I’d like to address a question I frequently get regarding law of chastity violations and the ability to later go on a mission. Many young people who have had issues with sexual morality want to repent and go on a mission, but frequently they don’t know if their prior actions will prohibit them from ever serving.
For those of you striving and succeeding at keeping yourself clean and pure in spite of this increasingly sex-obsessed world in which we live, I applaud your faith and courage. If you always obey the law of chastity, you will be spared the hardships that inevitably come when we violate God’s commandments. By adhering to this law of God, you will keep yourself worthy to become one of the Lord’s chosen representatives, and you will have immense joy and eternal blessings for the missionary work you will perform.
For those of you who have succumbed to law of chastity temptations, let me reassure you that these sins can repented of, and generally these young people can eventually go on a mission. Law of chastity issues are very serious in the sight of the Lord, though, and if serious enough, or if you do not fully repented, they may disqualify you from going on a mission. While it is far better to never engage in these transgressions, there is a way back. There is healing available through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
What is the law of chastity?
The law of chastity is the Lord’s commandment that we keep ourselves sexually pure. For young people preparing for a mission, sexual purity means refraining from sexual relations and other sexual perversions such as homosexual activity, masturbation, viewing pornography, and heavy petting (inappropriate touching). Here is a concise definition of chastity from the LDS.org Gospel Topics section:
Chastity is sexual purity. Those who are chaste are morally clean in their thoughts, words, and actions. Chastity means not having any sexual relations before marriage.
…In the world today, Satan has led many people to believe that sexual intimacy outside of marriage is acceptable. But in God’s sight, it is a serious sin. It is an abuse of the power He has given us to create life. The prophet Alma taught that sexual sins are more serious than any other sins except murder and denying the Holy Ghost (see Alma 39:3–5).
Sometimes people try to convince themselves that sexual relations outside of marriage are acceptable if the participants love one another. This is not true. Breaking the law of chastity and encouraging someone else to do so is not an expression of love. People who love each other will never endanger one another’s happiness and safety in exchange for temporary personal pleasure.
Our Heavenly Father has given us the law of chastity for our protection…Those who keep themselves sexually pure will avoid the spiritual and emotional damage that always comes from sharing physical intimacies with someone outside of marriage.
For more information, check out my article that discusses the “Why” of Keeping the Law of Chastity.
Priesthood leaders determine worthiness
As much as I want to and try to help young people who email me with law of chastity concerns, these issues must be worked through with priesthood leaders before a potential missionary can be declared worthy to serve. Elder M. Russell Ballard, in a talk called The Greatest Generation of Missionaries (Ensign, November 2002) said, “as divinely appointed judges in Israel, the bishop and the stake president determine worthiness and resolve concerns on behalf of the Church.” So if you are struggling with sexual sin, please, talk to your parents and make an appointment to go see your bishop or branch president. They will love and support and help you through.
In that same talk, Elder Ballard went on to say, “Please understand this: the bar that is the standard for missionary service is being raised. The day of the ‘repent and go’ missionary is over. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you, my young brothers? Some young men have the mistaken idea that they can be involved in sinful behavior and then repent when they’re 18 1/2 so they can go on their mission at 19. While it is true that you can repent of sins, you may or you may not qualify to serve. It is far better to keep yourselves clean and pure and valiant.”
Raising the bar
Our former prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, also spoke of the need to raise the worthiness standards for missionaries. In fact, he commented on Elder Ballard’s talk saying, “Elder Ballard has spoken to you concerning missionaries. I wish to endorse what he said. I hope that our young men, and our young women, will rise to the challenge he has set forth. We must raise the bar on the worthiness and qualifications of those who go into the world as ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ” (“To Men of the Priesthood,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 57).
President Hinckley further said, “the time has come when we must raise the standards of those who are called … as ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ. … We simply cannot permit those who have not qualified themselves as to worthiness to go into the world to speak the glad tidings of the gospel.” (“Missionary Service,” Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 11, 2003, 17).
Elder L. Tom Perry has also spoken on missionary worthiness, comparing these standards with those needed to enter the house of the Lord, the Holy Temple. Said he, “Personal worthiness is the minimum spiritual standard for serving a mission. This means that you are worthy in every way to make and to keep sacred temple covenants.” (Raising the Bar, Ensign, November 2007)
As I mentioned above, and as I talked about in my other posts on the Mission Application Timeline and the application process for Mission Papers, only a bishop (or branch president) can interview missionary candidates and recommend them as worthy to serve a full-time mission. In this interview, your priesthood leader will ask you if you meet the qualifications for missionary service revealed in section 4 of the Doctrine and Covenants: faith, hope, charity, love, an eye single to the glory of God, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, and diligence.
Full-time missionary service is a privilege, not a right, and therefore, potential missionaries must be worthy in every respect in order to receive that privilege. If you have had law of chastity violations, your bishop and stake president (or branch president and district or mission president) will need to confirm that your repentance is complete prior to submitting your application. They will make sure that you are prepared spiritually for your mission call and that you have been free of transgression for a sufficient time to manifest genuine repentance.
If you have had problems with the law of chastity, to prepare for a mission you will need to become worthy, and you will need to go through the repentance process. Complete repentance of law of chastity violations is necessary before a potential missionary can submit the paperwork. If you are afraid or unsure how to begin the repentance process, start by going to see your bishop. He will guide you through the steps of repentance and give you support along the way.
Many of you who have fallen to law of chastity temptations will wonder how long the repentance process will take, or in other words, how long you will have to go without some of the privileges of Church membership such as taking the sacrament each week, holding a calling, going to the temple, and going on a full-time mission. The LDS Church Handbook for bishops and stake presidents says this period can be as long as three years for multiple serious transgressions and should not be less than one year from the most recent serious incident for a person who has been guilty of serious violation of the law of chastity. For less serious law of chastity violations, this period may months. Only your bishop and stake president will be able to determine the time for sure. They have the God-given responsibility to confirm that you are free from serious transgression for a sufficient time to make sure you have manifested true repentance (see D&C 107: 72).
My young brothers and sisters, the Lord loves you. If you have fallen into sexual transgression, He has provided a way back. The Lord, your family, and Church leaders will help you repent and fully prepare for your mission. The road of repentance, though difficult and long at times, is well worth it and is available thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. You can be clean again. Remember, the Lord has said, “he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” (D&C 58:42) and “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18). That this blessing may be yours is my prayer.
So if you masturbate, and watch pornography, not because you want to do it, but because Satan gives your body the desire to do it. Even if your brain doesnt want to. If you’re hormones are strong, you’re not allowed to serve a mission? I already turned my papers in, and this is happening to me.
John don’t worry about it. I served a mission and masturbated nearly every night. I confessed to my mission president. I don’t want to talk about this on Internet but I’d like to share my story with you. Email me. James.email@example.com
I applaud you for your desire to serve the Lord as a full time missionary. As a former bishop and stake president, I wanted to briefly respond to your post and question. First, please realize that sexual desire is a gift from God the Father and is meant to bless our lives and strengthen eternal marriages. That being said, if we use our free agency to view pornography and/or indulge in activities that lead to sexual arousal for selfish reasons or those specifically prohibited by the law of chastity, we misuse that gift and commit serious sin, making it harder and harder to resist as time goes on. Thereafter, even though we don’t want to give in, it can feel like we have little control over our “natural man” tendencies. Things can progress to the point of addiction. It is true that each child of God has a different and unique set of temptations and some struggle more than others (including real feelings of same gender attraction), but this does not excuse our responsibility to obey the Law of Chastity with exactness. The atonement of Jesus Christ is absolutely essential in obtaining forgiveness and healing as well as future strength to live by the covenants you made at baptism. Your bishop or branch president holds priesthood keys and will happily work with you and help you. Often, further resources such as addiction recovery groups or counseling can be of great benefit. No missionary should enter the temple or attempt to serve a mission with unrepented sin. I promise you that a very open discussion of your past and present challenges with your bishop will help you to have more hope and to start down the path of more complete reliance on the Savior. Hiding the problem and justifying sin by blaming Satan for “making me do it” will not lead to success or true happiness. Yours is an all too common problem in our day but help and forgiveness are readily available! You can do it!
If someone ***censored by editor*** would that prohibit them from serving a mission?
Serious question, is masturbation permissible on the mission so long as pornography is never viewed? Or is it an offense that calls for immediately sending the missionary home?
Joey, masturbation is not permissible on the mission, but I don’t believe that it is generally an offense that calls for immediately sending the missionary home. Of course, the worthiness of a mission is determined by his priesthood leaders, so ultimately it is for the bishop, stake president, and mission president to decide. Please make an appointment and discuss this with your local priesthood leader as soon as possible.
I have heard that’ if you have participated in sexual intercorse then your opportunity to go on a mission is over. Is that true?
No, I don’t believe that is true. You will need to talk to your bishop, though, and work through the repentance process with him so you can know you are clean before the Lord before going on a mission.
4 years ago i broke the law of chastity. it was one time when i was inactive member of the church. after committing the sin i feel so guilty of everything. i was disgusted with myself. right now i am preparing to go on a mission. but i never talked about it with my bishop or even my parents.
Kaye, I am sorry that you have lived for so long with the guilt of having broken the law of chastity. I applaud you, though, for your righteous desires and living a good life that has brought you to the point where you want to serve a mission. I definitely think you should go talk to your bishop about everything you just told me. He will help you fully comply with the requirements of repentance, and he will let you about what your options are for serving a mission. I hope you become a great missionary and serve and help many people. Good luck and God bless you.
I have prepared for a mission and will be going on one at the beginning of the year, but I just had sex with my boyfriend two days ago. He asked if I wanted him to stop and I said yes, but he still kept going and I didn’t stop him. I felt no emotional connection with him and it just felt like a hook up. I’m scared I’m not worthy and I’m afraid I’ve prepared all this time for nothing. What do I do??
Bri, I’m sorry about what happened. I advise you to go talk to your bishop and your parents as soon as possible about this incident. They will love, and help, and support you. No matter what happens with going on a mission or not, the most important thing is for you to be clean and worthy before the Lord. May God bless and be with you.
If he kept going after you said stop then he has raped you. You did not consent. Just because you didn’t say anything later does not mean that it was ok for him to do that.
So Ive gotten my mission call and I leave in a little over a month. I’ve committed a Sin and know I need to talk to the bishop especially before my mission. Will it delay the date I report to the mission? That’s the only thing I’m worried about. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Maddy, Please go talk to your bishop without delay. Only he can tell you if your mission will have to be delayed or not. But most important is your worthiness and cleanliness before the Lord. You can’t be an effective missionary with the cloud of sin hanging over your head. Good luck and God bless.
Hey, my name’s Silver and like I have a question. Me and my boyfriend both had sexual relations 4 weeks ago, we’re both 16 and he’s Mormon and I’m not (I have no declared religion), he wants to serve a mission, what does what happened mean for him then?
Silver, Thank you for contacting me. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that physical intimacy should be reserved for a man and woman who are committed to each other in marriage. So first of all, the two of you need to agree not to engage in this kind of sexual behavior, or any kind of close physical intimacy, again.
The next thing your boyfriend needs to do is to go confess his actions to his bishop. If you would like, I’m sure the bishop would also be willing to talk to you as well. The bishop is the head of the local Mormon congregation where your boyfriend attends church. The bishop will be kind and understanding and will help your boyfriend prepare to go on a mission when he turns 18.
We believe that sexual relations outside of wedlock are a serious sin against God’s commandments. It will take time, probably many months, in order for your boyfriend to demonstrate his faithfulness to the commandments, but if he can do so, it is likely that he will still be able to serve a mission.
