I am a recovering alcoholic and I have been sober five years and active in AA and I have been a member of the Mormon Church for 20 years. My question is I am having a hard time combining the two. When active in church I feel like an outsider because I can’t talk to members about AA and in AA I can’t talk to members about church. This has been a conflict that has kept me from progressing like I should and no one seems to have an answer. So I am hoping possibly I might get some insight from you as I have really enjoyed some of your answers to questions and they have helped me on other subjects.
Why can’t you talk to other members of the Mormon Church about the fact that you are a recovering alcoholic? If you were to open up, it might surprise you that you would not be the only one in your Ward with such a condition. And of course they feel the same way as you do. So you might help not only yourself, but others as well. Have you talked with your bishop about your going to AA? If not, that would be a first step. I’m sure that he would be understanding and supportive of your recovery efforts.
However, there will undoubtedly be those self righteous souls who will see you with condemning eyes. But that is not because you have a problem, but rather because they have a problem. They will need your understanding and forgiveness as much as you would desire such from others. And their problem is greater than yours. The Lord has said—
Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin. (D&C 64:9)