I started attending the LDS church when I was eleven years old right after my parent’s divorced. Growing up in the church I was given many lessons likening my sexual purity to my worth as a person. I was given an object lesson at the age of twelve where my beehive leader held up a cupcake and asked if anyone wanted it. The entire class did. She then licked it and then asked if anyone wanted it. No one wanted it after she licked it and she told us that, that is how our future husband would feel about us if we weren’t sexually pure. We would be a licked cupcake, unwanted and worthless. As a 14 year old, I was later given the same lesson, but this time with a chewed piece of gum as the object.
I had just turned eighteen years old when I started college for the first time. I was living in BYU housing in a BYU ward. I went in to meet my Bishop as a new member of the ward and he immediately started asking me very person, inappropriate questions. He asked me if I had a boyfriend. I told him that I had, but that I had broken up with him just a few weeks prior. He immediately started firing questions at me, not giving me a chance to respond before asking the next question. He asked me if my boyfriend and I ever laid down to kiss, then without waiting for a response, he immediately followed that by asking if my boyfriend ever touched my breasts under my shirt, under my bra or over my shirt. Then, again, without waiting for a response he asked if my boyfriend ever put his fingers inside of my vagina and very sternly told me that if my boyfriend had ever put his fingers inside of my vagina that the church no longer considered me a virgin and that I would one day have to tell my future husband that. He then went on to ask if I touched myself or ever put my own fingers inside of my vagina. He again, very severely told me that if I did, the church no longer considered me a virgin and that I would have a hard time finding a worthy priesthood holder that would want me if that was the case.
I was so shocked by his behavior that I just sat there stunned and mumbled that I had never done any of that. He stared me down like he didn’t believe me and then dismissed me from the interview. I went home that night and cried because I felt so dirty and violated. I had a very hard time feeling comfortable in Bishop’s offices, having to be alone with them afterwards. I know my story is not as bad as some others, but I wanted to share it so people can see that unfortunately not all Bishop’s are asking these questions in appropriate ways. If my daughter was ever in a situation like I was at barely eighteen years old, I would be furious.