Daily Accountability

from Duane

A woman once told me that in the 12-step group she helps with, a 63-year-old participant told her he had been sober for 8 months.

We should celebrate victories like this. But we should also be vigilant that such victories not be reversed. We have all experienced the sting of sin and the joy of repentance. I bear witness that when we repent, we are forgiven. However, should we slip and repeat our sin, Doctrine and Covenants 82:7 warns us: “And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.”

I believe this verse is telling us if we have repented and been forgiven of a sin, and then repeat the sin, it is as if we had not previously repented. Matthew 12:43-45 makes that point forcefully. Once we have been healed by Christ’s atonement, we don’t want to slip back and wound ourselves again.

No matter what our addiction or weakness, we are never far from it. If our addiction was to alcohol or overeating or compulsive shopping, every time we drive we will pass potential pit stops on the way to sin. If our addiction was to pornography or online gambling, we are never more than a few clicks away from sin and addiction and bondage. Given that we don’t want to backslide, we need to be ever vigilant of those small decisions that bring us closer to temptation to slip.


Once we have become sober, steps 10, 11, and 12, the maintenance steps in 12-step programs, help us stay clear of temptation. These become the most important steps to us to keep our hard-won freedom from bondage. Not surprisingly, these steps are similar to the standard answers to many questions asked in church meetings. Step 10 is to recognize the wrongs we have done, ask forgiveness of those whom we have wronged, and humbly participate in the Sacrament ordinance weekly to cleanse us of our sins.

Step 11 is meaningful prayer, meditation and scripture reading. Step 12 is loving service to our fellow man, including sharing the gospel. Who knew that attending Church could be such an integral part of working our recovery program?

Heavenly Father and Jesus Love Me

by Amy

As a young girl, I remember a church lesson being taught, which said that prayer is the way I could find answers to my questions, get direction for my life, and for me to feel His spirit. I was told these answers would come by way of a warm and happy feeling or by a still small voice. I tried. Nothing happened.

Sometime later, I had heard a story about a boy who habitually fell asleep at the end of the day with his music still playing. One night, he decided to turn his music off before falling asleep. As he drifted off, the spirit communicated with him. Without the interference of his music, the door of communication was opened between the boy and the spirit. I wanted an experience like that, too. My very own experience. This would surely make me happy. I tried everything, I thought, even burning my favorite music cassette tape. Still, no luck.

I wouldn’t say that I was un-happy, but being the second to the oldest of five children, all having been born in four and a half years, caused every- thing to seem like a daily rush and routine. I didn’t feel close to my parents. It was not a persona relationship for me with them.

I knew that communication from Heavenly Father comes in as many forms as there are varieties of people. I always knew that He lived. But, when I prayed, I didn’t feel the feelings of warmth and happiness that I was told I would have and I did not hear His still small voice. These feelings of disconnect with my parents and with my Heavenly Father remained with me for years. Even before I graduated high school, my logical mind thought that I should be weaned from depending on my earthly parents and my Heavenly Father. Of course, being independent of earthly parents is the goal of being an adult, I also felt Heavenly Father was showing me that I needed to learn to stand on my own, and not rely on Him. I thought this was a natural part of life, part of adulthood.

As a teenager, my new life scope was to be completely independent. Both temporally, and spiritually, I would be able to support myself. I would  eventually be the money maker in my future marriage and home. Learning to be independent would make me happy.

However, nature abhors a vacuum. When I stopped relying on Heavenly Father, I started to rely only on myself. I started making choices that I felt would make me happy at last. Then, fear came. Instead of making decisions to bring me happiness, I started basing my decisions on the fear of being unhappy. This fear caused me to make a choice that put me in a situation where I feared for my life, and I needed to stay alive. This independent time in my life was the peak of my unhappiness. Although I was glad to have survived, I was at my lowest in life that I had ever been. The very life I feared for the week before was something I no longer felt hope for or a future in. Yet, it was at this lowest point I discovered my Heavenly Father was listening to me. My Young Women’s leader, Linda, knew I needed help. She was informed by a special spirit that I needed her. She contacted me and then took me to her home for a few days because my family was away on vacation at that time. I am happy to say that I have never returned to those dreary depths again. Heavenly Father, Linda, and that special spirit had saved me!

lost-lamb-art-lds-425852-mobileAlthough sadness tries to return at times, I know that my Heavenly Father and Jesus love me. I have learned to rely on them. They know me. They love me. They are my sponsors in Healing Through Christ. I am thankful for the important tools of this gospel and program that improve each of my days and to be so much happier. Although there will always be challenges tailor made to help me to grow, I am thankful for the tools to navigate through them. I am now happy and independent through and because of Heavenly Father and Jesus.