Paragraph Writing Down The Twelve Steps
"In the course of this writing, I had considerably changed the order of the presentation. In our word-of-mouth program, we had reversed mention of God to the very end. For some reason, unknown to me, I had transposed this to almost the very beginning. In my original draft of the Twelve Steps, God was mentioned several times and only as God. It never occurred to me to qualify this to "God as we understand Him" as we did later on.Otherwise the Twelve Steps stand today almost exactly as they were first written.
When these Steps were shown to my friends, their reactions were quite mixed indeed. Some argued that six steps had worked fine, so why twelve? From our agnostic contingent there were loud cries of too much "God." Others objected to an expression which I had included which suggested getting on one’s knees while in prayer. I heavily resisted these objections for months. But finally did take out my statement about a suitable prayerful posture and I finally went along with that now tremendously important expression, "God as we understand Him"—this expression having been coined, I think, by one of our former atheist members. This was indeed a ten-strike. That one has since enabled thousands to join M who would have otherwise gone away. It enabled people of fine religious training and those of none at all to associate freely and to work together. It made one’s religion the business of the A.A. member himself and not that of his society."