musicgirl____

Will he tell the bishop?

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My boyfriend and I were dating for seriously dating for two years before we broke up. For the past year we have been sexually involved, and he was the one to push it onto me. I'm scared that he's going to tell the bishop everything that we did and that the whole church will find out. I have found forgiveness and peace through scriptures and prayer and do not feel the need to confess to the bishop, but I don't know about him. He didn't tell the bishop about the extent of our relationship at his last meeting, but I'm not sure if he'll tell him now that we're broken up. My ex is terrified of being judged by the church and being deemed unworthy by his family. Do you feel the need to tell the bishop everything, or do you think it's okay to heal privately and keep away from all judgment other than that of our Heavenly Father? Also, if he told the bishop, would the information truly remain confidential?

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You and your former boyfriend both need to confess this sin and work through the repentance process with the bishop - no matter how scary it may seem, no matter how much you may think you can do it alone, it cannot be done without the help of the Lord's agent for such things.  Everything will be much better as soon as you start this process.

The bishop is not going to tell anyone what you confess - it is something he must keep to himself.

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You BOTH need to go confess to the Bishop and work through the repentance process (of course you don't need to go together, but you both need to go).   Sexual sin is the spiritual equivalent of you getting to car accident at 80 mph.  You NEED to go get help through the repentance process, not "deal with it on my own".  

Now, does this mean the Bishop's going to go and tell the entire church?  No!!!   I assure you, you are far from the first person with sexual sins to come to his office.  In fact, you're probably not the first person that week.  Why do you not hear about other people going through the same struggles?  Because the bishop is discreet and doesn't tell everyone, so you don't know.  He's also not going to tell either of your families.  

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I think you are worried about the wrong thing.

Who cares what everyone else will think?  You probably won't even be around them anymore in five years.  (Besides, bishop sessions are kept in strict confidentiality, and if I understand correctly the bishop can be disciplined for any breaches of this confidentiality).  Good Mormons are supposed to not gossip or judge anyhow.

What matters is what the LORD thinks.  Your salvation is at risk, and you are taking a terrible, terrible chance by not confessing sexual sins   Don't risk winding up in the Telestial kingdom.  Go to the bishop and repent the right way.

Edited by DoctorLemon

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I know you are nervous right now, and I understand that. Just remember that God loves you no matter what you might have done, and He is not going to stop loving you. You can confess to the bishop and you will be able to move on. We're praying for you! Everything will be fine. 

Edited by MormonGator

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11 hours ago, musicgirl____ said:

For the past year we have been sexually involved, and he was the one to push it onto me.
...
I have found forgiveness and peace through scriptures and prayer and do not feel the need to confess to the bishop,

Wait - "push it onto me" - were you raped?  Because that's what someone says when they're claiming they didn't want to do what ended up happening. 

Please be very careful with your answer here.  It could have life-altering repercussions for both you and your ex boyfriend.

And yes, regardless of your answer to my question, absolutely you need to go see your bishop over this. 

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13 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Wait - "push it onto me" - were you raped?  Because that's what someone says when they're claiming they didn't want to do what ended up happening. 

Please be very careful with your answer here.  It could have life-altering repercussions for both you and your ex boyfriend.

And yes, regardless of your answer to my question, absolutely you need to go see your bishop over this. 

I'd like this a thousand times if I could.  I don't know what happened, or how the balance of accountabilities between you and your ex ought to shake out.  But if the circumstances *were* tantamount to rape, at some point you're going to want an inspired leader involved in your recovery efforts; and if they *weren't*--human beings have an uncanny way of building false and destructive paradigms around their sexual choices, which is why we are asked to chat with our bishops when we make a wrong turn.  It's not really about being punished; it's about getting back on track.

If it helps, think of it as "therapy" rather than "confession".

