Thank you so much for giving your time and insight to help others. I seldom if ever feel worthy to enter the temple or to perform priesthood ordinances and responsibilities. I do answer the temple recommend questions accurately and I point out things I may not be sure when interviewed but it seems that I can always find something that I’ve done recently or in the past that to feel bad about. I would rather not attend the temple being unclean than to go and defile it. My wife thinks that I’m being too hard on myself. I know that we all make mistakes and can repent but I’m never quite sure if I have fully repented. I don’t want to offend God. The guilt and inadequacy I feel is really wearing me down. I so much want to be like those valiant saints I associate with but I’m nowhere near the level they’re at. Thanks again for all that you do.
I completely understand how you feel, as I’ve been there myself. No matter how hard I try, I can easily see where I could’ve done better. As a child my father never used physical means to discipline me or my siblings. He would look me in the eye and say, in a very calm quiet voice; “You don’t do that.” The knowledge that I had disappointed my father left me in more emotional pain than any spanking would have caused. You see, I knew my father loved me. I felt awful every time I felt I had let him down.
Using that same experience with Heavenly Father only magnifies the disparity in our mortal nature compared to his eternal perfection. At the same time, however, there is cause for not only hope, but joy in attending the temple.
First of all we are not expected to be perfect in order to attend the temple. After all, if we were perfect, what could prevent us from approaching Heavenly Father directly? It is specifically because of our imperfections that temples are needed at all. The interview questions set the mark for what is acceptable as to our personal righteousness. As long as we answer the questions honestly and completely, as needed, we can take heart that we’re approved of God to attend the temple when we receive our recommend. The small issues that nibble at our heels are those that we can rely upon the sacrament to help address.
Second of all, I won’t say that you’re too hard on yourself, but perhaps you could be overestimating the consequences of the things that are troubling you. I think a discussion with your bishop about the issues themselves will go a long way toward easing your mind and soul. The other remedy I can recommend is continued prayer for help from Heavenly Father. Remember, as in the example of my own earthly father, He loves you. It is because he loves you that he wants you to go to the temple. He wants you to approach him in righteousness and humility. By doing this he can help you understand to a greater degree how much he loves not only you, but all of his children.
Heavenly Father wants you to feel of his love, he wants you to find joy and peace in serving him through temple work. Use the great amount of faith you have and trust that He is on your side, cheering you on in all the righteousness you have built up in your life.