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Law of Chasity/Petting Problem (Father is the bishop)

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I was involved with a guy who was not LDS, hI was completely oblivious to physical intimacy and inexperienced before I was involved with him and I started changing little by little, seeing myself drift from family, from church and the spirit. I am not blaming this on him whatsoever, but I am saying this could happen to anyone. I was involved in heavy petting and kept excusing myself and after a while the spirit withdrew from me.

I am applying to college soon, I'm so guilty, when my stake president came to visit. I spilled my heart out to him because I had no one else to turn to. My father would be devastated and completely shocked to hear of my transgressions. I want to humble myself, but I don't know where to start.

I was thinking of writing him a letter because I cannot seem to utter those words.

Would he consider this as a bishop or as a father?

If I told him at home, would he not regard my need to keep this matter private?

Or would a letter be completely informal?

I just don't know where to start. I really don't want to tell my whole family.

My stake president told me I have to tell my father because I am applying to LDS colleges and there are two interviews and my dad needs to know about this.

I want to demonstrate integrity, but I have no idea what angle to view it from.

PLEASE HELP ME. I'm desperate for words of advice. I have no one to turn to :(

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Make an appointment and meet with him at church. I have not been in your exact situation, but I have been in one that is vaguely similar. I confessed serious sexual sins to my bishop who was a man who had watched me grow up and is a good friend of my family. My sins resulted in a Disciplinary Counsel which included men who had also known me growing up. Then in the middle of my repentance process my bishop changed to the husband of my best friend and I had to go and talk to him all over about what I had done so that he knew where I was in the repentance process. It was difficult, it was painful and terrifying, but being forgiven after repenting was worth all of it. Pray for courage, plead with your Father in Heaven for the courage to do this, then go forward and meet with your father and speak to him about your sins. Then go forward in your repentance with all your will, be clean again, it is completely worth it. And once clean remember what you went through to get there and make sure that you never have to do that again for the same sins, keep yourself clean and wait for marriage, again it really is worth it.

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Your stake president has all the keys necessary to handle this situation. Why can't you discuss and resolve it with him? I'd take it up with the stake president unless he specifically requests you go to your bishop (which would seem odd to me, since it can be hard to separate those two roles).

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oh your in a pickle with your dad being the bishop too bad u couldnt just tell the stake pres. but if ur going to a lds.school u need to go thru an interview with ur bishop...good luck..it will be ok..its worth it to get it over and not linger on with it...and repent and stay clean......no sexual activity til your married...a little kissing is ok, but with that u have to watch out too, it can go to far as well....

I agree with u moe.....I think the stake pres. should take care of it as well.........

Edited by Roseslipper
added a commment

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Is it okay if I have a day with my dad this weekend and just discuss whats on my mind? Or does it HAVE to be in the bishop's office?? Is it that technical?

Oh, and my stake president has the keys but it does not matter because I am applying to LDS schools which require both to interview me, and it so happens that my stake president knows, and my Dad is yet to know.

I really didn't even think of that when I confessed, I just did it to get it off my chest. It's funny how fate steps in, I guess my Dad is really meant to know. even if it's tough.

I'm thinking about writing all I have to say down, have a day with my Dad and read the letter to him. Discussing what I need to say, so I'm not muttering and tripping over my words :] Does that sound good? Or should I try another option, I feel as though the bishops office is scary and I want to be somewhat comfortable...even though it's not at all comfortable to discuss with your own father..

What is your advice? This is probably the most difficult thing I had to do, I know i'm rambling, but I was listening to John Bytheway tonight, Five scriptures to get you through anything and he said how if his daughter were to tell him something she had done wrong it would melt his heart away, and he would be quickly to forgive, I feel as though the Lord is giving me comfort and showing me my fathers love for me is unconditional..

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Is it okay if I have a day with my dad this weekend and just discuss whats on my mind? Or does it HAVE to be in the bishop's office?? Is it that technical?

Oh, and my stake president has the keys but it does not matter because I am applying to LDS schools which require both to interview me, and it so happens that my stake president knows, and my Dad is yet to know.

I really didn't even think of that when I confessed, I just did it to get it off my chest. It's funny how fate steps in, I guess my Dad is really meant to know. even if it's tough.

I'm thinking about writing all I have to say down, have a day with my Dad and read the letter to him. Discussing what I need to say, so I'm not muttering and tripping over my words :] Does that sound good? Or should I try another option, I feel as though the bishops office is scary and I want to be somewhat comfortable...even though it's not at all comfortable to discuss with your own father..

