Mormon Bishop Interview with Single Adult Female

by newme Feb 2012

I checked online and saw that the pervert singles ward bishop who interrogated me about masturbation a few years ago is still serving as Bishop. I hate the thought that other single girls may still be going through what I went through.

What do you honestly think would happen if I share the following experience with the stake pres? Do you think there's any chance the bishop will be removed from the singles ward? If not, then I won't bother. I don't want to call attention to myself and risk an "outreach" unless it really would potentially help single girls in that ward.

Every nevermo I've shared this experience with has been as disgusted about it as me. The one TBM friend I shared it with actually sympathized with the bishop. I lost all motivation to take action after that. This happened in a young-professional singles ward where the members age ranged from about 23-33. This experience is not the reason that I left. It was, however, a very significant event along my journey out, that acted as a huge trigger for my already existing doubts. I documented the whole ordeal in my journal, so I can clearly recall what happened.

In 2008 my temple recommend was due for renewal. At that same time, a sister in the ward, and close friend asked me to be her temple escort since she was getting married and was going through the temple for the first time. I was honored, and dutifully set an appointment with the bishopric to renew my recommend. I received approval and then made an appointment with the stake presidency counselor. During the time between these two appointments, I was with my boyfriend at the time, and we "made-out". This happens with LDS singles all the time, and is the cause of much guilt, repentance and relationship struggle (not to mention rushed marriages). To clarify, I never had sex or even came close, just typical passionate hugging/kissing/touching (not that it's anyone's business, but I feel it is important to clarify that I was always a very virtuous Mormon girl, and my behavior within my relationships was typical by the LDS standards, and extremely conservative by the worlds standards). As a very faithful member, I always confessed my sins to church authorities, and this time was no different. When the stake counselor asked the chastity question from the temple recommend interview I told him I had recently made-out with my boyfriend (No one is perfect. That's what I thought confession was for). He then told me he could not give me a temple recommend at that time and that I would need to get a "blessing from my bishop" first.

I left this meeting discouraged about the hassle, since my friend's endowment session was in a few weeks and I was busy at work and did not have time for more appointments. But I also trusted the processes of the church and decided I would bear the burden and endure the challenge as a consequence of my transgressions (which looking back, were hardly transgressions- a 27 year old virgin making out with her boyfriend?) I made the appointment with the Bishop and told him the situation. I said that the stake counselor asked me to get a blessing from him, and then he would renew my temple recommend. I've confessed to a few bishops in my life about making-out with boyfriends. They have all taken the same approach and I was expecting something similar this time- perhaps a few words about the law of chastity and the repentance process.

Instead, here is what happened. I told him I made-out with my boyfriend. He asked me what exactly we did. I said I touched him but we were both wearing clothes. He asked if he had an orgasm. I said yes. He asked if I had an orgasm. I said yes. (Why in the world was he asking these details??) Then, he asked me if I ever masturbated. At this point of the conversation I felt extremely uncomfortable and was tempted not to answer. I also felt (and told him) that it was out of place for him to bring up the topic since it was not why I made an appointment to see him. I also felt annoyed at his implication that I was a sinner because masturbation has always been a natural, healthy part of my life. But as a faithful girl, dedicated to keeping the church rules, I continued to answer his questions honestly. I said yes and the conversation continued as he asked me more detailed questions about it. I grew more and more uncomfortable (which I told him several times). He said that while he knew that many men struggled with masturbation he was not aware that is was a real temptation among women. (Seriously? Get a clue.) He told me I was on probation and should not take the sacrament or give prayers, and that the repentance process would likely take several months and that I should plan on meeting him regularly to discuss my progress in this area. At this point I started crying. I said I felt like I was being punished for something I've done for as long as I can remember, I didn't think it was a big deal, I didn't feel comfortable talking to him about it, that was not the reason I came to see him in the first place, and that my friend's endowment was in a few weeks and she asked me to be her temple escort. After he saw me crying he changed the punishment and said that if I would refrain from the habit for 2 weeks, then it would be fine. He also said "call or text me if you are ever tempted with unclean thoughts." (yuck) Finally as I was leaving the office he said "It's good that you are a sexual girl. You will make some man very happy some day." (double yuck)

I returned 2 weeks later for the scheduled appointment. He asked if I had refrained from masturbating and I answered that I did not, and that making it forbidden made it even more tempting. (The thought of lying never occurred to me. Lying to a church leader was like lying to God in my mind.) After further uncomfortable discussion, he asked me to leave the office for a few minutes so he could "pray." I honestly do not believe he was praying by himself in the office after I left, after the discussion. I'll give you one guess what he was doing. After he invited me back in, he said he felt impressed that I am forgiven as long as I continued to keep meeting with him to discuss the "problem." He signed my temple recommend, I met with the stake counselor again and was privileged to escort my friend for her endowments.

