Print
Do the LDS 12 step meetings work?
By ETTE
2/28/2012 11:28:04 AM
I’ve actively participated in a sexaholics anonymous group for over three years now. I have not had the best sobriety during this time, but I think I’m finally on the right path, since this is the first time I’ve had well over 100 days of sobriety, and I’m currently on day 154.

Last week I was having one of the hardest days that I can remember in terms of temptations and urges, so I did something I have not done in a long time, I went to an LDS PASG meeting.

The experience was shocking and sad to say the least. The overall message was “Jesus loves you, you don’t have to deal with the shame alone, and it doesn’t matter whether or not you have sobriety.” I understand that we need to be compassionate towards those who are still suffering in the midst of their addictions, but I personally don’t think going to a “feel good” meeting is going to help anybody recover.

There was no accountability at this meeting, you could share your length of sobriety and whether or not you worked the steps, but only one out of five people actually did this. It appeared that there were only three people out of fifty who had over three months of sobriety.

I guess this just sort of made me sick. I understand that the Lord loves us, but I also believe that He expects us to obey Him. The original twelve step meetings for alcoholics had well over a fifty percent success rate, meaning that more than half of the people who participated in these meetings obtained over a year of sobriety. The LDS meeting I went to only had one person with over a year of sobriety (the facilitator), which means that the meeting had somewhere around a two percent success rate. I know I’m not perfect, and I don’t have a year yet, but I’m working on it. The reason I’m bringing this up is because my sexaholics anonymous group has about five people with over a year of sobriety at every meeting, and there are usually only about twenty five people at the meetings to begin with.

I don’t understand how the LDS meetings are helpful. If only two percent of the people who attend them are having success, wouldn’t that indicate a fundamental problem? The worst part is that I attended the same LDS meeting two years ago on a regular basis, and I didn’t see a single person that had gone there two years ago - my sexaholics anonymous group has also changed a bit over over the years, but there are about ten people who have been there each week for more than five years - this means that the LDS success rate might be way lower than two percent since the group probably filters through hundreds of people each year and only one of them has over a year of sobriety. The white book says something along the lines of “we can’t transmit something we don’t have.” This means that a group of people with basically no sobriety probably aren’t going to help each other get sober.

I’ve heard there are other LDS groups that are much better, but I haven’t found them. Has anybody had similar experiences/disappointments with the LDS groups? Does anybody have any thoughts on why some twelve step groups seem to work so much better than others?

Comments:

I agree    
"I didnt like psag either.

1. Too long. lasted 2+ hours. psag missionary spoke, then step work, then they go around in turn and everyoneintroduces, then EVERYONE goes around in turn and shares, then closing minutes. whew. like conference.

2. no sponsors or accountability . ITs not set up for that really. there are some informal groups but its not geared towards sponsorship and advice. I guess that is reserved for priesthood interviews?

3. very few people with long term sobriety who are there to look up to and get advice on what works.

IMHO, the issue is that in the church, members feel like they have conquered the beast if they can get 6 months or 12 months of sobriety. they are fixed and can stop going. I think sometimes my bishop is of the same mindset because he will ask so are you almost fixed? huh? the only ones left to attend are those who are new or cant get long term sobriety.

I think part of the issue as well is that we as members feel that its part of the repentence proces and when we get some long term sobriety, we are fixed and the sin will be forgotten, white as driven snow, yadda yadda, so why keep going?Im free!

oh. Plus active members are always super busy. :-)

I think the PSAG program is new and over time, they will get it right, the stake presidencies will encourage or "call" people with long term sobriety to stay and provide role models.


my 2 cents. "
posted at 15:03:27 on February 28, 2012 by hurtallover
LDSAR doesn't "work"    
"What does the question mean: do meetings "work"?

Group meetings don't solve the problem, right? SA doesn't bestow sobriety on those who attend. Meetings are simply part of "your complete breakfast." Christ and his atonement fix us, not meetings. Group meetings teach us, give us comfort and strength, show us we are not alone, help us feel the spirit when we are so far from it, and give us confidence that we can do it, too. Is there more? Meetings don't "work," they can only contribute to success. And the type of meeting each individual needs for success--for true repentance--may vary.

