My name is Alli. A year ago I was in a relationship that stopped me from going to church. I broke the Law of Chastity. I broke up with the guy a few months later and have since turned my life around. I have prayed and asked for forgiveness and I feel like I have been forgiven. I know I need to go to the Bishop but I am terrified of what he is going to have me do (taking away my membership, etc.) I want more than anything to be worthy of the temple again but I can’t get past my fears.
First off, I want to commend you for your email to us. It must have taken great courage to write this and I’m proud of you. Speaking of being proud, I’m even more proud of you for realizing that the relationship you were in wasn’t really the best one for you spiritually and that you broke it off. Our relationships should be pleasing to our Heavenly Father and if they lead us into temptation, we should do our best to modify or end them. Temptations, of course, can take multiple forms. Some of us are tempted by sexual matters, some of us might be tempted to drink alcohol, steal from someone, or watch inappropriate media.
Elder C. Scott Grow can answer your question far better than I ever could. When asked if a bishop will condemn or admonish you, Grow said;
“I promise you he will not condemn you. As a servant of the Lord, he will be kind and understanding as he listens to you. He will then help you through the repentance process. He is the Lord’s messenger of mercy to help you become clean through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.” Why and What do I Need to Confess to my Bishop?
Those words provide me with great comfort. The bishop is there to help you, and everybody, through the repentance process. I can assure you Alli, that he has heard it all before. We like to think that other members in our church don’t suffer from the same problems and sins that we do, but that’s not the case. We are all human. Sometimes, these men have heard confessions in state prisons. I want to tell you one more time that nothing you tell him will make him think less of you. In fact, instead he’ll admire your courage.
Since I’m not a bishop and never was, I’m not sure what he’ll say or do to help you with the repentance process. Could there be a time when he asks you to take refrain from taking the sacrament? Sure. Could he request other things of you? Yes he could, and that’s part of the repentance process. Simply put, I don’t know what he’s going to suggest to you. What I do know, is that you are going to feel so much better after you go through this process. Your sins will truly be “washed away” and our Heavenly Father will rejoice. You will be able to enter the temple again with a clean conscience, and that, Alli, could be the greatest blessing of them all.
You are in our prayers!