I’m writing to say this petition doesn’t go far enough. As good faithful members, my wife and I have always been instructed throughout our lives to speak to the Bishop regarding transgressions. We’re told this is a requirement for all members to do in order to receive the fullness of God’s blessings.
Marriage can be difficult at times and my wife and I reached a point where, based on what we have been counseled to do, felt it necessary, not only for the sake of our marriage, but for the sake of our salvation to speak to the Bishop. Not much came out of the meeting besides the “primary” answers, read, pray, pay. And so we looked to forgive each other for any hurt we caused and renewed our commitment to making our marriage work.
Within a week, to our horror, we began to learn that other members have knowledge of the deeply personal and private conversation we had with the Bishop. I was furious! Who could he have told? Why would he have told them? Soon I was able to trace back our story to the source- his wife. As angry as I was, I realized it was not their fault. I also realized other people will see the blame lies solely with the Bishop and not the church. This is simply not true. My Bishop is a Car Salesman. Bishops I’ve had prior to him held the occupations of Plumber, Dentist, Jewelry Salesman, History Teacher, etc. Never have I had a Bishop who has been educated and trained in the fields of Psychology, Psychiatry, Social Work, etc.
I realized I’m not upset that I had a conversation with a Car Salesman in confidence, I was upset that the church regularly instructs us that we are REQUIRED to have very private, personal, and emotional conversations with the Plumber, Dentist or Car Salesman who has absolutely no qualification, education or experience in handling these matters. Ultimately the shame and embarrassment was too much for my wife to continue attending church or interact with our friends and neighbors in the ward which simply compounded our problems. Eventually we split up and divorced.