This week, Mormon Channel launched a new video series, 12 Steps to Change. It highlights 12 real people—former or recovering addicts—who chose to come to Christ and get help. The series shows dramatizations of their stories and touches on everything from drug addictions to food addictions. Twelve stories with one consistent message: there is hope and help available through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and through the Addiction Recovery Program for those who want it.
Those who participated in the Addiction Recovery Program, as well as in the production of these videos, wanted to share how this program has helped them and how it can also have a positive impact on others.
I shudder to think of where I would be if I hadn’t followed the feeling to walk into the bishop’s office and tell him everything that was plaguing me. His response not only saved my life but started me on a path that would teach me about our Father's immeasurable love and the beautiful plan that He had for me in this life. The bishop put the Addiction Recovery Program manual in my hand, wrapped me in his arms, and said, "Your Father in Heaven wants you to know that He loves you." I dove into the program with a fervor I had never before possessed for anything. The veritable miracles that follow you when you apply these divine steps to change will change you forever in ways that you could never manage on your own! Thanks to these powerful and simple steps, I do not even recognize the person I used to be. I stand here today an ardent witness to the power and majesty of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for us. These steps are His instruction guide to us to humble ourselves and come unto "him who is mighty to save" (2 Nephi 31:19). I will be forever grateful for this inspired program of change for giving me my agency back so that I can stumble and trip like a child as I rush to follow Him for the rest of my life. The chains and flaxen cords that once bound me and prevented me from running to Him have been broken and continue to be broken every time I apply these steps again in my life.
The journey from complete and utter darkness and despair to freedom and faith was made clear to me through the LDS Addiction Recovery Program. The “Amazing Grace” lyrics "I once was lost but now I am found" perfectly describe my feeling about this program and the power and peace it has brought into my life. The Lord is good and tender and desires our return to Him. He has provided many avenues and opportunities for us all to repent and be changed through His Atonement, and the Addiction Recovery Program provided that sure way for me. I am eternally grateful for this sacred program and have a testimony that if it can work for me, it can and will work for anyone.
I feel that I made the decision to settle for less than I deserve years ago as the result of my environment and a need to belong. Powerful emotions carried me to places I never thought I would ever go, and I developed addictions. I live daily with the consequences of my choices, good and bad. I have found a desire to make my life more authentic. The truth is, He still loves me, He always has, and He continues to help me each day of my life. The power, or grace, required to go back and start over at the point where I lost confidence and move forward now that I'm older, taking only what I know and not all of who I was, is only possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And for me, the catalyst to this understanding has been my long-time involvement in the Addiction Recovery Program of LDS Family Services. Today I am grateful for the program, for my understanding of the Atonement, for the love of my Heavenly Father, and for the absolute peace I feel when I fully acknowledge His love for me as His child. I feel that my experience with the ARP is one that can be had by anyone who commits to even just wanting to change. From that desire will come positive action, motivated by the Spirit, which is ever-present in the wonderful meetings that happen nearly every afternoon and evening. The Spirit is so strong there. This is a life-changing program for everyone who desires to love the Lord more each day.
Because of the sensitive nature of the issues presented in the video series 12 Steps to Change, we recommend that parents take caution before showing them to any young children.