I’m glad your boyfriend wants to serve a mission. Missions are not easy, but they are worth it. There is probably nothing better that he could do as a young man to prepare himself for the rest of his life than to serve a mission for two years. But to be a missionary requires a lot of preparation. Perhaps you can help him prepare. He should be reading and studying the scriptures, the word of God, each day. In our church, scriptures include the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Perhaps the two of you can read the scriptures together. Going to church weekly and praying daily will also help him prepare. Also, ask him if he is attending seminary. Seminary is a weekday religion class, a lot like Sunday School except it happens during the week, that Mormons in high school usually attend. Seminary is also a great thing for him to do to prepare for a mission, and you would be more than welcome to attend with him.
I hope my advice is helpful. Good luck. And God bless you both.
Thank you so much for the article, as well as everything you have on this site. It’s all very helpful!
In the past, I have had struggles, but i have worked with priesthood leaders, and I’ve been clean for a good amount of time. However it has not yet been a year since the last relapse, and my stake President still passed me through and submitted my papers (with heavy warnings). I guess I’m just a bit confused by this, especially since it was an issue that lasted for several years. Any insight?
Also, he told me that he could feel that I had moved on and strived to do what was right, but there was still a dangerous fraction of the toxic relationship that was holding me back. We talked about cutting that final thread that still wrapped around me. Do you have any tips on how to severe the final link between me and my past?
I have waited for my mission call for almost 8 months and the last time I checked it with our branch clerk is that my mission appointment has already been made. As I assess myself earlier, I think my desire to go on a mission is loosing. I also have worthiness concerns…. What should I do?
Jen, I’m sorry your mission call has taken so long. Hopefully it will arrive very soon. I think the best thing for you to do would be to find some people to talk to about the situation. Your branch president and close family members and close friends in the church should be on the top of the list of who to talk to. I think you will find strength and encouragement by discussing your situation with these close friends. Of course, if there are worthiness issues, make an appointment to speak with your branch president as soon as possible. He will understand your situation and help you through it with loving kindness. Good luck, and God bless you.
Thank you brother for the advice. I will follow it. Thank you for the encouragement. Hopefully this coming Sunday I will receive it
I’ve heard that sexual relations more than twice will kill your chances of going on a mission, I’ve already talked to my bishop about one of those times and have just gave in to weakness over the last year but I’m scared that it’s ruined my chances
Jake, I don’t think there is any such concrete rule. Of course, multiple serious violations of the law of chastity is very grievous and will require much repentance, but whether or not it prevents you from ever serving a mission is something that will be determined by your bishop and stake president, with the guidance and inspiration of the Lord. Please go talk to your bishop right away, and never give up on striving to do what is right, for the Lord has not and will not give up on you. Remember the words of the prophet Alma, “Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you” (Alma 5:33).
I have receieved my mission call and I report to the MTC in 3 months. 4 months ago I had a porn and masturbation addiction. I repented and talked to my bishop about it and we got things all straightened out. A few days ago I slipped up and masturbated. No porn was involved. I’m wondering if this warrants a trip to the bishops office and if it will affect my mission in anyway. I’ve heard that you have to be free from mastubation for 6 months to go on a mission. I leave in 3. With this set my mission date back? Do I need to repent to my bishop or can I resolve this on my own with God?
I have receieved my mission call and I report to the MTC in 3 months. 4 months ago I had a porn and masturbation addiction. I repented and talked to my bishop about it and we got things all straightened out. A few days ago I slipped up and masturbated. No porn was involved. I’m wondering if this warrants a trip to the bishops office and if it will affect my mission in anyway. I’ve heard that you have to be free from mastubation for 6 months to go on a mission. I leave in 3. Will this set my mission date back? Do I need to repent to my bishop or can I resolve this on my own with God?
Please get back to me Jimmy
Tanner, It is impossible for me to say whether or not you should talk to the bishop about this. You need to be prayerful and seek the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord. I have personally never heard of the 6 month rule you mention below. But regardless of whether or not confessing this will set back your mission date, please have courage to do what is right regardless of the consequence. Be like Nephi in the Book of Mormon to whom God said: “Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.” Helaman 10:4
Good luck and God bless.
I just fininished my papers! Things have been going quick. I finished them in two weeks!! It’s been over whelming… but awesome. I had sexual sin a year ago and I am fully repented of that. But I met this guy on lds singles and we’ve been hanging out. We made out and I committed oral sex for not even 10 seconds I felt so bad after. I didn’t want to. He was foreceful but it’s my fault I went along with it… I told him my desires on a mission and things just went fast… i did it I stop then ran home. So is ten seconds really gonna set me back from a mission 🙁 I feel like someone needs me…:( I talk with my st president Sunday..
I’m so sorry to hear about what happened. Of course you will want to be prayerful and follow the promptings of the Spirit of the Lord, but I have a couple of suggestions. First, if possible, break off contact with the guy you met. Second, definitely talk to your bishop and stake president about the situation. While this may or may not delay your mission, if you need to repent and do not fully do so, then it could lead to not having the Spirit with you and thus not being effective. Remember what the Lord said in D&C 58:42 “[she] who has repented of [her] sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.” Talk to your priesthood leaders, accept and follow their counsel, and bring forth the “fruits of repentance” (Matthew 3:8 and Alma 13:13) and you will be worthy and blessed before God, and then you will be an effective missionary and be able to bless the lives of many others.
If he was forceful, then this is NOT your fault. What he did to you was sexual assault. Do not let anyone convince you otherwise. Here are some resources for you:
Effective prevention models regarding sexual assault consist of educational programs and community or bystander intervention programs. The educational programs focus on teaching about healthy and respectful relationships, what constitutes sexual assault, what constitutes consent, increasing reporting of sexual assault, and reducing vulnerabilities. The community or bystander intervention programs focus on uniting both men and women as a community in taking a stand against sexual and interpersonal violence.
• It’s On Us: http://www.itsonus.org
• Start by Believing: http://www.startbybelieving.org
• Real Consent: http://www.real-consent.org
• Live the Green Dot: http://www.livethegreendot.com
• No More: http://www.nomore.org
• Date Safe Project: http://www.datesafeproject.org
• Can I Kiss You? http://www.canikissyou.com Book by Mike Domitrz
So today I was in my D&C class here at BYU Idaho, and we talked about excommunication, dissfellowshipping, etc. after the class a guy I sit next to, with whom I I usually exchange ideas came up to me after class he told me told he had a few questions he was afraid to ask. Now I don’t know if he’s talking about himself or a friend. But he asked me what’s happens to return missionaries who break the law of chastity like sex multiple times heavy petting and the whole bit, and theyre attending BYU. I told him to talk to the bishop since I wasn’t Too sure. HE said he didn’t want me to, because the bishop might think he is talking about himself. Any ideas you guys?
Here’s my email: email@example.com
I am 17 years old. I have a girlfriend of which whom. I committed sexual intercourse with. I wanna serve my mission and truly repent but am afraid to talk to my bishop as I have heard after sexual intercourse you can’t serve your mission .
Josh, I am glad to hear you love the Lord and His gospel enough to want to serve a mission. I understand the fear you feel regarding confessing your sins to the bishop. Remember what Mormon wrote that “perfect love casteth out all fear.” (Moroni 8:16) If you truly love the Lord and want to be part of His work, He can help remove that fear and give you courage. Seek the guidance of the Spirit of God and I believe you will be able to do what is right.
I don’t want to minimize the gravity of your actions, but there is no firm rule that someone can’t serve a mission after having sexual intercourse. Of course you will need to talk to your bishop and he will be prayerful and determine if the Lord will allow you to serve. But in time and with full repentance, you could very well still be allowed to serve a full-time mission. Good luck and God bless.
Should I get rid of my phone? I’m trying really hard to stay worthy but every few weeks I sometimes mess up and look up immodest pictures of girls. It’s not exactly porn I think, but its like almost. Like girls in tight bikinis or spandex or look up the names of cute celebrities with the intentions of seeing something bad. And I feel really bad about it later. This also makes it harder to not do becuase it doesn’t feel as serious so it’s easier to do but I know it’s bad. It’s really rare but it seems to eventually come up from time to time. I’ve already talked to my bishop the first time but I did it again this week. What should I do?
Rodney, It sounds like you know what you need to do about your phone. The Spirit of the Lord is prompting you with ideas to help you avoid temptation and stay worthy. Continue to pray and read your scriptures and seek the guidance of God’s Spirit. Remember that the Holy Ghost “will show unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:5). Good luck and God bless.
My boyfriend has a mission call and is leaving on his mission in two months and we have been struggling with heavy petting for the past month. He is going to the bishop but is very worried that his mission will be delayed. Do you think his mission will be delayed? T
I wish I could answer your question, but that is really something that only his priesthood leaders will be able to say. It may delay his his, but it may not. If it does, know that it is for the best, to give him time to repent and fully prepare for his mission. I’m glad he has the desire to serve a mission. Remember that missionary work has the power to cleanse us of our sins because it helps us tap into the power of forgiveness that is available through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Good luck and God bless.
4 months ago I had problems with masturbation but I confessed and repented and stayed clean. I got my mission call about a month ago. After receiving my call temptation has seemed to grow increasingly. I was very diligent at reading my scriptures and praying everyday until I went on vacation this week. Without reading and praying the temptation increased and I slipped up and masturbated. I have been trying so hard and people have told me you can be worthy as long as you’re trying. I have my mission call and have about 2 months until I report to the mtc. I am worried that if I confess my mission will be delayed. If my mission gets delayed my world will fall apart. I have a girlfriend and my family and my friends and everyone would be extremely confused and disappointed with me and I’m worried the shame would be almost as equal as if I had gone on my mission and returned home early. Also I’m worried people will judge my girlfriend thinking we did something immoral when we haven’t. Especially her family. Can I pray about this to Heavenly Father and clear this up with him or do I need to confess? I know I can’t chose the consequences of my actions but if I confess I’m worried my bishop (who is new and not the same bishop as 4 months ago) won’t be understanding and will delay my mission. I would be extremely depressed if it gets delayed but I have a desire to be worthy and I want to be forgiven. What do I do?
Sam, Sorry for the delayed response. “Do what is right let the consequence follow” (Hymn # 237) is the best advice I can give you. I can’t tell you if you need to confess to your bishop or not, only God through His Spirit can tell you that. But if it is weighing on your mind, I suggest that it is better to be safe than sorry. Though your bishop is new, he still holds the keys of the priesthood and the gift of discernment to know what to do. Be prayerful. Seek to know and do the will of the Lord, and it will bless you in your life now and throughout eternity. Good luck and God bless.
Disclaimer: I’m not serving a mission and neither is my boyfriend, but this is about temple marriage and I didn’t know who to ask.
My boyfriend and I are going through the repentance process and have been for the past few months for sexual intercourse, but want to get married in the temple. We went to our ecclesiastical leaders and his parents know and are supporting us through this struggle, however we recently had an incident of oral sex that lasted not even 5 seconds and when it happened we immediately felt bad and the heat of the moment left instantly. We knew it was absolutely wrong and the feeling was so sudden. It was like a slap across the face. And we kind of just sat there shocked and then went home. However, we’re nervous that this will set us way back on the path that we were on. So nervous that we’re almost to the point of just vowing to never do it again and take it to the grave with us. We want more than anything to be married in the temple and we were hoping in 5 months or so. Do you have any ideas of how this goes typically for a person or couple that are in the middle of the repentance process, but mess up?
