Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
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And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Behaviors and actions since then are more important than choices and mistakes of the past. Guidance from leaders on this question will vary from leader to leader.
I think you look in your heart to what feels right in this situation, what you think the Infinite Atonement means, and how the eternities are going to be for you. I think it becomes less about rules and more about progression.
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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As I understand it the bishop can extend/withhold church fellowship. That is similar to but not the same as forgiveness. For some the ecclesiastical repentance process may be helpful. It is a definite plan/timeline with some contrition, reaching specified goals, and returning to the former state of fellowship. I can imagine that many would find that helpful for a rough gauge of how God may view our errors and when he may forgive.
God's actual forgiveness is much harder to pin down. I believe that you could support differing positions on this subject from church doctrine. Perhaps the most basic and consistent answer is that the individual will know by a feeling of peace from the spirit. This leaves it to the individual to receive God's message of forgiveness and I imagine that this varies widely as well. Some may have super spiritual experiences relatively soon after and some other may carry the feeling of guilt and blemish down to their grave.
I personally believe that God wants the atonement to take effect in our lives to allow us to not be forever defined by our past.
As far as Adultery and Abortion specifically - The church believes stance is that both may be repented from and forgiven.
There may be some disagreement about what exactly is the unpardonable sin and if murder is included in that - but abortion has been explicitly defined as not equivalent to murder.
If you are struggling with letting go of the past and fully committing to your spouse (something that is understandable and would need to be worked through personally), I hope you get from my post that there is nothing in church doctrine that would suggest that you need to hold on to this any longer.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood
“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223
"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13
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From CHI 1
Time between Transgression and Confession
If a transgression occurred many years before it was confessed, the presiding officer carefully considers the intervening circumstances. If the sin was not repeated and the member has lived righteously in the interim, his conduct during the intervening time can show that he has forsaken the sin. In this instance, confession may complete rather than start the process of repentance.
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If you are both at peace with yourselves, and you feel you are doing those things that enhance you personally and those around you, I say you are going to be just fine.
Faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction--faith in fiction is a damnable false hope. Thomas A. Edison
“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Cadence wrote:If you are both at peace with yourselves, and you feel you are doing those things that enhance you personally and those around you, I say you are going to be just fine.
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I feel how lenient a leader is, is more of a personal thing than what the handbook says. I once had a Stake President that was a very harsh man. I repented of serious sins, and did my best to tell him everything. A few years pass, I am living my life, and am feeling guilty about an event in college that I had forgotten to tell the SP about. I tell my then-current leader about the event, which happened before all of my other sins that I had repented of in the past with the SP. I had not done anything after that repentance to question my temple recommend status. My then-current leader took away my temple recommend for 6 months, but I was still able to take the sacrament.
What did this teach me? Don't confess sins of the past that aren't up to a certain level. I figure if I am not committing adultery or murdering people, I probably don't need to tell some guy that could be having a power trip, or is looking to exercise his delegated power in a way that would hurt the situation more than help.
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Welcome to the site. I have to echo everyone's sentiment and add that it takes a huge amount of forgiveness and work to overcome what you guys have been through as a couple.
I agree with anarcy21 as a side note, I've told my children what's in the past is passed. Guilt can be a great motivation to improve, but don't let your past determine your future. The beautiful thing about the atonement to me is that it washes away it all, except sometimes the consequences that we have to live with physically by our choices. Even those, Heavenly Father can turn into blessings if we allow it.