My husband and I were recently married and wanting to be sealed. He was excommunicated and coming back to the church and I had just been through a divorce. My husband wanted us to both be free from our sins. So he wanted me to go to our bishop. I knew our bishop, we loved him and his wife. He was a gregarious, fit and healthy guy who lit up the room. Members loved and adored him.
I felt comfortable going to him and trusting that I could share my “sin” and be forgiven. While I was disclosing information of a sexual nature to him, I started crying. I was upset by it but also upset that I didn’t feel relief. Suddenly the bishop stood up, walked behind me and pulled up a chair. As he listened to me talk about these sins, he put his arm around me and started rubbing my shoulders. I instantly felt sick and the tears dried up as quickly as they came. Why did he sit behind me? Why was he rubbing my shoulder? I just wanted out. The feeling was so eerie.
I never told my husband, because I kept thinking that maybe the bishop was trying to comfort me. Again and again I would try to justify this but could not. I carefully watched as my husband went through the process of getting his membership back, and after it took years for all his blessings to be restored, I thought “Surely we have this wrong”. I know most members still believe in the power of the priesthood. But now I believe that Jesus is the ultimate priesthood, that I should have gone directly to him. As I see story after story of abuse happening at the hands of priesthood leaders in the church I pose this question, “Where is the inspiration to NOT call these men?” I still feel sick to my stomach when I think about that interview. I finally told my husband and he confirmed my icky feeling. He told me that the bishop should have stayed behind his desk and that to massage my shoulders while I confessed sins of a sexual nature, was truly disturbing.
President Nelson just stated “The church is changing, so long as are alive, it will continue to change.” Well God never changes brethren. And he said we had no need for a man on earth to interceded on our behalf before Him, because we have Christ. If we stuck to the true word of God, we wouldn’t have to deal with this in it’s severity.