I was raised LDS and was a believing devout member as I prepared for my mission in my senior year of high school. I left for my mission a week after I graduated. During the interview process to determine my worthiness to serve as a missionary, I was asked by the counselor of the stake presidency if I had ever had sex with animals. This was after all the normal Mormon experience of being asked if I masturbated, had sex, touched a girls breasts, touched a girls vagina, had homosexual sex, and asked again about masturbation. But the question I got next does not seem to be the equivalent of the former experience that in had grown accustomed to as I went through the interview process speaking with bishops and now stake presidents and stake presidents counselors.
The interviewer, a counselor in the presidency that has now moved onto leading a mission, began asking about very specific sexual behaviours that I had ever experienced with animals. I can remember feeling incredibly uncomfortable. This person that I should be able to trust asked me specifically if I had ever had sex with any of my dogs. He asked directly and specifically about the dogs. I answered no I had never had sex with a dog, and he then asks if I had specifically had sex with any other animal. I told him I had not. This made me so uncomfortable. I didn’t know how to feel about this line of questioning other than confused.
As I got home from my mission and i was able to open up to a small group of people from my ward about their experience and they also shared that they had also gotten this line of questioning from the same leaders of the stake at the same time. The three closest friends I had growing up in the church all indicated that they also received similar questions as they were preparing for their missions.
I don’t really know how to feel about this now other than violated. If I had such a problem with my entire future as a Mormon on the line answering this question, how could I do so honestly. I never had sex with an animal but I have never felt more vulnerable while answering these questions. I hope that after 18 years they are no longer asking any prospective missionary this question. I felt like I had done something wrong from the question alone.
That “guilt” response I had at that moment stuck with me for several years. I felt so confused. Why was I being asked the question. I still don’t know but I know that question changed me. Irreparably it changed me. I hadn’t ever thought of that before that interview. After the interview I can not say that I had never heard of bestiality. I learned that lesson from the Stake presidency counselor. I don’t think often of the situation now but it seems very wrong that this line of questioning was used I my stake for my peer group. This seems so wrong. But who is a seventeen year old to say this interview is wrong or not. I obviously had no idea the difference.