Introduction to the Addiction Recovery Program

The addiction recovery program (ARP) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is what I consider a graduate level course in true conversion, and as such this program could benefit every member, for if we look at our lives honestly, we are all overcoming something.

I am a service missionary for this program. The ARP 12-steps to recovery are modeled after steps used in Alcoholics Anonymous but are centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The program’s goal is no less than to become completely clean, overcome every weakness, repent of every sin and be reconciled with every person we know. One who finishes all the steps will be committed to a devoted life of service to others.

Here are stories that I hope are a helpful introduction to each step. I will add these as I find time:

Step 1: Honesty – and the Chipmunk  Cage

Step 2: Real Hope and the Food Metaphor

Step 3: Trust in God: Gophers and Guidance

Step 4: Undigging the Truth

Step 5: Confession and Spilled Paint

Step 6: Change of Heart

Step 7: Humility and the Gift of the Chinchilla

Step 8: Robotics and Relationships

Step 9: Repairing What’s Broken

Step 10: Don’t Fall off the Bridge

Step 11: Personal Revelation

Step 12: Lifesaving Service

Attendees are sometimes referred to the meeting by their bishop, but we missionaries are there to assist anyone who comes seeking help. We don’t question where one is from or what one believes. We just ask for mutual respect and that the participants use only first names to encourage ‘confidentiality and anonymity’.

Some participants coming to their first meeting expected to see a bunch of down and out, struggling, demoralized people, but were surprised to find strength and healing in those present. Yes people struggle and yes, people’s hearts are pained by addiction and relapse. The reality is that addiction is hard to overcome, but we have hope through the atonement of Jesus Christ, the master healer.