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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Sexual sins separate you from God to the extent that you are in no position to determine if your repentance is complete.  You must see your Bishop about it.  It is a serious matter to take the sacrament or enter the temple unworthily.  As things are now you can not honestly get a temple recommend, you have a serious sin that should be cleared up by going to the Bishop.  Same applies to the guy you were with.

The Bishop is required to keep your conversations with him confidential, and if you do not trust him to do that, go see the Stake President instead.

 

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On 6/20/2017 at 8:56 PM, musicgirl____ said:

I have found forgiveness and peace through scriptures and prayer and do not feel the need to confess to the bishop

Then you have not found forgiveness. This is a grave sin that absolutely requires that the kingdom of God's common judge (i.e. the bishop) adjudicate the matter. Without his help, you will remain filthy still. If you don't believe that, you are deceiving yourself.

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22 hours ago, pam said:

I'm hoping this isn't a post and run.

Well, I hate to break it to you...

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8 hours ago, Carborendum said:

, I hate to break it to you...

...darlin', I was born the leavin' kind...

:) It's too early in the morning to resist - the song was playing this exact line as I read your post.

Edited by zil

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Just as a little clarification...being raped is NOT a sin.  The person that was raped is under NO condemnation.  If they wish, they can go to their Bishop if they think it may help them heal, but they, of themselves, have committed NO sin.  In that instance, they may be better served going to seek help from a fully trained medical counselor rather than the Bishop.

I say this, because too many (and that unfortunately DOES sometimes include SOME Bishops) make a terrible mistake in this regards.  This was actually akin to something TERRIBLE that apparently was happening at BYU as well. 

I can understand the apprehension some would feel going to the Bishop.  This is not an easy thing.  I am also going to disagree with some of the major thoughts in this thread.  The ONLY person that can grant forgiveness is Christ...NOT the Bishop.  The bishop is there to facilitate things, but there are many sins that are forgiven without the Bishops help.

The Bishop is a facilitator.  They are there to help, NOT grant forgiveness like some Catholic Priest.  I know of some who have confessed far later in life (and I'm not going into specifics here, as such things are personal to people and it is NOT MY RIGHT to share those specific stories) that had committed certain sins in the past.  In all rights they had been forgiven LOOOONG ago.  However, the sins still lay heavily on their heads.  They had already paid as much a price as ever could be asked, they had turned from their sin, and lived a virtuous life since.  There was NO place there that a Bishop was needed except to lighten their hearts, to let them know that yes, they indeed were forgiven.  However, in those instances, the forgiveness had already been obtained LOOONG before that moment, as it is NOT the Bishop that forgives...but the Lord.  It was merely the Bishop to help lighten that burden they had carried all those years.  The forgiveness is between the Lord and each individual, just like any sin is.  This is not something a Bishop can do, a Bishop cannot grant forgiveness.

That said, a Bishop is there to be a judge.  I would highly advise those of grievous sins such as fornication, Adultery, murder, and other such things to see a Bishop.  Forgiveness may be between the individual and the Lord, but certain things between the worldly administration in the church and the individual necessitates a Bishop (or higher in some cases) to handle in the appropriate manner.  This is impossible to do if the Bishop (or as I said, in some cases, higher authority than a Bishop) is unaware of such circumstances or is unable to take the appropriate action as the Spirit decides.  One should go to the Bishop if they have committed grievous sins, as a Bishop is there to guide, aid, and help in the repentance process and to help the person involved with the sin be able to obtain that forgiveness from the Lord.  It is normally something that the Bishop (or higher authority) has to do in cooperation with the individual, as that individual rediscovers and learns and strengthens their faith.  Eventually, as everyone should hope, that individual themselves will discover and feel the Spirit telling them that they are forgiven along with the Bishop (or others) and they will be set back onto the path to eternal life.

So, to be clear, I am not saying do NOT see a Bishop, but rather,

1.  Being a victim does NOT mean one has committed a sin.  I hope we NEVER mix up being a victim with having committed sin.  The victim is sinless and should not be blamed in those instances.  I know I would rather them see someone who is fully trained in dealing with these sorts of emotions and problems than totally rely on me or someone else who are not trained, simply because of a position in the church.

