Silence is the virtue of fools. -Sir Francis Bacon
Question #90244 posted on 09/13/2017 8:04 p.m.

Dear 100 hour board

I have a question about the repentance process and honor code violations . If a returned missionary and BYU student sincerely desires to confess of and repent for a serious transgression they made after their mission concerning the law of chastity, what is the disciplinary process that takes place when this happens? Excommunication ? Kicked out of BYU?



Dear Concerned,

First of all, good on you for desiring to repent. It's a wonderful, beautiful, renewing thing, but especially at BYU with the fear of academic repercussions, it can also be terrifying. So truly, sincerely, I'm proud of you for the desire to repent.

The exact steps taken probably depend on the bishop in question, but I will tell you that most bishops I know are more concerned with where you are now than with where you used to be or what you once did. And if "where you are now" is in their office with a repentant heart and a desire to do everything in your power to right your wrongs, most bishops are pretty merciful. And from what I understand, Provo YSA stakes are actually fairly standardized with the way their bishops deal with confessing students, and they tend to veer towards the side of mercy. Obviously each case is handled individually, depending on the person in question and the promptings from the Lord, but please don't assume that the absolute worst case scenario will happen to you.

Furthermore, you are far from the only returned missionary, BYU student to ever transgress the law of chastity. Believe you me, it's probably much more common than you think. If everyone who confessed something to their bishop was kicked out of BYU and excommunicated, we would have a very small student body here, so based off of that alone, I have to believe that being kicked out of BYU isn't a very common occurrence.

But even if you were to get kicked out, life would go on. I don't mean that in a callous way, and I can't even imagine how difficult it would be, but ultimately, you would be okay (and guilt-free to boot!). The worst thing you can do to yourself is choosing to live life burdened by guilt and fear. The worst your bishop can do is help you.

To quote President Hinckley, things will be okay. It's not as bad as you sometimes think it is. Things will work out eventually, and you will be so much the better for it. Good luck, friend. I'm rooting for you.



Dear concerned,

That will largely be dependent on you, the Lord, and your bishop. The Lord knows your heart and your desires and He certainly doesn't want to keep you from achieving your goals and staying in the Church. However, if He sees that something else is needed to help you in the process of repentance, He'll move forward with it. Now, I think excommunication happens far less often then we sometimes think. 

However, I don't think you should worry about the consequences you mentioned. I think you should think about the spiritual consequences that have come and will continue if you don't repent. Those, my friend, are what matter. Plus, repentance is a happy thing because you are forsaking sins to come closer to God. You'll feel a great sense of peace, joy, and contentment as you talk with your bishop and repent. 

I understand that it's hard, but it's the right thing to do!

-Sunday Night Banter