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wordb

Doubtful of the future

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I'm a recent convert (only 2 months now). The main reason for investigating the church was because of the girl I am dating. I don't feel, nor have I ever felt, like I was doing it for her but would be forever grateful that she introduced me to the church.

Not much time has passed, but I have been having some serious issues about my ability to be the priesthood holder she needs me to be. I have no doubts that I want to be a great husband to her and a step-father to her children (she has two children from a deadbeat ex-husband, a member, who nearly destroyed their lives emotionally and financially).

The problem I'm running into now is I can't guarantee to her, nor myself, that I can be a strong member of the church. There are two main issues I am dealing with that leave serious doubts for me: tithing & garments. Tithing is something I'll just have to learn to accept, but garments are something I'm not sure I'll be able to. Hopefully this isn't too much information for anybody, but wearing traditional (or any to be exact) underwear is something that gives me incredible anxiety. I can't even begin to express it though I wish I could. All I can say is that it really could prevent me from wearing them no matter how much I would like to.

I want to keep moving forward, but I'm afraid if I do and eventually fail I could let them all down.

I'm not really sure what advice I can be given or need, but figured it was worth a shot to post on here and see if anybody had anything to say. I'm trying to get in to the bishop but our schedules haven't been able to work, plus I'm in the middle of a move. I'll meet my new bishop next month and hopefully get to talk about this.

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Believe it or not, anxiety issues over wearing the Garment is not the craziest thing I've ever heard. Bring it up with your bishop, and I wouldn't be above getting an evaluation. This may be something that therapy can help with.

Above all, don't think that you're expected to be perfect today. The intent is to be moving toward perfection. If you can evaluate yourself and say that you're a better person today than you were six months ago, then you're moving in the right direction and should stay that course.

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Members experience anxiety over a number of things: giving Sacrament talks, baptizing someone, accepting a calling, etc.

If your anxiety is real strong, go seek counseling on it. Learn methods to manage anxiety. I used to have anxiety/panic attacks frequently, but learned to manage/overcome them with relaxation techniques. Garments take time to get used to, but eventually you'll get comfortable with them, also.

Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies. If you humbly go to the Lord with your fears and concerns, he will help you manage them. You don't have to carry your burdens alone. As it is, you won't qualify for the temple (and garments) for almost a year. Tithing, as you pay it, will become something you'll get accustomed to, as well.

Doing these things is about faith. As your faith grows, you'll see the power of God in such things, and the blessings inherent in obeying.

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Another thing I'll add, and this may sound like a strange suggestion, but check out the Church's addiction recovery program. I know you don't exactly have an addiction, but that doesn't matter.

One of my close friends, like you, develops anxiety over something that seems very normal to most people. Despite all the medication and therapy she's taken, she said that thing that helped her manage her anxiety the most was the addiction recovery program. Her comment, and it's a powerful one, is that she felt the effects of the Atonement more in that program than anywhere else in the Church, and feeling the Atonement that strongly helped her manage her anxieties better than anything else she'd ever tried. Give it shot. See if it helps.

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If you've only been in for 2 months, it's going to be a while before you get to that point. I'd relax and take it one step at a time. Move onto the next step when you're ready. It might help to get your patriarchal blessing first, if you haven't already. Temple Prep class might help? All this aside I'm sure the Bishop will be able to help and be able to give you the advice you need. Maybe a Bishop's Blessing would be helpful? It's helped me tremendously when I really needed guidance. Good luck!

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