…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

Transcript From a Presentation

By Cindi and Joseph (Used By Permission)

By Rex Goode


Transcript From a Presentation
To a Bishop’s Council
By Cindi and Joseph
Used By Permission


Addiction is a compulsive repeated engagement in some behavior in spite of a desire to stop. Most of the time, an addict desperately wants to stop, but does not know how. Addiction often has its roots in childhood abuse or trauma, where the child turns to the addiction to numb the suffering. Chemicals released during sexual activity are some of the most powerful drugs that addicts use as painkillers. It is a common misgiving of priesthood leaders to accept the idea of an addiction to pornography or masturbation. In your packet, there is a document entitled “why I call myself an addict” with a large section where apostles and prophets call pornography addictive. One particularly telling quote says that through addiction, “one can literally become disconnected from his or her own will!” That has been my story.

Acting out is a term used to refer to a phase of indulgence in addiction. This may include fantasizing, pornography, sex with self (masturbation), premarital sex, sexual coercion within marriage, and extramarital sex, among many others. A person who acts out repeatedly despite a desire to stop is not sober–he is a sex drunk.

Acting in is a term used to refer to the opposite of acting out. This term is useful because simple abstinence from pornography is only a counterfeit for repentance and recovery. Acting in is a period of unrighteous dominion over, and extreme criticism of, one’s self and those around him. This image of righteousness is so forcefully grasped in one’s own hands that it is also called “white-knuckled abstinence.” Acting in may last for extended periods of time, even years. Still, a person who is acting in is neither sober nor righteous—he is only a dry sex drunk.

There are three pillars of addiction: lies, isolation, and self-hatred. Twelve step programs, assisting church leaders in their tasks, work to break down the three pillars of addiction by turning addicts to God in complete honesty, in a fellowship of empathetic and unconditionally loving friends.

Addiction almost always involves degeneration. This is not just Playboy. Long term sex addiction always increases in deviance and severity, and moves toward criminal sexual behavior such as child pornography, molestation, and rape. I will forever be thankful to God that mine did not progress to criminal behavior. Sex addiction is a terminal disease that will destroy the addict, and will probably destroy the addict’s family. It is guaranteed to spread unless the addict enters recovery. Untreated, it will pass on to the next generation. Even treated, its effects on others will still need to be thoroughly addressed.

My addiction began with abusive parents at the age of six, and was nourished by abuse throughout my life at home. I thought both my mission and marriage would cure me. They did not. My wife has suffered through nearly ten years of living with a sex drunk; my children, all but the last part of their lives. The genesis of my addiction was not my responsibility, but its continuation and my recovery are my responsibility.

From the age of six, I kept telling myself that I would stop masturbating, hating myself for doing it. From the age of thirteen, I kept telling myself that I would stop looking at inappropriate images, hating myself for doing so. Over and over I would promise myself adamantly, that this was the last time, but it never was. Over and over I would hate myself for failing yet again, and the cycle would begin again. At first, I tried to be honest with my wife, but it just caused so much pain, and I simply couldn’t stop. I started hiding from her and from everyone else on Earth, and even from God as I thought. I became a liar, and found that when Nephi says that liars shall be thrust down to hell, he was not talking about that happening only after this life.

There are many horrible things I could tell about my more than a quarter century of struggle with sex addiction, but I have decided to talk about when I hit bottom.

The last time I rejected the notion of addiction, this is how it went.  I became so confident in my God-given agency, that I believed I knew I would never fall again. As time passed, I became more and more preoccupied with avoiding pornography, telling myself that I am free to choose, an agent unto myself.  This is called acting in. I kept asking Heavenly Father to help me overcome, that my will would become more powerful.  I of course fell again, and what a fall it was.  I nearly gave up church—my case was entirely hopeless—I was so sure that THIS time, it was over.  I walked into my bishop’s office, angry and distraught.  As I was about to ask him to remove my name from the records of the church, some other words came out, and they saved me from certain destruction.

