Will Confessing to my Bishop postpone my mission?
By sinwithsatan
9/27/2011 4:32:04 AM
I first joined this site two years ago... I was 16. My problem then as well as my problem now has been an addiction to Masturbation and Pornography. However much I wanted to quit back then, it just wasn't enough. The desire to quit hasn't been strong enough to overcome my addiction. As I look back now at the last two years, my sins with immorality have stayed the same. It's funny how many times I thought I was going to quit, but just never put in any TRUE effort. As well as my addiction, I have ran into even more serious transgressions. In the past year I have not had sexual intercourse with girls, but have done things which are a long the lines of it. Sexual stimulation with clothes on, touching girls in private places underneath their clothes..
I am 18 now. Recently graduated from high school, moved out on my own with college students, living in Utah not too far from home. Since I've moved out has been the time when the worst of these actions have occurred. I'm preparing to go on a mission.. I go to institute, I attend all my church meetings, I hold a call as a ward missionary. But I have messed up a few times since I have been out on my own.
Right now I have never had more of the desire to throw away my sins and addiction! I Will Give Place No More To The Enemy Of My Soul!!! And I really do believe that. I have been clean for a while now. And will continue on. I hope and I pray to Heavenly Father that this drive within me will not cease. That I may be able to rely on him. That he will make my weak things become strong. I trust and have faith that with Him, I can truly be forgiven and can overcome the temptations thrown at me. I am ready to be clean! I know I must repent. To be truly forgiven. That is what I want. To have this burden lifted off me.
I am 18 right now. I can turn in my mission papers in December of this year. I want to serve a mission so badly. All my brothers have served. I've seen the happiness, humility, and relationship with God and the Savior a mission brings. I want that in my life. It is the one thing in my life I want the most..
My father is the Bishop of my home ward. I have another amazing Bishop here in my singles ward. I know I need to go to them.. But will telling them of my recent transgressions postpone me going on a mission?


"I think that you are on a good path and so glad you are making the decisions you are about working towards recovery. There is so much joy and healing and peace waiting for you. There is a happiness that you probably can't even imagine right now just around the corner! You also have such a worthy desire to serve a mission and I want to commend you and praise you for it.

As far as your question, I don't have an answer. What I can say is this: when we truly turn to God and are ready for Him to lift the burden of our sins for us, we will not hold anything back, including the fear or pride that come from hiding (or make us hide) our sins. When you and I do not care about the cost, or the time it takes, or what we may sacrifice to get clean THEN we are ready to hand over our heart to God.

When we are like Lamoni's father and can say:

"15 What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up dall that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy."

And then his prayer a moment later:

"17 ...the king did abow down before the Lord, upon his knees; yea, even he did prostrate himself upon the earth, and cried mightily, saying:

18 "O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee"

Don't worry about the consequences and worldly logistics of what may happen by talking to your Bishop if you can. The consequence of going to your bishop is healing and peace. The time frame will not matter in the end.

I know that this is terrifying. You are so courageous for even wanting to be free. You are dreaming higher than 99% of the world simply from desiring to follow your Savior. Fear is the opposite of faith. I know that you can do this and that God's promise is sure.

You will have to make sacrifices to be clean, and maybe, maybe, maybe time might be one of them, but it will not be the hardest sacrifice. Giving up your heart will be a much harder thing to do. But remember that a sacrifice is giving up something GOOD for something BETTER. Being clean before God is so much better than appearing to be clean to the world. And this may not be the concern with the time it may take, so please forgive me, and if it is not I hope it is still helpful.

You are a child of God. You are seeking Him. He will bless you."
posted at 06:28:15 on September 27, 2011 by maddy
Here's my story..    
"I had a mb problem before my mission. My father was the Bishop and I didn't want to confess to him either. I tried to do it on my own. I white knuckled out a few months of sobriety so I could tell them that I didnt have a problem. I went through my mission without much problems. My problems returned after my mission. I never told any of my problems to the Bishop -- thinking I could take care of my problem myself. It took me 20 years to realize that I wish I would have taken care of it sooner and I couldnt fix it myself. Hiding my character defects and fears created the perfect conditions for an addiction.

