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I feel I'll never be worthy for marriage.

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#1 brianhess226


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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:12 AM

I am fully active in the church and I have built a strong testimony. Somehow I feel I'll never be worthy of a celestial existence regardless of all my righteous efforts or sincerest desires.

I have struggled with a turbulent past. When growing up I dealt with being raised in a broken home, poverty, depression and a feeling of nonacceptance (In the church or outside the church). When I became older I never felt worthy of serving a mission and started living on my own. Life in general was new and exciting but I had fell away from the teachings of the gospel and spent 10 years inactive and participating in things that the Lord would never approve of.

Since then I have repented and invested my efforts on the right path in a expedient manner. I have been honoring my priesthood and soon I am expected receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and be able to have my personal Temple Endowment. I really never thought I could get to where I am now. I consider the strength the Lord has given me to turn my life around the ultimate blessing.

Still, I believe certain privileges are out of my grasp. One of those is a celestial marriage. It seems there's so much residual from my past that makes all my attempts on finding a eternal companion hopeless. I agree having standards and the ability to support a family are essential to consider but my history has exhibited only poor examples of both. I never served a mission, I have a (unresolved) criminal background, I have no higher education, and I have very little money.

As I am working on improving spiritually, I am also working on improving myself temporally. However my greatest fear is by the time I resolve every issue from my past, the opportunity on finding a compatible and committed spouse and creating a loving family will have passed by.

#2 BadWolf


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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:41 AM

So.... My son does this thing that drives me BONKERS.

If he can't have "it" right now... He doesn't want it.


I do the same thing. (With a tweak)

If I can't have something right now, Im AFRAID I'll never have it.

Despite ample (and almost constant) evidence to the contrary. Things do change. And many things I have now, I was afraid I never would.

Now... If you've got a terminal illness, are 104, etc... Then it might be a bit too late in this life.
But if you aren't dead, yet... And you're working toward something... ?

#3 brianhess226


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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:58 AM

I wish it was a matter of patience. With circumstances as they are and the rate things are going, It could take decades before I overcome my past. At 50, it'd be too late to start a career or begin having children of my own.

God will always forgive, but the world will never.

#4 BadWolf


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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:38 PM

Well... 50 isn't as old as you think it is. 15-25 more years of working (means figuring out a career at 50 if that's when you can start, is pretty vital to not die of boredom & starvation), still young enough to father children as a man or to adopt as a man or woman. Still young enough to live, and to love, and create joy. If that's your choice.

Just to be honest, there are things *I* won't forgive (there are 6 or 7 things that I, personally, can't get over). And it could be very Groucho Marx... While there are undoubtedly people who wouldn't blink twice at your past, you might not want to "join any club that would have you as a member". But while "the world" may not forgive... Individuals certainly, do. I would never forgive something many other people would. And vice versa. Some things others find as deal breakers I don't blink twice at.

I'm not saying its all going to be rainbows and unicorns.
I'm not saying that a lot of life doesn't boil down to luck and timing.
I'm not saying its not reasonable to get down about things that can't be changed.

But. I've found that life is usually what we make of it.
Giving up seems premature.
If it takes decades to sort?
The time will pass, no matter what.
Where do you want to stand at the end of that?
Having it sorted, or not?
Making the best of your time here, or living in fear?

I'm not saying go run out & start dating.
Do that temporal work.
A LOT of us have work to do (or should do) before dragging someone else in.
Become the person you want to be.
The person you would want FOR your spouse.

I can't promise you that everything will work out.
That's between you and God.
But what I can promise you is that time will pass.
And how you spend that time is up to you.
You can't control other people.
You often can't even control places (aka where you are).
But you CAN control you.
Your mind & your heart, in whatever place/with whatever people ...
Wherever you go, there you are.
The best of a bad situation,
or the worst of a great one;
is in the hands, hearts, and minds of those walking it.

#5 NeuroTypical


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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:07 PM

Hi brianhess,

A repentant heart and transparent honesty are two indications that someone is on the right track.

I have a (unresolved) criminal background

This is the only thing from your post that I or my wife can't personally identify with on some level. You don't need to go into any details here, but it sounds like there may be something here that may be standing in the way of you progressing. Such matters can be tricky, and what "resolved" looks like may or may not be apparent right now. But I can testify that just about every dumb thing a human being can do to himself or someone else, can be repented of, resolved, and forgiven by the Lord, here in this life.

As you consider temple matters, maybe consider one of the questions you'll be asked in the Temple Recommend interview: "Have there been any sins or misdeeds in your life that should have been resolved with priesthood authorities but have not been?"
If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack, to sit in the synagogue and pray.
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall.
And I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day.
That would be the sweetest thing of all.

If I were a rich man...

#6 All_Apologies



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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:12 AM


Guess who wants you to feel discouraged, like there is no hope? The adversary. And guess what...he hates you and wants you to be miserable. Life is difficult. We all make mistakes. But so does the pianist who is learning to play the piano. And how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.

Plus, with a criminal background, you can still start your own business. Or, maybe you could be a truck driver or something (I've known others who have done this). You have options. There is hope for you. And if you seek God, He can help you. I know, because he has helped me, and I am a woman who has made many, many, many mistakes in her life.

#7 FunkyTown


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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:08 PM

No one here knows much about what's going on. There really isn't enough information here to be able to tell or provide you information.

Just as a thought: We don't know what unresolved criminal background you have. Are you currently serving a life sentence for murder? That definitely could put a crimp in to finding an eternal companion in the here and now. We also don't know how bad your depression is, which would definitely contribute to a feeling of alienation.

