Had a good meeting this morning with Jason. We talked about Step 9 and the plan to start making amends.
Here are some things we discussed:
- Review Step 4 inventory to get list of people to make amends to
- Prepare a plan for making amends for each person
- Be open for anything – be willing to do God’s will even if it seems hard or scary
- Ask myself the question, “How can I approach this person?”
- Review Step 9 reading in the manual
- Ask myself, “How is making amends benefiting the person I’m speaking with?”
- Plan to work on at least one person from the list every day (phone calls to set up a meeting, planning, emails, etc.)
- Make sure the focus is “Sorry for what I did wrong.” Not, “I did this BUT you did that so…”
I started going through my Step 4 inventory today and thinking about how I would contact the person.
In my re-reading of Step 9, here are some of the things that stand out this time:
Step 9 Highlights
Still, as we faced step 9, we knew we could not carry out our desires unless God blessed us with His Spirit. We needed courage, good judgment, sensitivity, prudence, and appropriate timing.
We realized that step 9 would once more test our willingness to humble ourselves and seek the help and grace of the Lord. It is very important that you are not impulsive or careless as you attempt to
make amends. It is equally important that you do not procrastinate making amends.
Pray for the Lord’s guidance and consult with a trusted adviser for help to avoid these pitfalls.
A spirit of humility and a feeling of honesty can repair damaged relationships when you make reasonable efforts to meet in person. Let people know you are approaching them to make amends. Respect their wishes if they indicate they would rather not discuss the matter. If they give you the chance to apologize, be brief and specific about the situation you remember. Details are not necessary. The purpose is not to explain or describe your side of things. The purpose is to admit those wrongs you have committed, offer an apology, and make restitution wherever possible.
Approach each person in a spirit of humility, offering reconciliation, never justification.
In other cases, you may have no way of making amends directly. The person may be dead, or you may not be able to discover where he or she lives. In such cases, you can still make amends indirectly. You can write the person a letter expressing your regret and desire for reconciliation, even if the letter cannot be delivered.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell spoke of this reality: “Sometimes . . . restitution is not possible in real terms, such as when one contributed to another’s loss of faith or virtue. Instead, a subsequent example of righteousness provides a compensatory form of restitution” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1991, 41; or Ensign, Nov. 1991, 31). From the moment you decide to adopt these true principles as your new way of life, you begin to make amends.
To overcome negative feelings, you could pray for charity and to see the person as the Lord sees him or her. You could look for positive reasons why restitution and reconciliation will help. If you do these things and are patient, the Lord can and will—in His own way and in His own time— give you the ability and the miraculous opportunities to be reconciled to everyone on your list.
Upon completing step 9 to the best of your ability, you have finally done all you can to put yourself in harmony with the commandments of the Lord. You have begun to experience a new life of hope—not in yourself but in the love of God. You have gone down into the depths of humility and found the Lord waiting to embrace you. You have done all you can to heal relationships and become reconciled to others. You have at least partially entered into His rest; remaining there has become your greatest desire. You are learning to recognize and follow personal revelation better, which leads you to live in harmony with the teachings of ancient and modern prophets of God. Even in your most difficult moments, you feel a new kind of peace. You have learned to receive the blessing Paul described when he wrote, “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
Action Step Highlights
Today you recognize that service is a way of coming unto Christ. It is a way of expressing love to God. It expresses a continuing need for His power and gratitude for His divine help. Consider whether your activity in the Church is still motivated by fear or duty or if it is a natural outgrowth of your reborn faith in Christ.
As you serve your brothers and sisters and teach them by word and by example, you will share with them His living reality in your life. (See Matthew 25:40; John 13:34–35; John 15:15; Mosiah 2:17.)
Making amends may take time and patience. Give others time to realize that this time is different. This time you are not making empty promises; you are living to receive a complete remission of your addiction and character weaknesses. Eventually, abstinence and changed behavior will speak for themselves.
I’m excited about this step. I feel I’ve already taken a few “steps in the dark” with Step 9 – talking with Jason C. and talking with Dane about my experience and what I’ve learned at PR. I feel ready to really make the most of this step and follow the council of Jason in completing this step. I feel it will be an ongoing process throughout my whole life too.