In 1991 I wrote a book entitled He Did Deliver Me from Bondage.* I originally wrote it with the intention (assignment from the Spirit of the Lord) to demonstrate how the principles in the Twelve Steps could be used to bring a person, one step at a time, down into the depths of humility and heart-cleansing repentance. How, when enhanced and empowered by the precepts of the Book of Mormon, these concepts could prepare us to “come unto Christ” and experience the mighty change of heart and remission of sins that only the He can bring to each of us.
I wanted to share how the Lord led me to this correlation with the Book of Mormon and opened its potential to get me closer to God than any other book in the world, just as Joseph Smith had stated it would in the book’s Introduction. This daily personal study found its way into my heart and converted me from being only a member of His Church to having a sure witness of the Savior’s grace and goodness. I felt like the Samaritan woman who met the Savior at the well and went running home to her people to exclaim, “Come, meet Him. He lives! The Messiah, the Holy One of Israel lives!”
And I must add, He invites all to come to Him and be restored to hope and peace and belovedness. I have found He who satisfies all hunger and all thirst, all craving and all loneliness. He has delivered me from the bondage of my self-destructive behaviors (addictions) and self-defeating choices by teaching me who He is and who I am to Him.
IN THE PREFACE, JUST A BIT OF MY STORY
In the preface of He Did Deliver Me from Bondage, I told just a bit of my story in an attempt to demonstrate that though I had never been addicted to alcohol, nicotine, street drugs or prescription drugs, I knew exactly what it felt like to be addicted (dependent on something to get me through my days.) In my case addiction has taken the form of relying on unhealthy kinds and/or amounts of food—particularly junk food, to comfort me and help me cope with the stress in my life.
Though I used my compulsion and addiction to unhealthy eating as an example, my intention was to write a book that would address addiction, no matter what form it might take.
The testimony that burned in my heart and called me to share my story and my correlation of the Twelve Steps and the Book of Mormon was the desire to carry this message to other LDS members who, like myself, were caught in an addictive behavior pattern and didn’t even know it! I hoped to awaken the Saints to the deadly influence of the adversary in our midst, as he entices us to overeat, overwork, overspend, and in some cases, become dependent on prescription drugs to combat the depression our over-doing has led us to.
During the many years since He Did Deliver Me from Bondage appeared in 1991 and served for over ten years as the primary study guide for the LDS Family Services Addiction Recovery program (1995-2005), I have received numerous letters, relating how these principles and practices have helped many people, regardless of what their particular challenge has been.
I will also be weaving in material that I had the privilege to collect and present on this subject at BYU Education Week in 2003 and 2004.
I pray you will find insights and inspiration in this series of blog posts .