I admit that the first time I took the label “addict” on myself, it provided an excuse (hey, I don’t have power over this sickness). But, admitting that I was an addict led me to a 12-step fellowship, and from that 12-step fellowship to what I believe is a true understanding of what it means to be an addict, and where the power lies to overcome this sickness.

In this thing, I am not an agent unto myself, nor am I free to choose, nor is my will sufficient.  I don’t need Heavenly Father to help me overcome; I need His strength and His will to overcome for me.  My case was entirely hopeless unless God took it over for me, and that necessitated my admission that I am an addict.  Admitting I am an addict helped me see that as the apostle said “through chemical means, [I was] literally disconnected from [my] own will.”  My decisions had surrendered my will to the natural chemicals that have so many times coursed through my body as I engaged in addictive behavior. I saw that I had no agency left in this matter, except to plead with God to overcome for me, and show me how to put useful boundaries on my behavior.  That is all I can do, and it is enough because the atonement can do the rest which I cannot possibly do.  It has allowed me to submit my will (or my agency) entirely to God, no reservations whatsoever.  It brought me to the point where I could stretch out my hands, offering my will up to God saying “Please take it, it doesn’t work, it’s broken, I don’t want it anymore!”

At that point, as I was pondering my inability to stop, yet wanting desperately to stop, God made it clear to me that until I stopped being a liar, I would not progress into recovery. Looking over that cliff into the abyss of telling my wife the whole truth was terrifying. I thought about crashing onto the rocks below, and dying a slow painful death, but the thought of continuing in my addiction was even more painful. In 12-step fellowships they have a saying that when the pain of the solution is less than the pain of the problem, we are ready for recovery. I had come to that point. It came in the form of a desperation so complete that I knew that in spite of my lack of trust in the Savior, there was no other place for me to turn. I had to throw myself on His mercy, even though I did not much trust that He would really carry me. I had no other choice, I had exhausted all other avenues I could take. I had to try what I considered a dangerous experiment. So, I jumped. It did hurt, a lot. But, I was surprised by the result. I did not fall and hit the rocks, but I was carried upon the wings of the Savior, lifted from the seemingly bottomless pit of my addiction. My perspective had been upside down. I had no need to jump from a terrifying cliff, I instead needed to be lifted from the deep valley of despair.

Admitting I am powerless, and completely powerless, over my addiction does not give me an excuse to act out—it guided me to finally exercise the only agency that can save me from bondage.  I have learned as stated in the words of the hymn “’tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”  Nothing else will do.  There is only one name under heaven by which I may be saved, and it is not my own. It is Jesus Christ, my Savior. Of myself I am nothing, but in the strength of my God (not in my own increased strength), I can do all things.

My wife made a very difficult decision to come here tonight. I say this not because I expect that meeting with you tonight will be a bad experience for her, but because her interactions with priesthood leaders around this issue have sometimes been quite hurtful. As I have progressed in recovery, I have learned that men in general, but addicts in particular want to control the hurt that spouses of sex addicts feel by judging their suffering to be out of proportion with their husbands’ sins. I have learned that my wife’s suffering just is, and it is entirely OK. I plead with you to take what she says as reasonable and representative of the damage this sin causes.


Defining Codependency. “Whatever our situation, we are here today because we have finally decided to admit that we are “codependent,” dependent on other fallible mortals, instead of depending directly upon God. We are beginning to realize that we have used others by either being too dependent on them, or keeping them too dependent on us, to give us a sense of identity, self-worth, or a reason for living.”

