When I was 7 years old I had my first worthiness interview a few weeks before I turned 8 and would be baptized. The bishop already knew that I was being abused at home and told me that I was a sinner and needed to repent because I was not being a worthy daughter and honoring my parents righteously. If I was, then they would not be beating me, calling me names or starving me.
I was 7…I was not responsible for the abuse happening to me, yet I was blamed for it. The bishop asked me if I was keeping the law of chastity, since I was only 7, I did not know what that meant. When I told him I did not know what that meant, he then showed me what not being chaste was. He told me to come and sit on his lap, which I did. I did so because I had been taught to do what the bishop instructs you to do, because he was in direct communication with God. He put one hand between my legs and began rubbing my vagina asking if that felt good and if it did that meant I was not being chaste and was a sinner. I did not like this.
I tried to get away but he held me down onto his lap. I could feel what I know now was his erection, I did not then. He continued to ask if what he was doing to me felt good and told me I was being unchaste by letting him do it. Letting?? I was 7, he was the adult I was supposed to trust.
He put two fingers inside my underpants and inserted one into my vagina. It hurt, I was ashamed by what he was doing to me. It did not feel good, I did not like it, I just wanted him to stop. But he was the Bishop, who I was supposed to trust. He kept saying I was the sinner and I needed to repent of my sins of what he was doing to me and what he was doing to me made me unworthy, not him, just me. He continued until he was finished and when he let me up I was sore and there was blood on my dress. He told me that I was unworthy of being baptized and he would not allow it until I repented.
I did not understand what had just happened to me or why I was suddenly unworthy of being baptized into the church that I had so far been raised in. I was told the only way I could repent “correctly” was to pray and also not tell anyone what he had just done to me. If I told that would make me so unworthy I would never be able to come to church again. He said he would tell me whether he thought I had repented enough to be baptized, as he had direct communication with Heavenly Father.
Each Sunday until I turned 8, I was called to his office and he would do the same thing to me. All the while telling me I was unworthy, unrighteous, dirty and bad and I needed to repent of the sin of what he was doing to me. I was the unworthy dirty one, not him. I was 7, he was the Bishop, the adult who I was supposed to trust. Ultimately, I was baptized when I turned 8, but that did not stop the abuse.