Come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health.
When we realized our powerlessness over our addictions, most of us felt stripped of any hope. Those of us who had grown up with no concept of God were certain we had exhausted every avenue of help. Meanwhile, those of us who believed in God were convinced He was too disappointed in us to help. Either way, step 2 presented us with an answer we had either never considered or else had discarded—to turn to God and find hope in the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Finally humbled, we reached out for help. Following what felt to us like the tiniest ray of hope, we began to attend recovery meetings. When we first came to meetings, we were filled with doubts and fears. We were frightened and possibly even cynical, but at least we came. There we heard men and women honestly describe what their lives had been like, what happened to change them, and what it was like to live in recovery from addiction. We discovered that many of the people we met in the meetings had once felt as hopeless as we felt. But now they were laughing, talking, smiling, attending meetings, praying, reading scriptures, and writing in their recovery journals.
Gradually, the principles they shared and practiced started to work for us. As we kept coming back, we began to feel something we had not felt in years—
we felt hope. If there was hope for others who had been at the very brink of destruction, maybe there was hope for us too! We were grateful to hear that if we would turn to the Lord, there would be “no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness” (Boyd K. Packer, in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 22; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 19).
In this atmosphere of faith and testimony, we found hope that began to awaken us to the mercy and power of God. We began to believe that He could deliver us from the bondage of addiction. We followed the example of our recovering friends. We attended meetings, prayed, renewed our activity in the Church, and pondered and applied the scriptures, and our own miracles began to happen. We found ourselves blessed with the grace of Jesus Christ to maintain our abstinence one day at a time. As we took step 2, we became willing to replace trust in ourselves and our addictions with faith in the love and power of Jesus Christ. We took this step in our minds and in our hearts, and we experienced the truth that the foundation of recovery from addiction must be spiritual.
As you take the steps recommended in this guide, you will experience the same truth. It is worth every effort. This program is spiritual, and it is a program of action. If you follow these principles and allow them to work in your life, you will find yourself being restored to spiritual health through your newfound relationship with the Lord. His Spirit will help you begin to see your choices more honestly and clearly; you will make decisions in harmony with gospel principles.
For some of us this miracle was almost instantaneous; for others, recovery has been more gradual. However it may occur for you, you will eventually be able to say with us that through “steadfastness in Christ,” you are rescued from addiction and enjoy a “perfect brightness of hope” (2 Nephi 31:20).
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught of the power of the Lord to help you:
“We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord’s tender mercies. The simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies of the Lord will do much to fortify and protect us in the troubled times in which we do now and will yet live. When words cannot provide the solace we need or express the joy we feel, when it is simply futile to attempt to explain that which is unexplainable, when logic and reason cannot yield adequate understanding about the injustices and inequities of life, when mortal experience and evaluation are insufficient to produce a desired outcome, and when it seems that perhaps we are so totally alone, truly we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord and made mighty even unto the power of deliverance (see 1 Nephi 1:20).
“Some individuals who hear or read this message erroneously may discount or dismiss in their personal lives the availability of the tender mercies of the Lord. . . . We may falsely think that such blessings and gifts are reserved for other people who appear to be more righteous or who serve in visible Church callings. I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are avail- able to all of us and that the Redeemer of Israel is eager to bestow such gifts upon us” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2005, 106–7; or Ensign, May 2005, 100–101).
You will see the tender mercies of the Lord in your life as you learn to watch for them and as you come to believe that the power of God can indeed help you recover.
Pray; read and ponder the scriptures
As you let go of pride and begin to consider bringing God back into your life, you will start to think in more prayerful terms. Eventually you will find yourself ready to kneel and pray aloud. You will find how good it feels to express your feelings and needs to God. You will feel you have reopened a conversation with someone who will always answer you, not always with a yes but always with love. At last you will begin to experience the healing effects of breaking out of self-imposed isolation.
The desire to communicate with God will lead you to study the words of modern and ancient prophets. As you hear of others who found answers in the scriptures, your hope will grow that you can find answers too. As you write your thoughts, you will receive additional impressions from the Spirit. Study prayerfully, and the Lord will give you answers to your questions and needs.
A great place to begin your study is with the verses at the end of each chapter in this guide. Each verse was selected with recovery in mind, and each question is asked with the hope that it might help you apply the verse to your life. Take a few minutes every day to seek what the Lord desires to communicate to you.
Believe in God the Eternal Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost
Most of us grew up with some concept of God, and as members of the Church we at least had some knowledge of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. We may even have had a simple belief in Them, but often we did not connect our personal struggles with our need for God’s power in our lives.
The action required in step 2 is simply to become willing to practice believing in the love and mercy of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the accessibility and blessing of the Holy Ghost. Our testimonies are that you can come to know the perfectly united love of the Godhead by watching for evidence of Their love and power in your life and in the lives of others.
Study and Understanding
The following scriptures may help you in taking
step 2. We recommend that you use these scriptures and questions for discussion, study, and writing. Remember to be honest and specific in your writing.