The Twelve Steps as Reflected in the Gospel of Jesus Christ
In 1989, Colleen Harrison wrote to Alcoholics Anonymous and obtained permission to use a version of the Twelve Steps that she had written for use in Heart t’ Heart, an LDS-oriented 12 Step support group she founded in 1991. The reworded steps are based on language from the Book of Mormon to illustrate the correlation between the Twelve Steps and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The first version below (in bold type) is almost identical with AA’s original wording. The italicized version of each step is the “Scriptural Version.”
LDS Family Services uses an adaptation of these same steps in their Addiction Recovery Program.
1. We admitted we were powerless over compulsive/addictive behaviors*—that our lives had become unmanageable. Admitted that we of ourselves are powerless, nothing without God. (Mosiah 4:5; Alma 26:12)
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Came to believe that God has all power and all wisdom, and that in His strength we can do all things. (Mosiah 4:9; Alma 26:12)
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Made the decision to reconcile ourselves to the will of God, offer our whole souls as an offering unto Him, and trust Him in all things forever. (2 Nephi 10:24; Omni 1:26; Mosiah 3:19, 2 Nephi 4:34)
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Made a searching and fearless written inventory of our past in order to thoroughly examine ourselves as to our pride and other weaknesses, with the intent of recognizing our own carnal state and our need for Christ’s Atonement. (Alma 15:17; Mosiah 4:2; Jacob 4:6-7; Ether 12:27)
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Honestly shared this inventory with God and with another person thus demonstrating the sincerity of our repentance, and our willingness to give away all our sins that we might know Him. (Mosiah 26:29; Alma 22:18)
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. Became humble enough to yield our hearts and our lives to Christ for His sanctification and purification, relying wholly upon His merits, acknowledging even our own best efforts as unprofitable. (Helaman 3:35, 2 Nephi 31:19; Mosiah 2:20-21)
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. Humbly cried unto the Lord Jesus Christ, in our hearts, for a remission of sins, that through His mercy and His grace we might experience a mighty change of heart, lose all disposition to do evil and thus be encircled about in the arms of safety because of His great and last sacrifice. (Alma 36:18; Alma 38:8; Moroni 10:32; Mosiah 5:2; Alma 34:15-16)
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make restitution to all of them (even those we had harmed in what we might have considered righteous anger) desiring instead to be peacemakers, and to do all that we could to come unto God by being first reconciled to our brothers. (3 Nephi 12:9; 3 Nephi 12:24; 3 Nephi 12:44-45)
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Made restitution directly to those we had harmed, confessing our own wrong doing in each instance, except when to do so would further injure them or others. (Mosiah 27:35; 3 Nephi 12:25; Mosiah 26:30)
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Realizing that the weakness to be tempted and to sin is a part of the mortal experience, we continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong promptly admitted it, being willing to repent as often as needed. (2 Nephi 4:18; 2 Nephi 10:20; Mosiah 26:30)
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, seeking the words of Christ through the power of the Holy Ghost, that they might tell us all things that we should do, praying only for a knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. (2 Nephi 32:3; Alma 37:37; Helaman 10:4)
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others still suffering from the effects of compulsive behaviors and to practice these principles in all our affairs. Having experienced a mighty change and having awakened unto God as a result of our sincere repentance demonstrated in taking these steps, we were willing to become instruments in carrying this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs. (Alma 5:7; Mosiah 27:36-37; Moroni 7:3)
* Any problem may be inserted here in place of “compulsive/addictive behaviors.”
Permission to use the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous for adaptation granted by A. A. World Services, Inc. Use of the 12 Steps does not imply affiliation with Alcoholics Anonymous.
Excerpted from the pamphlet, “The Twelve Steps of Heart t’ Heart.” Used with permission from Heart t’ Heart.