Learning from our mistakes is what this life is all about. That’s what the word repent means. The Lord has called on all people everywhere to repent (D&C 18:9; 133:16; Moses 6:23, 57; 3 Nephi 11:32) or in other words, to be continually learning, improving, recognizing our faults, and striving to do better each day. The prophet Alma taught of the importance of continually, humbly, repenting, and he said that by so doing, we can claim the blessings of salvation (Alma 42: 23-24).
I say all that to encourage you to continue on the repentance process you have begun with your bishop. Don’t hold anything back from him. Get it all cleared up. The last thing you want to do is to hold something back and to carry on your conscience some sins that you didn’t fully confess to the bishop. I’m not sure if this will delay your temple marriage or not. That depends on a lot of factors and your bishop will seek to know and do what the Lord wants in that situation.
Regardless of the consequences, be honest in answering the temple recommend questions and you will never regret it. Remember that President Monson has said that you can’t go wrong in doing what is right. I know that’s true. Good luck and God bless.
My long term boyfriend recently confided in me about a sexual sin committed in his last relationship. He has talked to his bishop and started the repentance process. Do we really have to wait a whole year to be married in the temple?
Jaye, I’m sorry to hear about these trials you and your boyfriend are going through. My advice is to stay close to the Lord and strengthen your relationship with Him through scripture study, prayer, and paying attention to the promptings of the Spirit of God. Remember that that Lord said, “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me” (D&C 88:63).
As for the length of time your boyfriend will have to wait before he can go to the temple, that is really up to his bishop, who I’m sure will be prayerful and seek the will of the Lord in that matter. I know it may require much patience, but waiting the specified time will be a blessing and help him and you and your relationship in the long run. Good luck and God bless.
Me and my boyfriend had oral sex. I’ve been meeting with my bishop because we were touching each other inappropriately. I haven’t told him we had oral sex. Does the bishop need to tell my parents? I can’t tell my parents stuff like this because they can not keep a secret. I’m so scared and I really want to talk to him about but I’m afraid he will tell my parents
Chloe, LDS bishops keep confidential the things that a member of the ward tells them in private, such as the confessing of sins. Though there may be some exceptions to that in the case of crimes confessed that I bishop may need to report. And sometimes a bishop may need to discuss the matter with his leaders, like the stake president, who would also keep the matter confidential. But the bishop will not tell your parents, so you don’t need to worry about that. He may encourage you to talk to your parents about the situation, but he will keep your private conversations private.
I encourage you to go talk to your bishop again and tell him everything and don’t hold back. You want a clean slate so you can be worthy before the Lord and so you can move forward without any past transgressions still on your conscience. Remember what the Lord said in D&C 58:42 – “Behold, he [or she] who has repented of his [her] sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.”
I know you’re scared and that’s normal, but trust me, it will be a huge load off your back when you confess it all to your bishop. You can off-load these burdens to our Savior and He will heal you. Remember, Jesus taught that he has the power to heal both body and spirit (see Matthew 9:6, Mark 2:10, Luke 5:24). God loves you, your bishop loves you, and your parents love you. Good luck with everything. May God bless and be with you.
Hi, so about a year and a half ago i broke the law of chastity (but not sexual intercourse) with this guy who is currenlty serving a mission. However, i don’t know if he resolved things about it with his bishop because i’ve never really had the courage to ask him about it but i’m assuming he did. So anyways, i have repented of this sin but every now and then it keeps coming back to me. I have also asked the Lord in prayer if this is something that I should tell my bishop and my parents about but i’ve never really felt the urge to do it. Why does it still come back to me? How do i know that the Lord forgave me?
I am also planning to apply for a mission by next year but would i have to open this up for my mission prep? And if i did confess to my bishop, would it affect the guy while on his mission?
Laura, like you said, let’s assume the guy has resolved his transgressions, because even if he didn’t, that’s between him and the Lord.
You said you repented for braking the law of chastity a year and a half ago. May I asked if your repentance included confessing your actions to your bishop? Most law of chastity violations are serious sins and require confessing to the bishop. If you did not do that, perhaps that is why your former transgressions continue to bother you. Remember what the Book of Mormon missionary Aaron taught King Lamoni’s father about fully repenting, “if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest” (Alma 22:16). I believe the blessing of a clear conscience is part of the hope that comes when we completely repent, and complete repentance means to confess our sins (D&C 58:43) to God and to our priesthood leaders when they are very serious.
Even if your sins were not serious enough to require you to confess them to your bishop, it certainly doesn’t hurt to talk to him about them. If you are planning to go on a mission anyway, you will have several interviews with your bishop in the mission application process. Take that opportunity to discuss with your bishop how you can know if the Lord has forgiven you. You can also take advice from Joseph Smith on that subject. He taught that we can know our standing before the Lord through prayer and personal revelation from God. Joseph Smith said, “After I had retired to my bed for the night, I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God for forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to me, that I might know of my state and standing before him; for I had full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation” (Joseph Smith—History 1:29).
I hope this helps. Good luck with your mission prep. I hope you have a wonderful mission. May God bless and be with you.
If i did confess, would it affect him on his mission?
Thank you for your reply. I really appreciate it x
It would probably not affect him, because his repentance is between him and the Lord and his priesthood leaders. But there are a lot of factors involved, such as whether your confession prompts him to want to clear things up, or whether or not he has already resolved things with the Lord and his priesthood leaders.
If i confess some things to my bishop, do my parents have to know?
The things you tell the bishop in private will be kept private by him. He will not tell your parents, so you don’t need to worry about that. He may encourage you, though, to talk to your parents about the situation. Your parents love you and they may be able to help you in ways you do not yet realize.
I am 18 and I was always a member but for the last three years an incident caused me to lose my testimony and without a testimony I felt i could do whatever I wanted because I felt it didnt matter. I messed up with the law of chastity multiple times and I recently regained my testimony and realized I need to go on a mission. I confessed everything to the bishop and he said I should still be fine to go on a mission after the repentance process. He texted me today because he went out of town saying that he was made aware of a policy that I am actually not allowed to go on a proselyting mission at all now because of the things I have done. How could this be a real policy? Does this sound right? If the lord forgets our sins after genuine repentence then how could this be right?
John, even if you are denied from serving a mission you can still be forgiven of your sins through Christ and repentance. You can then be received into the Paradise of God someday to dwell with the saints of God if you endure to the end. You can also become a member missionary.
I broke the law of chasity by having sex with someone April 1st of this year. I turn 19 in December and am planning on serving a mission. I have heard that I won’t be able to go until 1 year after the sin was committed. I am also struggling to break free of an pornography addiction. I’m doing well. I am committed to serving the Lord and I will not go back into Satan’s ways. But when can I start my mission papers? Can I start them while still going through the process to be fully clean? Or do I have to be totally clean and repented and have waited out the full time period for repentance to even begin my papers?
Taylor, Only your bishop can say for sure about the length of time required for the repentance process. But, as you said, a year is a common length of time for a sin of that nature. Again, your bishop is the one who will determine when it is an appropriate time to submit your mission application paperwork, but from what you’ve described, and if the circumstances are right, you could very well be able to submit your application before the one year is up so you could start your mission around the time your year of repentance is complete. But regardless of the timing of these things, I hope you persevere, endure to the end with faith, and humbly accept the will of the Lord. I applaud your righteous desires and wish the greatest of the Lord’s blessings upon you.
the other night I was hanging out with a boy I had been dating and we started passionately kissing. It never escalated to intercourse or anything beneath the clothes but this interaction still led the boy I was with to ejaculate. He was noticeably upset when he told me what happened (I was unaware that he had gotten so arroused until he told me) and explained that he had been working towards temple worthiness and that this was going to set him back From getting there. We both agreed that we needed to stop seeing each other, at least for awhile, but I still feel really bad for putting him in this situation and for letting things probably go too far. I’m wondering if I should talk to my bishop about what happened and if this exchange will effect my decision to start working on my missionary papers soon and to hopefully go this summer?
Samantha, I’m sorry that this happened. I’m sure each of you can get back on track to temple worthiness and submitting your mission papers. I highly recommend reviewing the dating and sexual purity standards in the For the Strength of Youth manual. On dating, it says “Developing serious relationships too early in life can limit the number of other people you meet and can perhaps lead to immorality.” For young men, I recommend avoiding serious or steady dating relationships until after the mission.
On sexual purity, the prophet has said in the For the Strength of Youth manual, “Before marriage, do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not do anything else that arouses sexual feelings. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body. Pay attention to the promptings of the Spirit so that you can be clean and virtuous.”
It sounds like you both know that you let things go too far and that you’re sorry for it. In addition to your private prayers to God requesting forgiveness, I would recommend talking to your bishop about the situation. Assuming this kind of behavior stops, it shouldn’t be too much of a set back for temple prep and mission prep. Continue to study your scriptures daily and seek to have the Spirit of God with you, and with faith and diligence, I’m sure you will stay on the straight and narrow path that leads to happiness and eternal life.
Quick question. After masturbation for a year what is the wait time before you can go on a mission? I know each situation is different but generally speaking is it 3-6 months or even longer?
John, You are right that each situation is different and therefore the length of time will be between you and your bishop and the Lord. But I would guess that 3 months would be sufficient. Good luck and God bless.
I had some sexual impurity sins that I repented of a couple months back and turned my mission call in and received my call. My bishop asked me if I had anything to confess and warned of the things I shouldn’t be doing and specifically mentioned laying on top on one another and that this would have to set my mission back. I said no because I didn’t think about it. But, a couple weeks early it had happened where we were on top of one another and I didn’t realize it was a bad thing. I’m scared to tell my bishop in fear that it will mean I would have to postpone my mission.
You never want to be in a situation where you are keeping things hidden from your bishop. So I would recommend that you go back to your bishop and explain that it slipped your mind that this thing happened. Most bishops I know would be very understanding of the situation and would ease your fears.
From what it sounds like, what happened between the two of you, laying on top of each, while fully clothed I presume, would not set back your departure for your mission. While I agree with your bishop that laying on each other is a situation that unmarried couples should avoid, it is not necessarily a sin. That kind of physical contact can easily lead to inappropriate physical contact and that is why Church leaders caution against it. But if you were both clothed and you weren’t trying to get yourselves sexually aroused, then I think everything will be okay. Just avoid situations like that in the future because it is dangerously close to a situation where serious sexual sin could occur.
Good luck on your mission. Stay close to the Lord through scripture study and prayer and the Holy Spirit of God “will show unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:5).
So it’ll be two and half months since masturbation but will I be able to submit my paperwork or will stake president not let me? If not then I will have to submit the application a few weeks later after I get home from the semester at school and then have to tell me parents why I couldn’t submit them…
William, Only your bishop and stake president can say for sure, but I’m guessing that enough time has passed and that they will let you submit your papers now. Good luck and God bless.
I made some mistakes with the law of chastity for about a year with my ex girlfriend. We didn’t have sex but did basically everything else. I want to go on a mission and it’s been a year since that happened. I know there’s a rule that extended relationships disqualify you for missionary service but I really feel a desire to serve one. I don’t think I could live with myself if I couldn’t serve a mission. Do you think it’s likely that I won’t be able to serve?
Mitch, I’m glad you have a desire to serve a mission and I hope you get the opportunity, but let me assure you that even if you are no able to go, you will be okay. Many members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles never served a mission as a youth. You can still grow spiritually and become the type of Celestial person God wants you to be even if you don’t go on a mission.
