Renaissance Ranch

LDS Principles and the 12-Steps: Step 5

Oct 7, 2019

We last left off on our journey at step 4, where we met ourselves and others with honesty—examining our relationships and cataloging our strengths and weaknesses. Rebuilding ourselves can feel even more troubling when we’ve just performed intense self-examination and explored what makes us most human. 

In step 5, we’ll continue down this line of reflection and questioning by admitting to ourselves, to the Heavenly Father, priesthood authority, and other persons close to us the nature of our wrongdoings. Step 5 is an important part of long-lasting recovery, by acknowledging and confessing sins and self-addiction, we’re allowing ourselves another chance of doing right by our family, communities, and our Heavenly Father. 

Confession Breaks the Isolation

It’s not uncommon for those suffering from addiction to feel completely isolated from their loved ones and loving community. Even when others try to help addicts feel involved in their world like before, they may still feel like they no longer fit in the spaces they used to. If this statement feels familiar, remember you’re not alone. 

As addicts, it takes time to feel comfortable and at ease within an environment meant for recovery, but leaving the chamber of emotional isolation happens with time. Where you may have once felt you couldn’t speak or engage in meetings, you might feel like that’s slowly changed. Eventually, you may even feel safe talking openly about your life up to this point. It’s difficult to be entirely honest about instances that brought about shame and embarrassment, or share stories of heartbreak and vulnerability. 

However, where step 4 was a chance to take note of these instances in a private manner, step 5 is the chance to move past shame by letting it out from within, gaining a greater perspective on the past and a past way of being. Confession works in two distinct ways: 

  1. Confession allows you to disclose difficult emotions and stories with your loved ones and your community.
  2. Confession is a chance to seek forgiveness from the Lord.

Finding and Making Peace

It’s easy to spot individuals in recovery or in treatment who seem rehearsed in their confessions. They understand their shortcomings, wrongdoings, and sins that have been committed by them and against them. Unfortunately, although they have worked to be honest about their struggles, openly confessing to those around them, they haven’t found peace in this act. 

It’s important to understand that this step shouldn’t be used as an opportunity to dwell on the negative. It also should not be mistaken as a time to become obsessed with the past and dwell on obvious regrets. Your intent should always be to express with sincerity your efforts to this point, confide in the right persons, confess to the Lord, and distinguish your moral compass. This is an opportunity to self-reflect and see the good and evil that exist in ourselves and the world we exist in. Then, and only then, is when we choose the right path for our future selves.