How Does Talking with your Bishop Work Out?
By hope4change
12/6/2008 2:17:03 PM
I know inside, that I do need to see the bishop about my problems. I know it. I just have such a hard time with feelings about what might or what will happen. I'm afraid of approaching him. I think he sees something in me, because every time I see him, he asks how I'm doing (which he does with nobody else in the quorum), like he knows what is happening.

Anyways, I've tried on multiple occasions to just quit cold turkey, to nearly no avail. I get to 10 days max, and then I have another outburst. I feel like I'll never recover without talking with the bishop.

I feel so guilty, like four months ago, I was asked if I felt I was a worthy holder of the priesthood, as I was being interviewed to be ordained a preist. I flat out lied, got ordained, and simply moved on.

Thinking about my past, I did that as a teacher too, and then I again did that as I was interviewed for the temple to do baptisms for the dead.

I feel like a good portion of my life has been led with lies.

It's so wrong.

I don't want my family to know either. I feel as though they'd be beyond disappointed, and they'd never ever be the same with me. I don't even know how I'd keep it from my family. It'd be so obvious every time I went to go and talk with the bishop. They'd know something was up.

What're your thoughts? Will I ever be able to make it through with my expectations? When you confessed to your bishop, was it a good experience? Have you lied to your bishop about your worthiness? What was the outcome?



You aren't the only one who's lied to their bisop    
"I always felt that my bishop would be disgusted with me or at the very least, disappointed. When I finally was truthful with him it didn't make me feel that way at all. I think he was actually PLEASED with my honesty. He told me things that I could do that would help; things I had never thought of myself. I had expected punishment but what I found was forgiveness.

Another thing, I think he knew when I was lying but he never said so. He just tried to make me feel more comfortable so that I would feel better about being honest when I could. I always felt better after talking with him."
posted at 16:27:24 on December 6, 2008 by Anonymous
"part of recovery is coming out of the secrecy. I'm not saying that you need to tell the world about your addiction, or even your family. But if you truly want to repent and recover you need to talk to your bishop, and be honest with him. It can be so relieving. It takes some of the burden off of your shoulders. It is one of the first steps to repentance. It's hard but you know that it can only go uphill from where you're at. The bishop reminds you that the Lord is rooting for you."
posted at 16:53:45 on December 6, 2008 by Anonymous
Just do it    
"One thing I can guarantee is that you can't tell a bishop anything that would shock him. I have had to confess quite a few times and although every time I have been afraid that he would look at me differently or that he would be disappointed, they have always reacted with love and compassion and a true desire to help. It is scary and humiliating (meaning "to make one humble"--not necessary "to be embarrassed"), but it is the only way to get help. The first step out of darkness is always the hardest. Satan will make you believe all sorts of lies to keep you from feeling the healing power of the atonement. He will tell you that what you are doing isn't really wrong because of this that or the other circumstance in your life, he will tell you that what you are doing is so horrible that you have no hope of forgiveness, that you are dependent on your addiction and there is no way you can change (this was a favorite with me, after 20 plus years struggling I was absolutely convinced that I was trapped for life). Satan will use those lies and any others that you will believe to keep you from finding happiness and freedom.
I have also experienced the lying to my bishops and I think that is what I have felt most guilty about, knowing that when I have been in the temple, I have not been worthy to be there.
It is hard, but I guarantee that the difficulty is worth it. It sounds like you are pretty young still, get your addiction out of your life now! If I could go back to when I was a teenager and have repented completely then, I could have saved myself years of self-loathing and feelings of unworthiness and filthiness. It will only get harder to quit and repent the longer you wait. I don't mean to sound preachy and I apologize if I have offended you, I just know the pain I caused myself by letting my addiction fester and consume me.
Much Love"
posted at 21:28:14 on December 6, 2008 by ican
I see...    
"I have read some of your other posts hope4Change... you remind me of myself, I also lied to become a preist, I lied to go on a temple trip too... it was sad. Yet a few years later, I would much rather tell the truth each time rather then to be stuck in that situation.

I noticed your first blog was started when you were 15 years old... I think I started my first blog when I was 17... We will only recover as fast as we went to unfortanitly, for years I continusly tried convencing myself that I could get through this without any support or help. Without confessing... thats like not patching a hole in the ground. I just contined doing the same thing over and over again fooling myself every time. You should confess to your bishop, I think it will only help. I talk and email my bishop a lot, I am thankful he is willing to put up with me. He supports me every time. Masturbation is a sin. It may be common in young men, but it is held to the same standard. Some times the world uses that to twist that to their view. We must overcome it too.