Regarding the law of chastity violations, please talk to your bishop about it right away. If it has been a years since anything inappropriate happened, then perhaps it won’t delay your mission. Your bishop and stake president have the right to the revelation concerning when you’ll be able to serve a mission. Remember: “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers” (D&C 112:10).
I want to start by saying that I never thought I would be in this position. I have repented of previous uses of porn and of masturbation and have felt God’s love. Over the past few months, I have started to feel the mantle of a missionary come upon me and I have really started to pray every day, read my scriptures, and journal. I have felt the spirit so strongly and have a strong desire to serve a mission for the Lord. This is something I have been looking forward to my whole life. A little bit ago, I made a bad decision and my non-member girlfriend and I had oral sex. I was hoping to turn my papers in in April so I could leave as soon as August but I now think that may change everything for the near future. I am just unsure on what to do and am lost at this point. What should I do? I know God is real and that I can be forgiven, I am just lost. I know this is probably going to delay my submission of papers and so does anyone know how long the usual repentance process for this is? I just want some peace of mind on this and stop guessing.
Hello, I want to start by saying that I am not a member as of yet but i am in a relationship with one who is wanting to go on a mission this fall. He and i have been in a relationship for many years and unfortunately when we were both younger in highschool we broke the law of chasity which he never repented for as he was questioning whether or not he wanted to be in the church as well as struggling with a pornography addiction. Over the years since we have had intercourse off and on but in the past year and a half we have tried to stop as we both knew it was the best thing to do, and he has been able to quit his addiction. He also has become much more sound and happy in his beliefs and knows in his heart that all of it is true, which is why he (a guy who used to cringe at the idea of going on a mission) suddenly is excited and anxious to serve one. I had never had any knowledge of the law of chasity during my younger years as my family is not religious in any aspect, but as i have been attending church and investigating with the hopes of converting soon, ive learned more about it and realized its very important and im especially afraid that my boyfriend will be unable to go on a mission because of this. We have both talked about it and we agree that its best he repents for so he can be at peace, but i am very afraid that this will delay or even prevent his mission from ever happening. Do you always have to wait a year or more before going on your mission after the last sexual transgression? And how long does the repentance process usually take just in case he is able to serve it when he was hoping to. I feel incredibly terrible about all of this and i wish i could have been more knowledgable so that this could have been prevented, but i really hope that this wont cause him to never serve a mission
Ryan, Please don’t be hard on yourself about law of chastity violations before you knew about the law of chastity. The Lord only holds us accountable to the extent we have knowledge and understanding. “Where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him.” (2 Nephi 9:25)
Your boyfriend, however, may be more accountable if he grew up in the church and had a greater knowledge of right and wrong. I don’t want to judge him too harshly either, though. He needs to talk to his bishop to determine the gravity of his sins and the steps he needs to take to fully repent.
Regarding the one year waiting period before going on a mission, that time is pretty firm if the transgression included sexual intercourse. A year is the minimal amount of time our prophets and priesthood leaders have determined is necessary for most people to have the change of heart and mind and behavior that is needed to live the life of a missionary and representative of the Church and the Savior.
Also remember that we all have missions to perform in life. Hopefully he will still be able to go on a full time mission in his youth, but if not, you and he can still dedicate your lives to serving the Lord and performing the mission, or work He has for you to do in life. Good luck with everything and God bless.
Hi, so my boyfriend and I had sex the week before his mission, he had already gone through the temple and had his garments and everything. He has been out for two months now but I feel really guilty so I am going in to see my bishop this week. Will this result in my missionary being sent home? He is doing so well in the field, and I know that this is the right thing to do but I really don’t want to have to get him sent home.
Chloe, That’s a tough situation you and your boyfriend are in. And you are correct that doing the right thing now, whatever the consequences, is the best course of action. It will be hard but blessings will immediately flow from choosing the right. “Do what is right let the consequence follow.”
I don’t know what will happen to your boyfriend on his mission when all of this comes out. No doubt there will be some pretty serious conversations between him and his mission president and his bishop and stake president. It’s very possible that they could send him home, but I don’t know. He made a very serious mistake. He made a covenant with God when he went to the temple and he promised to have no sexual relations until he was married and then he turned around a very short time later and broke that covenant.
While these things are serious and the consequences may at times seem harsh, remember that everything the church and church leaders do will be out of love for you. Your Heavenly Father and Jesus love you beyond measure and your church leaders will try to channel that love and communicate it to you throughout the repentance process. Your leaders care about your well being and want you to receive all the greatest blessings of life and eternal life.
Remember, “God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17). I know that salvation comes through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who suffered for our sins. Follow the teachings of Jesus and the counsel of the leaders of God’s church and you will be blessed, worthy, and able to return to live with God in Celestial glory.
Over the course of the last 3 months I have made terrible decisions which have lead to heavy petting but for just an extremely short period of time before we came to our senses and knew that what we were doing was wrong (this has occured 3 times). I have my mission call and I don’t leave until june 6th. I know I need to talk to my bishop but i’m so scared of the dishonor I will bring on both myself and my own family if my leave date is postponed and I really don’t know what to do
Joseph, I don’t know what your bishop will say or do, but I know, as do you, that you need to go talk to him about what has happened. A couple of scriptures come to mind that may help. One is in Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid.” The other is in Moroni 8:16, “perfect love casteth out all fear.” Perfect love is God-inspired, Christ-like love. Seek to improve your relationship with God and Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study. This will help you in the repentance process and help you to become a better missionary. Good luck and God bless.
I’m confused about what happens after marriage. Do all of the sexual sins become normal as long as it is inside the marriage or is only sex within the marriage allowed?
I guess the main thing I’m asking is is it ok to masturbate once you’re married
I don’t think so. One of the purposes of marriage is that only your spouse should be allowed to excite those feelings from you. Self-stimulation is inappropriate inside and outside of marriage.
A few weeks ago I had my mission interview but lied only by a few weeks on how long it has been since masturbation. I was worried I might have to wait if I told the truth and then explain to my parents the situation. Is this a big deal? If I went in to my bishop and told him in your opinion what would happen? I’m excited and ready to serve but not sure what to do here. Thanks.
I think it’s important to go back to your bishop and tell him the truth. It may or may not effect when you are able to leave on your mission, only your priesthood leaders, through prayer and inspiration, will know that. Fully clearing things up with your bishop is the right thing to do, and as President Monson used to say, “You can’t be right by doing wrong, and you can’t be wrong by doing right.”
Hi I’m really grateful I’ve come across this! So I have been through a lot of meetings with my bishop because I’m going through the repentance processes. I had a boyfriend for a year and a half and was breaking the law of chastity pretty extremely for that whole time. So after splitting up with him months ago and meeting with my bishop I think I can almost have a temple recommend again and I really want to serve a mission next summer after my 19th birthday. And my bishop and I have been talking about me serving a mission too for a while. So things are so good! And God is good! But today meeting with him he told me that because I was involved in sexual relations for so long that were so serious, I may not be worthy or able to serve a mission at all and I think my whole heart broke in that moment. Doesn’t that go against the teaching “he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more”? I really don’t understand and just don’t have peace of mind in this moment that’s why I’m here. Can I ever serve a mission?
Emily, We must remember that serving the Lord as a missionary is a privilege. Local priesthood leaders, your bishop and stake president, have the responsibility to recommend people for missionary service who they feel are worthy and able. Of course the prophet and apostles give them guidelines, but at the end of the day, it is their decision, which they will make prayerfully, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, whether or not to recommend you and allow you to send in your application to be a full-time missionary.
Now, having said that, I hope you receive the opportunity to service a mission since that is your desire. It is a righteous desire and if you get the opportunity, I hope you treasure it and become a diligent and successful missionary.
It is true what the Lord says in D&C 58:42 that “he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.” It is also true, as stated in Alma 12:24, that there is “a space granted unto man in which he might repent,” and that “this life became a probationary state” in which was should humbly accept the consequences of our actions. It sounds like you were involved in some rather serious transgressions. The consequence of those actions is that your mission could be delayed or perhaps you won’t be able to go in your youth.
But stay strong and positive. The Lord loves you and regardless of what happens with your mission, he needs you and wants you in the Church. Throughout your life you will have countless chances to serve people, temporally and spiritually, so keep your eyes out and your heart open to those opportunities.Good luck and God bless.
I know this is way out of the topic. So here goes nothing. I had broken the Law of Chastity with an Ex bf. We both felt guilty and so we confessed and gone thru the repentance process. He’s currently serving his mission while I try my best to be fine. I know and feel how much the Lord loves me and forgiven me but I can’t seem to get over the question and lingering guilt in my head that I’m not worthy of someone out there. The Lord has made me feel so blessed and loved and that its fine but I can’t seem to get over it. And so I met the best person I could ever meet. The person I wanna marry in the temple. I told him my problem and that I can’t get over it, not anytime soon, he comforted me and cheered me up and answered my question if I’m still worthy of temple marriage but I can’t seem to believe him, because I heard a lot of stories how people can’t go TM when you already broke LoC… So my question is can I still do Temple Marriage even if I committed LoC and I’m not referring to Sealing, I’m meaning Temple Marriage.
Lyra, It sounds like you have need of some healing still that needs to take place. You have gone through the steps of repentance, and that it good, and I’m sure the Lord has forgiven you for the mistakes you made. But what I have learned is that in cases like yours, there can still be healing that is needed to make you whole and healthy again. Remember, the Savior not only saves us from sin, but He also heals us of all the wounds we received through the trials and tribulations of mortality.
The Book of Mormon prophet Alma said that Jesus “shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” (Alma 7:11-12) You see, it is not just sin that the Savior took upon himself in his infinite atonement, but rather, all the pains and infirmities of people.
Jesus Christ is referred to twice in the scriptures as a great “physician” (see Moroni 8:8 and Matt 9:12). He has also been called the great “healer” because he heals all of our wounds both spiritual, physical, emotional and mental. You may want to check out a talk called The Master Healer by Carole M. Stephens. In it, she talks about how “the Savior, the Master Healer, has the power to change our hearts and give us permanent relief from the sorrow caused by our own sin.” God bless.
Thank you sooo much.. You don’t know how much burden has been lifted up from me… I will surely remember everything you said and please do continue to lift other people up, it’s more than just words, you give hope to people out there suffering from guilt and pain… and so lemme thank you one last time. Thank you.
Hi Lyra. The short answer to your question,
“can I still do Temple Marriage even if I commited LoC and I’m not referring to Sealing, I’m meaning Temple Marriage”
is YES! The reason is what you already stated that you went through the repentance process including confession. With full knowledge of what happened, your bishop has allowed your boyfriend to go to the temple and serve a mission. There is no rule that says if you broke the law of chastity, you can never marry in the temple. Go talk to your bishop about this, I guarantee you’ll feel better than you do right now. The Lord loves you.
Aww… thank you soooo much you don’t know how much this means to me…
Will previous homosexual relations that were repented of and current homosexual feelings prevent one from going on a mission?
Marie, Homosexual relations that were repented of, and any other sins that are truly repented of, will not prevent you from going on a mission. God has said, “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.” (D&C 58:42) Regarding homosexual feelings, the Church teaches that same-sex attraction is not a sin. Elder M. Russell Ballard stated: “The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is.” (The Lord Needs You Now! Ensign, Sept. 2015, 29). Since feelings of homosexual attraction are not a sin, they will not prevent you from going on a mission.
