Mike Houghtaling was raised in Bellevue, Washington, and Raleigh, North Carolina, and served in the Argentina Cordoba mission. Since entering recovery, he has served as a bishop’s counselor, a high councilor, and is currently serving as the bishop of the Fayetteville Georgia YSA Ward. He worked for the Federal Aviation Administration for 37 years, most of those as an air traffic controller, retiring in 2019. Mike and his wife Andrea have five children and seven grandchildren.

Highlights

5:10 About Mike’s ward and his personal family history
10:30 Discovered pornography at age 10 and immediately fell into addiction and shame
12:30 Sought help from his bishop but the guidance didn’t help
15:15 Considered his mission a failure and returned home believing himself the worst of people
17:30 The misunderstanding that marriage and sex would eliminate the problem
19:10 “Porn has no more to do with sex than alcohol has to do with thirst”
20:45 Misunderstanding the difference between sobriety and the healing of recovery, never addressing the shame and wounding
23:00 Hitting rock bottom and finally realizing that he could not hide anymore
26:30 The hopeless concept that everyone protected by the Atonement was under a big umbrella, but he was not under that umbrella
28:30 A tiny thread of hope touched his heart and he began to take the 12 steps seriously and began seeking recovery and healing, not simply sobriety
31:10 Recognition that his wife needed attention for her wounds
33:00 You have to pick up every tool along the way because they can all be helpful
34:00 One helpful tool: Face it, replace it, connect; the power of connection
35:50 Called as a bishop’s counselor
36:30 Explanation of PASG: Pornography Addiction Support Group and the spouse support group
41:15 Telling his story to his YSA ward to show that he is relatable and unafraid of their struggles
44:45 Advice for bishops: invite those struggling with addiction to go to an ARP meeting, go with them, study and seek to understand
47:00 “You are not beyond His help, you are not beyond His reach.”
49:00 Advice for stake presidents: take a chance on different candidates for positions of leadership in the Church
50:50 Metaphor of a quilt with one inky square in the shadows
53:00 Still working steps 10, 11, and 12, the maintenance steps
54:30 Advice for those in the circle of a recovering addict: love them, show grace for and connect with them, and continue to point them towards the Savior
56:30 Supporting the addict’s family members: connect, encourage, listen, point them toward therapy
58:45 Learning to be a true follower and finding healing in understanding the Savior is what has helped him to be a better leader

Links

ODAAT coins
Warrior Heart retreat
Heart of a Woman retreat
Is Elders Quorum Working?
Wild at Heart in Church Leadership | An Interview with Doug Nielsen
Heart of a Woman in Relief Society
Church resources
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