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mtkat

Is there a lesson on infidelity in Priesthood?

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I've known cases where spouses sinned, and there was no apparent remorse for their sin. I have seen other cases where there was apparent remorse. If someone has sinned grevously (adultery is grievous) and feels or acts as if they feel no compunction for their sin, divorce seems, to me, as the only way (if there is any way) to "wake" such an individual up to reality.

That is true in many cases. But with what we know of this case, I don't think divorce is inevitable. He has not committed adultery. He still has the opportunity to clean up his act.

mtkat, I think it would be a good idea though for you both to discuss what would happen if he did continue to sin, to let him know that his thoughts and actions have consequences.

These are just my thoughts about it.. but if the situation came up in my life, I would definitely be spending hours on my knees pleading and listening to my Heavenly Father's thoughts about it.

Their "forgiving" is a different matter from necessarily putting up with a spouse's cheating.

Yes it is. As I said, forgiveness is simply about getting those hateful, begrudging feelings out of your heart, to open up the way for the love of Christ to come in. It is for the benefit of the one who needs to forgive- not for the one who is to be forgiven.

So mtkat, you would only be hurting herself if you choose not to forgive, but to hold on to hate. You can forgive him, but at the same time still be cautious about trusting him at this point. Let him know that he has not demonstrated to you yet the kind of attitude that would restore your confidence in him. Then pray your heart out that he will, and look for the ways in which he tries to do so.

I don't mean to offend you, but you sound as if this is a personal matter of your own. I hope not.

No, I hope it never will be. I sure don't plan on it. I feel very confident about my commitment to stay faithful. There have been times though when I have fallen to temptation in other things, and have realized I am not always as strong as I think I am. I have to rely on the Lord to keep me in the right way.

But I couldn't stand by and see someone I cared about especially, almost act indifferent to such wrong behavior by a spouse. You talk of forgiveness so glibly and easily as if one just "does it" and its over.

I wish it was always that easy for me. I try the best I can to be very generous in showing forgiveness and mercy, because that's what I want shown to me. That doesn't mean I don't take seriously what the person did, and just brush it off... no, not at all. I would actually be quite demanding that the offending person work very hard to earn back that trust. If it got to the point where divorce was needed, I would pray hard and let my spouse know that I will forgive, but cannot trust, and therefore cannot remain married.

...

In regards to the adulteress that the men wanted to stone, I believe that Jesus knew that she was sorry for what she did and wanted to repent. I can't believe that Jesus would "wink" at a person who was more of a harlot in attitude (ready to "do it" again), but one, rather, who not only to preserve her life, but to change it, was sorry.

I agree. The Lord will forgive who he will, but of us it is required to forgive all men (and women).

If my wife cheated on me, I wouldn't take it in any sort of a "ho-hum", shrug the shoulders way. If it went the other way (and I cheated on her), I would not expect her to take it mildly or matter-of-factly.

I agree.

Your recommended response, however, to me, appears to call for just such a response.

I've seen what infidelity has done to friends and relatives. I've seen people be emotionally crushed by it. And one reads, often enough, where one or the other resort to murder or suicide due to it.

I'm sorry for coming across that way- believe me, I know how serious it is.

I've seen many of these same friends and relatives who did forgive. A few appeared to have truly repented. The vast majority, sooner or later, went back to their wayward ways.

Which is very sad and disturbing, but I know it happens. But blessed be the ones who were able to forgive. Forgiveness is never displaced. It is required. And it is healing.

If a spouse is remorseful and willing to repent, I would recommend working with them and trying to forgive them. But if the sinner is unrepentant, though I may forgive them later, that does not mean one is obligated, nor even that it would be prudent, to remain married to them.

I agree. I would not jump into divorce very easily, but if it became necessary, and I felt that the Lord agreed, then I guess I would have no choice. I take unnecessary divorce just as seriously as adultery though.

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If it were my daughter, or my niece, or my sister, I would give the same advice I've given. If you gave such advice as you are advocating here, I would be surprised and perhaps even ashamed were you my brother telling family members what you appear to be saying. I hope I am merely misunderstanding what you are advocating. But I fear that I am not.

