I am not comfortable telling everything, but I will say I was asked the following questions in an interview when I was 15 or 16 when I confessed to looking at porn and masturbating. This isn’t a complete list. This was 15 years ago or so:
What kind of porn was it?
Did you watch any gay porn?
Where did you watch it?
Were you alone?
What were you wearing?
Did it feel good? Did you ejaculate?
Do you ever think about other boys when you masturbate?
Do you ever think about girls you know when you masturbate?
Do you ever think about girls from church when you masturbate?
Are you a virgin?
Have you kissed a girl?
Have you kissed a boy?
Have you ever done anything inappropriate with girls from church?
Have any of your friends done anything inappropriate with the girls from church?
He continually pressed me on my virginity. I had never kissed a girl at that point but he accused me of sleeping around and never accepted my answer. Also, in retrospect, I am seriously concerned that some of his questions seemed to be fishing for information about girls in the ward. These questions were not asked in an innocent way. I thought it was creepy at the time but only now put it together. I sincerely hope he never took advantage of them. I should also add that this questioning took place not at a church, but in his home office with his wife and kids gone. This was common for interviews with him. In retrospect I also think that was incredibly unwise to do.
Between this and other interviews I developed a serious complex around porn and masturbation. I thought what I was doing was a sin next to murder. I would repent, but since we are taught that if you mess up it cancels out your previous repentance, the mountain of things I had to repent for grew and grew until I figured since I had no idea how to repent for it all anymore that all was lost.
What had been a minor habit when I was younger became an escape. Porn would make me feel good, and then very guilty, and then the only way to escape the guilt and feel good again was to turn to the porn. If I had not had so much guilt attached to it then it never would have been such a time waste for me. But it turned into a vicious cycle.
It got to the point where I accepted I would never escape it. I was a horrible sinner. I didn’t see myself as worthy to go on dates and I didn’t try. Although I never attempted suicide, I hoped that something would happen to me so that I could die and not have to keep fighting this hopeless battle. It affected me throughout high school and into college. Continuously feeling worthless sapped my drive to achieve anything as I already felt I had failed. If I couldn’t stop this habit, then I wouldn’t make it to the Celestial Kingdom with my family, and therefore life was meaningless.
I hated myself for years.
My parents, to their credit, were fairly progressive on this issue. They thought it was a waste of time, and something I shouldn’t do, but it wasn’t the end of the world. Unfortunately, the church overruled them and I thought they must not be righteous enough either if they thought what I was doing was anything less that a “sin next to murder.” I never told them about the Bishop’s interviews. They have only learned in the last few months what I was asked. They are horrified and they would have stopped it if I had told them. But at the time I was too ashamed and scared to tell anyone what was going on. This is the definition of grooming, is it not?
My eyes were eventually opened and I no longer affiliate with the church. However, if it were not for this issue I still might. If there were a way to escape the soul-crushing guilt without leaving the church I might have taken it. But there isn’t.
I am so worried about the incredible psychological damage being done to children every time they have these interviews. They kill self esteem. They make sex into this horrible thing to be avoided, leading to struggles even after marriage.
This needs to stop. I have no idea what I could have achieved by now if I hadn’t lost a decade of my life to guilt. I am so far behind in life. It didn’t have to be this way. And hopefully for kids in the future it won’t.