“Step 3: Decide to turn your will and your life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.”
Steps 1 and 2 are about gaining new understanding (1 – that I am powerless and 2 – that God can restore me) and being willing to integrate that understanding into my belief system. In Step 3 I make a decision to allow God to restore me and to allow Him give me the power to do what I have been unable to do for myself; the power to be healed from my addiction, from my shortcomings, and from my afflictions.
Allow God to do something? Really? Am I in a position to determine whether God can do anything or not? God is omnipotent! Of course He is. But, if I hold so tightly to my own puny power and will that I cannot open my heart to receive His gifts then there is nothing He can do. Why? Because above all else, God respects my agency, the greatest gift he has given me. Agency is the principle over which the war in Heaven was fought. Agency is the essential element of the Plan of Salvation. There is no need for the Fall or the Atonement (primary elements of the Plan of Salvation) unless we have agency. The point of the Fall is to put me in a position to learn to use my agency to walk in faith and obedience, and become like the Savior. The point of the Atonement is to provide power for me to overcome my weaknesses and shortcomings on my journey and to pay the demands of justice so that I can return to Heavenly Father’s presence even though I will never achieve perfection on this earth. At the heart of the whole plan is Agency.
Working a 12-Step program is not really about the steps, willpower, sponsors or meetings. It is about grace. It is about understanding that God’s grace is a free gift to all of his children, not made conditional on worthiness or anything else. When we open our hearts to receive His grace, to receive the power He atoned and died to provide for us, we use our agency to pick up the one thing we need to recover from addiction, overcome grief, or be healed from trauma.
- Write about your decision to turn your will and your life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
- Are you willing to receive both the enabling and redeeming powers of the Atonement to help you on your journey of recovery? (See Elder Bednar’s 2012 conference talk: The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality)
- What will you do today to use your agency to make progress?
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Related Posts: Steps 1, 2, and 3: I Can’t, He Can, I’ll Let Him, Learning to Let Go