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bsjkki

Bishopric confession

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What sins must be reported to the Bishop? In order to answer the temple recommend question, don’t we need to know exactly what they are?

Please only answer using official church sources. Someone asked me this today and it seems very subjective. I’ve heard it taught very subjectively too. 

Is there more concrete information in Handbook 1? But then general membership doesn’t know that information so again, how do you know how to answer the Temple Recommend question?

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Anyone who has been taught the Gospel well enough to be baptized should not have any problem making an assessment of their own temple worthiness. If they are not sure about a temple recommend question they can  ask the Bishop about it. If he feels they are not ready he can tell them. As a judge in Israel that is part of his job. 

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35 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

What sins must be reported to the Bishop? In order to answer the temple recommend question, don’t we need to know exactly what they are?

Please only answer using official church sources. Someone asked me this today and it seems very subjective. I’ve heard it taught very subjectively too. 

Is there more concrete information in Handbook 1? But then general membership doesn’t know that information so again, how do you know how to answer the Temple Recommend question?

There is no official guidance other than “serious” sins. This creates a broad difference in how people and leaders apply this. 

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I was always taught that anything that effects your standing in the Church. Now, how do you what that is unless you ask or confess so.....

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17 minutes ago, rpn said:

Serious sins.   The ones that can or must lead to disciplinary council (porn, wofw and self abuse cannot by explicit decree in Handbook 1.) 

See 6.3 "Members should also confess to their presiding officer if they have committed serious transgressions." (subparagraph 1)  

6.7.2  " As used here, serious transgression is defined
as a deliberate and major offense against morality.  It includes (but is not limited to) attempted murder, forcible rape, sexual abuse, spouse abuse, intentional serious physical injury of others, adultery, fornication, homosexual relations, deliberate abandonment of family responsibilities, robbery, burglary, theft, embezzlement, sale of illegal
drugs, fraud, perjury, and false swearing."

6.7.3 also includes apostasy, and incest.

So this is Handbook 1? Numbers don’t seem to match Handbook 2. Why isn’t this “advertised” to the average member? 

I don’t understand the secrecy of Handbook 1. That is a nice list. I think a lot of people would like to have this clear definition of serious sins and also understand what is not considered a serious sin. 

 

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I guess if you are not sure you can discuss any matter with the Bishop and he would be inspired to give you guidance on what issues would need to be addressed.

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2 hours ago, bsjkki said:

So this is Handbook 1? Numbers don’t seem to match Handbook 2. Why isn’t this “advertised” to the average member? 

I don’t understand the secrecy of Handbook 1. That is a nice list. I think a lot of people would like to have this clear definition of serious sins and also understand what is not considered a serious sin. 

 

Perhaps it's so that people listen to the Spirit about what to discuss with the bishop rather than relying on a list. The Spirit has led me at least a few times to discuss minor sins with my bishop that I definitely would not have had I had access to this list. These discussions were very helpful to me in the repentance process and in avoiding the sins in the future, but would not have occurred had I known they weren't on "the list".

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5 hours ago, rchorse said:

Perhaps it's so that people listen to the Spirit about what to discuss with the bishop rather than relying on a list. The Spirit has led me at least a few times to discuss minor sins with my bishop that I definitely would not have had I had access to this list. These discussions were very helpful to me in the repentance process and in avoiding the sins in the future, but would not have occurred had I known they weren't on "the list".

I’m am happy you had such a positive interaction with your Bishop. 

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You also have people who feel guilt or shame for sins they have long overcome or work through on their own. The spirit can work on some but for others, it would be nice to not to “guess.” I have a sister who feels guilt and shame for things she hasn’t even done. I have some who go through PTSD visiting with the Bishop. There is a wide range of psyche out there and a wide range of positive and negative experiences with Bishops. 

I think more transparency would be a good thing. Why not at least start with this list so people know what must be reported so they know how to answer the temple recommend question? 

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I wonder why more about church discipline is not present in the scriptures.

I would think, given the importance of the matter, that things would be found in scriptures rather than policy manuals.

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2 hours ago, bsjkki said:

You also have people who feel guilt or shame for sins they have long overcome or work through on their own. The spirit can work on some but for others, it would be nice to not to “guess.” I have a sister who feels guilt and shame for things she hasn’t even done. I have some who go through PTSD visiting with the Bishop. There is a wide range of psyche out there and a wide range of positive and negative experiences with Bishops. 

I think more transparency would be a good thing. Why not at least start with this list so people know what must be reported so they know how to answer the temple recommend question? 

I have a brother who no long goes to church due to stress, guilt, and shame for things he never did. He just felt there was to much stress to be perfect that he finally just stopped going. Maybe more transparency would be a good thing.

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2 hours ago, bsjkki said:

Why not at least start with this list so people know what must be reported so they know how to answer the temple recommend question? 

This may sound snarky because it's in text, but that's not how I mean for it to come across, but if there is something about one of the questions that you honestly don't understand then why not simply ask about it during the interview?

 

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Just now, Amulek said:

This may sound snarky because it's in text, but that's not how I mean for it to come across, but if there is something about one of the questions that you honestly don't understand then why not simply ask about it during the interview?

