Sign in to follow this  
slacker

Confessing sins to bishop kept on record?

Recommended Posts

When someone confesses sins to the bishop, such as violation of the law of chastity and word of wisdom, the bishop of course provides direction and council through the repentance process.

Say someone repents and has been fully forgiven of the Lord. Does the church keep on record the sins he had previously committed for future church leaders to understand where they have been before? Especially for serious sins that could cause excommunication, wouldn't the church want to keep that on record even if they have been forgiven? Because if it happend again, the new Priesthood leader should probably know that it wasn't the first time. Am I right?

So what I'm trying to ask is, does the church keep records of our previous sins? Who has access to that information?

I'd rather have answers from bishops, former bishops, etc. Or people who actually know what they're talking about, not just opinions.

Thanks :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in the day... I served as Ward Clerk in a Singles ward. When the bishop convened an official council to deal with someone that was a transgressor I was there to create the record of the meeting.

We are currently working with an investigator whose husband was ex'd. He has had a change of heart and is looking to return. The bishop has had to request his case from Salt Lake.

So yes a record is created (if the meeting serious enough to be more then just you and the bishop). But I can not speak with any surety of how long such a record might be held on to or maintained.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty much the only official record made these days, is in the case of a serious felony like child molestation or abuse. These appear as an annotation on a member's permanent record - something only a bishop can see.

I remember watching an outgoing bishop in his office - he was shredding 3X5 cards with a big grin on his face. I've never seen a man look so unweighted by a burden.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in the day... I served as Ward Clerk in a Singles ward. When the bishop convened an official council to deal with someone that was a transgressor I was there to create the record of the meeting.

We are currently working with an investigator whose husband was ex'd. He has had a change of heart and is looking to return. The bishop has had to request his case from Salt Lake.

So yes a record is created (if the meeting serious enough to be more then just you and the bishop). But I can not speak with any surety of how long such a record might be held on to or maintained.

So you say if the meeting is serious enough to be more then just you and the bishop..So what about a typical teenager or person preparing to go to the temple or on a mission. He or she confesses they've had sexual relations with another. Its not necessarily serious enough for excommunication. Would something like that be kept on record too?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never served in ward leadership.

That said, the main reasons for keeping such records would include protecting others within the ward. For example: child molestation needs to have a record on file and have that notation travel where-ever one might move within the Church.

Another reason to have records is for ex-communication. Particularly if/when Bishops are called or the member moves, there needs to be a record created.

It is my opinion that anything other than the above, the Bishop may keep his own notes, but for his own record keeping and notes, versus reporting such things to Church HQ.

Repentance is between the member and the Bishop. I trust that the Bishop keeps things confidential and reports what needs to be reported.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you say if the meeting is serious enough to be more then just you and the bishop..So what about a typical teenager or person preparing to go to the temple or on a mission. He or she confesses they've had sexual relations with another. Its not necessarily serious enough for excommunication. Would something like that be kept on record too?

I can't answer without speculating.. I have no knowledge of what kind of private records a bishop might keep.

There is an aspect of remembering the sins no more (where legal requirements and common sense allow).. So if you are worried about an sin that you work through now coming up out of the blue 20 years later then no (remembering the above disclaimer)

Now if say person lands in the bishop office a few years from now for a variation of the same sin then I can say is that as part of the process of a bishop helping a person repent that the bishop does need to have the relevant information... If there is a record fine if not it needs to come from the person. If the person thinks to avoid things getting 'worse' by withholding information they aren't in the right frame of mind to truly repent and are going through the motions.

At the very least the person should mention that this was not the first time thus given the Bishop an opening to learn more if he feels it is necessary (which would be he call, not the call of the person trying to get right)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any form of "formal discipline" within the Church will remain on the individual records, however like Estradling I do not know if they are removed automatically at some time, or with permission of the First Presidency. I believe LM is correct that molestation, or strong abuse, will not be removed due to the safety of other children in the ward that the member may move into.

Formal discipline within the Church requires the bishop to actually write a letter requesting the individual to appear before the bishopric and one of the clerks (typically the ward clerk, however any clerk will suffice).

Informal discipline is not kept on the individual member record. These are discussed and handled directly with the bishop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this