Finding What Was Missing

Dustin's Story

Christ taking to a man with his hand outstretched, teaching.

I had a 7 year battle with drugs, including prescription pain pills, marijuana, and methamphetamine.

In 2000 I was divorced after three and a half years of marriage and two children. I started working at a pharmacy to get through nursing school. I was lost and depressed. My addiction began as I started stealing pain pills and taking them. After I graduated from nursing school, I started working as a nurse. I worked the night shift and one night another nurse asked if I wanted to try meth. I was tired and thought one time wouldn't hurt. I was hooked from that moment. My addiction led me to make many regrettable decisions.

In 2006, my addictions and bad choices led me to be arrested. I lost my nursing license, my family and friends, and my freedom. I hadn't prayed in years, but in that jail cell I prayed like I had never prayed before. I needed help and my Heavenly Father was my only hope.

Soon after, my family started coming for visits. My father brought me scriptures and Church books to read. He also visited me every week and wrote to me all the time. He was my best friend and never gave up on me! I started to go to Church services in jail and attended every week, studying my scriptures every day. I was released after 28 months. I had made miraculous improvements in my life, thanks to my family, friends, and especially my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. But something was still missing, and I didn't know what it was.

About a week after my release, my mother told me about a talk she recently heard in Sacrament meeting about a Church-run program about addiction recovery. I found out when and where the meetings were and started to attend. I was afraid at first to open up about my story in these meetings, but the Spirit was so strong and the people in our group were such amazing examples that I felt comfortable enough to talk. As I worked through the steps in the Addiction Recovery Program guide, I realized what I was missing. I hadn't taken the proper steps to allow the Atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ to work in my life.

For the next year I attended these meetings every week. I worked through each step several times. Finally, I was able to feel the cleansing power of the Atonement.

Since then I have remarried and sealed in the temple. I own my own award-winning photography business. I am a motivational speaker on the dangers of drugs and am an avid runner. I love doing genealogy and temple work, but most of all I love spending time with my beautiful wife and three awesome children. I am so thankful for the Atonement of my Savior. I love my life!