“Lifting Burdens: The Atonement of Jesus Christ,”

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Step 1 - Honesty

The key principle is: Admit that you, of yourself are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.

I would like to talk with you about a story found in Mark 5 in the New Testament where we read that Jesus Christ is really busy going about helping & healing people. This chapter starts with Jesus casting out a legion of devils, then goes to healing a woman who touches his hem, and then on to raising the daughter of Jarius from the dead. Starting with Verse 22, I would like to summarize just what happened.
Jarius was a ruler of a synagogue, who had a daughter who was almost ready to die. He saw Jesus and fell at His feet “And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy ahands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.” Jesus went with him, thronged by the multitudes of people.

There among them was a woman who believed that just touching the hem of Jesus’ robe would heal her. The woman’s faith led her to Jesus, to reach out to the last person who she believed could help her. All of her physical resources were gone, the physicians had done what they could for her and yet she was not healed.

For twelve years she was an outcast. She knew how it felt to be cast out of the community. She knew the loneliness of being ignored and shunned by people, even, the women who had once been her friends. For twelve years she was not allowed to touch her husband or anyone else. She was not allowed to walk in the streets where there were people. She was not allowed to sit on anything in public places. No one dared to come and visit her. She was all alone in the world. In fact, the law decreed that if she was caught in public, they a right to kill her.

In her approach to Jesus she took an overwhelming risk. She dared to come to him in the midst of the crowd and then she dared to touch Him, even if it was just the hem of his garment. What she did was punishable by law, yet for her a death sentence had been passed on her for twelve years and she had nothing to lose.

She had no dignity left so she got down on her hands and knees and crawled her way through the crowd in order to touch Jesus’ garment. Her faith gave her the determination to reach out. She knew that her hope was to get to Jesus, the One who could bring her healing and wholeness. And she said in verse 28: If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that avirtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy afaith hath made thee whole; go in bpeace, and be whole of thy plague

Today, we may not physically be able to reach out and touch Him in order to be healed of our various afflictions, but we know that healing and change will take place in us, when Jesus touches us. That means we need to invite him into our lives, and let his Atoning sacrifice strengthen and heal. . I wish bare my testimony that there is a sure cure for heartache, disappointment, torment, anguish, and despair and even addiction. The Psalmist stated, “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Christ is the Great Physician. Learn of Him, know Him, and lean on Him.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

When You Are in the Service of your Fellow Beings Ye Are Only in the Service of Your God

The Addiction Recovery Program is a spiritual program, but also a program of action. The study and implementation of the twelve steps and the principles found in the guide, “Addiction Recovery Program: A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing”, will lead to a restoration of your spiritual health through a newfound relationship with the Savior. At the same time, your heart will be changed as you pray daily and read the scriptures daily, particularly the Book of Mormon, which contains scriptures referred to frequently in the guide.Another way to change our hearts is to serve our neighbor. This service will help us grow in the light of the Spirit, and assure us progress in addiction recovery and the remission of our sins. In order to be free from addiction, one must get outside of him or herself and serve. The desire to help others is a natural result of spiritual awakening. We have to love our neighbor as ourselves. But, who is our neighbor?

We remember the parable of the man from Jerusalem on the road to Jericho who fell into the hands of robbers and was left half dead. A certain priest passed by on the other side and a Levite came, looked on him and likewise passed on the other side. Then Jesus taught, “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”

Then Jesus asked another question of the lawyer: “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” And the lawyer responded, “he that shewed mercy on him.” Then said Jesus unto him, “Go, and do thou likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37).

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles teaches us, “Every time I read this parable I am impressed with its power and its simplicity. But have you ever wondered why the Savior chose to make the hero of this story a Samaritan? There was considerable antipathy between the Jews and the Samaritans at the time of Christ. Under normal circumstances, these two groups avoided association with each other. It would still be a good, instructive parable if the man who fell among thieves had been rescued by a brother Jew. His deliberate use of Jews and Samaritans clearly teaches that we are all neighbors and that we should love, esteem, respect, and serve one another despite our deepest differences—including religious, political, and cultural differences.”

As we serve our neighbor, we grow closer to our Heavenly Father and to His Son Jesus Christ. We may ask ourselves, why? The answer to this question can be found in the words of the Savior, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, y have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40).

In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin had a large tower built so that the multitude of his people could hear his words. From the tower he taught them the principle of service. “And behold, I tell you these things that you may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17).

I know that it is very difficult to think of the problems and needs of others when we find ourselves suffering from sin and addiction. But it is my testimony that one of the most effective solutions for our problems is to get outside of ourselves and serve our neighbor, and at the same time, our Savior Jesus Christ. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tender Mercies from the Lord

One of the steps in the 12 Step Program, talks about tender mercies. I would like to share with you some thoughts and quotes about the tender mercies of the Lord. Elder David A. Bednar gave talk a called, "The Tender Mercies of the Lord," and it can be found in the Ensign, May 2005, 99 or you can go to this link and read it online... A couple of quotes from that talk are as follows:

"The tender mercies of the Lord are real and . . . they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Often, the Lord's timing of His tender mercies helps us to both discern and acknowledge them.

". . . The Lord's tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and though the Lord Jesus Christ."

I have seen many tender mercies throughout my own life, but it wasn't until I began as a missionary in the LDS Addiction Recovery Program, that I actually realized what they were. My defination of a tender mercy is a special and personal experience that happens to me just at the right time when I need it the most. After hearing Elder Bednars talk in conference, I began to be more aware of the tender mercies that happen to me, even so much that I have begun to write them down. I never want to forget these special experiences that come my way, not by chance, or by fate, but because the Lord knows my needs, loves me, and lets me know that he is looking after me.

Recognizing tender mercies is like the awakening that we have when we realize that we can't do anything without the Lord. Once we sufficently humble ourselves, and knock on the proverbial door, and ask to let the Lord in, our eyes are opened to the miracles and blessings that are all around us. You are no longer doing it alone, and you will understand this concept when you feel the Spirit within you, and you know that He is with you and watching over you and helping you along this tough journey through life.

Tender mercies can be great or small, miraculuous or simple, but they happen and they are real and a testiment of our Heavenly Fathers presence in our lives.

Last week, I was on the freeway driving in the center lane. Before I knew it, I noticed that there was some dibree in the road ahead. It appeared to be long, silver or stainless steel materials and rods. They were mostly in the lane to the right of me, but there was a piece of it stretched between my lane and the lane to the left of me. I felt that if I were to just stay in my lane, I could straddle the two piles of steel and metal, and miss them altogether. Then it started to happen. The cars in the other lanes, began to run over the dibree, and that propelled these metal objects in the air, hitting cars, and landing and spreading much worse on the freeway. I was driving 65 miles per hour and had to react quickly as the car to my side hit a piece and it was coming my way. I turned my wheel to the left to try to swerve out of the path or I feared it would go right through my windshield, however by doing so, I felt like I had lost control of my car. Through my mind instantly I spoke the words, "Heavenly Father, Help me!" Somehow, someway, almost as if someone took a hold of my steering wheel, my swerving out of control fomr side to side stopped, and I was once again back in control of my car and had also somehow missed the metal objects that I was trying to avoid. I knew without a doubt, that my Heavenly Father sent me a tender mercy and helped me avoid what could have potentially been a deadly accident on the freeway.

