Church Discipline?
By jason_cool23
3/14/2010 4:09:07 PM
Hey everyone... I need to see the bishop regarding some mistakes I have made. In the past when I viewed pornography, I was not able to partake of the sacrament for a long period of time.
My concern is I went further and I need to tell my Bishop but I don't know what the outcome will be? I exposed myself via webcam to many people online. Because I went from viewing to now engaging in activity while married could this mean I will have to appear to a counsel and possibility be exed or disfellowship?

Please help me understand what may happen to me, I am worried of the possibility.

Thanks for your help and support!!!


Not to worry    
"Anything that will happen to you will be done out of the lord's love for you. Especially if you take the initiative to go repent and act before someone telling you what to do. The bishop is only the mediator. He does not forgive, but he can help you on a path to find true forgiveness and happiness. Trust what he says. And pray about what he has told you that you will receive confirmation for yourself. If needs be you might need to speak to the stake president. More than likely you will. But just as the lord said, "Doubt not, fear not" your stake president was called of God and will bless you with the insight from God to know how to repent and find true complete happiness. And if it has been a sin that you have live with long enough, you might have already fully repented in God's eyes. But you need to go to his servants to know for sure. His servants, you are living righteously as best they can and are capable of having the direct influence of the lord for the people in their ward."
posted at 16:22:55 on March 14, 2010 by gettinthere
To answer your question...    
"I don't think that is grounds for excommunication. I take it the people you exposed to were willing participants? Disfellowshipped? Maybe, but I don't think so. Confess and forsake the sin and accept the consequences. Repentence means accepting whatever is required, whether it's mercy or chastening. Keeping the secret will eat away your soul. To most wives, this is just like cheating. Please don't do it anymore. It leads to a dark place that there may not be coming back from. You're still in a place where there's hope. There's still a chance of saving your marriage but you'll need help. I'm glad you're reaching out. Now take the next step. Go make an appointment with the bishop right now. You'll feel so much better."
posted at 17:51:56 on March 14, 2010 by Anonymous
It might depend on your attitude    
"In many cases, Church discipline is based on your own attitude. Are you truly humble and willing to do whatever God and His servants ask to be clean again? Do you want to overcome your sins so badly that you are willing to be excommunicated or disfellowshipped?

If you are humbly obedient, willing to submit to all things, willing to give up all your sins to know God, then perhaps your Bishop and Stake President will see your humility and your desire to get help and change, and they will not recommend severe discipline.

If, however, you are rebellious and argumentative, suggesting that you yourself know the best disciplinary action, then perhaps they will be more inclined to recommend harsh treatment, so that you will learn just how terrible your actions have been and how they separate you from God and from the Church.

Of course, even if you are humble and willing to submit, they still may recommend excommunication...but you will be willing to submit to even that in order to become clean and live with God again.

We are pulling for you. Ask the Lord for help, and then go be completely honest and humble with your Bishop.

Oh, and please don't do it again!!"
posted at 21:41:00 on March 14, 2010 by BeClean
Thanks Everyone For You Comments    
"Thanks for your comments. I was hoping the answer would be no, that I would not have to face disfellowship or excomunication, but that does not look to be the case. Knowing what may happen I honestly don't want to live any more. I can't sleep, eat, and I can't work. This guilt of knowing what may happen has cunsumed me to my very soul. I wish I could turn back the clocks. I don't know what is worth living for any more. I would rather die then be disfellowshiped or excumuicated."
posted at 09:58:38 on March 15, 2010 by jason_cool23
It is Satan buddy    
"Jason buddy, there is no need to fear.
I know what you are experiencing so let me clear some things up.
THE POSTS ABOVE ARE CORRECT. I will add that the Lord and his servants do not just consider the sin, they look at your heart. This means that they will consider whether you would have sinned and lead a pure life had you not had the severe problems that caused the addiction. The addiction is a medication, you need it to sort out your emotions and pain from past experiences, at least this is for the most part of us addicts. The Lord considers your willingness and determination to come clean. It is all about your past and present and that is what will be judged. This means that if you were abused in any way shape or form, it will be a part of the mercy package that you must take with open arms and a greatful heart.
Satan is playing games with your fragile mind and the only way to end that frantic game is to call your Bishop NOW!!!!! and tell him the honest TRUTH.