I like what Hurtallover said. The implied suggestion is that there may be a higher "success rate" at LDSAR meetings, but those who have been clean for a year or more don't go any more. They are too busy. Is it possible to become sober and stay sober without meetings? Once you start, must you attend for the rest of your life? How do you define success rate?

Finally, I have already indicated that no meeting "works." Additionally, I believe LDSAR is weak because it is not priesthood driven. The doctrines being taught are fine, but the meetings don't seem to fit very well under the organization and authority of the church. What is the scriptural basis for the meetings?

I am certainly not saying that the meetings don't help or that they don't have a place in the Church. I think they do, but I think where Ette feels that "accountability" is missing, what is really missing is Priesthood authority. I think the Church is torn right now--a part wants to lean towards "group meetings," but the Church has been organized for personal priesthood interviews. The two are not yet working well together.

Those are just my quick thoughts. I'm not certain what I wrote makes sense, but I don't have time to read and edit--gotta run."
posted at 16:01:03 on February 28, 2012 by beclean
yes..    
"I agree that the Church is torn between personal priesthood interviews and "group driven" accountability. A priesthood interview is a worthiness accountability but not the same things as daily accountability. It would be onerous on bishops to do this level of accountability. Priesthood leaders are not usually addiction specialists. They are directed to use professional counseling services when it makes sense. Addiction is one of those things. A bird might as well be explaining to a bear what it feels like to fly.

I beleive the priesthood leaders are generally getting good advice. :-) professionally and heavenly. PSAG meetings are popping up all over the place now. They have come out with a new manual that is great. the church is moving at light speed comparatively speaking.

for me personally, I will probably try the PSAG meetings again in a few months. I will use whatever program works best for my recovery -- PSAG or SAA/ SA."
posted at 17:15:35 on February 28, 2012 by hurtallover
My 2 cents worth - If you are lucky    
"My short answer is yes.

Just a little background: I have been attending LDS ARP meetings since Sept. 2000, LDS PASG meetings since Mar. 2002, I attended a few SA meetings early in my recovery and then regularly attended one for a year or two a few years ago and then just a little while ago started attending a new one regularly, I have also attended an open AA meeting for about 5 years and visited a number of others even though I have never drank alcohol.

Ette, I really don’t want to come across as argumentative. I think I have in the past and I am sorry for that. I am wondering what it was that made you feel that they didn’t care about sobriety; particularly if they made it obvious that only three out of fifty had more than three months of sobriety. I am wondering if it is the lack of a few things I have seen only in SA like a roll that asks for sobriety date and my current SA meeting asks us to list our length of sobriety along with a number of other things in our initial introduction. They also ask that the first few people to share have more than thirty days of sobriety. I haven’t seen that even in AA just SA. I really hope that they care about sobriety at your meeting. I agree that it is an important ingredient in real recovery and the lack of long term sobriety has been my main frustration with my own recovery.

LDS meetings are just different, than AA or SA, probably some of it good and some not so good. I personally wished that they would put more emphasis on sponsors. One reason I attend SA is for finding sponsors. I think the reason for differences is the background of each. The LDS general meetings (I’ll refer to as ARP) have a little more AA feel than the PASG meetings I think because you have a number of people who attend both ARP and AA or NA. With the PASG mtgs. most of the people have no experience in traditional 12 mtgs, so many of the mtg format type traditions aren’t there. I think the LDS program in general has grown out of AA much more than SA.

The LDS program in general and PASG meetings specifically do work in my opinion. Maybe in part because the majority of the PASG participants are active members with busier family and church schedules many don’t plan on attending forever. Once they get sober they move on. I have a number of PASG friends who I feel have recovered who no longer attend. I am the only one who still attends the main PASG meeting I have attended since 2002. Fortunately I have kept in touch with a couple of friends, others I have run into or they have come back to visit or even to let us know that they are doing well. Others I feel were in a really good place when they quit coming. I do know men with years of sobriety.

