Shortly before my daughter‘s 13th birthday, she came downstairs and found me in the kitchen making dinner. She had a horrified look on her face as she handed me her journal that have been bookmarked to a particular page. She slid it on the counter over towards me, burst into tears and almost collapsed on the floor. I scooped her into my arms and told her that no matter what she was telling me, I loved her unconditionally.
She said she couldn’t stand there and watch while I read. She ran to her bedroom and close the door. Trembling a little bit, I opened her journal and began to read. She wrote of horrified feelings and a total lack of self-worth because she had a problem with “touching herself”. She wrote that she lied to the bishop when he asked her about it in her most recent interview but that she knew she needed to go back in and confess this to him but she just didn’t think she could.
It was there in my kitchen that I realized almost instantly that this fundamental practice of untrained, grown men (this particular bishop was a dentist) having discussions about sexuality with children was wrong on so many levels. I literally became nauseous. I ran to my daughter’s room and held her tightly in my arms as she sobbed and sobbed. I told her there would be zero discussions with any church leaders and furthermore, she had done absolutely nothing wrong!
We proceeded to have a lengthy discussion about human sexuality and I told her she would never be speaking with a church leader behind closed doors again. She then told me how much she hated her very first interview when she was 12. At that time, the bishop asked her if she kept the law of chastity. She wasn’t familiar with that term so she asked what it was and proceeded to get a lengthy explanation that made her incredibly uncomfortable.
I struggled for weeks. As a parent, how could I have ever thought this was OK? Even if the church never changes its policies, my children will never be behind closed doors with the bishop again. Period. I hope and pray other parents take matters into their own hands as well. I find it incredibly ironic that there are safeguards galore in place in many church policies about men not being allowed to be alone with a single female. I wasn’t even allowed to teach a primary class with another man who wasn’t my husband. Men and missionaries aren’t allowed to visit single women behind closed doors. Ludicrous. Sure wish I could be there in March. Best wishes and keep up the great work, Sam & company.