I think everyone is trying to be better, and to see someone overcome an obstacle like addiction is inspiring. – Todd Daley, director of the Mormon Channel

The Mormon Channel and LDS Family Services recently collaborated to create 12 videos about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Addiction Recovery Program.

The series, "12 Steps to Change," features 12 real-life examples of how drug, alcohol, food, sex and pornography addictions affect individuals and families. The partners created a video for each step of the recovery program, showing how the Atonement of Jesus Christ can change lives.

"We’re trying, with the Mormon Channel, to provide content that inspires people to live the gospel and illustrates the hope that can be found through living the gospel and then leads people to practical help," said Todd Daley, director of the Mormon Channel.

The Mormon Channel, a media channel owned by the LDS Church, will release the videos on YouTube and MormonChannel.org during the first two weeks of September, which is National Recovery Month. One video will be promoted each day from Sept. 1-12. Each video focuses on one of the recovery program's 12 steps: honesty, hope, trust in God, truth, confession, change of heart, humility, seeking forgiveness, restitution and reconciliation, daily accountability, personal revelation, and service.

In the videos, 12 individuals share the details of their respective addictions and how they overcame them while actors provide raw and realistic re-enactments of their journeys.

"Those participants that did those videos, this is a tremendous gift that they are giving the world," said Brian Armstrong, program manager for LDS Family Services. "They are willing to sacrifice their anonymity to bless the lives of other people and to really share with others how the Atonement has helped them. I am absolutely humbled by what they are doing here."

The directors worked closely with the subject of each video to tell his or her story.

"It was important to make sure that we portray their experience accurately so that we don’t necessarily make light of addiction and how big of an obstacle it is and how difficult it can be to overcome it," Daley said. "We felt like we needed to be as true to the story as we could possibly be without being offensive or anything like that, which I think we struck a balance there."

Because the videos contain sensitive material, each begins with a warning that the content may not be suitable for young children.

While the videos explore the despair and darkness that accompany addiction, they also offer hope.

"I’m hoping that people will be able to see those videos and realize that the program works, that people get healthy, and they get better," Armstrong said. "They do it by facing their demons, really, and by taking a huge risk, by leaning into things that are scary and fearful. They do it with the support of others. And I would say that the most important thing is that the Atonement is real and that those 12 participants are living examples of the power from the Atonement of Jesus Christ."

While similar to other 12-step programs, the LDS Addiction Recovery Program has some differences.

"We received permission from Alcoholics Anonymous to modify the steps just a little bit in the fact that we’re able to clarify that our higher power is Jesus Christ," Armstrong said.

The program is available in every state in the U.S., as well as 20 other countries. The free meetings are officiated by church-service missionaries. Facilitators, typically volunteers who have overcome addictions using the program, also help run the meetings. Participants are not required to give their names, and everything is confidential.

More information about the Addiction Recovery Program can be found at addictionrecovery.lds.org. More information about the video series, which the Mormon Channel will promote on social media using the hashtag #12StepsToChange, is available at mormonchannel.org/12steps.

Daley hopes the videos will have an impact on all viewers, regardless of whether they are battling addictions.

"I think everyone is trying to be better, and to see someone overcome an obstacle like addiction is inspiring," Daley said.

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