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August 20, 2022

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CharlieBrown2292October 25, 2018

With the exception of one reader, everyone is missing one essential point: this aging brother is struggling with depression. Someone with depressive tendencies sees the world through a distorted lens and can sometimes fantasize things that do not reflect reality. For example, someone with bipolar tendencies can become flirtatious with people other than their spouses, yet have a solid testimony and commitment to the gospel. It's all about brain chemistry gone afoul, and this needs to be treated by a competent physician -- and not all are! This brother's obsession with being forgiven is another symptom of depression, what we define as Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder. So, all the wise advice being provided won't serve any purpose if the Brother does not receive appropriate medication. And the offended family would also do well to better understand that it's all about brain chemistry and not real intent to hurt.

HalOctober 24, 2018

I am quite concerned with the tenor of the comments to this article. I think we may be jumping to judgement too quickly. There is nothing in the article to suggest that this brother did anything grossly inappropriate. Had that been the case, the man's bishop would have initiated disciplinary action (perhaps he did, but it wasn’t mentioned in the article). Even the title of the article twists the man's actual words ("I betrayed" in the title is a lot different than “Because of some mistakes that I made, this family FEELS that I have caused them considerable pain and suffering and a POSSIBLE betrayal of their trust.”). We do not know the nature of this man's "mistakes" or “inappropriate behaviors.” For all we know, they were innocuous overtures of fondness that were completely acceptable just generation ago. How do we know this brother has not already spoken with his wife about his "inappropriate behaviors" and she understands and supports him? There is nothing in the article to suggest otherwise. I feel the advice by Geoff Steurer is valid - that the brother should give the family space and time to consider his apologies and work through the forgiveness process at their own pace. Beyond that, I think it would be appropriate to cut this brother some slack and not judge when we don't have all the details of the incident.

EveOctober 22, 2018

This letter has bothered me all weekend, so I decided to comment. I find it so concerning that this brother seems more focused with what this family thinks of him, than his wife does. He even mentioned he was married, almost as an after thought. The betrayal to her (the infatuation and whatever came of it, even if it wasn't sexual) is far greater than to this ministering family. It's obvious that he's left quite a bit out, which tells me he has a long way to go. I agree with Helen. He needs to stop focusing on this family. I don't know what's in his heart, but if there was a true spirit of repentance, it seems that he would have mentioned a great deal more on how he repented to his wife.

CubbyOctober 22, 2018

Add my own two bits. It could be wise to be evaluated for dementia. If there are signs, medications can help and the sooner the better. That could contribute to the depression. There is no reason to continue to try to minister to the family. If you have not been reassigned, get reassigned fast. Leave them alone. take care of yourself. The world has changed and it may be that you do not understand the changes that have affected women and all people in their lives. It is not the world you and I grew up in. Leave them alone and do not write any more letters or make other contact. Get with a senior group. Maybe a Seniors Family Home Evening Group or a Senior Center and enrich your life as you explore other avenues of serving and new friendships with others your age.

MaceyOctober 19, 2018

I’m hoping he has been released from ministering to them. It didn’t say. I wondered if that’s another reason why he’s trying to get back with them. I thought it was such great advice to completely back off from the family and focus on why it happened to begin with. He can’t decide their actions from her but he can his. I love the atonement of Christ and that we can all be forgiven.

Helen OttenOctober 19, 2018

This writer is still focused on this family (27 y.o.infatuation).. Not his wife, his family, why is he still trying to have a relationship with them (her)? Using general conference talks to manipulate someone to do what you want them to do is the wrong tack. Sounds like he needs counseling as well as medication for suicidal thoughts and behavior.

vickie cloudOctober 19, 2018

I can see why the family or the girl doesn't want you around. they are protecting their daughter. there is no way I would allow this man back into my home. he needs to get over it. I would move to another location so I wouldn't always be around them and they don't have to be around you. you are a threat to their family. sometimes people go through what we call their second childhood and this can happen. or it can be the beginning of dementia. I knew people that this kind of thing happened to. Im sure the family can forgive you but it will take time, but I wouldn't count on getting back in their good graces.

CW2SADOctober 19, 2018

I’m not sure why the brother wasn’t told to ask for someone else to be assigned to minister to this family. The brother needs to repent, but the family needs to be ministered to. Having the family reassigned is not a sign of failure on anyone’s part; it is a sign of love for the family (and the Lord), showing their need (realized or not) for a priesthood bearer’s care is more important than a miss-matched assignment.

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