The Mormon Therapist on Confession

The following is part of an answer I gave to a woman in response to a question dealing with “Do I need to tell the bishop?”  I get this type of question often:

Whether or not you want to discuss this with your bishop is your own personal decision.  It’s important to remember that the purpose of confession is that of cleansing and lifting a burden from yourself to a source that is willing to support it for you – that of Jesus Christ. I would hope that the repentance process would not elicit feelings of fear – but rather feelings of love and support. We are all in need of it. It’s normal to feel embarrassment or even shame when we fall and make mistakes. But I hope that the knowledge that we all fall can help you understand that you are not alone. This situation is not unique to you. If you are uncomfortable talking with the bishop because he is a male, you can always consider talking with one of your female leaders instead (i.e. Relief Society President). You can also request that a female be present with you in a priesthood interview if that would help put you more at ease.
I hope you will easily forgive yourself and free up your energy for much more positive aspects of your life.

MM readers:

  • What are your thoughts about the purpose of confession?
  • When is it “necessary” to confess to a bishop versus going to the Lord directly in prayer?
  • Why is it that confession and even repentance seem to have such negative connotations associated with them?
  • How can we best do a re-frame so that we can each better benefit from the gift of the atonement?
  • What gender issues are there for women who go to confess to a male holder of the priesthood – especially when the sin is sexual in nature?
  • What about disciplinary action?  Is this where the fear comes from?  And what are its purposes?  Are its purposes legitimate?  Do you see any conflict between disciplinary action and Jesus’ words about being forgiven?

Natasha Helfer Parker is a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist and a member of the Church with 13 years of experience working with LDS members. Here she shares with us representative cases from her practice and insights she has gained from her work as a therapist.  She blogs at mormontherapist.blogspot.com.

Comments

comments

33 comments for “The Mormon Therapist on Confession

  1. August 15, 2010 at 5:19 am

    An interesting facet of 12 step programs is that those who try to skip step 5 have real problems.

    (5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.)

    A bishop is “another human being” — or at least usually. Your list, though, is an excellent place to start thinking about how it works.

    But we need to admit to God, to ourselves, and to some human face the exact nature of our wrongs in order to move past them.

  2. GBSmith
    August 15, 2010 at 6:33 am

    The problem with the idea that confession to a bishop or other authority figure is required for forgiveness is that a person may lose the sense in themselves what is sin and what is needed for repentance. I had an acquaintance once that was a counselor and a lutheran who became quite irritated with the idea that anything was needed other than prayer and confession to God alone. Needing to confess makes you dependent on another human being with his/her own set of problems and biases. You make believe that that person has some sort of special commission or authority, but I wouldn’t count on it.

  3. Bethgc
    August 15, 2010 at 6:57 am

    The problem as I see it is that the Church seems to want confession ( sometimes in detail) of sexual sin and not of most other sins. This can be a problem for both the church and the individual because;

    1. This practice can terrify and confuse adolescents who are exploring their sexuality. Some bishops still teach that masturbation is a sin that must be confessed. It can be damaging to fragile, developing sensibilities to be forced to feel shame and verbalize that shame over something so personal, non-shameful, and harmless.

    2. The practice discriminates against singles, the majority of whom will have “broken the law of chastity” at least once, particularly the longer they are single . In my 30s, I was in an older singles ward where no one I knew had never had to confess to a bishop. Most normal adults participate in sexual behavior, from sex thought and masturbation to intercourse. In more than one singles ward, bishops taught that even masturbation should be confessed to the bishop or one’s temple worthiness would be in jeopardy! How sick is that?!?

    Oh, and to be clear: it’s discriminatory because technically, singles (including gays) sre never, ever supposed to have any kind of sexual experience or release. Since this is ridiculously impossible, singles are the ones most at risk for sitting across from the bishop’s desk. I once asked a bishop: “how would you like it if you had to run to a bishop every time you had an orgasm? How would that affect you mentally? Do you really wonder why so many singles are inscribe or leave the church?

    3.

    • Dolorita
      March 6, 2017 at 10:33 am

      Thank you Bethgc.

