TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.

Any unresolved sins requiring resolution by priesthood authorities? (See actual question below)

Yes
2
11%
No
17
89%
 
Total votes: 19

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wayfarer
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TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by wayfarer » 13 Jul 2012, 04:24

13. Have there been any sins or misdeeds in your life that should have been resolved with priesthood authorities but have not been?

This is an open-ended question to see if you feel guilty about anything. So, you might say that you basically keep the myriad laws of the church, yet some 'gray zone' behavior has you feeling guilty. So your guilty conscience tells you that you're guilty of the 'spirit of the law' if not the letter, so you therefore think it needs to be resolved with priesthood authorities.

So here's your chance of an open ended confessional of everything amiss in your life.

And if you will feel better by submitting to potential church discipline as your way of resolving issues in your life, the church is more than willing to oblige you. While I believe there are some things that would and should affect membership in the church, and these should be addressed, the vast majority of our sins are things we work out individually with god and those whom we have harmed.

This is a great question to ask oneself: What is my personal inventory, good and bad, before god, self, and others? And in examining one's live, celebrating the good, while putting together the necessary process to improving one's life. While it's useful to get help and perspective from a spiritual mentor on this process, the TR interview is not the time or place for such guidance.

Hence, in preparation for the TR interview, I find it useful to ask myself these questions, and if the answer is not a confident one, do the necessary process of repentence, personally, to get there. There is merit to this process. Even better is recognizing that repentence is not a one-time affair, but a part of a daily walk along the Way. This wayfaring fool makes mistakes every day. This week was full of them, and it was horrible. I woke up last night in the middle of the night fretting through them for over an hour, and finally, when I asked for help from god, the feeling of peace came over me, and the sweetness of that feeling allowed me to go back to sleep. I awoke this morning with clarity and resolve. And I know from this, that I am fine...definitely not perfect, far from it, but fine. loved. accepted.

So back to this question.

My answer? NO.
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
My seat in the bloggernacle: http://wayfaringfool.blogspot.com

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Minyan Man
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by Minyan Man » 13 Jul 2012, 06:48

My answer is No.
In the AA program, we live our lives through a series of steps.
Steps 4 & 5 are:
4.Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5.Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
The process when you first consider it seems very hard & humiliating.
The reality is, if done correctly, is very liberating & freeing.
1st. The inventory should be a balanced reflection of your whole life. Not just the things you did wrong when you drank.
2nd. The person you're giving the 5th step to should be someone who has experience & knowledge how the program works.

I came through this process knowing I'm not unique. There have been others that know what I'm going through & I'm not alone.
IMO, this should be a similar experience during a TR interview. There should be less judgement & more understanding & compassion.

For what it's worth.
Mike from Milton.

As a result, it can be freeing, liberating & spiritual knowledge about yourself that you didn't have before.

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wayfarer
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by wayfarer » 13 Jul 2012, 07:28

Mike wrote:My answer is No.
In the AA program, we live our lives through a series of steps.
Steps 4 & 5 are:
4.Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5.Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
The process when you first consider it seems very hard & humiliating.
The reality is, if done correctly, is very liberating & freeing.
1st. The inventory should be a balanced reflection of your whole life. Not just the things you did wrong when you drank.
2nd. The person you're giving the 5th step to should be someone who has experience & knowledge how the program works.

I came through this process knowing I'm not unique. There have been others that know what I'm going through & I'm not alone.
IMO, this should be a similar experience during a TR interview. There should be less judgement & more understanding & compassion.

As a result, it can be freeing, liberating & spiritual knowledge about yourself that you didn't have before.
I couldn't agree with you more -- the fourth and fifth steps, to me, were completely liberating. And there is a need to put one's weaknesses out on the table -- I wish there were a way to do so in the LDS church without incurring judgment, but the only ones empowered to receive any confession are the 'judges in zion', and that just doesn't work as a fifth step.

And lest we forget, the 10th is also very important as well as an ongoing process:

"10.Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it."

cheers!
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
My seat in the bloggernacle: http://wayfaringfool.blogspot.com

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mercyngrace
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by mercyngrace » 13 Jul 2012, 07:46

The funny thing here is that I've never had to answer "yes" to this question but for a long time it was hard for me to answer "no". I did something as a teenager for which I felt I needed to see the bishop. At that time, the bishop was a kind, young doctor, stationed at the local military base. He had young kids of his own, no teenagers, and given what I knew of other bishops we'd had, I expected a horrific experience.