Do remember, though, to try to control your thoughts. Boyd K. Packer taught “As you learn to control your thoughts, you can overcome habits, even degrading personal habits. You can gain courage, conquer fear, and have a happy life.” (Worthy Music, Worthy Thoughts, New Era, Apr. 2008, 7.) Clean thoughts will help your “confidence wax strong in the presence of God,” and “the Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion” (D&C 121:45–46). Good luck and God bless.
I had a gf up until May when I broke things off because we were continuously heavy petting over and under clothes, and starting to grind with clothes on. We committed oral sex one time for a very short period of time and that’s the worst we did. I was also kind of struggling with pornography and masturbation, but stopped that around the same time. Recently I slipped upand masturbated a few times, but with no porn. I want to talk to my bishop ASAP but am just scared, I don’t want to be shamed by my family or anyone else. I also want to know how long I have to miss out on the temple and sacrament. I plan to leave on a mission in August or September, will this affect that?
John, I understand that it is scary to go talk to your bishop about these things, but you need to do it as soon as possible so you can gets things straightened out with the Lord. “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Deut 31:6) How long the repentance process takes is an individual thing you’ll need to work out with the Lord and your bishop, but it is always best to “not procrastinate the day of your repentance” (Alma 34:33). God loves you and will strengthen you as you do the right thing. Be prayerful and humble. Your bishop will understand and he will help you, not condemn you. If you start now to get back on the right path, I bet you’ll be able to leave on your mission as planned this fall. Good luck and God bless. -Jimmy
Thank you so much that is very comforting and assuring
I have a question, my boyfriend and I have been preparing to go on a mission. We have started paperwork, but our desires to worthily get married in the temple our becoming stronger with that stronger desires to be together. Is it wrong to not serve a mission because we possibly want to have a temple marriage instead. Is not serving missions make us any less worthy as members or to have temple marriage? Thankyou
Whether or not you serve a mission is not a question in the temple recommend interview, so technically whether or not you go on a full-time mission will not affect your temple worthiness. So that should answer your question about worthiness for a temple marriage.
But if you want my opinion, there are other questions that you may want to ask yourself. The prophets have repeated asked for every worthy, able young man to serve a full-time mission as part of his priesthood duties. So to me, assuming your boyfriend is worthy and able to serve a mission, he may want to ask himself: do I believe the prophet’s request for me to serve a mission is right? And Do I want to fulfill my priesthood duty to serve a full-time mission?
A full-time mission is a wonderful experience. It is difficult to have to work so hard and be away from home for a long period of time, but much progress and development comes from a mission, both temporal and spiritual growth. I encourage you and him to be very prayerful about this decision. Seek to know the will of the Lord and God will guide you through his Holy Spirit. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (see Luke 11:9 and Matthew 7:7)
Brother Jimmy, I want so bad to be forgiven and to become realigned but I have so many concerns. I scheduled a meeting asap with my stake president in order to repent from breaking TLOC. I did this out of fear of hurting my dad who is my bishop . I hope it all works out. I also pray to become able to serve a mission that I hadn’t known could be in jeprody until reading all of the convos on here. I love my gf that I have been dating for a few years now, but one and a half of those years involved sin. I hope we can get through this and fulfill our goals of serving a mission and become married in the temple.
Nathan, Sorry for not responding soon. Life gets so crazy busy when you have six kids as I do.
Rest assured that you can be forgiven. The Lord loves you and he gave His Son to pay the price for our sins to make it possible for us to repent and be forgiven and come back to Him. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)
I think it is good that you scheduled a meeting with your stake president. He will understand you not wanting to go talk to your dad at first. But the stake president will still probably want to bring your dad into the loop since he is the bishop and has the keys of the priesthood.
On your ability to one day serve a mission, it’s really hard to say. It depends on the nature and severity of the transgressions you committed. Only your bishop and stake president will be able to tell you if you’ll be able to serve a mission in your youth. Hopefully you will be able to serve and you should move forward as if that will happen. Continue down the path of repentance, pray morning and night, study the scriptures for a good amount of time each day, seek to serve others and serve in the Church. Regardless, though, of what happens with your mission, you can still spend your life sharing the gospel with your family and friends. And you can plan to serve a mission when you get older and retire. Believe me, that comes faster than you can imagine.
Good luck and God bless.
I have always tried to live the law of chastity but I went away from my family 2017 and 2018 November I broke the loc with my then boyfriend till early March.We broke up mid march when I realized that as much as I was justifying it, it was unclean and I was not really happy. Now there is a young man who has been asking me on a date for years now and I was turning him down. I finally told him the truth about me and that I can’t be with him because I have broken the loc and knowing him to be a good person who lives by the commandments I don’t want to be a burden to him. Somehow he says it’s fine and is supporting that I go see my bishop and start my repentance. Repentance is something I desperately want to do but my family will be broken if they hear about it and there is not so much secretary in my ward. I have someone who is willing to support me and walk with me up to an extent I feel like it’s too much and he is risking waay too much for me but I don’t know how to do it. Please help
Lira, This seems like a difficult situation and I understand how hard it must be for you. I think people are generally more understanding and forgiving than we realize. Hopefully that will be the case and your family and friends will only have love and compassion and help you through this situation. But of course, it will take faith and courage to do the right thing and repent. Perhaps these scriptures can help you find that faith and courage:
• “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9)
• “Fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.” D&C 122:9
• “Fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.” (Moroni 8:16)
Also, remember what the Prophet said last weekend at General Conference: “Too many people consider repentance as punishment—something to be avoided except in the most serious circumstances. But this feeling of being penalized is engendered by Satan. He tries to block us from looking to Jesus Christ, who stands with open arms, hoping and willing to heal, forgive, cleanse, strengthen, purify, and sanctify us.” He also said, “Nothing is more liberating, more ennobling, or more crucial to our individual progression than is a regular, daily focus on repentance. Repentance is not an event; it is a process. It is the key to happiness and peace of mind. When coupled with faith, repentance opens our access to the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.” You may want to re-read President Nelson’s whole talk here: We Can Do Better and Be Better.
Please go talk to your bishop as soon as you can. He is the Lord’s chosen servant and will help you through the repentance process. You are blessed to have family and friends that support and love you. We will all be better people for applying the principles of repentance to our lives every day and drawing closer to God each day.
I have a return missionary boyfriend and recently we broke the law of chastity by going all out (sexual intercourse), were both in miserable state now and this question has been on our mind, it is if we have a shot in temple marriage, not sealing but temple marriage, please I need your help.
Zari, Marriage in the temple generally, a vast majority of the time, means a sealing for time and all eternity, so I will address that. The answer is yes, after you have brought forth the fruits of repentance, you can definitely be married and sealed in the temple. It will require faith and humility but it will yield peace and joy and the other blessings you seek. “And now, my brethren, I would that ye should humble yourselves before God, and bring forth fruit meet for repentance, that ye may also enter into that rest.” (Alma 13:13) To begin the repentance process, pray and seek forgiveness from your Heavenly Father. Then go see your bishop as soon as possible. May God bless you. I know He will.
I’m sorry. but I’m not sure if I get you right. You’re saying only sealing then?
So I came home 9 months ago due to worthiness issues
I’ve received oral sex once one year and half before my MTC reporting day(more than two years until now), and two months before my endowments I had this porn and masturbation problem (all of the sins were homosexual activitie)
So I’ve been free of those sins more than a year and I used repentance in my life, I was told that I can go back out after 6 or 12 months, now I feel totally worthy and I wanna serve again
How probably is that Missionary Department let me back out?
Ethan, I applaud you for your efforts to live the commandments and be worthy to have the Spirit of God with you. That worthiness and guidance from the Lord is essential in doing missionary work and in living our lives in a manner pleasing to God.
It’s really impossible for me to say what the chances are of going back out on a mission. Only your priesthood leaders, your bishop and stake president who will be prayerful and seek the guidance of the Spirit of God, will be able to say if you can go back out or not. These leaders have been appointed by the Lord to be a judge in these matters on earth and they have been given the spiritual gift of discernment.
• “And unto the bishop of the church, and unto such as God shall appoint and ordain to watch over the church and to be elders unto the church, are to have it given unto them to discern” (D&C 46:27)
• “And also to be a judge in Israel, to do the business of the church, to sit in judgment upon transgressors upon testimony as it shall be laid before him according to the laws” (D&C 107:72)
After you meet with your bishop and stake president, if they feel you are prepared to go back out on a mission, they will contact the missionary department of the Church and make the recommendation. While there are some exceptions, Church headquarters usually follows the recommendations of the local priesthood leaders. Good luck and may God bless and be with you.
hey jimmy if you could respond that would be awesome, but i’ve had a problem masturbating for sometime now and i’ve told my parents and i’m going to talk to the bishop next week, but what i’m wondering is that my sins right now being a teenage boy will have the most affect on my eternal judgment
Tate, Your eternal judgement depends on who you become, and who you become is determined by how you react to challenges in this life. The temptations you are facing are an inherent part of this life for most people, and with the help of the Lord, they can be conquered. Having the love of God with you, by living worthy of the companionship of the Spirit of God, will help you fight and overcome these temptations. Remember what Alma said, “Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love;” (Alma 38:12).
I would also remind you that this world is a spiritual battle ground. Satan is trying with all his might to defeat good and spoil God’s plans for His children. Just like Moroni armed his people for battle, you need to arm yourself each day before you go into the world. “Moroni, had prepared his people with breastplates and with arm-shields, yea, and also shields to defend their heads, and also they were dressed with thick clothing.” (Alma 43:19)
And how do you arm yourself for this spiritual battle. Read the scriptures daily and pray fervently and sincerely.
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. …Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” (Ephesians 6:11-17)
Good luck and may God bless and be with you.
I made a big mistake over the summer and I talked to my bishop, stopped taking the sacrament and made Christ the focal point in my life (which was a very very hard thing to do) and eventually repented. But then I met this wonderful girl and I seem to have lost sight of the fact once more that chastity is important. Long story short we’ve started touching eachother in ways we shouldn’t and I haven’t even been trying to stop it; I’ve just given up and lost hope. I do love this girl however and she isn’t a Latter Day Saint. Somehow I’d still like to serve a mission but I don’t know what to do. If I don’t repent and change then I’ll be prevented right? The probability of ending up with this girl in the long run isn’t unrealistic for me but I still feel I owe God at least a mission. I’m at a loss, I really just don’t know anymore. Please, help me. Somehow.
Howard, I’m glad to know that you have a desire to serve a mission and I hope you get that chance. But if that is to happen, you will need to make some changes in your life. I know you are going through a hard situation. With faith and hard work and diligence, and most of all with the help of your Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ, you will be able to get through this difficulty.
It sounds as if, even though you may have gone through the steps of repentance previously, that the change in you wasn’t internalize. It sounds as if you still are in the habit of turning to inappropriate physical intimacy with the girls you date. Breaking habits is hard, but it is possible if you are humble and prayerful and seek help from the Lord and from your family and friends. You can best show your love for this girl by showing your love for God, and by remaining clean and pure in the way God has intended.
The For the Strength of Youth guidelines have great advice on this subject, and I suggest you read, or reread, those standards and try to apply them to your life. Here is a partial excerpt: “God has commanded that sexual intimacy be reserved for marriage. When you are sexually pure, you prepare yourself to make and keep sacred covenants in the temple. You prepare yourself to build a strong marriage and to bring children into the world as part of an eternal and loving family. You protect yourself from the spiritual and emotional damage that come from sharing sexual intimacy outside of marriage. …If you are tempted to commit any form of sexual transgression, seek help from your parents and bishop. Pray to your Father in Heaven, who will help you resist temptation and overcome inappropriate thoughts and feelings.”