      I cannot agree more with all you said. I have been through a Disciplinary Council that ended up with my excommunication. Only months later, after serious symptoms of PTSD became unmistakable, did we realize that the “transgression” I confessed to, was actually an acquaintance rape. My subconscious mind and my body knew I was raped, but I could not bring myself to admit what had truly happened. Where was the inspiration and Spirit-guided judgement? I don’t feel that women should EVER go through a council like that without the presence of the Relief Society President, had she been present when I described what had happened and that I told him “NO” at least four times, maybe she would have recognized it as RAPE and I could have received the help I needed instead of being ostracized by my only lifeline. It is a horrific thing to be asked detail after detail of the “transgression” by a group of men waiting to judge me. This is not the way God or Christ would have dealt with women. I am sorry if this hurts any feelings, but unless you have been through what I have been through, you cannot judge me. Only God and Christ know and can understand my feelings, and I know they love me. I cannot say that about the male leaders in my ward.

  4. Bethgc
    August 15, 2010 at 7:01 am

    That should have been “inactive”– not “inscribe”.

    3. Confession of sex sin to men only (confession is supposed to be some kind of priesthood duty) is damaging to many women and some men.

  5. Bethgc
    August 15, 2010 at 7:12 am

    One more reason I can think of off the top of my head: gossip.

    It’s not uncommon for private confessions to be made officially or unofficially public– PEC meetings, wives, people overhearing (clerk and others outside an open door). Some bishops ask single women to name and state the ward of her sex partner/s.

  6. August 15, 2010 at 7:17 am

    Coming back to the OP (original post) people fear confession even when there is no discipline associated with it (in a 12 step program no one disciplines anyone else, no one passes any information along to anyone else).

    But experience shows that those who try to skip the “another human being” part of confession are much less likely to succeed.

  7. Jon
    August 15, 2010 at 8:31 am

    I see confession as a good thing. Beyond confession after committing the sin and repentance it is good while the sin is happening and makes it easier for guidance to over come the sin. It can also help to talk to someone who is given special guidance from the Lord to help us through our problems and help us feel better about ourselves. This is vital to repentance and important in life, even though most singles have to go through this process (according to Bethgc) I see that as a good thing since it helps those who need to the most help (singles) continue in the Lord, continuing to follow his statutes. Confession is to help those in need come to Christ, not to punish.

    As for disciplinary action I see that as another good thing as it helps those who have sinned to see the gravity of their sin and helps them to overcome their sins. In cases of ex-communication it can also help the Church in a temporal matter by distancing herself from those who discredit the covenants of God. This helps by showing that sin is not tolerated by God, especially those of a more grave nature.

  8. Jon
    August 15, 2010 at 8:36 am

    One other good aspect of confession is to remind us of what are sins. In this world we live in today it is easy to forget or to justify our actions before the Lord and call that which is evil good and that which is good evil. Having counsel from the Prophets as a guiding beacon in our lives is good and can help us follow Christ in the path of righteousness. Even if we disagree with the brethren it is still important for us to seriously consider their advice and not only consider the temporal consequences but the spiritual as well.

  9. diane
    August 15, 2010 at 9:46 am

    The only reason why I dislike the idea of being female and confessing to the bishop is this.

    1) While he is set apart for his calling in this church, the church is run by lay people who may, or may not be able to handle what the person is talking about and therefore only interjecting his own cultural bias on the situation as opposed to a more professional approach.

    2) I do like the idea of having a member of the relief society present. I did this not because I had something to confess but she was there when I went to talk to him about my home-teacher coming into my home and trying to get me to confess my sins to him. She was my witness when my bishop refused to do anything about it.

    3) Absolutely there are problem especially if the disciplinary action is not done in the proper protocol and is handled in front of the other person. I have been the victim of this and I am speaking to my SP next Sunday about this, because as far as I know its’ not to be done this way. And how and why would this discipline be considered valid and able to “stay and be a part of this persons life unquestioned by leadership is unfathomable

    and if my current bishop refused to act on my behalf when my home-teacher tried to get me to confess sins to him then my bishop should have treated me the same way. Both sexist and inconsistent in his approach.

