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

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Addiction Recovery Program Brings People to Christ

An article in the May 26 edition of the Church News described how the Addiction Recovery Program helps bring people to  Christ through repentance by giving them hope.

"I'd thought I'd lost all chance of happiness, " said one person profiled in the article.  Dr. Ben Erwin, LDS Family Services counseling program manager for the program is quoted in the article as saying, “All these poor decisions that they’ve made really compromise their ability to love themselves and believe that anyone else can love them.  It’s almost as if the Savior just opens up His arms, and they feel His love and acceptance for them.  They gradually begin to feel and experience that even they are children of God.”

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Arbor - December 2011

See the December edition of The Arbor for the latest list of face-to-face and call-in Addiction Recovery and Family Support groups available to people in Pittsburgh.

HTML5, MongoDB, iOS, Android, mobile app, Puppet, Hadoop, jQuery, PaaS

In "Keywords that savvy job hunters need to know" Diane Stafford of the Kansas City Star explains why employees of many stripes need to know new technology tools.

Ask an Expert

"Ask an Expert: This Thing Called Networking and How It Can Help You Land a Job," in the most recent edition of BYU's Connections, gives practical advice to job-seekers about how to use networking effectively.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

13 Insanely Cool Resumes

Ken Soenen passed along a link to "13 Insanely Cool Resumes That Landed Interviews at Google and Other Top Jobs."  "We asked career coaches if and when it pays to be creative. The consensus: It depends where you're applying to," the article says.  "Your resume has to dress the part," says one career counselor quoted in the article.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Arbor - November 2011

In the November edition of The Arbor one grateful participant explains why going to a weekly Addiction Recovery Meeting is so helpful.  See this and other inspirational articles, as well as a complete list of face-to-face and telephone call-in meetings in the November issue of The Arbor.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tips for First-time Job Hunters

A recent Readers's Digest article by Kelly Eggers, widely copied elsewhere, describes "The 10 Worst Mistakes of First-time Job Hunters" and give helpful advice about steps to find work in a tough economy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Arbor - October 2011

Read about recovery in the October 2011 issue of The Arbor.  There you will also find the latest list of all face-to-face and telephone call-in Addiction Recovery and Family Support meetings.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Arbor - August-September 2011

Recovery from entrenched bad habits, including addictions, rarely happens without some slips and relapses.  The August-September issue of The Arbor includes suggestions about how to recover from such slips and relapses.  In addition it includes a current list of all telephone and face-to-face Addiction Recovery Support and Family Support meetings.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Arbor - July 2011

"Do not attempt to override agency.  The Lord himself would not do that.  Forced obedience yields no blessings."  So said Elder Richard G. Scott, quoted in an article in the July 2011 issue of The Arbor, a monthly publication of the Addiction Recovery Program.  Read the articles, testimonies and find an up-to-date list of face-to-face and phone-in meetings in this month's issue of The Arbor.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Arbor - June 2011

The June issue of The Arbor includes a story by Elder Monte J. Brough about a man he taught on his mission who prayerfully tried to inventory and ask forgiveness for all his sins before baptism, a great example of humbling ourselves before the Lord in order to be free of our past mistakes and errors.

Also find a current list of all face-to-face and telephone meetings in our area.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Job-search Advice

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed Adam Friedman gives "some commonsense job-search advice for new graduates," which is good advice for anyone in "Don't Wear Flip-Flops to the Interview."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Arbor - May 2011

The lead article in the May issue of The Arbor describes how a family support group blessed the life of one sister whose life had dealt her a series of severe blows.  Through participating in the family support group she was able to feel hope again and return fully to her church family and church activity.

Family support groups are not for recovering addicts, but for those whose lives are so profoundly affected by the addictions of loved ones—spouse, children, or close friends.  In addition, a family support group can bring the healing blessings of the Atonement to any who feel despair because of their circumstances.

The Arbor lists both face-to-face and telephone call-in family support groups available in our area, as well as Addiction Recovery Program meetings.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Arbor - April 2011

The April edition of The Arbor suggests some simple ways we can improve our lives by turning them to the Savior.  Also see a current list of meetings by phone or in person.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Arbor - March 2011

The March edition of The Arbor includes an article on using the steps of recovery to heal a marriage, and another on learning to rely on the Lord's Spirit for hope and healing.  As always, it also includes a list of telephone and in-person recovery meetings.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Therapist

Sister Heather Putney, MFT, is now working as a new part-time therapist for LDS Family Services in Pittsburgh.
Heather is a Marriage and Family Therapist who got her degree from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, in 2010.  She completed her internship with LDS Family Services in Nashua, NH.  Heather and her husband recently relocated to the Pittsburgh area and are members of the Pittsburgh 1st Ward. 
Heather’s clinical areas of interest include: Couple’s and Family Therapy as well as Adoption, Foster Care and Infertility.

