My name is Cherise and my friend’s name is Tanya. We are writing this letter together. I am the president of the MiaMaids and Tanya is my 2nd counselor. We broke the Word of Wisdom on a “rebellious” stage before we were called to our positions and now we feel terrible about our error. We now see that our sin is very serious, and that we should take it up with the bishop. But, we both feel that we have been forgiven by the Lord and given a second chance by being called to our positions. We are scared that we will be released from what we have been given by the Lord if we tell the bishop. We have sworn never to drink coffee again, and we won’t. We both feel closer to the Lord than ever before, and we love this church and doctrine. Should we repent with the Bishop, and if we don’t then will it scar our futures as mothers and wives and all of the blessings (Patriarchal) that we recieve from the Lord? Please help us!
Cherise and Tanya
Dear Cherise and Tanya,
It already appears that you feel quite badly for not approaching your bishop. My question is, do you want to keep within you those feelings of guilt that you are trying to hide or do you want to get rid of them? I don’t know of any other way to get rid of them than by following your conscience.
Apart from that, you seem to continue to feel guilty for something that you have repented of. That is not right. Repentance should clear the slate of your conscience so that there should no longer be any feelings of guilt–not that what you have done is not bad, but that it is no longer a part of you, and therefore should be given no consideration. What did the Lord say about this matter? Look at D&C 58:42,
Behold, he who as repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the lord, remember them no more. Please note that it does not say will be forgiven, but IS forgiven.
So, if you have been forgiven by the Lord, it is inappropriate and unjust not to forgive yourselves.
But there may be a question in your minds, though from your letter I think not, that you may not feel that you have been truly repentant. The next verse clarifies that concept for us– By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins–Behold, he will confess them and forsake them. AND THAT’S ALL!! So, if you feel that you need to talk with your bishop that will take care of the confession part.
Since you have forsaken that sin, that is the other part. So I think that you should hold your heads high for having done the right thing, and I am confident that you have nothing to fear from your bishop, who, after all, is the Lord’s representative in this matter.