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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

What If What You've Done is Too Embarrassing to Talk to Your Bishop About?

Dear Bro Jo,

I have been reading your blog and I need some answers.

My heart is heavy and I feel awful. I want you to know it’s hard for me to tell you this because I haven't told anyone yet.

I’m a female and I am 20 years old. I’m preparing to go on a mission right now.

I know I have a Loving Heavenly Father. I know repentance is a real.

I never thought I would have to talk to my Bishop about my past transgressions.

I feel as if I'm am no longer sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit.

I feel confused and lost.

When I was 17 years old I had my first boyfriend.

At this time in my life I felt very in tune with the Spirit and I was doing much good. I never knew I could have such strong feeling for someone. I loved the attention he (my boyfriend at the time) gave me. I loved the physical attention even more.

We just kept pushing it and pushing it till we crossed the line. We didn't have sex. We didn't do everything. We did touch inappropriately.

The sad thing was it that I always had mixed emotions about it. It felt so good but I felt awful every time.

After we broke up I told my Bishop about it. I didn't go into any detail.

I'm not even sure if I have to go into detail.

All I said was that we almost had sex but we didn't.

I cried telling.  I thought I got it off my chest but I'm still not sure if that was all I needed to tell him.

I've repented of this sin and I've have respected other guys since then. I'm still not sure if I completely repented.

I don't feel guilt like I did when I was doing it.

But I also don't want to keep bring it up to my Bishop because its just so embarrassing and not a part of me anymore. What should I do?

I have more.

I've been struggling with masturbation for a long time. It started when I was 10 and it just "felt good".

At the time I didn't even really know what I was doing.

I knew it was a pleasing feeling like when you have your head scratched or having your head rubbed.

I grew up kinda sheltered and didn't really understand the concept of sex till I was 13 in a sex ed class in middle school.

I continued masturbating on and off till I was 16 and someone told me it was a sin.

I felt awful.

I felt lower than the scum of the earth.

I stopped doing it and I repented of it and told no one because what kind of LDS girl has these kind of problems?

I felt good about it.

I have masturbated quite a few times after I found out it was a sin.

I did it again this morning right when woke up and I didn't even feel bad.

I know I should feel the Spirit but I believe my past is not letting me.

Should I talk to my Bishop?

How should I start it?

I believe the Lord and His tender mercies.

I just want it feel again.

I want to stand clean before him on judgment day.

I feel weird about this email.

I just don't have anyone to talk to about this.

My Church is having a recovery program and I think I should go but do you have any idea. . .

Is my problem serious enough for me to go or am I over exaggerating?

If you have anymore questions feel free to ask.

I believe I skipped many details I'm just too embarrassed to write.

- Future Sister Missionary?

Dear Sister,

I think the best way for me to answer your question is this: whenever you're concerned that your behavior will jeopardize your worthiness, whatever that behavior may be, stop the behavior and talk to your Bishop.

When you go to talk to your Bishop, pray first, and be forthright in your discussion with him.

Don't give graphic details, but do say what you've done.

On a personal level I think discovering one's own body as a young child is harmless.

And very normal.

What I think can be harmful is behavior that is addictive, done for the wrong reasons, or that keeps us from feeling the Spirit.

Let me be clear: the problem with masturbation, IMHO, is that it can be seen as a replacement for the kind of things that should happen between a husband and wife, it can distort one's view of self, confuse us about sex, and is often coupled with pornography (which comes in many forms, by the way).

You clearly feel like your behavior has made you unclean; so go to the Bishop and ask his help in becoming clean.

Don't let fear or embarrassment get in your way.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Thank you so much!

I have been praying and fasting these past few months and I felt relief reading your message.

You are awesome!

Sometimes it is easy to get to caught up in past transgressions that it’s nice to have guidance. It’s also nice to know that in today's world I can find help online.

Repentance is amazing!

Thank you once again.

- Future Sister Missionary

Dear Sister,

Happy to help.

God bless.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Merry Christmas!

I wrote you a while back.

I have truly repented.

One of the posts on your blog has really helped and inspired me to do better.

I feel as if I have gained a deeper understanding of the atonement.

You are awesome!!!

Thank you for the advice and example.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

- Sister

PS:  My mission papers were submitted on Sunday!

Dear Sister,

What a wonderful email!

Thank you for the update, and kind words.

God bless.

And Merry Christmas!

- Bro Jo

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