Don't just sit and cry saying I promise I will never do it again, tell the truth and I promise if you mean it you will ball your eyes out. YOU MUST OFFER A SINCERE, WHOLEHEARTED AND FULL CONFESSION, go into as much detail as you possibly can and don't hold back. Do not rationalize because you will feel ashamed, I promise you will and the realization of your sins will start to impact your heart and mind.

If the greatest fear is confessing to your wife. It must be done as honestly aas you have with the Lord and the Bishop.

The sins we have committed are severe and the only way to heal is to feel that pain and regret. Telling the church and family about our weaknesses is only the first step to getting that devil and his chains off us.

One final thing you are on the right path, just pray for the strength and faith to exercise your full repentance, the Lord will take care of the rest because he is incredibly loving and merciful."
posted at 10:58:37 on March 15, 2010 by ruggaexpat
Please don't do anything drastic.    
"Your comments worry me a little. Ending your life is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Things are not nearly as hopeless as they feel to you right now. If it is easier, don't confess anything right now. Perhaps go to a ARP meeting and ask someone with experience to walk you through the Twelve Steps. Confession is Step Five and the Steps that precede it will thoroghly prepare you to complete that difficult task. I can promise you that if you attend one of these meetings, you will not feel judged. Instead, you'll feel the reality of the Atonement. Working Steps One through Four give a repentant person the prudence to know exactly what details need to be shared with a bishop and wife, and the courage to follow through with the confession. The ARP program has worked a miracle in my life and my sins were MUCH more grievous than yours. Please don't indulge the thought of suicide. You have so much hope going for you. If you're an addict like me, you don't want to put too much weight into all the emotions that come up. They toss me this way and that way. They're usually not grounded in reality. It truly WOULD be a hopeless situation...IF there was no such thing as Christ or an Atonement. But because there has been an Atonement and there is a living Christ to administer it to our broken souls, we can be as clean as the snow is white. Our PRIDE is out to destroy us. Think about that really hard."
posted at 11:35:54 on March 15, 2010 by Anonymous
12 steps    
"I know the church uses the 12 steps but I'm not sure that I agree with anonymous statement that confession can wait. I heard in a talk once that the worst thing we can do is postpone the day of our repentance. In the talk, repentance began first with godly sorrow and then immediately with confession. In the talk it stated that postponing the confession is dangerous because it allows you to put off the repentance process indefinately. It's too easy to keep telling yourself your not ready. Also, we have no guarantee how many days we get on earth. Dying before the confession is essentially dying in your sins and we all know what happens then. As hard as it is I just don't think it's a good idea to put it off. Especially with thoughts of suicide. This is Satan trying to convince you that death is better than confession. Don't listen! Even if you are disfellowshiped or excommunicated you have still made the first steps towards a new and clean life. It's the only way and it's a perfect way. It's the way set up by a loving Heavenly Father who knows whats best for us. If we didn't have to confess it would almost be too easy to repent and we wouldn't learn what we need to. We wouldn't humble ourselves the way we need to like we do when we confess. I just see danger in putting it off and Satan would have you put it off forever."
posted at 14:07:20 on March 15, 2010 by Anonymous
I didn't say put it off indefinitely    
"The Twelve Steps ARE the repentence process. If the thought of confession is making an addict suicidal, my suggestion the Twelve Steps. Your comments might be appropriate for people that aren't addicts, but to those who are, the best advice is to begin at the beginning. I would take it a step further and suggest that every addict wait on confession until they've reached Step Five. (but begin the Steps immediately) Confession doesn't equal repentence. Inappropriate or premature confession for the addict can create even more problems. I understand where you're coming from, it makes a lot of sense. Addicts are different than other members. Some of us would rather die than face our sins. The whole task is overwhelming. Working the Steps is repentence, tailor-made to the addict. We wait until Step Five before confessing because by then we have a better chance of not continuing in the behavior. Many of us have confessed numerous times, only to return to the sin and further destroy trust. There's a reason why confession is Step Five and not Step One. Hope I didn't offend."
posted at 14:25:36 on March 15, 2010 by Anonymous
Dont worry,    
"You didn't offend. I totally understand where you're coming from. I know all about the 12 steps as well and I understand the reasoning behind waiting, believe me. I just remember hearing that talk about not waiting to confess and how dangerous it is to convince yourself to wait. I wish I could remember who the talk was by but I can't. I believe it was a general authority. The reason for immediate confession is to enlist the help of one of Gods annointed. I'm not saying confession equals repentance because we know it doesn't. But it's a vital part and can't be put off until it's more comfortable. Lets face it, it'll never be comfortable. I speak from experience as someone who has had to confess more than once. It's horrible and I'd rather do anything else. But I can't deny how great it feels after it's over to walk out of that bishops office knowing that the Lord knows I'm doing as he has asked and confessed. I just see wisdom in getting the Bishops advice and help as soon as possible. And don't worry, I didn't get offended by your post, at all! Too many on this site get all bent out of shape if anyone disagrees with them. It's unfortunate and takes away from the spirit. But I'm not one of those so feel free to tell me I'm an idiot! ;)"
posted at 14:48:40 on March 15, 2010 by Anonymous
We're on the same page    
"agreed! : )"
posted at 15:08:30 on March 15, 2010 by Anonymous
This is NOT the end    
"Jason, my friend -

