A note from Gerald, previously writing as Steven A. Cramer...
As we contemplated resuming the "Steven Cramer" efforts of writing books, reader correspondence, and giving firesides, we felt, instead, drawn to move our focus to Family History work. This was not an easy decision, because it is obvious that the spread of addiction to pornography and substance abuse is epidemic, even within the Church. The number of broken hearts and families is tragic. So even though we had received strong spiritual confirmations of our need to change the purpose and focus of our personal service to Family History work, it was difficult to figure out what to do about the flow of inquiries, requests for speaking, and other forms of help.
How delighted we were, upon our return from our mission, to discover that the Church had accepted the growing challenges of addiction and developed a wonderful program to address this ever-growing need with the sponsorship of the LDS Family Services.
The Addiction Recovery Program
The Churchs Family Services department is now providing an effective 12-Step recovery program to assist members desiring to overcome various addictions, such as substance abuse, pornography, compulsive overeating, or gambling.
Support group meetings are led by Church service missionaries under the direction of local LDS Family Services agencies and priesthood leaders. They are achieving wonderful results, both for those who struggle with addiction as well as in the support of confused and heart-broken family members.
One of the manuals used by these groups is called He Did Deliver Me From Bondage, which I consider to be one of the finest self-help guides to spiritual recovery and rebirth ever written, merging the original 12 Steps (from AA) with the Scriptures. This individual workbook is available to the public through many LDS bookstores or online. This book and other resources are described on my Links page.
While it is certainly possible, through the aid of the Savior, for an individual to recover from addiction without the aid of such a program, time and experience have proven that working on such problems in a group of fellow strugglers and with the structure of the 12 Steps is usually far more rapid and lasting. How I wish such training and experience been available to help me during my struggles.
To locate the Addiction Recovery Program nearest to where you live, call LDS Family Services at
(800) 453-3860 Ext. 2-3646
If you find that there is no support group operating within a reasonable distance in your area, you might ask your stake president to confer with the local LDS Family Services agency about starting a group in your area.
I am so glad that I can now refer people to an official Church program with priesthood guidance from people who understand and care.