When most of us think of addictions, we think of being addicted to alcohol or smoking. Well, I am an addict, but not that kind. I am addicted to sleep. Yes, sleep. Hello, my name is Tyler Bell, and I am a sleepaholic. Technically, I am a recovering sleepaholic. You may be laughing, and sometimes I do too, but in all reality, I have realized that my addiction to sleep is affecting my life in serious ways. So to overcome my addiction, I went searching for some help.
I found my answer right under my nose; my faith. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called by the media “the Mormon Church.”) Turning to the scriptures has helped me overcome my addiction. Are you still laughing? Well, I know I wasn’t a alcoholic or a smoker, but for me, every morning I try to get out of bed it is like every thread that makes up my mattress, bed frame, sheets, and blankets wraps around me as to not let me leave. I was consistently late to work and school, my wife and boy would be half-way through their day before I got out of bed. Yeah, it was that bad.
Now that I got you to take me seriously, let me tell you how I have overcome my addiction. Like I mentioned earlier, it was my faith, but particularly the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is subtitled “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.” It was given that subtitle referring to the Holy Bible. We believe that both are testaments of Jesus Christ. While the events recorded in the Holy Bible took place in greater Asia-Europe area, the Book of Mormon took place in the ancient Americas. We believe Jesus Christ visited the people there after his Resurrection. It is a scriptural text like the Bible.
Now, how does that connect with overcoming my addiction? Let me give you a verse from the Book of Mormon that helped me:
“Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things.” (Alma 26:12)
When I read this scripture, I realized I could not overcome my addiction on my own. I had tried many other times to overcome my addiction to sleep. I had loud alarm clocks across the room, I asked my wife to turn the lights on, and I tried getting more than enough hours of sleep. I even had an alarm clock that had a propeller that flew around the room and you had to return the propeller to the base to stop it. That didn’t even work.
I needed help from somewhere else. I depended on my God as described in The Book of Mormon, and that was the key for me. Each night before bed, I would plead with my Heavenly Father to help me get out of bed the next morning. It has helped tremendously. I know the Book of Mormon is another testament of our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and Their reality. They love us and will help us. The Book of Mormon has helped me know that They can help us, even when it seems something as minor as sleeping in.
There are stories in the Book of Mormon that speak of the Lord’s deliverance. These stories also give me strength and a desire to rely on God. A good example is a story about the Nephites. The Nephites were a group of people who followed Jesus Christ, but were strapped by oppression and were ordered not to pray. Despite the looming threats, the Nephites prayed silently to God to release them from the burden of their oppressive rulers. God lightened the burdens on their backs and then ultimately delivered them. Pretty amazing. The pattern is noticeable. By contrast, the Lord also shows examples of those who refuse His deliverance. Two others in the Book of Mormon come immediately to mind. They are brothers who continually complained along their divinely-led journey to a new land; their names are Laman and Lemuel. I think they were actually addicted to themselves, their own desires, their own will, their own self-relying system. It failed them. They chose not to seek deliverance. Clearly, the Book of Mormon and the Bible are books about God’s power to deliver us from any affliction or addiction, no matter the size or shape. Even a mattress.
This article was written by Tyler James Bell, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Tyler James Bell was born and raised in Taylorsville Utah. He grew up playing the drums and playing tennis in high school. He currently lives in Provo, Utah and is studying business at Brigham Young University. Tyler spends most of his time studying for exams, but when he is not, he is spending his time with his sweet wife Ashley and his newborn son TJ. In the summers Tyler enjoys playing disc golf (frisbee golf) and enjoying the outdoors. Tyler also enjoys serving in his local church unit and he spent two years serving an LDS mission in the Chicago Illinois Spanish speaking mission. Tyler finds joy in the Christ’s Gospel by realizing that the Savior Jesus Christ had to suffer for all of us; “that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:13).