Regardless of what you have done, you are loved.

You can still become like God and live with Him forever. You CAN still have an eternal family. You CAN keep and use your Priesthood forever. Your best friend, Jesus, already died for you--so YOU don't have to die right now.

Please, cry unto Jesus this moment for strength and mercy. Tell him exactly how horrible you feel. He understands. He has felt that way, too.

Many people on this site have done worse things than you. Several have been disciplined by the Church. Church discipline is not the end of the world. In fact, it is a new beginning.

Taking your life is NOT the answer. Think of the terrible state you are in. Think of the pain it will cause your family if you are excommunicated.

Now, YOUR STATE WILL BE WORSE if you die now, and your family's pain will be multiplied an infinite number of times, if you commit suicide. That is NOT the answer. Repentance is. Repentance can heal you, and it can heal your family. The atonement of Christ can make you CLEAN!

Satan has you in his clutches right now, which causes you extreme anguish and pain. But, as Alma said, these feelings will turn to exquisite joy, with repentance. If you die now, however, these feelings will remain...indefinitely.

Jason, we love you. We pray for you. We care about you. We do not judge you. And if you are excommunicated, you will be exactly the same to us (and to God) as you always were--even better, because you will be solidly on the path of repentance.

The truth is, we don't even know whether you will be excommunicated!

Jason, this is NOT the end. You feel you have hit bottom. Perfect! Most of us have felt that way. Now, turn around, and let God lift you out of the pit you are in. Do not let Satan pull you deeper. I agree with those who have said don't delay and also with those who have said start attending 12-step meetings. Act NOW.

Jason, most likely, your Bishop and your Stake President LOVE you. They want to HELP. They will cry with you and pray with you. They will support you and bear your burden. They can help you escape your bondage!

You are loved. You are loved. God knows what you have done, and he LOVES you. Your bishop and stake president will soon know what you have done, and they will still LOVE you. We know what you have done, and we LOVE you.

Please turn to God and do the right thing. Please get help, now. Find the Bishop and tell him about your sins and about your thoughts of death. We don't know where you live or who you are, but if I did...if you were anywhere near me, you can bet I'd be at your house tonight.

posted at 18:27:33 on March 15, 2010 by BeClean
"I agree that suicide is the worst possible option for your situation. It's the option that will guarantee misery for you for all eternity. Satan wants to convince you that by taking your life you will find peace. Let me assure you..he LIES! You will damn yourself for all eternity. Imagine the pain you feel now multiplied times eternity. Not to mention the effect on family and friends. We had a ward member commit suicide a few months ago and I've seen how it destroys lives. You think your wife will be destroyed by what you've done on the internet? It'll be nothing compared to the destruction your suicide would be. I have no idea if you were serious about ending your life or just speaking out in frustration. I hope you don't think it will solve anything. The truth is there is only ONE way out of the mess your in. It involves a call to your Bishop sooner rather than later. It's the only path to peace. I think BeClean says it all. I encourage you to read his post one more time and the CALL YOUR BISHOP. TONIGHT!"
posted at 20:26:02 on March 15, 2010 by Anonymous
We are ALL excommunicated    
"Jason, I thought of one more thing.

