Nate Hales had reached rock bottom, He saw no hope and no future. A long held addiction to drugs and alcohol left him completely out of control of his life. He had stolen thousands, dealt drugs, landed in jail multiple times, and had even tried to take his own life. After years and out of sheer desperation he tried something he had never thought to be real. He was then given an extraordinary experience that completely erased every addict tendency and he became a new man.
The video of the experience explains it all in great detail, but there was so much content that there was no way we could release it all in one video. Nate mentioned he was given twenty things to remember. With Nate’s permission, we are going to share them here for those interested in learning what additional information he received.
The Twenty Principles
- Live in the now, not in the past & not one minute ahead
- Don’t dwell on anything but the truth of God
- Put truth and faith behind every word that you say
- Know that everyone is naturally diverted from their goals
- Set solid goals, stand by your goals, write them down
- Do everything to accomplish your goals, never give up!
- Believe, know, have complete faith & trust in God
- Listen to yourself at all times, be aware of your thoughts
- Don’t give a second thought to any and all evil thoughts that enter your head (kick them out as soon as they arrive, don’t DWELL)
- Know that DRUGS put doubtful, negative, misleading truths, lies in your head
- It takes everything, heart & soul to reach your goals, hard but well worth it.
- Know without a doubt that you CAN & WILL reach your goals
- All that matters is right here right now, life starts NOW!
- DON’T DOUBT YOURSELF FOR ONE MINUTE, NOT FOR ONE SECOND
- Live, Love, serve the Lord of Eternal, Truth, Light, Love
- Serve yourself and others as you would serve God himself
- If you don’t take control of your life, the devil will
- TAKE CONTROL OF SELF NOW!!
- You must help yourself to gain God’s help
- Lead and they shall follow
“All the keys are in the locks, now it is up to you to turn them and open the doors. No one can open doors but you. Isn’t it great to be a part of God’s plan? Yea!”
No matter your beliefs, these twenty “Ted Talks” of information are incredibly inspiring. If everyone followed just a few of these words of advice in their lives, the world would be a very different place. Can you imagine being a lost drug dealing addict and thief, then in an instant have it all disappear to come home with this kind of information? It is one of the most beautiful stories of divine help that I’ve ever heard.
If you are interested in learning more about Nate’s experience, below is the entire experience in his own words, which he had written out before the interview.
I am incredibly grateful that Nate found Prioritize Your Life, and trusted us to help share his story. Thank you Nate and family! This experience will bless the lives of more than we’ll ever know.
By the age of 23, my many addictions had completely destroyed my life. I was taking so many pills, literally whatever I could get my hands on. I used to walk into stores to steal, crying because I couldn’t stop myself. That’s how bad it was. I lost my car, my job and everything else. I just wanted to die because I couldn’t stop this body from walking around to commit crimes just to get high again.
My father is a successful dentist, and I put myself on his payroll, although he didn’t notice. I was taking checks out of his mail and cashing them. His CPA is the one who realized the money was missing. I have an identical twin brother, and also a younger brother. One day, my younger brother called me and said, “Dad found out you’ve been stealing money from him. He’s on his way over to your house right now.”
I had been in jail a few times, and I wasn’t going back. I thought I’d try running to Mexico. So I packed a bag and was getting ready to leave. But my dad got there before I could leave. As he pulled into the driveway, I began to cry. As he entered the apartment, I looked at him with dark, sorrowful pity.
A horrid emptiness engulfed me. I felt like a damned soul. I didn’t even believe in God at that time. My dad was the only latch I had to my old life because my twin brother was using drugs, too. And there he was. I didn’t want to get close to him because I didn’t know if he was going to try to tackle me or keep me from leaving. I just didn’t want to go to prison.
I said, “I can’t tell you how sorry I am. You’re looking at somebody who’s out of control. I am going to go to Mexico, and I will probably die.” In my mind, the only way out was to kill myself. In fact, I had already attempted suicide.
