Repentance, confessions, and letting go of the past

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Minyan Man
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Re: Repentance, confessions, and letting go of the past

Post by Minyan Man » 09 Aug 2018, 14:30

Heber13 wrote:
09 Aug 2018, 11:59
My efforts to try to get them to believe in themselves and their relationship and the Atonement are not really fully received. They kind of feel like it will always be there until they confess to a bishop and don't want that. They're stuck.
Self forgiveness can be a very big hurdle to overcome. I look at the office of Bishop or SP more as Administrators then Spiritual Leaders or "life coach".
Whatever that means. They work on a set schedule & have a limited amount to time to council, forgive or apply punishment. For me, that's
where good friends & family come in. They don't need to know the specifics unless they want to tell them. The important thing is:
How do I get through this?
How will I know I'm forgiven?

All of us have fallen short. It is difficult to see that sitting in a pew while the sacrament is being passed.

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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: Repentance, confessions, and letting go of the past

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 09 Aug 2018, 20:15

I have actually tried both approaches (confessing and not confessing) and as far as I'm concerned confessing to priesthood leaders didn't really help anything and is a bad idea in general. These guys are part-time unpaid amateurs when it comes to "pastoral care" and you never know what you are going to get; they could be decent to deal with or they could be complete old-school hard-asses about it thinking it is their sacred duty to do so. And after confessing, I usually still felt guilty and doubted that God would forgive me anyway as long as I believed in the Church

The main thing that helped me feel better was to just stop thinking about it. But this was definitely one of the main reasons I didn't get married in the temple because I thought I would have to confess and face possible Church discipline (for premarital sex) in that case and didn't really want to so I always thought maybe I'll get a temple recommend again at some point down the road but right now I don't really feel like it. But the more you believe in the Church the harder it seems like it is to avoid or let go of this kind of harsh and unforgiving mindset. For example, listen to what David A. Bednar had to say about it.
David A. Bednar wrote:...Because a physical body is so central to the Father’s plan of happiness and our spiritual development, Lucifer seeks to frustrate our progression by tempting us to use our bodies improperly...Violating the law of chastity is a grievous sin and a misuse of our physical tabernacles...it is easy to discern that the counterfeit companionship advocated by the adversary is temporary and empty...Your bishop or branch president is the spiritual physician’s assistant who is authorized to help you repent and heal. Please remember, however, that the extent and intensity of your repentance must match the nature and severity of your sins—especially for Latter-day Saints who are under sacred covenant...The doctrine I have described will seem to be archaic and outdated to many people in a world that increasingly mocks the sanctity of procreation and minimizes the worth of human life. But the Lord’s truth is not altered by fads, popularity, or public opinion polls. I promise that obedience to the law of chastity will increase our happiness in mortality...
"Truth is what works." - William James

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SamBee
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Re: Repentance, confessions, and letting go of the past

Post by SamBee » 10 Aug 2018, 03:49

dande48 wrote:
08 Aug 2018, 18:52

I'd send them to do a Catholic confession. They do it much better than we have.
My problem with this is that there is a formula and procedure they use, right? I've wanted to see what this is like but I suspect they'd sniff out a non-Catholic quickly. I'd do it on vacation somewhere else.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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SamBee
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Re: Repentance, confessions, and letting go of the past

Post by SamBee » 10 Aug 2018, 03:55

DevilsAdvocate wrote:
09 Aug 2018, 20:15
I have actually tried both approaches (confessing and not confessing) and as far as I'm concerned confessing to priesthood leaders didn't really help anything and is a bad idea in general. These guys are part-time unpaid amateurs when it comes to "pastoral care" and you never know what you are going to get; they could be decent to deal with or they could be complete old-school hard-asses about it thinking it is their sacred duty to do so. And after confessing, I usually still felt guilty and doubted that God would forgive me anyway as long as I believed in the Church
I think it depends who you go to. The bishop when I returned to church was very sympathetic and helped me a lot. I did feel like I cleared a lot from my system.

It depends what it is. An alcohol problem and they may put you in touch with those who can help. Certain other things but tbh I don't have experience of them all.

My feeling is that bedroom stuff is a bit of a weird one with leaders. Especially M & P, which most people would not be comfortable discussing. P as I have discussed elsewhere does partly fulfil a human need but is a destructive and nasty industry.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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dande48
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Re: Repentance, confessions, and letting go of the past

Post by dande48 » 10 Aug 2018, 08:06

SamBee wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 03:49
dande48 wrote:
08 Aug 2018, 18:52

I'd send them to do a Catholic confession. They do it much better than we have.
My problem with this is that there is a formula and procedure they use, right? I've wanted to see what this is like but I suspect they'd sniff out a non-Catholic quickly. I'd do it on vacation somewhere else.
From what I understand, the Catholic priesthood will usually accept anyone's confession, Catholic or not. The only thing they can't do, is absolve a non-catholic's sins.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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Heber13
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Re: Repentance, confessions, and letting go of the past

Post by Heber13 » 10 Aug 2018, 08:34

As Curt said, there are some real situations where leaders need to know risks and discipline is needed to protect the membership of the ward, or even a couple (in case of abuse or other situations).

So perhaps the system has been setup with these rules for a purpose.

