Protect LDS Children is a movement with two purposes regarding the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
- To advocate for changes that will improve the safety of Mormon children.
- To cultivate healing for thousands of adults who were harmed as Mormon children.
This post is out of the scope of our movement. However, it has a direct correlation.
**EXPLICIT CONTENT FOLLOWS**
If you don’t want to be exposed to the graphic sexual discussions that are permitted behind the closed doors of Mormon leaders, STOP READING NOW!!!
I want to thank Josh for being willing to share his story. It’s raw & vulnerable. A story like this takes fortitude to lay in out in the public square. His courage will start discussions and help people set appropriate boundaries. The multitudes who have had similar experiences can rest assured that they are not alone.
When I got back from my mission, I returned to BYU Idaho to attend school. I had, since before my mission, always maintained the law of chastity to the degree the Mormon Church expected.
I served an honorable mission. But as is programmed into every sentient being in the world, your body develops, including your urges that are healthy and necessary for sexual development. Needless to say my girlfriend at the time and I engaged in intimate relations, and upon finding out, my bishop at BYUi kicked me out of school.
Shamed by my home ward, parents, and friends, I exiled myself to Utah. I met frequently with various bishops to “repent” for my “sins” to try and become worthy again. I bounced around wards for a bit until ultimately moving in with a good friend and mission companion down in Provo UT, at BYU.
I attended a student ward and met weekly with a very understanding bishop, Bishop Hunt. He counseled me in my “struggles”, and helped me through the repentance process. Sadly however he was released, and a new bishop (who shall remain nameless) was called. He was kind enough, but the questions he asked in my interviews in trying to understand where I left off with my previous bishop were very troubling.
I will proceed with a few of the questions that I remember him asking, such as:
- When you are around your current girlfriend, do you get erections when you’re with her?
- Do you have the urge to do more than kiss?
- Do you have the desire to be naked with her?
- Have you masturbated to the thought of past things you have done with previous girlfriends or your current girlfriend?
WAAAYYY to probing. I would respond with true answers, but I always felt uncomfortable recounting things to him. These interviews and questions continued all the way up until I stopped dating my current girlfriend at the time. A few months went by and I broke up with my girlfriend at the time.
Later that year, I started to date my now current wife. We set clear boundaries as to not harm our relationship. We remained clean (to Mormon standards) and I was soon worthy and allowed to enter the temple. In my ward it was tradition for the bishop to conduct an “exit interview” for a person getting married and moving out of the ward. When it came time for my exit interview and last meeting with the bishop, he asked that I bring my fiance in.
We chatted a bit about the wedding. Afterwards he asked my fiance to leave the room. She did, and he looked at me and asked, “OK, are you ready?” Hesitant at the way he was asking, I timidly said yes.
The FIRST QUESTION he asked, and I kid you not: “Do you know what a clitoris is?”
I was shocked. Why in gods name would a bishop need to ask me that? “Yes, I replied.” “OK good. Do you know what it’s for?” Again, I answered yes.
He then delved into female anatomy and how the clitoris was needed for pleasure. He went on to say that girls aren’t like boys and that they need to get warmed up. He encouraged oral sex, hand stimulation, and encouraged trying different positions.
He then spoke how fond he was of sex and being intimate with his wife. How it was his favorite thing to do, because god made us that way. He encouraged me to make my wife climax multiple times, and to NOT finish until she had come. Mortified, I “thanked him” and left.
He then asked my fiance in. To my horror, she came out looking like a deer in the headlights. We thanked the bishop and left.
I asked her in the car, “What did he talk to you about?” She told me all the things he said. He had asked her the SAME questions! Urging her to stimulate me, to make sure I serviced her and not just think about myself. We laughed it off about how “weird” it was. We have since told a few of our friends the story and about “isn’t it funny how he did that?”
But now with my current exit from the LDS church and seeing the church for what it really is, I am mortified that my innocent and ignorant wife would have to sit and be grilled about such explicit topics with some furniture salesman. He should NOT have asked any of those questions. His justification was that most LDS kids didn’t know about those things and it was his duty to inform us so it wasn’t a shock come wedding night. Any other setting and he would have been reported to the authorities for sexual misconduct. I am not OK with that.
You are not OK with that? Good for you, my friend. You are not alone. I have heard countless adults recount being asked intrusive questions by bishops and stake presidents.
What is wrong with the Mormon Church! So many gross traditions. The leaders have ZERO BOUNDARIES mandated by the church. Any pornographic question is allowed. Any explicit discussion is sanctioned. And all this with NO ACCOUNTABILITY to the members.
Dear members of the Church, you are better than this. You deserve better than this. Don’t tolerate inappropriate crap behind closed doors. As an adult, you have the wherewithal to stand up for yourself.
In the case of children, I am not going to suggest that they record bishop interviews. They are children.
As for adults, that’s a different story. At this point, you might want to consider recording your worthiness interviews. These insidious discussions will stop once the Church realizes that hiding their perverse practices behind closed doors won’t work any longer. Before you record, check the laws in your state.
Bishops and stake presidents, pay attention to what you are talking about in your interviews. People are going to start recording. You may be conducting your meetings properly. But, many of your peers are not. Up to this point, the Mormon Church has been unwilling to set any meaningful boundaries. As a result, your peers are taking unseemly liberties.
BTW, the heads up that I’m giving to priesthood leaders was recently echoes during a stake training session in north Houston. These instructions were given: Conduct interviews under the assumption that they are being recorded.