We ALL excommunicate ourselves EVERY TIME WE SIN. We cut off our relationship with God and His Spirit every time we act selfishly or indulge in our addiction. In that moment, when we violate our baptismal and temple covenants with God, we lose our Priesthood, we lose our standing in God's church, and we lose our promise from God that our covenants will be honored.

However, in most cases, we are permitted to get on our knees immediately and renew those covenants, without penalty. We can apologize, repent, and be baptized again. By taking the sacrament every week, we are "rebaptized" into the church from which we were excommunicated.

Although unfortunate, this process of excommunication and rebaptism is normal. Jesus provided for it in his gospel. He loves us, even when we cut ourselves off from him. He wants us to come back, so he provided a chance for us to be baptized again, through the sacrament.

Here is what the Savior said has said to his Church leaders who sit in judgment (from Mosiah 26):

29 Therefore I say unto you, Go; and whosoever transgresseth against me, him shall ye judge according to the sins which he has committed; and if he confess his sins before thee and me, and repenteth in the sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive, and I will forgive him also.
30 Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me.

So, actual excommunication from the church, IF that is what happens to you, is, in one respect, no different from what happens to most of us every week.

Like baptism and the sacrament, excommunication is merely a SYMBOL of something that has already happened within our hearts--you have already excommunicated yourself from the Lord with your actions (and so have I, at times).

But, you can come back. You can make those covenants again. You can be rebaptized. Listen to the beautiful promise: "As often as Jason repents will I forgive him his trespasses against me."

You are God's son, Jason. He loves you no matter what you do. Do you have children, Jason? When they do something bad, and you discipline them, do you love them any less? Of course not! We love our children, even when they do wrong. We discipline them to help them learn. God loves you, too. If he disciplines you, it will only be out of love, for your own good.

Revelation 3:19 says, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." If God rebukes or chastens you, consider it evidence of his love for you.

Again, please get help and talk to your Bishop. Do not worry about what the future holds, Jason. It will be GLORIOUS, even IF it includes the physical symbol of excommunication. If you do nothing, you will remain in your current excommunicated state. If you go to the bishop, you can eventually overcome all things."
posted at 20:42:38 on March 15, 2010 by BeClean
"Actually anonymous, in the bishops handbook of instruction it states that you cannot tell people the state of their being after suicide, because you are not the judge, God is and he knows the whole situation of the persons life that lead them to suicide. Though God is your judge, you have no idea his judgments and your suicide might lead to damnation. Suicide is selfishness.

Jason cool23, you have no need to do anything with your life except continue to live. You made mistakes, you sinned, ok now time to face up to it or to continue on without confessing. The better option is to confess so that you can feel true happiness, but you do have an option not to. If you don't confess you probably shouldn't be s member of the church because you cannot live up to the standards. Now read my words carefully, suicide will do absolutely nothing for you. If you die right now in sin, that might be counted against you, I don't know I am not your judge, I don't know how much you have repented. But if you are suffering now because of your sins, you will suffer more in the spirit world because you will have sins that you cannot repent from because you have sealed them in your blood.

Partake of the atonement, let that free you. Taking your life will not free you, remember you take with you your thoughts and attitudes, that includes feelings of guilt and shame. So correct those feeling with the healing power of God, and when it is your time to go, you will have great peace and happiness, and rest from your cares."
posted at 20:50:32 on March 15, 2010 by maybeme
"You are absolutely right, Maybeme. In fact, when that ward member committed suicide, the teenage son was having a really hard time wondering what would happen in the next life. The bishop told him that we couldn't know and that only the Lord judges. He did say that the Lord would take into account mental illness, if that was the reason for the suicide (this ward member suffered some mental illness) but only the Lord could know the intents of the person. Obviously we've been taught that suicide is like unto murder but I agree there are extenuating circumstances such as mental illness. Wanting to avoid the shame of excommunication may not be a good enough reason for the Lord to forgive a suicide. So much better to just use the Atonement and find peace that way. Thanks for the clarification, Maybeme."
posted at 21:15:45 on March 15, 2010 by Anonymous
Maybeme said...    
"" If you don't confess you probably shouldn't be s member of the church because you cannot live up to the standards."