But then there are personal circumstances and with this couple, if there is no harm done to others or ongoing serious problems...it is jut something in the past...then if they just do as dande said and jump through the hoops as asked, then it gets taken care of, and move on. And I would say most bishops want to see people stay in the church, come back, be repentant and even help them be worthy to go to the temple...so bishops are going to want to try to help...but they will feel the need to make sure the couple follows the rules that are setup for everyone.

As DA was saying...I think it isn't always a good thing. It can be more administrative than ministering or spiritual. It can be more about church and mortals living by rules than about a person and access to God, or even what God thinks about them.

Maybe it comes down to what people believe. If they can't expand their minds to live with the fact that leaders are not special judges, but just volunteers, and they believe the quotes from Elder Bednar...then in that case...their best course is to just go through the process, submit, take their lumps for a year or so...then just move forward. Kinda sucks, but probably easiest.

But I see it as unnecessary...so I'm trying to see if they can grasp more unorthodox thinking, and for some that may be helpful. But...that spoonful of medicine isn't for everyone. Some just can't take it...they see it as an excuse or justification.

It comes down to their faith.

But I find the punitive system a bit harsh on these things that don't seem to have an impact, it is all guilt manufactured by the church and that is all. It is unnecessary. But...maybe that is part of being in a group. There are rules.

My guess is they'll avoid the church and those feelings until they have been out long enough, they just learn to accept it and find other things in life to replace church...and the longer it goes...the more normal that feels.
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."

Minyan Man
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Re: Repentance, confessions, and letting go of the past

Post by Minyan Man » 10 Aug 2018, 10:27

Heber13 wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 08:34
It comes down to their faith.

But I find the punitive system a bit harsh on these things that don't seem to have an impact, it is all guilt manufactured by the church and that is all. It is unnecessary. But...maybe that is part of being in a group. There are rules.

My guess is they'll avoid the church and those feelings until they have been out long enough, they just learn to accept it and find other things in life to replace church...and the longer it goes...the more normal that feels.
A little story:
My parents were raised Catholic & Methodist. I have a brother & sister. We were not raised with any particular religion. My brother & I would go to the Methodist church periodically (holidays). Between the ages of 16 - 18, I got into a lot of legal problems with the Police. By the time I was 18,
my name was in the newspapers along with our address. It caused a lot of pain for my family, especially my Mother.
I went to college, got a degree, joined the lds church, got a job, married & have (3) children. They are married & have children of their own.
My children have never come close to the pain I inflicted on my parents. It always haunted me well into my 50's. Before my baptism (at 25), I talked to my Bishop & nothing more was said. After my baptism, I still carried this guilt around like a 100 lb bag of sand.

About a year before my Mother died, she was visiting with us. She was reviewing her life & made the following comment,
When you kids were growing up, I never had a problem with any of you.
So, like the dutiful son I am, I reminded her of the things I did as teenager. She looked at me trying to remember what I was talking about. Then I saw in her eyes that she knew what I was talking about. She then said:
Oh Mike, that was nothing.

In that moment I knew that not only had she forgiven me (38 yrs before), she forgot all about it. She had erased it from her memory.
I don't know if she did that with everyone, but it was a gift she gave to me. I try to remember that every time I take the sacrament.

Heber, if you are a good friend, you will have a talk with them. Don't let the opportunity pass by. You may be able to remove another 100 bag of sand. SWK told the story (Miracle of Forgiveness) of the artist Holman Hunt. He painted the picture titled: Christ at the door. It's an excellent story about forgiveness & our role in the process. In the end, forgiveness is between us & God. (With help from friends & family.)

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Heber13
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Re: Repentance, confessions, and letting go of the past

Post by Heber13 » 10 Aug 2018, 11:38

Thank you Minyan man.

Thanks a lot. That was very moving, and straight to the point of the desire I have to help them. They can let go of that bag of sand. They can be in church.

They just need the right story in their head so when they go back to church, they don't pick up the bag again.

I will try to find that story by SWK. Thanks.
Minyan Man wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 10:27
In the end, forgiveness is between us & God. (With help from friends & family.)
Thank you.
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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SamBee
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Re: Repentance, confessions, and letting go of the past

Post by SamBee » 10 Aug 2018, 12:19

dande48 wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 08:06
SamBee wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 03:49
dande48 wrote:
08 Aug 2018, 18:52

I'd send them to do a Catholic confession. They do it much better than we have.
My problem with this is that there is a formula and procedure they use, right? I've wanted to see what this is like but I suspect they'd sniff out a non-Catholic quickly. I'd do it on vacation somewhere else.
From what I understand, the Catholic priesthood will usually accept anyone's confession, Catholic or not. The only thing they can't do, is absolve a non-catholic's sins.
I haven't heard of this. I know they refuse non-Catholics bread and wine - if they know them to be so
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Heber13
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Re: Repentance, confessions, and letting go of the past

Post by Heber13 » 10 Aug 2018, 12:50

SamBee wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 12:19
dande48 wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 08:06
SamBee wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 03:49


My problem with this is that there is a formula and procedure they use, right? I've wanted to see what this is like but I suspect they'd sniff out a non-Catholic quickly. I'd do it on vacation somewhere else.
From what I understand, the Catholic priesthood will usually accept anyone's confession, Catholic or not. The only thing they can't do, is absolve a non-catholic's sins.
I haven't heard of this. I know they refuse non-Catholics bread and wine - if they know them to be so
I went to Catholic mass and asked about taking communion, they told me if I'm not Catholic I shouldn't go up and take one...but...they wouldn't refuse me if I did.
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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