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bsjkki

Bishopric confession

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5 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

The purpose of confession is to assist in cleansing one's soul. It is my understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that the Savior is ready and is fully prepared to forgive as soon as we ask for forgiveness. However, the challenge is learning to forgive oneself. 

One of the great tools of the Evil One is to lead us to a conclusion that we are not capable of being forgiven; that our sins are so severe or ugly that God would never forgive them. This is false, but some punish themselves and refuse to come to the Lord for forgiveness. 

A bishop is there to assist us in guiding us to forgiveness. He is not capable of forgiving anyone, but his role is as a mentor; to teach that God is merciful and that we must learn to forgive ourselves. Where some carry no burden from sins, others never set their burden down. If one is having problems feeling they are forgiven, that is the time to talk to a bishop. 

There is the proviso that the bishop does forgive on behalf of the Church for sins that limit your ability to serve in a calling or attend the temple. Note that forgiveness from the Church is not a guarantee of divine forgiveness (it can be faked) and church forgiveness can occur before, after, or at the same time as divine forgiveness.

There are also sometimes mitigating factors that may mean one person needs church forgiveness and another does not need to seek it out. When in doubt ask God. If you cannot get an answer I would try the Bishop.

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

Which definition of the Law of Chastity should people use?

If you lose (or interfere with) the companionship of the Holy Ghost, you're doing something wrong. If after doing something wrong, you again enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost, then you've been forgiven.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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2 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

I know that is how it is supposed to work but when you lose your trust in Bishops, it's hard to think that way. 

Lose trust generally or in a specific bishop?

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Just now, Hamba Tuhan said:

If you lose the companionship of the Holy Ghost, you're doing something wrong. If after doing something wrong, you again enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost, then you've been forgiven.

I would agree generally but I have felt the Holy Ghost guiding me when I have unforgiven sins. Usually leading me to repent or (more rarely) inspiration I need for a calling or responsibility to bless another and the Lord needs me to have this gift or inspiration to move the Kingdom forward or bless others and respects the calling or the Priesthood even if I am not at the moment living the gospel right.

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2 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I would agree generally but I have felt the Holy Ghost guiding me when I have unforgiven sins. Usually leading me to repent or (more rarely) inspiration I need for a calling or responsibility to bless another and the Lord needs me to have this gift or inspiration to move the Kingdom forward or bless others and respects the calling or the Priesthood even if I am not at the moment living the gospel right.

And being right with God for that moment, through pure grace, enables us, if we choose, to let go of sin and continue forward. It's such a beautiful gift. We are justified before we are sanctified, but we shouldn't overlook the reality of justification.

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5 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I am convinced porn is unhealthy even if you watch it with your spouse because it is often a precursor to infidelity, falls under "unholy and impure", and the act of creating porn involves sin.

...porn in itself is a great evil. Really, just thinking these things through. I agree it is a sin but I'm not sure it is breaking the law of chastity.

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Just now, bsjkki said:

...porn in itself is a great evil. Really, just thinking these things through. I agree it is a sin but I'm not sure it is breaking the law of chastity.

I am not 100% sure either. Nor am I convinced that living the temple covenants imperfectly is cause not to attend. That last endowment covenant is a doozy and few have mastered it.

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6 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I would agree generally but I have felt the Holy Ghost guiding me when I have unforgiven sins. Usually leading me to repent or (more rarely) inspiration I need for a calling or responsibility to bless another and the Lord needs me to have this gift or inspiration to move the Kingdom forward or bless others and respects the calling or the Priesthood even if I am not at the moment living the gospel right.

I think my sin is that my faith is weak...I question everything. I've lost faith in Bishop's generally. I kind of assume they are not to be trusted. But even though my faith is weak...the Lord still helps me in my calling. He still directs me and sends guidance. His work is more important than my inadequacies.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Nor am I convinced that living the temple covenants imperfectly is cause not to attend.

If living one's covenants imperfectly were a disqualifier, our temples would be empty.

