When I was 17 I confessed to French kissing. The bishop told me how disappointed he was in me. How everyone looks up to me and I’ve let down God, him, my family, the young women. I cried and cried and then went home and cried more.
A year later I’m 18 and at byu. I’m dating an RM five years older than me. We eventually messed around, not all the way. I confess, like a good Mormon, and the bishop tells me the only way to repent is to break up with him or marry him. I break up with him. He persists. We mess around again and I’m so sick and stressed out with shame and guilt I can hardly keep my grades up to keep my scholarship.
He proposes to me and for twenty minutes he tries to persuade me why I should marry him. I think, what temptations are there when morality isn’t a problem anymore? So I say ok. Mormon youth can’t date till 16 then only group dates. Can single date at 18. Then encouraged to get married fairly quickly. In what universe is this healthy? I got engaged at 18, very largely out of fear and shame and guilt. Trying to make things right. I prayed to God to stop me if it isn’t right but nothing intervened and I got married. Spent 29 years wishing someone had helped me wake up and have a voice. But I was the good Mormon girl following her priesthood leaders, thinking they represented god.
Divorced now. Single mom. Angry at what men do to control. No one speaks for God. How crippling to us to believe we disappointed god. And it was never true.