Dad’s eyes started to fill with tears, and he told me, “No, no! Just calm down. We’ll take care of this. We’ll work it out. Don’t go anywhere; don’t do anything. Just come home. You’re going to come home. I’m going to get you out of this deep hell you’re in, but you’re going to live by my rules. And you’re going to go to church with me.”
What an amazing human he is. I had already failed at rehab several times and stolen maybe $35,000 from him, yet he took me back in, like the Prodigal Son. I moved back home, and he wanted me to wake up each morning and read Scriptures with him, go to church with him on Sunday and sit in on the family prayers. I wanted to turn my life around, but It wasn’t long before started lying to my dad again. I just couldn’t stop the need to get high.
One Tuesday evening, I got back to my dad’s house after work, and I wanted to go to a bar or a club. I borrowed his truck and drove to a nearby city to pick up a friend of mine, J.P.. He was the kind of person that loved going against the grain and the norms of society. He loved smoking pot and studying Buddhism. He was into different things every week. He told me two missionaries were going to be at his house in a little while to talk to him. I had no desire to spend time with the missionaries.
He said, “If you want me to go to the club with you, you’re going to sit here and wait until these guys are done. I’ve got an appointment with them.”
I protested. “Just leave them. These kids are twenty years old. Why meet with them? Do you just want to mess with them and tell them Santa Claus isn’t real? They’re not hurting anybody, and they’re not addicted to stuff, so leave them alone. You just want to smoke your pot, trip out on them, Bible-bash them and try to take away their faith.”
J.P. said, “No, I don’t. Just shut up. Get out of here if you don’t want to wait for me.”
He was the only person who would hang out with me, so I waited. The two missionaries showed up. This kid from Delaware sat down and started talking to J.P.. Then he turned to me and it seemed like he was almost glowing, I can’t even explain it. He started telling me about Jesus Christ. I had heard it all before because my dad was religious.
But this was incredible. It was powerful. The Spirit was speaking to me. The young missionary told me, “You are going to change. You’re going to influence thousands of people. You’re going to do great things, I can see it.”
He prophesied my life. The room now seemed to glow. I wondered if I was tripping on LSD or something because it was so potent. I wondered, “What kind of drug is this? This light and this hope.” It’s like I had been in a dark cave, and somebody ripped the top of the cave, and all this light came pouring down on me. It was a beautiful feeling that went clear through me. I knew what he was saying was true.
The Spirit was burning through the room so strongly. The missionary said, “Can you feel that? That’s the Spirit!” Caught up in the overwhelming transformation taking place, he stood up and shouted, “I have never felt it this strong! Wahooooo!”
Something in me changed at that moment. I was still addicted to drugs, but my heart started beating again. The missionary told me, “I want you to go to church, even if you’re sedated.”
I told him, “I can’t do that. It’s rude to go to church while I’m high.”
He disagreed strongly. So I made a commitment that I would keep going to church with my dad on Sundays. There were times when I’d walk into church, even though I had just popped a bunch of pills. I was like, “I’m here. I’m barely here, but I’m here. I’m sorry I’m wasted. I’m sorry I’m high, but I’m here, and I’m going to continue on this pattern. I am going to turn my life around.”
For the next six months, I tried to quit my addiction and be the man I knew I should be. But, I couldn’t shake it. One day, I got off the bus from work and saw an unfamiliar car in front of my dad’s house. I thought it was a parole officer. I wondered if maybe I had forgotten to pay a ticket.
I didn’t want to find out. It was 5 o’clock in the afternoon, and I decided to go for a walk, up the mountain behind my dad’s house. I saw one of our neighbors, and he asked how I was doing. He said, “I see you at church. Listen, I don’t know exactly what you’re going through, but all I know is that you’ve got to give it to the Savior.”
I asked, “What do you mean?”
He said, “You’ve just got to ask Him to take it from you.”
We talked for about 15 minutes. Then I walked down the road about a mile. There were no houses out there. My dog, Scruffy, was with me. She saw the whole thing. I looked out across the valley. It was pure daylight, and I got on my knees. I had a conversation with God.
