The '30 in 30' is program of step assignments given by sponsors to sponsee's.  The 30 in 30 program specifically is not endorsed by the church but it is commonly used in the ARP Program.  I have sponsored many 30 in 30's and wrote the following outline of how to work them. 

This can also be used as a general guideline for those working the steps on their own.  


How the 30 in 30 works: 30 assignments in 30 days to be worked everyday by the sponsee doing daily Step assignments and reporting each day to the sponsor what they have learned.

The purpose: To allow the sponsee to sink themselves into the 12 Steps, saturating themselves with the Spirit of recovery and allow daily work with the Steps to direct their lives toward healing by way of their Savior.

General Guidelines for sponsors
  1. This program should be sponsored by someone who is strong in recovery and has sponsored a ‘30 in 30’ before.  The reason for this is that there is often despair and hopelessness surrounding those new to recovery and would be easily absorbed by someone who is not already strong in recovery.  Sponsee’s also may say something that may trigger the sponsor so it is important the sponsor be well equipped to handle such situations.
  2. It is recommended that the sponsor tell the sponsee prior to starting the ’30 in 30’ that the program lasts only 30 days.  It is up to the sponsee how much work they put into it, but in the end, it only goes for 30 days.  If the sponsee is doing well and would like to, they do have the option of continuing with a ’60 in 60’ or ’90 in 90’ if the sponsor agrees, or with another sponsor.
  3. “The quality of our recovery is directly proportionate to the quality of our surrender.”  The sponsee will get out of it what they give, it’s that simple. They have complete control over their own recovery.  If you find the sponsee is not committed to the program, are giving shallow answers, or are ‘check listing’ their assignments, they may just not be ready for the ‘30 in 30’.  Don’t hesitate to point this out, and suggest they take some time to re-assess where they are and how committed they are.  Encourage them to continue coming to Group and reach out for help if needed but to move at a pace that progresses their recovery.
  4. Sponsee’s should be checking in daily at a previous specified time.  It is OK to have the time be different each day as long as both parties agree. 
  5. Urgent situations arise and at times sponsee’s are not able to call resulting in skipped days.  It is at the discretion of the sponsor to extend check-ins for any days past the 30.
  6. The call itself should be the sponsee reporting on what they learned from the previous day’s assignment.  Calls generally last 20-30 minutes.

General Guidelines for sponsee’s
  1. The sponsee should find a quiet time each day where they can devote 30-60 minutes on each assignment. 
  2. The sponsee should open each assignment with a humble prayer on their knees, asking Heavenly Father “what would you have me learn?”  Suggest to them that they not ask for anything specific, but just to be taught.
  3. It would be beneficial if the sponsee obtained a hard-copy of the Addiction Recovery Manual.
  4. It is also recommended that the sponsee keep a journal specific to their 30 in 30.  A lot of miracles, personal revelation and tender mercies will manifest throughout this process and it is wonderful to have a place to record all of it.

The following is a general outline of assignments to be given, but it is very important to follow the promptings of the Spirit when giving assignments.  Each individual is unique in their recovery so assignments will often be personal just for them.  Heavenly Father uses the sponsor as a conduit to work His miracles in the lives of his precious children.

It is also important that the sponsee actually work the Steps.  The 30 in 30 is not an overview or quick rundown of the Steps; rather it is a program where the sponsor guides the sponsee through actually working the Steps; learning from them and growing from them.   


The introduction is an excellent first assignment for someone who is brand new to recovery.  The introduction bears a sweet testimony of the power of the Steps by people in recovery.  It invites the sponsee to trust in the Steps and to join in the journey back to the Savior.

Step 1 - Honesty

  1. Read and report on the body of the Step.
  2. Read and report on the action Steps (make sure to specifically ask the sponsee how they feel about the first action Step and if they feel confidant that they have the ‘willingness to abstain’ aspect of it down)
  3. If the sponsee is having any hesitation about their willingness, have them write a list of the pro’s of continuing in their addiction and the con’s of continuing in their addiction.  Have them list anything and everything, including selfish reasons.  If done correctly their pro list will be much shorter than their con list.  Don’t hesitate to send them back to work on it more if you feel their list isn’t complete.
  4. A good talk regarding choice is ‘The Three R’s of Choice’ by Thomas S. Monson.  Plainly stated, it talks about choice being a privilege and makes it seem powerful and much less daunting.
  5. Read and answer the questions in Step 1.  The questions should not be checklist style.  Much can be learned and revealed to the sponsee by praying about and answering each question.  If the sponsee is having trouble with a specific one, it is OK for them to leave it, pray about it and revisit it later.  Invite the sponsee to talk about their feelings surrounding roadblocks they may run into regarding them.  Offer them encouragement in return and invite them to pray about it and ask Heavenly Father for guidance, reassurance, peace and answers.
  6. Once all the assignments have been completed for Step 1, have the sponsee pray about moving on to Step 2.

