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

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 02 Jan 2015, 09:33

wayfarer wrote:Ray, I understand your concern here...yet i think DA's comments are about something deep in the past that hangs over him, and it has prevented him from moving forward...the problem is that the only problems that fit in this category are sexual in nature...no other sins seem to merit seeing a "spiritual physician" to use Elder Bednar's words. And that's the problem...Without going into details, I've done some really awful things in my life -- or at least i think they're awful. i went through the twelve steps, inventoried them and confessed them to another person -- not LDS. it helped a lot to do so. confessing liberates, but confessing to a "judge" seems to have the opposite effect. As part of my early journey in the 12 steps, i also confessed to my bishop some (not all) of my indiscretions...he put me on probation, which was testimony-destroying, fir i had already had a powerful spiritual experience liberating me from guilt: God had already forgiven me...DA, to you: there is no sin that god cannot forgive if you humbly draw near to him/her. none. i say that with certainty, not because i have any idea who god is, but rather, i have experienced that grace directly and powerfully in the midst of my afflictions. there is no man on earth that can do what god did for me.
Thanks wayfarer, I appreciate it; I am already basically at peace with my past actions regardless of whether others think the way I handled this situation was wrong or right, it just bothers me to repeatedly hear the idea that I should supposedly feel really bad and ashamed about what I did in order to truly "repent" and also let local priesthood leaders decide what the best thing to do is in cases like this when I couldn't disagree more not just for my own sake but for other Church members in a similar situation as well. For one thing these local leaders are not well-trained counselors, they are basically part-time unpaid amateurs as far as dealing with complicated issues that are often completely foreign to their own direct experience and they also have the added disadvantage of being specifically instructed by the Church that pre-marital sex is much more serious than it looks like it really is based on the typical actual real-life consequences (or lack thereof). That's why my advice would be that it's generally a bad idea to confess about anything like this to local Church leaders because no matter how much they are sincerely trying to do what they think is best they have basically been set up and put in a position to quite often end up doing much more harm than good in cases like this.
Last edited by DevilsAdvocate on 02 Jan 2015, 13:40, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 02 Jan 2015, 09:41

Ray DeGraw wrote:[Admin Note]: This thread is NOT about the Law of Chastity. We have plenty of threads about that topic in our archives. It is about unresolved sins...If anyone wants to continue the topic of unresolved sins, that is fine. If it starts to turn into a thread about the Law of Chasity, it will be locked.
To be honest I don't see what the problem is here. I understand the idea of not wanting to derail a specific thread and go off on some tangent unrelated to the original topic. However, in this case it seems like the whole point of this particular temple worthiness question is the general idea that some sins are so serious that they cannot be quietly left behind and effectively resolved on your own so even if they are no longer an issue you should supposedly still confess them to local priesthood leaders and face possible Church discipline based on their judgment before you can really feel like they are in the past and honestly say that you deserve to be in good standing with the Church.

Well some of the most common examples of what most local Church leaders would include in this category of especially serious sins are easily fornication and adultery. What else could Church members typically be excommunicated or disfellowshipped for? Possibly breaking the law beyond basic traffic and parking tickets whether prosecuted or not, domestic abuse, open apostasy, abortion, and a few other things would be included as well but it still seems like a fairly short list of general categories. So it looks to me like enforcing the Law of Chastity and what Church leaders think is sufficient punishment for the most glaring examples of disobeying this traditional standard is actually a major part of what this question is all about in reality if not the single most significant aspect of this question in terms of the sheer number of Church members it applies to.
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by Curt Sunshine » 02 Jan 2015, 11:06

There was no problem with your comment, DA. I didn't say there was.

The admin note simply was a reminder to keep the discussion focused on the topic (unresolved sins and confession of them) and not turn it into a thread that is SOLELY about the Law of Chastity. None of the subsequent comments has done that, so the discussion is continuing.

Also, just to say it, there are plenty of things that could constitute unresolved sins that are not part of the Law of Chastity - which is why the question is worded in an open-ended way. Just because the Law of Chastity probably dominates the percentage of responses doesn't mean other things don't exist - like habitual dishonesty, abuse of various kinds, recurring theft of various levels of severity, grinding the faces of the poor, etc. The fact that most of the other things don't come to mind in our culture illustrates issues in our culture - and it also illustrates the wisdom of the actual interview question being as broad as it is. The issue, imo, is not the existence of unresolved sins (things that keep me from being godly, in my own definition), since all of us have those things in our lives, but rather the question of which of those sins need to be confessed to another mortal.