I have a good friend that had attended SA for a long time and then started attending the same PASG meeting I do. He felt there was some things missing from our meeting and had some really strong feelings about them. We talked about them a lot when he first started coming. He talked to the missionary about some of them, emphasized others in his sharing and then just started doing some things on his own. We now actually pass the roll twice so people can get phone numbers, and there are quite a few who call or text during the week. He was the main one responsible for that happening. Our meeting also has more of a “meeting after the meeting” than many of the other PASG mtgs that I have gone to, but I think that is because there are a number of us that try to catch and talk to newcomers right after the meeting. A number of us do talk about having sponsors and I think we probably have more people with sponsors because of that.

I would encourage you to keep going and improve the meeting. That is probably the best way to improve the Church’s meetings. There maybe wouldn’t even be PASG meetings yet if a facilitator in the ARP program hadn’t promoted it. He gathered names of porn addicts at the meetings that said they would attend a specific meeting if they had one and took the numbers to the local mission leader. He told him how many there were that would attend and they decided to try it. It went through a pilot phase and eventually became official. Even the women’s meetings for spouses that usually coincide with the PASG meetings came about because the men attending asked for it.

I think the different meetings each have something to add to my recovery and that is why I attend them all. The biggest hold up in my recovery is me.

I think the other thing about sexual addiction is that it can take a long time for recovery. I know a man with over 11 years of sobriety, but he attended his first 12 Step meeting in 1972 and another with over 10 years of sobriety who has been attending for 18 years. Both of these I met in SA, but if their only experience was in the PASG meetings only one of them would be sober now because the program hasn’t been around that long.

Congratulations on the 154 days! That is great!"
posted at 17:20:07 on February 28, 2012 by justjohn
could not do it without lds arp    
"Do what works for you.
Any meeting or group success is a function of individual attitude and work"
posted at 21:02:57 on February 28, 2012 by ruggaexpat
acronyms    
"I wonder if I have access to all these different kinds of meetings. I'm not even sure i understand what all the acronyms mean."
posted at 21:30:42 on February 28, 2012 by beclean
Great thoughts, Guys!    
"Hurtallover, I agree that the meetings do seem a little long. It seemed like a lot of time was spent listening to people give speeches which did not directly apply to us. I also found it frustrating that when we split into groups for sharing, each group had about seventeen people in it, so sharing took a very long time. I'm more used to sharing groups only having five or six people in them.

Beclean, you made a couple very interesting points. I agree that meetings are not enough to solve the problem, but on the other hand, it was only through attending meetings that I was able to learn about the tools and resources I have to use to recover. I guess my main complaint is that the LDS meeting did not seem to push recovery and sobriety.

I also had a thought about the atonement and the priesthood. The atonement heals us and helps us become better people, but I have to wonder if the atonement and the priesthood are enough to solve this problem in the conventional way we think about them. I believe that the twelve steps have a lot of the doctrines of repentance and atonement inherently inside them. From realization, to confession, to repentance, to restitution, to abandoning the sin, it's all right there in the steps. From this point of view the difference between a good meeting and a not good meeting would be whether or not the meeting will help you apply the atonement in your life.

I hope you're right about the people who get sober and stop going. I would have believed this was the case if half of the people there had more than a month or two of sobriety, but it was obvious from the sharing that most people there did not have any sobriety at all.

I also think it's interesting that you mention the lack of priesthood involvement. I've never thought of that before. As for the scriptural basis for the meetings, the LDS recovery book is packed full of scriptures, you just have to look for them. I also know that the scriptures talk about the saints gathering together often and praying and reading the scriptures, so maybe that justifies meetings."
posted at 10:25:30 on February 29, 2012 by ETTE
JUSTJOHN,    
"I know you have a lot of experience in recovery, and I was really glad that you responded. It sounds like your PASG meetings are a lot better than the ones I go to.

I got the feeling that the PASG meeting I visited did not put a lot of emphasis on recovery and sobriety because of the facilitator's speech and the things that were said during sharing. I also noticed that there was no roll asking for sobriety date, but I have never seen that. I've been to another LDS meeting where there seemed to be a much higher ratio of recovering people, and everyone with over a year of sobriety was given an opportunity to share in front of the whole group before we split into smaller sharing groups.