The weeks and months that followed were terrible for me. For the first time in my life I felt serious depression. During my continued meetings with the bishop he continued to ask me detailed questions about sex and masturbation, since "when you sin, all previous sins return", he'd say. He brought in photocopies of certain pages of Miracle of Forgiveness. In my mind I battled with whether or not God really thought I was sinning and these meetings were required for repentance, or if I should trust that uneasy feeling in my gut and stop these appointments. Naturally I fasted and prayed, but of course the only answer you are allowed to get when you pray is to stay devoted to the church and obey the bishop. At the appointments I would try to discuss other topics that I thought were the root of the depression I was feeling. I told him I struggled with PTSD from witnessing my mother die in an accident a few years prior. This was a tremendous cause of grief and pain in my life. I also told him I was starting to have doubts about the church. I also told him that I had just broken up with my latest boyfriend and my heart was broken. I was extremely sad and planned to seek help from a therapist (since my meetings with him were only making me feel worse). He advised me to only see a Mormon therapist because a non-Mormon therapist would encourage me to touch myself and "we both know you have a problem with that." I was continually discouraged that he kept bringing up that topic, especially when, during this particular meeting we only talked about my depression that I thought was related to losing my mom. He also gave me a blessing at that meeting where he mentioned that my mom was proud of me for the progress I was making in continuing to meet with him and resolve the sin. Those words still make me sick to my stomach to this day. The fact that he would use my most painful memory of losing my mom to manipulate me into continuing to talk to him about sex is utterly disgusting, and pure evil in my opinion.

At our next meeting he told me that I had "inspired him." He said I made him aware of this "serious problem among the sisters in the ward," and that he planned to call them to repentance. The following week he did just that. He called a special meeting for just the Relief Society. He did the standard chastity talk, and then ended by saying "it has been brought to my attention that masturbation is a temptation among the sisters," and he requested that any women who struggled with this should come and talk to him and repent. I was completely horrified at this turn of events. First, I never ever meant for this topic to become an issue in my life. Second, I feel it is highly inappropriate for a married man to speak with single women about masturbation (in the name of God) and that no true, loving God would ever take this approach. Third, as a counselor in the Relief Society I knew and loved the sisters very much. I spent long hours getting to know them and praying for them. I understood their struggles and their pain. I knew that this "call to repentance" would only bring further suffering and unnecessary guilt to their lives. It was at this point that I started to give myself permission to doubt and question the church completely. I have always believed in real love, honesty and true charity, and this was not it.

My depression only got worse and did not get better until I started seeing an excellent (non-Mormon) therapist, and stopped meeting with the bishop. A few weeks after I stopped our appointments he pulled me aside at church. He said, "I want to thank you for bringing this issue to my attention. Several sisters have made appointments to talk to me about it." I felt very sad at the thought of the single girls in the ward (who I loved so much, who were trying so hard to live righteously, thinking that if they were righteous enough they would be blessed with a husband) feeling as depressed as I felt after talking with this perverted man.

Over three years have passed and I am happily married to an honorable, intelligent, non-Mormon man, whose integrity exceeds any member of the church I've met. I am happier now than I have ever been and feel more genuine peace, and clarity in my life than ever before. I am so glad to be free from the psychological turmoil of the LDS church. Now that I can think clearly I am even more disgusted with my interaction with the singles ward bishop 3 years ago. I wish there were something I could do to prevent this sort of thing from happening further within the church. It is despicable that the church condones these types of interviews that place faithful members in a position to comply with confession according to the Bishops direction of the conversation, or else feel the guilt and shame of "sin". It is the Bishop who should be ashamed. It is a sick trap. Of course not all Bishops behave this way, but clearly some do. I'd like to let his wife know what her husband is up to and how he is encouraging the girls to call/text and meet with him about this topic. At the very least, I'm glad I finally worked up the guts to share this on the board. Maybe someone reading this in a similar situation will find the courage to stop these types of appointments like I should have sooner.

