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Dear Gramps,

A few years after I was baptized I started to be immoral with my boyfriend. I talked to the bishop after the first time it happened but I continued bad behavior with different boyfriends all the while still being “active” i didn’t think I needed to go to the Bishop because I found a scripture and felt like it was between me and the Lord. I met a guy and we wnated to get married. We didn’t break the law of chastity we got married in the temple only 5 months after my last “immoral act”  I went through the interviews before my endowments and sealing feeling forgiven.
I was so happy and felt so full of the spirit after my experiences in the temple! Months later I started feeling guilty again. I’m realizing that maybe I didn’t do it all the right way. I’m too scared to bring it up to my husband because I don’t want to hurt him and I’m too scared to go to the bishop. I do feel like I have a very strong testimony though.

Amber

Dear Amber,

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An important step in the process of repentance is to confess our sins.  In section 58 of the Doctrine & Covenants the Lord tell us:  43″By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.”  In many cases it is sufficient to only confess our sins to our Father in Heaven, but with serious transgressions it is necessary that we confess them to our Bishop or Branch President and/or Stake President or Mission President.  These men have the sacred calling of being a “judge in Israel.”  It is also their responsibility to  protect the innocent, and safeguard the purity, integrity, and good name of the Church.

President Kimball in his book “The Miracle of Forgiveness” stated:  “Serious transgressions, such as violations of the law of chastity, may jeopardize a person’s membership in the Church. Therefore, such sins need to be confessed to both the Lord and His priesthood representatives.”

Though it is sometimes difficult and embarrassing to confess our sins, the important thing is that we obtain forgiveness and become worthy of the blessings the Lord has promised us.  One of my favorite scriptures is found in D&C 130:  20 “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—  21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”  Each of us need to be in obedience to God’s laws so that we can receive His blessings, including eternal life.

As you confide in and confess your sins to your Bishop, you will find him to be compassionate, loving and mindful of your fears and feelings.  Confessing your sins and fully repenting of them will bring peace to your being.  In D&C 42, the Lord has us told us:  25″But he that has committed adultery and repents with all his heart, and forsaketh it, and doeth it no more, thou shalt forgive.”  And in D&C 58: 42″Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.”  Not only will the Lord remember them no more, so will your Bishop and more importantly you will be able to forget them and feel of the Lord’s great love for you.

It is through the atoning sacrifice of our Savior that we are able to repent of our sins and gain forgiveness.  May He bless you with the strength to follow each step in the process of repentance necessary to obtain the forgiveness you truly desire.

Gramps

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