2.  ONLY THE LORD forgives.  A Bishop does not have that power.

3.  If grievous sin has been committed, see a Bishop.  There are sins a Bishop will need to do some things about in regards to the church, as well as help one in the road to repentance.

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I personally am filled with chagrin when someone is told they HAVE to go through a Bishop in order to achieve forgiveness and be terrorized that their eternal soul is in jeopardy of less glory in heaven when a Bishop is only a human vested with no authority of God to absolve of sins, but punishing a member of the church here on earth, when it is the eternal father we should take our sins to, and by grace through Christ we are forgiven. 

I think about all the people that have messed up in life who's sins have been kept between them and our heavenly father who fear even now that unless they confess to a mere man, are going to be denied celestial glory with their spouse in an eternal family. It makes my teeth itch. We have in this thread, an obviously terrified member, who is reasonably afraid of retribution or church consequences (Where is this law that says only the church can grant absolution?) to the point where she is heart sick. 

I've frequently said I would make a poor Bishop, with some things I am angry about (People that hurt children) and others absolutely merciful about (Sex sins amongst others) where I would take no disciplinary action against, but lead the transgressor in prayer with heavenly father for repentance and his forgiveness, because seeing a Bishop should not be terrifying.  I am glad I am not a Bishop, and I never want to be. 

If I were the OP's Bishop AND she came to me about this, my counsel would be as thus, let us pray together for the mercy of our heavenly father, and do not bestow your loving gifts again to the unworthy, but save such blessings to be known only by your future husband. I would tell her to KNOW her heavenly father loves her and that she is saved by grace. That would be the end of the matter from the church's concern as far as I was concerned. 

Maybe I am just not a big proponent of a need to "confess" to a Bishop, nor church punishment for sins, maybe I'm just a softy and seeing other people cry from their soul makes me cry from mine. I am of the opinion such things are best said between heavenly father and the soul of the transgressor.  

Tip, if my Stake leadership ever reads this, PLEASE, for the love of God, do NOT consider me for Bishop. I'd make a terrible Bishop, everyone would get a recommend, no one would ever be in trouble with the Church (Christ hung around the worst of the worst), the bishop's candy jar would never be empty. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Bad Karma said:

a Bishop is only a human vested with no authority of God to absolve of sins, but punishing a member of the church here on earth

Yes, a bishop is "vested with authority of God" to help the sinner. No, of course a bishop doesn't forgive sin. No, a bishop is not charged with "punishing a member of the Church here on earth". Such wording betrays a poor understanding of the function of a bishop.

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4 minutes ago, Bad Karma said:

Tip, if my Stake leadership ever reads this, PLEASE, for the love of God, do NOT consider me for Bishop. I'd make a terrible Bishop, everyone would get a recommend, no one would ever be in trouble with the Church (Christ hung around the worst of the worst), the bishop's candy jar would never be empty.

BK, you wear your poor understanding of repentance, counsel, and a bishop's role as a badge of honor. It is no such thing. Rather than beg not to be called as a bishop (which wish you're very likely to get), you would be better served by humbling yourself enough to learn why bishops must act as they do, and why turning a blind eye to evil and perversion, as you would so gladly do, is unGodly and works ultimately to the destruction of souls.

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5 minutes ago, Bad Karma said:

I personally am filled with chagrin when someone is told they HAVE to go through a Bishop in order to achieve forgiveness and be terrorized that their eternal soul is in jeopardy of less glory in heaven when a Bishop is only a human vested with no authority of God to absolve of sins, but punishing a member of the church here on earth, when it is the eternal father we should take our sins to, and by grace through Christ we are forgiven. 