But back to my original question. What do you think would happen if I tell the stake pres about this? Should I just let it go?

And one more question that will help me know where to direct my pent up anger- What/who is most to blame for this inappropriate situation? My own ignorance and naiveness (resulting from years of religious conditioning)? The bishop? The church? The combination of a typical sex-minded male given the "power and authority" to have these conversations, that most men would have if given the opportunity? All of the above?

Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
I wouldn't go to the sp. He's part of the problem.
I would go to the next person up the ladder.
I would complain about both of them. They are both out of line.
My experience is that you won't be validated. You may be further traumatized.
I ended up going all the way to the top about being mistreated by my bish and sp. Unless you are likely to sue them, or go to the media, you will probably be ignored.
If it will help you, go ahead and write a letter. I personally would go right to the top. Don't get your hopes up for anything to change though.
Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
I would not complain to ANYONE up the "chain of command."

One of the rules in Mormonism is that the Bishop is not wrong unless he commits a clearly defined sin. If the Bishop had sex with you, or if he embezzled tithing money then they'd want to know. But EVERYTHING you described would be considered within his province to do.

Remember they CLAIM that bishops are given "inspiration" on how to deal with their flock.

It is church policy to grill people who confess sexual sins about the details of what they did. The point is to make them feel HORRIBLE. They consider this part of the "regret" phase of the "repentance process." The fact that the Bishop might be getting off on this isn't worried about. They are all honorable men, right? Yeah, right!

But you are the victim of MORMONISM, not of any one person in Mormonism. They are ALL Mormons and not one of them is on YOUR side.

It's like going to a Mafia Godfather because you think one of his goombas did something bad.

Mo Church is a loyalty cult.
Loyalty up and down the chain of command supercedes all else, so there's no way reporting it to someone would make any difference.

A friend of mine was in a ward in which the bishop raped a 14 yr. girl in the Ward. The girl told a boy at school and he and his parents reported it to the SP. The SP questioned the bishop who denied it. It wasn't until nine months later that they finally cornered the Bishop and had him arrested (at which time he was finally released from his calling). He was later found guilty and served time (perhaps he's still in prison). The boy and his family exited the morg over it.

There's no way they're going to call the pervy bishop on this. LDS, Inc. openly condones grilling its members about anything sexual including masturbation.

CA girl
Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
I'd complain to the bishop's wife. Tell her what you told us and how uncomfortable her husband made you and other sisters in the ward. Change some details and tell her you are signing it "an anonymous sister" because so many sisters went to her husband for this kind of encounter. Tell HER to talk to the SP about it or the bishop of her home ward.

Turnabout is fair play and you'll probably get better results. Even if she takes his side, it will still be in her mind.

Better yet, see if you can interest a reporter in that local area with your story.
Especially if you can name the bishop specifically. That way other women can learn that it's okay to feel uncomfortable with this sort of attention and the Mormon authorities can't sweep it under the rug.

(Of course, there may be some liability issues but I'm sure a paper would be on top of those laws.)

Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
I would not talk to the SP, I can feel that you are angry that you submitted yourself to these perverts. You felt that it was necessary to do so. When in fact you never commited any sin at all. I guess the best thing you can do is try to convince men women and children to never go to these interviews as they are unnecessary and very harmful. do not attend an interview unless it is with a prospective employer!

being BIC I have classified two types of interviews
1) birthday interview, where they ask you if they can talk

2)member's guilt interview, they feel that it is the law to tell the bishop everything about their ass history.

Well i always knew that was not a law. i never did anything myself just like you. and i just stopped participating. And that is what everybody needs to do. Don't give these men the ability to make your life miserable

Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
I had a bishop accuse me of trying to seduce my 50 yr old stepfather when I was a 14 yr old. Then when my own daughter age 7 was molested by a family member who had REPEATEDLY confessed to sexually abusing NOT ONE-but 5 different victims. After the sentencing (he is in Prison- not jail) I asked just one of the bishops that he had confessed to WHY DIDNT YOU WARN US? He shrugged and said - it didnt occur to him. Not even an IM SORRY.