Good luck, and may God bless and be with you.
I recently received my mission call, about a month ago. i report in about 2 months. for years i struggles with pornography and masturbation, and it has been off and on throughout my life. i’ve had years of cleanliness and years where i’ve struggled. i had been clean about 4 months, got my call, and then slipped up about 2 weeks later. i had been idle and had so much free time home alone. i messes up and i know i need to be clean before my mission, but i don’t know how what to do. i am scared to go to my bishop, because i am so embarrassed. i feel like a failure because i can’t seem to put an end to this addiction. i want to serve and i don’t want my mission to be delayed. i leave soon and i would be so embarrassed to not leave on the date i was given. i’m just so anxious and have been struggling with depression for the past few weeks as well. i’m not in a good spot at the moment.
Jay, I don’t know if one slip up of this type would prevent you from leaving for your mission on time. Go talk to your bishop. Believe me, your priesthood leaders want you to go on your mission as planned and if it is possible, they will help you achieve that. I don’t wish to minimize any sin, but your leaders will generally look at one mistake like this differently than something that is a regular habit. If you can demonstrate self-control and mastery over this for a month or so before your mission start date, then perhaps it won’t be delayed.
If your mission is delayed, use that opportunity to grow in faith and testimony. Pray and read the scriptures daily and live the commandments and you will have the Spirit of God to guide you and give you peace. “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9)
As for overcoming this habit, I suggest you put on the armor of God every day. See the comments I made to Tate above, and go re-read Ephesians 6:11-17 about putting on the whole armor of God. Look unto God in every thought; doubt not, fear not (D&C 6:36). Good luck and God bless you.
I would just like to comment that I am very grateful for this article and that I found this.
I am a prospective missionary (18 years old) that leaves to the mission field in July. I came across this article while I was preparing to serve because I didn’t exactly know what all the LoC entailed. This cleared it up and I have indeed broke it. And being ashamed and very, very embarrassed, I knelt and prayed to our Heavenly Father. Though this gave me a sense of relief, because I found this article and prayed, I felt prompted to go to my bishop and repent. It is very daunting, the task of confessing to your bishop and Satan does not want you to, because it means you would be clean again. However, if you do, I promise you that it might be a difficult path, but you will feel clean and feel free. For those wondering what I did (so you can also compare your extent though we are all different), I partook in oral sex and struggled with masturbation. But with a true and sorrowful heart, I was able to go to my bishop and also get down on my knees and fully repent of my sins.
I also remind you, youth or whoever is struggling, that repentance does not work as “check off the boxes”. The Atonement is a beautiful gift that we are blessed with and I feel as though it’s easy to get confused. Heavenly Father knows us individually and loves us so much, He knows that we are not perfect. Confession is part of repentance, yes, and it is necessary. I recommend you honestly pray to our God above if you are confused if you have to go to your bishop. I would still highly encourage your bishop because he loves you as well and will not think anything less of you.
Once again, confession is important, but what is just as important or even more important, is that you lift your head and carry on. If you earnestly try to pray often, read the scriptures, follow His promptings, and are truly repentant in heart, Heavenly Father let’s the Atonement take care of the rest. He loves us and wants us to return to Him. In certain cases, that I recommend you pray about, it is necessary for confession. But know that never doing that act again and centering your life on Christ and the gospel is crucial for the Atonement to work.
Brothers and Sisters, if you are struggling or need guidance (for anything), speak to your Bishop and kneel down in true prayer. It is daunting and really scary, but from someone who had to do it first hand, it is worth it. You will have a change in your life and will be so thankful. Though I may not know any of you personally, I love all of you and wish you luck in this day’s society. God bless each and every one of you.
I have a close friend who reported to the MTC a week ago and is having a rough time, it turns out that he had broken the law of chastity and didn’t repent of it before his mission. If he returns home to fix the issue, will he be able to go back out to the mission field or is that only allowed if he comes home for a medical reason?
Jacob, There is no rule that I know of that the Church has that would prevent him from going back out on his mission after repenting. Of course, the decision about whether or not he can go back out will be up to his bishop and stake president, who will strive to know the will of the Lord regarding the situation. Regardless of whether he will go back out or not, I encourage your friend to talk to his mission president or branch president at the MTC who will be able to counsel with him about the right thing to do.
My boyfriend and I were both planning to go on a mission. About a week before he left, we went too far sexually- not all the way, but sacred parts were touched. I have tried repenting of this on my own, but the feeling keeps on returning that I need to talk to my bishop. I guess I’m just a little scared, though- I’m afraid of how he will react, what it will be like if my parents hear of it, and if I will still be able to submit my papers at the end of this month, as I’ve planned. I feel strongly that I need to go on a mission, and that I need to repent of this, but I guess I’m just wondering how much it will delay the mission- I know that it will be well worth it, but I also know that if it is delayed too far, I’m afraid I might break down. Brother Jimmy, can you offer any advice, or any thought of how long that delay might be so that I can be prepared?
Linda, To get straight to the answer to your question, I’m guessing this will delay your mission by a few months. The actual length of the delay will depend on many factors including your spiritual progress and the inspiration your bishop receives.
From my perspective, a delay of a couple months is no big deal, but I know from your perspective, it could be devastating and seem like a really long time. But as I believe you already know, talking to your bishop is the right thing to do. Trust in him and trust in the Lord. God will guide you through the words of your bishop, as well as through the personal inspiration you receive from the Holy Ghost through meditation, scripture study, and prayer.
As I write this, I am reminded of a scripture that may help you. D&C 122: 9, “Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.” God knows you, he loves you, and if you endure in faith, he will bless you and be with you forever. Good luck and God bless.
I’m very anxious about this, how if I confess again what I already confessed about LOC to Branch President, coz’ I feel that I’m not yet repented, could I confess again? I forgot also something that I need to confess. Could be that the reason of the delay of my mission call? What should I do? I think I have an anxiety also. Also, when I confessed to Branch President, he allowed to be interviewed by the Mission President.
When my father was drunk, I laid on him but on his arm. But I suddenly got off from his arm. That’s when I was less active. If I we’re going to confess it now, since I am waiting for my mission call, could that delay mine?
How deep am I going to tell my masturbation problem? Am I going to tell what form of it, or just tell him my masturbation problem? Thank you. 🙂
i committed sexual acts with my current boyfriend & i would say that we were intimate but also not all the way… this happened 2 months ago & i’ve never done something like this. my boyfriend is not mormon and it was also his first time doing anything sexual. i just talked to my bishop about it today because it’s been getting to me since it happened and i already talked to my boyfriend about it and how i felt and we told each other it will never happen again. i’ve been planning to go on a mission sometime later this year for a long time. it was in my life plans after i get my associates at the end of this semester. will there be a restriction on me serving a mission? how long if so? or if i can at all…
SK, The Church has said that young people that violate the Law of Chastity will need to fully repent before going on a mission. That usually means waiting a year, from the time of the transgression, before going on a mission. Once you have done as the Savior commanded to “bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance” (see Matt 3:8, Luke 3:8, Alma 12:15, and Alma 13:13) then you will be able to serve a mission without restriction. Good luck and God bless.
I lost no nut November (an event on social media that challenges individuals to refrain from masturbation and sexual activity leading to orgasm) 47 times. Can I still serve a mission? I feel very bad. I have not spoken with my bishop about this.
Abraham, If you fully repent, I see no reason why you couldn’t serve a mission. But it appears you may have an addiction that will need to be conquered. Keep striving to be worthy. Pray in sincerity daily for your Father in Heaven to give you strength to choose the right. And I think it would be good for you to go talk to your bishop. He will give you support and be able to help you in a variety of ways. Good luck and God bless.
I have a masturbation problem, and I feel bad to it, how can I tell to the bishop? How specific? and Do i need to tell all about my problem? thanks for responding.
I struggled with masturbation from the age of about 3-17. I didn’t know it was bad until I was older and then I stopped. I fully repented and talked to my bishop. I leave in my mission in about a month and a half, but this weekend, I slipped up and masturbated for about 5 seconds and then realized what I was doing and stopped. I’m so mad at myself. But because it was short and I stopped I don’t know if I need to talk to my bishop or not. Will he delay my mission? What do I do?
Please Jimmy. Help me.
Lil, It’s impossible for me to say if this is something you need to confess or not because so much of it depends on what was in your mind and heart. Personally, touching yourself for five seconds hardly seems like something to confess. But there are factors such as a history of masturbation and the likelihood, whether great or small, of this leading to more slip ups in the future. My guess is that if you confess it to your bishop, he would not delay your mission. But there is no guarantee of that outcome. Your bishop will be prayerful and seek the Spirit of God to direct him on what to do. Bottom line, you need to do what the Spirit of God is prompting you to do–and that is something only you can determine. So be prayerful, be humble, seek to know God’s will for you and you will be blessed to know what to do in this circumstance and that process of learning to hear and obey the voice of the Spirit will also bless you for the rest of your life.
my boyfriend and I have had sexual intercourse several times and continue to fall into heavy petting. I’m not sure what to do, since neither of us feels bad about it. He still wants to go on a mission, but I feel like that would make our whole relationship a lie. Should I end things with him so that he doesn’t feel tempted to engage with me anymore? I personally do not have a connection with the church, but I love him very much and know that he does. I have never felt bad about what I do with him, so should I just end things between us so that he is no longer tempted? Please help me know what to do.
Jennifer, Thank you for your thoughtful email. I’m impossible for me to say exactly what you should do, but let me tell you a little about Latter-day Saint beliefs and then you can decide for yourself what the right thing to do is.
We believe that each one of us is a son or daughter of God and that our physical bodies are a gift from God. We believe that God loves us with an infinite love and that he has given us commandments to guide us back to his Heavenly presence. We believe that sexual intercourse is a beautiful thing that God has commanded only to be engaged in when a man and woman are lawfully married. We believe that the family (a man and woman and any children they are blessed with) is a central part of God’s plan for us on earth and eternally hereafter. You can read more detail about these beliefs in a statement by the Church called The Family Proclamation.
Now, regarding a mission, Church leaders ask all young men, who are able, to serve a two-year mission in which they will preach the gospel and seek the build the kingdom of God. Since forming a family is so important in the Church, young men are asked to serve this mission before they get married. Once they are married, the obligation to their family is their top priority.
I hope your boyfriend is able to serve a mission because it is a wonderful experience where he will grow and mature much. Given our beliefs, if he wants to serve a mission, he will need to break off his relationship with you. The intercourse and other sexually passionate activities will need to stop, though you can continue to be friends and rekindle your romantic relationship after his mission. Your boyfriend will need to go talk to his bishop right away in order to start the process of getting ready to serve a mission. The time it takes him to prepare to go on a mission could be many months or a year because he will need to demonstrate repentance for breaking the law of Chastity. His bishop will lovingly guide him through this process and he will emerge a better man, purified through the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ.
If his love and connection to the Church is as you state, then this is the course of action I would recommend. I wish both of you the best. May God bless and be with you.
I moved out awhile ago to attend college at BYU but for the past 6 months I haven’t been all in when it comes to church. I stopped reading my scriptures, praying, and skipped church sometimes.
I found it really hard to maintain spiritual habits when I was out on my own with so much freedom. I have basically been inactive but have been hiding it from everyone.
I then started dating this guy who is not a member of the church. While nothing happened at first and he was understanding of the fact that I was a member things got out of hand. There was heavy petting for a while but I held out on not wanting to have sex because I felt that it should be saved for marriage. But eventually I caved. My resolve was slowly worn down. I didn’t even fully realize it was happening. I tried to say no multiple times but he kind of begged and pressured me into it and now it has happened a few times. I didn’t do much of anything to stop him though and I feel really angry, ashamed, and guilty. I feel so lost and unworthy and too far gone to ever make it back.