I went to his office fearing but desperate to get the matter off my chest. I collapsed before him, a heaping, weeping, puddle of remorse and regret. When I finally raised my eyes to meet his gaze, he was looking at me with tears in his own eyes. He was tender and compassionate and told me that the Spirit had spoken to him as I shared my story and that God had already forgiven me. He literally, took my hand, and said "Go and sin no more."

For years afterward, every time I had a temple interview, I hesitated when responding to the "unresolved sins" question and felt like I had to acknowledge that I had made mistakes but they'd been resolved with the church. I know now that I never even needed to mention that experience. It just took me that long to forgive myself. It took me that long to accept to offer of atonement and to let it heal me.
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

Curt Sunshine
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by Curt Sunshine » 13 Jul 2012, 08:08

I really like this question, but in the sense that wayfarer addressed it. Administratively, I see this as one of the two attempts to ask the question, "Are you sure you want to do this?"

I believe it should be a chance for reflection prior to the interview - that nobody should go into the interview if they can't answer the question with a "No". I believe the interview isn't a place or time for surprises.

Frankly, I think nobody should go into the interview without knowing what the questions are and how they will respond, so I favor making sure every single member, starting as teenagers, knows the questions and that their answers only have to be "Yes" or "No" without further explanation. That is my ideal, while I know we often do a lousy job with regard to temple preparation (which includes temple recommend interview preparation).
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Brian Johnston
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by Brian Johnston » 13 Jul 2012, 08:11

To me, this is one of the catch-all questions in the TR interview. I don't see it in a cynical light. It isn't a trap. It could be a good way, like others have said, to take a personal inventory. If there's something really bothering you that you don't feel resolved enough about, work on it. I'm cool with that idea.

The problem is the TR interview really isn't the place to START the resolution. It might be the place it is finished though. At that point, the interviewer doesn't need to know. If you are resolved, you are resolved. The slate is clean.

The answer to this question should be "yes" before even walking in the door, IMO. I'm not even defining what it means, just that having such a strong feeling of unresolved remorse or guilt is debilitating. Whatever it is, for whatever reason, I think it's a feeling to follow -- to resolution.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

bc_pg
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by bc_pg » 13 Jul 2012, 09:57

My opinion is that sins should be resolved with yourself and directly with Christ. Therefore since no sins should ever be resolved with priesthood authority my answer would be no.

It is also interesting that, as far as I know, the LDS church never directly defines what a serious sin is that requires meeting with a bishop. However I believe it is strongly implied that any sexual "sin" including porn, masturbation, petting, etc. requires meeting with the bishop. In addition it is strongly implied that any crime that may be a felony would fit in this category.

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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by Curt Sunshine » 13 Jul 2012, 10:23

No sins should ever be resolved with priesthood authority.


We differ there. I don't think there are very many, but I do think there are some.

Having said that, I do believe in the concept of confession - deeply. It's just that I include spouses, friends and confidantes in the category of people to whom confession should occur - not to be judged but rather to be expelled from within.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

bc_pg
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by bc_pg » 13 Jul 2012, 10:29

@Ray
I should go into a little more detail /clarify a little more.

I definitely agree in confession & restitution.as part of the repentance process. So I see it as being between myself, the offended & God.

There are actually two cases where I believe confession to a bishop would be very appropriate:

1) Where you as yourself cannot seem to forgive yourself. A good bishop can be very useful and helpful in this process. As a corollary there may also be times where it is appropriate when the bishop can help support the offended.

2) Where as referenced above the church is on the list of those offended. For example if you embezzled fast offerings, etc. However I think the church puts itself on the offended list way more than it should - for example sexual sin.

I suspect that with these clarifications that we are less far apart in our thinking.

GBSmith
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by GBSmith » 13 Jul 2012, 11:51

Ray Degraw wrote:
No sins should ever be resolved with priesthood authority.


We differ there. I don't think there are very many, but I do think there are some.

Having said that, I do believe in the concept of confession - deeply. It's just that I include spouses, friends and confidantes in the category of people to whom confession should occur - not to be judged but rather to be expelled from within.
I remember once having a conversation with a committed Lutheran about this and he got pretty agitated about the idea of the need for confession to a person as needed for repentence. I can personally remember being relieved when I confessed to a bishop about something I'd done but then came to regret the consequences of speaking to him. He was a good man but the law was the law. I came to believe after that as I've tried to sort out my faith or lack of it that people confess to their bishop because they're not able to make the connection with God about the problem and then decide for themselves if they've been forgiven. So they want the bishop to tell them they're ok. The reality is that the bishop doesn't forgive anything. For me I've decided not to get a middle man involved. If I do something bad God knows it and I can usually admit that to myself as well. If I want forgiveness and believe that it's possible then He'll let me know when I'm ok.

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