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In a coincidental way that Mormonism is a form of Christian restorationism, the LDS Church’s own addiction recovery program infuses the 12 Steps with a very faith-based perspective, even more so than the overtly religious form of the 12 Steps that Bill W.
A deep tenet of the LDS faith is the strict and inflexible avoidance of alcohol, drugs (except in the form of prescription medication), cigarettes, and caffeine.
Religious belief has long been a part of recovery and sober living practices.
Bill W., the cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous, was so convinced that a Christian influence would help drinkers change their ways that he developed his burgeoning organization with Christian symbolism in mind.
Top of Page The codes of clean and healthy living, turning away from anything that might compromise physical and spiritual health, are found in the Word of Wisdom, a section of the book of Doctrine and Covenants.
There is no engaging with LDS culture and community without adhering to the Word of Wisdom – no baptism, no missionary work, no school admission, and no temple admission.
According to the journal, religious theology and psychology look at addiction as a flawed way of trying to fill a spiritual void.
Recovery, therefore, centers around the idea of going back to God (or being “saved” by God) and using a relationship with God as the cornerstone of the principles of sobriety and clean living.A writer in notes that the call to eschew such indulgences has the potential for souring relations between LDS members and their non-Mormon friends and family, especially in cultures where the consumption of alcohol is seen as a cultural practice.Those who do, she says, gain a newfound sense of community and stability in their new religious practice, and can reap the spiritual benefits of avoiding temptation and being held to a higher standard of behavior than others.In that context, connection to LDS wards, and the communal services they offer, is a strong foundation for the sober living that a recovering alcoholic or addict needs.For Mormons in recovery, this is greatly influenced by the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.Violating the Word of Wisdom is not grounds for excommunication, but partaking in substances and activities to the detriment of physical and spiritual health would be considered a sin.