  1. We assume responsibility for other’s feelings and/or choices.He’s feeling bad and I have to fix it! I have to keep him from acting out!
  2. We tend to be fearful that our feelings or needs will be belittled or rejected by others.I feel a certain amount of pain and betrayal, but others will wonder what I’m making such a big deal out of. People will try to give me quick fix ideas rather than just listening and validating.
  3. Our fear of other’s feelings (especially anger) determines what we say and do.
  4. We question or ignore our own conscience, our own values, in order to connect with significant others—trusting and obeying their feelings or opinions more than our own.This can involve sexual activities that are not right even between husband and wife. It can also involve giving in to statements like “I just need sex more than most people” or “You are the one who isn’t wired right, so if you feel badly, you’re wrong”
  5. Our sense of self-worth is based on other/outer influences instead of on our personal witness of God’s love and esteem for us.I have learned this to be a truth. Most addicts and codependents can tell you intellectually that God loves them, but they do not have that stored in their heart. I especially had trouble with this since I personally did not think that God truly loved women, but that they were second or third rate citizens.
  6. We are perfectionistic and place too many expectations on ourselves and others.This is where compulsive behaviors and controlling behaviors fit in. I think that a codependent subconsciously knows that she has no control over the addiction, though she will obsess about it, search through the personal belongings of the addict, try to set up boundaries for the addict, check up on the addict, etc. For me, since I had no control in this area and life felt unmanageable to me, I tried to step in and make a controlled environment which I thought allowed me to deal with life. Of course, we can’t control life and so the craziness that followed something falling outside my control was almost unbearable.
  7. We are not comfortable acknowledging good things about ourselves and tend to judge everything we do, think, or say as not being good enough.
  8. We do not know that it is okay to be vulnerable and find it difficult, almost impossible to ask for help.In other words, we replace the gospel of Christ which is full of mercy and trust in God to the gospel of justice and self-reliance.
  9. We do not know that it is okay to talk about problems outside the family, thus we leave ourselves and our families stranded in the troubles they are experiencing.A problem that sometimes arises from not knowing where to turn for real help.
  10. We are steadfastly loyal—even when that loyalty is unjustified and often personally harmful to us.

There are many forms of abuse, and often, even with education about what is abuse, it is not recognized by the victim as such. For a codependent it’s almost impossible to believe that what has occurred could sometimes warrant a call to the police, let alone a church disciplinary council.

My story

There is a lot of suffering I could share with you at this point about the depth of my feelings of being betrayed, hating myself, hating life, and wondering why I chose this particular husband. I have chosen instead to tell you where I ended up, what it was like for me to hit bottom.

Before our last baby was born, my husband had an acting out episode. Then again, one day after the baby was blessed. Because pregnancy and the time right after a child is born is a time for women where there is heightened need for security and fidelity, these times were especially difficult. They left me feeling, yes, betrayed, alone, and undesirable. I didn’t really know how to get my needs met. I picked up some hobbies. I became extremely compulsive about those things, so while I should have loved doing them, I hated it, but it kept me going. I will have to say that those hobbies and the fact that I had young children that needed a mother are the reasons that I am alive today. I suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts a lot during that year. I couldn’t understand why things were so bad since my husband wasn’t acting out, or so I thought, and he seemed to be trying harder to be a better dad and husband. I got really sick. I couldn’t eat and felt nauseated much of the time. I took three pregnancy tests, which were all negative. I had no idea why I was having a food problem. This went on for about two months. Then, my husband told me the truth about his addiction. This honesty was most of the solution for what I then recognized as an eating disorder. While at one point he had said that he had been 90% honest with me, we both realized when he became honest that it was more like 10% honest. There were a lot of things in this history that were devastating to me as a wife and as a woman and as a mother. That year along with the pain associated with what I had to hear at that time are a part of me hitting bottom, wanting to look at myself and detach from my enmeshment with the addict so that I can heal, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

I have been dealing with the cumulative effects of this addiction for my whole marriage. I have known about the problem for over 8 years, through multiple pregnancies and births. This has been so much more than just a marathon. But, I won’t stop here, leaving myself as some kind of victim. I grew up in a somewhat dysfunctional family too where there was a lot of anger and emotional distance. I was first codependent on my mother. I was therefore, perfect for a relationship with my husband as we fit together to continue the unhealthy behaviors that we learned as children. One spouse said, “I think addicts attract co-dependent spouses, because even if we don’t know what it is, we sense there is a need there and we want to help this person. Perhaps during the dating process the addict shares some of the underlying hurt in his life. A codependent person reacts by wanting to nurture, build and protect this person, never even thinking there could be a deep rooted escape from these feelings that the addict is hiding. So, the cycle begins.”

