In trying to make this short, I will just start by saying I have a question to a very complex situation. Basically, my question is if my husband and I can be sealed in the temple? Just a quick background. My now husband and I met at the end of our previous marriages. We were both in very bad relationships and in bad places in our lives. We made grievous mistakes, and ended up having an affair with each other. We ended both of our previous relationships (he was married in the temple, I was not) and we ended up living together before getting married. Both of us knew better, as we were both returned missionaries, though justified our actions at the time because we were both hurting (and I will admit, both rather bitter) in our respective relationships. I know that this sin is almost beyond repair, and worry, beyond forgiveness. We are both working very hard to make things right, he has been excommunicated, I have been disfellowshiped and are truly working towards repentance, though it has taken years. But, I also feel maybe it is pointless for us because we will never be able to be sealed and truly be forgiven of our sins, as it seems we have to keep repeating our transgressions over and over. Sorry for the long explanation, but any thoughts on the matter would help my limited understanding of forgiveness and temple ordinances. Thank you, and thank you for such a helpful site!
My heart aches for the pain you are suffering. As you admitted, you and your husband have made some bad choices, the effects of which will take some time to overcome. At this point, I need to separate out forgiveness from a future sealing and discuss each. As far as forgiveness goes, we are taught repeatedly in the scriptures that Jesus descended below all things so that He can rescue us from our alienation from God (D&C 88:6). You have not sinned to the degree that the Atonement cannot work in your behalf and make you clean and pure again. Forgiveness is well within reach. It may take some time and consistent spiritual effort, but if you are diligent, you will be able to receive full forgiveness for your sins. Consider Mosiah 28:4 referring to Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon:
And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them, for they were the very vilest of sinners. And the Lord saw fit in his infinite mercy to spare them; nevertheless they suffered much anguish of soul because of their iniquities, suffering much and fearing that they should be cast off forever.
The last phrase sounds like what you are going through. I can also say with certainty that you can have the same result they did through your spiritual effort and diligence in keeping the commandments.
The sealing question is a little more complicated. I am not aware of any doctrinal reason that you and your husband cannot be sealed together at some point. You will need to accept the counsel and judgment of your ecclesiastical leaders and be patient. Your patience may need to extend into the next life. You can be certain of one thing, the God who knows you better than you know yourself and can see the end from the beginning will bless you with everything you need. No needed blessing will be withheld from you, including sealing, if you are faithful and diligent. It occurs to me that one way to ensure and accelerate the process will be for you and your husband to act as though you have a celestial marriage already. You should be praying together as a couple, personally and as a family. You should be studying scriptures the same way. You should be holding family home evening, repenting regularly and doing service. Your faith, diligence and endurance will merit the blessings of heaven and you will again enjoy the sweet communion of the Holy Spirit with all of its associated powers and functions.