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WILLIAM - What sins are we "required" by Gods law to confess to the Bishop?
JOEL - Of course, all sins must be confessed to God (D&C 64:7) and perhaps to those who we have wronged in sinning(D&C 42:88-93).
Elder Marion G. Romney said:
"We are to confess all our sins to the Lord. For transgressions which are wholly personal, affecting none but ourselves and the Lord, confession to ourselves and him would seem to be sufficient. . . .
For misconduct which affects another, confession should also be made to the offended one and his forgiveness sought.
Finally, where one's transgressions are of such a nature as would, unrepented of, put in jeopardy his right to membership or fellowship in the Church of Christ, full and effective confession requires confession by the repentant sinner to his bishop or other proper presiding Church officer" (Conerence Report 1980 Oct:71)
In regards to confession to a Bishop(D&C 59:12) sins can fall into three general categories:
1. A relatively small group of the most serious sins that would normally be confessed to the Bishop are:
Child or spousal Abuse
Crimes (such as murder, burglary, theft or fraud, sale of drugs, and serious bodily harm to another)
Any similar type of sin that might justify the application of church discipline or that might affect one's standing in the Church, or one's right to privileges or advancement in the Church.
2. Sins which may or may not need to be confessed to a Bishop. This might include things like not paying tithing, not attending meetings, not attending to church duties, not paying debts, not obeying the Word of Wisdom, problem with profanity, or pornography, or other sexually related sins not mentioned in the first group. There has never been nor can there be any absolute guidance on the necessity of confessing these types of sins. They may or may not need to be confessed depending on the severity and circumstances. How the committing of such sins affects the individual's conscience might determine what needs to be confessed. Such things might weigh more heavily on one person's soul compared to another's and confessing may greatly relieve one's conscience and aid in the repentence process. If one is not certain or cannot find the peace of mind that accompanies proper repentence, they can always ask the Bishop about it to put their minds at ease.
3. A very large group of both sins of commission and omission that don't need to be confessed(except to God), which includes everything else not in the first two groups.