Confession from a Mormon

I spent the night thinking about this thread.

Multiple people have given their experiences of getting strange looks or receiving poor treatment from Mormons who notice their cross or crucifix. One poster, who chose to be best man at his LDS friend’s wedding reception, even mentioned an LDS bishop going down the line shaking everyone’s hands, took one look at his crucifix, and moved past him without a handshake to the next person in line. I find these stories to be evidence that some of us mormons have some repenting to do, and we need to step up our behavior.

Since confessing the sins of others is a waste of time, so I look into my own actions to see what’s there. I don’t ever remember acting in such an insulting way when encountering a crucifix or cross, but I have sinned against Catholics in two related ways.

First, back in the mid '90’s, I got on an elevator where I worked. One other occupant made the ride with me - a woman with a black smear on her forehead. At the time, I was unaware of the practice on ash Wednesday, and didn’t know what was happening. But rather than ask her about it, I’m afraid that I just came across with a reaction similar to these stories from that thread. I regret reacting in that way. I don’t remember her name and will never be able to apologize to her directly, so I’m coming here and apologizing to you folks. I’m sorry, and I won’t do it again.

Second, once or twice a year, I see a thread on some LDS discussion board about someone wearing a crucifix. It often generates a lot of activity, as various mormons and nonmormons chime in with a wide range of opinions. I’ve never participated, because I never really cared what people wear or why. Up until last night, I had failed to educate myself about why some of my Catholic neighbors do what they do, and the importance of the crucifix in their worldview. I’m sorry. Now I know, and I commit to participating in these LDS discussions to defend your practice, and spread the information.

So, after reading a few threads here on CAF about confession, I’m a little unclear about a Catholic’s position. I hear some saying you only confess to a priest, others saying you confess to God. But for a mormon, it’s pretty clear. Part of applying Christ’s atonement in our lives involves repenting of sins. Part of repentance is confessing sins. Wherever possible, we must confess to those we have offended. I’ve sinned against Catholics. I’m sorry.

I have always heard that Mormons are expected to confess to their Ward’s Bishop and that repentance times can be very long, what Catholics would call penance.

Is that true?

Very good thread. Your world is starting to open up. But don’t worry. I don’t hold you or any other Mormon responsible for 1 mans faults. We forgive that we may be forgiven. But there are people like this in all religions. And for confession, well we do go see a priest but I have asked God directly to be forgiven of my sins and truly believe that I’m forgiven. You may ask how I know I am, well when a person feels a great weight lifted from their shoulders and their entire body feels warm, God (H.S) has cleansed me. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

NT,
Internet forums are thier own reality in many ways. People talk here to others in a way they would never dream of talking in the real world. Here, you’re a username and maybe a cute picture in you avatar. In the real world you’re looking into someone’s eyes, and that makes a world of difference.
Don’t take internet discussions forums too seriously.
I returned to the CC based on years of study and research in the “real world”. By the time I first logged into CAF, my mind was pretty much made up already. Not based on internet discussion, but based on how God was leading me in real life.
It’s obvious that God is leading you as well. And I hope that continues.

This is from our Gospel Essentials manual - used in Sunday School classes for investigators, new members, and anyone who wants to brush up on the basics:

Confessing our sins is very important. The Lord has commanded us to confess our sins. Confession relieves a heavy burden from the sinner. The Lord has promised, “I, the Lord, forgive sins, and am merciful unto those who confess their sins with humble hearts” (D&C 61:2).

We must confess all our sins to the Lord. In addition, we must confess serious sins—such as adultery, fornication, homosexual relations, spouse or child abuse, and the sale or use of illegal drugs—which might affect our standing in the Church, to the proper priesthood authority. If we have sinned against another person, we should confess to the person we have injured. Some less serious sins involve no one but ourselves and the Lord. These may be confessed privately to the Lord.

Hey, we all make mistakes, and we all exercise bad judgement here and there.

Some of it is intentional, some of it isn’t. That is part of growing up, and growing spiritually, and I would like to think that we all go through it.

Lord knows that I have offended more than one person in my life. All we can do is try to learn from it, and grow.

Being an RCIA director, I try to have some sort of working knowledge of various faiths in order for me to help candidates through the process. Kind of like trying to know where they are coming from.

I have attended a variety of services (including Mormon), and try my best to know ahead of time what is allowed or isn’t, what might be offensive and not, without hiding my Catholic identity.

Being open to learning is a great blessing, and I think you are exhibiting that.

Good for you, great post.!!

Perhaps you will find these helpful:

catholic.com/tracts/the-forgiveness-of-sins
ewtn.com/expert/answers/confession_of_sin_to_a_priest.htm
americancatholic.org/Newsletters/YU/ay0199.asp
catholic.com/tracts/confession

Simply, mortal or serious sins must be confessed to a priest, who has the authority and power from God to forgive sins in the name of Jesus Christ (since it is He who gave that authority, and it is He who ultimately forgives and cleanses us). Venial or minor sins do not have to be.

When we (Catholics) take part in the sacrament of reconciliation we are confessing to God. The priest acts in persona Christi Capitis, in other words he has the authority to act in the power and place of the person Christ as a result of his ordination as a priest. (see CCC 1548). Reconciliation, or confession, is an important part of living as a Catholic. When we sin we remove ourselves from God’s grace and the sacrament of Reconciliation is the pathway to forgiveness and the sacrament of the Eucharist.

We also ask forgiveness (or should) anytime we pray. However when we commit a mortal sin we must reconcile ourselves back into God’s grace and this can only be done through confession, penance, and absolution.

I have a good Morman friend who once told me that if Mormanism isn’t true ( trust me he was being rhetorical and does believe in Mormanism) then it must be Catholicism.

