Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Institute- Law of Chastity

Yeah. That picture was kind of how I was feeling in institute today. Probably not the same meaning. (Player=Gets settled down=Game Over) I was feeling like, Game over for me! I'm not getting married! There is no way that could happen after this class. My BFF, my future MOH, Alyssa told me that she had been going to institute. I thought that would be fun because one of the classes she is taking is called, "Preparing for an Eternal Marriage." Perfect. Just what I need to get off my mind of being baby hungry is to get wedding hungry. I'm sure my boyfriend just LOVES it.

Class was about: The Law of Chastity.

It shouldn't come to a big surprise to ya'll that I haven't kept the Law of Chastity. If you don't know how babies are made, I advise you to Google. No images please.
We started talking about how Joseph was a servant to Potipher and how Potipher's wife, day after day, would tell Joseph to lie with her. And in Genesis 39:36 it says to the the extent that he wouldn't even be around her. So with that, not to get yourself into compromising situations where something COULD happen. Common sense. Yes? The natural man does take over if we're not careful.

Well, we covered a talk called, "Personal Purity" by Elder Holland.
In the eyes of me, it probably the harshest talk that I had ever read. It felt as if I was being kicked in the face a million times.

The three topics that were covered were: The Doctrine of the Human Soul, The Ultimate Symbol of Total Union, A Symbol of the Relationship with God.
I'll just write some of the quotes that were taken out of this talk that we talked about.

The Doctrine of the Human Soul.
"In sexual transgression the soul is at stake- the body and the spirit."

Yeah, not so bad. It makes sense... it gets worse.

The Ultimate Symbol of Total Union.

"The Prophet Joseph Smith once said we perhaps could render such a sacred bond as being "welded" one to another." - If you don't know much about welding. When you weld two metals together and melt them into one, it's a stronger piece than when it was two separate pieces in the beginning. Much harder to break.

"But such a total union, such an unyielding commitment between a man and a woman, can only come with the proximity and permanence afforded in a marriage covenant, with solemn promises and the pledge of all they possess- their very hearts and minds, all their days and all their dreams." - Yes, it's a good thing to have the covenant between a man and a woman. The promises they make to each other and for each other.

We went later on saying that we kind of go through a moral schizophrenia, if we don't have that marriage covenant. Because in the world, marriage is ancient. It's cool to just live with each other and never have the commitment to get married. And what the teacher said made TOTAL sense to me because it was a fear of mine. That you come home and find that they aren't there anymore. It was a daily thing for me that the boys I was dating would just walk out the door any moment, change their minds over night. I HATED that feeling. It was heartbreaking.

This part kind of cut deep.

"You cannot give everything until you are legally and lawfully married. To give illicitly that which is not yours to give (remember, "you are not your own") and to give only part of that which cannot be followed with the gift of your whole self is emotional Russian roulette. If you persist in pursuing physical satisfaction with the sanction of heaven, you run the terrible risk of such spiritual, psychic damage that you may undermine both your longing for physical intimacy and your ability to give wholehearted devotion to a later, truer love."

Well, shit. To put it lightly.

This part got to me THE worst.

"On your wedding day the very best gift you can give your eternal companion is your very best self- clean and pure and worthy of such purity in return."

I turned to Alyssa and I said, "I have to apologize to Tayler." It hit me THAT hard. I said it out loud as soon as I read it.

I'll move on to the last one before I continue my story.

A Symbol of the Relationship with God.

"One aspect of that divinity given to virtually all men and women is the use of His power to create a human body, that wonder of all wonders, a genetically and spiritually unique being never before seen in the history of the world and never to be duplicated again in all the ages of eternity."

And going on with that, the teacher started saying how awesome it was about having a baby in the hospital. To look at it and think that it wasn't alive 9 months ago. And there it was in your arms, living, breathing.
Thanks for the reminder.

I was feeling pretty down on myself.

I was going through all of that thinking, there is NO way Tayler could want me. I couldn't give him the best thing he could have on his possible wedding day. After all of it I texted him and told him the quote and right after I said, "I'm sorry :("

And this is why I'm probably fallen madly in love with this guy.

"Babe. You are working towards that pure and clean part. You know that when we go to the temple all of our past sins will be gone right? The slate will be clean."

I said, "I should've been in the first place."

Okay, listen. I'm not the type of girl to be fishing for compliments from boyfriends. Tayler tells me everyday how wonderful I am(not to be bragging or anything.). But I honestly was feeling WAY down. I read back through it I'm like... did I really just say that?

He said, "Don't beat yourself up for your past. If you didn't do what you did then Olivia would of never been born and you probably would of never met me."