How quickly we forget the tender mercies and blessing that happen in our lives. For this reason, I started to write down in a journal the tender mercies that I have experienced. It is not only the acknowledgement that they have happened and that they are real, but a reminder to me and my posterity that the Lord is a huge part of our lives on this earth. I also can't help but feel the love that He has for me as he reaches out and helps me when I need it the most.

My incident brought to mind a story that my father told me one day as he was driving his truck home from Provo, Utah. He was driving down a hill and he had a prompting that he should get into the other lane. He felt an urgency about doing it too. He listened to his prompting and moved to the other lane, just in time to see a long metal pipe that was in the back of the truck that was ahead of him, propell itsself from the truck. If my father had not listended to this prompting, or this very obvious tender mercy from the Lord, the pipe would have gone through his windshield and through him as well. Tender mercy? There is no question in my mind.

These are just two tender mercies that came to my mind, but tender mercies come in all shapes and forms. Recently a man who had been struggling with alcohol addiction came to an LDS Addiction Recovery meeting that my husband and I were the missionar group leaders. He shared his story of a lifetime of alcohol abuse, and getting clean and then falling off the wagon over and over. This happened to be the second meeting that he came to that particular day. Later on, in talking with another missionary, it was revealed that this missionary became inspired to talk with this man who he met at the first meeting that day. In the conversation, the man revealed to the missionary that he had been contemplating suiside, and the missionary was able to interviene and say and do what was needed to save this mans life.

I don't believe for one moment that it was a chance happening or fate, I beleive that this was a tender mercy of the Lord who worked a miracle through a sensitive missionary. A mans life was preserved because the Lord knew what to do and inspired the action that was needed through the missionary.

This tender mercy shows me just how much the Lord loves his children. He doesn't discriminate between his children with his love, because he loves each and every one the same. He doesn't just love those who are walking on the straight and narrow path and loathe those who are sinning. He loves all His children and wants each of them to return home to his loving arms one day at the right time. He loved us so much that he provided us a Savior, even his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for our sins. How hard would that be? Imaging giving your beloved son to be killed and suffer the sins of the world. I know that Jesus Christ was not the only one suffering on the Cross. The Lord sufferes too when his children are suffering, and as a loving father, wants to help.

God shows his love for his children throught the tender mercies that he showers upon us each and every day. It is our responsiblity to recognize them for what they are, and we need to remember to acknowledge and thank Him through prayer, and service
for sending these mercies, and His love, to us.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

July - Pioneer Story

For several days, I have had some thoughts on my mind of those who came before me. I am referring to those wonderful and courageous people (Pioneers) who suffered so much in their efforts to pave the way for me and for my family to have a better life. For my post today, I want to share with you a wonderful, short talk called "Where Much is Given, Much is Required" given by Boyd K. Packer. He relates a story of faith and prayer of a Pioneer family as they travel to get to Utah, and one of the trials that they experienced along the way. Since this is the month that we celebrate the entry of the Pioneers to Utah, I wanted to share this with you. How it relates to addiction recovery is this... Everyone in all times have experienced adversities in their lives that cause them grief, pain, sadness, hurt, sorrow and all manner of earthly suffering. I believe at times we need to set our own aside, and gain strength from others experiences. This is actually what is done in the Addiction Recovery meetings in the sharing portion. We gain strength and hope from the stories that others tell about their own addictions. Anyway... I thought you would enjoy this story of faith and gratitude.

"In the late 1850s many converts from Europe were struggling to reach the Great Salt Lake Valley. Many were too poor to afford the open and the covered wagons and had to walk, pushing their meager belongings in handcarts. Some of the most touching and tragic moments in the history of the Church accompanied these handcart pioneers.One such company was commanded by a Brother McArthur. Archer Walters, an English convert who was with the company, recorded in his diary under July 2, 1856, this sentence: “Brother Parker’s little boy, age six, was lost, and the father went back to hunt him.” (LeRoy R. Hafen and Ann W. Hafen, Handcarts to Zion, Pioneers Ed. Glendale, California, The Arthur H. Clark Co., 1960, p. 61.)

The boy, Arthur, was next youngest of four children of Robert and Ann Parker. Three days earlier the company had hurriedly made camp in the face of a sudden thunderstorm. It was then the boy was missed. The parents had thought him to be playing along the way with the other children. Someone remembered earlier in the day, when they had stopped, that they had seen the little boy settle down to rest under the shade of some brush.

Now most of you have little children and you know how quickly a tired little six-year-old could fall asleep on a sultry summer day and how soundly he could sleep, so that even the noise of the camp moving on might not awaken him. For two days the company remained, and all of the men searched for him. Then on July 2, with no alternative, the company was ordered west.

Robert Parker, as the diary records, went back alone to search once more for his little son. As he was leaving camp, his wife pinned a bright shawl about his shoulders with words such as these: “If you find him dead, wrap him in the shawl to bury him. If you find him alive, you could use this as a flag to signal us.”
She, with the other little children, took the handcart and struggled along with the company.Out on the trail each night Ann Parker kept watch. At sundown on July 5, as they were watching, they saw a figure approaching from the east! Then, in the rays of the setting sun, she saw the glimmer of the bright red shawl. One of the diaries records: “Ann Parker fell in a pitiful heap upon the sand, and that night, for the first time in six nights, she slept.” Under July 5, Brother Walters recorded:
“Brother Parker came into camp with a little boy that had been lost. Great joy through the camp. The mother’s joy I cannot describe.” (Hafen and Hafen, Handcarts to Zion, p. 61.)

We do not know all of the details. A nameless woodsman—I’ve often wondered how unlikely it was that a woodsman should be there—found the little boy and described him as being sick with illness and with terror, and he cared for him until his father found him. So here a story, commonplace in its day, ends—except for a question. How would you, in Ann Parker’s place, feel toward the nameless woodsman had he saved your little son? Would there be any end to your gratitude? To sense this is to feel something of the gratitude our Father must feel toward any of us who saves one of his children. Such gratitude is a prize dearly to be won, for the Lord has said, “If it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!” (D&C 18:15.) Even so, I might add, if that soul should be our own."

At the bottom of President Packers talk he says: "Many of you are burdened with unhappiness and worry and with guilt. Many of you struggle under the bondage of degrading habits or wrestle with loneliness or disappointment and failure. Some of you suffer from broken homes, broken marriages, broken hearts. We are not offended at all of these things. All of these things may be set aside—overcome. Whoever you are and whatever you are, we reach out to extend to you the hand of fellowship so that we can lift one another and lift others."I would like to echo the words of President Packer and say to you, "The hand of fellowship is extended to you" and the invitation given that you are welcome to attend and participate in the LDS Addiction Recovery Meetings.... "so that we can lift one another and lift others." (You don't need to be LDS or be referred by Family Services to attend these meetings. All you need is to have a desire to break the bands of bondage that your addiction has held you in so tightly, and just come to a meeting.)