The important point to make now is that I am also an accountable person, given the gift of agency from God. I have made choices that kept me in an unhealthy relationship, continuing on with my own unhealthy behaviors. Part of the problem for me was that I didn’t know how to define the problem. I didn’t know what it was called and I didn’t know what steps to find God and joy in life. Relatively recently, I learned the term codependency. Later, I was introduced to the twelve steps. Now, I have the knowledge I need. The twelve steps opened my eyes to the atonement of Jesus Christ and to repentance as if I was seeing them for the first time. I like one of the 12-step slogans which seems to fit here, “When we knew better, we did better!”


The addict/codependent dance—enmeshment. You can’t get out of it without help. Life for an addict/spouse couple: Church becomes an exclusive society where only true saints really belong, and we surely don’t fit in. Both become isolated and lonely, but especially the spouses, because bishops rarely work with spouses, as this is seen as the addict’s problem. You don’t see the behavioral cycle when you’re in it, but there is a dance, with well-defined steps, where the codependency nourishes the addiction, and the addiction nourishes the codependency. The longer the dance takes place, the more intricate it becomes, and the more impossible to see, until there is in the family an intertwined pillar of addiction and codependency. When the couple enters recovery, it begins to be obvious what the steps are, and it begins to be easier to stop dancing.


Counseling with spouses. I encourage you to read the document “What Every Spouse of Sexual Addicts Wish Bishops Knew.” It has some good suggestions for counseling with spouses, as well as being helpful for spouses of sex addicts to read. I will now read a passage from this document.

There is within the structure of the church, tremendous potential for support. When a ward is functioning well, a family in need has access to home teachers, visiting teachers, priesthood leaders and the fellowship of a ward family. No one knows better than a bishop that when counseling with someone who has committed a sexual sin, that individual’s confidentiality cannot be taken too seriously. This becomes a paradox because with the confidentiality comes a lack of support. The systems in place cannot go into effect because as far as anyone knows, there is no problem. By extension, there is no support for a spouse who is living with a myriad of consequences, both temporal and spiritual, which she did not create without disclosing how her need came about. She cannot respond honestly even to a simple question like, “How did he lose his job?” She won’t ask for a badly needed priesthood blessing for fear of what others will suspect since her husband is not filling this need. Everyone, even she, wants to keep it a secret.

For the spouse to approach the bishop herself and reveal the secret going on in her home is usually an act of tremendous courage and desperation because everything else has failed. If pressed, it would be revealed that she has jumped through a wide variety of temporal and spiritual hoops to try and help her husband choose life without sexual sin. When she approaches the bishop, she is daring to hope that someone else will have an effect that she has not had and she is attempting to lighten the weight of the mighty secret she has born alone. She might be fearful of her husband’s reaction if or when he finds out she has disclosed to someone of authority that he is not living consistently with the image he puts out for the rest of world to see. She may even be fearful that the bishop will view her not as representing a family in need, but as a “tattle tale” or gossip. What she needs in this moment is to be heard and validated and not advised as though there was a hoop she missed.

Another spouse said, “My husband honestly believed he would be ‘cured’ after he was married so he didn’t make any real attempt to stop his behavior. He just cleaned up a couple of months before we went to the temple so he could feel good about getting married in the temple. I have been floored by his ability to literally tuck his actions regarding pornography away to a deep recess of his mind. I believe his Bishop’s counsel encouraged this by confusing his sense of right and wrong. Although I love my husband a great deal, I don’t think I would have married him had I known about his problems. I have seen pornography destroy and molest and I wanted no part of it. I don’t feel I was able to make an informed decision because this bishop also counseled my husband not to tell me ‘because it isn’t that big of a deal.’ I heard that phrase again when my husband told me three years later about his problem, and our then-current bishop told me, “it isn’t that big of a deal.” He later changed his tune, but that initial response was devastating and confusing. If it wasn’t that big of a deal, than why did I feel like my world was crashing down around me?”

