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Embarassed, humiliated, and starting over.
By derek
5/15/2009 2:04:18 PM
Some of you who know me, may have recognized my picture on the news last night. It has been an awful, humiliating week and the news coverage has made it far worse for me and my family. I fell off the wagon big time. 3 years ago I began recovery after being unfaithful to my wife in many different ways. I had an amazing 2 years of growth, learning, and discovery that the atonement really does work. I created this website as a way of making some restitution for my wrongs and with the goal of helping others to have a forum and tools they could use to aid them in their recovery also. I felt I finally had figured out how to apply the atonement in my life. Then, over the last year, with increased job responsibilities, church commitments (after I was refellowshipped), the birth of twin babies to add to our other 4 children, and all the family commitments, I gradually quit doing the things I had worked so hard and so long to make habits in my life. Gradually I was sucked down into the wasteland of pornography and sex perversion again. It culminated with me fondling 2 women in public over the last 2 weeks. The first time nothing happened. But I was shocked and disgusted. Still I didn't seek help but tried to do it on my own. Then last Friday, I did it again. I fled, but not far, and sat on a bench and awaited the police. I wanted to be arrested. I wanted to get the help I knew I needed. I had never done anything like that in the past. Well, that's not totally true - I had done it to girls I knew well in my junior high school years - and at the time, it was just kind of laughed off by anyone who knew it happened. But I'd never done it to a stranger and never as an adult. It's amazing the sick twisted power this addiction has if we give in to it, and choose to do things that we would NEVER do otherwise.

I sat in jail for 36 hours. It was the lowest, most lonely, humiliating experience of my life. The worst criminal thing I had done before was speeding. And there I was sitting in jail amongst a bunch of hardened criminals. I was scared that I would lose everything. All I could do was pray for help. And there were actually a few things that happened that let me know the Lord was aware of me - mainly my being able to get out on Saturday night, when they said I'd have to sit in there until Monday evening.

After getting out last Saturday, I began the process of trying to mend my relationship with my amazing wife and trying to repent. Yesterday (Thursday) I decided that I needed to do what I could to make restitution for the first incident. So I went into the police and volunteered the information on it, turning myself in. So I went to jail again for a couple of hours then was released and went home, feeling good that I had done the right thing. There would be 2 misdemeanor charges against me, and I could take care of everything legally at the same time. Then within a couple of hours of returning home, my father-in-law called with the news that this was now all over the place. I have tried to stay away from the news, but I have heard some details and am amazed at how the media is twisting things here. Even little things like the second victim saying I had changed clothes when I was arrested. Complete lies. But I guess when I've been lying so much, I can't criticize others for their falsehoods. It just seems like it's making things SO MUCH WORSE, and so much harder in the long run. The only reason these news bureaus got this story is because I went and turned myself in yesterday morning. I was trying to do the right thing and now they're making me out to be a monster and claiming there are other victims. Why would I turn myself in on one charge yet not handle everything at that moment? They're sensationalizing this dramatically and it's incredibly painful. I know some of you will respond that it's not near as painful as being groped was for these victims. And I acknowledge that. It's just crazy how the media has jumped all over 2 misdemeanors and is acting like I'm a crazed violent sex offender rapist.

But you get what you get. Those who know me are standing by me. Even my employer is being very understanding and trying everything they can to work out a way for me to keep my job. They know I'm not an evil predator, but that I made a couple of mistakes. So now I have to start over, turn the ship around and get going back in the direction I was going a year ago. I will say that all is not hopeless. For the first time EVER in my life, in my 25 years of dealing with this addiction since I was a young boy, I HAD SUCCESS. For the first time ever I know that it is possible to recover, know that I'm not doomed to failure, to living with this constant failing for the rest of my life. I can hold onto that knowledge and look at the things I was doing that were helpful, and get doing those things again - and this time not quit doing them.

Please pray for me and my family. It is a challenging time for us. I have a long hard road to recovery - but this time, I've done it before and know that I can do it again. This time, I just need to stay on the road by doing the little things that give me success.

