I grew up going to the Sugar Land wards of the Houston Texas South Stake. I was going in for my first temple interview to do baptisms for the dead. I was very naive and at the time didn’t know what self pleasure or masturbation were or what sexually active meant. I was interviewed by a man who I knew very well and looked up to, until the day of that interview. The bishop was harsh in tones and explained things that I was not mentally mature enough to process.
I have suffered from depression from a young age due to on going psychological and physical abuse from my step-father. Church was a safe haven from those things until the bishop badgered me about whether or not I was masturbating and if I had done it alone or in a group with other boys or girls. He asked if I looked at or owned pornography(I didn’t know what that meant at the time). The bishop explained in explicit detail what these were when I told him I didn’t know what he meant by these questions. I got my temporary recommend and went home with my mom. I felt awful and had the feeling I had done something wrong! I have never felt comfortable in a Bishop’s office since that day! I had many good bishops who just asked if I obeyed the law of chastity but that first one scared me. I felt terrible about myself. I went home and locked myself in my room and sat on my bed numb. I wanted to cry but I couldn’t. I had thoughts of suicide and even tried to overdose on my ADHD medicine to end my life! I failed, obviously! Went to a mental hospital for about a year and out patient treatment for another.
I was never able to get close to a woman romantically. My priesthood advancement interviews were also highly focused on sexual questions. I was asked if I had had homosexual relationships and if I had ever had sex with another man. Being still very naive and having had previous bad experience with these questions I said no not even knowing what the bishop meant by these questions or why he would ask them. However, I felt dirty, like I had been cleaning a dumpster! My mom and stepdad were no help completely busy with my five other siblings. I attempted to cut my wrists to kill myself but I ended up with a bad scar and a bad lie about a accident carving a stick and the knife slipped.
I started taking acid to deal with my depression that was brought on by the allegations that I was gay by the bishop and my peers. I felt shame about my body and started cutting myself because I was ashamed of my body. I developed a fear of the closed door interviews.
I finally left the church after 32 years of being a member since birth. I officially withdrew my name from the records of the church after the Leaders of the church denied baptism to children of same-sex couples. I urge the leaders of the church to stop these closed door interviews with children. It causes harm and no good comes from them! I cannot see how these interviews are in-line with the teachings of Christ.