Do you want to rethink that?"
posted at 21:54:18 on March 15, 2010 by Anonymous
"I hope you can just ignore that last comment. Some people have issues so much more serious than yours. The author of that last post says, "you should be ashamed of yourself" Really?? The author should be ashamed of their spelling. It's ironic that you end your post talking about praying. Look for someone else to stone...if you're without sin."
posted at 02:16:33 on March 16, 2010 by Anonymous
"2 Nephi 2:7
Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.

My husband and I read that passage last night. We cannot heal ourselves…we find healing though our savoir… Heavenly Father has not left us alone…we have a prophet (and many other leaders), we have a bishop who is there to help guide us. A bishop is a gift…Mine is a priceless gift…I’m sure yours can help you where you need it too.

Is this your “rock bottom”? It sounds like you’re very down right now. Satan would have you believe that it’s too late…but it’s not! You have a “broken heart”…it’s what you do now with that, Christ atoned for our sins…yes even this one. You are broken…he wants to heal you. Let him! Wouldn’t it be great to “turn back the clocks”?…as you said. Imagine the good we could all do with the information we have today and apply it to our past. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that blessed we are to have the atonement. We can take what is before us and turn our hearts in the right direction.

I was wondering how you were doing. I read your first post about how you got curious with web cams. I do not suffer from this addiction…my husband does…and seeing the progression from curiosity into a full blown problem is heart breaking for me. Satan sure does a good job of fooling us. I’m so sorry you are going through this.

Have you read any posts or responses from Nyronian? You might consider looking though his writings. One of my favorites is “What am I willing to do to overcome?”

What are you willing to do? My husband and I have a marriage counselor that we go to. He talked with me about safe guarding. My husband has a friend that has emailed him pornography and suggestive material. Our counselor mentioned that you can block images that come through. Yes that would mean that all even the funny email pics get blocked…at first, you can click on them to open them…but it’s another step to protect. It may seem like a small sacrifice, but to my husband it feels like rights are being taking away from him. And I understand that… lines have been crossed so we must find ways to protect ourselves and our families. I don’t know what my husband will decide…but it will not be a little sacrifice if he does block images. My question to you Jason…Do you need a web cam? Now we don’t have one…so I don’t really see the need for it. But I imagine there are some productive uses for them. The option might not be reasonable to get rid of your web cam…but are there other ways you can safe guard yourself and your family? I’m sure you don’t want to go through this pain again.

You and your family are in my prayers. Please let us know how you are doing.

Here is the link to Nyronian blog...“What am I willing to do to overcome?”"
posted at 08:22:03 on March 16, 2010 by summer
To the Anonymous that wrote "Really Jason"    
"To the Anonymous that wrote "Really Jason"

I usually make it a practice NOT to respond to uncaring, thoughtless posts filled with stupid, hurtful comments and signed anonymously. But in this case, I will make an exception.

You crossed the line, my friend. Don't EVER dare someone on this site to commit suicide again. Would you dare your mom, your dad, your spouse, or one of your siblings or children to commit suicide? That is who we are on this site. We are your brothers and sisters on the same team.

Surely you haven't forgotten what it's like to deal with addictive problems? You haven't forgotten how depressed you get and how hard and scary it is to go see your Bishop, have you? You haven't forgotten that when you screw up, you already KNOW you've done wrong, and you just need someone to show you love, not tell you what a horrible person you are.

If one of your brothers says he is contemplating suicide, I ask you to take that seriously and do NOT call him a "big baby." In my understanding, MOST people who commit suicide DO post their thoughts to blogs or write notes to friends BEFORE they actually commit the deed.

I know you don't really want Jason to commit suicide. None of us do. We all know he will gain nothing and lose everything by taking his own life. If I try really hard, I can imagine that you had nothing but good intentions with your just wanted Jason to go pray, which we all want him to do. But if your intentions were good, you sure chose some hurtful words to express them.

