We have come to understand that recovery is a spiritual journey. Step Eleven is a daily exercise in prayer and meditation that is necessary to continue our spiritual growth and recovery. Step Eleven keeps us in spiritual balance. Personal prayer, reading and pondering the scriptures, regular attendance at Church meetings and recovery groups, and a sincere effort to obey the commandments of God will keep us sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. It is through the Holy Spirit that we are provided not only with an understanding of God’s will, but also the ability to receive His direction in accomplishing His purposes.
“For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will-yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.” D&C 76:10
The still small voice of the Holy Ghost will comfort and guide us. Promptings or counsel from the Holy Ghost will come as thoughts and may be difficult at first to separate from our own individual thoughts. However, the language of the Holy Ghost is accompanied with a unique feeling which is described as:
“The language of peace as spoken by the Lord, embraces a sense of quiet confidence, comfort and warmth. It is gentle, calm, amiable, and sweet. It is temperate and kind. It is orderly and identified by happiness, joy, and feelings of love.”
(Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign March 1997)
According to the law of agency, God will allow us take whatever course in life we choose, regardless of the consequences our choices will bring. God wants us to use our knowledge and intelligence to meditate and problem solve in finding our own solutions and course of actions. After thoughtful meditation, we can then seek God’s confirmation of His will for us. When we approach Heavenly Father with patience and humility, the Spirit will affirm to us if the course we have chosen is correct.
“You must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; Therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong… D&C 9:8
We should not be discouraged if at first God’s direction for us is not clear. Like the steps that we have worked previously, listening to God’s direction is a process that takes patience and practice. We must continue to pray, read the scriptures, and attend meetings to be able to improve our spiritual knowledge, improve our conscious contact with God, as well as understanding His will for us.
Through practicing the discipline of spiritual living, we empower ourselves with the knowledge that we need not fear because the Lord will direct and protect those who do His will. In the process of working Step Eleven, our thoughts and desires will continue to move closer and closer to the will of God, until the time comes when we find ourselves at one with Him.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
What comfort do you take as you come unto the Lord and allow Him to provide you with direction?
“If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things–that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.”
What blessings can you expect in your life as you seek to receive knowledge and revelation
Name a few of the “mysteries” and “peaceable things” that have brought you joy:
3 Nephi 17:3
“Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.”
Has there been a time when the Spirit has indicated to you that what you are hearing (such as when someone is testifying of Christ), or what you are reading (such as during your scripture study) is true? Describe your experiences:
What are some of the things that you can do to prepare your mind to receive and understand personal revelation?
2 Nephi 28:30
“For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.”
Describe a time when you received spiritual confirmation that has prepared you for a later spiritual experience?
2 Nephi 10:24
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God..”.
As you pray to Heavenly Father to know His will for you, what is it that the Spirit is asking
you to do?
“...cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affection of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings...”
How does counseling with or praying to God keep you safe and on the straight and narrow path?
3 Nephi 13:8
“...your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him.”
What comfort do you receive when you consider that you are known to your Heavenly Father, and that He is aware of your circumstances and needs?
Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles said,
“If we become casual in our study of the scriptures, we will become casual in our prayers. We may not cease to pray, but our prayers will become more repetitive, more mechanical, lacking real intent. Our hearts cannot be drawn out to a God we do not know, and the scriptures and the words of living prophets help us know Him. As we know Him better, we love Him more.” (Ensign November 2001).
Has a casual or complacent attitude about your recovery ever brought you to the edge relapse? How did your personal relationship with God improve and draw you back into recovery as you returned to sincere study of the scriptures and honest communication, through prayer, with Heavenly Father?
2 Nephi 32:9
"But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.”
Why would it be to your advantage to pray to the Father before you start on our own course of action?