I guess what has me so concerned about all this is some of the comments I've heard from addicts lately. A lot of people seem to think that there are no success stories, and the true addicts who really do succeed just seem to disappear. I also heard during sharing that all we can do is rely on the Lord to forgive us each time we mess up because we will probably always give into the addiction for the rest of our lives.

In my opinion, those thoughts are not of God. I don't believe the Lord wants us to be tied down to this addiction forever. I've been in this addiction for more than ten years, so it doesn't surprise me that it's taking me several years to finally find a way out. I believe that the Lord inspired the authors of the Alcoholics Anonymous big book, and that he also inspired the authors of the white book. I heard that originally, they wanted to call the big book "A Way Out". I wish they had because I think that's more appropriate (supposedly they didn't call it that because there are tons of books with similar titles).

I just get upset when I hear people talk about being crushed by the addiction and never being able to gain sobriety. I think sobriety should be our top priority. It should supersede everything else in our lives because without sobriety, everything else in our lives is tainted by our addiction.

I don't know how long it will take me before I get it right and stay sober forever, but I know I can get it right today. That's the real beauty of the program. As for whether or not I stick in the program after I have years of sobriety, I think I will. I may not make it a religious weekly ordeal, but I never want to forget where I came from and where I will be again if I start lusting. So I might go to a meeting at least twice a month once I have five or more years of sobriety.

I hope nothing I said about sobriety offends you. I know you're still struggling with putting together a long period of sobriety, but I am struggling with this as well. In fact, my addiction got even worse for a while after I started recovery before it started getting better. I hope you and I will both be able to find lasting sobriety as we work the program and do what we should."
posted at 10:45:34 on February 29, 2012 by ETTE
The acronyms that I used    
"ARP – “Addiction Recovery Program” I was referring to the LDS Addiction Recovery Program general addiction meetings. They include any addiction imaginable. These are the majority of the meetings on the LDS ARP schedules that can be found at ldsfamilyservices.org…click on “Addiction Recovery Program”…click on “addiction recovery support groups”…then find the schedule that covers your area, which can be kind of tough sometimes.

PASG – “Pornography Addiction Support Groups” I used it to refer to the LDS ARP meetings that focus specifically on sexual addictions. They can be found on the ARP schedules, but they aren’t always referred to as PASG meetings. That acronym was developed by one of the missionaries when it was in the pilot phase, but I don’t think it ever became official. All the schedules will designate in some way that they are pornography specific meetings.

AA – “Alcoholics Anonymous” The patriarch of 12 Step programs. On the schedules I have seen they will specify if they are “closed meetings” – for alcoholics only. The open meetings are the ones that I have attended and I just introduce myself as an addict usually. I live in Utah so I find meetings at utahaa.org, but you can also go to aa.org and they have a “How to find A.A. meetings” link on the main page.

SA – “Sexaholics Anonymous” They have a “Meeting Search” on the main page at sa.org. I don’t know if it is just Utah that is this way, but the first time I attended I had to go to a first timers meeting, and then they would give you a schedule to other meetings. The current meeting I attend I found out about by word of mouth. The previous one was actually an “SA for LDS” meeting. There are a few of them in Utah. They are part of the SA organization and function pretty much the same, but they are mostly LDS people and they don’t mind if you quote from or refer to LDS things.

SAA – “Sex Addicts Anonymous” I have never been to their meetings. Their site is saa-recovery.org. I think someone said that they aren’t as strict on what constitutes sobriety. I don’t think they consider masturbation as wrong, but don’t quote me on that.

NA – “Narcotics Anonymous” I have only been to their site na.org for literature. I don’t know if they have open and closed meetings like AA.

My one thought on trying meetings with a new org is to try a few of them before deciding. I’ve gone to a lot of AA meetings with an alcoholic friend and one of them was fairly hostile towards religion. At another one everyone was mentioning how this was the best group around, but after the meeting nobody said anything to either my friend or I. Others I would recommend to anyone. Even the LDS meetings each have their own personalities. Some will welcome you with open arms (multiple people introducing themselves to you and being willing to talk) and others vaporize as soon as the closing prayer is said. If someone hadn’t caught me after my first mtg there may have never been a second.