President Boyd K. Packers full talk can be found at

Sunday, June 28, 2009

For this week and weeks that follow, I would like to focus my thoughts for my posting, on the Article in the June 2009 Ensign called, “Addiction Recovery – Healing One Step at a time”I will be referring to this article and you might like to refer back to the portions I am focusing on by going to the direct link found at:

This article begins with a story of Mark, who was addicted to drugs and alcohol. Mark shares what led up to the acknowledgement of his addictions, and lists the attempts he made through counseling and rehab centers, to stop and recovery. This story is very typical of the addicts that we work with as missionary group leaders in the LDS Addiction Recovery Program. The stories are all somewhat different, but their reason for coming for help are all the same.

Mark says that once he found the Church’s 12-step addiction recovery program, “…He found the principles and direction that would change his life.” He goes on to say “The change occurred as he studied and applied the principles taught in the program workbook and weekly recovery meetings.” This statement is the key to success in Addiction recovery; that is, applying the principles in the workbook, attending weekly meeting, study, prayer and understanding including journaling, are all key elements into successful recovery efforts. Without the combined efforts of all of these key elements, and of course including the patient, humble efforts of the addict, joined with help of the Lord, no recovery will be completely successful.

In the Addiction Recovery meetings, addicts will be taught a different step in the addiction recovery process, each week. There are 12 steps of the Addiction Recovery program (ARP) and you can find them by going to this Ensign article p.65, or for the link to the 12 steps in the Addiction Recovery Guide, go to:
and click on the left hand column table of contents – “The 12 steps”.
Marks life began to change as he studied and applied the principles found within the Program Guide. He studied and understood the principles such as honesty, hope, and trust in God. He gained strength from the others who attended the weekly meetings through the sharing of their own experiences as they applied these principles in their lives. I personally want to insert a comment that I have learned as a missionary…

Though the 12 steps of this LDS program were originally adapted from the Alcoholics Anonymous -12 step program, I personally feel that the LDS Addiction Recovery Program is different and “unique” as it states in this Ensign article. The reason that I believe this program is unique is that the Spirit of the Lord is brought into the meetings. I have personally seen and heard addicts who have come to a meeting for the first time, break down and weep throughout the meeting and the sharing, not really understanding why they are crying and what they are feeling .

I heard one participant share in a meeting we were attending as missionaries, that he had been watching his neighbor who was also an addict, make tremendous changes in his life. He finally approached this neighbor and asked him how he was doing it. This good neighbor told him about the LDS Addiction Recovery program and how it has changed his life. He offered for his neighbor to go with him to his next meeting, and see for himself. The neighbor said, “But I am not LDS.” He explained that you don’t have to be LDS to come to a meeting, and that everyone was welcome.

This story goes on with the non LDS neighbor attending a meeting and literally crying throughout the entire meeting. When the sharing portion began as directed by the facilitator who is a recovered addict, the sharing started with the young LDS man who brought with him his neighbor. After he shared, his neighbor, an older gentleman who with tears in his eyes began his comments “I am ____ and I am an alcoholic and the reason I am here is because of the example of my young neighbor. I have known he was an addict for some time now, but I have noticed a tremendous change in him recently and I know that he is in recovery from his addiction. He brought me here tonight, and I don’t have any idea why I am crying and have been through this entire meeting. I have felt something that I have never felt in my life before, and it has made me weep.” I knew what was making him humbled to the point of weeping and so did many others who have recognized the spirit touching their hearts and souls.
The Lord’s spirit enters each ARP meeting, and that Spirit provides a spiritual, almost Testimony meeting feeling about it. Every meeting is the same, and that is what makes our meetings unique. The Spirit of the Lord brings a sense of humility and love, and participants feel this, and know that they are not alone. I would personally like to testify that Heavenly Father knows and loves each and everyone of his children alike. He loves them, the person; though he abhors the addiction for the hurt and pain it causes His children. Like the photo of Christ at the door, He is waiting at the door for us to let Him into our lives, and will not push or force us to open up our proverbial door. However once we do, He is there to help and bless us according to our needs. I urge everyone who reads this, to open up your door and let Him in, and see for yourself what a difference He can make as a daily presence in your life.

“Mark learned through the Atonement, individuals can not only stop their addictive behaviors, but also heal the underlying causes of their addiction.” I know that everyone can experience the same life changing blessings as Mark, through participating in and attending the LDS Addiction Recovery meetings. You can find a meeting in your area, by going to,11666,6629-1-3414-1,00.html

You can also find a recovery/study guide in many different languages by going to this link and selecting your language:,11666,8517-1-4751-1,00.html

Next week’s post will focus on more of the material found in this June 2009 Ensign article. All italicized quotes can be found in the June 2009 Ensign called, “Addiction Recovery – Healing One Step at a time”

Sunday, June 21, 2009


The key principle of Step 11, Personal Revelation, is “Seek through Prayer and Meditation to know the Lord’s Will and to have the Power to Carry It Out”.

In Step 11, we make a lifelong commitment to seek one day at a time to know the Lord’s will and have the power to carry it out. One of the greatest blessings of the restoration of the Gospel in the latter days is the knowledge that we have a loving Heavenly Father who lives. He is literally the Father of our spirits and He knows each of us by name. Through prayer and personal revelation, our Father in Heaven communicates with us and guides our lives. Prayer and meditation are powerful antidotes to fear and depression. Over the course of addiction recovery, we must seek a period of quiet solitude for scripture study and prayer. If you haven’t done so already, schedule time for prayer and meditation, perhaps early in the morning. During this time you can put God first, before anyone else or anything else in the day. Pray to your Heavenly Father, seeking the Spirit to guide you. Then study, using the scriptures and the teachings of the modern prophets to guide your meditation. When this precious time of private meditation has ended, do not cease to pray. Silent prayer, in the depths of your heart and mind, will become your way of thinking throughout your days and focusing on your spiritual awakening.

“Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-19

As we keep ourselves free from addictions and grow closer to our Heavenly Father and His Son through daily prayer and scripture study, we will be more able to receive the guidance of the Holy Ghost. Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve taught,

“The Holy Ghost will protect us against being deceived, but to realize that wonderful blessing, we must always do the things necessary to retain that Spirit…And we must never do anything to drive away that Spirit.”

The Lord respects our will and our agency. He allows us to choose to approach Him without compulsion. I testify that our Savior Jesus Christ will draw near to us when we invite him to be near. “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” D&C 88:63
In the Book of Mormon, Alma testified that when he prayed and fasted, his ability to receive revelation and know the will of God for him increased. Abstinence from our addictions can be considered a form of fasting.