I think about all the people that have messed up in life who's sins have been kept between them and our heavenly father who fear even now that unless they confess to a mere man, are going to be denied celestial glory with their spouse in an eternal family. It makes my teeth itch. We have in this thread, an obviously terrified member, who is reasonably afraid of retribution or church consequences (Where is this law that says only the church can grant absolution?) to the point where she is heart sick. 

Bishop's don't absolve sins, so that's not why any one should go see a bishop.  Rather the bishop is there to help you embrace the Savior and navigate out of mire of darkness that is serious sin.  They are specifically placed in that role because these sins are MAJOR issues that a person should have an earthly servant of Christ to help guide them.  

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Gospel Principles Chapter 19: Repentance

Quote

We Must Confess Our Sins

Confessing our sins is very important. The Lord has commanded us to confess our sins. Confession relieves a heavy burden from the sinner. The Lord has promised, “I, the Lord, forgive sins, and am merciful unto those who confess their sins with humble hearts” (D&C 61:2).

We must confess all our sins to the Lord. In addition, we must confess serious sins—such as adultery, fornication, homosexual relations, spouse or child abuse, and the sale or use of illegal drugs—which might affect our standing in the Church, to the proper priesthood authority. If we have sinned against another person, we should confess to the person we have injured. Some less serious sins involve no one but ourselves and the Lord. These may be confessed privately to the Lord.

If you haven't confessed your sins properly, you haven't repented.  Repentance is a wonderful thing, and is very much worth having, even though some of the steps may be painful and/or embarrassing.

Got plenty of personal experience quaking in fear at the prospect of confessing to my bishop here.  I'm so glad I did it, someone please give me a taller rooftop to shout it from.  Going to your bishop is worth every fearful minute!

Quote

If I were the OP's Bishop AND she came to me about this, my counsel would be as thus, let us pray together for the mercy of our heavenly father, and do not bestow your loving gifts again to the unworthy, but save such blessings to be known only by your future husband. I would tell her to KNOW her heavenly father loves her and that she is saved by grace. That would be the end of the matter from the church's concern as far as I was concerned. 

Odd that you think you'd make a bad bishop after saying something as cool as that.  All you need to be a good bishop is a heart pointed in the right direction, and a bunch of reading in handbook 1.  Your heart is obviously pointed correctly.  (Except for the 'people that hurt children' part - but He'd work on you there too.)

Edited by NeuroTypical

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Thank you for the replies to my response, hence why I would make a terrible Bishop. Alas, the world is safe, I am not a Bishop and do not have the weight of hearing these matters resting on my shoulders. 

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The basic standard is that if a sin will keep you from getting a temple recommend,  then you need to confess to your bishop.  Sexual sin most definitely will keep you from getting a recommend.   Thinking you have repented and have been forgiven without going to your bishop is nothing more than wishful thinking. 

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43 minutes ago, Jojo Bags said:

The basic standard is that if a sin will keep you from getting a temple recommend,  then you need to confess to your bishop.  Sexual sin most definitely will keep you from getting a recommend.   Thinking you have repented and have been forgiven without going to your bishop is nothing more than wishful thinking. 

Judge not that ye be not judged.   That's something I think I live with.  It means that we need to judge righteously, but we are NOT to try to usurp the power of the Lord to be the final judge.  I would fear for my immortal soul if I had to actually do something like that, because ultimately I'd probably end up in a very bad place.

PS:  Unfortunately, you have Bishops that do NOT keep confidences, Bishops that abuse their role/power as a Bishop, and many other unfortunate things.  To tell someone they are going to be condemned forever because they have not confessed to a Bishop is a TERRIBLE judgement for someone to try to claim.  I know why there are MANY that do not trust their Bishops, and others.  Heck, there are many I KNOW do not trust ME and actually BLAME me for simply being who I am in life, much less any church calling.

There are also GOOD Bishops that keep confidences, and that really do want to help. 