Comments:

Derek,    
"I'm sorry to hear about your painful relapse. This disease sure is insidious. It hides in the background while things seem to be going well in life and waits to strike at the moment we think we have it licked. Thank-you for sharing your situation with us. I need to be reminded that addiction is progressive. It always gets worse without Divine intervention. I have heard countless stories from people in recovery and many seem to follow a similar progression. It starts with pornography and eventually that isn't enough, or available, and it progresses to massages, or flashing, or prostitutes and eventually even more dangerous and devious behavior. Left unchecked we will destroy ourselves and harm innocent people around us. That's the nature of the addiction.

This will eventually pass, Derek. I know it doesn't feel like it, right now, but it will. You can get back what was lost and be better off for the lesson of this experience. Recovery takes vigilance and a great dose of humility. It's not easy to ask another person for help. It feels completely unnatural because we have been secretive people for so long, but we can't conquer this thing by ourselves. At some point, we need to let Heavenly Father help us through someone who has been where we're at and recovered. I am a firm believer in sponsorship. Many people in the church are hesitant to promote this tool but from my observation, the people who are recovering and living their lives by Grace (rather than "white-knuckling it") have sponsors who have worked the 12 Steps and experienced the miracle for themselves.

I hope you will reach out. You may look back on this situation and see it as the turning point in your recovery. I just hope that you don't look back on this situation as the moment that things started to get really bad. Surrendering to the program and staying vigilant. This is how recover. There are alot of people praying for you and your family."
posted at 16:57:20 on May 15, 2009 by Anonymous
.    
"It must be horribly embarrassing and painful to be going through what you are going through. If I may say one thing though. There is hope to get back on track. However, please don't minimize what you have done. Please don't make excuses. When you say "it's not like I'm a crazed rapist" it comes off as minimizing your actions. Like saying it's not as bad as it could have been. Technically, you didn't rape anyone but it's semantics. You sexually violated other people. Don't play a victim. You're not the victim. Talking about how hard this is and how people are making it so tough on you, well, it just seems like youre minimizing a bit. If there is any hope it will only be by humbling yourself. Don't blame the media. Blame yourself. I'm not saying shame yourself but blaming others for your bad situation is a slippery slope. Just my opinion. When I read your post my heart ached for you and your family. Taking responsibility is the only way out of this mess. Whether you changed your clothes after or not seems irrelevant. God Bless."
posted at 17:10:30 on May 15, 2009 by Anonymous
derek    
"I wish I had something comforting to say. Your post mad me very sad and a little hopeless. Will I ever get rid of the pit in my stomach that tells me I could be a Julie Ann . Will I spend the rest of my life wondering if I really know who I married and what he is up too?

I have been a victum of an act similar in nature to yours. It is terrifying and took away some thing that I have not been able to get back. I am scared. How does this addiction lead a good man like you to this? I know you are a good man. You have done much for me. This website has been a blessing! Thank you for your work here, and beautiful posts. I pray that you will not give up and will be sustained in your righteous desires. I pray that I can gain a testimony that the atonement can heal this.....I don't have that yet."
posted at 01:36:11 on May 16, 2009 by robin
Taumatic    
"Please take this in the right way. I'm not trying to make you feel worse but I think it's important to realize how potentially traumatizing what you did to those women can be. About 10 years ago, my niece was "fondled" as you put it by a stranger in a public place. You call it fondeling but she calls it being attacked. This deeply distressed her. She was absolutely changed from it. About 5 years ago she got married to a wonderful man in the temple. They had two children who she could NOT breastfeed. You see, she now has issues with her breasts. Because of the attack, she won't let anyone touch them. Not her husband, not her doctor, not her babies. Her husband is understanding but I'm sure it's hard for him. That attack 10 years ago when someone decided to please himself by fondeling her breasts has altered the life of not only her but her husband and her babies who were not able to share that bond of breastfeeding. Why am I telling you this? Because it may seem like it's not a big deal. To the victim it is a huge deal. If you want to destroy your life thats one thing but destroying someone elses life is something else. Please think about this story if you ever get the urge to do that again. I pray for you, your poor heartbroken wife and children and those victims. I pray that some healing can take place."
posted at 11:35:49 on May 16, 2009 by Anonymous
No tact...    
"As in any meeting format, we don't punish fellow addicts for being honest. I think it is in bad taste to use the anonymous format of this site to attack someone who's already hurting. We have a saying, "We don't shoot our wounded." Check your motives before posting a blog. If your motive is to do harm, gather up all your willpower and refrain from posting.
"Let him (or her) who is without sin cast the first stone.""
posted at 11:59:01 on May 16, 2009 by soberinsocal
Humble    
"I agree with Soberinsocial. It is obvios that Derek is sorry for what he has done. He has acknowledged that he was wrong and what he did was horrible for him as well as those women. Your neice also suffered something tragic and is still to this day facing the repercussions from that. That is a terrible thing for any person of any age or gender to have to go through. No one is denying that or saying Derek should not feel bad about what he did. The fact is that we all make mistakes, unfortunately sometimes those mistakes involve others. We have all been commanded to forgive all men, to hold ill or angry feelings towards another person causes them no harm, it only hurts us. It is liking drinking poison hoping that the other person will get sick. It doesn't work.