Contact Heather at 304-216-8287 (evenings and weekends) or by email at

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stake Employment Resource Services

After four years of faithful and effective service Brother Ken Soenen has been released as the stake employment specialist.  With Brother Soenen's release we are going to take a somewhat different approach to supporting employment resource services in the stake.  Evan Stoddard of the stake high council, Brother Mark Bondiett of the Washington Ward (newly called and set apart as a stake employment specialist), and Brother Tom Gearhart of the Pittsburgh Seventh Ward (who serves as stake employment secretary), will constitute a team of specialists to assist the ward and branch employment specialists, and Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society leaders in their responsibility to offer employment resource services to the members of their wards and branches.

Where ward or branch employment specialists are serving they will work directly with them.  In units where there is no employment specialist they will work directly with the Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society leaders to offer training and support.  You can contact members of the stake employment by email or phone:

Evan Stoddard    412-431-7188
Mark Bondiett    412-996-8200
Tom Gearhart     412-596-7734

You can call on them to assist where there is need for training or support in employment resource services.  Also take advantage of  Encourage those who are seeking employment to register there, complete a profile, and make full use of the excellent training materials they will find there.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Food Storage Order from Walton Feed

For years Jim and Mary Kirk of Greenfield, Ohio, have offered the service of coordinating a bulk order of food storage commodities from Walton Feed in Idaho.  Following is the the announcement of their next order:

If we haven’t met, we are Jim and Mary Kirk of Greenford, Ohio.  From time to time we coordinate group ordering of food storage and related items from Walton Feed, Inc., located in Montpelier, Idaho.  In our opinion they have high integrity as business people, excellent quality products, great service, and fair prices.

It is possible for you to order directly from Walton, but there are advantages to our buying together.  The greatest of these is the drastically reduced shipping cost.  Our group orders come by freight.  A truck holds about 42-45,000 lbs.  That’s a LOT of food!  We seldom fill a truck ourselves but when enough orders are collected at Walton Feed to send a truck east, ours will be on its way.  

You can look at or download the Walton Feed Catalog (price list) from their Web site:  
Or you can call them toll-free for information or to request a catalog: 1-800-847-0465.

If you want to be included in the group order you need to go to the Walton Feed Web site and choose what you want to stock up on.  Then mail or e-mail your personal order directly to us.  We will combine it into one large order (at the same time maintaining its individual identity) and forward it to Walton for addition to the next eastbound truck.  Unless other arrangements are made all orders are picked up at our house after sorting.

It usually takes at least a couple of months for participants in our group to amass the 2500-3000 pounds necessary for a freight drop.  Expected delivery time is hard to determine but it is usually 2-3 months after our combined order is received by Walton Feed. 

We are collecting orders now.  It is wonderful when people order early.  It makes it easier to monitor the accruing weight and gives us a better idea when the order will go in.  If you order early and afterwards discover some other item(s) you want, you can still send us add-ons until we alert you that the order is about to be shipped.
            Please send payment with your order in one of the following ways:
1.     Complete credit card information (see order form).
2.     A check or money order made payable to Mary Kirk.

We will send your credit card info and write one check to Walton with the order.  They will debit the credit cards just before the order is shipped.  Bad checks and closed credit card accounts cause great unhappiness at all levels.  Please be considerate in this matter.

Feel free to pass on this information to anyone you think would like to participate.  It’s OK to call or e-mail with questions.      PHONE:  (330) 533-2733            E-MAIL:

We look forward to working with you!

Mary and Jim 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Arbor - February 2011

Hello to all those involved with the Addiction Recovery Program.


Last month we announced that some of the phone-in meetings weren’t working properly.  The problem has been fixed and we thank you for your patience.  The current list of phone meetings and the meeting ID#’s are listed in the February edition of The Arbor.  We hope you enjoy reading The Arbor this month.

As always, we welcome submissions for future editions of The Arbor.

Please send them to our editor at:

Happy  Reading

Elder & Sister Lillrose
Michigan Office LDS Family Services
Addiction Recovery Program Coordinators

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Arbor - January 2011 and Missing Past Issues

I failed to make available The Arbor issues of October 2008 and November 2009 at the time they were published.  They still have value, and so I make them available here.

The January 2011 edition of The Arbor grapples with the label "addiction."  In fact, says one, the Addiction Recovery Program could be renamed the Atonement Recovery Program.  "A rose by any other name . . . ."