I was raised in the Mormon church, until I decided to leave it behind at around age 19. I was fairly lucky in that my family wasn’t very active in the church beyond Sunday school and the occasional cookout or what have you, so I missed a lot in terms of interacting with the bishops. As far back as I remember, there were, however, adult men (specifically one who was at least in his sixties) that were known to be a danger to children but still allowed to have a position in the priesthood. With these men it became a policy to just hurry kids away from him, not allow them to be cornered, etc. My mom told me he had started leering at me before I could even walk.
I didn’t have to go through worthiness interviews generally, although I did have to do so before a temple trip once. I do remember being creeped out by some of the questions that struck me as too personal or inappropriate (I was probably 8 at the time), but full disclosure, I don’t remember much of the specifics. It was more about telling me to repent etc etc.
A specific instance that became formative for me was when my mother and I signed up for family counseling after my parents’ divorce at a stake center. There was some older guy (probably in his 50s or so?) That apparently came once a month-ish to counsel families the Mormon way. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how he asked me questions about pornography. I was pre-pubescent, and maybe 9 or 10? But he kept asking me what I thought of porn, did I watch it, did I think it was what real relationships are about…I remember just laughing awkwardly and saying I didn’t actually know what that was. So he proceeded to describe porn to me, as a 9 year old. The point of the counseling was to make communication between a newly divorced parent and their kid better, there was no reason to talk with me to introduce me to the concept of porn. He did this largely in front of my mom, so fortunately I didn’t have to go back to him, but it still makes me scared to think about it, even as an adult now.
I wasn’t sexually assaulted by any church members, but I do believe that the adult men describing sexual things to my prepubescent self did leave me extra vulnerable to the long time childhood sexual abuse I did end up suffering.
Make no mistake: these aren’t cases of youth pastors giving birds- and- bees talks, or telling teen boys to cool it on the emissions. This is dirty old men talking to elementary and middle schoolers to tell them sexually explicit things for their own gratification.