I said, "I just don't feel worthy of you."

He said, "Honey, you've gone through all of that to show what you do deserve. A temple marriage and a worthy husband. I want to be that husband for you. And yes you do deserve someone caring and pure and worthy. I want to be that person for you. Believe in yourself and don't be hard on yourself for what's happened. Embrace it and learn from it. I know you can."

I finally had to get it through my brain that I am able to return to purity and that I will be able to make it to the temple someday. Right now, there are so many new emotions and triggers that I never knew about until today. And I'm just learning how to overcome the obstacles, one day at a time. I need to learn even though the pain that I feel right now may feel awful and dreading but as I'm going through my repentance process, I will begin to feel less and less pain from my past and will be able to learn from it. I sometimes preach, but don't take the advice for myself. I was talking to Andee about this post a little bit before and she said that the first year is the hardest. I'm beginning to believe it. And what Kiley has said (she had a little boy almost 2 years ago and placed for adoption. I went to high school with her.), "The hole in my heart gradually gets smaller but it never goes away."

Yep, I took this picture of the Salt Lake Temple. I know when you look at this and think, Stefanie has this hidden talent of some photog skills and made this Temple look absolutely gorgeous. It already is gorgeous, how can you not look at it and think, "I'd love to get married there." I do every time I see it.

I need to see my goal. And remember the Atonement, there was a quote by C.S. Lewis. Oh what a spiritual man. He said, "He [Christ] has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created. When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only man in the world."
I almost feel when I compare what I've done in my life to Christ's atonement. What I've done isn't nearly as bad as what Christ had to go through and I'm grateful that He has. To remind me what I need to be grateful for. And that because of that sacrifice alone, I can return to him, I can repent and become clean, pure, and worthy again.

I hope this has helped someone who has struggled with some of the same things that I have had such as becoming worthy again, and that it IS possible. Trust me.

I have reminders everyday of how lucky I am to be here and it's these two faces right here:

I wouldn't trade them for anything in this world.


  1. I agree that the first year is the hardest to get through.

  2. Forgiving yourself is one of the hardest parts of repenting. And so is believing that Christ can wash your sins away. In years to come you will still feel sorrow for what you have done in the past, but the sting will be gone. It won't hurt anymore.

    Right now as you are going through the repentance process it is good that you are feeling these things. They help you have Godly sorrow which leads to a changed heart. The fact that your response to that quote was to apologize to Tayler shows that. It's hard and it sucks, but it is worth the pain to be clean. Remember the story from C.S. Lewis' the Voyage of the Dawn Treader? When the boy turned into a dragon for stealing gold? The only way he could turn back into a boy was by painfully scraping the scales off his own body. It HURT, but it was the only way. Repentance requires action by you, but it is Christ who makes that action mean something. Sorry for the lecture...

    And it seriously sounds like you found a gem. Tayler is going to be welcomed with open arms into the family.

  3. Stefanie,

    Thank you for sharing your journey. We have a special 15 year old daughter that we adopted through LDS Family Services. You seem like the typical LDS birth mom that we were told about. Someone who's life is turned around and very blessed because of the birth/adoption experience. I do hope that everyday blessings come to you as Olivia and her family are blessed every day. I started reading at the beginning of your story. I think I am at April 09. I am anxious to get to what's happening with you now.

    When I think back on my teen years I don't think I have forgiven myself 100% but definitely at 52 I understand myself and others a lot more because of my life experiences. Sometimes at church I am annoyed at some people because I don't think they can relate to anything that isn't being good. Then I wonder what people and mistakes have others made. I really appreciate my daughters YW leaders who are able to love her (and maybe understand) unconditionally. Maybe that is where you'll be in a few years from now.

    I thought this paragraph was interesting.
    "One aspect of that divinity given to virtually all men and women is the use of His power to create a human body, that wonder of all wonders, a genetically and spiritually unique being never before seen in the history of the world and never to be duplicated again in all the ages of eternity."

    I am SO blessed that I have had the wonderful experience of giving birth. I wish all men and women did have that divine experience.

    I think it makes me feel that church leaders and teacher have good things to say but not all that they say is perfect. We are not on earth because we are all going to be perfect.

    I think that you are smart, talented, good and pretty. I am proud of you that you are working on a relationship with Heavenly Father. That is the one that is most important. I hope you feel his unconditional love!

    I do. I have twin four year old boys that I am blessed to have and need to go take care of.