My last trip to the temple, I was a mess. I remember thinking I shouldn't even be going and delaying the journeying and then finally just doing it anyway with a sense that, if I woke up the next morning and really couldn't do it, I'd call in sick. I had four hours alone on my trip there, and I should have been praying and listening to Church music and meditating on spiritual things in preparation. Instead, I just listened to talkback radio or sat in silence, too numb to think.

When I got to my accommodation, I prayed a very short prayer and bascially said, 'I'm not sure you want me in Your house tomorrow, but if You do, I'll go'. Then I crashed out. When my alarm went off the next morning, I felt filled with light, so I got up and went. As I sat in the endowment room, I felt my heart melt and then change. Revelation flowed. After serving my shift, I felt cleansed in the way I had been craving in the days previous. We should never limit the Lord's capacity to redeem us. And sometimes trying to be where He needs us is the best way to access His atoning power.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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3 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

I think my sin is that my faith is weak...I question everything. I've lost faith in Bishop's generally. I kind of assume they are not to be trusted. But even though my faith is weak...the Lord still helps me in my calling. He still directs me and sends guidance. His work is more important than my inadequacies.

Weakness is not always due to sin. If you want faith just keep doing the things you should and keep repenting. Renew your covenants each week with gratitude and it will get better. :) 

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5 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

If living one's covenants imperfectly were a disqualifier, our temples would be empty.

My last trip to the temple, I was a mess. I remember thinking I shouldn't even be going and delaying the journeying and then finally just doing it anyway with a sense that, if I woke up the next morning and really couldn't do it, I'd call in sick. I had four hours alone on my trip there, and I should have been praying and listening to Church music and meditating on spiritual things in preparation. Instead, I just listened to talkback radio or sat in silence, too numb to think.

When I got to my accommodation, I prayed a very short prayer and bascially said, 'I'm not sure you want me in Your house tomorrow, but if You do, I'll go'. Then I crashed out. When my alarm went off the next morning, I felt filled with light, so I got up and went. As I sat in the endowment room, I felt my heart melt and then change. Revelation flowed. After serving my shift, I felt cleansed in the way I had been craving in the days previous. We should never limit the Lord's capacity to redeem us. And sometimes trying to be where He needs us is the best way to access His atoning power.

This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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Sometimes it is the offering of struggle, of seeking redemption, of being told of a Redeemer, that we need Him, that as we learn to obey not just the base commandments, we learn to follow the directions He gives to us through personal revelation and the covenants we make, that the natural man or woman is slowly purged from us, and we become like Him, 3 Nephi 27:27.  Vital in this journal is Mosiah 3:19,

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

That is the key.  We yield, we yield our heart and our will, it really is the only thing we have to give back to our Father and our Savior.  We then follow the enticings of the Holy Ghost and look what happens as we do, we transform and become even as He is, as is described in Mosiah 3:19.  The Savior is submissive to our Father, meek, humble, patient, full of love (charity) and is willing to submit to all things that our Father sought fit to inflict on Him, even the atonement of Jesus Christ. Here Christ submitted to the Father.  Confess? Lets be honest, follow the enticings of the Holy Ghost and He will tell you what to do. Think your not worthy? Sure He may not linger, but in 36 years as a member, from a variety of leadership calls, the Savior never gives up and yes, He will direct and invite you to do what you need to in order to put off that natural person, completely loving you, guiding you, directing you until you fully repent and overcome whatever it is that holds you back from becoming like Him. Yes, do your part, you never give up striving to come unto Him, but remember that it is by grace that we are saved even after all that we can do.  Lay your heart and will on the alter, repent, keep your covenants and by doing this  I promise that one day, you will come to your own veil, you will have an interview with Jesus Christ who will gather each of us in His arms, one by one, embracing us, welcoming us home and we will know the extent of what true charity is, even the love of Christ as it flows to us, burning out the dregs of our minds and hearts, purifying the impurities that we have repented on and cannot let go of, so we may each come home to our Heavenly Father, in the family of Jesus Christ.  Follow the enticings of the Holy Ghost, you'll know if you need to confess to a Church authority to clear yourself with the Church, but you will have to clear yourself with the Savior as I have described and glorious is that day when you feel His arms around you, your heart bursting, perhaps tears flowing when you realize the Savior has always remained with you in this journey we call mortality.  

