I don’t recall inappropriate bishop’s interviews as a youth. I guess I am lucky in that sense. The interviews I did have as an adult and newly wed were a far different story. The church teaches that in order to be in good standing with God, and thus able to attend the temple, you must confess your sins to the bishop.
I had sexual relations with my then fiancé several months before and continuing until we got married. We waited until after we were civilly married to “come clean” to the bishop, whom neither of us even knew. We went in together and he asked all sorts of inappropriate questions like how often, what positions, did either of us orgasm, did either of us masturbate and a bunch more that I really can’t remember. After we were through with the questioning, we were told we’d need a disciplinary counsel where we’d meet with the whole bishopric, again none of whom we even knew, to further discuss an appropriate “punishment”.
As if being in the first interview with my husband wasn’t bad enough, during the actual disciplinary counsel, I had to be in there alone, surrounded by older men who were each asking highly personal questions.
During each of the interviews I felt like my privacy was being seriously violated, but I sincerely felt as though it was what I needed to do to right the wrong to be in good standing with the church. It was the most embarrassing and degrading thing I ever had to do. Each time seeing the bishopric member after that, I had this deep sense of embarrassment.
The embarrassment, guilt and shame continued as I had to spend the next year declining the sacrament. I felt as though everyone knew I had sinned. It’s like the scarlet letter of Mormonism.
I know the intention of the interviews are to help people come unto God, but I learned just to not say anything in further interviews that would result in the counsel or even a discussion about private matters. I always felt guilty for lying, which actually caused me to constantly feel “unworthy”. It is taking a lot for me to have a healthy sexual relationship with my husband. It’s something that I am still working on 9 years later.