I was born into the LDS church. I attended faithfully with my family. Went to nursery, primary, and young women’s every Sunday except for the few Sundays we were out of town on vacation. Church was a major part in my life. I believed in its doctrine because it had been ingrained in me since birth. I loved church, the activities the friendships and the traditions. I loved learning about Jesus Christ and prayer.
Then everything changed when I became a Mia Maid in the young womens organization. My world got turned upside down. It started with a young women leader shaming me about how I dressed. I wore a sleeveless dress to church. My mom told me it was okay and that I should ignore what others say about my clothing. My leaders told the other young women in our ward that I was immodest.
At youth conference a few of the young women called me a whore because I wore shorts that did not go to my knees. My shorts were mid thigh length and I felt modest but apparently my leaders did not agree. I felt so embarrassed and ashamed of myself. I felt sad and unworthy. I continued to attend church but I felt like I was not righteous enough to be there. But going to church is what we did.
When I turned 16, I had a steady boyfriend. After six months of dating we became heavily involved in petting and necking. I was taught since I was young that this was a grievous sin, the second worst sin next to murder. I was taught that in order to be forgiven of this sin I would have to confess all my sexual sins to my bishop. This terrified me!
My bishop was also our home teacher and my next door neighbor. I went to school with his sons. He was a family friend. I really didn’t want to confess to him, so I just prayed and asked my Heavenly Father to forgive me. I remember praying every night asking for forgiveness and asking for his help to give me to the courage to stop being sexual with my boyfriend.
A month later we had a lesson at church on the law of chastity and the Bishop came into our Sunday School class and showed us a drawing of a body figure. He talked about sexual sins and then started circling areas on the figure that we should not allow others to touch. He talked about not touching our own genitals also. I remembering a very uncomfortable and awkward feeling in the room.
The bishop then told us that if we had committed any of these sins then we should talk to him privately. He said that for a full repentance we must confess our sins to our church leader a.k.a. the bishop. It was after that class that I decided that I would make an appointment with my bishop because I really wanted to receive a full and complete forgiveness.
The next week I met with my bishop. I called and made an appointment all on my own accord. My mom and dad did not know anything. They didn’t even know that I had an appointment with him. I was so nervous to talk, but I summed up the courage and sat alone with my bishop in his office behind closed doors. He asked me why I wanted to see him. I told him I committed a sexual sin (petting and kissing) with my boyfriend and I told him I felt remorse and wanted to repent in full.
He then asked me specific questions on what I did with my boyfriend. He asked me where my boyfriend touched me, if I touched his penis, and if he touched my genitals. He then asked me if I had oral sex. I didn’t even know what that was. He asked me how long we had been sexual together. I could barely answer his questions because I was crying so hard. I felt dirty and worthless. I hated myself. I felt very uncomfortable and wanted to just leave.
But I did answer all his questions and he told me I needed to stop being sexual with my boyfriend. He talked to me about the atonement and that I could be forgiven. He then told me I had to be disfellowshipped. I could no longer say a prayer in a group. I could not give talks or take the sacrament. He told me I had to read a book called the Miracle of Forgiveness. I left his office and was glad it was over, that I could move on.
For a month I did all that he told me to do but had a relapse with my boyfriend. My boyfriend touched my breasts but after a few minutes of petting, I told him to stop and that I was trying to repent and be a good person.
I hated to go to sacrament meeting because all my family and those sitting around me knew I wasn’t taking the sacrament. It was obvious they all knew I committed a sexual sin. I buried my face in my hands when the sacrament was being passed and cried. After a month of being disfellowshipped the bishop called me into his office again to see how I was doing. But I didn’t want to talk to him because I knew I would have to confess to him once again and talk about sexual things with him.
Well, I went anyways to be interviewed and my bishop asked if I had stayed morally clean. I looked in his eyes and said “Yes”. I completely lied to his face because I didn’t want to tell him I failed and go a second round. He said to me “Good, I’m glad to hear this.” My bishop told me that I was still disfellowshipped and for 6 more months I was not to take the sacrament. I left his office and knew I was going to go straight to hell. Heavenly Father will never forgive me because I was committing sexual sins and now on top of that I lied to my bishop.