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Gramps,

I’ve kept my temple recommend current for several years with absolute confidence in my standing before the Lord. I’m bipolar and when feeling depressed (Mania) I start to dwell of the past and my teen years two decades ago. I think of how inappropriate my sense of humor was and how it affected others; It never occurred to me in interviews all these years but if it bothers me so much now, has something changed in my standing before the Lord.

Anthony

 

Answer

 

Dear Anthony,

The Lord promises to teach us “line upon line precept upon precept.”  If we are growing this way, it is not unexpected to look back to one’s behavior from years prior and say “I wasn’t as good as I thought I was back then.”  Then is normal and really kind of expected because it means we are growing.  Sometimes this look back brings to our remembrance things and behaviors that we feel the need to repent of.  Behavior that we did then but we now would not consider acceptable.  That change in behavior means we have already done the bulk of the work of repentance.  At this point you simply need to acknowledge in prayer to God that you have gotten the message, that you are sorry for what you did back then and you will do better going forward.  This is what God wants.

What he does not want is for you to allow Satan to use it or your medical condition to drive a wedge of doubt in.  It is very likely he is trying to convince you that these memories mean that you were never worthy, that you lied, that all your hard work and growth were wasted, were for nothing.  That is a lie. Do not believe it.  The memories you are remembering should be used to move you along the path God has for you, not pull you off of it.  Do not let anyone, even yourself, tell you otherwise.

Elder Tad R. Callister said the following in – How Do I Know When I Am Forgiven?

On some occasions I believe our sins are cleansed before the guilt goes away. Why is that? Perhaps in God’s mercy, the memory of that guilt is a warning, a spiritual “stop sign” that cries out when similar temptations confront us: “Don’t go down that road. You know the pain it can bring.” Perhaps for those in the process of repenting, it is meant to be a protection, not a punishment.

 

Will our guilt ever go away? The promise of the Lord is certain in that regard. To the righteous, the Lord said that the time would come when “there shall be no more … sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4; emphasis added).

 

I do not know if we will forget our sins, but the time will come when those who repent will no longer be troubled by their sins.

As for a potential change in status before the Lord… He is asking you to be better and do better then you were before and that is a wonderful thing.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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