Adultery and abortion, where do we stand?

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Backpacker
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Adultery and abortion, where do we stand?

Post by Backpacker » 16 Dec 2014, 16:54

I'm trying to get my head around where my family stands in respect to our salvation after my endowed wife had a long affair and subsequent abortion. I left it up to her with the repentance process, I nor she confessed to any Ecclesiastical leader at the time, she waited about 10 years before confessing to the bishop, she made a dramatic change in her life and has been a selfless servant ever since, she was not excommunicated. She is back attending the temple but I still wonder where that leaves us.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Adultery and abortion, where do we stand?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 16 Dec 2014, 18:18

Welcome.

I believe you stand wherever you choose to stand - that it leaves you where you choose to be.
has been a selfless servant ever since


That is the key to me. She sounds like a great example of what repentance is supposed to mean.
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

nibbler
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Re: Adultery and abortion, where do we stand?

Post by nibbler » 16 Dec 2014, 19:52

I've got no experience with what you've been through but I agree with Ray. I always try to frame the afterlife as a continuation of this life. The knowledge we gain, the relationships we have with others, the Christlike attributes we develop... I don't believe that those things are gifted to us when we cross the veil, rather I believe that we bring those things with us and then continue to build from there. That's to say that if things are working out in your relationship now, then that same relationship will continue in the afterlife.

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Adultery and abortion, where do we stand?

Post by hawkgrrrl » 16 Dec 2014, 20:26

I agree with what others have said. To me, repentance is about who we are becoming, not whether we've paid some specific amount of pain to atone personally for our shortcomings. Just that the person who emerges is more selfless, more giving, more Christlike.

Minyan Man
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Re: Adultery and abortion, where do we stand?

Post by Minyan Man » 16 Dec 2014, 22:07

Welcome. Forgiveness is a wonderful & difficult process in this life. Both to seek forgiveness & to actually
forgive another. It can't be superficial & in some cases, it takes time. None of us on this site are qualified
to pass judgement about your situation. It does sound like you & your wife are doing the right things.

None of us go through this life untouched. This matter is between you, your wife & God.
From personal experience, my only advice in situations like this is, avoid anger.

I wish you the best on your journey.

Eternity4me
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Re: Adultery and abortion, where do we stand?

Post by Eternity4me » 17 Dec 2014, 00:15

I have often found it interesting, and a little irritating,that when one sins, even a grievous sin as described, if the person confesses to their priesthood leader soon after they are often dealth with swiftly and often harshly. Now take that same person and have them confess years later, and if they have remained active and exhibit humility, nothing happens. Personally, I think your wife has probably suffered enough already. We are often our harshest judge. The Lord looks upon the heart, and hers appears to be focused on The Lord and her family. I would just go with it. If you love her, forgive her, and trust that all will be well in the next life. The lesson I have learned from this, and others, is don't confess now, wait a decade, and it will be easier on you.

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LookingHard
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Re: Adultery and abortion, where do we stand?

Post by LookingHard » 17 Dec 2014, 05:24

Eternity4me wrote:I have often found it interesting, and a little irritating,that when one sins, even a grievous sin as described, if the person confesses to their priesthood leader soon after they are often dealth with swiftly and often harshly. Now take that same person and have them confess years later, and if they have remained active and exhibit humility, nothing happens. Personally, I think your wife has probably suffered enough already. We are often our harshest judge. The Lord looks upon the heart, and hers appears to be focused on The Lord and her family. I would just go with it. If you love her, forgive her, and trust that all will be well in the next life. The lesson I have learned from this, and others, is don't confess now, wait a decade, and it will be easier on you.
For some confessing can help bring closure. I agree with the statements above about she has repented and turned her life around. When you feel you have a really loving bishop that is more worried about the people than anything else, and your wife still has guilt - then that is when I suggest you might want to have her consider confession.
I don't know where you stand in your relationship, but you telling her if you feel she has repented probably would do wonders for her to feel better about herself (if you have not already).

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DarkJedi
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Re: Adultery and abortion, where do we stand?

Post by DarkJedi » 17 Dec 2014, 06:36

I agree with those who have indicated that she is demonstrating the true principles of repentance. We all make mistakes, none of us are perfect. I'm of the belief that there really aren't degrees of sin - one sin is not any more serious than another IMO. No offense intended here, but I'm going to be frank: I don't see the problem here as her repentance and status, I see the problem as you having difficulty forgiving and moving on. That's OK - none of us are perfect and forgiveness can be hard. Pride can also be difficult to deal with. I don't think God asks us to do anything more than our best, and my best and your best and your wife's best are all different.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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SilentDawning
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Re: Adultery and abortion, where do we stand?

Post by SilentDawning » 17 Dec 2014, 07:42

I would check the current handbook of instructions. Does someone have it here? At one time, it indicated that sins committed a long time ago, and not confessed, where dealt with much more leniently than sins which occurred recently.

If I was a traditional Mormon, I would advocate confessing and letting the chips fall where they may. To clear my status with the church and its authorized representatives -- accept the punishment, go through the last bit of repentance on the church's terms, and then live in peace.

But now, I think way differently. In my more beleaguered and unorthodox state, I believe it's up to the individual to make these decisions on their own terms. The church is merely one input and secondary to personal conscience.

The institutional church can be both a blessing to marriages and personal happiness, and also, a significant wedge. I would go with the overriding mantra of life....to achieve happiness.

I no longer believe the purpose is to love the Lord they God with all they might mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself....that way has led me to repeated misery as third parties tend to dictate what it means to love God.

For me, the object of our lives is happiness -- the object and design of our whole existence. My question is this -- given your affiliation with the church, its teachings, your marriage experience, and your conscience, your life experience, what is the decision that will bring you the most happiness over the long term in this situation?

Answer that set of questions -- yourself and your wife together, and that is your answer. I'm not implying any one answer in my questions either, even if the "right" answer seems implied. These are the questions I would ask and the answers would speak for themselves.

In fact, I want to thank you for posting this question. It just led me to my own bit of insight. There is something not right in my life. It bothers me. How the church would view it bothers me, but in writing this, I realized that what matters is this. The thing that that is not right, is not right for its own sake, and for the long term condition of my character -- the church has nothing to do with it. And I don't need the church to set it right. And now I know where my motivation lies to set it right. And it doesn't involve 'confession' (if confession would even be required in this case, for me). But that's an aside. Your answer to your own question may be different.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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LookingHard
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Re: Adultery and abortion, where do we stand?

Post by LookingHard » 17 Dec 2014, 10:25

I don't have the handbook1 with me here at work, but there are statements dealing with bishops taking into consideration a period of time passing since the transgression and the person being a member in good standing for some time.

I can find the last handbook 1 online, but the previous one said
When a Disciplinary Council May Be Necessary
...
Abortion
Presiding officers review carefully the circumstances of members involved in abortions. Formal
Church discipline may be necessary for members who submit to, perform, encourage, pay for,
or arrange for abortions. However, Church discipline should not be considered for members
who were involved in an abortion before they were baptized or because (1) the pregnancy
resulted from forcible rape or incest, (2) the life or health of the mother was in jeopardy, or (3)
the fetus was known to have severe defects that would not allow the baby to survive beyond
birth (see page 157). Bishops refer questions on specific cases to the stake president. He may
direct questions to the Office of the First Presidency if necessary.

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