Also, when I was Protestant I used to have Morman’s coming to my home evangelizing. Once I converted, and stuck a Mary statue in the yard, it stopped. I always took that to mean they don’t think we need evangelizing.

So, this suprises me a bit.

Catholic teaching requires Catholics to go to Confession at least once a year. That means you don’t just show up at a public penance service, listen to the priest(s) talk, and then walk out.

The Church is VERY clear that confessing sins one-on-one with a priest is needed.

As for Catholics who “confess their sins to God” without the Sacrament Confession, I sure hope they have perfect contrition, and I’m no moralist, but if you know you’re supposed to go to Confession and don’t go under pain of mortal sin, I don’t see how you can have any kind of contrition and risk arriving to Judgement as a enemy of God.

The fact is a lot of Catholics do not go Confession. I think in some places I’ve gone, I’ve been the only one on a Saturday night. There was also a statement from a priest noting how parishes (maybe they still do) had Confession by appointment only. :rolleyes: In his view (and in mine) this was unacceptable.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, a lot of people who call themselves “Catholic” really are not so hot in practice. I can tell you I mess up a lot, too. But there’s a big difference between people who strive to be better and others who just make up excuses to be the way they are. Call people out on it, and you’ll be accused of judging or some other nonsense, but that comes with the territory of telling the Truth.

When I lived in Phoenix, Arizona, at Christmas, I went to the Mormon Temple in Mesa, Arizona for their spectacular, state-acclaimed Christmas lights display. It was gorgeous. As I went through their ‘museum’, I noticed all the pictures of Jesus and how the pictures showed the love of God for all people. I thought, ‘my Lord is here, too’

I know that we have many differences in doctrine, but I embrace anyone who truly loves Jesus and puts him first in all things.

I just pray, that Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane may one day come true: that we may all be one, as He is one.

God bless you, as we all strive, despite our differences, to love and serve He who has been sent, namely Jesus, our Lord.

That was an awesome post. Thank you

Fantastic post! Thank you.

I agree that we can all improve on being more polite and kind to those around us.

When I was Mormon, I made that same rhetorical statement. When I left the LDS church, I still believed in God so I first looked at Judaism and Christianity. I then determined that there is sufficient evidence to believe that Jesus was telling the truth and that He is our risen Lord. I then looked at the Catholic and Orthodox churches to determine which is the church Christ founded which I believe is the Catholic Church. You just never know if that thinking will actually lead someone home to the Catholic Church.

The Mary statue is a great idea! Maybe the love bombing will stop if I put a statue of Mary in our front flower bed! :wink:

Well it might be different for love bombing, but a statue is no help around here for missionaries and in one instance lead to a conversation where the knockers disdain for my faith was obvious.

Confession is an interesting topic. :wink: You may find this of interest

In the Baha’i Faith we only confess our sins privately to God. Link to the Glad Tidings of Baha’u’llah, a great work! - reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/TB/tb-4.html

When the sinner findeth himself wholly detached and freed from all save God, he should beg forgiveness and pardon from Him. Confession of sins and transgressions before human beings is not permissible, as it hath never been nor will ever be conducive to divine forgiveness. Moreover such confession before people results in one’s humiliation and abasement, and God—exalted be His glory—wisheth not the humiliation of His servants. Verily He is the Compassionate, the Merciful. The sinner should, between himself and God, implore mercy from the Ocean of mercy, beg forgiveness from the Heaven of generosity and say:

O God, my God! I implore Thee by the blood of Thy true lovers who were so enraptured by Thy sweet utterance that they hastened unto the Pinnacle of Glory, the site of the most glorious martyrdom, and I beseech Thee by the mysteries which lie enshrined in Thy knowledge and by the pearls that are treasured in the ocean of Thy bounty to grant forgiveness unto me and unto my father and my mother. Of those who show forth mercy, Thou art in truth the Most Merciful. No God is there but Thee, the Ever-Forgiving, the All-Bountiful.
O Lord! Thou seest this essence of sinfulness turning unto the ocean of Thy favour and this feeble one seeking the kingdom of Thy divine power and this poor creature inclining himself towards the day-star of Thy wealth. By Thy mercy and Thy grace, disappoint him not, O Lord, nor debar him from the revelations of Thy bounty in Thy days, nor cast him away from Thy door which Thou hast opened wide to all that dwell in Thy heaven and on Thine earth.
Alas! Alas! My sins have prevented me from approaching the Court of Thy holiness and my trespasses have caused me to stray far from the Tabernacle of Thy majesty. I have committed that which Thou didst forbid me to do and have put away what Thou didst order me to observe.
I pray Thee by Him Who is the sovereign Lord of Names to write down for me with the Pen of Thy bounty that which will enable me to draw nigh unto Thee and will purge me from my trespasses which have intervened between me and Thy forgiveness and Thy pardon.
Verily, Thou art the Potent, the Bountiful. No God is there but Thee, the Mighty, the Gracious.

Best of luck with Faith and Life - Regards Tony

You are required to go to confession only for mortal sins. You do not have to go even once a year for venial sins.

The main difference that I see in Mormon confessions to their bishop and Catholic confessions to a priest is that the Catholic priest cannot ever tell what was said.

On the forums for ex-moroms there are often complaints about the bishop telling his wife or others and it becoming gossip in the ward. A Mormon bishop may be supposed to keep confession confidential but there seems to be no punishment if they do not.

another difference is the Catholic confession is a pouring out of your heart while the Priest listens, often not knowing who you are.

The lds one is a 2nd degree from the bishop asking if you have done this or that.

I’ve confessed to two LDS bishops in the last two decades. In both cases, there was indeed a lot of listening, and an neither case did I feel like it was an interrogation. I’m not saying Texan’s take on things never happens, just saying my two experiences were the exact opposite.

It is true that confessing to church leaders in the LDS church is not anonymous.

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