“Preface,” Healing through the Savior: The Addiction Recovery Program 12-Step Recovery Guide (2023)

“Preface,” The Addiction Recovery Program 12-Step Recovery Guide


Whether you struggle with an addiction or know someone who does, this guide can be a blessing in your life. With permission from Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12 steps have been adapted to include the doctrines, principles, and beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this guide, the steps are presented in order along with a related gospel principle. This guide will help you learn how to apply these steps. No matter what your circumstances are, these steps can help you come unto Christ and receive the blessings of recovery and healing.

Addictions may include the use of substances such as tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, and both prescription and illegal drugs. Addictions may also include behaviors such as gambling, viewing pornography, lust, inappropriate sexual behaviors, video gaming, inappropriate technology use, and unhealthy eating. While health care professionals consider addiction a physical disease, the physical aspect is only part of the problem. Addiction affects the mind, body, and spirit, so the solution must address all aspects of the disease.

This guide is not specific to any particular addiction. Though people struggle with different types of addiction, many have found a common solution in the path outlined in this guide. It is a workbook and reference for anyone who desires to recover from any type of addiction. This guide is the primary reading material in the addiction recovery support meetings sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Men and women who have suffered the devastating effects of various addictions and experienced long-term recovery helped in developing this guide and were invited to share their experiences in applying the 12 steps. Their point of view (the “we” in this guide) is used to convey the anguish of addiction and the joy of healing and recovery. You can find comfort and support from these people. Church leaders and counseling professionals also helped in writing and developing this guide. The combined wisdom and experience of these many authors stand as another witness of the reality of Jesus Christ’s Atonement and the possibility of recovery from addiction.

We invite you to come to a recovery meeting. (“We” are men and women who have suffered the devastating effects of various addictions and have experienced long-term recovery.) Directions for finding in-person, video, telephone, or recorded meetings (with permission) are available on the Addiction Recovery Program website ( Do not let your fears keep you from the blessings of attending a recovery meeting. Please know that these meetings are places of understanding, hope, and support, where you will discover that you are not alone and you will find that recovery is possible. We found this guide to be most effective when we worked the steps with a sponsor and our bishop. Some of us included a professional counselor in our recovery journey.

Recovery begins when we are honest and admit that we struggle with addiction. For some people, identifying themselves as addicts in recovery meetings helps them to be honest and to remember just how powerful their addiction can be. However, we should be careful that this does not limit our hope or trust in God. If we define ourselves as addicts, we may unintentionally deny the truth that Jesus Christ can heal us and change our very nature. In our recovery, we must all find a balance between being honest about the power of addiction while at the same time trusting that Jesus Christ can restore us to complete spiritual health.

If you feel you might have an addiction and have the smallest desire to break free, or if you are willing to develop the desire, we invite you to join us in studying and applying the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ as outlined in this guide. If you follow this path with a sincere heart, you will find power in Jesus Christ to recover from addiction.

Elder Robert D. Hales explained: “Addiction is the craving of the natural man, and it can never be satisfied. It is an insatiable appetite” (“Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2009, 10).

Then he described the way so many people who are ensnared in addiction long to feel: “But as children of God, our deepest hunger and what we should be seeking is what the Lord alone can provide—His love, His sense of worth, His security, His confidence, His hope in the future, and assurance of His love, which brings us eternal joy (“Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually,” 10).

Though the gap between where we are and where we long to be may seem insurmountable, the Addiction Recovery Program and this guide have helped many people travel the road from addiction to recovery, and it can help you do the same.