I said, “I feel like there’s something on the other side. I feel these little pieces of gold that have come into my life over the past six months, like what the missionary said to me. But I can’t shake this addiction. I know I’m going to go use pills tonight. I know I’m going to go do whatever I can to just get loaded again. I can’t do it. If you’re there, take it from me because I can’t do it on my own.”
I really didn’t want to live anymore. I didn’t want to disappoint my dad, who was trying to save my life. I figured I was hooked for life and would die an addict.
At that moment, I felt like someone placed hands on my head. I felt the presence of two people, whom I knew. It felt so familiar. As soon as they touched my head, I knew everything was going to be OK. They felt like brothers.
I sensed that they had always been there, had always been in charge and were doing the work of God. Everything was clear. I knew Jesus Christ was the Savior. But the sensation I had wasn’t of realizing something; it was a sensation of remembering something, and how could I have forgotten that?
I realized a lot of things that day. When it all peeled back, I remembered that God is so involved in our lives as we’re doing our everyday things, and we can’t see it. But for a moment, I saw it. For some reason, I had a pen and paper with me, and I wrote down 20 truths, or lessons, God gave to strengthen me and overcome my addiction.
During this mountaintop experience, I saw my addiction clearly, and it cured me, completely and instantly. Addicts know what’s going on, but they’re so scatterbrained. This experience rebuilt my mind. I never even had withdrawals.
No shaking, no nothing. I looked out across the valley, and I saw the intricate involvement of heaven pouring through everything. I felt an inextinguishable love and felt how deeply we are all connected. We are certainly never alone.
After this phenomenal experience, I walked down the mountain, back into my dad’s house. He was there, and I asked him who had visited. He said it was a friend of his. It wasn’t a cop, like I had feared. He looked at me. He could tell there was something different about me.
I said, “Dad, I’m going to be honest with you. I have continued to do drugs while I’ve lived here, but it’s gone now. I’m telling you, it’s all gone!” I walked toward him and hugged him. I felt so carefree and happy again, like I did when I was 12 years old.
Finally, my brain was in the right place. Everything had hope in it again. Life was beautiful. I went to my room and typed out the 20 truths that God had shared with me on the mountaintop. Truths that He had custom-tailored just for me. Twenty years later, I still have that list of the 20 keys to my sobriety.
But even though my brain was fixed, I knew I needed to repay the money I owed my dad and begin serving myself and others as I would serve God Himself. I knew I had to take control of my life, or the devil would do so again. I wanted to give back.
I wanted to be a missionary. The leaders in the church however weren’t sure they wanted me to be out in the field. They didn’t want me relapsing out there, away from home, and setting a bad example for others. But then one of the senior leaders read my file and told me he wanted me to go. He said, “You’ve been through a lot.”
I said, “Yeah.”
And he said, “No, you’ve really been through a lot!” His eyes seemed to look right to the core of my soul. After only a moment, he proclaimed, “You are going to make a great missionary!” The Lord helped him see, without words, the purification of Christ’s atonement. I served a two year mission in Atlanta, Georgia for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Life is grace. God has put us on this Earth so we can learn. Every bit of pain we go through helps us understand the object and design of our existence, which is happiness. It is only by His grace that we get to be here.
The pain we feel in our lives is a gift. You cannot comprehend the beauty of daylight and sunshine until you’ve been in Alaska in the wintertime for three months straight, and you come back down to California and see the green grass and feel the warm sunshine.
To anybody in pain, I want to tell you that we are all in the middle of a process. How do we find truth? It’s not that hard, but it is a process. We have to build our spiritual “muscle.”
If you want to do some pull-ups, you don’t just start doing a bunch of them right away if you’ve never done them before. If you try to skip that growth process and ask God to give you strength without going through the pain, then you have missed the whole point of life. Why would the Lord rob us of the process?
There is also a beautiful movie called Pleasure Unwoven: An Explanation of the Brain Disease of Addiction. It’s a documentary DVD produced in 2010 that explains that addicts just can’t stop using, stealing and destroying themselves. I highly recommend it to anyone who has an addiction and anyone who is trying to help an addict. Thank you.