In Natalie’s post last month, she highlighted a trailer for the new 12 Step Recovery Videos the Church has put out to help those suffering from various addictions. I’ve watched a few of them and taken notes…and I must say, I’m highly impressed and feel this series can benefit everyone—addicts and non-addicts alike.
Everyone struggles with weaknesses that keep them from drawing closer to God. Whether huge (like an addiction to crystal meth or pornography) or a smaller struggle (like nail biting or gossiping), our human frailties need to be overcome in order for us to become whole. If you haven’t yet watched these videos, I’d encourage doing so. They are inspiring.
HONESTY is the first step in addiction recovery (or spiritual recovery). We must take an honest look at ourselves and admit we are powerless to overcome addictions on our own. It amazes me how this simple step produces such marvelous power.
Some may regard the quality of character known as honesty to be a most ordinary subject. But I believe it to be the very essence of the gospel. Without honesty, our lives…will degenerate into ugliness and chaos. – Gordon B. Hinckley
When we are honest, we will be willing to take the following action steps:
- Be willing to abstain from addictive behaviors.
- Let go of pride and seek humility.
- Admit the problem, seek help, and attend support meetings, if needed
- Study Gospel Principles. We learn more from studying these than studying about destructive behavior.
- Write feelings during journey to help see trends you need to correct and document progress.
At the end of each step on the site, there are questions and scriptures to reflect upon one’s spiritual state. I went through and wrote down answers to these for the honesty section and was surprised by what I learned. In college, one of my English professors taught me the value of writing for self-discovery. When we honestly reflect and write our feelings about questions and problems, little nuggets of gold reveal themselves through this sifting process.
In Moses 1:10, after he was shown the creation of the world and the eternities, Moses discovered one of these treasures:
Now for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed.
We are nothing compared to God, who possesses all power, wisdom, understanding and grace. Just as a baby is nothing in comparison to his parents who have had years to gain skills, knowledge, and physical strength, we are the same in relation to God. We are nothing compared to Him, but His whole purpose and glory is to see that we gain eternal life and immortality (Moses 1:39). He wants us to become like Him…so even seemingly small weaknesses like nail biting or judging others wrongly keeps us from that goal. That’s why we must seek to overcome any weaknesses or sins through the atonement of Christ.
That’s why I love this new program of healing steps the Church has published. A baby left on his own will die. A mortal being left to his own power will die spiritually. Like a remote control car that keeps bumping into a wall repeatedly…so are we if we block God from helping us. He holds the remote control, so to say, and we must give our wills over to Him so He can turn us and make the course corrections necessary to let us move forward again.
When we are honest with ourselves and seek God’s help, our weaknesses will be made manifest to us, like it says in Ether 12:27. God gives us weaknesses that we may be humble and turn to Him. He can overcome any malady of the flesh…but we must take the first step toward Him by being honest and admitting our powerlessness before Him. That is when He will make us strong through the enabling power of the atonement of Christ. All our weaknesses can be overcome…and JOY can be ours as we take the first step in the right direction and be HONEST.
***Later this week, Natalie will be focusing on Domestic Violence Awareness Month. She’ll have lots of information to share, and like all subjects, honesty is the first step in gaining power from God to overcome any ugliness and become like Him. Stay tuned.