Is there no end to the twisted scenarios of Mormon bishop interactions with children? I have not found an end yet.
Today, I have been transferring more stories of immoral bishop interviews. The highest leadership of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints condones this behavior. Never a word of condemnation for bishops’ abusive verbal assaults. Never a single word of apology or reconciliation to the child victims of their own policies. NEVER.
As I have read the new stories, one after another has caused me shock, tears, and anger. Below are three examples of new lows. Remember, the apostles of the Mormon church condone this behavior of their bishops.
Two of these children attempted suicide!!!
My uncle started molesting me when I was 6 years old. At my 8 year baptismal interview, I “confessed” what my uncle was doing. My bishop told me he would make sure and “handle it”, and stressed the importance of my baptism and how it would “wash me clean again.”
It continued for years…. When a new bishop was called (or maybe wards split, fuzzy on those specifics) during my tithing settlement interview one on one with my new bishop I asked him why HF (heavenly father) was still letting me get hurt. My bishop asked if I had told anyone about it, and I told him my prior bishop knew. He told me HF was testing me and when I proved valiant to him, the abuse would end. This set me into a lifetime of sexual abuse.
In high school I got into partying. One night after a game there was a house party at a friends house. A bunch of the Mormon football players were there, and I was a very vulnerable freshman. Long story short I was “tag teamed” (as they put it) by one of the boys and his friend. It was very brutal and highly embarrassing. Because I had been drinking i was afraid to tell anyone. The boys went to school and bragged about it and making sure the entire school heard about it and knew I was a “easy fuck”. A very active LDS friend of mine felt it her duty to tell our bishop of my “sins”. I was called into a court of love and placed on probation which stripped me of my YW callings, taking sacrament, and praying in Sunday school etc. Those same boys both went on missions. I learned early on what happened when I told the truth to a bishop.
When I was 14 I was interviewed for a temple recommend to go with our ward to do baptisms for the dead. It went well until the bishop asked if I was morally clean. I honestly answered yes because I knew I was. He said “I don’t believe you.” I still remember the sick feeling I had about basically being called a liar by a man I believed to be filled with the spirit of discernment. It got worse from there.
B. Do you even know what it means to be morally clean?
B. I don’t think you do. Do you masturbate?
B. I don’t believe you. Do you let boys touch your breasts?
B. I don’t believe you. Do you touch boys on their private parts?
B. I don’t believe you. Do you have sexual relations with boys?
B. I don’t believe you. I know you do things you shouldn’t but I am required to go by your answers in this interview. You know that entering the temple unworthily is a sin. I’m making a note here though so the stake president will know you lied to me.
There were more questions but you get the idea. Using the plural “boys” he was saying I was not only lying but promiscuous as well. And having been through the “crushed rose” and “used chewing gum” lessons in Young Women’s classes I felt horrible that anyone would think I was like that. By the time the interview was over I was in tears and afraid to proceed with the interview with the stake president but I knew I was worthy and really wanted to participate in the baptisms.
The stake president was great. When he asked if I obeyed the law of chastity I answered yes, prepared to be called a liar. He just said ok and signed my recommend.
Since that bishop’s interview I have been hyper-aware of doing anything that could be considered sexually promiscuous, even within my marriage! It took lots of counseling and a wonderfully understanding husband to get over the guilt and shame about sex.
I grew up in a strict LDS family in Las Vegas. The inappropriate interviews began at age 12 when I started young women’s.
Age 12, Bishop asks me if I kept the law of chastity. I say yes. He then proceeds to ask me about masturbation and if I knew it was a sin. I didn’t really know what masturbation was. I knew it had sexual connotations. He told me if I ever felt like touching myself “down there” then I needed to immediately get on my knees and pray or The Holy Ghost will abandon me.
Age 13 interview. I shamefully admit to masturbating. Was asked more specific questions, did you enjoy it? Did you orgasm? I’m mortified and embarrassed. I shamefully can’t tell my parents because of my sins. Oh how I wish my parents taught me it was normal and not sinful. Anyway, I was told not to take the sacrament. I did anyway and bishop watched me. Later told me we had to talk later. I avoided him.
Interview at 14. My younger brother and I were going to the temple for baptisms with parents. He Interviews both of us at one time. Asks my brother about masturbation and makes me tell him what it means. So awkward and inappropriate.
Age 15, started lying at the interviews when asked about masturbation. Was told by bishop all my sins will be made known during the Second Coming.
Age 16, refused an interview. Told my parents I didn’t believe in the church, did not want to go. Told me I didn’t have a choice as long as I lived under their roof. Later that night I took a random amount of pills and packed a bag of clothes. I don’t remember much but I ran away. Luckily a lady found me out in the desert on east side of town. She took me home and my parents made me go to a LDS counselor which did nothing but berate my feelings.
Age 17, went to interview and that went ok for once. Before I was 18, my parent told me I had to get my patriarchal blessing. The interview with the stake president didn’t go well. I was chastised for giving into urges to touch myself. He said I could get the blessing though. I didn’t want it. How could grown men who do not know me and only obsess about masturbation possibly be a seer for Heavenly Father?
There is so much more I could add but it honestly brings up such horrible memories of the church. I truly wanted to believe but felt like I was a monster. I was deemed unworthy.
NO CHILD should ever be deemed unworthy. I don’t care the circumstances. Clergy members have NO RIGHT questioning children about masturbation. I don’t think they should discuss sexual matters ever unless a parent is present. No exceptions.
My four precious little boys will NEVER have to be questioned like that by anyone. I fear for my nieces and nephews who’s parents believe that the church is infallible.
At the top of my voice: THESE WERE CHILDREN!!!!!!
Everyone of these stories recount abuse of children. Covert psychological abuse by the bishop. The Mormon Church has its religious freedom. But religious freedom does not give any church the right to abuse children. You and me and thousands of others are going to stop this horrendous practice.
A plan of action has been lined out for 2019. This Thursday, December 20th, the stategy will be announced.
What: News Conference
When: December 20, 2018, 10am MT
Where: 50 West Club and Cafe, 50 West Broadway, Salt Lake City
Invitees: All news media outlets and Friends of Protect LDS Children