I never wanted to serve a mission but recently the thought had been entering my head more but now I don’t know if this is even a possibility. I’m scared to talk to my bishop because I don’t want to get kicked out of BYU. I also am scared to talk to my parents because I’ve had siblings that have struggling with the Law of Chastity and I don’t want to be more of a burden on them.
I don’t know what to do, I feel completely unworthy and like there is nothing I can do. I’m also scared about what this means for my schooling and if I can even serve a mission now? I feel frustrated that when I finally get the desire to serve I’ve made it so I’m not worthy to go. Help?
Molly, I am sorry about the hard times you are going through. Please know that God loves you and your worth has not been diminished because of the things you have done. God knows we make mistakes, which is why, in His love, He sent His Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior and Redeemer. You can be made whole again and perhaps your experience can serve as a warning for other youth. You didn’t get into the predicament you are in overnight; it was a slow process and the result of many decisions over a long period. The journey back will also not happen overnight, and it will also require many good decisions, but God has given you supports to help make that journey.
It sounds like you have already started that journey back. Your desire to serve a mission will be a help to you. Remember what is says in D&C 4:5 about missionary work: “And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him (or her) for the work.” Having an eye single to the glory of God means that you want to do what God wants. It means that you are focused on God’s will, rather than your own, as our Savior did. It means that even though it may be difficult, you will do the right thing and go confess your situation to your bishop. It means, as the hymn says, to “do what is right, let the consequence follow.”
From what you have told me, it is certainly possible that you could still serve a mission someday. Only your bishop will be able to determine that, though. So have courage to talk to him, and perhaps also with your parents and siblings. I think you could be pleasantly surprised at the love and support your family will give you when you humbly admit things have not gone right in your life and that you are trying to improve your relationship with God. Your bishop and your family will help you establish those good, spiritually nourishing habits again. Good luck and God bless.
Last year I gained a bad habit of masterbating. I did it once in a blue moon were I would just stimulate my body nothing else. The past week I have been doing my best to continue getting rid of it. Although I’ve been reading to find I need to tell my bishop. I’m nervous about it and I can’t get myself to do it. I thought to tell my parents… is there a way i can try to get rid of the habit myself and if it gets worse tell my bishop? If I do get rid of the habit what comes next? I hope this made sense… I’ve done so much research and understand why what I’ve done is bad, and I want to get rid of it to one day serve a mission, I’ll have to renew my temple recommend and I feel overwhelmed.
K, As you mentioned, this seems like a habit and one that you will need to get rid of prior to your mission and prior to getting a temple recommend. Habits can be hard to break, so you will need God’s help which you can often get through the help of your bishop and family. I recommend praying for the courage to talk to your bishop and family about the situation. The guidance of the Holy Ghost is indispensable in this situation and will be throughout your life. Remember what Nephi taught in 2 Nephi 32:5 “For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.” Good luck and God bless.
How would I bring it up to my bishop, how should I tell him I’ve made this mistake? Without going into so much detail.
K, When you speak to your bishop, be completely open and honest. You do not need to go into a lot of detail. Just tell him that you are in his office to confess that you have been touching yourself inappropriately. Tell him you are sorry for it and ask him what he thinks you should do to fully repent. I’m sure he will have some helpful advice. Again, be prayerful before you talk to the bishop and ask the Lord to send you His Spirit so you can say the right words and so that the bishop can understand the real intent of your heart.
I keep getting scared. If I’m in a calling and I tell him about this will I be released?
I also saw another one of your talks/ discussions and it mentions that if it’s a serious sin it should be brought up to the bishop. Is touching oneself considered a serious sin? To be honest I’d feel more comfortable confessing to my parents to help me through the repentance process.
Hi! I want to serve a mission one day but I have committed sexual sin. I felt so bad after and tried my best to repent on my own. I still feel the need to talk to my bishop and I feel very uncomfortable telling my parents. My dad is the bishop! What do I do?
Anna, I understand how this is a very difficult situation for you. Unfortunately, your dad being bishop doesn’t change the fact that the Spirit of God is prompting you to confess to your priesthood leader so you can get this resolved. “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9). Good luck and God bless.
hi me and my boyfriend committed oral sex about a year ago and went to the bishop and cleared it up. it then happened again like a month ago and we went to the bishop and my boyfriend was planning on leaving on his mission in july but now it got pushed back to like september. we have been doing so good now like fasting, praying 3 times a day together, reading the book of mormon every night together, and so much more. he just met with his bishop again though and has to go talk to his stake president about when he can leave. if it happened like a month ago and we have been doing so much to be forgiven of do you think the stake president will let him leave around september when his bishop said? or do you think it will be a full year? thank you i can’t even cope i feel so bad if it becomes a full year and i feel i should probably break up with him at that point.
Sorry for the delayed response. We have been dealing with a severe winter storm this week. I’m not sure what your priesthood leaders will decide, but have faith and trust that they will guide the two of you to the right decisions. Keep fasting, praying, and reading the scriptures. But also remember, that these are outward actions and you have to do more than that to let the word of God sink deep into your heart and lead to positive change in your life. Perhaps read the example of Enos where he said, “the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart” (Enos 1:3). Good luck and God bless.
I love the Gospel and the Lord and have struggled with pornograpy for a month and Masturbation for about 2 years… I have talked to my bishop alot lately and we have started the mission process! But today I had the absolute worst day of my life! I masturbated again… I have not viewed Pornography for the past 3 months and I have been doing my papers the past few days and I have no idea what I just did… I was supposed to meet with him in like 2 weeks when I had them finished… I have never felt more guilt in my life and feel so depressed… How long will it be until I can turn my papers in… This was just a STUPID messup and my will intent and desire still is focused on Christ and his atonment… Please someone help.
John, Addiction to pornography and masturbation are two very difficult habits to break. I am not a medical or mental health professional, but it seems they are such stubborn habits to change because they are addictive at the physical, mental, and emotional level. One of the best books I’m aware of to help with overcoming habits and addictions and making other changes in our life is called Willpower Is Not Enough: Why We Don’t Succeed at Change by A. Dean Byrd, Mark Chamberlain. The authors are faithful members of the Church and the book is focused on how to apply the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives.
Please continue to keep an open dialogue with your bishop. This slip up may cause a delay in putting in your mission papers by a few weeks, but don’t get discouraged. Everybody makes mistakes in life and that’s why Jesus Christ and his gospel make it possible for us to repent and improve. Keep reading your scriptures and praying daily. Put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-17) each morning so you can be ready to withstand the temptations of Satan that abound in the world. Good luck and God bless.
About 9 months ago i had an interaction with a boy where sacred parts were touched for about it five seconds over clothes before i broke it off and stopped contact with him. I meet with my bishop next week to do my final interview with him and I have decided it is best to tell him this even though i feel as though I have gone through my repentance process. is there a good chance this will delay my mission?
Savannah, My guess is that, chances are, this will not delay your mission. But it is good to talk to your bishop about it. As a representative of the Lord, he will have the inspiration to determine if more time is needed for the repentance to be complete. But if you have already confessed to the Lord, forsaken the sin, and done all else that you can to follow the process of repentance, and there have been not further instances in the last 9 months, he will likely tell you that you are good to go. As it says in the scriptures, “By this ye may know if a (woman) repenteth of (her) sins—behold, (she) will confess them and forsake them” (D&C 58:43). I commend you for your faith and diligence. Good luck and God bless you on your mission.
Jimmy, as to your knowledge how long does heavy petting (breasts) delay a mission for
Megan, It’s very difficult for me to say how long heavy petting would delay someone’s mission. It could be anywhere from as short as couple of months to as long as a year. It depends on a lot of factors including how frequently it happened (one time or repeatedly) and the state of your thoughts, actions, and heart. You will need to talk to your bishop and by talking to you and getting more information, through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, he will know what you need to do to prepare for a mission, including how much time for repentance is needed before submitting your application. As you meet with your priesthood leaders and take the steps of repentance, remember to humbly seek God’s will and to do it. “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.” (D&C 112:10) I commend you for your righteous desires to serve a mission and will pray for you. Good luck and God bless.
Hey Jimmy I’ve been struggling with this for a while and I hope you can help me out. When I was 15 I was sexually assaulted and I struggled with the guilt and feeling that I was at fault. However I realized I didn’t have the ability to consent because I was so young but since that was the first time I was exposed to such strong feelings I had never felt before, I wanted to keep feeling that. So I struggled with pornography and masturbation. I stopped for a while and I met my ex boyfriend. There were moments where sacred body parts where touched under clothing, grinding, and petting. I broke up with him this February and nothing has happened with him since then. I had stopped looking at pornography and masturbating prior to that but I messed up and did/watched it again in April. I turn 19 in December & really want to go on a mission. I know I will have to talk to my bishop about a lot of things but will I be going through the repentance process until next April? or will I not be able to serve a mission at all. Please help me.
really i just want to know if I will be able to turn in mission papers after I leave college in April or will that process be delayed.
Grace, From what you have said, I do not see anything that would prevent you from going on a mission, so I don’t think you need to worry about that. It does sound like you will need to prepare spiritually a lot more for a mission before you go, including any repenting for serious sexual sin. Pornography and masturbation can be very difficult habits to break, so you should seek all the help you can get from the Lord, as well as from trusted friends, family, and priesthood leaders. Go talk to your bishop as soon as you can. Your first priority should be getting straight with the Lord and becoming spiritually worthy and able to serve a mission. You may not have to wait a year. It could be less. Your bishop will have to decide that after further conversations with you and based on the promptings of the Spirit of God.
It’s interesting that your name is Grace. You will need the grace of God, which is freely available to all people, to help you through your current situation. God loves you. If you humbly seek the Lord’s help, he will help you make it through and become an even better person. Remember what Moroni said in Ether 12:27 “And if men (and women) come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” Good luck Grace. And may God bless and be with you.
I’m actually in the Home MTC right now and have some sins that I feel I still need to confess. I wish I did it earlier. The sins involve pornography and masturbation. I’ve been clean from pornography for probably 2-3 months and I already know I’m never going back to that. But i did fall into masturbation, 2 weeks ago while in the home mtc. Before that I hadn’t done it for 3 and a half weeks. I don’t plan on doing it again at this point because of how awful I feel. If I confess to my stake president, will my call get delayed? I know I’m going to confess, but once I confess, will I be forgiven immediately? Meaning I can still leave on my mission as planned? I’m scheduled to leave in a month. I dont feel pornography will be a problem for me again. And i heard things about people struggling with masturbation actually in the field dont get sent home. I also feel really bad for lying to my stake president about the issue when he asked. Is their hope for me?
Jaddo, If you feel you need to confess then you should follow that prompting right away and make an appointment with your bishop or stake president (or whichever priesthood leader the Church asks that you report to during your Home MTC experience). It is unlikely that this will delay your departure into the mission field, but it could, and that will be determined by your priesthood leader based on your spiritual progress and on the promptings of the Holy Ghost. But don’t lose hope–it is Satan who tries to get us to lose hope (see Moroni 10:22). You will overcome this with the help of the Lord.
It is good to hear that you are determined not to look at pornography or masturbate anymore because you will need that resolve moving forward. It is likely that you will be tempted again at some point in the future, so you will need to build your spiritual, emotional, and mental muscles to development the strength to withstand those temptations. To build that strength, you will need to pray sincerely morning and night, study the scriptures daily, and do other things to build a strong foundation for your relationship with God.
