I am excited to share that the Mormon Channel has a new video series called #12StepstoChange, talking about the power of 12-step work to help people heal from addiction. Starting September 1st, as part of Addiction Recovery Month, Mormon Channel will feature a story a day from people who have used the 12 steps. Each day will focus on a different step. Edit: You can watch all the videos here.
I plan to share some of that content here, and encourage you to watch the Mormon Channel’s social media channels for updates as well. Find it on Facebook, on Twitter (and YouTube). Or watch the dedicated website page here for updated content.
I also want to say that 12 steps can help with many other things — not just the typical addict’s story (which stories, by the way, are amazing!). I have been doing 12-step work for three and a half years now. I went because there was a lot in my life that was weighing me down, and God guided me to the rooms in various ways over a course of years of time, even before I finally decided to commit to regular attendance and working the steps. (More about my experience here and here.)
I had no idea what to expect but this is some of how my involvement with 12-step recovery and community has changed (and continues to change) my life:
– I found answers about the Atonement that I’d been seeking since my youth (e.g., how do you turn your burden over to Christ?)
– I discovered truth about God that I’d ached to understand but couldn’t access because I had broken beliefs in my brain about Him and was too consumed with earning my worth.
– As a result, I’ve come to know myself with more clarity than ever, and am developing more compassion and understanding for others.
– I’ve come to appreciate the plan of salvation, particularly the doctrine of agency and the need to learn by experience.
– I learned a language (and keep learning more) and a toolkit that have changed my life. This is such a gentle process, and it flows in a “wisdom and order” way that is elegant and clearly divine.
– I have learned that vulnerability, honesty, and asking for help are key to finding God and forging friendships that I hope will last into the eternities. I feel like I’ve experienced glimpses of Zion — changed hearts being knit together in a room where it’s safe to be a messy mortal, to admit your powerlessness, and to testify of God’s amazing, gentle, unspeakable power.
For me, there is no meeting in the Church that is regularly and consistently more powerful than 12-step meetings. I can see why Jesus spent time with people who knew they needed Him, who had nowhere else to go. Humility and reliance on the Savior brings power. And so does the simple willingness to walk into a room seeking help or insight and inspiration about the grace of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is truly sweeter than sweet to witness it in others’ lives, and to experience it in my own.