I think CA Girls idea is brilliant. BRILLIANT.

Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
I think this is a serious problem in the church, and this man is an undoubted menace.

But I really don't think you will get them to see it that way.

Unless you can somehow threaten them legally, from the point of view of the priesthood hierarchy you have simply bought attention to the fact that women have similar issues requiring attention from the bishop as males do (wow, females have feelings and hormones too!).

It is usually young men who go through this. And it is inappropriate regardless of whether the person is male or female, but it has been standard treatment for young men for so long that I doubt they will have the ability to recognize that it is inappropriate.

So unless there is serious bad PR at stake, or a potential lawsuit, the blinkers will be on. I understand the most recent Handbook directs that bishops should not actively probe for self-directed activity, but there is no direction to avoid the topic completely.

I am at a loss as to how to protect the young women presently at risk from this guy. I have been in similar situations, I think these ar$eholes just get off on having priesthood power over women - probably because that is the only dimension in which they feel superior. When feeling intimidated by an intelligent woman just imagine you have imaginary magical priesthood powers.

The Man in Black
Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
I'm with CA girl. Tell his wife. It will embarrass the hell out of him and it sounds like he deserves it. I've recently found that taking the game out of their court like that really gets them to back off. They don't know what to do if you're not playing by their rules. I have my own story to share about something I recently pulled on a dude who crossed boundaries, but I'll refrain from thread-jacking by posting it here.

Also, your writing indicates clearly that you are well-educated and intelligent. You're a good writer. Perhaps a letter to his wife articulated in just the way you did here would do the trick.

Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
Wow, I'm so sorry you went through that. *shudder*

Like you were saying, the position of authority that bishops have and the confessional-style interview make this kind of abuse of power all too easy. Luckily a lot of bishops are just decent guys that would rather spend their free time elsewhere, but there is always the douchebag that takes advantage of their position. (I really think they should pass a law that makes these kinds of interviews illegal, especially for minors. Young people feeling compelled to speak to random older adults in their neighborhood about their sexual thoughts and behavior?

Congratulations for having so much courage/resistance and standing up for yourself like you did, even when you believed in the bishop's authority and your need to confess.

I'm glad you want to help protect other women from this guy. There's got to be some measure that would be effective. I'm not sure about the laws on this, but I think a non-Mormon therapist would be a good source of information and ideas.

Good luck and, yeah, YUCK!

newme, you have already helped tremendously by sharing your story here.
Other people will read it. They will type "Mormon, masturbation, women" into Google, Bing or whathaveyou and they will see your story and know that it is THEIR story, too.

Thank you for being so brave.

Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
The best thing you can do is walk away without talking to these people (any of them) about things that are none of their business. If you feel violated, you might try talking to a therapist (or a lawyer). Otherwise, be grateful that you have escaped an abusive relationship (with your dysfunctional church).

Willard Mitt
Could you wait til after election day?
I know that Susan I/S doesn't like politics. But I've got to get 270 so I don't give a sh*t about boundaries. Would you mind waiting on this whole "pervert Bishop" thing until after the November election? If I had been his Stake President then the first thing I'd do upon hearing about this tale from you is look over the tithing reports from the years before and during his service as Bishop. If he looks effective at bringing in the dough then I'd give you the brushoff as its most important to keep the meat coming into the Lord's bank accounts. Any sister's feelings/experiences with abuse will just have to continue if necessary as we don't want to disturb a good gravy train. If he isn't good about bringing in the tithes then your experience will serve as an excellent catalyst to replace him with someone who will bring in the dough. Well regardless its important to keep quiet because Heavenly Father's true church needs to keep looking good. We can't let the world know that the church is full of perverts serving as Bishop. Otherwise that'll hurt the tithing numbers and then we won't have latter-day profits.
Can't Resist
Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
Fast & testimony meeting! Why don't you read your post over the pulpit? Warn the others and take back your power all at once.

Always, always go with your gut!

Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
spanner Wrote:

Totally agree! And they also get off on knowing that while the young lady probably will never be "master of her domain" (Seinfeld reference there :) ) and a young man certainly won't, he or she will be seeing this pervert in his or her mind's eye while engaged in the act. Now that's some kind of insidious sex abuse that can never be prosecuted. The guy manages to insert himself into what should be the most private of activities every time it happens. Really gross, and deviously clever.