We are all brothers and sisters, children of our Heavenly Father. Let us lift one another up, especially in a place like this that is devoted to healing and recovery. Let this be a place of sanctuary for all those who share their feelings here.

Derek, what you did was wrong, I know that you know that. You have hurt those women you touched and you have hurt your family, I know you know that. I also know that any person who would put together a place like this for the weak and the lowly of heart has a good heart. I do not know what is in your heart, but I do see the fruit of your labor and it is good. An evil plant does not bring forth good fruit. God loves you and we love you, use the atonement and the steps, get your life back, and make things right again. Only this time don't get prideful in your recovery. None of us can do it alone, sobriety is a gift from God, do not take it for granted. May God be with you and all of us on our road to recovery."
posted at 13:42:15 on May 16, 2009 by blindman
Thank you...    
"for the support. I guess it sounded like I was trying to minimize things, which I wasn't. I was simply using this forum to express feelings on everything that was going on, not only my mistake. I am deeply pained by what I did to those women - obviously it was damaging not only to them, but to their husbands and families as well. THIS IS PRECISELY WHY I went to turn myself in for the first incident. When the victim was a total stranger, the only way I had of attempting to make things right with her was to turn myself in for that incident. So I think my actions bear out that I understand the severity of my offenses. However, at the same time, it is vitally important for me to not just give up now and wallow in self pity at my sins. That's exactly what Satan wants me to be doing right now, because that will impede my repentance. I've got to maintain hope. And so I hold onto the success that I had last time (and for the first time in my life) as proof that the atonement can work. Blindman is exactly right - I became prideful over time and saw success and gradually quit doing all the things that got me there in the first place. That is the major lesson of the last 9 months or so to me. The tools that we learn as we recover are lifelong tools not to be discarded as things become easier. If I can maintain those little daily things along with the spiritual reconversion that is required, I know that I can regain sobriety, safety, and eventually trust of my wife and others."
posted at 16:10:16 on May 16, 2009 by derek
Attack?    
"Sorry to get you upset Soberinsocal. I don't see how sharing a personal story and closing with saying I would pray for Dereks family is an attack. That was not my intent. Maybe his story did hit a little home with me because of personal experience. My neice has been on anti anxiety meds for years because of what happened. I did feel his post seemed like maybe he didn't think it was that bad since it wasn't actual rape. Sorry to get you all heated. Bythe way, aren't we all anonymous on here? Just wondering. I don't know that Soberinsocal is John Smith three houses down or that JustJohn lives in Oregon on Fairview St. I think it's kinda humourous to elevate yourself in that way. We're all anonymous on here. I just haven't thought of a clever screen name."
posted at 17:17:48 on May 16, 2009 by Anonymous
Please.....    
"In my opinion, one of the things that has made this sight so helpful for me is to see opinions, feelings and views that are not mine. I think I can honestly say that before this site I would have been ready to string Derek up. However, I wept when I read his post and pray for him and his family every time I think of it.
I have experienced an "attack". I can't do some of the things that were most precious to me any more as a result. I pray every day that my teenage girls will be protected from such a thing. I did not feel "anonymous'" post was an attack. For Petes ' sake an abuser needs to understand how these things affect people. Sometimes I think (and a counsler also told me this so it MUST be true ;o) that addicts get so desensitized they don't realize what they have done. I would think it would help to hear how it has affected someone.

