When to talk to the bishop?
By churchistrue
8/30/2011 10:45:15 PM
I was never taught to go to the bishop and I had been tormented with the feeling that I was a terrible person for the pornography and masturbation that I did occasionally for several years. Even occasional slip ups during the mission. Before marriage and I straightened out and stopped for many months. I then talked to the bishop and he chuckled as if it was nothing and said to not take sacrament for a couple weeks.

I have slipped now and then while married and I don't want my wife to know. Does the bishop encourage that I tell her? Can I repent fully without the bishop? Please help.


Talk to the Bishop    
"I recommend you talk with your bishop soon. If you've only had a couple slip ups, then it should be easy to quit, and you can straighten things out with your bishop and leave them in the past.

I think there is a different between a person who views porn/masturbates every five or six months and someone who does it five or six times a week. The person who does it several times a week is much more addicted and probably needs much more help quitting. You make it sound like you only have problems occasionally, so I think you might be able to work it out with the Bishop and your wife.

Speaking of your wife, I think she has a right to know because your acting out is a form of marital infidelity. Part of the repentance process is making restitution, so I don't think you would be able to fully make restitution without letting your wife know what you did wrong and trying to make it right to her, but this is just my opinion. Your bishop might tell you something different."
posted at 00:31:38 on August 31, 2011 by ETTE
"-one bishop told me.. that his job is not to GRANT REPENTANCE .. only to tell if someone HAS REPENTED.
-only God can grant repentance.. forgiveness. (not your wife, not your bishop)
-slips and relapses are different.
-disclosure to a wife (or any woman) is a decision that you should not take lightly (in my humble opinion)
-I would pay $100 bucks and self refer yourself to an LDS Social Services Therapist and get more coaching before you tell your wife
-some women literally believe that it's better that you have a real, in person affair.. than porn.
-prayer/fasting is very important.. as only God can provide the best direction.

Personally, I feel that recovery is the best thing that has ever happened to me...
but I realize that disclosure can KILL Marriages. It DOES HAPPEN... however for most marriages... maybe 95%.. as long as you are able to show with your BEHAVIORS.. that you are committed to never doing this again.. and that you are

the challenge is that this commitment to God and his will... sometimes requires additional sacrifices that a wife may or may no be ready for. (no TV, meetings every week, friends/family finding out, and all sorts of other emotions)

I personally think all those sacrifices are worth it... but just want you to have your eyes open on this."
posted at 00:44:38 on August 31, 2011 by Anonymous
"Hello my friend,

You should talk with your bishop as soon as possible and he is the judge in Israel but he will help you, he is not there to do what you have to.

Recovery is great and nothing should be hidden, there is no place for secrecy."
posted at 02:33:51 on August 31, 2011 by mike81
No secrets    
"Darkness thrives in secrecy, light thrives in truth.

You are only as sick as your secrets."
posted at 11:58:45 on August 31, 2011 by Anonymous
"Secrets make FAMILIES sick. Do you think you have the right to know if your wife only looks at porn and masturbates occasionally? Oh, and sometimes this makes her less available to meet your needs or that she doesn't really seem to have a need for you, or that you cannot quite meet her needs in a physically intimate way. Or that she seems emotionally unavailable, overly critical, absent in an undefinable way. Or when you are together in public she is always looking around checking out the slacks in the crowd?

There are ramifications from pornography that are as painful as the broken covenants to a spouse.

Stand up and be accountable. Learn of the trauma your wife will undoubtedly be subjected to. How to acknowledge her pain, and help her find support, show her by your actions that you are the man or her covenants by your actions! Take responsibility, choose recovery and all that it takes for both of you and you will enjoy a marriage that is beyond what you ever thought possible.

You are worth recovery, your family and your wife deserve it. Hold her, love her, serve her, honor her, and you will be one happy man........"
posted at 22:50:47 on August 31, 2011 by Hero
"In the past I had gone to tell bishops of my struggles and to get some help... and felt kind of blown off. Here I was telling my deepest darkest secrets... things I had tried to deal with alone and was not very successful with... Only to feel like he thought it was not a big deal and I should just go to the temple more. I have to admit that I used the fact that he did not seem to think it was important to justify my behaviors for a season. I went to my bishop about a year ago and told him I was struggling and had been getting some professional help... all he said was to let him know if I needed any additional support. He has not talked to me much since then. I am proud of the progress I have made but still sometimes feel my thoughts are playing tricks on me."
posted at 10:38:04 on September 1, 2011 by cactus
Dear Bishope    

This link should take you to the Windhaven Publishing site, where Phil Harrison, a recovered SA,
wrote a letter to give to Bishop's. Download it, read it, and give it to your Bishop. You will be helping him understand the trial you are in. "
posted at 15:42:45 on September 1, 2011 by Hero
Good Stuff HERO    
"As an active participant in the 12 step program, WE HAVE BISHOPS AND BISHOP'S COUNSELORS who are now in the program. If a Bishop just laughs it off and says don't take Sacrament for a couple of weeks, I would loose confidence in that Bishop. Listen- I have seen 7, (SEVEN) Bishops get excommunicated for sexual transgression which included an addiction to pornography. Hero's advice about that letter is good advice. In the program, work the first 5 steps and then decide if it is time to go to the Bishop or to a trusted friend. If you even suspect that the Bishop may have a problem too, then go to your Stake President. I had to muster up the courage to challenge a Bishop once. He was posting pictures of a young teenage girl sleeping on Face Book. She was a good friend of the family and his wife thought nothing of it. When I confronted him and told him of the possible ramifications of this he became very sober, red faced, apologetic and within the hour had removed all such photos. All is well now. He and I are great friends and his wife is also grateful. This had a good ending. Many others do not.

So, work the first 5 steps and then proceed as directed by the Spirit."
posted at 11:38:12 on September 4, 2011 by 3R's

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"You lived with your Heavenly Father in a premortal life. You were there with Him. Your spirit knows what it is like to live in celestial realms. You can never be truly happy in an uncelestial environment. You know too much. That is one of the reasons that for you, wickedness never can be happiness. What a great thing it is to decide once and for all early in life what you will do and what you will not do with regards to honesty, modesty, chastity, the Word of Wisdom, and temple marriage. "

— Larry W. Gibbons

General Conference October 2006