    Another thing about this is that it brought up memories of my growing up catholic and having to go to confession and make things up ( I was a child ) to tell the priest what I did, which if you believe Catholic theology to make up sin is a sin. I can’t imagine doing anything as a 8 year that a priest would make me do penance for,but you did it because that’s what everyone else did

  10. Bethgc
    August 15, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Unless the bishop has super-duper absolution powers, there seems to be no reason that “confession” must be heard by him and not by a best friend, parent, therapist, spouse, visiting teacher, or RS president.

    It simply seems like just a perk of the bishop’s job, and one of the reasons for the bishop’s job to exist. Many bishops probably don’t ask for detail and stop a member from revealing too many personal facts. Others feel it’s their business to pry and retrieve salacious details the have no business knowing. It would not surprise me in the least if some leaders relished this perk of the priesthood, and derived sexual pleasure themselves from hearing teenaged girls and singlecwimeb talk about masturbation, oral sex, and having sex outside of marriage.

  11. Arnster
    August 15, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Don’t forget that the Bishop is the one set apart as the judge, and he is the one to help through the repentance process which may include abstaining from certain areas of church activity. This is one of the reasons why confession to the bishop is part of the repentance process.

  12. Jon
    August 15, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Agreed Arnster.

    Bethgc: To enjoy someone else’s confessions and sins I would consider a sin in and of itself. I would hope most bishops wouldn’t feel that way. I’m sure some of them think they might need to hear the details for a full repentance. Every bishop is different. But it is doctrinal that one of the bishops duties is to listen to confession. I know if I were ever a bishop (knock on wood it never happens) that would be the part of the job that I would hate the most.

    On my mission when I became a branch president I dreaded I would have to be put through that experience. But it is useful and can be used to help people come closer to Christ, the end goal.

  13. Roger Williams
    August 15, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    I’ve known lots of bishops. I can’t see telling them a thing. They can’t absolve anyone of anything and they certainly aren’t in a position to judge (righteously) anyway. Their insights and wisdom would be what might expect from opening the phone book and picking names randomly.

  14. Jan
    August 15, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Certainly it’s fear – esp. when the bishop is your age and peer. This was a huge challenge with me and a friend who had to see our bishop. We felt really uncomfortable. It was much easier when I moved and my new bishop was an older man.
    Bishops vary widely in what they think the sin is serious enough to warrant confession. However there are some clear lines.

    I’ll tell you why it’s so negative – the judgment and scrutiny. First you take the luck of the draw when dealing with bishops. My experience is I was in there with my bishop, my home teacher (who was crying and who I could never look in the eye again), and the counselors. One said something so insensitive and harsh that I haven’t ever forgotten it. Some act like you are a terrible person to struggle because they know someone (like their mom) who was totally chaste when they were single. Of course that person often didn’t date. Today’s dating world…so difficult compared to what it was…even dating LDS men.

    I hated the process of confession but came out better and it gave me something to focus on that was good and motivating. I had to swallow my pride (which may include realizing that it’s possible that these men might do something or say something that will really hurt). Mostly I had to pray and fast while going to them that they would be led. Start every meeting with a prayer too. That really helped set the tone but sometimes people are just human but we struggle through.

    I guess what I’m saying is if I hadn’t have gone through that I probably would’ve kept on the same direction, which would’ve led me out of the church eventually. The fact that I subjected myself to it meant that I felt totally clean at the end and got to see God’s hand in my life over time.

  15. Jon
    August 15, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Jan: I like your post since it shows the humanity of the sinner and the humanity of God’s helper. We’re all truly sinners, even God’s servants (which is all of us too), and we all need to become perfected in Christ. Being a bishop is a huge learning experience (at least I would think it would be) and I would hope every bishop would come out of the experience a more humble and loving servant of God.

    I don’t really understand the anti-bishop sentiment since it supposes that they are magically not human either. Although they are supposed to be given a special mantle over the ward it is their choice to learn to use it correctly and use the experiences to become better.

    On one of Dehlin’s (sp) mormon stories podcast he interviewed the son of President Kimball talked about how he wished that he would have written “A Miracle of Forgiveness” with a lighter touch. So we all are learning. As much as some people would like to think that everyone’s perfect, especially those in leadership positions, it simply is not true.