The following are some examples of counsel I have heard that put the blame on the spouse for the addict’s behavior:

  • Just be more Christlike, and things will get better
  • He’s a man, men make mistakes, just love him
  • Bring him his slippers and sit him down to relax when he gets home
  • Just be glad he’s not out committing adultery

What the spouse needs is for you to listen compassionately to her suffering, not hinting in any way that any of this is her fault, or that she has somehow missed some hoop in all her years of desperate trying. She also needs direction to helpful resources.

One thing bishops can do is to help the spouse divide what she can do from what she cannot. She cannot control her husband, she can only work on her own issues and make decisions based on what Heavenly Father would have her do. I like what one recovering spouse said, “You cannot change the [sex addict], but your change out of codependent behaviors leaves the [sex addict] with the option of recovering or getting out of your way!” However, giving this kind of counsel needs to be done in a timely and sensitive manner because someone who feels like a victim may not be ready to hear something like this and it may actually drive her away from help.


Counseling with addicts. I encourage you to read the document “What every Bishop should know about men with pornography abuse/pornography addiction problems” I acknowledge that it was not written by a priesthood leader, but it does have some good suggestions for counseling with an addict, and is also helpful for the addict to read. I have also included in your packet some examples of more and less useful counsel I have received from priesthood leaders. The Stake President has concurred that I should include this in the packet, so I do so with some trepidation. The examples of less useful counsel are not meant to accuse those leaders who said them, but simply to point out that that this is a terribly difficult problem to address, and sometimes the most sincere efforts to help actually cause damage.

Less helpful: There are many, many more like you—it’s bad, but it’s not that big a deal.

More helpful: Yes, many men struggle with this, but you still need help with this very serious problem.

Less helpful: Just stop it!

More helpful: You can’t stop on your own, and that’s OK. Let me help you find support from someone who has traveled this path before.

Less helpful: There is not enough sex in your marriage. If you had more sex in your marriage, the problem would get better.

More helpful: There is very likely too much sex in your marriage. Sex is almost assuredly unholy in your marriage. You may want to take an extended break from sex in your marriage to let things heal (though you may want to be very careful in counseling with this last sentence—this may drive a sex addict away from the bishop, since the sex addict honestly believes that sex is his greatest need).

Less helpful: Your wife’s suffering is unreasonable since your addiction is “merely” pornography and masturbation.

More helpful: Your wife is a daughter of God who is in tremendous pain, probably even more than you, and it’s OK for both of you to hurt like this.

Less helpful: Do not tell your wife.

More helpful: Let’s sit down and take a hard look at the motivations for telling or not telling your wife. Honesty with your spouse is extremely important, and I do not want to be responsible for telling you that the commandment not to lie has been revoked in this case, unless we know that it is God’s will for you to keep this from your wife.

Less helpful: Can I call you in a time of crisis? Yes……Bishop, I’m struggling to stay away from pornography right now. But I haven’t slipped today! Well, stop it right now! You are betraying your family by not working and making money. Get back to work and just stay away from it. Uhhh…

More helpful: Can I call you in a time of crisis? Yes……Bishop, I’m struggling to stay away from pornography right now, but I haven’t slipped today! That’s great! Let’s see if we can’t help you keep it up. Do you know why you’re struggling so much today? Well, let’s see…

From the examples I gave, it follows that Sunday school answers and tough love just don’t work to get such confused people as ourselves into recovery. Scriptures and prayers may become negative experiences. God is often seen as brutal toward both the addict and the spouse. We needed a model for what a loving Savior is like—heartfelt compassion and unconditional love, an invitation to come home, wise and practical approaches to the day to day challenges. When we have felt loved and kindly invited to enter recovery, and tested the waters a bit, we can begin to comprehend what the Sunday school answers mean.