Repenting is a scary thing but it shouldn't be. Talking to your bishop is a scary thing but it shouldnt be. I suspect you will find that your bishops will be far more understanding than you can imagine. I suspect your father/bishop will be far more understanding than you expect. I confessed my issues (far worse than yours) to my father as my marriage was crumbling and I got the unconditional love that I really needed when I was 18 but too shamed to ask for.

So what if your mission is delayed a few months? Tons of youth delay their mission. Tons dont go. I think the church guidelines are that if you've had intercourse, you need to have at least a good solid year of sobriety and focused on going on a mission. Since you havent done that, it will depend on your humilty and ability to stay sober.

I think you need to determine if you have a bad habit or an addiction. Are there underlying emotional pain that you are medicating with porn and mb? Maybe you just need to get your secrets out and get some visible accountability and you will be able to remove this defect. Maybe you need to attend 12 step meetings or personal therapy. Work it out with the Lord and your Bishops. It will work out in the end. "
posted at 08:40:41 on September 27, 2011 by Hurtallover
"Just some thoughts I had, speaking from some very similar experiences. Like you, I had a pornography and masturbation addiction throughout much of my teenage life. Like you, I had gone further than just P & M and had involved someone else. No sex, but much more than should have ever happened. Much like HurtAllOver, I white knuckled for several months before turning in my papers and then reported that I had no problems so I could go on my mission, but that was not true.

Once in the MTC, the spirit was strong enough and constant enough that I could not deny my dishonesty. I ended up speaking with my branch president, who referred me to someone else higher up the chain in the MTC (I don't even remember his name now). During that interview and confession I was very tempted to gloss over the details and remember several times having to take a deep breath and go back to fill in some details. I was so scared and so sure that I would be sent home. He just sat a listened quietly. After a fairly lengthy talk, he determined that it had indeed been long enough since I had slipped with P, M, or anyone else. that I could go on my mission. I felt so relieved and so blessed.

However, while on my mission I was constantly battling doubts that I was really worthy to be there. I had confessed my sins and was given a green light by those in authority, but the doubts still came up. I had lied to my bishop, my stake president, my parents. I questioned the inspiration behind my mission call since I was not worthy when I submitted my papers. I questioned the blessings given to me before my mission, including my patriarchal blessing.

Don't get me wrong, I loved my mission, and I saw a lot of success and received countless blessings during my two years. I would have stayed longer if I could. But I was also scared of failure on my mission. Scared that if even one investigator was lost, that it was because of my own unworthiness. Scared that if I didn't use every minute of every day to be as productive as possible, that it would only further prove my unworthiness. My mission was heavenly, but it was also at times a literal hell to me.

After coming home, my mind and spirit had definitely not been strengthened as much as they could have been. I was not healed from my addictions and I slipped right back into pornography and masturbation. It has taken me years to try and dig back out of that pit.

If your mission is delayed a short time, then it will be delayed, but you will still go. And when you go, you will have nothing dragging you down. You will have a stronger testimony and a faith unhampered by sin and transgression. You will be able to work miracles in your life and in the lives of those you teach. Hiding your sins and attempting to serve anyway will only drag you down further into the pit you are trying to climb out of, and leave you wondering for the rest of your life what kind of success you might have had if you were only worthy to go.

Please follow the spirit. Confession and repentance is the only way to Christ and the healing that only He can offer."
posted at 09:45:53 on September 27, 2011 by paul
I'm almost in the same circumstance    
"I have a problem with mb right now and am trying to quit. I've never done anything worse than that but it's really hard to quit. I don't want to tell my bishop either and probly never will but I feel like I need to stop before my mission, so I think as long as you feel worthy and are willing to accept Gods judgement go for it and do what you think is right."
posted at 01:28:09 on July 21, 2013 by Anonymous
Do it now.    
"I didn't take care of this before my mission, and while I didn't have a problem for 2 years, it returned quickly after I returned home.