I feel like I was just in the same situation that you were in. I was able to confess to my bishop a few years ago, but I found that seeking help from your parents is good too. I talk to my mom. She knew I was having problems, but I never fully told her... in the past she had a hard time with me... However when I found the courage to talk again I found her to be more supportive, understanding, and helpful. And also your dad, I am sure he could help too. Becareful who you talk to though. not everybody will give you good advice. My step-dad helped me with my problem, but my real (biological) dad told me incorect things that were wrong. I'm sure you know who to trust....

I wish I could cry now. If only I could turn back the clock when I was 16 yrs old. You still have the chance. I wish there was more that I could say. I dont want to be hypocrite when I talk, although I have made a time of recovery...I am still trying to stop too, and I am 18 yrs old. But I think I have learned a lot. and it is possable to actually completly stop. The 12 steps... I hope you know that God still loves you... its like a child that just got its body, sudenly the child relizes it is a lot harder to control then thought... Yet instead of God whipping us he gives us our agency and helps us learn how to control our bodies, even though we keep messing up, he gives us the opurtinity, and it is up to us to take it.

I wanted to say 1 more thing... if you are still having a hard time becoming willing to confese then just try email... email the bishop, or find away to confess to keep it confidential... in the end you can find that you can be willing to humble yourself in this so that you might actually be able to talk to somebody. Good Luck, I hope that you take the chance to seek help through confesion... Gondor.

(( I also found this website to be helpful.. ))"
posted at 20:30:03 on December 7, 2008 by Gondor44646
Confessing To My Bishop    
"I know a while ago Oak had went through what it was like to go to group and I loved it and found it very helpful so I'll just write down what my experience was like confessing to my bishop for the first time in hopes that it will be helpful.

When I finally found out that I needed to confess to the bishop, I was scared out of my mind. Of course I didn't want to confess but I knew I had to. I had read my patriarchal blessing over and over and I knew that if I didn't confess, I wouldn't get those promised blessings. Well, I finally got the nerve to schedule an appointment. I knew I had one week to figure out what I was going to do and say. I had gone through what I thought would happen all week long and the more I thought about it, the more nervous I got. Well, I prayed every chance I got so that Heavenly Father would give me the courage to say what I needed to say. Finally, Sunday came and I knew I would talk to the bishop. I decided that I needed as much strength as possible so I fasted that day. I'm really glad that I did, too.

When I walked into the bishop’s office, my heart was beating out of my chest but I acted like everything was going great. We sat down and he asked if we could say a prayer. I agreed so we both knelt down and he offered a very humble prayer. We then sat back down and he started chatting with me. He just asked me how work was going and school was going and how my family was doing. Finally, he asked why I came to see him. I remember just wanting to crawl into a hole at that point. I was so nervous that I started fidgeting. I'm pretty sure he knew by that point that I needed to confess something. I thought I knew how I was going to confess but when the time came, I had so much trouble getting the words out.

I just sat fidgeting for a while. He was patient and didn't say anything, just waited for me to be ready. In my mind, I thought of a million excuses of why I came to see him other then the real one. I was so close to telling him something different. I had so much trouble talking so finally I got out, "This is so hard." He just smiled a little and said, "I know. Take your time." I finally looked up at him when he said this and he had so much love in his eyes. The best way I can describe the look he gave me was, "I want to help you so much but you have to tell me what’s wrong first." Finally, after what felt like a long time, I simply told him, "I've masturbated."

I started crying a little but I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. It was like I was carrying a 50 lb backpack and as soon as I spit out the words, I gave the backpack to him. He asked me a few more questions like how long it had been going on and the frequency of it all. He asked if I had been abused and what my family life was like. He was just trying to get an understanding of exactly what was going on in my life. I answered his questions but I still couldn't look at him. Anytime I did look at him, he had so much pain in his eyes. I knew he felt my pain and it hurt him to see me so sad (he told me later that this was the case). He reassured me that Heavenly Father loved me and that he loved me even more now because I came to confess. All I got was love and support. He chatted with me a little more about steps I needed to take and asked a few more questions. He made sure I understood that I was still a good person. We closed with another prayer on our knees, this time with me offering it. I felt so relieved that I had been able to tell him instead of lying like I had millions of other times. As I got up to leave, he hugged me and told me how much he appreciated my honesty and that he loved me deeply.

