I was 12 years old when I started masturbating. I felt like the scum of the earth. I don’t know how to describe how much guilt and self loathing that I felt until the age of 27 (I’m 28 now). I really felt like I was the worst person in the world that I didn’t deserve love from God or anyone else for that matter because I had done something so horrific. One of my good friends dad was bishop, a friend of the family, and home teacher. I made an appointment to see him and the day of he called and asked if I could meet at his house because he had something going on later. I said yes and walked down there by myself, we sat in his back yard and I confessed my sin. I was told that I needed to stop and that I should tell my parents. I saw him all the time and it was the most awkward terrible thing to have to keep seeing him. I would always feel all hot and anxious, I was worried that he would tell my disgusting secret to my friend or to my parents (I told my mom later).
I realize now what a dangerous decision I made. Bishops are given so much trust and power, I never would have done something like that normally, but I didn’t even think twice about it because he was a priesthood leader and bishop. While nothing sexually inappropriate occurred I want to take a stand now to protect future children from being put in dangerous situations. I also want children to not carry guilt and shame their entire lives for something as simple as masturbating.