I met with my Bishop a couple weeks ago. That’s the 3rd time I have met with him in 5 months. It went fine. It’s tough because he is a family friend. It’s tough because he is business man by day and an ecclesiastical leader by night. It’s tough because he is a brand new Bishop. (My hubby went to see him about the porn problem when the Bishop had just been called 3 weeks earlier.) It’s tough because he is so gosh darn nice and yet my Bishop’s decisions have caused me trauma. I tried to explain this to him. I actually used the word “traumatic” when describing how it felt to see my husband get his temple recommend back after just one month of not having one. One stinkin’ month. That was a blow. A traumatic blow.
I told him there are two sides to every story and that he didn’t completely know my side. That even though he sees M who is completely repentant and going through a great change, I am still suffering. M is out of the hole but I am in the dark hole, scratching to find my way out. I told him that M has abused me–has taken advantage of me sexually–a daughter of God, and I feel like he has gotten off scott-free. He has lied to every single Bishop and Stake President for 30 years about his sex addiction. Bold faced lied. But that’s no big deal because he is just so dang sorry and willing to change. And he really is! I do not doubt my hubby is sincere but shouldn’t someone have to prove they can live the commandments for a little while before entering the house of the Lord? Doesn’t a person have to pay a full tithe? Doesn’t a person have to give up beer and cigarettes for a least a few months? Doesn’t the engaged couple have to get married civilly if they get too frisky before their wedding date and then wait a year to go to the temple? WHY DOESN’T ANY OF THIS APPLY TO A MAN WHO LIED TO HIS WIFE FOR 20 YEARS ABOUT PORN, MASTURBATION, AND LUST?
He only lost his temple recommend for one month and that hurts. I told the Bishop I think M should have had to prove that he could live a worthy life for at least a few months before he would be allowed to go to the temple. I think I gave him something to think about, and yet, he did stand his ground and felt strongly that giving M his temple recommend back a few months ago was a good thing. M was changing, was repentant, and that was good enough for him. I said, “fine but it is still traumatic to realize that worthiness doesn’t really matter”.
I have gone to the temple several times with my hubby in the last few months. And I am really okay with him being there with me because this is not my problem–if the Bishop feels my man is ready, that’s on his conscience not mine. But I will always be scratching my head over this one.
My husband had a birthday yesterday. Given how horrible the weekend was I’m surprised I was happy to make him a cake. A real cake, not one filled with dirt clods. I also made a fancy dinner. I had his parents over as well. (His parents know now.) They are great people. I wanted to go to the women’s support meeting last night when he went to his addiction recovery meeting so they were kind enough to stay here and play games and help with homework while we went out. Afterwards, he tried to talk to his parents about how grateful he is for their love all these years–especially his teenage years when he was acting out and they were so kind and patient with him. They obviously knew about the expensive 900 numbers, but they also knew about a few other instances. Never once did they shame him. They always started out each painful conversation by telling their teenage son how much they loved him. Great people.
I talked to him this morning about my issues with priesthood worthiness and how it doesn’t really mean a damn. In the church we talk loads about how wonderful it is that men get to hold the priesthood, what a huge responsibility it is, and yet in the end, worthiness doesn’t really matter. He blessed the babies, baptized them as children, and has ordained or set apart the kids as they’ve gotten older. All this while he wasn’t worthy. It’s just so painful. How horrible would it have been to have spoken up and said “I’m not worthy to do this?” Would the world have ended? He had about as much authority as I have (that’s another topic!) and yet all those ordinances are valid and all is forgiven and forgotten. It makes me sick.
I made an appointment with our Bishop to go talk to him about these issues. Why I have no idea. It’s not like he is going to have any insight but who knows, maybe he will. It just burns me up that if the statistics are correct and 50% of men view porn then that means half of our priesthood leaders don’t have the Spirit with them which means there’s a reason everything is a mess in the church. So many men are terrible leaders and now I understand why–plenty are addicted to porn and lust and you can’t have the Spirit to lead and guide your efforts when you are not worthy of it. It all feels so hopeless. I stay in the church because I want to be like Christ–I don’t want to be like anyone else, the men or the women. I need to become who God needs me to become. But with bitter feelings like this I will never become who I need to become. I beg Heavenly Father in my prayers to take away my anger, bitterness, betrayal, and sadness. How long before that prayer is answered?