May 21, 2020
I have been suffering from addiction for nearly 20 years. My addictions began out of curiosity and were fueled by secrecy, rebellion, and the high. In taking the first step to be honest, I had to be honest with the one person I’ve deceived the longest, myself.
I was first introduced to the Addiction Recovery Program (ARP) through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age 18. In the last 11 years, I’ve tried and failed many times to overcome multiple addictions, but “no failure ever need be final” (Thomas S. Monson). I began to accomplish more than I could imagine once I tried to learn true doctrine, true principle, and apply what I learned in the ARP manual. I have been able to abstain from multiple destructive behaviors for over 4 years and have experienced for myself and know that “The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. “ –Boyd K. Packer
A PDF version of the ARP manual is available here and an online version of the ARP manual is available here.
Step 2 – Hope
KEY PRINCIPLE: Come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health.
I go between steps 1 and 2 most often. I’ve made it through the entire 12 steps once in the course of 11 years. Many of those years I wasn’t really trying. I believed I was happy, but happiness is the wrong word to use (see Alma 41:10). I was content. I was going with the flow. I believed in philosophies similar to Karma and Nirvana. I believed that “if it were natural” and made me feel good then I should pursue it. There wasn’t a need for hope, until I came to realize the “awful state” of my situation. Once I came to this understanding, and was honest with myself about my situation, I tried to move in a different direction.
To progress, I had to sever ties to relationships, move to another city, get rid of items that triggered temptation, thoughts, feelings, or memories tied to my past. I had to completely change my media selection because when I viewed certain films, listened to certain music, or read certain material, I always, without fail, ended up where I did not want to be. This required complete honesty (Step-1) with myself and my husband about my addictions, and I continued to have hope (step-2) in the Savior’s Atonement. I believe The Lord can help me because I’ve come so far, but I haven’t come this far to just come this far! I have experienced for myself to know this truth that
[The Lord’s Spirit] will help you begin to see your choices more honestly and clearly; you will make decisions in harmony with gospel principles. For some… this miracle was almost instantaneous; for others [like me], recovery has been more gradual. However it may occur for you, you will eventually be able to say… that through “steadfastness in Christ,” you are rescued from addiction and enjoy a “perfect brightness of hope” (2 Nephi 31:20).The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints ARP Manual
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a asteadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of bhope, and a clove of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and dendure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eeternal life (2 Nephi 31:20).Nephi
Each day, I try to act in faith as a I pray and try to read, study, and ponder the scriptures every day; this is what I cling to! I try to have faith and believe that Heavenly Father is aware of me, that Jesus Christ is His only Begotten son of God, and that I can “Hear Him!” and receive personal revelation. I know and have experienced for myself that the Holy Ghost can guide, direct, comfort and warn me of danger, so I can choose to protect myself and my family and experience joy, peace, and strength beyond my own to press forward with a steadfastness in Christ (2 Nephi 31:20).