    Jan’s method is wonderful, in that she fasted that they would have the guidance to help her. I might be over extrapolating but it sounds good.

  16. Bethgc
    August 15, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Not only are bishops just human– they’re just like everyone else. Moreover, after four or five years they go back to just being a home teacher and used car salesman.

    There is no reason for anyone to divulge private sexual actions to an unrelated male behind closed doors with his hands behind a desk. In any other context, an untrained man with no letters behind his name listening to fourteen year old girls talking about touching themselves would be reported to authorities.

  17. Jon
    August 15, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Bethgc: Are you LDS? If so, why?

  18. Jack
    August 15, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    For those who think they know what Bishops suffer and somehow have zero compassion for any man willing to bear the burdens of (probably) the most demanding office in the church let me just say that they are either incredibly naive or just resentful at having to receive guidance from authoritative figures. When a man becomes Bishop he can be assured that in no time he will have a host of enemies just because of the office — and that’s just for starters. Next he will be inundated with countless requests for help/guidance in areas where most people should be able to resolve it on their own. Then he will have to bear the burden of counseling people in ways that are most difficult — difficult because as a friend it may be the last thing he would want to say — but as a servant of the Lord the only right thing to say. And then the almost unbearable burden of sorrow for so many who suffer from so many different difficulties that he must shoulder for so many years. He will practically have no time for himself — his own interests, and barely enough time for his own family. Many bishops will put as much if not more time into their calling than they do their full-time jobs — and this as an unpaid clergyman.

    Please, walk a mile in a bishop’s moccasins before you judge him.

  19. Bethgc
    August 15, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    My point is not to judge bishops. The OP is about confessing or not. All I’m saying is that the tradition/superstition/compulsion of confessing to bishops has some serious limitations and is potentially harmful to all involved, including bishops who are placed in tenmptation’s path just by doing their jobs.

  20. Jezebel
    August 15, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Having to go before a man I barely knew to discuss my sexual sin led me to not confess, and I carried many burdens for more than 12 years. When the bishopric changed, and the new bishop was announced, I knew at that moment I could confess to that particular priesthood holder, and be okay. And I did. And it was very hard. And the relief was indescribable.
    Natasha, for years I would tell a couple friends who helped me bear my burden, “If only I could confess to the RS President instead”. It never occurred to me to ask another person be present.
    In thinking about my daughters being interviewed by bishops, I have thought about having a talk with the bishop, prior, to find out the type of questions he asks.

  21. Anon for this
    August 15, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    What are your thoughts about the purpose of confession?
    When is it “necessary” to confess to a bishop versus going to the Lord directly in prayer?

    Not sure about this one really. I’ve never heard anything like a cogent theological defense of confessing to a priesthood leader. In the realm of Catholicism, for instance, the practice makes a lot of sense, given their theology. Within Mormonism, we do not share the same doctrines that make confession reasonable for other denominations. Further, as many times as I have heard the question about when one “must” confess, I have heard differing answers. This is related to one of the problems of Church discipline in general (see below).

    Why is it that confession and even repentance seem to have such negative connotations associated with them?

    What about disciplinary action? Is this where the fear comes from? And what are its purposes? Are its purposes legitimate? Do you see any conflict between disciplinary action and Jesus’ words about being forgiven?

    Part of the issue is simply a matter of guilt or shame, which nobody likes to feel. For me personally, given my experiences in the last five years of my life, I am much less likely to confess anything to a priesthood leader now than I was before the past five years. I don’t think most bishops are “bad,” but I have been told point-blank, “If you will do X, Y will happen.” I went and did ‘X’, and not only did ‘Y’ not happen, the opposite happened. I firmly believe that my bishop made that promise with the very best of intentions; it was fueled by his sincere desire for my happiness. Nevertheless, I cannot help but take “inspiration” with a grain of salt these days –– in spite of the fact that more-orthodox LDSaints I’ve mentioned this to will engage in the most amusing sorts of mental/theological contortions and acrobatics to avoid the simple fact that my authorized priesthood leader (a “judge in Israel”) made an “inspired” promise in the name of the Lord that turned out to be, quite simply, false.

