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Monday, November 14, 2011

Fearing Man More Than God - part 1

Dear Bro Jo,

Let me give you a little bit of background on myself. I am a 22 year old female who grew up LDS, but had some chastity issues in the past with only one boy in particular (he's the type who says he's LDS and that he wants to follow the teachings, but his actions speak louder than his words). I had those issues resolved, got back my temple recommend, and received my calling to serve a mission in (withheld). I was warned beforehand that the time between when I received my mission call and when I left would be very difficult, and I would be tempted from every angle. I didn't realize how true that was until I began to live it.

Here's my issue: the aforementioned boy has worked his way back into my life since my mission call, and we got into some questionable trouble. What I mean by that is, I'm not sure if what we did is actually "going to the bishop" worthy. Now, I am completely dedicated to my mission; it's actually because I realize that the atonement works (because it's worked in my life) that I'm leaving in the first place. I have kicked this kid to the curb again, and I plan on keeping him out. I don't want to jeopardize my mission any further with a manipulative boy who treats me as though I'm not much more than a toy.

And here's my question: if I end up not feeling better about what I've done and decide that I need to go see the bishop, will my calling be stripped from me? Or, because I leave in October, does that leave me time enough to repent before I leave, and still keep my calling? I know I always need to strive to be worthy of my calling, but if I don't fulfill those expectations before I leave, does it make my calling void, and will I need to send my papers in again after I've repented?


Hermana Worried

Dear Hermana,

I don't know what you did. You can share that if you want . . . but it doesn't really matter.

Like so many others, you need to understand some very important things about repentance and God.

Perhaps if we try this: let's use a little logic here and look at the possibilities.

1. Your transgression is no big deal, you've put it behind you and there's no reason to talk to the Bishop, so you don't, you go on your mission and everything is great.

2. Your transgression is no big deal, but just to be sure you talk to the Bishop anyway. He confirms that you're good to go, and you go on your mission and everything is great.

3. Your transgression IS a big deal, but you talk to your Bishop and get it all worked out. You go on your mission and everything is great.

4. Your transgression IS a big deal, you talk to your Bishop and your call is delayed or cancelled. You're devastated that you don't get to go, or go right away, but you've truly lived the principles of the atonement. Having made full repentance you realize what's truly important and your spirited is sanctified; you're blessed by the good feelings that know you've made things right with God.

5. Your transgression IS a big deal, but you never confess or repent. You lie to your stake president in your final interview with him and lie to your mission president because you want to stay on your mission unworthily. You feel awful the whole time, realizing that while you're teaching about the atonement and it's power in our lives, you're really being a hypocrite.

Now, given that you're looking at one of those five things, which course of action do you think is best? Talk to your Bishop or not?

I have no idea if part of your repentance process will affect your call or not. But, in the grand eternal scheme of things, is that really important?

It would have been better had you not done whatever it is you did, and it may be that you've repented and can move on, but when it comes to making things right with He who knows all . . .

When we feel the way you're feeling, it's because we "fear man more than God".

- Bro Jo

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