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10 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Word of Wisdom infractions, though they would not lead to a disciplinary council, would affect one's worthiness to receive a temple recommend. Or is my understanding incorrect on that matter?

Yes, members are required to answer word of wisdom TR questions accurately, and doing so usually (though IME doesn't always ---when member is trying to get rid of an addiction) affect TR status.   But that isn't the same as making the appointment and seeing the bishop to confess a "sin".  

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10 hours ago, The Nehor said:

There is the proviso that the bishop does forgive on behalf of the Church for sins that limit your ability to serve in a calling or attend the temple. Note that forgiveness from the Church is not a guarantee of divine forgiveness (it can be faked) and church forgiveness can occur before, after, or at the same time as divine forgiveness.

There are also sometimes mitigating factors that may mean one person needs church forgiveness and another does not need to seek it out. 

Not disagreeing with you.

I would go back to the point that I made in response to the original post. This should be in the scripture, not a policy manual. I believe that the idea of "Church forgiveness" should be clearly laid out in our scriptures.

Just my opinion.

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20 minutes ago, Prof said:

Not disagreeing with you.

I would go back to the point that I made in response to the original post. This should be in the scripture, not a policy manual. I believe that the idea of "Church forgiveness" should be clearly laid out in our scriptures.

Just my opinion.

It kind of is. The confession of sin before others is in scripture and used to be a big deal such that people as part of repentance would stand up in a church meeting and confess if it was something that impacted others. We stopped doing that decades ago though, way before my time. My understanding is this transmuted into confession to Priesthood leaders to avoid what some saw as humiliation. I am going off old memories though so I could be off. Hopefully someone who knows more about this can chime in with more details and/or corrections.

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11 hours ago, bsjkki said:

I know that is how it is supposed to work but when you lose your trust in Bishops, it's hard to think that way. 

We don't disagree in this area at all. Bishops come in all types, abilities, and levels/degrees of spirituality. Some seem to be almost perfect and others not so much. Our daughter had a bad experience with a bishop at BYUI and has never recovered fully from that experience. I am sure he did the best he could or did what he thought was right, but he blew it on many levels. Yet, I have had bishops that were excellent and seem to perfectly understand how best to handle situations. 

What I try and do is to understand what is most important for my salvation and how best to interact with the bishop. I try to be clear in my objectives with him and go from there. 

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

It kind of is. The confession of sin before others is in scripture and used to be a big deal such that people as part of repentance would stand up in a church meeting and confess if it was something that impacted others. We stopped doing that decades ago though, way before my time. My understanding is this transmuted into confession to Priesthood leaders to avoid what some saw as humiliation. I am going off old memories though so I could be off. Hopefully someone who knows more about this can chime in with more details and/or corrections.

I believe I was still alive when they used to announce discipline to the congregation. 

Talk about Shame.  I’m convinced though that weee this board existing then, wed have people defending the practice and predicting apostasy.

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I believe I was still alive when they used to announce discipline to the congregation. 

Talk about Shame.  I’m convinced though that weee this board existing then, wed have people defending the practice and predicting apostasy.

They still do announce discipline some times. I do not believe it was ever generally announced. It is at the bishops and stake presidents discretion (generally both have to consent to this) whether to announce it and it is now usually limited to people preaching false doctrine, forming cultic type groups, or situations where the person may pose an ongoing threat. In cases where the rumor mill has gone nuts they can announce that a Council was held and no action was taken to dispel any gossip about the person.

In cases where action is taken sometimes some of the Ward Council is informed so they know not to ask them to teach or give prayers.

Edited by The Nehor
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16 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

 

In cases where action is taken sometimes some of the Ward Council is informed so they know not to ask them to teach or give prayers.

This happens in my ward. Then the rumor mill takes over and the whole ward ends up knowing. Sad.

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Honestly if I were disciplined so I’d just disappear and make it right between me and god.  Waaaay too much human shaming that has nothing to do with the true repentance process.  

Thank goodness I’m a rule follower. 

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3 hours ago, rpn said:

Yes, members are required to answer word of wisdom TR questions accurately, and doing so usually (though IME doesn't always ---when member is trying to get rid of an addiction) affect TR status.   But that isn't the same as making the appointment and seeing the bishop to confess a "sin".  