Even if you have to postpone a few months, don't worry -- no one will remember or care once you're actually on your mission. I believe that if I had taken care of this before my mission as I should have, I wouldn't be here now. Plus, if you are attending a ysa ward in Utah, your bishop likely has a lot of experience dealing with this.

Good luck."
posted at 17:14:23 on July 23, 2013 by Anonymous
Same situation    
"I am in the same situation. There is no way I can postpone for months. It really won't work out. I feel awful and want to get over it. I told my bishop a few years ago but have slipped back in it countless times. I haven't done it for months but will just telling him postpone it? Everyone expects so much of me and I don't know how I could bare staying longer without killing myself. I know I can be a good missionary but I'm scared. Please help"
posted at 17:28:16 on April 12, 2014 by Anonymous
The answer is to tell him    
"This is a tough struggle for those getting ready to go on their mission. But you are NOT alone. Many, many young men struggle with pornography before their mission. You can still serve a valiant mission, and you CAN overcome your struggle.

No one here knows exactly what your Bishop will do. Some bishops will let you go, if it's been a few months. Some might make you wait.

But if you go without being completely honest with him, you will be unable to be an effective missionary, and you might find yourself coming home early (which would probably be more unbearable than waiting a few months).

So, your choices are: tell him and he'll let you go; tell him and he'll make you wait; don't tell him and go--but be ineffective as a missionary; don't tell him and don't go.

Which of those four choices sounds best to you? Do you want to get better or not?

Check out"
posted at 17:57:58 on April 12, 2014 by beclean
Just Go    
"In the mtc, tons of missionaries in my zone confessed to looking at porn and lying about it, including myself. Nobody got sent home. My honest advice is to just go and tell them once you feel guilty in the mtc. if you stay off of your mission and try to sort things out then you have to face the public shame and all that."
posted at 10:35:35 on April 13, 2014 by ette
Talk to your bishop now. Don't worry about it and don't worry about waiting or not waiting or postponing or not postponing. Just get the darn shame of it off your back and get yourself clean. You'll regret it if you don't. A lot of bishops wont delay you if you are showing real repentance and honesty even if you've only been clean for a little while. They keep you back if the Spirit is telling them that you aren't ready or it isn't the best thing for you. Trust the Spirit and do the right thing.
Good luck!
posted at 16:40:41 on April 13, 2014 by Anonymous
Go to your bishop now.    
"Talk to your bishop. It's scary at first but I promise you he isn't there to keep you from going on a mission. He wants you to succeed and be a great missionary. I am preparing for a mission right now and after my papers went all the way to the stake president I felt so guilty for something I had done a couple months before. I tried to just repent to my Heavenly Father but it stayed on my mind. I texted my bishop and asked to meet with him. Before I went I was so terrified. But after I sat in his office and allowed the spirit to give me the strength to tell him I could literally feel the burden lift off me. And that isn't the first time I've had to go into a bishop and talk about something like that. Your bishop loves you and he isn't going to keep you from leaving for your mission when planned unless Heavenly Father specifically directs him to. And Heavenly Father just wants what is best for you. Get if off your conscience and know you're worthy before you go. It will make your mission so much better. And your testimony of the atonement grows infinitely when you strive to honestly repent."
posted at 04:59:51 on March 31, 2016 by Anonymous

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"Don’t live your life in despair, feeling sorry for yourself because of the mistakes you have made. Let the sunshine in by doing the right things—now. It may be difficult to begin, but pick up the scriptures and immerse yourself in them. Look for favorite passages. Lean on the Master’s teachings, on His servants’ testimonies. Refresh your parched soul with the word of God. The scriptures will give you comfort and the strength to overcome. "

— Richard G. Scott

General Conference May 1990