It was a good experience even though it was one of the hardest ones I've ever experienced. Every time I've gone back to see the bishop, I only get support and love. It's always a good experience for me in some degree. Plus, once the bishop knows, it’s so much easier to be open with him and visit him more frequently. He will help you realize things in your own life that maybe you didn't know and he'll help you as much as he can to overcome this addiction.

Like Gondor, I wish I could go back a couple years to fix this when I was younger. I'm still fixing it but of course everything hard takes time. It is possible. You'll be a lot happier once you are able to talk to someone (especially a bishop). I pray and fast for you all the time. You are such a good person and I love reading your blogs. They always help me in some way. Good luck, Hope. Let us know how it goes if you decided to talk to him.

P.S. I was also really afraid that he'd tell my parents but he won't. It's between you, him, and Heavenly Father only. He'll keep it confidential."
posted at 10:31:54 on December 8, 2008 by Matrix
Thank You All    
"It's just past one in the morning and unfortunately I've stumbled yet again. I'd like to thank you all for your comments and your experiences. I really felt an interesting feeling of peace after reading through your posts. Some how I've got to find the time to go and talk with him. It may not be for a few weeks but I promise, as soon as I do it, I'm going to let you all know.

I really think I've underestimated the true value that this site is and I hadn't thought of myself as highly as it seems many of you do. You guys really are amazing.

We'll get it. All of us will get it.

posted at 02:27:23 on December 9, 2008 by hope4change
Just Do It II    
"You can do it Hope. Don't hesitate.

I talked to my first Bishop at an annual interview when I was priest or becoming one. I didn’t stop then (1970’s) because I didn’t get the support or have the tools I needed. Despite all that it was the best thing I could have done. I walked in feeling like I was weighed down with a thousand pounds of sludge and left his office walking on air. The Bishop is the Lord’s representative and talking to him allows you to give your burden to the Lord. There is a wide range in bishops, but they are a lot more aware of the problem now and how to deal with it. Reading your blog it sounds like the Spirit is pushing you to talk to him and that is a good indication that it is what you should do.

Ditto to Gondor’s comments on talking to your parents. I’ll bet your feelings regarding your family finding out are mostly Satan’s lies. Don’t let him stop you from getting the help you need. Your mom will surely be sad, she may overreact at first. Chastity issues may have led to your parents divorce. Whatever the situation, they can’t help if you don’t open up to them. Don’t take counsel from your fears, let the spirit guide you. Once your parents know, meeting regularly with the bishop will be no problem. Getting them to put filters on the computer and/or move it to a better location will be a breeze. Let them help.

Option One:
I pushed my son to go talked to the bishop. (Between me and his mom he couldn’t hide anything.) He worked with the bishop and applied the 12 Steps and is now worthy and serving a successful mission. He has a strong testimony of the power of the atonement.
Option Two:
Another young man in our ward: (I’ll admit right now I don’t KNOW anything, but these are my observations.) My son was frustrated with him because he wouldn’t fulfill sacrament blessing assignments. In our ward they want them to always wear a white shirt and tie to bless or pass the sacrament. He would always wear a colored shirt. I know his parents would make sure he had white shirts available. Then I noticed he did wear white shirts at stake conference and general priesthood when there was no sacrament. He went through the process of getting ready and receiving a mission call, but then backed out. His mom tells my wife she has no idea of any problem, but he says that he prayed and felt he shouldn’t go on a mission. I’m guessing he doesn’t feel worthy.

One thing you could do if you feel the Spirit prompting you not to talk to your parents, is after talking to the bishop initially, set up a way to check in with him every week. If not email, he can just ask you how you are doing each week and you can tell him and you both know what you are talking about without mentioning the subject. Give him a thumbs up or down, whatever. I am doing that with my bishop currently. I just felt I needed someone to be accountable to, so I went in and set it up with him.

Don’t let this haunt you the rest of your life. I’ll be praying for you.

posted at 13:12:16 on December 10, 2008 by justjohn
I'm not much of a title person.    
"So basically, all I have to say is talking to your bishop is generally the best thing in the world. And suprisingly there's no awkward silences, or shocked facial expressions or disappointed looks that you get from your bishop. I've known my bishop since I was 0 years old and always felt like if I told him he'd think I was a terrible person and tell my grandparents that he's good friends with, but guess what? I told him and suprsingly there was no disgusted reaction from him or anything negative.

