We had postponed my daughter’s baptism for months so that her older brother could return from a sales job and baptize her. Days before the scheduled baptism we got a text from our bishop that our son was not ” worthy” to baptize his sister because he had masturbated that week. Our bishop encourages youth to text him right away when they masturbate so they can repent right away. My son is so good and honest and sensitive that he actually did it. We tried to talk to the bishop, noting that in the church handbook it does not give bishops this authority. My husband has never been asked if he masturbated before baptizing our other kids. It also says in the handbook that fathers who are not temple worthy can baptize their kids. The bishop spent the whole time defending his point and assuring us the stake president would be on his side. So my little girl cried herself to sleep and my other children had to deal with unacceptable explanations. And my son. I’ve never met a young person so connected to the Spirit, so humble and willing to do what’s right, so committed to study and prayer. His best wasn’t good enough, and it was devastating. He was thrown into a pit of depression for months. Thankfully he is doing much better, and we have learned our lesson. How did I think these interviews were okay when I won’t leave my kids alone with a doctor or dentist?
My oldest son also had his mission papers delayed for 20 months, always keeping him in limbo affecting college and life plans. Arbitrary abstinence times set up that dragged on because, well because they thought it was their business to know if he masturbates. There is plenty of scientific research showing that masturbation is normal and healthy and there is nothing in church doctrine to show otherwise. This is sick and sad. We must do better for our kids!