You can do that by following what Helaman told his sons: “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.” (Helaman 5:12) Good luck and God bless.
My bishop told me when I masturbate I have to wait a week before taking the sacrament I just thought of this does that mean from Sunday to Sunday or Monday to Sunday because Sunday to Sunday is 8 days which is more than a week?
Dennis, I am not aware of any church-wide rule of this nature stating someone who masturbates should wait one week before taking the sacrament. The appropriate time might be longer or shorter for some people, depending on their circumstances. But if one week is what your priesthood leader recommends, then you should follow that advice. For more details on defining that time period, you will have to talk to your bishop. Good luck and may God bless you in your mission preparation.
I am in Home MTC. I have had issues with pornography and masturbation for a long time and have time and time again confessed to bishops and stake presidents. During my first week in the home MTC I masturbated twice in one day without pornography and then once I used mild pornographic images to arouse myself but did not masturbate with the pornography. I confessed to my stake president put told him that I masturbated without pornography which is true. But I don’t feel right about it and I still haven’t felt the spirit fully. Is simply viewing pornography something that can get me released as a missionary? I want to repent so that I can be the best missionary I can be. What should I do?
Billy, Viewing pornography and masturbating do not usually result in a missionary being released, though it could lead to that and you should stop it immediately. If your mind is actively thinking about sex, pornography, and masturbation, then it will be difficult to have the Spirt of God and His inspiration in your missionary work.
Remember what James taught, “a double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). He also said to “draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” (James 4:8) By having your mind on sex and pornography, you are dividing your attention to your mission and you become double minded. Remember, however, that the Lord requires missionaries to be focused on the work of the Lord. “And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.” (D&C 4:5)
Please continue to work with your priesthood leaders until you get this habit conquered. Pray morning and night for the strength to resist temptation and through your faith, the Lord will deliver you. Good luck and may God bless and be with you.
Hi jimmy. I had a girlfriend for a year who was not a member. The relationship was very good and we had good standards. there was a 2 week period where our standards fell short. It was in April We did not have sex but there was petting and I ejaculated 3 times during that period. It was never intentional. I broke up with her a month later from sheer guilt. Me and her confessed to each other that it was wrong. I never had sexual intentions with her and I never wanted it. It just happened after getting seduced. I want to serve a mission and my papers are nearly done. I am planning to go to my bishop soon and clear it all up. I have already confessed to a close friend months ago and I have been close to Heavenly Father since and have been repenting ever since. I stopped all preisthood using since it happened and haven’t took the sacrament. Will my repentance process be shortened from my own repentance before going to the bishop? . How will this affect my mission timeline?
Jeremy, It is the Spirit of God that is prompting you to go talk to your bishop about the situation, so you should do that as soon as possible. Be completely open and honest with him. Take responsibility for your actions and the consequences of what you have done. Read D&C section 101, particularly the first half, which talks about the afflictions that came upon some of the early Latter-day Saints “in consequence of their transgressions” (v 2). Nevertheless, says the Lord, his “bowels are filled with compassion towards” us (v 9), and those who “endure chastening” (v 5) will be comforted and crowned with eternal life.
It sounds like you have done much to repent already, so also share that with your bishop. He will take that remorse and “godly sorrow” (2 Cor 7:10) into account as he decides what course of action to recommend. If your repentance is sincere and complete, this situation may have minimal impact on your mission timeline. But only your bishop will be able to tell you that for sure.
I am glad to hear of your desire to serve a mission. Nurture that seed. Study the gospel daily. Be prayerful. Thank God for the gift of his Son and His atoning sacrifice. Practice being a missionary in your everyday life right now. These things will help you prepare to be a great missionary.
Hello, I was wondering what exactly is considered a serious violation of the law of chastity? No one seems yo have a clear answer
Kimberly, I understand this topic can sometimes seems unclear. I’ll try to write a more detailed article at some point in the future on the topic, but for now let me say this. The Church’s Gospel Topics page on chastity says, “In the world today, Satan has led many people to believe that sexual intimacy outside of marriage is acceptable. But in God’s sight, it is a serious sin.”
There it is clearly. Sexual intimacy outside of marriage is serious sin. Now, if your question is what defines “sexual intimacy”, you’re right in that there may appear to be lack of clarity. Sexual intimacy, I believe, means sexual behavior involving you and another person. Therefore sexual behavior not involving another person might be considered less serious, though it could still be a violation of the law of chastity. I don’t want to minimize pornography and masturbation sins, but generally they are considered less serious than sexual transgressions that involve other people.
And if you are wondering where God and the Church draws the line between appropriate romantic interactions with other people before marriage and inappropriate ones, again, that’s going to take more time. Certainly sexual intercourse is a serious sin. Touching each others private parts under their clothing may not be as serious as intercourse, but it’s close to serious. Touching each others private parts over their clothing may not be as serious as under their clothing, but again, it’s a step closer to serious.
If you want to know how close to the line of “serious” sin you can get without going over, you may not get a clear answer from the Church, because the Church wants to you stay far away from the line. The Holy Ghost, however, as you learn to hear that voice of God, will tell you exactly where the line is for you. Remember what Nephi taught in the Book of Mormon that the Holy Ghost, “will show unto you all things what ye should do.” (2 Nephi 32:5)
Okay, and if you were to go to the bishop to confess and it takes a year, but you move wards later on, do I have to tell my bishop all over again? Or can it just be kept between my old bishop and I.
Your new bishop may ask if you’ve had any past serious sins that were not resolved with priesthood leaders. But assuming everything was cleared up while you were working with your old bishop, you can tell your new bishop that everything is good. The past issues can be kept between you and your old bishop.
Over the course of the Corona Virus I started looking at porn around the start and haven’t gotten out of it. Also I have rarely been going to church. After missing almost a full year of passing and preparing is there any way I can still get the Prestood?
Hey Jimmy you already answered my question I had about what is exactly a serious violation of the law of chastity, but I just wanted to say thank you for running this site and providing good information and for replying to all the comments and doing it for such a long time! Godbless and thank you for your service 🙂
Michael, Thank you for your kind words. It’s my pleasure to help people prepare to serve a mission for the Lord. May God bless and be with you. – Jimmy
So, I’m a little different than most commenters, I stopped going to church and being an active member a few years ago. I was sexually abused as a child, and so when I got older that resulted in me being more promiscuous, as I had already ‘done’ many of those sins, and so I didn’t see major fault in doing them again (now I realize that was a wrong mindset to have). I have had intercourse with 2 guys, which happened too often to count with one of those boys, and only a few with the other. I have been talking to an old friend, who I feel is sent from God to inspire me to become an active member again. This particular friend is a male, who has taken me out on many wholesome double dates and only a few 1×1, where we were in public, and he is planning to go on a mission. I feel as if he saved me, and our connection is greater than any connection I’ve ever had with anyone. I feel insanely guilty for my sexual sins, and confessed them to him, which he told me is not a deal breaker, as everyone has their struggles, and he recommended me to repent. I agree with him, however, given my past I feel as if I’m not worthy enough to be with such a godly man, and as if I might corrupt him if we’re alone together for too long etc. I can see an eternal marriage with him in our future and am willing to leave my sins in the past and stay chaste. But will I be able to marry him in the temple when he gets home? And how do I get over the fear of being inadequate compared to the virtuous and chaste girls he surely could have his pick from? And if I’m fully repented by the time he returns home, will his mission have inspired him to find a virgin woman rather than to stay with me? And how do I resist temptation to kiss him longer when he leans in for a kiss or resist touching him or petting when kissing etc.? I don’t want to make him unworthy for his mission, I just truly don’t trust myself given my past and habits with males. And I feel as if I’m finally with my future husband, who I don’t want to lose because of my past.
I’m glad you have a desire to have a covenant relationship and marry in the temple someday. That too is what God wants for us and that is where the most wonderful blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ are to be found. Please believe me when I tell you that nothing you have done and nothing that has been done to you is beyond the healing power of our Savior Jesus Christ. To the extent that you committed sins, you will need to repent and you should start that process right away by confessing to the Lord and going to have a conversation with your bishop. Your past sins do not make you lesser than people who have not fallen into similar sins, so keep your head up, do what you know is right, and trust in God’s power and love. And regarding your current boyfriend, yes, do put up boundaries to prevent things from getting too physical. The standards about relationships in the For the Strength of Youth booklet are a great place to start.
As I read your story, the following scriptures came to my mind. As you strive to improve and prepare yourself to go to the temple some day, you may want to read and ponder these:
– D&C 58:42 “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.”
– Alma 5:33 “Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.”
– Alma 12:15 “He has all power to save every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.”
– Alma 22:16 “If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest.”
May God bless and be with you.
I’ve masturbated and watched porn for a while now, I’ve been intimate before and have received oral sex but I’m still a virgin. Am I still worthy to go on a mission? Even after the repentance process.
After repenting, it sounds like you would meet the requirements to serve a full-time mission. Remember that “faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify [you] for the work” of serving a mission (D&C 4:5). Foster those qualities in your life, and work with your bishop to get prepared to serve a mission. Then I’m confident you will be a great missionary in the hands of the Lord. Good luck and God bless.
Thank you, I got to say it is very hard resisting porn but I find it easier when I have God with me and my patriarchal blessing keeps me going. Any tips to also help me resist porn and Amy other temptation?
Pornography is highly addictive and developing a strategy to overcome it should be taken very seriously. Again, I encourage you to talk to your bishop to get further advice. You should also talk to your parents about the issue. While embarrassing, most youth find their parents are very understanding and supportive in overcoming problems like this. To fight pornography temptations, put on the armor of God each morning before you leave your house by studying the scriptures and praying for God’s help and protection. Nature abhors a vacuum, so fill your mind and life with good things, wholesome music, recreation, church activities, service to others, cultural events, and gospel study. Improve your relationship with God and he will help you in miraculous ways.
Hi Jimmy, is oral sex okay with your spouse after you are married? Can’t seem to find much info about what is OK after marriage.
Hello.. I’ve been having a hard time lately believing and forgiving myself. I have sin about watching pornographic videos before and after realizing how serious the sin is I stop and repented truly to the point that it cause me anxiety. I confess to my mother and after two months I confess to our bishop. I told him about what I did and he said that because I’ve repented, confess to my parent and I’ve confess to him, i have been forgiven. I feel the peace that time, however after 2 hours I started overthinking. Like, did he get me? Did my bishop understand me? Do I have to tell my sin in details? Did I sugarcoat things without me knowing? because I’ve been crying the whole time I confess for I am truly in sorrow, so I’m confuse. I’ve been overthinking everything because it’s too good to be true to be forgiven that easily. I never did watch those inappropriate video for It’s feel like a trauma. However, i still feel uneasy, I never rest myself and I keep praying and praying and crying. There are times that I feel at peace, there are times that I overthink again and it put me in great anxiety. I Even asked assurance to the internet about it, and Whenever I have doubts I search it. Now, I came to this page and I’ve read some confession, And mostly mention masturbation. I now think to myself, what exactly masturbation is? Did I do it without me knowing? What is its example? How to know if I did it? I don’t know, right know I still feel sorrowful and anxiety keeps hunting me. Have I been forgiven? Did i did a serious sin again without me knowing? I’m sorry naive before. I don’t know what to do anymore. Please help me and answer me.
Please Jimmy or anyone, answer me. Because of this anxiety, i keep having intrusive thoughts