Don't go to the bishop's wife! You will be viewed as an angry exmo trying to sully her good husband’s name.
Instead, is there a WOMAN in the church that you feel would be open to what you have to say? Ideally, the RS president; but in any case, someone who would be likely to believe you. Because in the church, mothers, (NOT priesthood leaders!!!) are the members most likely to want to protect their daughters from this kind of abuse.

If you found a woman/mom as concerned about this as you are, the two of you could discuss how to proceed from here.

Kudos to you, newme, for your efforts to protect others from the trauma of your experience! Good luck, and keep us posted.

I wouldn't tell anyone
but I would get therapy.

I had some real issues with mormon leaders, too--when they told me "we" could do anything up to intercourse to get my gay boyfriend turned on to see if he could be married. I was a REAL MORMON VIRGIN--hadn't even French kissed at age 25 (scared sh*tless of confessing)--and the bisohp assigned my boyfriend to French kiss me without my knowledge. My boyfriend told me beforehand. I was pretty much the lab rat for them. THEN I moved home to get away from the situation as I was losing my mind--suicidally depressed--and my boyfriend decided to get married. I had to go to my cousin for my TR interview, who knew NOTHING of the situation. I felt guilty for even French kissing and he asked for explicit details, which I wouldn't give him--so he wanted to postpone my wedding. My boyfriend sailed right through.

BUT I didn't realize how damaging it was until years later what they did to me. Save yourself--but sacrifice your chastity to "save" someone gay. Reading your post actually brought back some of the trauma.

They don't care. PERIOD. They just don't care.

Actually, one of the people who told me to marry him asked me when my husband cheated on me if I had given him enough sex--because if I had, he wouldn't have strayed.

I'm sorry for what you have been through. The only souls worth anything in mormonism are the GAs.

Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
This is consistent with what bishops are told they are supposed to do in the church.

If anything he was overly lenient on you. The last time I confessed to looking at something hard R rated without even masturbating my bishop didn't let me take the sacrament for 4 months and told me if it happened again he would hold a court and consider disfellowshipping me.

We boys are indoctrinated from age 10 up to feel super guilty if we masturbate and know we have to go talk to the bishop. You are lucky you at least got through your teenage years unscathed.

So no complaining won't help. The problem is church wide.

Unfortunately that means even more people are subjected to the same humiliation as you were than you likely suspected.

Did I miss something here?
Why are you still going to that church???

Re: Could you wait til after election day?
This is a doctor/lawyer heavy singles ward and we would often boast about having the highest tithing numbers (while costing the least) in the stake. I never thought about it, but it makes sense that this bishop is still serving. Good point.
Re: Don't go to the bishop's wife! You will be viewed as an angry exmo trying to sully her good husband’s name.
I'm with you, and a few names come to mind of strong willed women I could talk to. I know you don't mean to bring up a sore subject, but, you know, the first person I would have called would have been my mom, had she been living. I never thought of this, but maybe this bishop took things as far as he did because he knew I had no one to call.

I might get my Dad's opinion on the matter. We have a close relationship and he has taken more of a motherly role in my life since losing Mom. He also has several years of experience as Bishop and currently serves in a singles ward Bishopric. I'm sure he'll have an interesting perspective since he is my Dad, first and foremost, but is also still loyal to the church. At least it will make him think.

Re: Did I miss something here?
I am long gone. Completely and 100% inactive for almost 4 years. My exit story is in the works. I just decided to share this section when noticing the Bishop is still serving.

This isn't an odd experience in Mormonism
Every single bishop is different, but masturbation has never been completely acceptable in the Mormon church. I find it very odd that you thought at the time that within Mormonism, the question was out of place. It wasn't. It happens constantly.

Also, I find your definition of "making out" to be odd. Perhaps it is a regional thing, but at least here in Utah, mutual masturbation has other, more fun, names. If this happened to you because you made out (ie, kissing, kissing passionately, wasting time when you could be having sex), then it would be very odd and outside the realm of normal Mormonism. If you were getting each other off, then it is an absolutely normal reaction within Mormonism.

Other people will tell you to blame the church, or to blame your family for having this stuff happen to you. In my life, I place the blame of Mormonism straight on my own shoulders because ultimately, I am the only person who could hvae done that to myself.