This is a raw nerve for me. I certainly don't want to make anyone feel anything they don't want to by posting here, but who wants to be on a blog where you don't get a different view or perspetive?....even if it isn't comforting to hear?"
posted at 18:15:46 on May 16, 2009 by robin
Agreed.    
"I agree with Robin. I think addicts feel alot of shame and so they want to be told that they are okay people. This site fills that need for alot of people. However, addiction is not all roses and sunshine. Theres ugliness to it. Personal stories are most helpful to me. It puts it in perspective. I feel all opinions are valid and should be welcomed. Even if it hurts to hear it sometimes it needs to be said. Addicts minimize all the time. It's a defense mechanism. When it's as serious as assault on another person it needs to be addressed and commented upon. While uplifting comments are also needed sometimes what a person really needs is a kick in the pants to make the needed changes."
posted at 18:25:32 on May 16, 2009 by Anonymous
You don't get it.    
"I didin't know it was your job to "sensitize" us to the damage we've done, Anonymous. We don't need to hear how horrible we are. We have spent a lifetime reminding ourselves of this. I just don't get how you can justify kicking someone while their down. Is it an act of compassion? Do you think the person is going to feel so ashamed that they'll finally change their ways? That doesn't work. This is exactly why the spouses of addicts help the other spouses and recovering addicts help other addicts. Each group knows what works and what doesn't. Derek is not responsible for your nieces emotional well being."
posted at 19:56:56 on May 16, 2009 by Anonymous
I'm sorry    
"I hope the people I may have offended will forgive my negativeness and pompousness. I took things way too personally and got angry and I apologize for my reaction. I do see your point of view Anonymous and it is a valid one. I get too protective of fellow addicts. The family members that we leave in our wake deserve better treatment. I hope you can forgive me. Sorry to everyone who may have felt uncomfortable by this exchange. I will take my own advice and think things through before I blog."
posted at 22:14:48 on May 16, 2009 by Anonymous
A frustrating situation    
"I don't think that there is anyone who thinks that any part of being an addict is "roses and sunshine". Being an addict is very painful, and one of the most painful things is the guilt and pain of knowing you have hurt someone else through your actions. There is no denying that what he did was very wrong and hurtful, but I think he was/is trying to make amends.

I think that what is most devastating for both Derek and the victims is that there is no way to truly make up for the harm that was done. When you steal, lie or cheat, it is possible to make up for what you have done, you can tell the truth, pay for or give back what you have taken and make it right. But when you take away steal someone's virtue, there is no giving it back. You can make sincere apology, you can receive the full punishment of the law, but nothing can really make it right again, the scars will always remain. I think that is why sexual sin (and especially when force is involved) is viewed as such a serious sin. It is next to murder for the same reason...it can't be undone. I'm sure that this is a very frustrating position to be in, and I'm sure that any minimization he is doing (whether on purpose or inadvertently) is because of this frustration with a situation where he feels he has done as much as he can, and it is not enough, and it will never be enough. Whatever he does, they will carry a scar with them for the rest of their lives, and will likely have reason to be afraid forever.

It is unfortunate that we cannot go back and undo the wrong and the hurt that we have caused (and we all have caused others to hurt to some degree or another--even the most innocent among us). But when we have hurt someone, the important thing is not to wallow in misery--it doesn't help the victim and it doesn't help the aggressor. But, because we cannot change what has happened in the past, we must mover forward, to change the future. What is important is to do whatever is possible to make amends for your wrong and then turn your heart to the Savior. The Savior is the only one who can really make it right again. Without the Savior there is no reason to hope. With the Savior, we can start down the long and difficult road to recovery from our addictions and remission of our sins, no matter how minor or grievous they may be. It takes courage and patience and most of all faith in the process of repentance, but it can be done.

I think, also, that it is important for all of us to learn something from Derek's experience. If you are an addict, it takes CONSTANT vigilance to stay clean, you cannot let yourself, even for a moment indulge in the thoughts and actions that are triggers for your addictions. It is easy to rationalize away the less grievous sins of impure thoughts, pornography and masturbation. They are less serious than other sexual sins, but becoming addicted to these things is a slippery slope that can lead to much more serious problems later on; most (if not all) sexual predators started out as porn addicts. Satan uses rationalization to make us push the limits. I've heard it compared to live lobsters in a pot of water; the water is heated slowly enough that by the time the lobster knows it is in danger, it is too late. Learn to recognize warning signs and GET OUT of the situation before you can even get close to your addiction. Satan's other great tool is the false belief that we cannot change, or that it is hopeless and so we might as well give in. Change is difficult, it is not impossible. With daily guidance from the Lord, we all CAN and WILL change and become free of whatever sins we struggle with. We must have faith that the Savior will change our hearts.

