The Lord Sends His Servants
My addictions to marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, and pornography began at a very young age. I married at age 18 and soon after started using harder drugs. This did not help our relationship, and due to each other’s unfaithfulness and my addictions, we soon divorced. By the time I was thirty, I had married and divorced another woman for the same reasons and had married again.
I started breaking the law in other ways, but I didn’t feel things were so bad at the time. To prove that my actions weren’t as terrible as others thought, I went to a sheriff and told him everything I had done. I was quickly arrested and given a several year sentence in prison.
At this time, I became familiar with the Addiction Recovery Program. I worked through the principles of the program so well that I was let out of jail on probation early. Although I was clean for the first time in 25 years, I did not feel like I was ever going to rise above my shame. My wife wanted me to return to our old lifestyle, but I knew I’d either end up losing my life or spending the rest of it in jail if I went back. My wife later divorced me for turning away from our lifestyle of addiction.
I had a home teacher who regularly visited me before my arrest. Most of the time I tried to dodge his visits, but a few times he would catch me. He remained my faithful home teacher. He and two other people from the elder’s quorum were the only people who visited me while I was incarcerated. But after I got out of prison, I was too ashamed to visit with anyone from the Church.
One day, my home teacher left me a copy of a general conference talk by President Thomas S. Monson. This was not the first time he had taped something to my door, but it was the first time he wrote a note on the bottom, which said, “Rob, we miss your comments in priesthood.” This statement stuck in my head all night. In the morning on my way to work, I uttered my first sincere prayer in years.
The minute I began my prayer, I felt as if God had wrapped his arms around me. My whole body was enveloped in warmth. I had never felt so much acceptance in my life. I pulled the car over and began to cry.
Soon after this experience I contacted my bishop, whom I had never met. He gave me a blessing to help me quit smoking. From that day, I have not touched a cigarette. I was later able to become a proud temple recommend holder.
A year later I met a wonderful woman who learned about the Church and was baptized. We were sealed in the temple one year later.
Today, I am blessed beyond all expectation. I was truly the lowest of the low, but I am a living testament that the Atonement is for everyone. I am now the elder’s quorum president in my ward and a facilitator for the Addiction Recovery Program, striving to help others as the Lord and his servants have helped me.
I know it was important for me to get myself clean and set my life straight with God. As I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and let the Atonement work in my life, I have been able to look in the mirror with a joy and fulfillment I never thought I could have.