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According to this text in "Shepherd book", page 38,39 elders are allowed to hide their own sins or sins of colleagues, elders. 19. If it comes to light or an appointed brother confesses that he has committed a disfellowshipping offense years in the past: The body of elders may determine he can continue to serve if the following is true: The immorality or other serious wrongdoing occurred more than a few years ago, and he is genuinely repentant, recognizing that he should have come forward immediately when he sinned. (Perhaps he has even confessed to his sin, seeking help with his guilty conscience.) He has been serving faithfully for many years, has evidence of God’s blessing, and has the respect of the congregation. 20. If the sin occurred before he was appointed as an elder or a ministerial servant, the elders will need to take into consideration the fact that he should have mentioned this possible impediment to his being qualified when elders interviewed him just prior to announcing his appointment. Moreover, the nature of the sin may reflect greatly on his qualifications to serve. For example, the sin may involve past child abuse, and this would likely disqualify him for many years.—w97 1/1 pp. 26-29; w77 pp. 697-698. 38 “Shepherd the Flock of God”—1 Peter 5:2 21. If the wrongdoing occurred within the past few years while he was serving as an elder or a ministerial servant, he is disqualified from serving as such, not being “free from accusation.” (1 Tim. 3:2, 10; Titus 1: 6, 7) Depending on the circumstances, the situation may also need to be handled by a judicial committee. —See 5:43-44. Chapter 3 39