Addition helps for Step 1
Suggest that the sponsee see their Bishop on a regular basis and to be honest with him, so that anything that happens is not something they have to add to their Step 4, but rather it is taken care of right away.

Step 2 - Hope

  1. Read and report on the body of the Step.
  2. Have the sponsee read ‘The Tender Mercies of the Lord’ by Elder David A. Bednar.  This talk is very powerful in offering hope that Heavenly Father really does love us and is not only able, but wholly willing to help us.
  3. Read, answer and report on the questions in the Step.
  4. Once all the assignments have been completed for Step 2, have the sponsee pray about moving on to Step 3.

Addition helps for Step 2
The blessings, tender mercies and miracles that the Lord so freely gives us are direct evidence of His love for us.  Invite the sponsee to start looking for miracles in their life each day as they work the ’30 in 30’ and have them report these miracles.  This helps them begin to recognize miracles and actually see that their Father in Heaven is actively blessing them; actively showering them with his love.  This recognition helps the sponsee increase their gratitude to their Heavenly Father which begins a wonderful cycle of give and receive with the Lord.

Step 3 – Trust in God

  1. Read and report on the body of the Step.
  2. Have the sponsee read ‘The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Uncertainty and Testing’ by Elder Richard G. Scott.  This talk is very powerful in helping the sponsee understand that life is hard, for everyone, but God loves us all and invites everyone to trust Him, no matter their circumstance.
  3. Read, answer and report on the questions in the Step.
  4. Once all the assignments have been completed for Step 3, have the sponsee pray about moving on to Step 4.

Step 4 has multiple Steps throughout it.  In the Addiction Recovery Manual there is only one inventory, however for the purposes of the 30 in 30, there are 3 or 4.

Step 4 - Truth

Inventory 1 – Lifelong Timeline (allow 1-2 days)

Have the sponsee document their life in a timeline.  Include moves, major events, milestones etc.  If the sponsee has any memories come up that need to be inventoried in their Step 4, have them write them off to the side so as to not forget, but not worry about it until they begin their Step 4 inventory.  There is not a specific way this is suppose to ‘look’, it is simply to help the sponsee organize their thoughts and get thinking about the past in preparation for the next 3 inventories; it in a sense gets the memory wheels greased and moving.

Inventory 2 – Christ like Attributes (allow 2-3 days)

Have the sponsee list all of their Christ like attributes.  This can be very difficult for sponsee’s because they have lived in self loathing for so long, but through prayer Heavenly Father will reveal to them their worth.  A few steps can be taken to help facilitate this process:
  1. Have the sponsee list adjectives that they feel describe their Christ like attributes.
  2. Have the sponsee ask friends and/or family they trust, including a Bishop and sponsor what they think the sponsee’s Christ like attributes are.  Make sure it is people they not only trust, but will believe.
  3. Ask the sponsee to consider that all these attributes are gifts from God.  Have them pray and ask God why He has bestowed these gifts upon them and what he wants the sponsee to do with them; how he wants the sponsee to emulate them; how they can use those gifts to help others and further the work of the Lord.

Inventory 3 – God’s Hand

Have the sponsee inventory times throughout their life, from their earliest memories, where the Lord’s hand was present in their lives.  Miracles and tender mercies are abundant, but often the sponsee is blind to remembering them.  Have them pray and ask Heavenly Father to open their minds and hearts to remembering them.  It is very easy for sponsee’s to get general when listing these tender mercies.  Instill in them that they are to look for very specific instances throughout their lives where the Lord has bestowed a tender mercy just for them.  The goal of this assignment is to help the sponsee recognize that the Lord has been with them throughout their entire life, not just now when they are working on recovery; to help them understand that the Lord never left; that He has always been there.

Inventories 2 and 3 are important before the 4th because it creates a foundation of worth in the sponsee before they begin remembering all the dark stuff to inventory and move toward confession and telling their sponsor. 

Inventory 4

  1. Encourage the sponsee at this point to begin considering people to be their permanent sponsor if they do not already have one.  This is a prayerful process and should be pondered and prayed about.  Offer the sponsee the Support in Recovery sheet on choosing a sponsor and bear your testimony of how having and utilizing a sponsor has helped you throughout your journey.
  2. Read and report on the body of the Step.
  3. Read, answer and report on the questions in the Step.
  4. Begin the inventory.

It is strongly recommended that the sponsee work their Step 5 with their sponsor as soon as possible after their inventory is complete.  Encourage the sponsee once again to prayerfully choose a sponsor during their Step 4 inventory, so that sponsor is in place and ready to listen to the sponsee’s Step 5 as soon as the inventory is complete.


  1. This is such a powerful program! I love it.

  2. Wish we had sponsers and such programs here !


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