    This is related to the problem I find with church discipline in general (as mentioned earlier): it is incredibly inconsistent! For the same situation, one bishop/disciplinary council will simply counsel a member, while another will excommunicate. Leaving aside the issue of wicked priesthood leaders who abuse the ever-so-convenient category of “behavior unbecoming a Latter-day Saint” in order to grind their assorted axes, even the most sincere and well-intentioned seem blind to the problems inherent in a mortal, fallible human being attaching “thus saith the Lord” to their own pronouncements (even though it may be their duty to do precisely that). There is simply too little caution and self-doubt in most local leaders (of my acquaintance) to take the process seriously.

  22. Ralph
    August 15, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Maybe it’s best to start with the last bulleted question, which will help to understand the answers to the other questions.

    Disciplinary action is there for 3 main reasons, and these are told the person when they are in the meeting with the bishop –
    1 – To look after the needs of the sinner;
    2 – To look after the needs of the victim;
    3 – To look after the ‘good’ name of the Church.

    Yes #3 does look a little suspect in nature, but it is there and is admitted that it is a necessity. This can be seen in high level cases that make the news. But there are other aspects like if a boy had a rebellious teenage era where he slept around and didn’t tell anyone, then went on a mission to teach about the church and bumps into one of the girls he slept with. That would place a big black mark on the Church’s name in the mind of that girl and possibly would make her steer clear of it. If the young man went to the bishop and confessed of what he did, these days he may not be allowed to go on a proper mission and thus stop this situation from happening. Other examples similar to this can be found.

    The ‘needs of the victim’ is pretty clear in meaning especially if it involves murder (living relatives), rape, embezzlement, etc.

    Lastly the ‘needs of the sinner’. Remember that if we partake of the sacrament unworthily we are bringing damnation onto ourselves. Some sins are worthy of stopping us from partaking of the sacrament for a period of time – which is disfellowshipment. Excommunication is usually only considered if the person is unrepentant of their sin, or if it’s a major one that cannot be ‘undone’, like murder, child molestation, blasphemy of the Holy Ghost.

    But now to the second question – The only things necessary to confess to a bishop are the ‘big’ ones like murder, sexual sins and apostasy. Some stealing ones would also apply if they were big ones like a few thousands or more dollars (ie bank heist, embezzlement). Swearing, Word of Wisdom problems, cheating, lying, gossiping, etc are not necessary to confess to a priesthood authority unless one wants to and decides that they can receive help and support from these sources.

    Then this brings us to the first question – The purpose of ‘confession’ to a priesthood authority is to seek proper guidance through the repentance process for what you have done, and the need to determine if any further action is necessary for forgiveness in relation to the 3 points mentioned above.

    I think the fourth question answers the third – most people don’t associate the atonement with the process of repentance as much as it should. If they did then confession of grievous sins would not be a negative thing in that person’s mind.

    There are big gender issues/differences in confession of sexual sins as sex affects each gender differently. It would be very confronting for a female to have to divulge all that intimate information to a male, especially if it has to go to a disciplinary counsel and there are 4 males present. It would be embarrassing for a male, but would not be as confronting. At least that’s my thoughts as a male with 5 sisters and 3 daughters.

    Overall, confession to the proper priesthood authority is embarrassing/frightening/etc, but it is very helpful in the long run if it’s utilised properly as part of the repentance process. And focusing on the role of the atonement in all of this helps make it easier.

  23. Jana H
    August 15, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    @Bethgc
    I confessed to sexual sin to three different bishops over about 12 years — meaning, three individual times == too much sexual sin, I know, I’m a work in progress. Married now! Phew! As a sidebar: one of those bishops was a real stickler for Mormon cultural points, like once he asked me why I came to church with my hair still wet from the shower. (Implying that if I were a true Saint, I’d dry my hair before church, or something.)

    ANYWAY, the point I’m trying to get to is that none of them ever asked for detail, let alone salacious detail about my encounters. Nor did they ask with whom I engaged in the sin with, nor even whether my partners were members of the church. They simply asked carefully the nature of the sexual sin (i.e. “Did you have intercourse?”) and when it occurred, and if I had stopped and forsaken that sin. They then began to offer words of comfort, concern, and inquired after my personal efforts to live the gospel again.