“I say unto you (these things whereof I have spoken) are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me.” Alma 5:46

I bear you my testimony that the Lord Jesus Christ is ready to help us. He is at the door, but we must open the door and permit him to enter into our lives. Prayer and meditation are the keys that can open this door.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

Monday, June 8, 2009

Needing help with Addiction new format

In the past, since the creation of this blog, I have focused all my messages on a particular step, and continuing with the next step with the next post. I have decided to do things just a little bit differently, and hopefully this will be a good change for my readership as well. I will focus thoughts on different parts of different steps, and not in chronological order. Hopefully this will add depth and greater understanding on particular helps in the Addiction Recovery Guide once again found at

Return to God and Find Hope in the Atonement of Jesus Christ

Addicts must eventually come to the realization that they are powerless over their addictions. Unfortunately, this realization often is accompanied by a feeling of hopelessness – that either God was too disappointed to help or that all avenues of help had been exhausted. The key principle of Step 2 – Hope is to “come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health.” Those suffering from addiction must be presented with an answer that they never considered or have discarded – turn to God and find hope in the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

In Alma Chapter 32, Alma teaches us that to begin to have hope, or to exercise faith, we need only have a sincere desire and believe enough to give place to the word. He uses “word” to mean the word of God or the beauty of His gospel of redemption and atonement and compares the word to a seed. We are all God’s children, regardless of our circumstances. His light illuminates every soul. His spirit invites all to come unto Him and enjoy the blessings of the gospel. As the word of God takes root in an addict’s heart, it can begin to grow until it fills that heart with redemptive love. In answering the questions of the people concerning what to do because they were “afflicted and cast out”, Alma comforted them with these words:

“But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.” Alma 32:27

Just as a seed takes time to swell, sprout and emerges as a living plant, we must have patience and allow the word of God to grow in our heart and nourish its progress through faith and prayer. We must be sure our heart is right, humble and filled with hope in the atonement of Christ, so that we can nurture the word.

As I have said above, addicts may feel that God is too disappointed in them to help. We see in the scriptures many examples of the love and compassion that Jesus had for the sick, the sinners and the persecuted. Many times he went to and healed the sick that others refused to visit. In other occasions, he demonstrated charity and love to those who had committed serious sins.

The story of the woman taken in adultery is an example that can give hope to the sinner. See John 8:3-11. Early one morning as Jesus came to the temple courtyard, a group of scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They asked Jesus if the woman should be stoned to death. Jesus stooped and with His finger wrote something on the ground. When they pressed Him for an answer, He said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” One by one her accusers left, “being convicted by their own conscience,” until Jesus was alone with the woman. Jesus stood, looked around, and turned to the woman. “Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?” “She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her. Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

Jesus did not condone the woman’s sin, but neither did He condemn her. He did not judge her to be an evil person, nor did He wish to impose a sentence upon her. The Master calls to each of us to “go and sin no more.” With these simple words, Christ’s benevolence and mercy are revealed. I am so thankful for the law of repentance. I bear you my testimony that by way of the atonement of Jesus Christ, our sins will be pardoned if we truly repent and fill our hearts with the love of God.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Step 6 - Change of Heart

The key principle of Step 6, Change of Heart, is “Become Entirely Ready to Have God Remove all Your Character Weaknesses.”

The addiction recovery program of the Church is spiritual and is a plan of action. If we will follow the principles of the program and allow them to work in our lives, we will find ourselves restored to spiritual health through the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The scriptures are full of references to the heart. The heart is often used interchangeably with the spirit, disposition or character. Just as a strong, healthy heart is critical to our physical well being, a broken, or humble and contrite heart is the condition required for the atonement of Christ to heal and strengthen us spiritually. The Lord desires to bless us with a change of disposition as we turn to him humbly and prayerfully and seek his help to remove those character weaknesses that lead to addiction and sin. Through the prophet Ezekiel, the Lord promised:
“A new heart…will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

This change of heart is a difficult process, and contrary to the disposition of the “natural man.” However, as you yield your heart to God and grow stronger in humility, the resolve in your heart to not return to past addictive behaviors will become firmer and firmer. You will find yourself wanting to return to fellowship with members of the Church and become a child of God.

The restoration of our spiritual health and change of our hearts may also be described as becoming like a little child. The Lord Jesus Christ loved the little children and, sometimes to the consternation of his impatient and imperfect apostles, took the time to gather them, place them on his knee and love them. He told his disciples and us that unless we become like little children, we cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

“For the natural man is the enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticing of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” Mosiah 3:19
I believe this scripture captures the essence of and describes the process of addiction recovery. I testify that as we take upon ourselves the name of Christ and are strengthened by His Spirit, our character weaknesses will be strengthened and the atonement will work in our hearts. My prayer for you echoes that of the Apostle Paul:

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth , and length, and depth and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Step 5 Confession

Admit to yourself, to your Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ, to proper priesthood authority, and to another person the exact nature of your wrongs.

Many addicts tend to isolate themselves from others, as sometimes they have not felt connected or like they didn’t fit in. However, as they began to attend the recovery meetings, they eventually began to emerge from their isolation as they saw the other participants speak and share about their addictions openly and freely, which gave them hope. Most times, the newcomer will sit the recovery meetings and listen and will not participate in the sharing part of the meetings. That is ok, as eventually they will understand that they are safe to share, and the other participants in the meeting are there to support and care and provide hope in healing through their sharing.

Confessing ones sins is a very difficult process for everyone. It is hard to face a person and disclose to them what they have done and to express the remorse that they feel. Confession is an ongoing effort to repair and reestablish broken relationships. Confession is also seeking forgiveness from the Lord through prayer and through the Priesthood.

Confession demonstrates before God, ourselves and another wittiness, our commitment to a new life based firmly on telling the truth. President Spencer W. Kimball counseled: “Repentance can never come until one has bared his soul and admitted his actions without excuses or rationalizations… Those persons who choose to meet the issue and transform their lives may find repentance the harder road at first, but they will find it the infinitely more desirable path as they taste of its fruits.” Once a person has honestly repented there was nothing left to hide. Alma 22:18 says, we “give away all our sins” so that we could receive a greater knowledge of Gods love and the love and support of many good people who rallied around us.

Start with your bishop. Serious transgressions must be confessed with proper priesthood leaders, and usually the Bishop. The Lord is the one who forgives sins but priesthood leaders play a vital role in the process of repentance. They will keep it confidential, and help you through the process. Confess all mistakes, and resolve all your mistakes. The sooner you begin this process, the sooner you will find peace and joy that come with the miracle of forgiveness.

