Thursday, January 12, 2017

I'm Getting Bold in the Bishop's Office


    Jesus Christ- Bishop-Repentance-Atonement

    Many people know the dread that can wash over a person when they are about to walk into the Bishop's office and confess something for the first time. Tired of feeling the deep shame and carrying the burden of sin alone, one bravely makes the decision to do what seems like the impossible... confess to the Bishop. Sitting outside his office with jittery feet and sweaty palms awaiting your turn, one feels complete terror of the upcoming moment. The moment when the secret he's been holding will finally fall from his lips and into the Bishop's ears. 

             He thinks to himself, "What will happen when I finally say those words out loud?" 

    Soon, it will be my turn to share the secrets I have been holding for years with my Bishop... GULP.    To say it mildly, each time I think about saying certain things out loud, I begin to feel paralyzed. I think, "Am I really about to do this?" or " Will I be able to say to him things that are almost impossible to say to myself?" ... Double GULP.

    This whole process of repentance is brand new to me. While I was raised in the LDS church, my parents became inactive when I was 13 years old. Other than a sacrament meeting here or there over the years, I have been completely inactive for 28 years. In fact, I've been gone so long I somehow went from "inactive" to "less active" with no effort at all! ;). I have struggled with drug addiction and alcoholism for most of my life. Let's just say my list of things to discuss with bishop isn't exactly .. uh .. short.

    Dieter F. Uchtdorf-LDS-MORMON QUOTE

    For years my addiction problems seemed hopeless. No matter what I tried, I was unable to make real headway towards healing and living a clean and sober life. I felt utterly alone and abandoned by God. Things began to change a couple of years ago. After an unexpected and powerful spiritual experience, I began to realize that I wasn't doing this journey alone after all. I started to hand things in my life over to God. I didn't believe it would work at first, but I was willing to give the "faith experiment" one good try before I gave into giving up on myself for good. Bit by bit, moment by moment, miracles have begun manifesting themselves in my life.   The choice to act in faith changed my entire world. 

    While I have already begun to live differently and stop sinning in the ways I was before, it is very important to me to go through the formal process of repentance with my Bishop. I have not been worthy to take the sacrament in 28 years. I have never received my Patriarchal blessing. These are things I very much want. Someday, when Heavenly Father feels I am ready, I want to enter the the temple and make my covenants with the Lord. 

    All of those blessings start with this one upcoming terrifying moment.  So I will not let the fear stop me and I will be bold in the Bishop's office.  I will not mute or minimize my past.  I will take absolute responsibility for my actions and trust that the Lord will find a way to continue to remove the guilt and shame and replace it with peace and joy .  I will believe His words and promises about repentance.   I will have Faith that it is possible for my weaknesses to become great strengths.

    Book of Mormon-LDS-Scriptures-Alma

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