I hope I made it a little more clear that I certainly do not condone infidelity in any degree. Whether it has gone as far as sexual infidelity or just as far as emotional infidelity, it is too far. A person in this situation definitely is in need of immediate and complete repentance.

We are all ABLE to change. That is not the issue. It is whether or not this woman's husband is WILLING (even WANTING) to change. I too try to give all others the "benefit of the doubt". But, lets not be naive and stupid. There are many cases where sinners in these situations are and remain totally unrepentant. They are more sorry for being caught doing wrong than for doing wrong.

You're right- there are far too many cases like that. Each individual case is in desperate need of the spirit of discernment.

mtkat, I stated before that I didn't think you should be passing judgment on your husband as to whether he has repented sufficiently- let me clarify that a little. I do think that you need to make a righteous judgment as to whether he is making the right changes to forsake his sin, since that directly affects your marriage. What I don't think you should judge is whether he has done all that he needs to to obtain forgiveness of the lord.

Using righteous judgment with a spouse is tricky... since we are supposed to become one and help each other to make it back together... and of course each person needs to make judgment with his/her own sins as to whether he/she has sufficiently repented.

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Relationship counselling..

The guilt thing of "If I loved her in the right way, how could I do that," sounds as though he is a bit shattered by it. He needs help for that. The act of betrayal is not the beginning of it.

Relationship counselling is a wonderful idea. It's a great idea for everyone starting a marriage too.. you don't even have to be at a crisis for it to be a good idea.

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I can't see why they would have a lesson on infidelity, that's a bit of a no-brainer. Nobody should commit adultery (emotional or physical, there is no difference) at any point in time, period. If a Christian calls that idea into question, I would question their IQ.

ESPECIALLY somebody of the priesthood.

This man is the spiritual leader of the family, and while nobody can ever be without sin, he should realize that whatever he sows, his family shall reap. By committing a sin against his family, he is inviting future sin into his household.

I've dealt with cheating men before, your best bet is to involve a spiritual authority like a bishop. If he WANTS to help mend the relationship then it can surely be mended. If he doesn't....well. I would suggest moving on.

However, as outsiders with very little information we cannot possibly determine if he is willing to take the steps necessary to help your partnership. It's not just him either, you both have to work very hard to make this work. Which is why you need to find an unbiased person you trust to start some sort of counseling. Provided that he is willing to work at it, then you can do it. But that's if he's willing to try.

Good luck sweetheart.

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mtcat:

You don't mention it, so I assume to date you have not gone to your Bishop concerning this situation. I would counsel you to do so. I seriously doubt that any lesson or talk concerning this subject will have the desired affect on your husbands attitude at this point.

Priesthood holders (all) know that Temple marriages are sacred and their obligations both to the Priesthood, God, and their spouse and family. We are a covenant religion, a religion centered on the family, and thru take our marriage vows very serious.

The sanctity of your marriage vows have been damaged by your spouse. It is apparant that you feel violated and that your feelings have not been considered in the scheme of things. While no sex act was committed as far as you know, his actions require at minimium review by your Bishop.

Suggest to your husband that it is his responsibility to talk with the Bishop about his actions, and if he chooses not to, you will. And then follow through. Often this kind of situation can be handled quietly and with good results, with the help of Gods process and true repentance. Remember even a Bishops Court ( if it comes to that) is a Court of Love.

My prayers are with you.

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My mother experienced these same things with my step-father committing adultery. I was concerned that there was no real punishment, because they are now divorced, and he has not re-met with the Stake President to take trial for Excommunication. However, I was working on some Institute Work and read some scriptures in Jacob and they might help you if you are feeling that there is nothing you can do but be the victim. Just remember that the Lord only helps those who are righteous.

Jacob 2:34-35

And now behold, my brethren, ye know that these commandments were given to our father, Lehi; wherefore, ye have known them before; and ye have come unto great condemnation; for ye have done these things which ye ought not to have done.

Behold, ye have done greater iniquities than the Lamanites, our brethren. Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you. And because of the strictness of the word of God, which cometh down against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds.

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