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I'm surprised a few people haven't commented on this interesting topic. Given the emphasis in the Church on the bright and shiny side of the Word of Wisdom ("we don't smoke or drink, and look how healthy we are!"), you would think there would be some discussion of the dark side too (helping fellow Mormons who develop challenging substance abuse problems).

Instead, the popular view among members and some local leaders is that these people simply need to stop drinking (just make that choice and stand by it) and get active, with no real sense that some life problems just aren't so cut and dried. And I get the impression there is something of a de facto zero tolerance policy toward such problems in the Church which verges on shunning.

I read this, and thought about it, but I guess I just don't get the point. I would think that AA would work just fine on its own. Why do they need a missionary facilitator or to bring the church into it at all?

AA is not a religious program, but a spiritual one. I guess if you're in a heavily LDS area, it couldn't hurt to have an LDS themed AA - unless non-LDS alcoholics aren't welcome, or non-LDS AA meetings become harder to find. The main feature of an AA meeting is that everybody there is a drunk. Once you get away from that...it's not really AA.

I think that we might be looking at it the wrong way. Every 12 step program, LDS or non-LDS, focuses on the absolute need for a belief in a higher power. The program simply doesn't work without that belief. If you are LDS, then you undoubtedly believe that the Gospel has been restored, so to think that a 12-step program based on man's best efforts to come closer to God's truths would suffice when there is one based on eternal truths revealed from God himself is available seems somewhat ludicrous. And in regards to Dave's comment, there are a lot of people that still see things that way, the "Why don't they just quit?" attitude. But I think more people are becoming aware of addictions and how to cope, especially as we see more and more good people falling captive to them.

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