I was a good kid. Didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, over 4.0 GPA, seminary president (out of Utah, had to wake up at 4:30 every morning.) My only “problem” was I had a non-member girlfriend and we did “too much” according to church standards. Now, it never went beyond me touching her breasts on top of her clothes. I also did what 99% of young men do, yes masturbated, but I thought I was the only one. After 6 months of dating, and feeling guilt and shame for my sins, I decided to confess to my bishop.
I had just graduated from High School and was planning on going cross country to Ricks College (now BYU Idaho.) I was supposed to be ordained to an Elder before going to school. When I went in to confess, it did not go well. He told me I would not be able to take the sacrament for 3 months and wouldn’t be able to be ordained to an Elder until Christmas.
Being the good Mormon boy I was, I accepted it as my punishment for my sins and my way to repent. I stopped masturbating (didn’t do it again until after my mission.) I went to Ricks and when I met with my Bishop, he told me that he had gotten a call from my home Bishop and was told about my issues. So I had to retell everything to my bishop at Ricks. Again, I accepted it although I didn’t understand why my home Bishop would call him.
Later, after being married, getting divorced and trying to get sealing clearance to be sealed to my new wife, I was asked by my Stake President to recount all my major sins even if they had been repented of. So I had to go through all that with him and write it all in a letter to the First Presidency to get sealing clearance.
I don’t think I ever felt rid of those sins until leaving the church and recognizing that they weren’t sins. I felt so much guilt my whole life for things that I never should have felt guilt for. I thought there was no way I was going to make it to the Celestial Kingdom unless I shed my blood saving someone else. I dreamed of having an opportunity to give my life saving someone.