I have recently had to return home early from a mission due to immorality I had committed in the past and that I did not have the courage to confess. I’m in the long process of repentance currently. I can’t help but feel as if I will never be worthy of marrying a virtuous young women that hasn’t committed the same atrocities I have. My patriarchal blessing says nothing of marriage so will I not marry in this life? If not that’s okay. I’d just like some insight thank you.
Let me speak to you as I would speak to my own son, with love and frankness.
Slaughtering a village is an atrocity. Leading a child away to destruction is an atrocity. Fornicating with your girlfriend is a grave sin, but the word “atrocity” is not applicable.
At my age, people begin to take a more tempered view of things. Problems, even major sins, are not the end of the world. Jace, you recognize that the sex sin you were involved in was wrong. You are currently repenting — a word that literally means “feeling regret”. In other languages, the word for “repent” means literally “turning around”. That’s what you’re doing; you’re turning around, facing a new direction.
Brother H. Dean Garrett, a professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University, offered this thought:
Joseph Smith declared: “If a man commit adultery, he cannot receive the celestial kingdom of God. Even if he is saved in any kingdom, it cannot be the celestial kingdom” (History of the Church 6:81). This troublesome statement has caused some to feel a hopelessness because of their transgressions. However, after making a thorough review of scriptures on repentance revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith, President Spencer W. Kimball observed: “Going back to the Prophet’s original statement, had he inserted in it the three words I believe it implies ‘and remains unrepentant,’ this statement would fit perfectly in the program as given in the numerous scriptures, many of which came through the Prophet himself” (Miracle of Forgiveness 350).
Your life is not over because of this sin. In fact, as you repent of this sin and come to Christ, you will find your life beginning anew. This sin does not define you. Don’t label yourself, except with the label “disciple of Christ”.
In time, you will have the opportunity to date the wonderful daughters of your Father. It is likely you will find one who likes you as much as you like her, and you will talk of the possibility of marriage. When you have repented of a sin, that is no longer a part of you; but in this case, you may want to let your beloved know the general facts of your past, not in great detail. It will then be up to her if she wants to proceed. Such a thing need not spell the end of any relationship; on the contrary, many women are forgiving of past indiscretions, and are much more concerned with what kind of man you are today and are likely to be tomorrow than with what kind of man you were in the past.
And, as should go without saying, extend to them the same charity, courtesy, and compassion that you hope to receive.
God bless you, Jace. Repent, keep your covenants from now on, and move forward with faith and confidence. I believe that you will do fine.