What is your advice? This is probably the most difficult thing I had to do, I know i'm rambling, but I was listening to John Bytheway tonight, Five scriptures to get you through anything and he said how if his daughter were to tell him something she had done wrong it would melt his heart away, and he would be quickly to forgive, I feel as though the Lord is giving me comfort and showing me my fathers love for me is unconditional..

I'm going to say it again...ask your stake president what he thinks you should tell a) your father and b) your bishop before you have any discussion. The fact that your father is in both positions could potentially confound his ability to act in both roles simultaneously. You might be surprised what the stake president advises you to do.

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I dont think if I was in this situation I would tell my dad, but thats me....but since hes your bishop and u need those papers signed for school and your stake pres. cant help you...(talk to ur stake pres again) then I would see him as your bishop, not your father. but thats only my opionion. anyway good luck. oo I like johnbytheway and of course your parents love you unconditionally.No matter what.

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In a family home evening group we discussed the Keys and Mantle of a Bishop. A former Bishop was there. Once a man is no longer in the calling of Bishop he no longer holds the keys/mantle of a Bishop. The Stake President was right to refer you back to your bishop, even though your bishop is your father.

This will probably stir up some controversey and people will want references. Even though I've heard this all my life (over 50 years) my source right now is our former Bishop. Oh...and I remember another discussion in Sunday School about a month ago. Where the Bishop prior to the last one said the same thing.....so, two former bishops.

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In a family home evening group we discussed the Keys and Mantle of a Bishop. A former Bishop was there. Once a man is no longer in the calling of Bishop he no longer holds the keys/mantle of a Bishop. The Stake President was right to refer you back to your bishop, even though your bishop is your father.

I'm not sure what this has to do with the situation. Stake presidents also have the keys that the bishop holds, and that's who she spoke to. I'm not sure why you're bringing past bishops into the discussion.

And I seriously question the wisdom of sending a teenage girl to confess sins of morality to her bishop when her bishop is also her father. Asking a man to act differently in two roles toward someone in his family is really stressful. For instance, if she goes to her bishop, he is obligated to maintain confidentiality from her parents. So the bishop wouldn't be permitted to tell her mother about their conversation. But it's the kind of thing that priesthood leaders encourage youth to tell their parents. It gets kind of murky.

This will probably stir up some controversey and people will want references. Even though I've heard this all my life (over 50 years) my source right now is our former Bishop. Oh...and I remember another discussion in Sunday School about a month ago. Where the Bishop prior to the last one said the same thing.....so, two former bishops.

I see no controversy in your statement that released bishops no longer hold the keys to handle such situations. In actuality, there is a fine line that separates the office of bishop and the calling of bishop. Those who hold the office don't necessarily hold the keys, while those that hold the calling must have those keys. But again, the issue of keys and previous bishops is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

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You stated that your stake president already told you to tell your father/bishop, yes? Even if he hasn't already told you this, he likely will. This is something that would need to be confessed to him, as your father and as your bishop.

Really, you are the only one who can determine the right setting and method for telling him. Pray about it. Seek serious, thoughtful guidance from the spirit. I have often relayed difficult information to my parents via letters, simply because it is easier for me to communicate in that mode. I am a writer more than a talker, and I can easily put my thoughts and concerns to paper. However, relying on a letter simply because you are afraid to face him may not be the right answer.

It is your choice which way you approach him first. If it would be easier for you to make an appointment and see him as your bishop, you could do it that way. It could curb his fatherly reaction, as he will recognize you are approaching him formally and will likely sense your fear in telling him. This could also make it easier as the appointment should start and end with a prayer. If it is easier for you to approach him in a comfortable setting as your father first though, go ahead and do it that way. Only you can determine which way is best, as you know your father best.

I would just advice you to be careful about syking yourself out before telling him. You expressed that he would be devastated, but often we imagine things to be far worse than they actually are. Of course your father will be disappointed in you. That is to be expected. But many feel when someone they know closely is in a leadership position in the church this will mean they are more judgemental. This is not the case. Maybe for a few, but for the most part these people are more merciful and understanding than others.

The fact that your father is the bishop means he has heard many confessions from many people. There are probably members of your ward who have done things you would never expect, and it is his job to counsel them through it. He has been made privy to the serious sins of the entire ward, and he understands better than anyone the repentance process. He will know how much you are hurting.

