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Kelly Thompson Clark is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic who spent three decades battling the disease of addiction. Plagued by the effects of mental illness and addiction, she eventually descended into homelessness and prostitution. In 2016, after finding faith in Jesus Christ and entering twelve-step recovery, Kelly’s life of tragedy and despair transformed into one that overflowed with purpose and hope. Kelly is a published author, public speaker, podcast co-host, and social media influencer. She has dedicated her life to sharing the reality of hope with those who continue to suffer from the devastating impact of addiction.

Heather Granata Warren and her husband are the parents of nine kids, her two nieces, a daughter-in law, and two dogs. They reside in the Lehi, Utah area, and she owns Little Adventures, a company that manufactures clothing-quality princess dress ups. Her full-time job, however, is as a wife and an Uber driver (for the kids), and handling the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of all those young people. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. Heather currently serves as a Young Women 13–15-year-old advisor. Her favorite callings—and most of the last twenty years—have involved serving the youth and in the Young Women organization.

Highlights

02:00 Kurt introduces Kelly and Heather.

04:00 Introduction to Kelly’s story of addiction and redemption

07:00 Kelly shares their family background and how they were raised.

09:20 As a very young child Kelly suffered from anxiety disorder and depression. She had very troubled teenage years and got into drug addiction and harmful behaviors.

16:00 Kelly looks back on her journey and shares what her young self needed at that time. The true solution was always God and the atonement of Jesus Christ.

17:40 The journey was important. Kelly had small glimpses of the spirit and Jesus Christ throughout the years. In the end, all those experiences combined to help her finally surrender to God.

21:00 The family dynamic and how they were dealing with Kelly’s problems

25:45 Coping with different substances, food, or work. Putting these behaviors before God and losing all peace of mind.

26:30 Hitting her absolute rock bottom using meth and heroin, losing her two daughters, and living out on the streets of Salt Lake

27:40 Heather shares her experience watching her sister suffer and go out of control, not being able to help her.

29:20 Addressing codependency. How can families not enable the member of the family with the addiction? What can they do to truly help?

32:30 The Atonement isn’t just for sin. Heather shares her grief and unbearable pain of thinking she was going to lose her sister. She had to surrender her sister to God.

35:20 Bishop’s should teach surrender to God. Everything always goes back to the Atonement. Let God carry you.

36:10 Kelly describes her gethsemane and how she slowly learned to turn to God and surrender unconditionally to God.

44:45 Kelly describes her emotional journey and miracles that happened to get sober and come back to Christ.

50:30 The process of getting off of heroin and meth

58:30 It’s not just about getting clean and sober but it’s about feeling joy again and coming back to Christ. Not all people that get off drugs are happy.

59:50 Advice for a ward or relief society that is trying to help someone in the midst of addiction and chaos. Love them where they are at with no expectations.

1:01:30 The more vulnerable and honest Kelly is, the more people connect with her. The less judgmental they are.

1:04:00 The Atonement of Jesus Christ lifts the shame.

1:07:20 Rings of light sometimes have frayed ends. However, in time everything will come full circle. Healing is individual and will happen in different time frames for everyone.

1:08:30 Kelly shares where she is now.

1:11:20 Heather’s relationship with Kelly now

1:15:00 Heather’s final encouragement to those that are family members that are discouraged and going through a dark moment with their loved one

1:16:15 Kelly’s final encouragement and advice. Remember that the pain is never wasted. Sometimes we have to go through the darkness to find Christ.

Links

Register for the Recovering Saints Virtual Conference
Between Monsters and Mercy: An Inspiring True Story of a Soul Lost and Found
Helping Addicts Share Their Story | An Interview with Jessica Butterfield & Kelly Thompson
Lamar’s story
Addiction Recovery Program
Read the TRANSCRIPT of this podcast
Listen on YouTube (coming soon)
Get 14-day access to the Core Leader Library

The Leading Saints Podcast has ranked in the top 20 Christianity podcasts in iTunes, gets over 500,000 listens each month, and has over 10 million total downloads as part of nonprofit Leading Saints’ mission to help latter-day saints be better prepared to lead. Learn more and listen to any of the past episodes for free at LeadingSaints.org.

Past guests include Emily Belle Freeman, David Butler, Hank Smith, John Bytheway, Liz Wiseman, Stephen M. R. Covey, Julie Beck, Brad Wilcox, Jody Moore, Tony Overbay, John H. Groberg, Elaine Dalton, Tad R. Callister, J. Devn Cornish, Dennis B. Neuenschwander, Anthony Sweat, John Hilton III, Barbara Morgan Gardner, Blair Hodges, Whitney Johnson, Ryan Gottfredson, Greg McKeown, DeAnna Murphy, Michael Goodman, Richard Ostler, Ganel-Lyn Condie, and many more in over 500 episodes.

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