Working the steps is the most important thing. I met a missionary last week who has been clean from sexual addiction for a few decades and he did it with his bishop. He said the bishop worked him through the same steps found in the recovery manual. I don’t know if the bishop had experience with AA or if he just ended up hitting all the same things.

Wishing you good recovery wherever you find help,
John"
posted at 11:34:39 on February 29, 2012 by justjohn
Amen Ette Amen    
"I agree. The bottom line is the Atonement works. Since that is true sobriety should arrive at some point if we keep working. I have seen huge improvements even without the long term sobriety I seek, i.e. longer gaps and shallower relapses etc. I just look at the 12 Steps as a more powerful way to apply the Atonement. It works when the more basic process may fail. “Repentance for Dummies”"
posted at 11:43:33 on February 29, 2012 by justjohn
from a long timmer in the PASG program    
"I have been in the pasg program since its inception, here in las vegas first as a participant, and then as a missionary for the last 7 years with the program. Here are my insights. Not all pasg are the same, a 2% success rate in one group is a far cry from the program average. I have witnessed the lives of hundreds of men in the pasg program. I have also been to SA and other groups as well. Many pasg groups are not ran right, until the program is under the direct direction of the Priesthood it is a work in progress. As it is now LDS family services is in the drivers seat. What I can say about the program is that it is the only program with the Prophets seal of approval on it. It is the only program that teaches the full meaning and utilization of the Atonement. If the program is run right, there is accountability, and sobriety and healing is the goal. Sponsors or what the church calls support people is highly encouraged but is not always followed thru. We have a support list that goes around the room every week and it is used to much success. The church has the official document on the combating pornography web site where is tells what to look for in a support person.
I have seen many miracles over the years, especially the miracle in my life. We have many in our group with years of sobriety that still come . I am not saying that pasg is the only one to go too. I think that the pasg is the best first place to go, if you do not like the one you go to, find another, trust me, there are no 2 groups alike. If there is not a pasg group, then find an arp group, although I am not fond of sex addicts going there, there is a reason we have our own venue. If I cannot get what I needed from one group I would go to other groups as well, I have found great stuff with the sa fellowship as well, but my experience was that the Spirit was not as strong, the language was more harsh and that it was not under the direction of the priesthood. I love my PASG group I can share about the book of Mormon. and talk about what the general authorities have said. FYI the Church has just now changed the official name of the pasg program to parg Pornography Addiction, RECOVERY Groups. "
posted at 15:52:58 on February 29, 2012 by harveyf
interesting points.. My question is..    
"Several people have mentioned putting the PSAG under the priesthood rather than family services. What would this change? Would this mean that someone would get a calling to run the program rather than missionaries? Isnt family services run under the direction of the presiding bishopric? Just curious what that changes.

My next 2 cents. other have already hit on it -- each group has its own personality. I currently do SAA - there is no SA in my city. I like certain groups and other groups have courser language. As part of my 12 step - when I get there, i have been planning on attending PSAG to offer my experiences to the program.

-h"
posted at 09:41:17 on March 1, 2012 by Hurtallover
misc    
"A couple of things:

HarveyF,
Thanks for the reference regarding a “Support Person” off the church’s web site. I am guessing it is the one I found from “combating pornography”…”individuals”…”who can I turn to for support?” (Let me know if there is something somewhere else. I had heard that the Vegas area really promoted “Sponsorship” and it was probably you that I heard about it. This is the first official thing I have found. I think sponsorship under whatever name and they find acceptable and making contacts should be part of the mission statement that they read at the first of every meeting. That is the only way that it will really spread throughout the whole program I think. If things just filter down the chain of command it gets treated with different levels of enthusiasm based on the feelings of the individuals passing it on or implementing it. I’ve been through a few local mission leaders and at one point we had some that didn’t think facilitators were that crucial. I think at the time they personally only conducted jail meetings and their comment when we brought up meetings that didn’t have facilitators was, “That’s OK, we don’t have facilitators at the jail.” One last question the support list that you pass around, is it a precompiled list of people willing to be “support people” or is it a list of anyone willing to be called? Give me some details.