I'm glad you are out anyways.

Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
As for me, I DON'T think it would be wrong to go to the SP if you were able to do so in a confident, even strident, manner. If you are by now willing to believe that all their authority is derived only from you and not from God, and that they only have as much authority as you're willing to give them, and if you're willing to get into his face should it come to that, why not talk to him. The message should be brief, that this bishop or any other church local leader should not be treading in this territory because it is not his business. Moreover, you believe (as do most of us here) that he might very well be using this for his own sexual excitement, and may very well go back home and masturbate to these images in his mind.

Anyway, his comment that a non-Mormon therapist would encourage you to touch yourself is nonsense, and typically Mormon, like if you drink beer you will certainly be alcoholic. It is a demonstration of the self-righteous and simultaneously naive thinking that gets Mormons into trouble with their peers. And as for whether or not the church actually condones this type of behavior by the bishop, I'm sure that it does not, while on the same hand encouraging the behavior by allowing bishops and stake presidents to do what the hell they want and by always accepting the premise that the men pray and get inspiration. It's a terrible way to run an organization. For all the top-down control they have, they could put an end to this anytime they wanted, but the top-down control doesn't include guiding bishops out of their ass-hat behavior.

And still going to church? Why? Do this, then: Drop your LDS activity by half and spend the other half going to a mainstream Protestant service, like the Presbyterians or Methodists or something. While their doctrine may not burn in your breast, you probably can't help but notice that the whole Jesus message burns brighter and that the pastor--quite possibly a woman--will have received pastoral training and will act in a professional manner. I don't believe in any of it, personally, but I am very much at home in a local Presbyterian church, and if I were a believer I'd be taking communion with the rest of them. What you need is now is comparison. It's an easy way to see in the shortest time possible that the LDS church is a spiteful, arrogant, and spiritually vacant place full of sanctimonious... Uh,... What's the opposite of "leaders?"

Re: Could you wait til after election day?
The stake president cares a whole lot less about tithing that you think he does.

He doesn't get a dime of it. He doesn't really care.

Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
I would post your story on facebook. The younger singles will read it, and if they have similar experiences will have someone to talk to about it.

Re: This isn't an odd experience in Mormonism
I have asked these questions to myself. Like most standards in the church, right vs wrong became a jumbled mess in my mind as I would find that comfortable balance between the written guideline, the answer I "felt" through personal revelation (which is obviously influenced by a mix of reasonable human thought and conditioned thought) and new revelations and commandments from various sources including church leaders. My opinions about chastity were formed from dozens of experiences, readings, and prayers. I had defined my own line of what I would not cross. I agree that "getting each other off" was definitely a sin according to the church which is why I confessed. That's where the ever merciful atonement steps in right? Wrong, that's where the Bishop steps in and takes advantage of the situation.

This Bishop was also surprised that YW were not taught that masturbation is a sin. I never was. I felt guilty about it, but I was never sure if it was considered a serious sin. I finally decided that it wasn't as a teen and prayed and felt just fine about that. When this experience happened I remember thinking "maybe I really HAVE been sinning all along? Maybe this is why I'm not married?"

I think it is sad that young men go through this even more than women. I think it's interesting that the sin is clearly defined for guys at a young age. For girls, it has been a grey area, from my experience.

Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
"It's good that you are a sexual girl. You will make some man very happy some day."

Because a woman's only sexual function is to make a man happy, eh pervbish? I guess only men got an upgrade from "for procreation purposes only." It's all perverted, from top to bottom from the beginning to the hopeful end.

Re: This isn't an odd experience in Mormonism
You touched on what I think is the biggest problem Mormonism has in trying to say they are true.

You are supposed to get revelation from the spirit. You are supposed to pray and have god tell you what is true. In fact this is the only important way to know the church is true.

And yet they also have to teach you that you can't actually trust the spirit. If what you feel through the spirit isn't 100% in line with the current teaching of the church it isn't really from the spirit. You can't get revelations for anyone else unless you have stewardship over them. Etc. They have all kinds of silly rules on how you know if your revelation from the spirit is real.

One one hand they teach that the spirit is the way to know all truth.

On the other they teach that following the spirit is fallible. You can't actually trust your own feelings and answers.

Once that crumbles the only evidence they have that the church is true is gone...

