“Lifting Burdens: The Atonement of Jesus Christ,”

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.

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.