Shane Scott "The enemy is fear.  We think it is hate; but, it is fear"                     Gandhi "You see, we're all living out a story, but then there's the story we tell ourselves.  We need to make sure what we're telling ourselves is the right story.  And the right story is, yes, God will give us more than we can handle.  But He always has eventual good in mind"                     Lysa Terkeurst We are all living a story.  Our stories...each and every one of ours...has power.  This is one reason a Twelve Step meeting works, because we are willing to open up, be honest, be vulnerable, listen to, and share our stories.  As we share, we also unload.  We can dispel the myth that "my story doesn't matter", or "no one cares about me and my story".  In that sacred setting, every story matters.  Every life matters.  Where we have

Accidents...or not

"The Lord is in the details of our lives"                     Thomas S. Monson "If there is no certain 'way', then you get to experience life.  Don't let the 'how' or the 'why' get in your way."                     Kyle Copeland "The past is just fertilizer - it helps us grow"                     Lynne Clark Brunson Marilyn and I watched the October, 2017 general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from home, on TV.  The women's session was first then, on Friday night, and we sat together on the couch to watch.  The third speaker that night was the general president of the primary, Joy D. Jones, and she delivered a talk that was entitled "Value Beyond Measure".  All I can say is, when she was done and the "amen" was said, Marilyn and I looked at each other and we were each in tears.  Her address touched each of us profoundly, because it talks about who we really are.  She talked

If Ye Love Me...

  "If you love me, keep my commandments"                     Jesus "Love is patient, love is kind, Rescues hearts and changes lives... Gotta keep it real simple... 'Cause it all comes down to this, Love God and love people."                     Danny Gokey "We love Him, because He first loved us...If a man say,  I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?  And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also."                     John 4: 19-21 KJV As I wrote before, when I began my recovery journey that first day at Desert Solace I had no idea what it would look like or where it would lead me.  No idea.  No clue.  But, I had hit rock bottom big time, and was in no condition to even wonder what the next 90 days and beyond might be like.  I just knew that I was a broken mess and needed help, and was "all in" from t

The Roots...

                                                                                     "ADDICTION IS ESCAPING REALITY AT ALL COSTS"                                             SHANE SCOTT "ACCOMPLISHMENT DOES NOT CHANGE SELF-BELIEF"                                             LYNNE CLARK BRUNSON "WE ARE ALL ADDICTS IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD.  MOREOVER, OUR ADDICTIONS ARE OUR OWN WORST ENEMIES.  THEY ENSLAVE US WITH CHAINS THAT ARE OF OUR OWN MAKING, AND YET ARE VIRTUALLY BEYOND OUR CONTROL"                                            GERALD G. MAY In my notes from my time at Desert Solace, I have a picture of a tree, much like the one in the picture above, drawn four or five different times.  This "tree of addiction" is something Lynne talked about many times, with the intention of allowing us to understand that we are not what we do...that my addiction had roots I wasn't even aware of.  So in this tree there are leaves, branches, a trunk, and


"Nothing just goes away in the spiritual world; all must be reconciled and accounted for."                     Richard Rohr "The atonement can wash clean every stain no matter how difficult or how long or how many times repeated... The atonement leaves no tracks, no traces.  What it fixes is just heals, and what it heals stays healed."                     Boyd K. Packer "Let us put no limitations on the premortal promises of Grace carrying us through our transformations.  More goes forward in our behalf than we can know, but what we can know is that as we yield to spiritual things, our relationship with Divinity shifts and more transforming processes become available."                     F. Enzio Busche There are a couple of scriptures that I have come to love in   recovery, which didn't mean much to me before.  One is in the first chapter of Isaiah, verses 18 and 19: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: