As a teenager I was immersed in the gospel. I loved it. I loved the Book of Mormon. I spent much time memorizing passages from it. I was proud of my faith. But I masturbated from the time I was twelve years old. After much internal agony, I confessed to my bishop in my annual bishops interview. My bishop was helpful in providing suggestions for ending the practice. (Go to bed late and tired; keep yourself busy during the day.) But the practice continued despite my attempts to end it.
Some of my peers evidently had similar issues because the issue was a huge distraction in Priesthood meetings. Chastity lessons were held weekly (literally!). Attendees at Priest Quorum meetings were told that if they did not stop masturbating, it would destroy them. I took that teaching– and the practice– with me into adulthood. Well, it didn’t destroy me, but it certainly wasn’t helpful to my emotional and spiritual development. For example, everytime I thought of church, I thought of masturbation and how I shouldn’t do that. “It’s Sunday… time to go partake of the Sacrament… and then talk about chastity.” Or, whenever I saw the bishop– whether in or out of church– masturbation was brought to mind. “Hi Bishop, I know that you know that I masturbate… cause I told you in our special One-on-one.” Not very helpful for having a normal conversation with someone in your neighborhood. Or even… prayer. After masturbating, I would kneel in prayer asking for forgiveness and promise to discontinue the practice so that I could be a noble and pure servant. I found it difficult– impossible– to develop a healthy prayer-life.
After my mission I decided to no longer confess masturbation in worthiness interviews. For two reasons: first because I sensed that those to whom I confessed it really didn’t wan’t to have to deal with the issue, and second, because I decided it was really none of their business– or at least it shouldn’t be. As I grew older, married, gained experience, and associated myself with those not of the LDS faith, I adopted more mature and helpful world views. I have a wonderful wife who is satisfying to me in this regard. In distancing myself from the church (in regards to sexuality), I gradually developed a more gentle sex drive such that masturbation is no longer an issue to me (just in case you were wondering).
As for church leaders, I CANNOT not see them as inspired or called of God. It is simply not possible because church policy does not allow for it. It is impossible to know whether a leader is acting according to the dictates of their own conscience (i.e. the Spirit of Christ) or dictates of another human or corporeal authority. Much of my view is a direct result of participating in these church-mandated worthiness interviews. The interviews are, at best, a huge distraction.