In the end, though, there are two reasons for someone to confess to the Bishop.  The first is to help the individual.  There are many minor sins that I've heard of that I really do not have any desire to hear about again, but the role of a Bishop is to help the individual in their needs, whether it is in in fulfilling the needs of food and housing, or spiritual needs such as obtaining forgiveness.  Christ loves us and probably forgives us as quickly as a loving Father (or older brother) forgives their children.  However, WE, many times are the obstacle at accepting that forgiveness.  There are many who have a hard time truly accepting that forgiveness (and because they don't, some go on to sin more because they do not understand the principles of repentance or forgiveness, and then there are others that are truly righteous that condemn themselves to no little degree for years upon years putting upon themselves unnecessary self imposed punishments far harsher than anything the church would or can do).

The second reason is that for some sins there are administrative things dealing with this WORLDLY church that need to be sorted out, especially in situations that involve grievous sins that will heavily affect others and their own testimonies and beliefs in regards to the true gospel of the Lord (things of which I've mentioned a few above).

However, I would NEVER go and say someone cannot attain repentance without talking to the Bishop...though in some serious sins, it is going to be far more advantageous to talk to a Bishop in order to know the steps that need to be taken or done in order to have the best chance at obtaining that forgiveness as well as a full return of the Gift of the Holy Ghost and all ensuing blessings and to KNOW that one is forgiven in the eyes of the Lord, especially with grievous sin.  The suggestion of the temple recommend questions is probably decent advice, though waiting until a temple recommend interview is probably NOT ideal.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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4 minutes ago, Jojo Bags said:

The basic standard is that if a sin will keep you from getting a temple recommend,  then you need to confess to your bishop.  Sexual sin most definitely will keep you from getting a recommend.   Thinking you have repented and have been forgiven without going to your bishop is nothing more than wishful thinking. 

This is why we get people who are so emotionally distraught about sins and Bishops. Our OP is but one. I consider this, we covet every day, (Thanks Adam, thanks Eve!) we often look upon another in lust, Matt 5:28 spells it out, if we look on a woman in lust, we have already committed adultery with her in our hearts. I can tell you that just watching television, or seeing the various women walk by in yoga pants has condemned me and I might as well just hand the Bish my recommend, because just by lusting, I've already been a bad boy. (Glad my wife is more understanding) So, I am spiritually toast. Nope. not buying it. I keep my confessions of my willful stupidity between heavenly father and I, I've got a hotline to him, he's always open for business and I don't have to be afraid to be naked and bare my soul to my heavenly father, who takes pity on my weeping soul. Again, I am NOT a Bishop, I would make a terrible one.

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1 hour ago, Vort said:

BK, you wear your poor understanding of repentance, counsel, and a bishop's role as a badge of honor. It is no such thing. Rather than beg not to be called as a bishop (which wish you're very likely to get), you would be better served by humbling yourself enough to learn why bishops must act as they do, and why turning a blind eye to evil and perversion, as you would so gladly do, is unGodly and works ultimately to the destruction of souls.

Not at all, I just have some feelings about things that I do feel rather strongly. I am not sure if you meant to say that I WISH to become a Bishop, no sir, such a thought II hold great anxiety about. I think such a calling is reserved for men with a far better grasp for the work than I ever will have. I know myself well. It is not that I turn a blind eye to evil, it is simply that it is not my place to render unto my fellow man such a judgement.  If WISH was a typo and you meant to say "With which you're very likely to get". I really (Honest) am not Bishop material. I still have to look up on my iphone how to give a blessing, I can never remember the words, so, more responsibility in the church would be baaaaaaaad.

If that is the job of a Bishop, to weigh the evils and perversions of my fellow man, all the more reason to flinch from such a calling? Seriously, who would want to have to do that? 

Bad Karma's for the future: Support my family, raise the last of the kids (Age 12) until he's settled, grow old with my wife while sitting on a porch swing gazing into her sweet face, drinking lemonade, until my days are done here. Being the Bishop does not factor in. 

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