Derek, my heart breaks for you, that must have been devastating. Don't give up. The Lord still loves you and believes in you, and wants you to turn toward him again. Even if the whole world turns their back on you, the Lord never will give up on you. Don't give up on yourself. Satan has won a large battle with you in convincing you to do what you did, but he will win the war if you give up.
"
posted at 23:09:15 on May 16, 2009 by ican
Pride    
"I debated on whether or not I should say something or not. I don't want to make anyone feel bad but I feel I need to say this. The comment made by the anonymous who said that addicts should help addicts and loved ones should help loved ones really saddened me. I feel that comment might have been directed towards Robin (since she was the only loved one who had posted on this thread). I think it's a true shame if you really believe that. I would like to invite you to read through some of the posts that Robin has posted. She is a victim in the true sense of the word and yet she comes on and offers encouragement, support, hope and forgiveness to strangers doing the same thing that hurts her so much. Yes, she gets scared and hurt and sometimes vents her frustrations. It doesn't mean her comments should be banished to the loved ones side of this blog. The perspective from the "loved ones" can be valuable and important. Robin, please dont stop posting. Don't let one persons opinion shoo you away. You have helped many and I think lots of people would agree with me.

On another note, I hesitate to share personal experience as it seems to not play out well but here goes. My husband also is a recovering addict. I've only known about it for the last two years. This is what I have noticed...and I've thought alot about it. I can always tell when my husband is doing what is right and when he is not. When he is on the right path he is humble. I can tell him how hurt I am, I can tell him anything. I can even call him names and he accepts it and we work it out. When he is NOT doing as he should he is full of pride. If I am hurting on a particular day it irritates him. He gets angry. He makes some of the same comments I have read on this thread such as "you're kicking me while I'm down" and "don't you think I know what I did is wrong without you telling me?" It's such a huge difference. My point is this...a truly repentant, humble person can hear anothers opinion or viewpoint...even if it is not very nice...and not get angry and lash out. Contention is of the devil. I wish this could be a site where all commets were welcomed. If someone came on and said "Derek, you peice of crap. You deserve to rot in jail you worthless SOB"...that would be different. There have been no attacks towards Derek that I can see. It's a shame. If Derek didn't want loved ones to be able to express their pain, he would have made it so it only showed up on the loved ones side. Maybe I'm wrong. Love you, Robin! I got your back sister!"
posted at 11:37:58 on May 17, 2009 by sierra
Not wrong Sierra    
"Sierra, I don't know if that poster meant that loved ones' input isn't welcome by us addicts or not. I definitely believe that we addicts need to hear the thoughts and feelings of the wives and loved ones who we hurt. It helps us to remember the harsh consequences to everyone of our actions. And usually our loved ones are closer to the spirit than we are and can help us in our recovery. On the other hand, sometimes loved ones just need a place they can vent and not worry about hurting their spouse or hindering his or her recovery. So that's why the site is setup as is.

As for me personally, I didn't feel attacked. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and feelings. It's great to know I have brothers and sisters who pray for me and will give me guidance and correction. Hopefully we are a community who share many of the same needs and we can all work together to help each other out."
posted at 12:27:37 on May 17, 2009 by derek
Multiple thoughts    
"Sorry for the long post, but me, multiple thoughts and short don't go together.

