I grew up in Kirkland Washington and moved to Utah when I was 10 years old. I was not a member of the church. I had always had a lot of friends but the culture in Utah was different. I was friendly and would try to make friends but was told they already had a friend. I remember a mother telling me her kids only played with children like them. I didn’t understand what she meant. I started thinking there must be something wrong with me.
Eventually a girl I had tried to make friends with had a fight with her friend and I had my first friend in Utah. She moved away but a few other girls friended me and took me to church. I agreed to missionary lessons and soon joined the church.
I remember sitting in Sacrament meeting and the talk was about Joseph Smith and polygamy. I tuned to my friend and said what are they talking about Joseph wasn’t polygamous and she said yeah he was. I remember feeling lied to. I didn’t like that he was a polygamous! Shouldn’t I have known this before I joined!
I had gone to a lot of churches with my friends in Washington none of which talked about polygamy. I also remember being taught in church meetings, if someone tries to rape you fight to the death saying it is better you die then loose your virginity. Again another cringing moment.
When I was a teenager I had a bishop call me in out of the blue. He asked me questions like when I am with my boyfriend where does he touch me. Being young and vulnerable, I answered his question. I told him I was focused on school and work and that I was not dating. He kept pushing me saying when you do have a boyfriend where does he touch you.
I lived in a nice area in Holiday, Utah. My mom was single and didn’t believe in the church. I thought maybe that is why he targeted me! I called a girlfriend in the ward and told her what this man had said. She didn’t believe me and said no he did’t he wouldn’t do that. I moved away and five years later that friend called me and apologized saying she was sorry she didn’t believe me and that he started saying things like that to her too!
I called my sister and told her about my friend’s phone call and what had happened. To my surprise it happened to her too! She said she told her young women’s teacher. This teacher told her to never be alone with that man again! Why didn’t she do something as an adult who apparently knew what he was up to?
I later married a horrible man in the temple and ended up divorced. My children went into interviews with the bishop individually. When they came out they were visibly shaken! They didn’t want to talk about it but would not go back to church! That is my experience. I decided then to never let my children be alone with these men. When they called to make the appointments and I refused I was treated very badly. What was wrong with me? I stuck to my decisions. No more trusting people just because they are LDS and supposedly have my same values! That bishop was not good to my kids, his kids or his wife! I am not taking it any more!