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Do I need to talk with my Bishop every time I slip?
By no more
1/26/2012 8:15:29 PM
I've talked with several Bishops that i've had over the past couple years. The most recent meet with me twice, and never said anything else. I felt completely clean, since then, the end of Nov, I had several slips, and I've continually been trying, but I know I haven't completely worked through everything because I have still been relapsing. Do I still need to work with him? Can I be completely forgiven without? Do I need to overcome this and then confess again for the 7th or 8th time to a Bishop?

I am feeling a lot better than I did a couple days ago, and I've been completely clean for 4 days now. Will I ever be able to be normal again without relapsing? I've been clean for months at a time and even a year, but sooner or later something happened and I slipped, and the next thing I knew I was in a trap that was harder and more painful to get myself out of. Is it possible that I will ever be able to overcome this for real? No relapsing, no more confessing to Bishops, and being able to forgive and accept myself-weakness and all?

Comments:

Yes, you can be forgiven without...    
"Forgiveness is between you and the Lord. Meeting with the Bishop is for more of a healing process. It may not be necessary for you to meet with the bishop anymore. But none of us can tell you if it is or isn't. You need to pray about it. And maybe talk to your bishop about it.

I know for me that meeting with the bishop helps me to be spiritually uplifted and become healed from all the pain and suffering this has brought me.

What I do know about you is that you are not trapped. You can be freed from this. It takes time, it takes work but you will be free. One of my favorite quotes is Elder Holland's:

"Every one of us has times when we need to know things will get better. My declaration is that that is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need...
“Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead.” Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come."

Don't you quit. I don't know when your blessings will come. But I know they will. Things will get better."
posted at 20:34:52 on January 26, 2012 by iamstrong
thats a good question.. I think you have to tell someone    
"A big part of the 12 step program which I think works is the idea that you need to have a sponsor or accountability partner -- a real live person to confess your slips and almost slips to. IMHO, its not good enough to just pray about it. It gets too impersonal. Too easy to rationalize, justify and isolate.

the Bishop plays the role of common judge in Israel so if your slips make you feel unworthy, I guess you need to go chat with him.

I personally have a sponser from the SAA program that I talk to about my feelings and etc. I dont know if it's helpful to talk to your bishop like a therapist or sponsor. They arent trained to understand the addictive feelings that go along with this.

I know that pre-disclosure days, I considered masturbation to be a very minor sin far below word of wisdom and didn't justify telling the bishop about it because I could take care of it myself. But that didnt work out so well for me in the long run..

Im curious what other people say."
posted at 20:35:56 on January 26, 2012 by Hurtallover
I agree    
"You do need someone to be accountable to. What I was unsure about is whether it needed to be the Bishop. The Stake President explained to me that the Bishop's role is important but he isn't my therapist and he isn't my babysitter. Imagine if every single one of us told the Bishop every time we made a mistake. And that is what you need to pray about. But I would highly recommend meeting with the Bishop if you feel guilt and pain because he can help you with the healing process. And I highly recommend you finding a sponsor or friend that you can be accountable to."
posted at 20:44:31 on January 26, 2012 by iamstrong
Not about feeling this or that    
"This is not about feeling. Your Bishop is your Judge in Israel and often he is the one to hold your feet to the fire. God's laws have little to do with what we feel. Right is right, wrong is wrong. Confession for every slip is necessary. Just as every single slip must be confessed to your spouse should you be married.

I see it this way, I am accountable and God requires me to be humble. If I am humble, I cannot hold anything back. Do I want sobriety, or do I want to see if I can get away with a little sin? I tried to hold back for many years, and I could not heal or stay sober . I am sober for 15 months now. I really began healing when I held nothing back from God and my wife.