The following are links to some excellent guidance about confession: Addiction Recovery Manual Step 5 “Confession”, page 29. - “Confession” by J. Richard Clarke “The Path of Growth” - By Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander Of the Seventy Chapter 4: The Miracle of Forgiveness,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, (2006),34–45 “Questions and Answers,” Tambuli, Apr 1985, 29–31

One last thought of mine about repentance and confession. When we sin, we feel like our shoulders bare heavy weights that build up to the point that they practically weigh us down. With every sin, our load gets heavier. But when we confess and repent of our sins, those heavy weights that have held us captive and stopped any positive progress, one by one are lifted, and they no longer weigh us down. Confession is gift that we must initiate and do for ourselves in order to receive it.If we confess, give away our sins, and truly repent, then they are with us no longer, and like the scripture says in Isa. 1: 18 Come now, and let us areason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Much of this post has taken excerpts from the LDS Family Services Addiction Recovery Program guide.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Step 4 - Truth

Make a searching and fearless written moral inventory of yourself.

By doing so, you show your willingness to trust in God. Now you will make an inventory of your life by surveying or summarizing the thoughts, events emotions, and actions of your life and making it as complete as possible. You commit to honesty, and include your own weaknesses, and not anyone elses. It is far too easy to justify your own bad behavior by blaming people or things. This inventory is where you will take responsibility for your past and current actions, even thought this will be painful, and embarrassing and will create a myriad of emotion within you.

This step is the one that most recovering addicts say is a real turning point, because by writing down what is required, they have to face themselves, the self that they created. It is like looking in the mirror and not really liking what they saw. Because you are facing yourself and your deeds, it is what makes you realize where the true blame lies. This is a step that many would rather skip, but it is vital to recovery. Taking a direct quote from the Addiction recovery guide, it reads, "Addiction crippled our ability to reflect honestly about our lives. It limited our ability to understand the damage and havoc--the liabilities-it caused in all our relationships." This step is difficult and long, but necessary!

Through this inventory, you will align your life with the will of God. You will identify negative thoughts, emotions and actions that ruled your life. By discovering those destructive elements in your life, you will take the first step toward correcting them. This inventory step will open doors to additional faith and hope as you continue to seek recovery and overcome addiction.

So what do you do? Rather than write everything down, I would refer you to the Addiction Recovery Guide in page 21 under how to do an inventory. If you don't have a guide book you can find it online at It is a very personal process and you can speak with others who have done it or follow the suggestions in the guide.

"I invite each one of you to thoughtfully review your life. Have you deviated from the standards that you know will bring you happiness? Is there a dark corner that needs to be cleaned out? Are you now doing things that you know are wrong? Do you fill your mind with unclean thoughts? When it is quiet and you can think clearly, does your conscience tell you to repent? For your peace now and for everlasting happiness, please repent. Open your heart to the Lord and ask Him to help you. You will earn the blessings of forgiveness, peace and the knowledge you have been purified and made whole. Find the courage to ask the Lord for strength to repent now." (Richard G. Scott, in Conference Report, April 1995, page 103 or in the Ensign, May 1995, page 77)

I love the scripture found in Ether 12:27 which states..."If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." And this can be followed up by the scripture found in John 8: 32 which says...."Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free".

When you take this opportunity to take a deep look at yourself, and who you've become through addiction, you are blessed with an awakening. Your eyes are open much more widely and you can see yourself for who you really are. With your eyes wide open, if you don't like what you see, you have the opportunity to change things. Like the Scripture John says, you will know the truth about yourself, and only then when you can understand truths about your past behaviors, then you can be able to become free from the bonds that have enslaved you through your addiction. I bolded the words "YOU" intentionally so that you could see that your addiction isn't about anyone else, anyone elses choices, problems, things that people have done to you but what you have done to yourself.

With eyes wide open, and through the help of the Lord, you can overcome your addictions, and I know this because I have seen and heard so many stories of recovery while serving as a missionary in the LDS Addiction recovery program. I urge you to find a meeting and go. One participant and family support traveled from one state to our meeting, which was miles and miles, just to find help for their addiction. They did it because it had to be done and they knew it and they found help and hope through attending these addiction recovery meetings. Go to,11664,6629-1,00.html and click on "addiction recovery support groups" and locate the closest group to where you live. Then go, and begin the steps toward you own recovery and receive support from those who have been working the program, through the testimonies of the Missionaries, and the facilitator.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Step 3 - Trust in God

“When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee."

Addiction Recovery Meetings

Addiction recovery meetings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints assist those who desire to recover from addiction. Family and friends whose lives may be affected by the addiction of another are also welcome.

I have had the opportunity to attend many of these meetings as a missionary in this inspired program, and believe they are some of the most spiritual meetings I have ever experienced. The Spirit of the Lord is found there in rich abundance. The meetings are made up of a group of brothers and sisters who share their experience, faith, and hope as they study and apply the principles of the gospel as they correlate with the 12 steps of recovery. These meetings provide a safe place for honest sharing because principles of confidentiality and anonymity are closely adhered to, and appropriate language and behavior are used to invite the Spirit to be in attendance.

The Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing says, “Participation in a support group or a recovery meeting may not be feasible for everyone. If you cannot attend a recovery meeting, you can still follow each of the steps, with minor modifications, as you work with your bishop or a carefully chosen professional counselor. When attendance at a recovery meeting is possible, you will find it helpful for at least two reasons. First, at these meetings you will study specific gospel principles that, when applied, will help you change your behavior. Second, these meetings are a place to gather with others seeking recovery and with those who have already taken this path and are living proof of its effectiveness. In recovery meetings you will find understanding, hope, and support.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Step 2 - Hope

Come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health.

Addiction tends to strip the addict of Hope. If they believed in God before their addiction, they feel that they have disappointed God, and those who have grown up without a knowledge of God certainly had nothing to grasp on to for Hope. Step two teaches us that if we will turn to God, we can find Hope through the atonement of Jesus Christ. The scriptures tell us that God loves the sinner but hates the sin.

Reaching out for help is a humbling experience. Hope can be discovered in the LDS Addiction Recovery meetings. Men and Women honestly and openly describe what their lives had been like, and what had changed them, and what it was like to live in recovery from addiction. Many people who attend the meetings once felt hopeless, but now they are attending meetings, praying, reading scriptures and writing in their recovery journals.

Satan has so many tools and he wants to drag anyone down to his level who will open a door even just alittle. Once he has them in his snare, he feeds them with despair, hopelessness, and takes many with him to the brink of destruction.

God on the other hand is there waiting at the door for you to reach and open it. He won't force you, but waits patiently for you to use your agency and reach out to him for Hope. Heavenly Father provided the entire world Hope though the Atonement of his son Jesus Christ. This hope can heal sin, or the strongest addiction but you have to humble yourself and reach out to Him. The above art is a depiction of Christ at the door. Notice that there is no handle on the outside of the door. The reason is because it is up to you to grasp hold of the handle and open up the door and let him in, or not.

Addiction Recovery meetings are held all over the world. They cost nothing to attend, and everyone including non LDS are welcome. You don't need an appointment, you can just find a meeting and show up. There are no judgements made, and what is shared in the meetings stays there. You will receive a message on the weekly study steps and will have opportunity to share or listen to the participants share their stories of how the steps have helped them in their lives to deal with their addictions.