That determination is where things get really messy - and where leadership roulette comes into play.
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by Minyan Man » 02 Jan 2015, 11:50

wayfarer wrote: Without going into details, I've done some really awful things in my life -- or at least i think they're awful. i went through the twelve steps, inventoried them and confessed them to another person -- not LDS. it helped a lot to do so. confessing liberates, but confessing to a "judge" seems to have the opposite effect. As part of my early journey in the 12 steps, i also confessed to my bishop some (not all) of my indiscretions...he put me on probation, which was testimony-destroying, fir i had already had a powerful spiritual experience liberating me from guilt: God had already forgiven me.
I went through a similar experience with my Bishop. In my case, I quickly realized that he didn't know very much about alcoholism. There was no action on his part because of the length of time involved.
As we were finishing up the interview, he began to tell me things (rumors) about some of the current members in our Stake. I wondered if he was going to betray my trust too. It can be tricky confessing to a lay ministry. I considered him a good friend too. You never know.

Wayfarer, it is good to hear your voice on this forum again.
Last edited by Minyan Man on 30 Jan 2015, 07:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by Cadence » 02 Jan 2015, 18:18

Since sin is a construct of most religions I have no need to confess anything. In fact I do not believe in sin at all, just consequenses. I may confess to someone I hurt and ask their forgiveness in the healing process, but never would I confess anything to a church authority.
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by mom3 » 02 Jan 2015, 18:26

My daughter is an active millenial aged mormon, the past 6 years she has been in multiple Young Adult wards, some on campus others off and has decided that save murder only she is keeping her stuff to herself. She has watched leadership roulette and ecclesiastical opinion wipe out many of her friends. Some leaders are so lax, others are so hard line. In her last ward most of her peers couldn't take the sacrament. It was crazy. She said she heard from one friend that 3 months was the base line for repentance seekers. Pretty quickly everyone got the idea - Don't give the Bishop any info.

I for one think we need to serious overhaul of the questions.
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by wayfarer » 02 Jan 2015, 20:29

well we can't overhaul the questions, but in my impression, we can interpret them maturely. in your case, which with i agree, is there anything in the past that i haven't covered? have i committed murder? no. done.
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by Heber13 » 06 Jan 2015, 14:26

Mike wrote:There was no action on his part because of the length of time involved.
Length of time is an interesting factor.

Why would length of time, but no "healer", make a difference to bishops? I think it is because it would give time to show you didn't succumb to the worst fears that others have about sin...such as a sip of tea will be a gateway to taking things into your body and eventually taking meth and ruining your life, or breaking the law of chastity will lead to children out of wedlock or a sex addict lifestyle in the worst way.

When you have made a mistake, but you're still a good person over a long time, and still do really good things with your life...does that mean it wasn't a sin?

What's the difference between letting time be the healer, and the priesthood leader being a healer?
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by nibbler » 06 Jan 2015, 16:37

Heber13 wrote:
Mike wrote:There was no action on his part because of the length of time involved.
Length of time is an interesting factor.

Why would length of time, but no "healer", make a difference to bishops? I think it is because it would give time to show you didn't succumb to the worst fears that others have about sin...such as a sip of tea will be a gateway to taking things into your body and eventually taking meth and ruining your life, or breaking the law of chastity will lead to children out of wedlock or a sex addict lifestyle in the worst way.

When you have made a mistake, but you're still a good person over a long time, and still do really good things with your life...does that mean it wasn't a sin?

What's the difference between letting time be the healer, and the priesthood leader being a healer?
There was no action because of the length of time involved. I take that to mean that the BP didn't impose a "punishment", like telling someone not to take the sacrament for x number of months or something similar in nature. I get the feeling that the punishments are meant to instill godly sorrow to bring about repentance. If significant time has already passed and a person hasn't sinned in the interim some leaders may take that as a sign that the person has already repented, making any punishment moot.

My point of view is that confessions are for when people need to reach out to an ecclesiastical leader for help in overcoming sin. For me the question might as well be:

Do you need the lord's help with any other thing in your life?

Confession should be a healing process where sin is killed off by an increase in love shown toward the person that's suffering. For the record I don't feel like confessions are requisite - at least not in the sense that certain sins require confession. Our relationship with the lord is personal, we need to feel and know that we are all squared away in the eyes of deity. Some people may need an ecclesiastic leader to tell them that they are forgiven before they can feel completely forgiven. I think we are our own harshest critics, I believe that the ideal is to get to a place where we can feel forgiven without requiring a 3rd party. Worse case, a person feels forgiven but local leadership decides to punish harshly anyway during the confession. The message is mixed, the person might doubt their earlier feelings of being forgiven.

Better stop there before I get too far off topic. :oops:
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Re: TR Question Survey - Question 13: Unresolved Sins

Post by wayfarer » 06 Jan 2015, 21:29

Too keep this within topic, the purpose of the question is to identify what there are or are not things for which confession is deemed by the interviewee as necessary. A TR interview is not the place to have that confession.

The ideas of how long ago a given event occurred has more to do with the broader topic of "Church Discipline".

The bottom line is this: if you actually feel like you need to confess something, don't do it in a temple recommend interview. Do it ahead of time, or realize that you don't need to do it at all.
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
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