I grew up around the USA in Mormon communities from the west coast, to the south, and then eventually landed in SLC for a bit. The intrusiveness and inappropriate questioning from bishops in all of the places I’ve lived greatly impacted my decision to leave the church not quite a decade ago. From age 8, my baptismal interview included questions about masturbation, and then a brief conversation on what that was, as I hadn’t the slightest idea. Moving onto youth interviews for dances, for temple baptisms for the dead, and general interviews for just about anything deemed needing “worthiness”: ALL of the bishops that presided over the congregations I attended asked the same intrusive and inappropriate questions- all in one on one settings, that under any other circumstance in adulthood, would be considered sexual harassment at the very least.
This systemic teaching of bishops to intrude on an individual’s sexuality is incredibly detrimental and needs to stop. It destroys the self-worth of young girls who are taught that no “worthy” priesthood holder would want a “damaged” girl. It destroys the natural, instinctual urges of the human body and replaces them with guilt and self-loathing for men and women that lasts much longer and runs much deeper than can be easily repaired. The irony is that the LDS church is attempting to keep families together while sending youths unprepared, uneducated and damaged into marriages shortly into their twenties- thus setting them up for failing marriages and relationships.
The details of my story are no different than many other stories you can read here. The church court in which I was the only woman in a room full of 12 men who asked multiple questions and demanded complete honesty on how often my husband and I were having sex before marriage and if I’d orgasmed or not. The bishops during my youth years wanting to know the extent of each and every sexual activity I’d done (or not) with boyfriends, friends, or anyone else. These are the stories of Mormon youth. Anyone who thinks that this is going to change should look at the systemic use of continued shaming in the LDS religion.
If you want true happiness, go seek it out. Live purposefully, gratefully, and intentionally- without the guilt of a church that is antiquated, detrimentally selective in their practices, and flippant with the rules they pick and choose.