This and many other sacrifices worked for me. I think a good indication would be this, are you becoming closer to God doing what you are doing now? If so keep moving in that direction. If not, be honest about what you need to do. Either way you do need an accountability partner. You will get sober when you want it more than food or air. I lost too much for too long and hurt my family by not wanting it bad enough. "
posted at 00:21:28 on January 27, 2012 by Anonymous
Thanks for your help    
"I appreciated all your comments. . . They all helped me, so I say thank you. I ended up deciding that if I was even questioning it, I needed to talk with my Bishop, and I'm going to on Sunday. I looked in the revised version of the For Strength of Phamphlet, and it says in regard to sexual transgressions " If you have committed sexual transgression, talk to your bishop now and begin the process of repentance so that you can find peace and have the full companionship of the Spirit." I took it as, if I commit transgression, I need to confess. The 12 steps says if a wrong is committed to promptly admit. The Bishop is who to confess to for these type of sins. As hard as it is, repentance is a gift. And accepting the gift comes with a price that God has clearly outlined. I want to be free, and I want my heart to change. I want to do everything I can to be clean."
posted at 22:08:41 on January 27, 2012 by no more
porn    
"So I just returned from my mission because I confessed to my mission president that I had problems with the law of chastity before my mission. So he sent me home for about 6 months and well I relapsed watching pornagrahy. I tried so hard not watching it but I watched it twice and feel really guilty. I've talked with my bishop etc and well I don't really feel like they helped! More like you know what to do etc and its bad. Pls help what should I do?"
posted at 01:39:30 on January 21, 2014 by ammon
porn    
"So I just returned from my mission because I confessed to my mission president that I had problems with the law of chastity before my mission. So he sent me home for about 6 months and well I relapsed watching pornagrahy. I tried so hard not watching it but I watched it twice and feel really guilty. I've talked with my bishop etc and well I don't really feel like they helped! More like you know what to do etc and its bad. Pls help what should I do? I still want to go on my mission I don't want to get excommunicated. I can do this alone with the lord but must I talk to my bishop again?"
posted at 01:42:01 on January 21, 2014 by ammon
ammon    
"Talk with your bishop... I thought the sane thing when I was sent home from my mission... you're still a human being... porn won't get y poo u excommunicated if you do your very best to forsake... don't assume the worst, but assume the cleansing power of the atonement will bring you the relief you're searching for! Without this relief... it will b impossible to return to your mission worth, and that's always our goal. Worthiness is number one,! You can do this.. love you elder!"
posted at 01:19:31 on January 22, 2014 by Anonymous
It depends    
"It depends on what the slip up is. If it is something that would keep you from getting a temple recommend, then you must talk to your bishop about it."
posted at 23:28:29 on January 22, 2014 by Anonymous
ammon    
"Ok but I want to go back and I slipped I had sex and watched porn again. Nd still waiting to go back on my mission. I didn't get released as a missionary and I feel really really bad. I told myself today that I was never going to do it again! Pls help"
posted at 13:29:00 on January 24, 2014 by ammon
ammon    
"I came back from my mission cus I confessed to my mission president I had sex multiple times before my mission. Now I'm home repenting to go back and I had sex one time pls I don't want to get excommunicated I wanna go back. I learned from that someone give me advice pls. I feel like expressing my feelings here to you all will help relieve burdens off my shoulder. I'm a missionary still and haven't got released yet and at home going through a repentance process but slipped and had sex. I hope talking to u guys will be the same as the bishop cus honestly I have no trust in him. Its been three weeks since I've been home and only talked with my stake President and not my bishop. He hasn't called me. Etc. So willexpressing my feeloingas here be the same as taking with the bishop? Were all sinners and I want my life in order my parents are strong in the gospel etc. Pls help"
posted at 13:35:32 on January 24, 2014 by ammon
ammon    
"I came back from my mission cus I confessed to my mission president I had sex multiple times before my mission. Now I'm home repenting to go back and I had sex one time pls I don't want to get excommunicated I wanna go back. I learned from that someone give me advice pls. I feel like expressing my feelings here to you all will help relieve burdens off my shoulder. I'm a missionary still and haven't got released yet and at home going through a repentance process but slipped and had sex. I hope talking to u guys will be the same as the bishop cus honestly I have no trust in him. Its been three weeks since I've been home and only talked with my stake President and not my bishop. He hasn't called me. Etc. So willexpressing my feeloingas here be the same as taking with the bishop? Were all sinners and I want my life in order my parents are strong in the gospel etc. Pls help"
posted at 13:48:56 on January 24, 2014 by ammon
ammon    
"I came back from my mission cus I confessed to my mission president I had sex multiple times before my mission. Now I'm home repenting to go back and I had sex one time pls I don't want to get excommunicated I wanna go back. I learned from that someone give me advice pls. I feel like expressing my feelings here to you all will help relieve burdens off my shoulder. I'm a missionary still and haven't got released yet and at home going through a repentance process but slipped and had sex. I hope talking to u guys will be the same as the bishop cus honestly I have no trust in him. Its been three weeks since I've been home and only talked with my stake President and not my bishop. He hasn't called me. Etc. So willexpressing my feeloingas here be the same as taking with the bishop? Were all sinners and I want my life in order my parents are strong in the gospel etc. Pls help"
posted at 13:58:15 on January 24, 2014 by ammon
Ammon, you need to talk to your bishop. No question.    
"If you are still a set-apart missionary and you have viewed pornography or had sex, there is no question, you need to talk to your Bishop. Even if you were no longer a full-time missionary, if you had extra-marital sex, you would need to talk to your Bishop, no question. Expressing your feelings here is not the same.

