When I was 12 years old, I had sexual feelings from touching my vagina. I told my LDS Bishop about these feelings and he threatened to Excommunicate me from the Church if I didn’t stop. He and his wife were good friends of my parents. His attitudes only made me continue the behavior and to this day as an adult I still have problems with masturbation because it is very difficult to ignore sexual feelings when you wipe yourself and go to the bathroom.
All that Bishop did was contribute to my obsessive-compulsive problems. In fact, he may have been a large contributor to causing me to create this problem. What he should have done is been calm and just told me sexual feelings are normal and not to worry about it-that would have helped me! Furthermore as a child I was suffering from sexual abuse by others and doing sexual things with others because of the abuse that was happening to me.
Further conversations with others bishops included questioning of me as to whether or not I was a homosexual, and even outright cruelty by some bishops who yelled at me for my immoral behaviors.
I think guilt and shame just create more guilt and shame. I am still, as an adult trying to overcome all the traumatic events of my childhood including LDS leaders who don’t know how to talk with children in safe and productive ways. Children should be allowed to have a parent or mentor present, and the door should be left open or windows so others can see what is going on. Some Bishops have been very kind and helpful to me in my life,others have been actually very hurtful.
Thanks for listening. Marie