From the October 1969 magazine.

About Alcoholism - Alcoholism Information, Research and Treatment

A Mormon's First Reaction to AA

Some five months after I was called to the Aaronic [Reorganized Latter Day Saints] priesthood, Arthur Rock, then associate pastor of Stone Church, stopped me in the aisle at a preaching service and asked me to consider working for the church among alcoholics. Had he taken a hymnal and struck me, I do not believe I could have been more startled. Throughout the service, I questioned why my calling had brought me to such responsibility as going into taverns and trying to convert drunks. However, at Brother Rock's request, I agreed to go to an open meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.

When I entered the basement meeting room, I noted that the air was blue with tobacco smoke. Instantly I reacted with the thought: I cannot do this; many people in Independence knew me when I smoked, and if they were to smell tobacco smoke on my clothes, they would obviously consider me a hypocrite now that I have been ordained to the priesthood. However, I entered the hall, sat down, and saw a hard-looking, middle-aged woman. I said to myself, "At least people won't see me talking to that kind of woman."

-- Rev. Charles L. Massie

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