For Church Leaders

“Priesthood leaders can help as those with addictions seek counsel from them. Where necessary, they can refer them to qualified licensed counselors and LDS Family Services. The addiction recovery program, adapted from the original 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, is readily available through LDS Family Services” (M. Russell Ballard, ​“O That Cunning Plan of the Evil One,” October 2010 general conference).

Addiction recovery is often a slow process. As a Church leader, show confidence in the individual and be understanding if the individual experiences setbacks. Those who struggle with addictions may feel unworthy and discouraged, which may lead them to stop attending church. An immediate visit giving encouragement and support can help the person succeed. Instill hope and encouragement, especially when the member struggles (see Preach My Gospel, 188-89).

You can also contact your local LDS Family Services office (where available) for a free consultation on how to help those you shepherd.

The Program Guide

Church leaders can use A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing when working with members who struggle with addiction. Discuss steps and principles during visits, go through the study sections together, and make assignments from the book. The guide can provide a framework for charting progress toward recovery. The 12 steps use gospel principles to help members overcome addiction with the help of the Savior. Use the guide to help members come unto Christ. The guide is available as an MP3, a PDF, Braille or printed and bound in more than 20 languages.

Recovery Meetings

Church leaders can encourage members they counsel with to attend recovery meetings. Leaders and other members are also welcome at the meetings and can help the member feel comfortable attending a meeting.

Meetings are free and confidential and do not require a referral. In these meetings, members find mutual support and help from one another. Family members who also suffer from their loved ones’ addiction can benefit from attending support meetings. 

Search for meetings using Find a Meeting. If you would like to request a meeting in your area, please contact the local LDS Family Services office (in the United States and Canada) or contact your area welfare manager.