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You stated that your stake president already told you to tell your father/bishop, yes? Even if he hasn't already told you this, he likely will. This is something that would need to be confessed to him, as your father and as your bishop.

She hasn't said that actually. All she said was that she spoke to her stake president. We know nothing about what the stake president told her at this point.

And again, I can't stress this enough, she may not be required to confess to her bishop in this case. The stake president holds all the same keys as a bishop in his stake, and then some. Which is why I am encouraging her to ask her stake president for guidance on this. He may more may not recommend that she confess to her bishop. That is a decision that will likely vary by stake president and/or individual circumstance. All I'm saying is she should ask.

Regardless of whether the stake president advises her to confess to the bishop, he will almost certainly advise her to inform her parents of her actions. But he can at least also help her develop a plan to do so that is comfortable and encouraging.

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The stake president will refer you back to your Bishop, because he is the one who is specifically responsible for you. It is warming to know that you have a great Stake President. He has given you the right counsel to talk to your Bishop, he holds the keys and is the Judge in Israel for your ward. As Bishops, strict confidentiality is something that is taken very seriously. Since your Bishop is your dad, he will most likely encourage you to talk to your mom about it. Anyone else will not be told, it is not anyone else's concern.

Do not hold yourself emotionally and spiritually hostage. The Lord's sacrifice was exactly for this, for you. He knew we would fall short. Out of love, no other reason, because he loved us first. The pain and anguish you feel now is nothing to what he endured and he has specifically mentioned that he took our place, so if we would strive to do our best and humble ourselves and repent we will not have to endure this pain.

Take the step, it is the price we pay for transgression, but how sweet and liberating is His grace and forgiveness.:) This will be the first step, as you peel off the layers of unknown pride, you get to the core and essence of your spirit and then the forsaking and the repenting can truly begin.

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The stake president will refer you back to your Bishop, because he is the one who is specifically responsible for you.

The stake president holds equal responsibility over her.

It is warming to know that you have a great Stake President. He has given you the right counsel to talk to your Bishop, he holds the keys and is the Judge in Israel for your ward.

The stake president holds those keys and is also a common judge in Israel over her ward.

I also know of cases where a child of a bishop has gone to the stake president to deal with these matters without involving the bishop/father. Seriously, go ask your stake president his advise before you take recommendations of a bunch of strangers on the internet!

EDIT: It was just kindly pointed out to me where it was said that the stake president advised her to speak to her father/bishop. My apologies for getting up in everyone's business.

Edited by MarginOfError

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EDIT: It was just kindly pointed out to me where it was said that the stake president advised her to speak to her father/bishop. My apologies for getting up in everyone's business.

It's okay. :D There is always a margin of error. ;)

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i have to agree that the stake pres should handle this. most ppl, men particularly, don't move from one hat to the next very well. you can't expect dad to act like a responsible bishop. also if college applications are being filled out she isn't really a kid anymore so the counsel to tell the parents i think is wrong. a 13 yr old, a 16 yr old, maybe but an adult? even if she is a new adult she is an adult.

forgive my ignorance on the issue of school applications but.... what? you have to have an interview? like a baptism or temple recommend interview? or is it a personal recommendation where the bishop says "yes i know this person and they know the rules and i think they will live by those rules"? i'm not sure why petting should come up in such a discussion. maybe if you were excessively promiscuous but petting?

honestly i would go back to the stake pres and request more info. if it's not a church policy thing i would ask him to handle it. if there isn't a specific question on the paper for school i wouldn't tell him. i know it sounds bad (and maybe a greater reflection on my relationship with my dad) but i wouldn't. there is no reason to think you intend to go off to school and drink and sleep around, they can't ask that you be perfect, it shouldn't be a "worthiness" interview... it's school, you made a mistake. so what? i the stake pres wouldn't handle it i would wait till i got to school and then talk to the bishop there. probably not the best advice but i would not speak to my dad about such an issue.

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This is a delicate matter. Having served as a Bishop I speak from experience. Their is the specific instruction from the handbook the Bishop is asked to follow and there is also the spirit of the law. So I hope that you continue to speak with your Stake President. All of the cases I handled, the Stake President had referred them back to me when he was approached before me as their Bishop. Yes, the Stake President is the presiding High Priest in the stake, no arguing there. But, the Stake President greatly depends on the bishop and unless handling the situation very poorly, he will refer the member back to their bishop. Anyway, the important thing here is that you have the support of your leaders.

