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Monday, August 19, 2013

Guest Post: A Series on Disfellowshipment, Part 3

The following is an anonymous guest post in what will be a three-part series on disfellowshipment. Submit your own guest post via email. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

Photo by emeritus contributor Clark
My last meeting was in an office with all the same Brethren who were there one year prior. The Bishop reviewed the steps I had taken and the progress I had made. They concluded that I had done my part and that I was now re-fellowshipped, so to speak. I walked out feeling light. I was so happy.

After getting in my Jeep, my feelings were completely opposite of the previous year. I felt light, full, and clear. I prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for the strength I was given and for my new-found strong testimony. After letting those close to me know, I went to the temple a few days later, alone, to reflect on my progress and get a greater vision of the eternal progress I still had in front of me. I didn't go in with any questions or seeking revelation, but just to thank Him for all that He had done for me and especially for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

A year of disfellowshipment will change you. I don't recommend going out and trying it, but I can say that for me it was one of the greatest things to happen in my life. Here is why:

I now have a stronger testimony in the power of the Atonement. I relied on it every day during that year and have greater faith in its power.

I have developed good and healthy habits that will forever keep me away from temptation, not all of it, obviously, but I am now more prepared to shake it off.

I have seen the destructive life I would be living, without the Gospel.

I have discovered my many weaknesses and learned how to fortify them against temptation.

I know without a doubt that I want a pure, obedient, and temple-worthy life.

I know that sins, even sins too difficult to discuss, can be forgiven and that I have Bishops and other leaders to help me.

I know that Heavenly Father loves me, no matter what.

Those are awesome things to discover, right?

Life now is as normal as most others. I have a calling in church. I'm married in the temple to my amazing wife, who supported me while we were dating while I was still on my road to recovery. I often see people who reject the sacrament or who are discouraged. Sometimes I want to go over and tell them that it will be ok, and sometimes I do.

It's not our position to judge people, we know that. Don't forget the "beam" in our own eye and judge others when we see their "mote.". If someone refuses a prayer, smile, and call on someone else. If someone rejects the sacrament, smile and move on. If you yourself are struggling with sins not yet repented of, gather courage and let them go! There is a freedom that comes with repentance and you can get there.

Alma 36: 18-21

18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, ahave mercy on me, who am bin the cgall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting dchains of edeath.

19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember myapains bno more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

20 And oh, what ajoy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.

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