Also regarding the priesthood leadership question: I am guessing what is being referred to is putting the program directly under the control of the local priesthood. Missionaries are currently set apart for the calling by their bishops. The fall under the broad category of church service missionaries and I wouldn’t think that that would change whether it is local priesthood or Family services. ARP is soon to have their own site rather than just a couple of pages under provident living. The head of the ARP program said they are hoping for this to be up this summer. Maybe that is an indication of a switch maybe not. The fact is and I believe it has been mentioned that recovery program has the prophet’s seal of approval and is currently under the high level guidance of the presiding bishopric. I know early on the pornography portion of the program was specifically presented to the first presidency, presiding bishopric, relief society presidency and all of the quorum of the twelve that were in town at the time. They said at that time the 12 Step program was the way they wanted to go. The ARP has even been mentioned at least once in general conference “O That Cunning Plan of the Evil One” M. Russell Ballard Oct. 2010. I think the leaders of the church are definitely behind it.

I think daily and weekly accountability through meetings and worthiness accountability with the priesthood are compatible. We can account to both and particularly if our bishop isn’t meeting with us often we can just go see him when we need to give a progress report."
posted at 15:18:59 on March 1, 2012 by justjohn
a call to arms - at least for me    
"Thanks Ette for starting this conversation.

I feel that we as addicts have a certain responsibility to make the church’s program better. It has great potential. I haven’t found anywhere else that I can talk so openly about my higher power my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This program fully incorporates the Atonement and uses the detail of the 12 Steps to make it work. I believe both the basic recovery and family support manuals are inspired. The fact that it is under divine direction at some level is very powerful. We should bring all that is great from other 12 Step programs into ARP and promote it from the bottom up. The fact is that however it is organized in the church there will probably always be administrators who will have no experience in 12 Step recovery. The Priesthood understands the problem, but even getting them to gain testimonies of the power of the program as a solution is a one at a time thing. Fortunately some of them are getting there and the more word they get about it from the top the better it will be. We had a new bishop show up a while ago. He was there on assignment from his stake pres. He told him that if he went to a meeting he would learn more about the Atonement in one night than he could teach him in a month! Can I get an amen? Either way there will often be new missionaries that need to be broke in etc.

We are the best the Lord has in this fight! We are members of the church who understand the gospel as well as this problem and are finding recovery. We have experience. We should incorporate things into our sharing that we feel should be a part of the process. This can include a lot of things; announcing our days of sobriety, talking about our sponsor, quoting from the Big Book or the White Book or wherever we are finding help. If there are meeting format things that we would like to see, we can suggest it to the missionaries after developing a good relationship with them. We should get involved as facilitators and missionaries. That will give us more opportunity to make a difference. Service in the program is part the 12 Step tradition anyway.

It has worked and it will work. The pornography meetings got started because of a facilitator. I’ll bet the “support person” emphasis in Vegas got started by a participant. We pass the roll twice at the PASG meeting I attend so that people can get phone numbers and that was suggested by an addict. My friend who felt there were things missing started texting and calling people and now there are a lot of texts and phone calls flying around each week. He also mentions his days of sobriety almost, if not every time he shares. I think this has helped a lot of others to do the same. We applaud whenever someone mentions their length of sobriety. Also every time they read, “whom you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here let it stay here.” We respond with, “Here, here!” I wasn’t there the week they started it, but I am willing to bet that it was my friend who did that as well. When they started to work on the recovery manual there was a debate over whether it should be 12 Step based or if the church should come up with their own program and it was pointed out that existing 12 Step programs had way more success than any other method. I’ll bet it was the recovering addicts on the committee that were pushing for the 12 Steps. I can’t imagine that it was the therapists. Lets each of us do what we can in our areas to make it what it has the potential to be. What I am sure to Lord wants it to be: the most powerful 12 Step program in the world and the strongest repentance tool in the church.