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This is a delicate matter. Having served as a Bishop I speak from experience. Their is the specific instruction from the handbook the Bishop is asked to follow and there is also the spirit of the law. So I hope that you continue to speak with your Stake President. All of the cases I handled, the Stake President had referred them back to me when he was approached before me as their Bishop. Yes, the Stake President is the presiding High Priest in the stake, no arguing there. But, the Stake President greatly depends on the bishop and unless handling the situation very poorly, he will refer the member back to their bishop. Anyway, the important thing here is that you have the support of your leaders.

Were any of those people referred back to you your children?

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I don't know about you guys, but I'd confess to my father before I would talk to my bishop (no, my father is not a bishop). That kind of thing is like a cancer to families. It is going to hurt my mother and father a lot, but not telling them about it will put a wedge between us because of that feeling of "guilt". I would rather appeal to my parents for help and open up that support system for me - one that I would really really need in this situation. Then I would talk to my bishop to determine what I should do next.

But that's just me.

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If I were you, I would make a formal meeting with your bishop/dad, and when you go in, tell him you need him to be your bishop for a few minutes, and not your father. Make him promise that he will keep the two separate before you tell him anything. If he cannot agree to keep the calling separate from his parenthood, then you will have reason to end the meeting, and go back to the stake president. Just tell your stake president that you talked to your dad about whether or not he had the ability to just be your bishop for a while, and that he told you he couldn't.

But I have a feeling that your dad will probably tell you that he CAN be just your bishop. Trust him when he tells you that he can do it. We men have the amazing ability to compartmentalize things... it's just something about how our brain works. If he ever starts to cross the line from bishop to father after you tell him, just remind him "Dad, you promised me you would be my bishop, and I really need the strength of a priesthood leader to help me deal with the guilt I'm already feeling."

I'd bet that the only thing from fatherhood that will creep in, however, is a little extra compassion and love for you.

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I , too must realize that everyone's situation at home is different. Even if it is a good one, having to bring to light a transgression is a very difficult thing. I do not want to sound mechanical, but the guidelines are there and in the end are part of the order in the Lord's House. I do not doubt that there are special cases and want to be sensitive to that.

In the end, there is hope, great hope and liberation. Discomfort of having to confess is part of the consequences, but fades in comparison to the beautiful feeling of being forgiven. Be it the Stake President or the Bishop, continue to reach out. You can do it. They will appropriately guide you.

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If I were you, I would make a formal meeting with your bishop/dad, and when you go in, tell him you need him to be your bishop for a few minutes, and not your father. Make him promise that he will keep the two separate before you tell him anything. If he cannot agree to keep the calling separate from his parenthood, then you will have reason to end the meeting, and go back to the stake president. Just tell your stake president that you talked to your dad about whether or not he had the ability to just be your bishop for a while, and that he told you he couldn't.

i totally agree with this part. if you talk to him keep it formal, makes it easier for him to be bishop and not forget the role he's in.

But I have a feeling that your dad will probably tell you that he CAN be just your bishop. Trust him when he tells you that he can do it. We men have the amazing ability to compartmentalize things... it's just something about how our brain works. If he ever starts to cross the line from bishop to father after you tell him, just remind him "Dad, you promised me you would be my bishop, and I really need the strength of a priesthood leader to help me deal with the guilt I'm already feeling."

I'd bet that the only thing from fatherhood that will creep in, however, is a little extra compassion and love for you.

this part i question lol yes men compartmentalize but i've not met one that can ever put his children anywhere but in the children box. but i hope i'm wrong and not giving men enough credit.

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I think I disagree with most everyone who has posted on this thread. First and foremost, the man is this girl's father, not bishop. He should act first as her father, and later as her bishop. She needs to tell her father, and see what he would recommend.

And I can't figure out why she couldn't resolve the repentance issues with the stake president, and then afterward still have an ecclesiastical interview with the bishop.

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And I can't figure out why she couldn't resolve the repentance issues with the stake president, and then afterward still have an ecclesiastical interview with the bishop.

I was wondering this exact same thing. Surely she should not have to confess to two people?

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I think I disagree with most everyone who has posted on this thread. First and foremost, the man is this girl's father, not bishop. He should act first as her father, and later as her bishop. She needs to tell her father, and see what he would recommend.

And I can't figure out why she couldn't resolve the repentance issues with the stake president, and then afterward still have an ecclesiastical interview with the bishop.

I can't find the double-thank button.

I find it sad that children cannot talk to their parents... especially about transgressions. If you can't find comfort at home, where can you?

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