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mommabear13

Sealed unworthily...

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I am panicking and need some advice or feedback if anyone has any.... my husband and I broke the law of chastity before we got sealed and we did not repent. We did not fully have intercourse but we came as close as you can get. I was extremely depressed at the time and I think in my depression my feelings were so numbed (on top of me being a convert) helped me internalize it and believe that it wasn’t bad because we didn’t actually have sex and so are fine to just repent to God and not our bishop. It’s been 2 years later and we have not gone to the temple since our sealing day for this very reason of us feeling EXTREME guilt after the fact. Our recommends expired and we can’t go in there and lie again and we are feeling the weight of what we have done on our shoulders. We plan on repenting as soon as we can build up the strength... I just feel like such a sham and I know my husband feels the same. He blessed our baby girl etc all while we have never repenting of this. I just feel so dirty and awful. I guess I’m just asking for advice if this has happened to anyone else here or to anyone you know? Do you know what the punishment was? I’m praying so hard that it won’t lead to excommunication... if our families found this out I would be beyond embarrassed and devastated. I know I know, that is not what matters, it’s between us and the Lord. I guess I just want to know what I should expect. As a convert I have never had to confess to the bishop before and up until lately I really didn’t realize how much of a vital part it is to something like this. We are already fully aware of our actions so please no judgements...  

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50 minutes ago, mommabear13 said:

I am panicking and need some advice or feedback if anyone has any.... my husband and I broke the law of chastity before we got sealed and we did not repent. We did not fully have intercourse but we came as close as you can get. I was extremely depressed at the time and I think in my depression my feelings were so numbed (on top of me being a convert) helped me internalize it and believe that it wasn’t bad because we didn’t actually have sex and so are fine to just repent to God and not our bishop. It’s been 2 years later and we have not gone to the temple since our sealing day for this very reason of us feeling EXTREME guilt after the fact. Our recommends expired and we can’t go in there and lie again and we are feeling the weight of what we have done on our shoulders. We plan on repenting as soon as we can build up the strength... I just feel like such a sham and I know my husband feels the same. He blessed our baby girl etc all while we have never repenting of this. I just feel so dirty and awful. I guess I’m just asking for advice if this has happened to anyone else here or to anyone you know? Do you know what the punishment was? I’m praying so hard that it won’t lead to excommunication... if our families found this out I would be beyond embarrassed and devastated. I know I know, that is not what matters, it’s between us and the Lord. I guess I just want to know what I should expect. As a convert I have never had to confess to the bishop before and up until lately I really didn’t realize how much of a vital part it is to something like this. We are already fully aware of our actions so please no judgements...  

First of all, take a deep breath. You both made a serious mistake, but the fact that you want to repent of it is absolutely a wonderful thing. Jesus Christ loves you and your husband. Repentance makes you feel better. The only one who wants you to be terrified about seeing the bishop is Satan. If he can trick you into being too scared to go, he can keep you under his thumb. Don't let him fool you! Your bishop will guide you through the repentance process. While I can't tell you for sure what you will have to do to be fully forgiven, only your bishop can do that, I doubt it will lead to excommunication for what you did. If someone comes in wanting to repent and showing true remorse, any penalties given tend to be much lighter, than if they arrogantly reject the process the Bishop presents to them.

Also, and this is important, the moment you start talking to him relief will flow over you. That burden you have been carrying for 2 years willl start to ease, and you will feel God's love flowing over you. Remember what God tells us about forgiveness in Isaiah 1:18:

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

Jesus Christ loves you sister. He loves your husband. You guys made a serious mistake, but he is waiting to forgive you. God bless the both of you.

 

Edited by Midwest LDS

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39 minutes ago, mommabear13 said:

As a convert I have never had to confess to the bishop before and up until lately I really didn’t realize how much of a vital part it is to something like this. We are already fully aware of our actions so please no judgements...  

Answering the "how does this go" question-- 

You give your executive secretary a ring/text/email/whatever and say "I would like an appointment with the Bishop". He says something like "ok, does Wednesday at 7 work?"

You and hubby go meet with the Bishop and talk about things.  There's no pitchforks or shaming or anything like that.  The Bishop has heard this type of thing a million times before.  He is there to HELP you-- to help guide you to the Savior and be washed clean.  The Bishop is a coach to help you be the best disciples of Christ you can be (there was a excellent sports talk on this in the Priesthood session yesterday).  The fact that you and hubby both acknowledge that you messed up and have such remorse about it is already a huge step in the direction of repellence and becoming clean.  The bishop will help you become fully clean, and for you to know that you are clean-- shedding away this burden.  

You and your hubby are individuals and will have an individual path to repentance, so no one here can tell you the exact specifics of it.  But there's no calling your parents telling them you messed up (you guys aren't kids).  There's no huge red letter written on you.  This is between you and the Lord, with the Bishop coaching you on that journey.  

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I cannot speak of what your Bishop will say or do...but...

#1 - Your sealing is still valid as long as you are righteous.  It was done via the sealing power of the Lord.  If  one had this power and the Lord allowed it, they could move a mountain and tell it to go hence, and it would go.  It is an incredible power that many do not realize just how strong it is.  You are thus sealed to your spouse for eternity.

#2 - If you have not messed up after your marriage the chances of you being excommunicated are probably pretty low, if it even exists.  The purpose of excommunication is normally NOT punishment.  It is to help one realize what they did and to see the seriousness of it.  From what you describe, it sounds as if you have felt the weight of sin already, and you need to try to find a way to gain the forgiveness.  I, personally, would not seek an excommunication on you in this, and most likely NOT your husband either.  The discourse would be more in regards to how you have dealt with it.  Any thing done may be more serious in regards to your husband, but even then I do not see excommunication as being useful in this situation.  There may be lesser things to help you understand and find the spirit, but I personally would not think excommunication or something like that would be necessary.  Obviously I am NOT your Bishop and each Bishop can be different.  In addition I am not able to get such inspiration as your Bishop is, but I do not feel with what you've described that you should be so fearful of what trying to get help on this matter would entail.