I'm curious if you've ever seen anything that gives guidelines for accuracy in WoW TR questions. I'm specifically thinking of how time and/or could have a substantial impact on the answer.

For example, if someone is asked if they keep the WoW, does that mean today? This week? All month? All year? The majority of the time or 100% of the time? Would 1 infraction of drinking a coffee, or a beer, or having a cigarette 1 time in the month mean that a person does NOT keep the WoW? 2 times per month? Twice per year?

I'm honestly asking because I don't recall ever seeing that addressed, yet a person's expectations regarding time and frequency would impact the way they answer, or the way a leader would accept the answer. So there could be quite a bit of variability based on human preference or understanding. So should a person be denied a TR because they say they keep the WoW but also admit they had a drink 2 weeks ago?

Curious about your thoughts.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I'm curious if you've ever seen anything that gives guidelines for accuracy in WoW TR questions. I'm specifically thinking of how time and/or could have a substantial impact on the answer.

For example, if someone is asked if they keep the WoW, does that mean today? This week? All month? All year? The majority of the time or 100% of the time? Would 1 infraction of drinking a coffee, or a beer, or having a cigarette 1 time in the month mean that a person does NOT keep the WoW? 2 times per month? Twice per year?

I'm honestly asking because I don't recall ever seeing that addressed, yet a person's expectations regarding time and frequency would impact the way they answer, or the way a leader would accept the answer. So there could be quite a bit of variability based on human preference or understanding. So should a person be denied a TR because they say they keep the WoW but also admit they had a drink 2 weeks ago?

Curious about your thoughts.

I think the intent is total abstinence. If you have a drink or a cigar once a year and intend to go on doing it, you have violated the spirit of the requirement and the temple recommend ought to be withheld until you repent. 

The total abstinence principle applies in other respects. If you consume green tea because you think it’s a health beverage and thereby is exempt from the commandment portion of the Word of Wisdom, you have rendered yourself ineligible for a temple recommend. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I think the intent is total abstinence. If you have a drink or a cigar once a year and intend to go on doing it, you have violated the spirit of the requirement and the temple recommend ought to be withheld until you repent. 

The total abstinence principle applies in other respects. If you consume green tea because you think it’s a health beverage and thereby is exempt from the commandment portion of the Word of Wisdom, you have rendered yourself ineligible for a temple recommend. 

I agree that is how most people would interpret the question, yet I'm certain leaders have given TR to people who have indulged in prohibited substances more recently than a year. In which case, perhaps the difference is whether or not the person confesses it to the bishop, in which case it would imply that WoW is a serious transgression which necessitates formal confession to a bishop. IMO the WoW isn't a "serious transgression" as in a breaking of a commandment so much as it's an infraction against the policies of the church (I'm sure most will disagree with me)

I'm curious if we had a test pool of 100 bishops, what kind of timeline they'd put on a WoW infraction before giving a TR. I think it would vary quite a bit, but I think people who actually confess the infraction would be treated more softly than someone whose infraction is know, but not confessed. I'd guess most bishops would put a timeline of 3-6 months before giving a TR, but some would be shorter and some longer.

ETA- I think intent is a huge part of it. I think a person who intends to have a drink a couple of times a year wouldn't receive a recommend while a person who intends to be 100% obedient, yet falters and has 4 drinks per year, would be more likely to get the TR.

Edited by HappyJackWagon

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1 hour ago, Prof said:

This happens in my ward. Then the rumor mill takes over and the whole ward ends up knowing. Sad.

Some people need to be released. I hope at least the Bishop tells them to keep it confidential.

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On 5/6/2019 at 9:37 PM, 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?

It's also something of a personal question, as well.  Personally, as I've tried to repent in the past, the Holy Ghost gently and sometimes less than gently reminds me that more is needed.  Bishops have helped remove what I couldn't remove by my own efforts.  AFter one of these meetings with a bishop, I literally felt a weight lifted off my shoulders that I'd been carrying for years. Why did I carry it for years? Not sure; probably becuase its' human nature to make our lives harder 

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