While my story is not nearly as horrible as others on here I’ll tell mine to help add to this book. I was 18 and had a girlfriend. We did what every normal teenage couple did and went a little too far. Nothing too serious mind you but I felt racked with guilt. I thought for sure I was going to Hell. I’d wake up in a cold sweat worrying about my soul. We all grew up hearing how sexual sin is next to murder. As kids it was constantly told to us.
So I went to the bishop. Nice guy. And again, as kids we’d been told if we’d committed this serious sin next to murder we were to tell our bishop immediately. It would be kept secret and we could feel whole again. So I tell the bishop. He asks me for details. Where, when, hands went where, did we do this or that, etc. stuff that really is none of his business. Then it’s over and I head home. Next day I get a call from a past bishop in my Home ward (I was a student at the time) and he tells me all about how first bishop told him my sins. He wanted to check on me and asked for another confession over the phone. It was humiliating to have to tell my sin again to someone I’d barely even met over the phone.
Throughout the years I’d help with youth council and bishop ward meetings (can’t remember the exact name) and they would bring up ward members who had sinned and how we could help them. A noble act but noble goes out the window when the bishop says to 20 people, brother Ben has a serious porn addiction. Can we do anything to help? Sister smith cheated on her husband. Let’s try to be friendly to him this week. After that, all trust in any bishop went right out the window. I will never tell a bishop anything ever again.
The fact we’re told from birth to trust the church, Bishop, prophet, etc and then have them abuse that trust is heartbreaking. One of the main points of your cause is grooming children. It’s so easy to take a child who was told to always trust authority and then have that authority do whatever they want to that kid. It’s sickening and heartbreaking.
I love the church and believe in it. But I want the church I was told to trust to actually be a place I can put my trust me.