Around the age of 13 I went completely inactive and left the church. I recently came back to the church at 19 and while I was inactive I made a lot of mistakes regarding the law of chastity. Because there were so many, I am worried about how to confess them to my bishop. I want to feel worthy to go into the temple and to have an eternal family and I want to rid myself of the guilt i have been feeling for many years. Will I have to list off all the things that I did?
God bless you for your righteous desires. You are walking the path laid out for you by our Savior, and He is well pleased with your desire to be clean, and go to His holy temple. I know you are nervous about making a full confession to your bishop, but don’t let those feelings stop you! Remember what Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:7,
“7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
God wants you to be clean, and you want to be clean, so don’t let fear stop you from being washed clean through the blood of Jesus Christ. In order to be fully clean you must make a full confession to your bishop. In Doctrine and Covenants 58:42-43 the Lord teaches us
42 Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.
43 By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.
Elder C. Scott Grow had this to say:
I have a feeling you are concerned about what your bishop will think of you when you fully confess your sins. Please don’t be concerned. Your bishop is a servant of Jesus Christ, and he will not look down on you for your failings. Rather, through the guidance of the Holy Ghost, he will guide you along the path of repentance with love and kindness. You will not be the first person to come to him with difficult to confess sins, and his only desire will be to see you washed clean through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. You can do this Rachel, and God is standing right there to help you along your journey.