My story is pretty much exactly what to expect at minimum for a regular bishops interview to receive a temple recommend. I always lied about masturbating because I never wanted anyone to learn of my shame I hid at night. Every time I masturbated I would cry profusely for hours curled up in a ball because I was a girl and girls were super not supposed to do that. Of course in my head I punished myself more for being a girl doing it because for guys it was almost “expected” for it to happen, even though it was still frowned upon for them.
Moving forward in time, I got curious about love and fell in love with my best friend who was also a girl at the time. We used to just quickly peck each other on the lips at sleepovers-typical kids being curious. This went on for a little over a year before guilt consumed her, she told me we could no longer kiss because it made her uncomfortable and it wasn’t something the church encouraged.
She went to her bishop who also recommended I go talk to my bishop about it. I really didn’t want to but she would only associate with me if I did, so I went and “confessed”. As I was weeping in my confession my bishop put his hands to his forehead in frustration and continued to prod me for more information.
“You’re sure you didn’t do anything more? You didn’t touch each other inappropriately? You didn’t rub against each other? You didn’t make out? You weren’t more intimate?” We weren’t. I hadn’t done any of what he wanted me to confess and continued to deny any of those claims. Eventually he sighed and said that it was fine so long as we didn’t continue which we hadn’t for a while so that was that. Or so I thought.
About two weeks after that interview, her parents found out and told her she couldn’t be friends with me at all. My heart broke into a million pieces as that’s what happens with your first love. I didn’t get closure and planned my own death several times during that time but eventually got through it. The interview made me feel dirty and awful about myself. I hated being pressured to say things I didn’t do because clearly I wouldn’t be there if kissing were it. I don’t believe I ever went back for another interview again.
My story isn’t as harrowing as most but it’s important to show that even at a minimum ALL LDS children get questioned like this. I remember every temple recommend interview feeling awful when we got to those questions, “are you sexually active?” “Have you ever had same-sex attraction?” “Have you masturbated?” The list goes on and on. A 30 Something year old was asking me, a 12-17 year old girl if I masturbated or was sexually active. Would you ever let that situation happen if it weren’t in a bishops office? If the answer’s no, you may want to question why you allow it to happen behind closed doors, alone with your own children.