Whenever I was in a romantic relationship in high school and college, I dreaded worthiness interviews. I hated being asked by the bishop if I was worthy and feeling compelled to confess that I had done things that were inappropriate. Looking back on it now, 20+ years later, I want to laugh and rage at the same time about what I thought was inappropriate. Such a terribly rigid, skewed sense of sexuality and romance. The relationships I had were normal and generally very chaste. But I felt compelled to confess everything. I knew that I would be questioned in detail, hence the dread. This happened with three separate bishops.
I do believe it pained the bishops to ask me. Is it necessary to put them through this? I could tell by their facial expression, tone of voice, and body language they were very uncomfortable. I wasn’t comfortable either, I was a minor, and I should not have been subject to those questions. But a bishop is an authority figure and I never considered that I could refuse the questions – I never even considered not confessing. I should not have been taught to accept that kind of questioning! I should not have been taught that the bishop is a perfect, wonderful, god-inspired man at all times.
My experience with sex has only been within marriage. It has been terribly hampered by the fear and guilt that was heavily programmed into me as a young adult in the church. I resent the fact that the first five years of my marriage were so fraught. That is not fair. Those were five years spent overcoming what I had learned (say no! Avoid! Shut it down.), when they should have been five years of beautiful intimacy with my husband. I don’t believe Heavenly Father wanted that for me. Or my husband. The consequences of these interviews speak to the fact that this is a hurtful, destructive practice. Please stop.