#3 - In this I would highly suggest you talk to your Bishop (as others have suggested) WITH your husband.  If you do so, the balm of the spirit and the calm of the Lord's atonement will be able to fall upon you and you will be able to feel the love of the Lord in mercy and forgiveness.  I do not think it will be half as bad as you fear or think (or at least what you express in your statement above).

Edited by JohnsonJones

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11 hours ago, mommabear13 said:

I guess I’m just asking for advice if this has happened to anyone else here or to anyone you know? Do you know what the punishment was? 

You should be comforted to know that your bishop has probably already heard a similar story from plenty of other frightened sinners, over the course of his calling.  I don't want to sound brusque or insulting, but sins like yours are hardly unique. 

This isn't about punishment.  Look at yourself - you are weighed down by the crushing weight of sin and guilt and shame.  Your bishop can help you remove that weight.  Run, don't walk, to his hot-seat and go tell him everything you're telling us.  God is just, but also loving, kind, understanding.  Repentance is hard, but yes, I am speaking as someone who has personally been through a painful repentance process, dang it is worth it.

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Punishing people is not the role of the church, the role of the church is to help the sinner find peace and cleansing through Christ.  There is a big difference between two people who are truly in love and committed to each other having their emotions carry them into a place they shouldn't go than a rebellious soul who cares nothing for the commandments of God and deliberately tries to get all the pleasure they can from whoever they can find as a willing partner.  Don't brand yourself as the worst of the worst for a perfectly understandable mistake you regret.

If you have been faithful to each other, I highly doubt you will face excommunication. and I doubt you would be disfellowshiped too.  There may be some informal discipline like not being allowed to take the sacrament for a time while you work through this, but I can guarantee you that as soon as you come clean to the Bishop you will feel peace in your heart.  The Bishop will keep the matter confidential.  Your sealing is valid, but the blessings of it do still depend on your faithfulness so you need to take care of this.

Why linger in this dark unhappy place any longer?  Call the Bishop and let the miracle of forgiveness work it's magic in your life.

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Please call your bishop right now. Seriously. Pick up the phone right now, call your bishop directly, and tell him you need to talk with him. He'll probably ask you to call the executive secretary to set an appointment. Or maybe he'll say, "Come on over." Just go talk to him right now, preferably with your husband. Unload this poisonous secret that is hurting you so much. Let him help. He can and will help you.

You think your marriage is a sham. You are mistaken; your marriage is a precious, beautiful thing. This sin in your past, if unresolved, will pollute everything going forward. Please get this taken care of immediately, starting right this minute. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get going and the easier to keep waiting.

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37 minutes ago, unixknight said:

All true.  If you call the Bishop, the first thought in his head won't be "I better figure out how hard to punish this bunch of liars."  It's going to be "How can I help this couple get past this?"

99% of bishops care more about healing than punishment. Totally agree with @unixknight

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On 4/7/2019 at 8:56 PM, Jane_Doe said:

Answering the "how does this go" question-- 

You give your executive secretary a ring/text/email/whatever and say "I would like an appointment with the Bishop". He says something like "ok, does Wednesday at 7 work?"

You and hubby go meet with the Bishop and talk about things.  There's no pitchforks or shaming or anything like that.  The Bishop has heard this type of thing a million times before.  He is there to HELP you-- to help guide you to the Savior and be washed clean.  The Bishop is a coach to help you be the best disciples of Christ you can be (there was a excellent sports talk on this in the Priesthood session yesterday).  The fact that you and hubby both acknowledge that you messed up and have such remorse about it is already a huge step in the direction of repellence and becoming clean.  The bishop will help you become fully clean, and for you to know that you are clean-- shedding away this burden.  

You and your hubby are individuals and will have an individual path to repentance, so no one here can tell you the exact specifics of it.  But there's no calling your parents telling them you messed up (you guys aren't kids).  There's no huge red letter written on you.  This is between you and the Lord, with the Bishop coaching you on that journey.  

I am an exec sec, and this is just how it goes. He truly has seen this before, and there is zero judgement passed on anyone. The main responsibility of his calling is to be the father of the ward, and he does this by assisting in the repentance process. The Temple is where you need to be. Trust me, you will feel better after you speak to him...he may actually feel bad knowing that you have carried this burden on your own for so long. 

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Update: thank you so much to everybody for the advice and love. We went in last night to the Bishop and confessed and have started the repentance process. We do already feel so much better. I don’t know exactly what the future holds for us yet, but I know that I’m going back to the path that I belong. Love to you all!!

Edited by mommabear13

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Well done to you and your husband.

 

I am glad that you are both already feeling the effects of meeting with your Bishop.

 

Love, hugs and prayers

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@mommabear13 my mission president once told me that he was a stake president and interviewed a temple worker at the age of 90. The last question in the temple recommend interview is paraphrased "Is there any sin that you need to confess to a priesthood authority that has not already been confessed?"

He told me the old man sat there for 5 minutes without saying a thing. Then he confessed the he and his wife the night before they were married in the SLC temple had had sex, and not told anyone about it. The old man then began to cry uncontrollably because of the guilt of this sin some near 60 years ago.

My mission president then told him, "Dale (name changed), it's a shame you carried that with you for so long because the Lord forgave you a long time ago." No disciplinary council was called and he signed his temple recommend. 

There's a price to telling the spirit to get lost 100 times. Repent before you grow cold to the spirit, and don't delay. Only good awaits the broken heart and contrite spirit.

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