So basically, just do it! Conquer those fears and just let the words spit out because it's really only a sentance or two you have to say in order to begin to recieve one on one help from him."
posted at 00:10:28 on June 15, 2009 by Revorg12
who is involved?    
"My question back to you about the parents-thing is if you fear your parents will see you talking to the bishop or walking into his office, then you have to clear this with your parents. I was told certain people are not directly involved in certain sins. You have to decide or ask your bishop if your parents are involved. Are you just trying to lose some of your responsibility for a very-grown up sin? If you were married, it would be something to confess to your spouse. Parents? I dont know. I see it as only a way to walk into the Bishop's office in peace without being asked why so much. The same with any other burdens we put on others because of problems we need to face up to. I'm not saying like-minded people dont support us, each other. We do. But Step 9 -- if you are just going to hurt your parents, thats not an option. It was a curious task my branch president gave me. He was constantly saying to me, 'forgive me... forgive me for this and that..' It took the focus off of me. It made me realize I am forgiven as I strive to forgive others and make them feel comfortable."
posted at 09:36:27 on June 19, 2009 by antikah
Do the Steps!    
"If you work a 12-step program (LDS ARP which is a pdf download --print it out at a library if you have the cash and you dont want to "soil" your parents/home computer- or the master forerunner for LDS ARP: "He Did Deliver Me From Bondage" also available as a pdf download online) these pieces will go IN ORDER, in place, and will cause as little further damage and chaos as possible. Steps 4 and 5 "Truth" and "Confession" are to be taken in very trustworthy and confidential circumstances. The AMENDS steps 8 -9 come way after you come to terms with what Heavenly Father Would Have You DO "Seeking Forgiveness" and "Restitution/Reconciliation." The Bishop is HF's/the Lord's representative. You should consult with him FIRST!"
posted at 10:10:59 on June 19, 2009 by saltsands
The situation hurts    
"Hey, I am in the same situation you are in except mine has a little more twist to it. I love my bishop. And I love my parents. But honestly I feel like if my parents found out they would never look at me the same. I can tell my bishop knows I'm hiding something but, I don't want him to tell my parents. The pressure is getting to big and soon we are going on a youth temple trip. I know exactly how you are feeling. Confused and pressured and you can't get it off your mind.
posted at 22:06:55 on December 10, 2011 by Anonymous
It scared me so bad...    
"I chickened out so many times but then one day I just did it. I was in an interview for something and I just told him. And I cannot even explain it. I didn't feel good, but I felt more free. It helped a lot. And my bishop listened to the Spirit. He said exactly what the Lord knew I needed to hear. As an 18 year old girl, I sure got emotional... But it was the beginning of a new part of my life. My bishop also gave me advice on how to handle the situation with my parents. For each person it is different. I didn't tell my parents for a long while because I didn't live with them and I needed to work on me without worrying about them. Then I began to open up to them.

So go to your bishop. He can help you move along. Quitting is hard when you have nobody to ask how you are doing or to hold you accountable. Addiction thrives in secrecy. Repentance thrives in honesty."
posted at 04:11:36 on December 11, 2011 by Iamstrong
He helps    
"I also was in an interview for something. I had told one of my parents 3 days before, and I was planning on not going on the temple trip, and "fixing it" myself. Then my bishop comes up to my dad and is like, "I want your daughter to go on the temple trip." So, I ended up meeting with him, and I just couldn't lie to him again. I had before, but I just couldn't this time. And he was very patient with me, and helped me. Bishops help. That's what they are there for.
posted at 10:49:45 on December 12, 2011 by anon16
same problem    
"I've struggled since I was 13-14. Now I'm 18 and I've decided it's time to stop. I'm tired of the guilt, the lying, and the stress of it all. I have decided if there are struggles with talking to your bishop, they can't be any worse than the problem itself! I'm glad i found this post, otherwise I'm not sure if I could have made this decision. I'm calling and setting up an appointment tomorrow. Thank you everyone for the help through comments and personal experiences."
posted at 05:24:25 on December 16, 2011 by Anonymous
@Anonymous 12/10/11 22:06 --    
"Your Bishop won't tell anyone. He may encourage you to tell your parents if he feels like that will help you but he will not tell anyone. He is there to love you and help you through this."
posted at 12:13:30 on December 16, 2011 by Anonymous

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"As Latter-day Saints, we need not look like the world. We need not entertain like the world. Our personal habits should be different. Our recreation should be different. Our concern for family will be different. As we establish this distinctiveness firmly in our life’s pattern, the blessings of heaven await to assist us."

— Robert D. Hales

"Gifts of the Spirit" Ensign, Feb. 2002