My beautiful daughter was tormented by the questions asked by her bishop in the worthiness interviews. I did not know anything about this until you stood up against this horrific practice. I asked her if this had happened to her, and she told me some of the details. When she was twelve, the bishop asked if she masturbated. She did not know what that meant and loved it up is a dictionary after the interview. The interviews became more aggressive and harsh. Because my daughter had been raped as a child, these interviews brought on severe PTSD, anxiety and depression, and suicidal ideation. In fact, she attempted suicide when she was sixteen. When her bishop visited her, he said she must have an awful family to do such a thing.
She lost her desire to attend Church because of these intrusive and unacceptable interviews, which brought her nothing but fear, shame, and torment. She was a virtuous, innocent young woman but felt dirty and unclean after the interviews.
I am an active, faithful LDS Church member but my heart is broken for the many victims of ecclesiastical worthiness interviews. If I had not recently had major surgery, I would want to be fasting with you. As it is, I fast each Sunday for you and for the millions of children that the Church should be protecting, but isn’t.
The Church currently has a rape culture where leaders are allowed to groom children and teens and where too many children are raped and sexually abused by their bishops and branch presidents without any recourse in the Church. These perpetrators continue to serve in callings while often their victims are marginalized and even excommunicated if they speak up.
Thank you, Sam, for working hard to protect our precious LDS children from further abuse. The Church can easily stop the practice of asking sexually explicit questions in one-on-one interviews. If they choose not to do so, they are guilty of allowing innocent children to suffer and potentially be harmed for life. Although most bishops and branch presidents are caring, good men, some are not. The Church must end the practices that create a culture where bad leaders can abuse our children. They can stop if they want to do so. It needs to happen today.