I Don’t Care What You Think Of Me!


There is nothing like experience to teach you important lessons in life. Like most aging people, I feel young at heart and that my soul is still that of a teenager, but you can’t help but gain wisdom and knowledge the longer you travel down life’s highway. So it was with a lesson I was taught by a woman in her early thirties. She came in to see me when I was a young and inexperienced Bishop. She had come to talk to me regarding a confidential matter. As we sat down I could see that she was very troubled. Over the course of the next hour she spoke to me of some things she had done before becoming married. As a young woman she had broken some serious commandments that she had never divulged to anyone. She had felt very burdened and wanted to make things right. We had a heartfelt conversation regarding repentance and it’s role in the healing of our souls. It seemed to me that she felt much better by the time our conversation ended. As she got up to leave I escorted her to the door. This was a sister who I admired and who was faithfully serving in her calling as a mother, wife and church member. In my desire to make her feel comfortable I said to her as I started to open the door, “I just want you to know that I don’t think any less of you after our conversation.” As she walked out the door, she turned and gave this unforgettable reply, “Bishop, I don’t care what you think of me, I care what the Lord thinks of me and that I am right with him!”

She taught me a lesson that I would never forget. She taught me that I was the temporary representative of Jesus Christ who had been given the keys and authority to handle such matters. She was coming to me to make things right between her and the Lord. Somehow I had lost sight of that. What I thought of her should have been of no significance.

I certainly had not meant to offend this sister, nor in any way diminish the process of repentance. Yet, by making such a statement I had done so unwittingly. After she left I sat at my desk and thought about that exchange. The revealed manner of repentance sometimes requires the participation of priesthood authority. But lest any of us think otherwise, repentance is a process strictly between an individual and Heavenly Father. While a priesthood leader may be involved, he is simply a third-party, called of God, who serves as a conduit and facilitator of the cleansing power that comes from God himself to His children.


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