ARP Step 5

Step 5: Confession

KEY PRINCIPLE: Admit to yourself, to your Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ, to proper priesthood authority, and to another person the exact nature of your wrongs.


“I, the Lord, forgive sins unto those who confess their sins before me and ask forgiveness” (D&C 64:7).

  • How does confessing your sins to God help you make positive changes in your life?

  • Most of us feel fear and an unwillingness to take step 5. How can confessing your sins to God give you courage and strength eventually to confess to another person?


“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed” (James 5:16).

  • You may fear that someone who really knew all your weaknesses and failings would reject you. But a priesthood leader or a trusted friend who understands the recovery process usually responds with understanding and compassion. How could such a response help you heal?


“Let not any man publish his own righteousness . . . ; sooner let him confess his sins, and then he will be forgiven, and he will bring forth more fruit” (Joseph Smith, in History of the Church, 4:479).

  • One major obsession of those who struggle with addiction is a great desire to look good to others. How would this desire keep you from improving and bringing “forth more fruit” (or good works)?

  • How would your behavior change if you were only concerned about looking good to God?


“Whosoever transgresseth against me, him shall ye judge according to the sins which he has committed; and if he confess his sins before thee and me, and repenteth in the sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive, and I will forgive him also” (Mosiah 26:29).

  • When you confess your sins, you must be sincere. Consider how holding back part of your confession undermines the sincerity of your efforts. What part of your inventory, if any, are you tempted to hide?

  • What do you have to gain by continuing to hide this portion of your inventory? What do you have to lose?


“In this same year were they brought to a knowledge of their error and did confess their faults” (3 Nephi 1:25).

  • This verse is an example of people who did not procrastinate confessing their faults once they were brought to a knowledge of them. What are the benefits of doing step 5 as soon as possible after step 4?

  • What might be the detrimental effects of procrastinating step 5?


“I would not dwell upon your crimes, to harrow up your soul, if it were not for your good” (Alma 39:7).

  • Some people would claim that we dwell too much on negative things in life by taking steps 4 and 5 and that doing so can only add to our stress. In this verse, we are taught that facing shortcomings can do us good, not just “harrow up” (or distress) our souls. In what ways can steps 4 and 5 relieve you of stress and bring you more peace?


“By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins— behold, he will confess them and forsake them” (D&C 58:43).

  • To forsake something means to abandon it or give it up completely. How do you demonstrate your desire to forsake your old ways by completing step 5?