When I was seventeen years old, and dating my boyfriend, later to be my husband, I knew that I wanted to be married in the temple. I had been taught all my life that this is the ultimate goal, to be married for time and all eternity in the house of the Lord. I had one big problem. I had sinned. I had been taught that sexual relations outside of marriage were a sin and I knew that in order for me to reach my goal of going to the temple that I would need to repent. After a lot of conversations with my boyfriend, we decided that we wanted to correct out misdeeds. We both made appointments with our bishops.
I was absolutely terrified to go and admit my wrongs, but I knew that unless I repented that I would not be worthy to enter the temple. I remember sitting in the bishops office and explaining to him why I was there. After I was through my, bishop at the time started asking me very detailed questions about the sin. At one time he asked me a question that I didn’t understand, so he explained it, in great detail. This was not vague questioning. The questions made me feel awkward, shame, and like I had no worth. These were questions that I now believe were inappropriate, perverse, and astray. At the time I believed that this is what a bishop asked when one was repenting of a sexual sin, now as a thirty eight year old women, I know that this was not right. That this is not what a bishop should be asking a young girl. I was put in a situation with an authority figure, an older male and asked detailed question after detailed question about a sexual sin, alone in his office.
My parents were never asked to sit outside. Apparently bishops are counseled to not be unnecessarily probing or invasive in their questions. This bishop must have not got the memo or decided that he wanted to get his voyeuristic pleasures from hearing from a young girls experience with her boyfriend. This experience hurt me as a young girl, a new wife, and is still impacting me to this day.
So what is my goal in telling you this, you might ask? I believe there needs to be change. I believe it’s the parent’s job to talk to their kids about things of a sexual nature, not subjecting your kids to be alone in a room with an authority figure, an older male discussing sexual things. Bishops are not trained to talk to youth about sexual things; my bishop at the time was a banker and I believe still is. Where was his training? I believe that most bishops are good people that are there to help but we should not be putting our kids in a situation where they might encounter a bishop that is using his power as a means to get his own sexual gratification. My husbands experience was opposite of mine. He had a good bishop who didn’t probe and helped him on his way to repentance. He was never asked was it oral? Did she cum? After an orgasm, would you still continue? Where were you when you would have sex? How did you feel afterwards? All of these things were asked of me, and more. I was made to feel that it was mostly my responsibility, because I am the girl and boys will be boys. I was disfellowshiped and my boyfriend got a slap on the hand. Why?
I am grateful that a former bishop from Texas is shedding a light on this subject. I hope that things will change and at the least, parents will really think about this and use their discretion. It hurts to read comments from people that say that this does not happen in our church. I am here to tell you that it does happen and it happened to me twenty years ago and has the potential to have lasting effects. I have decided that I will no longer be a victim. I can see that I am not the only one that this has happened to and until just recently have been able to share with my husband what happened to me fully. I should have spoken out, but I trusted my bishop and thought he was doing the right thing by asking me those questions and discussing sexual things with me. I should have spoken out and told someone. All I can do now is share my story and so hopefully people will know that they are not alone and they can prevent this from happening to their children. I am grateful for the great bishop and stake president that I have now; both are making sure that this does not happen on their watch.