This is an odd story but it took me a while to connect the dots as to why I felt so passionate about signing the petition and wanting to march.
My dad was a Bishop when I was 12. He is an introvert by nature and we suddenly rose to fame and popularity because of my dad. It was a great 3 years but in the end he was released and disfellowshipped for what he did.
There was a Girl who had been caught “fooling around” with another man in our Ward. She was 14 at the time and the Wife caught her and her husband probably just making out I assume. (My dad wouldn’t tell me everything due to confidentiality on his end). My dad had to obviously interview both people and disfellowshiped the Husband in the end.
Couple years go by and my Dad is starting to fall for this same girl. She was flirtatious and “mature” in my dad’s eyes. She paid my dad A LOT of attention and my Dad liked getting it. His marriage to my mom was less then average and they were definitely not soul mates.
Fast Forward and our families become friends. We have Sunday Game night and the two teenage girls (she had a younger sister my age) even came on family vacations with us. My dad said at Church Dances he would always dance with her at least once. A Bishop dancing with some of the YW I suppose isn’t super weird but it is very odd in hindsight.
Anyways my dad and her start falling in love. They pass notes like stupid school kids. My dad even used me as his dumb pigeon boy. On a trip my mom reads a letter my dad forgot to destroy. Busted! Yelling and screaming and blah blah blah. The worst part is my dad wanted to marry this 16 year old girl in the temple!!! (Obviously once she was 18)
My parents almost divorced but stayed together for the kids. 10 years later they finally did divorce. The crazy part is my dad never did anything physically with her. He was emotionally in love with her. He was still disfellowshiped for falling in love with a teenager when he was almost 40.
This was a major black eye on my family. Once your petition got started I shared on my Facebook. My mom was so appalled and she called me an Apostate and thought I was trying to ruin the Church. I asked her if Dad would of fell in love with the 16 year to f he didn’t have closed door one on one interviews with her? She got mad and said I needed to leave that in the past. The next morning she signed the petition and told me that if signing a petition will save families she is all for it.
The power that these men get is sometimes too heavy to bare. They are just human and sometimes very carnal men. We place a huge responsibility on these men and they can effect so many people positive and negatively without even knowing.
My dad still feels it’s a Bishops duty to judge Zion. He does recognize that there should be a lot more training. He said he never asked YM about Masturbating until one 14 year old girl confessed to it. He then asked all YW if they masturbated. I don’t know how many lives he might of hurt.
The point of my story is that we put these men in dangerous situations and in my case it was my own family that got shamed and ruined because my dad was weak. We focus in the actual victims, as we should, but there are way more lives at stake than we realize.
Feel free to edit or rewrite this or just toss it. Your petition has helped me open up with my own family and spark much needed conversation within the Church. Keep up the great work and we will see you in March!