    So, having confessed to doing really bad things (in Mormon world) in three different geographical areas, under different circumstances, with three bishops of widely divergent personality types, I would have to say what you’re describing has to be unusual. Not to mention creepy and weird. And worth taking up the “chain of command” until someone listens.

  24. Anon for this
    August 16, 2010 at 12:03 am

    “And worth taking up the “chain of command” until someone listens.”

    Difficult. Most complaints are actually routed back to your local leaders. It makes some sense, because GAs are generally very busy, but it does tend to isolate the problem and allow it to fester.

  25. Jana H
    August 16, 2010 at 8:08 am

    @Anon for this

    Difficult, yes. But you could stir up some trouble if you were determined (and angry enough). I would, anyway.

  26. Jan
    August 16, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Thanks for the response Jon. I esp. like the part about President Kimball easing back a bit on his book “The Miracle of Forgiveness.” I was asked to read it and I’ve had a tough time reconciling it with my view of how Heavenly Father works.

    I agree that a bishop’s job is difficult but it also can ruin lives or save people. There’s a lot at stake!

    Yes, I did fast and pray my bishop would have the guidance to help me. Sometimes he seemed to change directions mid-sentence. I’ve never seen anything like it. I started doing it after I felt like his counsel wasn’t working for me. One thing that was very difficult is the idea that if you slipped up again you never truly repented and all the sin that was forgiven comes back again. When in reality it’s not a linear line of progression. I can’t even imagine having to confess each time you masturbate (one of my friends was always in for that reason).

    As far as Jana I’m surprised she wasn’t excommunicated (and I’m married now too – which is a HUGE relief to me too – I started to lose hope that it was even possible to be single and date without having sex at some point). My bishop hinted that it was a consideration that would likely happen if I ever had the same issues again. That was discouraging.

    The only detail asked was when and how serious the issue was. The process took almost 2 years to complete.

  27. August 16, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I agree with Stephen (#1) regarding the importance of confession in 12-step programs. In fact, the 12 step programs are a great guided method to repentance and access to the atonement.

    My experience as a bishop was that those who came to confess willingly did so either because the pain of living with transgression was greater than the pain of confessing (because it was embarrassing, or the person felt little hope), or because they felt obligated to because someone else told them they must come.

    The first category had a much better experience overall.

    Those who voluntarily confess often do so because they have already begun a process of repentance and they wish to have help in that process. When they come voluntarily, they come with an open heart. My own view as a bishop was simply to be a facilitator in a process which was not mine to control (it was the Savior’s).

    I’ve been in the church long enough to see emphasis shift from “church courts” to disciplinary councils, resulting at the time in far fewer excommunications and more informal discipline. A principle shared by our stake president (who learned it from a member of the Seventy) suggested (as Alma 42 does) that church discipline should be only severe enough to help someone change.

    That said, there is a great amount of variability among bishops, highly dependent upon their own formative experiences and specific training from stake presidents. Most bishops counsel with stake presidents on these matters (or should), and it’s likely that stake presidents are also highly dependent upon their formative experiences and training. So one’s experience with Bishop Smith may be different from the same person’s experience with Bishop Jones. One hopes that the spirit can help to mitigate those differences.

    (And the experience of waiting for one bishop to be released and visiting with his successor is not uncommon. I often wonder what flood of interviews my successor had to face after my release…)

    From a church discipline perspective, the number and type of sins to be confessed is relatively small, often involving matters discussed in the temple recommend interview that cannot be resolved alone, usually transgressions that directly engage others such as sexual sin or abuse as Ralph described).

    But a person overcoming sin may benefit from confession of more than those specific transgressions, as Step 5 in the 12 step program indicates. Whether those confessions are to a bishop, a spouse, a trusted friend, or a sponsor in AA, the confession may still be of similar value.

    But confession alone is not sufficient. It is only one step. Equally important to recovery (in the case of a 12 step program) and repentance is restitution and foresaking of behavior.