It is my testimony that there is hope in healing through the Addiction Recovery Program. You can find it by going to,11666,6629-1-3414-1,00.html Scroll down the page to find a support meeting in your area. You can even download the Addiction Recovery Guide and print it off, or you can get one by attending a meeting.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Step 1 - Honesty

Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.

When people in general have a serious problem, they generally do all that they can to hide it so that others don't know about it. It turns into their secret life and that life in turn, changes a person. They learn to lie, cheat, steal, choose deception, and make up all manner of excuses, just to prevent others from knowing about this new secret life of theirs. They think that if no one finds out, then they are not hurting anyone, including themselves.

A woman who was a wonderful wife and mother, had a serious surgery and was in need of painkillers to move on from her surgery. Over time, innocently she became addicted to the pain killers and the painkillers or drugs began to rule her life. She changed and began her secret life. She did everything she could to get her drugs but thought that no one would find out. She went from doctor to doctor to get perscriptions of her drugs, but once the doctors stopped writing them she had to resort to other ways of getting the drugs she felt she needed. She even resorted to bringing her own children into her secret life, and take them to doctors and she was able to get drugs for herself that supposedly were for the treatment of her children. She also found out that if she could pay the price, she could get her drugs off the internet. She also resorted to get her drugs by raiding the medecine cabinets of her friends, but once she was caught, and not only lost her drug store supply from the medecine cabinet, but lost her friend.

Soon she felt she needed to expand her horizons and sought out other women in her same addicted state, thinking that working together they could get what they needed. These women lied, deceived, and did unthinkable things to get their drugs and traded them back and forth with each other. One time when they went to get them off the street, one of the women got caught, and was almost killed, and the other women's lives were also put in jepordy. Credit cards were ordered, and charges added up into the thousands, putting their families into grave financial debt. They came up with great ways and amazingly believable excuses to justify or hide these charges from their husbands. They were living a lie, and their need for drugs changed them, affected themselves, their relationships with all those who loved them.

Where does it stop? Well this particular story didn't stop here, but went on to destroy families and marriages. Satan doesnt' stop his efforts to destroy the family. If he can find a tiny crack and like a noxious week, squeeze into it. Once he does and once he is in, the crack doesn't stay small, and like the weed it grows and grows until it enlarges develops into a full blown habbit. At this point, Satan won his prize and that prize is you, your family, and all of those those your devious actions have hurt.

The story I just told is true and didn't end where I stopped telling it. Gratefully in time, this story had a happy ending, but not before lives were damaged, family were torn apart and put into financial disaster, and drastic reparation had to be made. This true story is not isolated. If you see yourself in any way shape or form mirrored in this story or you suspect or are willing to admit that you are addicted, then I urge to to do something about it now. Take the first step. Admitting that you have a problem and seeking to do something about it is the first step. Locate an LDS 12 step program in your area and go to it. (you can find the links on this blog) Do it for yourself, and do it for those you love, but just do it, and do it now. If you are reading this, it is obviously time or you wouldn't have sought out this blog. Help yourself and get help now. Don't let more destruction happen.. break the pattern now and get help!

PRAYER, FAITH AND PATIENCE ARE NECESSARY TO OVERCOME ADDICTION In the 24th chapter of Mosiah, the king of the Lamanites appointed Amulon, leader of the priests of King Noah, to be king and ruler over his people. Amulon began to exercise authority over Alma and his people, gave them difficult tasks and brought them under bondage. Amulon knew that Alma had believed the words of the Prophet Abinadi, and in his anger sought retribution against Alma.

The afflictions and suffering of the people of Alma were so great that “they began to cry mightily to God. And Amulon commanded them that they should stop their cries; and he put guards over them to watch them, that whosoever should be found calling upon God should be put to death.” Alma and his people ceased praying in public and out loud to God. They were truly captive and enslaved.

But Alma and his people continued to pray silently in their hearts, and the Lord “did know the thoughts of their hearts. And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage. And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders.”

The burdens that were placed upon the shoulders of the people of Alma were made light and the Lord “did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord. And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.”

“Now it came to pass that Alma and his people in the night-time gathered their flocks together, and also their grain; yea, even all the night-time were they gathering their flocks together. And in the morning the Lord caused a deep sleep to come upon the Lamanites, yea, and all their task-masters were in a profound sleep. And Alma and his people departed into the wilderness.”

I believe that addicts find themselves in a situation very similar to that of Alma and his people. They are captives and enslaved to their addiction and need the comfort and help of the Lord to be rescued. But before being led out of captivity, they must pray always in secret and in their hearts and demonstrate much faith and patience. I know that our Savior lives, and is ready to rescue us and free us.

Step 12 - Service

Step 12 - Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, share this message with others and practice these principles in all you do.

Service will help you grow int he light of the Spirit throughout the rest of your life. You learned in step 10 that you evaluate your life each day and be accountable for your actions. Then in step 11 you learned to remember the savior from moment to moment so you will have the guidance of the Holy Ghost as constant as possible. Now Step 12 involves the third anchor and that is service to others. This step aids in your continued recovery and a remission of sin and to remain free of addiction, you must get outside of yourself and serve.

Desire to give service is a natural result of your spiritual awakening. (ARP Guide) So, how do we serve? One way is through sharing the message of hope with other addicts or to those who are troubled. When you share with others, you can share your testimony of the mercy of the Lord and let others know that they too can receive this same mercy through the Atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Many addicts feel alone and don't think that they could ever be forgiven of the hurt that they have caused to themselves and to others, but you can stand as a wittiness to the truth of the Atonement.

President Ezra Taft Benson taught: "Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their mussels, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life."

When you personally have reached step 12, it is important that you realize that you should not put away your ARP book and say I am done. You should still continue to attend meetings and participate as you have through the entire 12 step process. Open your book and read your journaling to strengthen your own resolve to continue to move forward for the rest of your life. Set forward thinking goals, which will probably be much different than those that you have set while in this program. Now that you are living free from your addiction, you have so much to look forward to and you need to live in maintenance for the rest of your life.

Service is a way for you to be able to maintain your addiction free life. Many individuals choose to become facilitators in the addiction recovery program. Facilitators are not a church calling but a volunteer service and a greatly needed service in the Addiction Recovery program. As you attend meetings and see that after the Missionaries present their part of the Addiction Recovery program, the sharing portion of the meeting is turned over to a facilitator. Facilitators set a positive tone, invite the spirit and give a directed focus for the sharing portion of the meetings. They can draw upon their own personal knowledge to lift and give hope to the other participants. Their sharing is directed toward what they have learned as they work the particular step of study for that week. What a blessing Facilitators are, and how great a service they render.

Services doesn't just stay within the Addiction recovery program. Service can be given everywhere. Serve in your wards and stakes. Serve in your homes and neighborhoods. Serve in your community and in the world. Everywhere you look there are opportunities for service and they are not hard to find if you are looking. One recovered addict is now the High Priest Group leader in his ward, and is constantly involved in helping out the widow's of the ward and he is also a facilitator and and serving as a missionary in the LDS Addiction Recovery Program. In a different ward and Stake, a returned missionary who learned Spanish on his mission, helps out in with the Spanish community and attends and assists in many ways using his time and language skills giving service.

