I don’t want to think about and worry about the recovery of others in the LDS group, what they’re doing “wrong.” But after reading this quote in the Step One of Step Into Action, I can’t help it:
I found that trying to work this Step without a sponsor was pointless and hopeless. I recognized that Step One does talk about the “we” part of the SA program. With my keen sexaholic mind, and since I had the “Twelve Instructions,” I thought that if I just went to meetings, I could do this program by myself without a sponsor. I was willing to rely on the group for support, fellowship, and a place to dump my emotional garbage. I forgot that it was my best thinking that got me into this mess that I called my life. Continuing to relapse, I was unable to maintain sobriety until I was willing to begin to trust another member enough to ask him to be my sponsor and to listen to his instructions and his feedback about my Step work. I eventually trusted him with all my secrets. My sponsor helped me to see that working the first four Steps by myself was only an incomplete Step One. By following his directions completely, I stopped relapsing and strung together the first sexually sober period of my adult life.
I rewrote my first step with my sponsor’s guidance. This time I chose to give away my Step One inventory to my home group. For me, the acceptance from the group and the lack of condemnation and punishment, even when knowing my darkest secrets, was the closest thing I had experienced to unconditional love. I felt a true freedom for having given my Step One inventory away.
This last meeting was hard: we working on “Step 13,” which is about getting a support person. It makes me wonder why the Church has changed the wording and the concepts so much based on what has worked for others in AA and SA.
Things I heard that were hard to swallow:
“My wife is my greatest support person/sponsor.”
“This group is like one big sponsor for me; I’m so grateful to have all of you to support me.”
“I could never do this without the group support.
I must stop trying to “play God,” but I don’t know how to do this.
I feel frustrated.
I feel nervous.
I feel like I have things figured our more than these guys do (not a good feeling to have at all but I’m trying to be honest).
I feel like it’s only a matter of time before these guys slip and the cycle will start again.
I feel like these guys think they are in “recovery” but really it’s just white-knuckle sober.
I want to scream at them.
All of this writing, though, reminds me of how Alma thought:
1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
2 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.
3 But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.
4 I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.
5 Yea, and I know that good and evil have come before all men; he that knoweth not good from evil is blameless; but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires, whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience.
6 Now, seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?
7 Why should I desire that I were an angel, that I could speak unto all the ends of the earth?
8 For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true.
This, to me, hits the nail right on the head.
I want to help these guys see with new eyes. I want to share with them what I’ve learned and that, based on my experience, what they’re doing isn’t enough – at least it wasn’t for me.
But I “do sin in my wish: for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.”
I am thinking about what it means by “I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God…” Harrow means to disturb keenly or painfully; distress the mind, feelings, etc., of.
I think this is what Alma meant too: I can’t get disturbed or pained or become distressed of mind and feeling. God does grant unto man according to his desire and according to their will.
Why should I desire more than to work on my recovery with fear and trembling?
Why should I fret over the direction others are facing when I have plenty to work on myself?
Why should I do more than the work that I’ve been called to do – surrender to God and do His will?
I’m grateful for this recognition today.
I can’t play God. I can only ask for His help.
I feel these feelings, this “harrowing up,” is something I need to ask God to help me with, something I need to surrender.
Here’s to a good day in recovery and healing for me.
Great post dude, Thanks.
Thanks Cameron. I’ve had these feelings from time to time when going to LDS ARP but this study and attempt at honesty seemed to help. In the past I would go to these meetings with an agenda: I would write out notes and share things that I felt would help; but now I’m trying to “share from the heart” and not think about what anyone else is or isn’t doing. One day at a time is all I can do, and I can’t row anyone else’s boat.