Earlier this month I talked about the power of Honesty. In the Church’s 12-step program for addiction recovery, that is the first step on the path to healing. Maybe you know someone who struggles with an addiction; but even if you don’t, what I’ve learned from these videos and steps is that the principles can be applied to overcoming any sin (which we all have).
HOPE is the 2nd step. If power comes through honesty, strength comes through hope. When we realize there is hope for those on the brink of destruction, we start to believe there is hope for us too. Hope is like that light at the end of a dark tunnel that lets us know that if we turn to the Lord, there is “no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness” (Boyd K. Packer, in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 22; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 19).
Hope links us to the grace of Jesus Christ to maintain our abstinence one day at a time. We become willing to replace trust in ourselves and our addictions with faith in the love and power of Christ’s atonement—believing that the foundation of recovery from addiction (or any sin) must be spiritual. Action steps include:
- Pray to know God’s will
- Read and ponder the scriptures
- Believe in God the Father and in His son Jesus Christ
Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. – Mosiah 4:9
God as our Creator knows how we can overcome our weaknesses and sins. When we take the action steps above, we can receive revelation (perfectly tailored to our strengths and abilities) through God’s grace to complete our journey.
In the Bible Dictionary, GRACE is defined as the “divine means of help or strength” given by the “bounteous love and mercy of Jesus Christ.”
Grace enables us to do more than we can on our own. That gives me hope that I can overcome my ‘thorns of the flesh’ and become better than I am today.
As I went through this section on the Addiction Recovery site and journaled answers to the questions, I realized there is more than just physical ailments and addictions. There are spiritual aspects that need healing as well. When I ask God to help me see myself honestly (STEP 1), it is humbling. Father in Heaven opens my eyes to see and become aware of where I need to improve.
Becoming aware—or awaking and arousing our faculties—is an important part of the process of learning to believe and gaining hope. It is humbling to realize how far we fall short of the glory of God. Humility then leads to hope that God can heal us…both physically and spiritually.
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
The word of God—or more specifically, the revelation we receive from God that is tailored to our specific needs—“shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.” – Alma 32:41
That is the beauty of hope. Yes, life can be hard, especially when we deal with some of the hard-core addictions shown in these videos…but hope enables us to gain strength to take each day as it comes and become better step by step until we embrace the light and joy at the end of the tunnel we have traveled through.
If you haven’t checked out this 12-step program yet, have a peek. It’s a super valuable resource if you know someone with an addiction…but it’s also enlightening for anybody who cares about becoming better through the grace of Christ (which HOPEfully, is everyone).