However, you are welcome to express your feelings here, and we (most of us) will support you without judgement. We are sinners like you. We have weaknesses like you. We need Christ like you.

The Bishop represents Jesus. Jesus loves you. The Bishop loves you. The Bishop is just there to help. Go to him. Be honest with him.

Don't hide, like Adam and Eve in the garden. Hiding does not solve the problem. When Adam and Eve confessed, they were cast out of the garden and condemned to die. You may also be cast out of the fold--and we will all die.

But the wonderful thing is that immediately after Adam and Eve confessed--even eons before they transgressed--God gave them a Savior. Jesus Christ is the way back. He was the way back for Adam and Eve, and he will be the way back for you.

Go talk to your Bishop. You may be excommunicated, but YOU HAVE ALREADY EXCOMMUNICATED YOURSELF FROM GOD BY YOUR OWN ACTIONS. Nothing the Bishop does can draw you closer to God or farther from God. You do that all by yourself. What the Bishop does is only symbolic of what you have already done to yourself on the inside. You have cut yourself off from God with your actions.

BUT GOD INVITES YOU BACK! God sent his Son to die for you. You have infinite worth. He wants you back.

Start the journey back to God, Ammon. Like Adam and Eve who were cast out, you cannot start your return trip back to the presence of God until you have spoken with God's chosen messengers. They are there to love and help you. They are there to cast out satan. They are there to teach and guide you.

Go to your Bishop, and start the journey back.

And don't give a single thought to what your parents will think. Don't give a thought to what anyone will think. Going to the bishop is the right thing to do. What others think is completely irrelevant. The only thing that matters is what God thinks. The only thing that matters is your relationship with God--and you need to heal that relationship by asking Jesus to come back to your life.

If your parents are as strong in the gospel as you say they are, they will understand that their children make mistakes. They will be proud of you for going to the Savior and to the Bishop to overcome your weaknesses and mistakes.

If they don't understand that you are GOOD when you share with them that you are doing what is right and trying to get back into the fold, then perhaps they are not as strong in the gospel as you think they are. We are all sinners trying to get back to God, and you are no better or worse than they are.

Good luck. I will pray for you. You are loved. You can do it. Go confess. Make the changes you need to make in your life. Give yourself and your will to God. Trust him. He lives."
posted at 17:29:50 on January 24, 2014 by beclean
ammon    
"Omg thank you so much for that reply. I went to talk to with bishop. It was my first time with my parents talking with my bishop after I got back from my mission and after we had all talked I invited my parents to leave and completely expressed everything and I totally felt great afterwards. Bishop said he will look for classes for my addiction and told me to hang in there etc. Nd that he will talk with my stake President. Whoever replied to my recent message I LOVE YOU. And am so grateful for both our membership in the gospel. When I return to the celestial kingdom I'll be sure to look for you and give you a big hug. This church is true and the members in it are just amazing! I love this gospel and it really can change the lives not just those who need it out there but us members as well. Thank you very much."
posted at 08:51:54 on January 27, 2014 by Anonymous
I would love to meet you some day    
"I am glad that my comments have helped you, but more importantly, I am glad that you went to see your Bishop and started that journey back to a strong relationship with your Father. It will not be easy. You may still face Church discipline. But if you do, it will be for your own good. Keep working with your Bishop as a symbol of working with the Savior. If you receive His servants, you receive Him. The Savior is there for you. Reach out to him. Surrender to him. Seek to do whatever he wants you to do, and realize that HE is the one who makes you perfect. You cannot make yourself perfect, and you cannot overcome your own sins. Jesus overcame your sins and weaknesses for you, so just ask him to take control.

Keep going, Ammon. The worth of your soul is great. God accepts you whenever you come to him with a sincere desire. He loves you."
posted at 14:49:04 on January 27, 2014 by beclean
ammon    
"How are things now elder, do you still have an opportunity to serve a mission??"
posted at 22:41:18 on January 29, 2014 by Anonymous


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" Is it possible to reclaim a life that through reckless abandon has become so strewn with garbage that it appears that the person is unforgivable? Or what about the one who is making an honest effort but has fallen back into sin so many times that he feels that there is no possible way to break the seemingly endless pattern? Or what about the person who has changed his life but just can't forgive himself?The Atonement of Jesus Christ is available to each of us. His Atonement is infinite. It applies to everyone, even you. It can clean, reclaim, and sanctify even you. That is what infinite means—total, complete, all, forever. "

— Shayne M. Bowen

General Conference October 2006