  4. Stefanie! You have no idea how much I needed that! Thank you thank you thank you! :D

  5. I think when we are trying to change (and especially if the temple is a goal) Satan tries his hardest to make us feel like it's impossible.
    You are on the right track and you have a wonderful man to support you. :) I have enjoyed reading your blog- keep it up! I can't wait to hear about the day you get your recommend. I know you can do it!

  6. It was touching to read your post. Don’t give up. No ones perfect we all need the love and forgiveness of our Heavenly Father.

    Ps thanks for putting up our adoption button!

  7. The one thing you need to remember is when you confess your sins and clear the repentance process, your slate is wiped clean. None of your prior sins are in place, unless you repeat them. That is the key. I would be willing to bet that you will not have this problem again!

    I was in a similar situation when I came back to the church - except no baby. We tried - but it didn't happen. When I finally came back to the church and then met my husband, it was very hard. He was a straight arrow. Never strayed. How could he love someone like me? But, he does. We have been married for 8 1/2 years and together for 9 1/2.

    You deserve to be happy. Don't cheat yourself out of something great because you think you don't deserve it. You do!!

  8. Hey Stefanie, I found your blog through Valery's blog and I just have to tell you I think you are an amazing woman! I've been reading your blog for the last hour and I'm so impressed with your strength. What you have done for Olivia and Valery is an amazing AMAZING thing! You're going to be a wonderful momma to the children that come to you in the future. Keep making good decisions and you will be amazed at how your sacrifice has made you stronger for the things ahead. I hope you don't mind if I check back. I really want to see your wedding pictures in front of the temple:)

  9. i love love love reading your blog. the end.

    oh wait...not the end. i just wanted to tell you HOW FREAKING GLAD you're working towards going to the temple. i PROMISE you will love it. there is nothing better than kneeling across the alter holding hands with your honey knowing you're completely worthy to be there and that when you leave you're souls will be sealed together FOREVER. i promise. keep working towards it. it's an amazing experience.

    also...as an adopted baby...i can tell you, nothing will be more exciting in my relationship with carrin than going to see her be sealed to her husband. knowing that you've turned your life around and got sealed in the temple will make olivia so proud of you. i mean, she's kind of a baby so she can't understand it now, but when she's older and realizes what you did for her to have a better life, and that you cleaned up and pulled it together and got sealed, she'll have so much respect for you!! congrats again, if you need wedding planning help let me know, i have lots of contacts and everything still!

  10. I had the same problem. Because I had no respect for myself when I was about 19, I got myself into situations that I wish I could not only take back but I really wish I could forget. The hardest thing I've ever had to do was tell Mike (who'd been a good Mormon boy) that he would not be the first one to see me naked, he would not be the first one whose hands had touched me and that the last ones to do so had gone that far without my permission.

    He took it really hard. I didn't hear from him for three days (I was in Germany, he was in Pennsylvania at the time) and I was sure he'd decided I was 'unclean.'

    We worked through it. It was really hard but we worked through it.

    Last year (we've been together for seven years) the topic came up again. I'd been talking about a guy I'd been head-over-heels for when I was a teenager and I casually said that he was the closest I'd ever felt to being in love with someone, before Mike.

    He was surprised and said, "You didn't love those other guys?" I shook my head. "No. What made me ask them to stop was feeling like I should be able to say 'I love you' but not being able to. You're the only one I've ever said that to."

    The point is this; while someone else may have 'had' you, they only got your shell. I promise you that the way you feel about your husband on your wedding night is nothing like you've felt before and there is nothing you've done that will lessen that sacred moment. The day I became a wife I gave myself to my husband in a way I've never given myself to anyone; full heart and self. Nobody can take that from you and even if you feel like you've already given that, I promise you it's not the case.

    You have something wonderful to give to your husband. And he will see it as the most precious, purest gift you could give.

  11. "If you have repented from serious transgression and mistakenly believe that you will always be a second class citizen in the Kingdom of God, learn that it is not true. The Savior said, 'Behold he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more (D&C 58:42-43).'

    To you who have sincerely repented yet continue to feel the burden of guilt, realize that to continue to suffer for sins when there has been proper repentence and forgiveness of the Lord is prompted by the Master of Deceit. Lucifer will encourage you to continue to relieve the details of past mistakes knowing such thoughts could hamper your progress...

    How difficut it must be for Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, to see so many needlessly suffer because his gift of repentance is ignored....

    When memory of past mistakes encroaches upon your mind, turn your thoughts to the Redeemer and to the miracle of forgiveness with the renewal that comes through Him. Your depression and suffering will be replaced by peace, joy, and gratitude for his love."

    -Richard G. Scott (October Conference, 2000)