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Hi Gramps,

My family has had to deal with a lot of pain in recent years with a man that cheated multiple times on my sister. They are now divorced. He is very narcissists and thinks rules don’t apply. He has never said he was sorry for what he has done and has a temple recommend.  He told my sister he has repented and she needs to move on. I guess my question is if he went about the repentance process the right way (through the bishop) wouldn’t he have got excommunicated? Please help need answers.

Sue

 

Answer

 

Dear Sue,

There are many things that are difficult in this life, and this is one of them.  I’m very sorry for what your family, and especially your sister have been through.

There are different variables involved in the choice whether or not to excommunicate someone.  I understand your suspicion that perhaps your ex-brother-in-law was not completely honest with his Bishop.  As with so many other things in this life that are unfair, you have to leave this in the Lord’s hands.  The Lord knows all, and if things are not properly attended to in this life, He will deal with them.  I believe it would be better for your ex-brother-in-law that he repent properly now rather than wait and face the Lord in his sins later.  But that is between him and the Lord.

There is a story from the Old Testament that I think will be helpful to your sister.  James Ferrell illuminates this scripture in his book, The Peacegiver.  In 1 Samuel 25 we read a story of David.  He and his men had hired out their services to a man named Nabal to protect his flocks from highway men.  However when it came time to pay, Nabal lied and said that he had never made any such arrangements and refused to pay the agreed upon amount.  David was understandably angry.  He told his men to “gird every man his sword.”  He and his 400 men started toward Nabal’s house.  On the way, they ran into Abigail, Nabal’s wife.  Abigail had been warned of the situation by the servants.  When she heard what happened she “made haste”, gathered all the supplies that were promised to David, and set out.  Abigail, not only brought everything that Nabal had promised, but she asked David to forgive HER!  David considered this and decided to accept her offering.

Bro. Ferrell points out that in this story, Abigail is a ‘type’ of Savior.  David, like your sister, was wronged.  Abigail came to him, like the Savior comes to us, and offered him everything he should have been given.  Because the Atonement, the Savior has the power to restore to us all that has been taken away.  The Savior can heal your sister, and help her to become even stronger than before.  Remember Abigail asked David to forgive her?  But she had done nothing wrong.  This is symbolic that the issue is not between David and Abigail.  Abigail would deal with Nabal.  It is the same with us.  The Savior has the power to restore us to a whole and improved state, and He asks us to let Him deal with those who hurt us.  Notice that Nabal never apologized to David either.

Would you like to know what did happen to Nabal?  When Abigail went home that night, he was drunk.  So she waited until the next day and then explained what that she had paid his debt.  “His heart died within in him” and he died about ten days later.  Sometime afterwards, David and Abigail were married.

So you see, Nabal received his reward in due time, and David was blessed.  The Savior can do the same for us.  Our job is to accept His offer and “forgive Him.”

 

Gramps

 

 

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