In 1938 when the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous were first introduced, it was already obvious that they were a set of principles, which if taken to heart and acted upon, could literally transform a person’s life. Nearly 100 previously hopeless alcoholics had been saved from the brink of insanity and death by practicing these principles. That fellowship was to continue to grow until today there are well over a million recovering alcoholics, sober and restored to normal living because of the twelve-step program.
From 1938 to 1946, the fellowship of A.A. struggled along on the organizational level. While individuals were recovering in exponential numbers, the organization was staggering and teetering. The group needed some firm guidelines for its “life” as a fellowship of people who wanted as little “organization” as possible and a loving God as their only authority. How do you “organize” that degree of personal freedom? The twelve traditions are the result of their effort.
THE TWELVE STEPS ARE THE PRINCIPLES THAT ASSURE PERSONAL, INDIVIDUAL RECOVERY. THE TWELVE TRADITIONS ARE THE PRINCIPLES THAT ASSURE THE SUCCESS OF A GROUP. JUST AS IT IS ESSENTIAL TO PRACTICE THE STEPS ON A PERSONAL LEVEL, IT IS EQUALLY ESSENTIAL TO PRACTICE THE TRADITIONS IN ANY GROUP THAT MEETS TO SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER IN LIVING THE STEPS.
With the formation of Heart t’ Heart, the original twelve traditions were prayerfully reviewed and rephrased to reflect LDS concepts. We highly recommend that each person participating in a Heart t’ Heart group, particularly as any kind of “leader,” be very familiar with both the original traditions and the Heart t’ Heart version. Our groups will not have the positive helpful effect they are meant to have if these concepts are ignored.