Step Five: Acknowledge to Heavenly Father, to ourselves, and to another person experienced in 12 principles, the exact nature of our wrongs.

burdenBy Sandra

In the How to Apply The Principles of Step 5, I have learned when I humbly go to my Heavenly Father and confess to Him my fears, struggles, pain, and my desire to change, He hears my prayers and sends the Holy Spirit to help make changes in my life. Elder Neuenschwander explains; “Our confession to God will…ultimately bring us closer to Him. Confession is a statement of personal responsibility for our actions. Our complete openness with our Heavenly Father reveals a desire to become clean and whole.”

In Step Five I have learned that I have 9 character weaknesses, well we all have 9 character weaknesses. They are as follows: 1-feelings of low self worth, 2- anger, 3-resentment, 4-selfishness, 5-self pity, 6-fear, 7-dishonesty, 8-envy, 9-pride. “These nine character flaws are the underlying , motivating force behind almost all our negative behaviors and mistakes.” I personally can attest to the truth of this statement. I have found anger and resentment have been 2 of the flaws that I have dealt with the most.

In The Promise of Step Five Elder Richard G. Scott cautioned… “Satan will press you to continue to relive the details of past mistakes, knowing that such thoughts make forgiveness seem unattainable. In this way Satan attempts to tie strings to the mind and body so that he can manipulate you like a puppet.” We place a barricade against the healing power of the atonement of Christ whenever we indulge in self condemnation and self punishment over mistakes we have made in our lives.

I take great peace, comfort and courage from Elder Jeffery R. Holland’s hopeful assurance: “God doesn’t care nearly as much about where you have been as he does about where you are, and with his help, where you are willing to go. …it is important to understand that admitting the exact nature of our wrongs to another person does not necessarily mean that we will disclose the details of transgressions and specific sins.”

It is also important to remember that that the person you choose be of the same gender. “We do not choose our spouse, a family member or loved one in addiction.” They are too close to us or too involved with the events we will discuss.

The first time I got with a friend that had completed Steps 4 and 5, I was very concerned about her reaction to my confession. Would she ever speak to me again? Would she tell someone else? I was a nervous wreck! But all went well. We prayed first that the Holy Spirit would guide each of us in our time together. I found that I had a friend that had similar experiences as I. What a huge relief to find I was NOT ALONE on this journey. A big burden was lifted off my shoulders!!

President Thomas S. Monson testified, “Cast off forever is the old self, and with it defeat, despair, doubt, and disbelief. To a newness of life we come – a life of faith, hope, courage, and joy. …. No responsibility weighs too heavily. No duty is a burden. All things become possible.”

Step Five for me can happen at any time. For example,  if something comes up that I have put off due to fear or pride, I know I must do Step Five. Confess to my Heavenly Father then to my friend in recovery. This is a way for me to keep peace, joy and happiness an active part of my life .

President Monson states in The Promise of Step 6: “When you choose to follow Christ, you choose to be changed.” The Healing Through Christ Support Group program has and continues to help me make those changes!

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