If you think about this world being filled with Heavenly Fathers children, and you realize that you are actually all related through Him, then maybe serving your family members would be easier to think about than serving someone you don't know. Humanity is really just one big diverse family. When I personally think about service, this scripture comes to mind... "When Ye Are in the Service of Your Fellow Beings Ye Are Only in the Service of Your God" (Mosiah 2:17) The result of service is a crowning blessing, as the Lord promised: I delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end. Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory. ( D & C 76:56)

I pray that we can all lose ourselves in the service of our fellow beings, because as the scripture says, when we do so, we are only in the service of our God!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


The key principle of Step 11, Personal Revelation, is “Seek through Prayer and Meditation to know the Lord’s Will and to have the Power to Carry It Out”.

One of the greatest blessings of the restoration of the Gospel in the latter days is the knowledge that we have a loving Heavenly Father who lives. He is literally the Father of our spirits and He knows each of us by name. Through prayer and personal revelation, our Father in Heaven communicates with us and guides our lives. Prayer and meditation are powerful antidotes to fear and depression.

Over the course of addiction recovery, we must seek a period of quiet solitude for scripture study and prayer. If you haven’t done so already, schedule time for prayer and meditation, perhaps early in the morning. During this time you can put God first, before anyone else or anything else in the day. Pray to your Heavenly Father, seeking the Spirit to guide you. Then study, using the scriptures and the teachings of the modern prophets to guide your meditation. When this precious time of private meditation has ended, do not cease to pray. Silent prayer, in the depths of your heart and mind, will become your way of thinking throughout your days and focusing on your spiritual awakening.

“Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-19
As we keep ourselves free from addictions and grow closer to our Heavenly Father and His Son through daily prayer and scripture study, we will be more able to receive the guidance of the Holy Ghost. Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve taught,

“The Holy Ghost will protect us against being deceived, but to realize that wonderful blessing, we must always do the things necessary to retain that Spirit…And we must never do anything to drive away that Spirit.”

The Lord respects our will and our agency. He allows us to choose to approach Him without compulsion. I testify that our Savior Jesus Christ will draw near to us when we invite him to be near.

“Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” D&C 88:63

In the Book of Mormon, Alma testified that when he prayed and fasted, his ability to receive revelation and know the will of God for him increased. Abstinence from our addictions can be considered a form of fasting.

“I say unto you (these things whereof I have spoken) are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me.” Alma 5:46

Step 10 - Daily Accountability

The key principle of Step 10, Daily Accountability, is “Continue to Take Personal Inventory; and When You Are Wrong, Promptly Admit It.

Recovery from addiction is as much a spiritual process as it is a physical one. The first nine steps of the Addiction Recovery Program focus on changing our hearts in a spiritual awakening so that the Lord will accept our repentance and bless us with his healing power. Step 10 represents acceptance of the truth that we must continue to live each day in spiritual principles. My conversations with and observations of recovering addicts often focus on “living one day at a time” and sometimes, in the early stages of recovery, “one hour at a time.”

As we progress in our recovery, we learn for the first time or begin to practice again those spiritual principles and actions that will bring us closer to our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ: daily prayer and meditation; daily scripture study; forgiving others and ourselves; attending our church and group recovery meetings.

Because of the difficult times and adversity we face in the world today, and because Satan desires to have us again give in to our addictions, we must focus on living one day at a time in spiritual harmony with the Savior. Because we are human, we will stray from our new found spiritual principles and practices. If we stray from them, we must repent immediately and ask our Heavenly Father at once to restore our peace though His Spirit. Honesty and humility can strengthen us each day. We will become more conscious of Heavenly Father’s presence in our lives as we call on him daily to help us stay spiritually clean. We will learn to value progress and to forgive imperfection in ourselves and others.

Honest, daily self appraisal will become a way of life as we let go of our fears, place reliance on the Lord, and overcome temptations one day at a time.

It could be dangerous or deadly if we didn’t pay attention to what we are doing while driving a car. Daily accountability and self appraisal will help us stay awake and alert to where we are going with our lives.

We are taught in the Book of Mormon to watch our thoughts, words and deeds:

“If ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.” Mosiah 4:30

As we continue in our spiritual growth, promptly admitting that we are wrong is a difficult discipline to develop. This is contrary to the nature of man, and to the addict’s tendency to blame everyone else for his or her problems. I testify that the Lord is patient and willing to forgive. Knowing that the Lord is willing to forgive us as often as we repent with real intent can give us courage to try again each time we fall short.
“As oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven. Moroni 6:8

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Step 9 - Restitution and Reconciliation

Wherever possible, make direct restitution to all persons you have harmed.

Before I share with you my comments about this step, I would first like to remind you that if you do not have an Addiction Recovery program study guide, you can go to and read it in English and even print it off. You can get this Program study guide in many other languages as well by going to,11666,8517-1-4751-1,00.html
Many years ago, before I even knew about this step or the Addiction Recovery program, I had determined. that I needed to put some past hurt feelings behind me so that I could move on in my own progress in this life. My list was small but the two or three names on that list caused my heart to hurt and feel such an array of emotion that I knew I needed to heal. I couldn’t remember all the details of the situations and hurts, but I did still harbor the same bad feelings toward them. It was amazing to me that I could remember more of the hurtful details of these few past experiences, than the details of the good and positive ones that I have had. This told me that I really needed to put them behind me once and for all and nobody could do this but me.I pondered and prayed as to how I could best accomplish this. I decided that I should just make a phone call and hopefully the person I needed to talk to would humor me enough to listen. With much fear and trembling and a very humble heart, I made the first call. The person I wanted to speak with actually answered the telephone. I introduced myself to her and with a bit of surprise in her voice, she responded with an “It’s nice to hear from you after all these years.” That small sentence let me know that what I was about to say would be received. Before I knew it, a wealth of tears began to flow and my voice became shaky, as I told her of the bad feelings I had toward her in the past and that I wished to ask her forgiveness for whatever I had done to make her feel toward me the way she did. She responded in kind, and though I felt embarrassed for crying, it was such a huge relief to get those words and feelings out in the open after such a long time. She accepted my apology, and said that she was sorry for whatever she had done to make me feel that way. Our conversation ended quickly but on a positive note.

After hanging up the telephone, I felt such a huge relief that I burst into tears again and sobbed. Once I got control of myself, I realized I felt like a new person. I had just lost at least 40 lbs. that I had been carrying around with me for so many years. That burden was lifted, and I felt finally at peace. I wondered why I had waited so long to make that call. I guess it was fear, hurt, anger, and all the other emotions that went along with it. Those were now gone and I could move on.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ can lift the burdens that weigh us so heavily down. Christ paid the price for all of us and we all need to remember this wonderful gift. We need to do our part to make this burdon lifting Atonement happen and that is to
humble ourselves, to admit our wrongs, and make restitution.

