I am so thankful that you are doing this. I hope the LDS Church takes action to stop these interviews. I grew up in Montana and my mother made me and my sisters go to church every Sunday. Our father was Lutheran so that made for some difficult family dynamics because mom was constantly trying to get my dad to convert to the LDS Church. I, like most young boys, discovered the joys of masturbation when I was around 13 years old. I remember the terror I felt everytime I went in for a “worthiness interview” so I could go with the youth group to do baptisms for the dead in the Cardston Temple in Canada. I knew instinctively that having this old man interview me for worthiness was wrong. I was not a bad person, I just enjoyed my Playboy and Penthouse magazines a lot and I felt it was no one’s business.
My sisters also went through worthiness interviews with the bishop in the mid-1970’s. Both had the same experience and were asked similar questions. My little sister was about 13 years old when she was interviewed by the bishop about her sexual experiences. She had none with anyone and she was a virgin. The bishop asked her if she masturbated, if she let boys touch her breasts or vagina, if she had had an orgasm yet. Had she participated in giving or receiving oral sex? My sister jumped up and screamed at the bishop, “I don’t know what the f*** you are talking about but this is wrong and you can go f*** yourself.” She slammed the door to the bishop’s office as she left and she walked all the way home. She came in the house and told mom that she is never going back to that “G**D*** Church again.” My other sister walked out of her interview and was extremely upset and offended by the bishop and his questions. Both have left the church permanently.
I eventually stopped “taking matters into my hand” and went through numerous worthiness interviews and went through the temple and went on a mission from 1980-1982. My first mission president who I had for the first year of my mission was very by the book. Every interview I ever had with him the first question he asked was, “Well Elder, do you have a problem with masturbation?” Never ever asked me how the work was going, what he or the mission office could do to help support me and my companion, or how I was doing. Always the same question and I always answered honestly which was that I never did the entire time I was on my mission.
I served an honorable mission and gave it everything I had but I only had one baptism. I lived the mission rules and did my very best. I think if I had it to do over, I would have masturbated every single day! I got married in the Temple but I remember going through the worthiness interview for my temple marriage recommend and being told explicitly that oral sex between married couples is “forbidden by the Lord.” At least that is what the Prophet S.W.Kimball and the first presidency said in 1982. So after I got married I was saddled with more guilt because of the way I pleasured my wife who very much enjoyed what I did.
Long story short… because of Gordon B. Hinckley’s lies and the things he did, in 2007 I started questioning and thinking for myself and I embarked on a 10+ year quest for the truth about the Mormon church and it’s history. I quit wearing garments on January 20, 2016 and quit paying tithing. 3 of my 4 children have left the church and I no longer have anything to do with the Mormon cult except I read the stories on the Recovery From Mormonism website frequently to learn what others are going through and to help me heal.
I talked to a minister of the Episcopal Church about the sexually explicit interviews and she was absolutely horrified that a church would allow that. She said that would never happen in the Episcopal Church. They treasure their youth and would do everything they could to help them. Certainly not pry into their personal lives. It has taken me years to deal with what happened to me and my sisters. Takes a long time for the bitterness and anger to dissipate. Thank you so much for bringing this issue to light. I hope the Mormon Church crashes and burns because of all the damage they have done to so many innocent people. The electroshock “therapy” that was done at BYU to gay people, Proposition 8 in California, shaming LGBTQ persons to the point of suicide, forcing children of same sex couples to denounce their parents, I could go on and on. This is supposed to be the Church of Jesus Christ? Sexually explicit “worthiness interviews” have to stop NOW.