 

How many different answers to that question do you think Bishops and counselors will give? Do you think they will whip out Handbook 1 and read the list provided above?

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13 hours ago, bsjkki said:

What sins must be reported to the Bishop? In order to answer the temple recommend question, don’t we need to know exactly what they are?

Please only answer using official church sources.

Gospel principles manual, chapter 19: Repentance:

Quote

We Must Confess Our Sins

Confessing our sins is very important. The Lord has commanded us to confess our sins. Confession relieves a heavy burden from the sinner. The Lord has promised, “I, the Lord, forgive sins, and am merciful unto those who confess their sins with humble hearts” (D&C 61:2).

We must confess all our sins to the Lord. In addition, we must confess serious sins—such as adultery, fornication, homosexual relations, spouse or child abuse, and the sale or use of illegal drugs—which might affect our standing in the Church, to the proper priesthood authority. If we have sinned against another person, we should confess to the person we have injured. Some less serious sins involve no one but ourselves and the Lord. These may be confessed privately to the Lord.

 

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1 minute ago, bsjkki said:

How many different answers to that question do you think Bishops and counselors will give? Do you think they will whip out Handbook 1 and read the list provided above?

I don’t know that many stick to this list. From FairMormon:

  • criminal activity
  • adultery, fornication, or other violations of the law of chastity
  • homosexual behavior
  • encouraging, performing, paying for, or submitting to an abortion
  • use of pornography
  • violation of the Word of Wisdom: use of coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco, street drugs, or the misuse or abuse of prescription medications
  • violence, abuse, neglect, or mistreatment of family members
  • failure to comply with court-mandated child-support payments
  • failure to pay an honest tithing

https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Question:_In_Mormonism,_how_do_I_know_when_I_should_confess_a_sin_to_my_bishop%3F

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7 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I don’t know that many stick to this list. From FairMormon:

  • criminal activity
  • adultery, fornication, or other violations of the law of chastity
  • homosexual behavior
  • encouraging, performing, paying for, or submitting to an abortion
  • use of pornography
  • violation of the Word of Wisdom: use of coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco, street drugs, or the misuse or abuse of prescription medications
  • violence, abuse, neglect, or mistreatment of family members
  • failure to comply with court-mandated child-support payments
  • failure to pay an honest tithing

https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Question:_In_Mormonism,_how_do_I_know_when_I_should_confess_a_sin_to_my_bishop%3F

Yes, that seems to include more sins in the serious sins list.

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10 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Gospel principles manual, chapter 19: Repentance:

 

That’s a great quote from a readily available church manual. I know many who would believe you needed to discuss many more sins than these to the Bishop. I like that resource for helping others answer this question. Thanks! It does say “such as” but it’s very helpful. I have always loved the gospel principles manual. 

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21 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

That’s a great quote from a readily available church manual. I know many who would believe you needed to discuss many more sins than these to the Bishop. I like that resource for helping others answer this question. Thanks! It does say “such as” but it’s very helpful. I have always loved the gospel principles manual. 

If you google it, many people would include “petting” and “self abuse” in the list as well. 

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9 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

How many different answers to that question do you think Bishops and counselors will give? Do you think they will whip out Handbook 1 and read the list provided above?

Probably not. They will probably just give you a couple examples of serious sins (e.g., adultery). 

If you want a list, I'm sure they can probably look up a list, but this isn't meant to be a trick question or anything. 

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7 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

If you google it, many people would include “petting” and “self abuse” in the list as well. 

Except that can you imagine how busy the bishop would be if everyone ACTUALLY confessed every time they did the latter? 

Oy. 

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I have a kid who has major distress and anxiety that perhaps she is not forgiven of her sins.  She has talked and purged ad nauseum with multiple bishops.  

Mental hangups are a total beast. 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Amulek said:

Probably not. They will probably just give you a couple examples of serious sins (e.g., adultery). 

If you want a list, I'm sure they can probably look up a list, but this isn't meant to be a trick question or anything. 

I would say not intentionally a trick question, but I'm a life long member (sort of)  and I thought Word of Wisdom issues required a Bishops visit. I'm not sure when or where I learned that but it doesn't seem to be true. You can repent on your own for having a coffee. But, I do realize to "repent" does mean sincere repentance without an active plan to reoffend again repent later.

Edited by bsjkki

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When I was in a regional training with Elder Renlund a stake president visible frustrated asked about questions related to use of pornography in temple recommend interviews as he felt he was getting mixed messages from the brethren on this issue.  Elder Renlund said, no that he was not to deviate from the temple recommend questions as they are written notwithstanding what other individual leaders may say.  When a 15 year-old girl asked me in an interview what sins were to be confessed to priesthood leaders I said, "good question - ask your parents."  Her father was on the stake presidency, and her mother was an lds family services therapist.  When I asked in stake council about worthiness interviews after the stake president reprimanded all the bishoprics for sending people to him that were not cleared and were unworthy he pushed on conducting "thorough and searching" interviews.  I asked what he meant by that.  Counselor in stake presidency said, "you should already know and understand what we mean".  No further clarification was given.  

 

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