Step One is our admission that we are powerless over our compulsive addictive behaviors and that we had come to understand that we need help in order to restore sanity to our lives. Step Two states that help is available through a higher power. Our goal in Step Two is to stop our course of self-destruction, and to turn to Heavenly Father, through our Savior Jesus Christ, as our “higher power” and source of recovery.
For many of us, there may have been an extended period of time pass since we have prayed to God and are unsure how to approach Him. Step Two will help us learn who God is and how He can assist us in recovery. We learn how our faith in Him allows us to use His strength to fight off the cravings of our compulsive behavior and receive His protection from evil. This same faith will eventually help us change our character, which will redirect our compulsiveness to wholesome desires.
There may also be concern over the extent of our grievous sins and whether or not we are worthy of any response from God. We may have even lost faith in God altogether and blame Him for the mess our lives have become. As we begin to consider working Step Two, it would be beneficial to set aside our worries and judgmental attitudes while we study God’s true nature. As we come to know God’s true nature we will eventually come to realize we need not fear Him. We will recognize His great love for us and learn that He wants only what is best for
Note that Step Two states “came to believe.” This suggests that getting to know God and developing a personal relationship with Him is a process that takes time, effort, and energy. We have seen how the lives of other people have benefited from their belief in God, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, because they have lost the desire to do evil and their behavior is under control. Since our own best efforts to control our compulsive behavior failed, the Savior’s offer to rescue us becomes more and more appealing. Developing a personal relationship with God includes prayer, scripture study, attendance at meetings and applying the 12 Step principles to our lives.
As we read the scriptures, the testimonies of the Prophets will introduce us to God and show us how He interacts with His children. As we pray, we will open communication with Heavenly Father, feel His love for us, and begin to see His hand in our progress of recovery. As we regularly attend church and support group meetings, we will learn how the process of change is managed by how others have done it. As we practice the principles taught in the 12 Steps, we will witness positive changes within ourselves and begin to find the joy that God intended for all of His children to experience.
If we have no faith in God but desire to know Him, we can start where faith begins, with HOPE.
“Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith, ye hope for things which are not seen which are true.” Alma 32:21
God cannot answer prayers that have not been uttered.
“For if there be no faith among the children of men, God can do no miracle among them; wherefore He showed not Himself until after their faith.” (Ether 12:12)
Heavenly Father is a God of patience and will wait for us to reach out to Him first, so he does not interfere with our agency (freedom of choice / freedom to choose).
Heavenly Father is there to assist us in getting through our earthly struggles. Part of this earth life is to be tempted and tried in all things. If we desire to fight the onset of our compulsive behavior but feel we have no strength, we can pray to Heavenly Father to remove the cravings we are tempted with. The Lord promises that,
“There hath no temptation taken you such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
The escape in which the Lord speaks of is our ability to pray in the name of Jesus Christ to expel the cravings which any temptation may bring. In so many ways, the Savior offers help to His children. He does not want us to fail so He continually reaches out to us in answer to our prayers. As we learn more of Him, we trust more in His power over all things. As our faith grows, we depend more on His strength to endure the many difficulties and challenges we all face throughout our lives.
As we make the effort to reacquaint ourselves with our Heavenly Father, we will, without question, come to believe that He is God, and that He loves us beyond measure. He is actively interested in our journey of recovery as He is anxiously waiting for our return.
“But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”
This is an opportunity to strengthen our belief and trust in the word of the Lord. He invites us to experiment and to measure the results. He simply asks us to believe and to see what will happen. He does not offer a major miracle to prove His existence. The response that you will receive will be the still small voice in your mind that will offer peace and hope to your mind, and feelings of love to your heart. All that He asks is that we humbly experiment upon His word.
What is it that you yearn to know? What are your personal questions for the Lord? What is the desire of your heart?
“Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold it will begin to swell within your breast;...”
[It will enlarge your soul, and enlighten your understanding.]
Alma points out that some risk is required for us to trust the experiment. It requires letting go of pride and unbelief, and surrendering to the Spirit of the Lord. What may prevent the Word of God to grow within you?
“To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet unto the way of peace.”
How would having faith in Christ personally benefit your life?
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Knowing that all of us at some time in our lives will reach the breaking point from our afflictions, the Savior offers an invitation for us to come and find rest in Him. He asks us to trade burdens with Him. He will take upon Himself the burdens we can no longer bear, if we will to take upon us His yoke, which He describes as relatively easier and lighter than ours. The Savior uses the word “yoke” to help us better understand our responsibility in the agreement. A yoke is a frame designed to fit across the shoulders for carrying heavy loads. The Savior’s yoke is our commitment to take upon us His name and always remember Him and to keep His commandments, which He has given to all His children. As we approach God through prayer in an attitude of meekness and humility, the Savior will lighten our burdens so we can find rest. What burden would you be willing to allow the Savior to carry for you?
3 Nephi 9:15
“Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all
things that in them are.”
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God:
the powers that be are ordained of God.”
“For [God] has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; He comprehendeth all things…”
If God is all that is stated above, in what way can He help you?
“…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
How will learning truth benefit you? How will knowing the truth the Lord teaches help you in your recovery?
In considering the attributes of God, Joseph Smith taught that some of the characteristics of God include:
1. He was God before the world was created and is the same God today.
2. He is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodness.
3. He does not change, neither does He vary; but He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
4. He is a God of truth and cannot lie.
5. He is not a respecter of persons. Everyone that worships Him and works righteousness is accepted by him.
6. He is love.
(See Psalms 90:2, Psalms 103:8, D&C 35:1, Enos 1:6, Acts 10:34-35, 1 John 4:8)
Write your thoughts and feelings about each attribute. How do these attributes contribute to your success in your recovery?