News of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Pittsburgh area, counsel from its leaders, and reflections from its members.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Moral Inventory

Last night's Addiction Recovery Program in-service training meeting included 38 participants from the Michigan and Pittsburgh PA Welfare Regions and Brother George McPhee of Boston, who helped write step 4 of the program, on making a "searching and fearless written moral inventory." Brother Kirk Lillrose took the following excellent minutes of the meeting:

Opening Prayer: Amanda Anderson
Conducting: Gordon Fletcher

Bishop Mark Scofield, Dearborn Ward – shared comments from his experiences conducting meetings over the past few weeks for someone who had been called back to work. Initially went in with attitude of wanting to help others change, but over the course of time learned that it was a program to help myself look inward, a program of change. Big concern from the start was that if I show weaknesses as a Bishop, it would make me less effective as a Bishop and members would lose confidence in me. But what I found was just the opposite; I’ve found that I am more effective in working with others. I plan to continue to attend meetings for myself personally whether or not I’m serving as bishop.

Introduction of George McPhee and discussion of Step 4 – Truth

Basic overview of the entire program and introduction of PowerPoint presentation
5 things everyone should know
• AA origins are the Bible
• Fellowship of AA is not the program that this was for
• First 11 of 12 steps actually = the 1st principles of the gospel
• Correlation Review Committee Final report on “ A Guide to Addiction Recovery & Healing”
• Benefits of local priesthood leaders
Steps 1 -3 of the program = faith in Jesus Christ
Steps 4-11 = repentance
Step 12 = service and enduring to the end

Benefits to local priesthood leaders
• Groups self-regenerate as members become group leaders and facilitators
• Groups are practical and foolproof course in methods of life long repentance
• Relieves all but the core priesthood burdens from the bishop – huge time saver
• Serves large numbers of members with a minimum investment of priesthood talent
• Constantly reinforces our need for activity in the church and reliance upon the atonement of the savior

Most important thing you can do in the program is apply the 12 steps in you own life
Example: These are the things I’ve struggle with and through the program I’ve found help with…
Worst thing you can do is say something in the directive “You” voice instead of “I.”

Tonight’s Topic: Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself
Notes: on slides
#21 in the church participants often times don’t show outward resentment but to some extent participants don’t take responsibility for their actions to some extent
Often times we don’t admit to places where we are wrong.
#22 start to get glimpses of yourself and the self-deceptions begin to fall away
Inventory:
• Resentments, people I hold resentments against: family, friends, neighbors, institutions, etc.
• Selfishness/self-interest
• Dishonesty
• Fear
• Sexual relationship behaviors – by the time you get to this part, the Lord has taken away a lot of self deceptions and fears. By the time you get here, you should be ready for this part.
This is a big project and exhausting both emotionally and spiritually. But with God’s help, we can see ourselves clearly.

Questions:

How do the 2 spreadsheets relate to each other?
Answer: Sheet 1 lists people and incidents that come to mind that have a negative thought in 10 words or less

I’ve been a member of Alanon for several years and they use sponsors to help people do an inventory, how does the church want us to assist people? Do we wait until they come to us or do we go to them?
Answer: Referred to website for conference of last year that tells what the support in recovery consists of. Tells how to sponsor and what to sponsor. If you feel comfortable sponsoring people you can go to them but you have to make a disclaimer that you don’t represent the Church. You also open yourself to sponsoring a lot of people. It needs to be done with a little bit of caution because you can be overwhelmed if everyone wants you to be their sponsor.

If it takes 2 years to write you inventory, that’s a lot of 12 week cycles. What is the relationship between the 12 week cycle and the 2 years?
Answer: It’s like the layers of an onion. The more you go through, the deeper you go. The process continues. Repentance is a lifelong process. Step 10 things happen to us daily. I’ve gone to meetings for 24 years. It’s not once around, twice around or 4 times around. It’s something I’m still working on.

In your list where do self-harm issues come in? Where are they addressed?
Answer: We have a group leader in the Boston Area who was into cutting herself. The cause is still based on fear. She would look into herself and family and eventually she would get to the point of how to react to them? "I got depressed, I acted out, and I cut myself so I could move the pain I felt on the inside to the pain I feel on the outside." All addictions come from a basic lack of faith: they are based on a fear of some sort. As you go through the steps, you gain insights and things slowly begin to fall away. All of the behaviors are symptoms of underlying causes. The process to change is the same.

The spreadheets and PowerPoint presentation are available from Brother McPhee.

Testimonies from Elder Gordon Fletcher, outgoing Pittsburgh PA Regional Coordinator, and Ed and Debbie Greenwald, incoming coordinators.

Closing Prayer: Brother Cloud

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