I have memories of my childhood bishop interviews that make me uncomfortable, but the one that stands out to me the most was when I met with my bishop before getting a recommend to be married in the temple. I had never done anything before meeting my husband, that would have required a confession for not keeping the law of chastity.
After a short engagement, I felt I needed to confess that we had done some “petting”. I thought I had to tell him. When I confessed, he began to ask more probing questions. “Where on your bodies did you touch each other?” “Was it on top of the clothing, or underneath?” I was like a deer in the headlights. I panicked and said on top. That ended the questioning.
Somewhere deep inside me, I felt like it was none of his business. But at the same time, I felt horribly guilty for lying. I carried the weight of lying to the bishop for another 5 years before unloading on a member of the stake presidency during a recommend interview. Now as I look back, I wish I could have just stated to the bishop that the probing questioning was inappropriate. But he held the power. I was conditioned to believe he was the authority. My fiancé and I did nothing wrong. We were young adults, with normal feelings, exploring our sexuality. It wasn’t until Sam’s movement that I realized I still had some healing to do, that the guilt I’d carried had caused damage.