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Wednesday, August 24, 2005 

Confession is Good For the Soul

I have a guilty pleasure--I love confessing.

Ironic that I'm confessing that I take pleasure in confessing, isn't it?

Really, though, I live my life in a way I'm not ashamed of... most of the time. When there are incidents that make me embarrassed, I tell everyone about them. This, in turn, makes them quite funny (most of the time). Case in point, last year when I first started blogging, I was convinced that I had somehow contracted ringworm (AKA "jock itch") on my face. It later turned out to be eczema, but by that point everyone knew that I had jock itch on my face. It was really funny to tell people because, not in spite of, the embarrassment it caused me.

I've really only adopted this attitude since leaving the church, though. While I was a member I confessed to the bishop on more than one occaision. In all instances, though, I felt that the bishop never viewed me the same way and didn't trust me in the same way. I viewed the callings I recieved as being related to these confessions and I never felt that the bishop viewed me or trusted me quite the same. This is all related, I think, to the feelings of judgement and the guilt associated with it that come with belief in a religion that requires repentance.

These days, when I confess, I'm instantly ridding myself of the internal shame I used to carry around with me. I make these confessions in the form on blog entries, telephone calls to friends and dessert conversation.

Nothing makes me feel so free as not having secrets because I'm just not afraid of what people will think. This doesn't mean that I confess every detail of my life, or even every thing that I'm ashamed of, but I get most of it out there... and laugh a lot more for it.

I too make confessions in the form of blog entries.


I am interested in you take on "experimenting." I confess that I'm curious...

Well, there are confessions...and then there are CONFESSIONS. The discussion this week leaves me a bit puzzled, because if you don't have a certain set of beliefs regarding the atonement and forgiveness and the necessity for all of that, then what is the point of "confession"? Is it necessary in human nature to confess, even if you don't believe in sin? (This question is a general puzzlement thrown out for anyone to answer, of course.) How or why does confession rid us of "internal shame"?

I'm not sure confession rids us of shame, but I believe it can jump-start the healing process.

When your body develops an infection, it tries to wall it off, forming an "abcess" or a capsule around the infection. This can help prevent spread of the infection (though usually not), but it also prevents antibiotics and immune cells from arriving at the scene to fight off the invaders.

Frequently, the only way to cure an abcess is to lance it, or to open it up and drain off the infectious material.

I think sin festers in our souls in the same way. If we try to cover it up and hide it, it rots us down deep inside. The act of confession is purgatory in that it opens the diseased portion of our soul up to fresh air and healing sunshine. By relieving the spiritual weight from off your shoulders, you are better prepared to take the other necessary steps for the Savior's Atonement to become effective in your life. Confessing one's sins to Christ's representative does not rid us of shame, but it provides a portal for Christ to enter our infected soul, root out the evil, and heal us.

Rob... That was such a great analogy!

Suzie... You're not alone in your puzzlement over the topic... but I blame Carrie Ann!

Carrie Ann... I know you're not a cat, but I have some real fears that your curiosity might some day prove fatal--I'm just saying.

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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