Spouse and Family Support Guide

support-spouses-addictionThe Church has created a new online guide to help spouses and families affected by a loved one’s addictive behaviors. The guide provides help, hope, and healing.

The Spouse and Family Support Guide helps spouses and family members personally heal from challenges they experience from the addictive behaviors of their loved ones involving drugs, alcohol, pornography, and other harmful substances or practices. The guide is part of the Addiction Recovery Program website (addictionrecovery.lds.org).

While the Addiction Recovery Program provides a 12-step recovery program for those struggling with addictions, this guide for spouses and family members is split into the following 12 sections focused on healing, increasing hope, and finding strength through Jesus Christ:

  1. God Will Console Us
  2. Shake Off the Chains
  3. He Will Take Upon Him Their Pain
  4. Draw Near Unto Me
  5. Working Out Our Own Salvation
  6. Bear One Another’s Burdens
  7. In Everything Give Thanks
  8. Be Firm and Steadfast
  9. We Have Renounced Dishonesty
  10. Lift Up the Hands that Hang Down
  11. Bear All These Things with Patience
  12. My Peace I Give Unto You

Each section contains gospel principles, practical suggestions for applying those principles, and resources for further gospel study.  The guide can be used for personal study, in spouse and family support group meetings, or by Church leaders when counseling.


The guide explains that just as those who have addictions need the Savior Jesus Christ to find freedom from addiction, spouses and family members also need His healing power to be free from despair and to be strengthened to bear their trials.

The guide will soon be translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Ray Rudd August 12, 2014, 7:54 am

    One of the biggest problems in overcoming addictive behavior is getting the addict to not try and hide the addiction. Shaming the addict is a very destructive behavior of society. Addicts should be encouraged to rejoice in their recovery. To feel the Holy Ghost and the happiness of others that things are getting better. They, their family and others need to help the addict understand that their issue IS an addiction and NOT a desire to be bad. In those truly following the path of recovery and repentance, the addict does NOT have a desire to be bad and is not a bad person. This aspect of recovery is sorely ignored in every aspect of the churches’ addiction recovery programs. This support guide, though done with a desire to truly help, can exacerbate the shame of addicts when they see that their family needs help overcoming the addict’s overcoming their addiction. And that we are all sad. This is especially true for sexual addictions.

    These things need to be done with more of a spirit of rejoicing over the addict’s recovery. Not so focused on all the pain – but the happiness that is now happening by everyone being open and honest and helpful to the addict. Emphasize the positive! That the addict is good and is putting forth the effort to bring about that happiness. And that it can be talked about and help given happily and openly because it IS an addiction, NOT a desire in the addict to be bad. That it is very much a medical thing, not a bad desire thing. When I read this support guide, and frankly anything the church does in this area, I really get just the opposite feeling. A feeling like we are all suffering because of the bad addict. And that the addict is bad. Of course addiction hurts, but put a positive spin on the recovery. Encourage rejoicing in the good.

  • Dan August 12, 2014, 10:15 am

    Ray’s comment is well written, significant, and profound. Larry, I hope you are able to get this feedback to the original authors.

  • Larry Richman August 12, 2014, 12:08 pm


    Yes, I passed Ray’s comment along to the authors.


  • Wendi January 6, 2016, 9:27 pm

    I was praying constantly for relief from my confusion and pain because of my husband’s addiction. When this Family Support program began in my area a year and a half after I learned the truth about my marriage, I started my healing process. Finally, I had people to reach out to, my feelings were validated, and I got answers to questions I had. I wish we could talk more openly about sin and addiction in the church. I have felt so alone for so long.

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