Dr. Bob’s Wife Anne Smith, Early AAs, and the Holy Spirit
By Dick B.
© 2011 Anonymous. All rights reserved
A few contemporary writers have done their best to distance A.A., AAs, and the fellowship newcomers from the Bible, God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Some Christian critics load their writings with verses from the Bible and dire warnings to AAs and others. But seldom have they taken the time to learn, and rarely to quote, the clear-cut beliefs of the early AAs in the Creator, His Son Jesus Christ, the Bible, and even the Holy Spirit.
There are many pieces of evidence which prove how wrong they are.
And I have chosen here to underline their contention that AAs just don’t and didn’t mention or believe in the Holy Spirit. I have found no evidence that they didn’t in the early Akron A.A. Christian fellowship led primarily by Dr. Bob and his wife Anne Ripley Smith. We may go into much of the other evidence in future articles. But we felt it important to start with woman whom A.A. cofounder Bill W. called the “Mother of A.A.” Anne Smith, who was teacher, evangelist, nurse, housekeeper, counselor, and Bible reader for the early Akron AAs. And, though we don’t know all that Anne shared with early AAs and their families about the gift of the Holy Spirit, we do know what she wrote down in, and taught from, her own personal journal.
What Anne recorded in her journal and shared with early AAs, their wives, and families.
The references following the quotes below are to the pages in Dick B., Anne Smith’s Journal 1933-1939: A.A.’s Principles of Success, 3rd ed. (Kihei, HI: Paradise Research Publications, Inc., 1998):
Have you a Christ that can rid you of your sins and send you on your way rejoicing. . . . The Holy Spirit is ready to dictate a perfect plan. [p. 43]
Attempt great things of God, and see the daily victories of the living God. This involves and enterprises discipleship under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, running up our colors, and helping others to run up theirs. [p. 48]
Guidance is the principle of the Bible, its very structure. “God spoke” to Moses, to the prophets, to the Apostles. Paul was constantly guided by the Holy Spirit. . . . The Acts of the Apostles is called the Book of the Holy Spirit. . . . Hymn writers throughout the ages have realized guidance. The Holy Spirit is the teacher. “He will guide you into all truth.” [pp. 57-58]
Are you prepared to graduate in prayer? “I will lead you and guide you in all truth and bring all thoughts to your remembrance (John)” [p. 60]
[She spoke of] “the guidance of the Holy Spirit,” “the power of the Holy Spirit,” the “direction of the Holy Spirit,” and being “in touch with the Holy Spirit.” [p. 91]
“The secret lies in always keeping one ear to the Holy Spirit.” [p. 92]
“[S]eek the in-dwelling presence of Christ, dedicate body, soul, and spirit; pray that the Holy Spirit may take charge; have the attitude of “Speak Lord for Thy Servant Heareth.” [p. 111]
And Anne’s teachings came straight from the Bible, about which she said this:
Let all your reading be guided. . . . Of course the Bible ought to be the main Source Book of all. No day ought to pass without reading it. . . . Rather have a “Quiet Time” if possible before meeting them [occasions which lead one into temptation] and go with a prayer in your heart. Lean on God and not on yourself. [pp. 60-61]