I used to not be a very faithful member of the church. I was baptized when I was 8, raised in a devout family, but in my 20s I lost my way. About 2 years ago, I started going to church (not keeping all of the commandments — yet) and began to make some friends and feel a desire to be better. It’s been about eight months now that I’ve let go of my bad habits and I feel like I’m on the right track.
About four months ago, I met a gentleman who after a month of knowing me, felt like I was “the one"! We had so much fun together, everything clicked and we’d talk about marriage and our future kids' names, etc., etc.
I decided to tell him about my journey of inactivity in the church — because I wanted him to know me, like really know me. After a long talk, he started acting very differently. He wasn't returning calls and suggested that we just date casually, until finally he told me he didn’t want to be with someone who hadn’t been as faithful as he had been. He ended things and I haven’t heard from him since.
I am devastated for obvious reasons. I thought repentance and turning away from my old self would make me whole, but it seems like I’m not worthy of love and acceptance like I thought I would be. What more can I do to show that despite past mistakes, I can still be a good wife, mother and member of the church? And should I avoid telling those I’m dating about my past?
— Thanks, Dumped
A lot of the questions you’ve posed here are best answered by your Father in Heaven through prayer and your spiritual leaders at church.
What I want to add though, is that just because this man doesn’t want to date you, that does not mean that you’re not worthy of love and acceptance. In fact, even during your entire period of inactivity and throughout your entire life — you have and will always be worthy of those things.
Sin does not make a person unlovable.
This breakup is a breakup. It is not an indication of your status in the world, before God or in the LDS Church. It’s one man’s opinion. If I were you, I would not pursue this guy any further. Let him think what he thinks, and hopefully somewhere down the line he’ll learn better.
The missionary manual “Preach My Gospel,” talks about how repentance or changing our lives to be in harmony with God’s teachings — gives us a “fresh view of ourselves.” This man may not see this fresh view of you — but you do, and so does God.
Resist the temptation to believe someone else’s truth about you. Use your past to power yourself forward, to empathize with others, to forgive as you’ve been forgiven and to love more deeply. Be open about your experiences as you feel moved to do so and remember that you are no worse than anyone else, we all need forgiveness.
I know breakups are painful, but the pain eventually ends as we trust our Father in Heaven, are open to new experiences and keep the commandments.
I hope this helps.
Readers: Have you ever been dumped because of something you did in your past? How did you move on?