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Dear Gramps,

I have kind of an odd question/problem. After nearly a dozen years of inactivity, I have re-discovered the blessings of the Mormon Church. I’ve become very active, read my scriptures daily, pay a full tithing and feel very peaceful about my life. Last night I saw my stake president for my 2nd signature on my first-ever temple recommend. I’m excited, but also wary. Gramps, I feel like there MUST be something I’m forgetting. Something I haven’t repented of. I’ve wanted this for such a long time, that now I feel like I’m not really, truly 100% worthy of such blessings. I go over and over things in my mind and I can’t think of anything I’ve missed – I just feel odd. Like if I go to the temple, they won’t let me in. Why do I feel like this?

Jennifer

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Answer

 

Dear Jennifer,

Congratulations to you for the turn-around in your life! Relax!! If there were something of which you had been guilty and of which you had not repented, in your present circumstance of preparing yourself to enter the holy temple, that something would be in the forefront of your mind and would give you feelings of shame and unworthiness. Imagine how Alma the Younger felt when he came to himself and repented of all the terrible things that he had done.

And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

 

Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

 

And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

 

And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! (Alma 36:17-20)

It wasn’t that he couldn’t remember his sins. He could, indeed, remember them, but the memory didn’t bother him, because they were no longer a part of his character. He had repented of them.

Now if you can’t remember the bad things that you have done, let it go. What is really important is not a score sheet of your past actions, with a check mark beside each wrongful act for which you had gone through some repentance process, but the state of your present character and your compliance with the laws and ordinances of the gospel. Remember, God is not some harsh task master who stands at the gate with a score sheet, but a loving, caring Father who is anxious that His children follow after Him and do the things that will bring them nearer to Him. So I think that now that you have your recommend, you should go anxiously to the temple with a clear conscience, absorb all you can of the wonderful blessings that are there waiting for you, and return to the temple often so that your understanding of temple service may be continually broadened, and that there you will feel the warmth and acceptance by our Father in Heaven of the righteousness of your life.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

 

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