To Derek: I have to say you could have knocked me over with a feather when I read your post. Not that it is so hard to believe that you could fall; I’ve certainly had my share. I guess it was just the nature of it. That said, I am praying for you and your family. You have been on my mind since I read this yesterday. I am so sorry this happened. I wish I could do something to make things better, but it comes down to choices and consequences, even if those consequences don’t seem fair. Even if others decide to blow things out of proportion or lie. As far as the one woman was concerned you probably should give her the benefit of the doubt. She was probably so rattled that she had trouble remembering what you were wearing at the time. I hope you remember Willard. He once told me regarding making amends that if a person that I had harmed lashed out at me in my attempt to make things right I just needed to take it. Even if they said things that weren’t true I wasn’t supposed to correct them. That may be the truth as far as they remembered it. Anyway the bottom line is that we only have to worry about our side of every relationship and let God worry about others. I think you definitely did the right thing in stopping and waiting for the cops and going back in and confessing to the previous incident. It may help the other victim have closure and now you aren’t hiding anything waiting for the other shoe to drop. You’ve come clean and that is always good for recovery. I’m not sure why the cops are asking for other possible victims to come forward. I would think they would take your word for it after confessing to the other offense. Hopefully they will weed out anyone looking for their 30 seconds of fame. I hope your family is doing OK despite all this. If you don’t remember Willard he is the older gentleman who had been to prison and lost everything you can loose without being dead. He used to say, “Where I have been none of you want to go. Where I am you all want to be.” That was before he had his membership and temple blessings back. You can still make it. Your Heavenly Father loves you and so do I. If you want to talk my cell is in my profile.

To all the anons that are here there are different levels of anonymity. If our comments can be connected to a screen name, then people can tack them onto our personality. It gives people an idea if they should take what we say with a grain of salt or just blow us off, “That’s just john going off on another tangent!”:) On the other hand Robin’s comments here carry a lot more weight with me based on what I remember about her past and the help she has given others on this site. The other problem is that it confuses the heck out of me trying to figure out who said what to whom!!?? I have to confess that I did post here once anonymously just because I wanted total anonymity. Btw justjohn lives in Utah.

To anon with the niece and Robin: I’m definitely not saying I know how she/you feel even though I was fondled once and violated in other ways at other times. I am a guy and every situation is different. One thing I do know is that as long as we continue to live as damaged goods, the other guy wins. He is still violating us. I could be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first or last time. But the niece sounds like she wants to stay a victim, and by doing so she is hurting others and robbing herself of a happy life. 10 years and she won’t even nurse a baby seems rather extreme. Robin, I pray that you will be able to run again soon. It is one of my emotional life lines as well. I would highly recommend Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s “Bad Childhood-Good Life”. Even more I recommend the atonement. Christ didn’t just suffer for sins. He has experienced every bit of pain and suffering we have ever felt. he has paid for them. He can take them away. He understands exactly where we are at. He is The Great Physician! He can completely heal with no scars. Drugs and curling up in a ball aren’t the answer, He is. We may need meds and even therapy for a while, but if things aren’t really improving, I would suggest methods that have worked for people who have been through far worse. Find what has worked for others and use it. I know it can be scary. For emotional scars my tendency was usually anger and depression, but I have one experience with fear that I think can apply. I came off a motorcycle once on the freeway due to a high-speed wobble. After recovering physically, I couldn’t find a mechanical problem with the motorcycle. (I’m now sure it was the windshield which was discarded after the accident.) So I fixed up the motorcycle and started riding it again. The next time I got on the freeway just happened to be at the same place as my accident. When I realized where I was and it was the first time going over about 45mph again, I had appendages trying to crawl up inside to get out of harms way. I was way more timid and scared than the first time I ever rode. Getting through it allowed me to have many more enjoyable years riding motorcycles. Taking God’s hand and stepping off into the darkness is always worth it in the end.

One thing my wife has taught me is to not let Satan win. Even if she is as mad as hops and doesn’t want to do something good, she will do it just to spite him. Once on our 45 minute drive to the temple we took turns being offended. Even when we got to the parking lot we were still mad. One of us was stomping through the parking lot and the other was just standing there fuming. I can’t remember which, but I was probably standing. She said, “I’m going to go still because if I don’t Satan wins!”

Don’t let Satan win! Please don’t let Satan win!"
posted at 17:08:12 on May 19, 2009 by justjohn
found what i was searchin for tonight    
"Derek i'm trying to come home and this was the post i needed to motivate me. Thanks man. Willard was right, I definetly dont want to be where you guys have been...at least you have a Friend where ever that is.

p.s. i dont think your an "abuser" that needs to know how you've affected people. i think you aloud the weekness that you have (which is not who you are i.e "abuser") to get out of controle. and its probly not a bad thing to know how that has affected people. but dont forget who you are. the Spirit will remind you so you dont. God speed mate."
posted at 04:21:39 on October 19, 2009 by COOL HAND LUKE


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