This has got my juices going. I am going to take on the challenge of getting sponsorship and making contacts outside the meetings to be universal parts of the program. I don’t think the “support person” information should be hid under the combating pornography site as far as it is. It should be front page on the ARP web site. I was excited to note that support person was number 2 on the list of where to get support, only following attending meetings. I never thought I would see it ahead of ecclesiastical support. Number 2 on a list of 5 isn’t bad.

HarveyF,
Could you email me at justjohnh@gmail.com? I would like to make some comparisons between the program in Vegas and the Davis and Salt Lake county Utah areas. I am curious what is coming down from the top and what is local to one area or another. If anyone else would like to get in on the discussion please do."
posted at 16:20:22 on March 1, 2012 by justjohn
help the church's program!!    
"I am on board with just john about supporting the program from below. The church is new at this 12 step process. they are trying to make the program uniform in all areas, but that is a big order to fill. I can only speak about the area I am in, here there is no support of any kind from ldsfs, In the 6 years I have never recieved a referral from them. 99.9% come from church leaders and participants from the program. Perhaps LDS family services think we are taking food out of their mouth. Here we encourage all our participants with 6 month of sobriety to become a facilitator and work on becoming a missionary within the next 6 months. A missionary called to serve in a regular group is ok, as long as you have a recoveing addict for a facilitator. In the sexual groups we really prefer recoveing addicts as the missionaries. It shows that recovery is possiable, and that an addict can be, like me, a person who has NOT been cured, but has been strenthened to withstand, I do not know if I will ever be cured, but my disease can be put into remission, and I can work as a missionary and be an example that you can live with this addiction

A spouse of a porn addict did start the family support here in Vegas. , a year or two later we found the Handys and got on board with them, and joined the pilot program.

I would love to know how to implement support people better into our groups. We have a group email that goes out every day with a spiritual thought and this email list is also our contact list and notifications of group evernts. We go out to dinner every other week, and lunch once a month and have other activities.

before the church came out with the guide to addiction and recovery we used He did Deliver me from bondage for the arp groups and clean hands pure heart for the pasg groups. The guide is great but not addiction specific, in our group we follow the Directive and only use the guide during the meetings, but we make clean hands available to any to use between meetings. We are now trying to encourage our participants to go to more than just our one meeting, to help grow the other meetings and the more meetings the more help is available. We also encourage to use sa and theripists or whatever is needed to acheive success. We try not to promote pay programs such as lifestar, Candio, Dr Weiss ect. These pay programs are all great, but in the meeting itself we read only the guide and any sharing from sa whitebook, or scriptures mush be done during the short sharing time of the individual, no preaching, or giving adivice, after a quote from whereever, the person then shares how that has touched his life. In our instructions for sharing we say " share in the I form and not the you form" it is hard to preach if the word "you" is not allowed. I am passionate about he churchs program and I would love to see it improved, and strenghened. I will send you an email, just john, I would love to know hoe other areas work. We had a national conference in 'Salt lake about 4 years ago or so, I learned so much from others. I don't think they liked the idea of all us getting together and the very next year they started the yearly conference by satalite."
posted at 18:50:41 on March 1, 2012 by harveyf
My experience    
"I went to my 2nd meeting the other night and when it was my turn I asked if someone would talk to me about step 4. I went on to talk about how this is difficult for me, and after the meeting hung around until the end and not one of the 18 men there even said anything to me. Needless to say I was pretty dissapointed. I will continue to go and hopefully be able to help others when they need it."
posted at 11:20:48 on March 2, 2012 by ether 12:27
Ether,    
"I'm sorry that happened. I had similar experiences when I first started in recovery. I think this illustrates why alcoholics anonymous meetings can be a lot friendlier than sexaholic meetings.

The alcoholic is used to hanging out with his drinking buddies. He doesn't necessarily feel as ashamed of his addiction as the sexaholic does, and alcoholics are often much more friendly and social than sexaholics.

Sexaholics generally hide their addictions from everyone and keep it to themselves. I think it's quite common for sexaholics to be introverts. The white book talks about this at length, whereas I'm not sure it's mentioned in the family services book.

I think reaching out to others and socializing with other recovering addicts is just as important, if not more important for the recovering sexaholic as it is for the recovering alcoholic. Sexaholics have to grow up from their addiction by coming out and making connections with other people. The group is a great place for this to start.