There are ways to resolve everything, but we really don't know enough to give real advice, if that's what you're looking for.

I. Am. A. Socialist. :)

#8 garryw


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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:41 AM

Alma the younger had a colorful past before his conversion. Next thing you know he's the spiritual leader of an entire society. Point is, nobody is worthy of celestial glory on their own. If you know someone who does not need a redeemer, I would like to meet him.

#9 Bini



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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

In my understanding, none of us will ever be Christ worthy in this mortal life, we all fall short despite our efforts. Thank goodness for the Lord's love, mercy and Atonement for us. The thing to remember is that we STRIVE for perfection, and through our humility and charity, we become closer to Christ and like Christ.

No more dancing candy cane - hurrah!

#10 ACommonMan


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Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:18 PM

Step 1: Forgive Yourself
Step 2: See step 1.

Like Loudmouth, I too hope your Bishop is fully aware of what is or is not resolved. If there are no secrets with him and he has cleared you to get the Melchizedek Priesthood, the rest is just a matter of being open to possibilities.

There is a book by Tad R. Callister called "The Infinite Atonement". It's a long read, but it spells out in great detail just how powerful the Atonement really is. There is so much more to it than we tend to talk about. We should never place our own limitations on it, such as, "It can get me to the temple, but it can't get me a celestial marriage." Christ's Atonement will redeem the entire planet and return it to its original orbit near Kolob. Redeeming us, by comparison, is a minor task.

Edited by ACommonMan, 05 February 2013 - 06:22 AM.

#11 jb789



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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:38 AM

Worthiness is a very misunderstood topic in the Church - what it really means is we are "whole", or "holy". It means we are at peace with ourselves and our God.

It does not mean we measure up to some external standard or some expectation of another! God knows our heart. It is said in Eastern philosphy, "the first step is the last". What this means is, the moment you decide to turn your will over to God and strive to do what is right, this is the re-birth, this is the beginning and the end. A man or woman that makes this decision, no matter where they are in their life, has entered the straight and narrow path - and the goal, eternal life, is just a matter of time. The first step is the last step!

So, do not be consumed with a false idea of "worthiness". Ironically, when we pursue "worthiness" from an external-based approach (live up to other's expectations, external standards, etc) it will only leave us feeling like we're not measuring up! But if we are true to our hearts and seek God in humility, we will feel His love for us, and we will love ourselves. And this allows us to love others.

A child does not think of how he or she can be "worthy". He just lives in his innocence! Becoming like children (as Christ directed) means we stop judging, and this includes ourselves.

Focus on being at peace with God and yourself, the rest is irrelevant. Of what use is striving for some concept of "worthiness" if it brings you no peace? When we see ourselves as God sees us, we are whole, we are complete and at peace. When we judge ourselves, perfection is always out of our reach, it is like the carrot dangled before the horse, we can never reach it!

#12 annalyn


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:41 PM

I understand where you are coming from. I grew up in a broken home, dirt poor, was constantly depressed and anxious, etc. As a teenager I never did drugs or anything but I did end up having a child out of wedlock, which is a big Taboo in the LDS church. Repenting can be hard sometimes (especially restitution), but really being forgiven is pretty easy. The Lord sees your heart ans is merciful. The hard part is forgiving yourself which is what it sounds like you need to do.

News flash: You aren't perfect. Neither am I. Neither is anybody. That is why we repent. And in the areas that we are trying but aren't quite there, the Lord's grace is sufficient for us. As long as you try, his grace is sufficient. You have to have faith that the atonement can work for YOU. That Christ atoned specifically for YOU. That he would do it again for YOU alone (I know he would).

Ultimately, the more straight and narrow your path gets, the harder Satan will try to put things in your way and cause you to veer off. He wants you to feel this way. He wants you to feel unworthy. Trust in the Lord's atonement. Believe in his grace. He can make up for any imperfection you have as long as you are trying.

Not serving a mission is not the end of the world. My brother didn't and I watched him get married in the temple last year. As for higher education, what's stopping you? I was a drop-out and I still went to college (still working on my degree). Get a certificate of completion or go for an associate's. There is so much to choose from. Start with a community college. Get financial aid if you can. This can solve your money problem too, since later you will have more career opportunities.

NEVER stop working on improving yourself. Ask your bishop about education and career resources. There are a lot of services through the church that can help you get on track.

I don't have much advice about the unresolved criminal background, but don't beat yourself up too much. Resolve what you can, don't worry about what you can't. Do good from now on. Put good things on your resume so you can prove that you have changed. A lot of employers will still hire someone with a criminal background, especially if they have been doing service and good things.

Instead of worrying about the future, just think about what you can do right this very moment to improve. If you do that, the future will resolve itself. So many people in the scriptures changed their worldly ways and went on to be the best missionaries and teachers and prophets out there! Don't ever lose hope. Your soul is worth worlds and Christ would love to see you sealed in the temple.

You don't have to be perfect now. Don't wait until everything is completely resolved to start living your life and looking for a companion.

This fits more for my situation than yours but don't you think if Rahab the prostitute was in the lineage of King David and Jesus, and King David and Bathsheba's son turned out to be King Solomon who was easily the wisest person who ever lived, you have the potential for celestial marriage and an amazing posterity too? Don't you think if Alma the younger can repent and be forgiven then you can too? I think so. :)

I'm now sealed in the Temple after everything I went through. It was a crazy road but it was worth it. I hope you get there someday too.

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