AllAboutMormons.com Webmaster from La Jolla, California:
I think your concern is a common one. I've never been a bishop and so can't comment on the specifics of your case. However, a few things did catch my attention. First, you initially felt good about your confession. I think if your confession had been incomplete in God's eyes, you would not have felt His comforting spirit. Second, you had a bishop who counseled you to only come to him if you were having sex, and you followed that bishop's counsel. I don't think all bishops would take that approach, but your bishop did, and you were part of his stewardship, so I think you're covered. Third, you've clearly gone on to lead a righteous life, which is one of the signs of true repentance. You've received the Melchizedek Priesthood, been sealed in the temple, and started a family of your own.
I am certain that Satan does try to encourage the repentant to dwell on their past sins. He wants you to think that you are worthless, that you are not clean in God's eyes. I think that may be what's happening in your case. Remember, Satan is trying to deceive you. You should forgive yourself.
Given what I've said above, my next piece of advice may surprise you. I think you should see your bishop! Not because you need to repent--I think you've taken care of that--but because the bishop can help you work through your feelings of needless guilt. Tell your bishop that you repented in the past, that you felt good about your confession at the time, and that you've gone on to live a righteous life. Mention, though, that you can't help but continue to dwell on your past sins. I think Christ has forgiven you, but perhaps you haven't forgiven yourself. Your loving bishop can walk you through these challenges. Bishops can do so much more than receive confessions!
Hope this helps. I hope you can find greater peace in your life. Best of luck to you and your family.
Anonymous from Provo:
I think you have solved your own problem with the last sentence of your plea for help? Lucifer is a wonder for always attempting to get us to be down on ourselves. He does this because when we are hacking up our past and feeling guilt and shame for the past we don't look toward the future. Predident Packer has given a reason as to why the church counsels not to inquire about specific details with "preocupation with unworthy behavior will lead to unworthy behavior
Shane Bowen gave a talk in the 2006 general conference entitled "The Atonement can Clean, Reclaim, and Sanctify our Lives
." I would recomend watching a copy of this talk on lds.org or at least reading the transcript. Also go and study the talks of President Packer and his councel on looking toward the future and not dwelling on the past to solve life.
While I was dealing with very simalar sexual problems I created a summary quote on President Packer's words basically: "There is no sin so great, no transgression so vile, no rebellion so long that is exempt from a full and complete forgiveness of sin or shortcomings through the atonement of our lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." Basically he decended below all things and that is why we have him as our redeemer. Brother Stephen Robinson in his book "Believing Christ" says basically "What good is a Savior if he doesn't save anyone? It's like a lifeguard who when he sees a drowning person yells out 'Hey, try the backstroke!', sits on his high-up lifeguard chair, and watches the person stuggle to live."
Our Lord has said he would succor his people, which word defined means: to go to the aid of.
Bottom line is don't give up. I've been in your shoes and even though I don't understand the why or how, Christ's atonement has freed me from such pains and guilt. Every now and again the devils will try to bring me down again by putting past pictures of memories in my head, but I just remove them by prayer and/or singing an LDS hymn. Just don't give up, always believe Christ loves you and will forever and know that the only losers in this life at the people who stop trying. As long as you are walkig toward God with the help of Jesus you can't lose in this life. Brother Robinson's book again: "As long as you are on Christ's team and doing what he needs you to do, even if that is warming the bench, with him as captaion and quarterback you can't lose in this life.... You take an unprofitable you and merge up with the infinatly profitable Jesus, your worth combined equals positive, in the black, and a successfull and redeamed life."
Just keep praying and trying your best. (Ether 12:27
) with him at your side the night will pass and you will be well again one day.
So like the child playing with play-doh, God may need to roll you, squish you, and trim off some unwanted parts. But in the end, if you trust him and let him mold you. He'll save you from yourself and exhault you on high. You and me both friend.Webmaster
: Wow. Beautiful response, anonymous.
I am the OP and your answers are a reminder to me of why I came back to the light. People that believe in Jesus Christ and his works understand the importance of service, and by you taking the time and effort to help me through my problems, you have served me in ways that I will always be grateful for. I value the blessings that I have been given, and also have the opportunity to receive. I had been checking back to this page for a couple of days now and have not had any responses, but I fasted and prayed for just a glimmer of guidance, (from my Father in Heaven, as well as my peers) and then I returned to this forum and there had been 4 answers posted. I feel so blessed, and this was one of many situations that has helped in the strengthening of my testimony. Thank you all so much. I will be moving into a new ward soon, and plan to talk to the bishop privately before he gives me a calling, and if I feel moved by the spirit to solve anything else with him, then I will. Again, thank you so much.
Cody from La Jolla:
Elder Scott gave a talk entitled "Peace of Conscience, Peace of Mind" in the Oct. 2004 General Conference
that I know will be of help. I suggest you not only prayerfully read it and study it, but also listen to Elder Scott deliver it (in case you don't know already, all recent conference talks can be watched or listened to online at lds.org
). Elder Scott talks directly to those who have confessed their sins to their priesthood leaders and may be yet experiencing guilt. I hope this helps.
Anonymous from Orem:
I'm not sure I can add anything significant to what has already been said since the answers herein are some of the most inspired and conscientious of any I have ever come across on any subject, on any website. The Holy Spirit truly dwells here.
I know that the adversary is real. I know that the scurvy worm has nothing better to do than lie in wait for our weak moments. I know that his worst fear is that we will fend off his assaults with prayer
of the holy word of God and service
to God through service to others. I know that in those times when I feel vulnerable if I immediately say a prayer (no matter how reluctant I feel) it is a haymaker right to Satan's kisser that sends him reeling long enough for me to strengthen my footing.
Satan wants us weak and dependent. That is why he fosters doubt. That is why he wields fear.
Father wants us to be strong and capable. That is why he gave us agency and discernment. That is why he gave us the atonement.
Michael from Fort Worth, Texas:
Since I was baptized I have had numerous occasions where past sins have "bothered" me. I have felt guilty and have also wondered if I repented properly. I have on these occasions expressed my sorrow and pain specifically about my sin to our Heavenly Father and asked for forgiveness through our Savior Jesus Christ. Because I am active in partaking of the sacrament, (which is just as effective as baptism for the cleansing of my sins), the spirit grants me peace and knowledge that I have been forgiven.
I recommend that you express your concerns and sorrow in prayer and have faith in Jesus Christ that you will be forgiven completely through him. Listen to the spirit for guidance and peace.
Wayne Adams from Bradford:
If you have already confessed and repented, then you have a clean slate to start over. Satan just loves reminding you of your sins in order to make you feel worthless and gets you inactive again. So... Just get on with your life and enjoy the blessings. If Satan reminds you of your past, then you need to remind him of his future!