I think you bring up a really good point. At my SA meeting, we recently decided that the old-timers who teach the special meeting for first-timers have to offer themselves as temporary sponsors and call the new-timers at least once during the following week after the meeting. I wish the LDS groups would do something similar."
posted at 12:08:35 on March 2, 2012 by ETTE
my perspective    
"Hello,

I Wanted to share my experience, because in europe there is no LDS PSAG or anything so I had to find another group and I think it is better like that, I have my priesthood leader regarding the repentence side and the 12 steps regarding my recovery addictive side, but at the end, it is not about stopping a specific behavior, it is about changes, from the body, mind and spirit and only christ can do that and at the end recovery it is about action"
posted at 01:23:50 on March 3, 2012 by mike81
ARP Under direction of LDSFS or priesthood?    
"The biggest difference is that the church leaders would embrace the program without reservation. Half of the time we spend spreading the program is spent convincing the leaders that we are real. We should be preaching to the choir, but we meet resistance. Here in Vegas we have 66 missionaries and about that many facilitators, we have 27 weekly meetings. Only 50% of the stakes are participating in the program providing meetings or missionaries. We have to legitimize ourselves. Sometimes I think they think the nametags are fake.
Until the program is ran from above and the directives come from above (not God) I mean from the Priesthood leadership, we will have to fight for support. It is getting easier now that Ensign articles and General Authorities have talked about the program. Perhaps some Bishops and SPs consider LDS family services as a black sheep step child, wanting to take time and effort from them. If they knew about the program they would be hunting us down begging for help to deal with their members, with so many who are suffering. The church put the addiction support and family support under the direction of family services to direct the program, this experiment has passed with flying colors and should be in every stake in the church, in by biased opinion.

a question was asked how we (here where I live) go about getting our contact list put together and utilized. Each week we pass out a roll and we ask for an email so that they can be put on our daily spiritual email list. Every day a recovery scripture or thought or utube video is given. We also use that daily email to promote activities outside the group , we have taco tuesdays, bike rides, lunches, and other activities to bring our cast of hermits together so that we can get to know each other so that each one of us would feel good about calling in time of a crisis.

We use a code when we call: we ask for brother john or brother harvey. That way we know what the call is about and who it is from. One if the emails of the day is a monthly call for support people, a list of people to call. They must be willing to also be on the list to be called as well. Support is nice from someone who is ahead of you in the program but support can be found by calling someone is at the same place as you are in recovery, both can help each other. This support list is also a great place to find a sponser or permanent support person, but in the mean time this is a dating service so to speak to try other people out, for support. I will paste and copy the exact email we use once a month


Dear Brothers:



Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
James 5:16

Our program calls for us addicts to have support people. If all the challenges and temptations we face during the week could just be experienced during the hour and a half we're together we would sort out those issues together then. Wouldn't that be great! It's just not so, is it.

It's guaranteed that our greatest trials are going to occur during all the time we're away from group. The enemy will ensure that to be the case.

Bellow is the current sponsor list. Please consider it a life-line, use it anytime that you need someone to walk with you through a difficult time.

He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.
Proverbs 28:13


Recovery is not a DIY process, and we will likely fail when we attempt to recover alone. We practiced our addiction in secret, so attempting to get past it in isolation without asking for help, without an accountability partner will continue to keep most of us trapped. Please prayerfully consider partnering with someone from group and checking in with them daily.


Your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are actually the roots of your addictive behaviors. Unless you examine all your tendencies toward fear, pride, resentment, anger, self-will, and self-pity, your abstinence will be shaky at best. You will continue with your original addiction or switch to another one. Your addiction is a symptom of other “causes and conditions”
P.21, Step 4, ARP manual

We pray for you and think of you more than you might know.

Love
Brother Harvey"
posted at 11:30:33 on March 3, 2012 by harveyf


Add a Comment:


***Anonymous User***     (login above to post UN-anonymously)








help
join
"One of the great myths in life is when men think they are invincible. Too many think that they are men of steel, strong enough to withstand any temptation."

— James E. Faust

General Conference, April 2002