A Prayer in the Parking Lot

A Miraculous Cure from Addiction

imagesIt wouldn’t be called an “addiction” if one could break out of it through sheer power of will.  Alcoholics Anonymous and the LDS church’s Addiction Recovery Program teach that the first step to recovery is to admit we are powerless over our addiction – that our lives have become unmanageable.  But through the miracle God’s divine help, addiction can be overcome, as the following story demonstrates.  It was published in the Ensign, August 1992.

I remember the night vividly and marvel at how far I had strayed from what I knew was right. There I was, searching through trash cans behind a supermarket for food. I was close to suicide, yet I was afraid to die. I was deeply frightened as I reflected on the incredible changes I had permitted to occur in my life.

I had been born into a Latter-day Saint home, and from the time I was a youngster I had attended my Church meetings. I graduated from seminary, was active in leadership roles, and loved every minute of my activity in the Church.

After graduating, I was offered a scholarship to Brigham Young University. Instead of accepting it, I decided to try out for the top-rated baseball team of a university in another state. I had visions of becoming a professional athlete.

In college, I was exposed to an entirely different life-style. People’s attitudes were different, and I discovered a maze of differing philosophies. My Church activity dwindled, and my value system soon weakened. In spite of my lifelong membership in the Church, I wasn’t a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I was fully capable of ignoring the Spirit of the Lord.

New ideas and temptations hit me head-on. I began experimenting with drugs and alcohol and started dating a girl who was not a member of the Church. I even quit the baseball team to get a job so I could buy a car to impress her. I skipped classes as I became more involved with my girlfriend and drugs.

It wasn’t long before I was addicted. Within two years I became a “speed freak” who couldn’t hold a job or function in normal society. I was broke, sick, and friendless on the beaches of San Diego.

That night in the supermarket parking lot, I fell to my knees. With tears streaming down my face, I pleaded for help, hoping that what I had learned as a child was true and that someone was listening.

Suddenly a wonderful warmth engulfed my head, then filled my entire body. I could feel the Spirit of the Lord with an intensity I’d never known. A soothing calmness came over me, and for the first time in years, I felt at peace.

When I finally stood again, I was free of fear and anguish. I knew my desperate, sincere prayer for help had been answered. Miraculously, I experienced no withdrawal pains and had no more desire for drugs.

The road back was a long but rewarding one. I returned to activity in the Church and began seriously studying the scriptures. I served as director of a drug rehabilitation center in southern California for a time and saw many helped through the power of God. I also saw others, who would not heed the Lord’s teachings, sink lower into hopelessness and degradation. I ache for those people and feel ever grateful to the Lord for hearing and answering my desperate prayer.