Monday Thinker
Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
Dont waste your time or breath going to sp or anyone else. This kind of bs is their bread and butter. I started getting asked if I masturbated at age 11 and it didn't stop until I left the church. I've never met a larger group of sexually oppressed people in my life.

The best revenge is knowing that this douchebag is stuck paying 10% of his income and 50-75% of his weekend so he can keep interlocking his pinkie with other guys. You on the other hand are now free to think how you would like, raise your children how you like, spend your weekend how you would like and enjoy a cold drink after work. He may have held the power back then, but you hold 100% of it now.

Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
I was 19 at the time I had a very similar experience. My boyfriend was in the MTC and confessed to his MTC leaders about making out with me before he left. I was then called in by my bishop. I thought he was going to give me a calling, but he called me in to confess what I had done with my boyfriend before he went out on his mission. He had been called by the MTC leaders to get a hold of me to repent. I started crying and telling him how I felt uncomfortable. There was such an evil feeling in the room and I told him that. He stared down at me with those awful big, glasses and stern expression and was getting uncomfortable too I could tell. He started lecturing me on repentance and I felt I had no choice but to start spilling in detail all that had happened between my boyfriend and I. And while I was at it I confessed my masterbation issue I'd had most my life. I remember asking him if it was a common problem (masterbation) among other women and he said, no. This is very uncommon. He made me feel so evil and like I was the only woman he'd heard of with this problem. I was put on probation for 3 months. Couldn't pray or take the sacrament. I went home distraught after and dreaded the interviews every other week I had to go to until he felt I was forgiven. What a bunch of crock! I hate the church because of this and will NEVER allow my children to be interviewed by a church authority by themselves. It should be outlawed.
Re: This isn't an odd experience in Mormonism
Yep. It was exactly this line of thinking that led me out. Even with all the evidence against the the foundation of the church (JS/polygamy/BOM DNA/first vision problems etc.) I was the type that knew about most of this but stayed faithful since "faith, and God's explanation of everything was always greater."

I think TMBs like I was have to have their own enlightening experience where they clearly see how illogical and crazy the church makes your mind. I never, ever would have admitted that I had been "brainwashed" and in fact became defensive as a missionary when people suggested this. But now I see so clearly what was going on. What sometimes gets super faithful members to question are these sorts of experiences. The approach I take when talking to my TBM friends is trying to point out the "crazy" as they experience certain things. But of course it's not that easy. Especially since now I am labeled an "apostate."

Article on emotional abuse:
Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
This is all so very sad. Bishops are supposed to be full of love (like Christ). A Bishop's office should be full of a sweet and loving spirit. The member should feel love, support, and be help from the Bishop. The member should not feel chastised, scolded, punished, beaten-up, etc.

BUT, is this the norm?? I believe it is mixed but too many times the member is made to feel like the scum of the earth. This (to me) is one of the saddest things about the Mormon church. It is one of the reasons I first distanced myself from the church--UNINSPIRED LEADERS that cause damage to so many.

Re: Pervy singles ward bishop - my experience
In my personal experience most bishops are as you say kind, loving, supportive.

However some are the opposite - like the current one in the ward.

The problem is that since whoever is called is basically random you get some of both types. Unfortunately when you get one of the nasty ones they are so empowered to cause so much damage to so many people.

And the members of the church are indoctrinated that they are to sustain them and that they a literally representatives of god. Yuck.

Mormon Observer
Re: Better yet, see if you can interest a reporter in that local area with your story.
Yes! A reporter has to know the liability laws. It would be good to have it in the newspaper files to pull out at a later date and if they decide not to run the story, at least they would have it in their records!

Also you would get a sympathetic ear from a good reporter. It is time more of these truths about the invasive interviews get out to the press. Maybe your story won't be told right now, but a reporter in the future will be asking very pointed questions in interviews with Mormons. You can bet on that!

Writing the wife would be excellent and it is fair to bring it to her attention. I'm sure she noticed some changes in his behavior at home since he became Bishop and your letter could be very enlightening for her.

The best part is what can he do???? Claim it is an attack of Satan? She can put two and two together and decide how much is Satan and who the real "Satan" is in her picture. She deserves to know.

(My deepest empathy for what the dirt bag did to you. I'm sorry. Hugs to you.)

"Recovery from Mormonism -"