I had a friend of mine approach recently. He wasn’t comfortable talking to the Bishop or Stake President, but had a question for me and thought I could help him.
He had been involved with pornography and self-gratification for many years. He continued his activity in the church during this time but finally decided to confess to his Bishop. The Bishop had known this person for many years. The Bishop was one I had served under several years ago and that was I think, one reason he approached me with his question.
When he confessed to the Bishop, the Bishop minimized the situation, really didn’t seem to be very conserned, told him everything was ok, don’t worry about it and just don’t do it anymore. This person went away at the time relieved that he didn’t lose his temple recommend, or have other consequences.
He has subsequently carried around the guilt of feeling that he really wasn’t forgiven. He found out shortly after his confession that the Bishop was unworthy (I can confirm that the Bishop was unworthy to say the least) and since he was unworthy then he felt his whole confession was worthless, and the Bishop couldn’t pass it off like he did. This has eaten on him for several years now and has finally gotten to the point that he had to ask someone he trusted about the situation.
He asked me what I thought. Did the Bishop really have the right / power to forgive him? Does he need to go through this whole thing again with the current Bishop?
He told me that pornograhy etc. has not been a problem since his confession. He is now happily married, hasn’t told his wife about this and is worried that if he has to go to the Bishop that it may all blow up in his face.
What should I have told him?