Basics of a 12-step meeting. A couple of months ago, the Stake President asked me to attend a twelve-step meeting for spouses of sex addicts in another city to learn how a meeting is run. My husband has been attending a twelve-step meeting for sex addicts in another city for over 2 years.

The first and foremost important factor about a twelve step meeting is that you go there anonymously. Anonymity is of utmost importance. It means that we do not share who was at the meeting or stories that anyone told.

It is a meeting with an opening and closing prayer.

It is a meeting with a leader. In the groups that will be set up in our stake, my husband and I will assume the role of group leader at meetings for a while, but once someone has been attending regularly for 3 or 4 months, they can lead a meeting. There is a protective and compassionate format to follow and it is not difficult. The addict meeting will be for men only, and the spouse meeting for women only, as a protection for the groups.

We welcome newcomers and acknowledge what a difficult step it is to come to meetings. We ask them to commit themselves to 6 meetings to decide whether or not it is for them.

We always have a selection of readings which includes the 12 steps and the 12 traditions. My husband will cover the 12 steps. The 12 traditions are the rules of how groups operate. For a group to continue to exist, these are very important. These provide guidelines that protect the humility, anonymity, and integrity of the group. We use the scriptures, literature from 12-step fellowships (such as He Did Deliver Me from Bondage from the Heart t’ Heart fellowship, and literature from Sexaholics Anonymous, S-Anon [a group for families and friends of Sexaholics], Alcoholics Anonymous, and Al-Anon [a group for families and friends of Alcoholics]).

Then, there is a time for sharing. Sharing may be talking about how what has been read relates to your life, or whatever is in your mind and heart at the time. There is no crosstalk allowed during sharing. This means that during share time we get to learn how to really listen and we get to talk without interruption. The purpose of the share time is not for a belittling discussion about the sexaholic or the spouse, but to look at ourselves and our own feelings and actions and to own them.

Some groups will include a discussion section, meaning that there is a topic and a moderator of the discussion.

Most groups will have what is called a meeting after a meeting where empathy and ESH which is experience, strength and hope can be shared. Group members are encouraged to contact each other between meetings should a need for immediate support arise.

One other helpful facet of twelve-step fellowships is sponsorship. Every member of the group is encouraged to select a sponsor with significant recovery to walk with them in the path of recovery. A humble sponsor can provide guidance to a twelve-stepper in finding wise and practical approaches to day to day problems, and for guidance in working the twelve steps. Sponsors are always of the same sex as the sponsee.

Twelve step fellowships can provide invaluable assistance to a bishop as he works with addicts and spouses, and can take a significant portion of the load from him while not taking over his responsibility.


The twelve steps are a step by step guide to faith, repentance, and enduring to the end, parallel to the scriptures. When I first started, I saw the steps as repentance in bite-sized pieces for the recovering addict. However, as I have applied the steps, I see that they really aren’t bite-sized at all. They’re intended to be specific, explicit, and exhaustive. Without taking on the role of the bishop, a sponsor will walk with the addict through this process to make sure it is specific, explicit, and exhaustive. An addict in a 12-step program will probably be facing some pretty unpleasant things for the first time in his/her life, and doing the steps lightly won’t really bring everything to light. The 12-step process is intended to “thoroughly clean the closet” as the addict works through the process of being born again. It is easy to pull out supportive scriptures for each of these steps directly from the Book of Mormon (the book He Did Deliver Me From Bondage does an admirable job of just that). I will now go through the twelve steps as specified for sex addicts. They are very similar for codependent spouses, focusing instead on codependent behavior rather than on addictive behavior. The first three steps focus on faith.

