Admit to yourself, to your Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ, to proper priesthood authority, and to another person the exact nature of your wrongs. (Step 5, LDS Family Services ARP Manual)
I mentioned earlier that I struggled with addiction through my childhood and teenage years. As I grew in the Gospel, read from the book the “Miracle of Forgiveness” and took an honest look at my life, I began the process of repentance. I went to my mother and asked if we could talk. I shared with her for the first time in all honesty, what was going on with me. She handled it beautifully and made me feel very loved. We talked about what I must do and she helped give me courage to go talk to my Bishop. I went and talked with him, but allowed fear to take control and only told him part of what I had been going on with me. This resulted in only fueling the problem as I continued to be plagued with guilt. Without being fully honest, healing would never take place as it should.
The spirit continued to work on me. I was having fewer and fewer problems, but I would never be fully free without proper confession. Spencer W. Kimball taught, “Repentence can never come until one has bared his soul and admitted his actions without excuses or rationalizations…..Those persons who choose to meet the issue and transform their lives may find repentance the harder road at first, but they will find it the infinitely more desirable path as they taste of it’s fruits”.
For me repentance was terrifying because the adversary kept whispering in my mind how I was the only one who had made these types of mistakes, girls never make mistakes like this and so on and so forth. I was frozen by fear. I think that’s why I feel it’s so important to teach my own children how the adversary works. He is such an excellent liar and has the art of mind manipulation down to a science.
After I graduated from High School, I finally worked up the courage to visit with my Bishop again. I wanted to be free of all my mistakes, completely free from my addictions and ready to start a new life when I moved away from home completely free from this burden. I met with my Bishop, told him of my prior attempts and failures and explained I needed more than just a confession. I needed to follow up and report how I was doing. I had been praying with all my heart that the Savior would take this addiction and remove it completely. My Bishop then took some consecrated oil, set apart for the healing of the sick and afflicted in the household of faith, and he annointed my head, then gave me the most beautiful blessing. I was healed in that I finally had the ability to resist the temptations that came my way. I felt as if I had been spiritually reborn and felt so much love for my Savior.
The beautiful thing about the gospel and the gift of repentance is when we repent, it is wiped clean like it wasn’t there to begin with. After repentance, we are to be careful about what we share with the public. I certainly would not recommend everyone doing what I have done in being so vulnerable and openly sharing all that I have been through. It isn’t required nor is it recommended.
My purpose in sharing is to help others understand what is going on in the minds of their addicted brothers and sisters who are working towards recovery so you can be a better support, to give hope to those of you who are struggling and let you know your life is of value. Don’t give into the idea that your life is no longer worth fighting for. This is coming from the advesary. We need you, you will touch lives, you have a great work to do and your gift to be able to relate to the downtrodden is so needed in today’s world.
Our struggling brothers and sisters need our love, our prayers, our support, our kindness, our patience and our faith in their ability to be healed. I testify in the name of our beloved Savior that healing does and can take place by going through the 12 Steps of Recovery, I was healed in so many ways, after doing all I could do, He stepped in and made up for that which I lacked. I can sing the song of His redeeming love. My Savior suffered for me and he suffered for you too.
I would like to invite everyone to get a copy of the the Addiction Recovery Manual and study it. (It is available for free with the LDS library app.) It’s such an inspired book in helping you overcome the simplist of shortcomings. If you are struggling with an addiction, go to your local LDS recovery program. If you want to feel the presence of the Savior, attend this meeting. His spirit is there in abundance. I testify that this program is inspired of God for the healing of His beloved children of all denominations and faiths.