    Finally, I’d say Amen to #18 Jack. The bishops I know would prefer not to serve as they do. And most are grateful to forget the details of what they hear in bishop’s offices. But they serve out of a love for the Lord and a desire to do what is right. They are not perfect, and sometimes they are not particularly well skilled at one thing or another. But those I know want to do what is right.

  28. August 17, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Paul — nicely said, better than I could have done.

  29. August 17, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Thanks to all for such a great discussion. So many different facets to think about. As with most things: pros and cons on both sides of the table.

  30. Melvin
    April 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    I have no confessions of sin.  Sorry. If no one likes it.Then, go to hit the bed and loose your anger and yell to God why?  Whether you like it nor not. Sorry. I have not sinned.  All that I can do is laugh at everybody.  Because I have no sin.  I only worry for looking for friends. 

  31. Melvin
    April 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    |I do not feel comfortable with the bishop because I am afraid of him.  I confess my sins that I have made personal covenants with God. I promised to God to keep the law of chastity, to exercise everyday and pay tithing every Sunday I meet the bishop, and promised to pay tithing to the Lord through the inheritance whom my dad will give it to me, I promised to God to assist the church every Sunday, and I promised to God to help the poor, give bread, food and water, and clothe the naked, and visit the sick with Aids Cancer, and mental ill and whisper them God loves them and travel to Africa and places where they suffer hunger and thirsty and promised to God which are great sins what I have done because the Bishop said, this is not the plan of God, but he does not know my plans, but I promised to God and made covenants to be one of the two witnesses and  preach the gospel of Jesus in Israel, and promised to God to preach the gospel in other planets after I am dead, and bring people back to Jesus and promised to God to bring the Royal Purple blue Reich, my sons and daughters who will be purple blue eyes, and handsome and tall and muscular and avelar, and they will be genius and have advanced technologies much better than any civilization and promised and made covenants with God by keeping laws and covenant with God that I will be the Bride of Jesus Christ and be part of the 144,000 who has not touched women and have not defiled themselves with women and I covenant with God to be a woman because I did not feel good about me and felt ashamed and have had depression and affliction during my youth and made covenants with God because I wanted to be like the gays, because I found gays kissing in high school and wondered why do gays or men do not look at me and felt bad and I was looking for a girlfriend and she said: No, thank you, I like men and I do not like women.  Thank you. I just want you as a friend.  I felt bad. I stopped looking for a girlfriend.  I was looking for a gay boyfriend. They told me they do not want a lady with hairy legs.  I was offended. That’s why I made covenants. I felt bad and wanted to cry and felt very bad and humiliated. I found consolation in God through my prayers because I prayed to God to send me to a true church and God answered my prayers immediately that a phone call came immediately and asked for my name and told me if I accept and I said, ys, and I jumped for joy and angels of God knocked the door were LDs missionaries and they brought me to the church and baptized and and I felt good to be part of God’s love and I liked it and felt good that God loves me but lots of people humilliated me and put me down and I want to flee and go away and hide myself in heaven and I do not want anyone to see my face anymore and the members of the church humiliated me and made fun of me and kicked me out and I felt bad and I want Jesus to come down to talk to them and straightem them out and I do not want to be in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints anymore. They were open and honest and I am happy and it was good and better because now I know why did they say this.  I wanted to help the Church and link them to God and prepare the Arrival of the Ancient of Days, the Lord so that we prepare the Second Coming of Jesus Christ but I made a mistake and realized my own foolishness but I am thankful to God for his goodness and his wonderful love that God has redeemed from death from the enemy who hated me was a Nazi guy who slew me in the Hospital. I really feel bad about myself. But, I am alive. God has made me know that I am much better than Hitler. Because Hitler is dead and I am alive. I tried to contact to the federation of the galaxy to help me to straight  them out. 

  32. Vasco
    April 28, 2012 at 7:21 am

    The truth of all, is that I am sorry but I have a small property because my uncle died recently and left us.  Sorry for your doubt and your suspicious about me. I am sorry for all of this for all the missionaries and LDS church to destroy me and my family.  Thanks and congratulations.  I thought they will be good and be nice.  If you think they destroy families, well it is their option.  I really regret for having being here in United States because I feel bad and the rest of them. 

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