1. We admitted that we were powerless over compulsive sexual behaviors and lust, that our lives had become unmanageable. I detailed my powerless before, but my life was also completely unmanageable. Everything about my life was chaotic: our money, my job, my fatherhood, my husbandhood, my parents, my school, my church calling, everything. I had to admit this before I could say “I need a Savior!” My wife had tremendous difficulty as well acknowledging that she needed God’s help, since darn it, this was my problem! Step 1 helped her to decide to work on her own problems, in spite of my problem being so overwhelming in our family life.

2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. In AA they say that the first three words of this step are the most important. First, we came, even without knowing why. Then we came to, we awoke from our stupor of addiction. Then, we came to believe, that even as bad as our behavior has been, God can and will change our hearts and restore us to sanity. For a man who believed that God despised him, this step was very difficult. Maybe He could restore me to sanity, but surely He didn’t want to. I was worthless, ugly, and entirely unlovable, so far as I could see. Although most addicts do not suffer this delusion to the degree I did, almost all suffer from it to some degree. My wife also struggled with knowing that God loved her because from her experiences surrounding this problem, she felt that women are second and third-rate citizens in the kingdom of God. Struggling through step 2 has taught both of us to know in our hearts that God loves us, and he will accept us as children wherever we are and will give us strength to go where He wants us to be. The belief that both addicts and spouses tend to hold that they are somehow unworthy of God’s love is a very good reason for bishops to be particularly compassionate toward addicts and spouses—the bishop represents the Savior, and both addicts and spouses very much need them to act as Jesus would toward them.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. It is an inspired thing that steps 1 and 2 come before step 3. Because we now know that we absolutely need God’s strength to get us through, and because we now know He loves us, we can sincerely cry out, as did Alma, “O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on my soul.” We can even follow that up with turning our will over to Him. I no longer think that it is risky to give my will to God because He will use it to hurt me—I now believe that it is a gift for Him to give His will to me!

We are both on step 4 right now. Steps 4-9 focus on serious and thorough repentance of our sins.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. This is a daunting task for me right now, but fearlessly facing who I am, and what my faults, weaknesses, and strengths are will allow me to address them, to turn them over that I may be healed by the atonement. In doing what I have on step 4, I have found that sex addiction is not my root problem. It is rather anger, unresolved hurt from my childhood and early marriage, and an overflowing fountain of resentment toward those who have wronged me, and resentment even toward God. My addiction has been the manifestation of my inability to handle these things adequately. I have seen that this step will address these true root problems, and by invoking the atonement, finally release me of them, even if it does not erase all effects of abuse I suffered.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Steps 10-12 focus on enduring to the end.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others still suffering from the effects of compulsive sexual behaviors and to practice these principles in all our dealings.

Recovery is hard. It is painful, but it is so much less painful that active addiction or active codependency. There is true hope for recovery! Whereas we were miserable and alone, wishing for annihilation sometimes, we find joy and happiness in life, in each other, and in our children. Where there was no true intimacy in our relationship, we love each other now with a true love born in the atonement. Most importantly, recovery is real.

Here is our contact information. The email addresses may be given out freely to anyone whether they ask for the information or not. Please give our phone numbers only to those who ask for them. If you as a priesthood leader would like to ask any questions or would like direction to other helpful resources, please feel free to contact either of us by email.

Men’s sexual addiction recovery group: < e-mail >

Women’s sex addiction codependency recovery group: < e-mail >

Men’s sexual addiction recovery group: < phone > (ask for Joseph)

Women’s sex addiction codependency recovery group: < phone > (ask for Cindi)

We would love referrals because we want to help, and we also want to continue in recovery ourselves. We would especially appreciate referrals for spouses. Spouses so often feel inexplicably alone because they don’t recognize that even though this is the husband’s sin, they need support and fellowship from people suffering in similar ways.

We also offer to answer any questions from priesthood leaders, and to direct anyone to other resources by email.

Cindi and Joseph





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One Response to “Transcript From a Presentation”

  1. Ollie said:

    Good post. I think it is possible to recover from depression, but it takes time and patience. I can’t find any good message boards on the net, can you recommend any?

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