I went on my own accord to visit the bishop with my then boyfriend, whom I loved very much. We had been sexually active, but decided we’d really like to “make things right”. I was terrified to have to talk to anyone about this, but decided it was the right thing to do to confess. The bishop separated us (as if we were criminals, and he needed to determine that we had our stories correct.) I walked in his office, already red faced and with tears streaming down my face. I was so ashamed. After my simple confession, he proceeded to ask me how many times we had sex, where we had sex, and in what positions. It was alarming for me then and incredibly humiliating, but I complied. He also told me that what I had done was VERY serious, and next to MURDER. I was horrified and felt like a worthless piece of crap. I was so dirty, and could never be “good” or like the other girls I was in classes with. That experience stayed with me for YEARS and the feelings of worthlessness followed me into my marriage (where I was amazed that I could “trick” a returned missionary to love and marry me) Our sexual relationship suffered for many years…we have been married 18 years…this experience happened 22 years ago. It may seem like such a small period of time with an interview and that it couldn’t have such an impact…but when it’s followed up in plain sight in classes, lessons, shaming from leaders, parents, returned missionaries, it gives it an unimaginable lasting impact and damage. I am grateful to be out of the church and to not pass on this kind of shaming to our children. Thank you to Sam and to the Mormon Stories Podcast page for helping us further release ourselves from the spiritual bondage of the church.