Please speak kindly to your brothers and sisters on this site and refrain from judging them. Just because you don't struggle with suicidal thoughts does not automatically make everyone who does a "big baby."

I earnestly hope you will return to this site and post uplifting, helpful comments for your brothers and sisters. I don't know what issues you are struggling with. I don't know what makes you think you need to kick and hurt a struggling brother. But I encourage you to get help with your problems, too, and to return here often, so you can help us, and we can help you. I hope we can all be together in the world to come.

With sincere love for you and also for Jason,
posted at 10:10:11 on March 16, 2010 by BeClean
Thank you    
"You said it right beclean."
posted at 08:22:14 on March 17, 2010 by gettinthere
"This site is a healing site for all our brothers and sisters out there that have the same problems that we all face, and as such we should be say ing up lifting and spiritual things that would help us over come our addictions. I still struggle with it everyday and i come here to read and get the help i need that I don't get else where, Jason you hang in there stay close to the lord because satan will do anything to make us all fail but we are stronger than him. and can over come what he throws at us.

Alot of people have told me that the lord only give us what we can handle, sometimes i thinks it is to much but after going though things and over coming them i look back and think about that saying and think to m self it really wasn't that much.
So hang in there, you have all of us here pulling for you and each other in good times and bad, may the lord bless you and your family though this trial that is in your life, I know what you are going though and I'm here to help as well as you are here to help me."
posted at 10:11:01 on March 17, 2010 by newsoul
"I hope your still out there. I'm guessing that you are. But I've lost too many friends in the addiction recovery program to think that it isn’t a real possibility. I seriously considered it when I was a teen, but realized it would only take me from a bad situation to a worse one. I hope you take some of the supportive comments here to heart. We don’t know what is in store for you on your personal path through the repentance process, but I can guarantee you one thing. If you put yourself in God’s hands and do what He prompts you to do, the right things will come your way and you can get to where you want to be. If you commit suicide Satan wins this round and it would put a real kink in your path to the Celestial kingdom. If nothing else it would be much harder to repent of a physical sin without a physical body.

I’ve talked to a lot of priesthood leaders and particularly on two occasions, once when confessing to my mission president and then when I did Step 5 with my bishop, I really didn’t know where it would end up. With only one exception, every time I went to them I left feeling better. The one exception was with a bishop that didn’t seem to feel that I had a problem. You may not know where it will end, but if you talk to your bishop, he will take some of the burden from you. Either way it goes you will be free to move on to the next phase of recovery. They say that anticipation is better than realization. Well, anxiety is worse than realization. Right now your counselor is Satan and he is filling your mind with all sorts of crap. Turn yourself over to your loving Heavenly Father and His chosen servants. They are a much better team.

We all love you, that is why we are here talking to you,
posted at 16:29:14 on March 19, 2010 by justjohn
To Jason and Bill    
"I had a friend named Bill that killed himself about three years ago. He was probably my best friend during high school. We were the first two eagle scouts in our troop. We went camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing together. I was fortunate enough to see him about a month before his death. We went to one of our favorite camping sites along a small river. I knew that he was struggling with some things, but I had no idea how bad it was. I was already taking part in the addiction recovery program of the church. I was beginning to believe that I could change. I'm not sure if I told him about the program or not, but I'm sure that there were no meetings close enough for him to attend. I think that the program would have saved his life. My closest friends now are those that I have shared my life with through recovery. They never judge me. They keep everything I say confidential. They are always there for me. I hope that Jason continues his path of recovery and finds friends that can help him. This site is good, but live people are better. I hope that the Lord has mercy on my friend Bill. I still have hope that he can be saved. He was a very good man."
posted at 16:01:29 on March 30, 2010 by spencer
Jason Cool 23    
"Are you still there, Brother?? How are things?"
posted at 17:22:26 on May 9, 2010 by BeClean

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"Develop discipline of self so that, more and more, you do not have to decide and redecide what you will do when you are confronted with the same temptation time and time again. You need only to decide some things once. How great a blessing it is to be free of agonizing over and over again regarding a temptation. "

— Spencer W. Kimball