There is no need to fear this process of making restitution with others, because either they will forgive you or not, but it will cleanse your soul, and lighten your load. It is worth it and the sooner the better as I have learned. I hope and pray that you too will seek the opportunity to use the Atonement in your life, and be able to really live and be happy again.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Step 8 - Seeking Forgiveness

Make a written list of all persons you have harmed and become willing to make restitution to them.

This step focuses on reaching out to and mending relationships with others. It involves a lot of soul searching, courage and prayer in making a list of those who you need to forgive or seek forgiveness from. Prayerfully seek the guidance from Heavenly Father . as He is there for you will help you to be able to accomplish this daunting task.

“By becoming willing to make amends, you benefit from the peace of knowing that Heavenly Father is pleased with your efforts. This step helps you take the actions that enable the Savior to set you free from your past. “ (ARP manual, Step 8, p. 48.)

The Apostle Paul wrote a great discourse on charity. The writings of the prophet Mormon clarify what charity is and how to obtain it. He defined Charity as "the pure love of Christ” and taught that the Father gives it to those who ‘pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart” and to "all who are true followers of his son, Jesus Christ” (Moroni 7:47,48). Charity is a gift that we receive as we learn to follow Jesus Christ and as we love Him with all our hearts, minds and souls. Filled with this pure love from Him and for Him, we find ourselves able to love others as He loved us. We become able to forgive the faults of others and to make amends for our mistakes.

“The nearer we get to our Heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs…. If you would have God have mercy on you, have mercy on one another” (Joseph Smith, in History of the Church, 5:24).

How important is it for us to be able to take this step and learn to forgive? Jesus explained it to Peter in Matthew 18:21-22 "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? “Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: until seventy times seven” Just as Christ told Peter to forgive seventy times seven, we desire the same from others.

A friend of mine shared a thought with me once. She said, “The Lord made our shoulders round so that things could roll off of them instead of square shoulders that would make things stack up and weigh us down.” I testify that as we take the action of forgiving others and ourselves, the heavy load we have been carrying, will be lifted! You will then be able to feel exquisite joy. Compassion and love will enter your heart and soul to replace anger, hurt, hatred, bitterness and sorrow.

“…men are that they might have joy. (2 Nephi 2:25) I pray that through this process of seeking forgiveness, you can find the joy and happiness that was meant for you in this life.

Charity, The Pure Love of Christ
by Susan Noyes Anderson.

Will our hearts ever know the love
That does not count the loss;
That bows itself beneath our sin
And suffers on the cross;
The kind of love that never fails
No matter what the slight;
That love that fills our minds and hearts
And souls with Christ's pure light?

This love's a gift, but one that can't
Be given or received;
A gift that must be earned and learned
By selfless word and deed.
If we would take the love of Christ
Upon us, we must give
Our hearts and hands and minds to Him
Each day that we might live.

And once we give ourselves to Him
Who is our Elder Brother;
We'll come to know His perfect love
By loving one another.
This gift we seek is charity,
But we must pay the price;
For love that does not count the loss
Comes wrapped in sacrifice.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Step 7 - Humility

The key principle of Step 7 is:

All 12 steps of the Addiction Recovery Program require humility, but Step 7 specifically requires it. Developing a change of heart in Step 6 should bring us to our knees, humbly asking our Father in Heaven for forgiveness of our sins and for help overcoming our addictions. Our humble prayers should focus on becoming one in heart and mind with Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, realizing that we have no hope of salvation by our own efforts, but only through the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ.
This dramatic change within us will not begin until we allow the Lord to do it. We must surrender our pride and put everything in the Lord’s hands. Many participants in the Addiction Recovery Program come to recovery meetings in desperation, driven by the consequences of their addictions. They are compelled to be humble. The humility described in Step 7, however, has a different motivation – it must be voluntary, the result of our own choice to humble ourselves.

The people of King Benjamin offered the kind of prayer that we must offer in Step 7. They felt peace and joy when the Spirit of the Lord came upon them and gave them a remission of their sins:

“And they viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less that the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.”

And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ…” Mosiah 4:2-3

The peace and joy that came to the people of Mosiah probably will not come instantly as described in these verses from the Book of Mormon, but will require much effort, tears, and suffering – it will require a sufficient period of time to demonstrate to the Lord that we have truly humbled ourselves.

The Addiction Recovery Program is a program of action. Note that the following instructions from King Benjamin are full of actions that must be taken:

“Believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now if you believe all these things see that ye do them…I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come…And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true. And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably.”

Wonderful promises are contained in these scriptures. I testify that our Heavenly Father lives, and that his Son, Jesus Christ lives and desires to bless those who truly humble themselves with His peace and love. He is the Prince of Peace.

Hope ya know we had a hard time

This is a great video for everyone to view. There isn't anyone who gets out of this life with out experiencing some challenges, hurts, sorrows, and all manner of adversities.

Beautiful and inspiring video of Hope - music "Broken" by Kenneth Cope

Kenneth Cope - Broken

[via FoxyTunes / Kenneth Cope]

Broken by Kenneth Cope - Broken clouds give rain. Broken soil grows grain. Broken bread feeds man for one more day. Broken storms yield light. Break of day heals night. Broken pride turns blindness into sight. Broken souls that need His mending. Broken hearts for offering. Could it be that God loves broken things? Broken chains set free. Broken swords bring peace. Broken walls make friends of you and me. To break the ranks of sin. To break the news of Him. To put on Christ ‘til his name feels broken in. Broken souls that need His mending. Broken hearts for offering. I believe that God loves broken things. And yet our broken faith, our broken promises Sent love to the cross. And still that broken flesh, that broken heart of His Offers us a trace and mercy, covers us with love undeserving.

Come to Jesus and Live - Kenneth Cope

Come to Jesus by Kenneth Cope

[via FoxyTunes / Kenneth Cope]

Do you need some inspiration to get clean and sober?

Please view this very inspirational video clip of Nick (below), who from his outward appearance seems to have nothing to offer or live for. BUT.. when you watch it you will see that his positive attitude and outlook on what he has been given to deal with in life, should inspire you to want to make your life better.

Quoting from the video, Nick says that with trials, "It is not the end, it matters how you finnish... are you going to finnish strong? You will find the strength to get back up".

I hope you will find the hope to help yourself with your addiction, because as you look around, there is always someone who has it worse off than you . Is the way you are currently dealing with your life life the way that God meant for you to liv? Nick has learned from his challenges, and is making something out of his life. How about you? Pick yourself up by your boot straps and conquer your addiction. You can do it and must do it because living with addiction isn't the quality of life that God planned for you. Heavenly Father wants you to be happy and you can be just as happy as you choose to be.

This clip is not a part of the Addiction Recovery Program but one that I found that I felt personally could touch your heart.
I also don't know what the language is that is shown at the bottom of the video clip, so disregard it, just listen to the inspirational message that Nick offers. ... Also you may need to have some tissue handy.

So you have fallen? Well get back up! Enjoy this inspirational video.