My story may not apply here, as it happened as an adult. As my fiancé and I prepared for our temple marriage we struggled to keep the rules of morality. We crossed a few boundaries, and I saw the bishop to repent. He threatened me with disciplinary council, and to withhold my temple recommend. I saw him on a weekly basis. As the time drew near for our wedding we still slipped up. Nothing major—but I knew that if I told the truth about what we’d done he would not allow us to get married in the temple.
Again, we weren’t guilty of much, but we shouldn’t have done the things we did. However, I think that the way my bishop handled everything made it much worse than it could have been. I knew many people who had done far worse than we had done, and their bishops let them get married. Many of these received council to continue temple attendance and taking the sacrament, in spite of far more serious transgressions. In the end I withheld information from my bishop in order to keep my marriage date.
Several years of intense guilt followed this. I hated myself, resented my wife, and thought about suicide many times.
For me, the worst part of it all is the idea of ‘bishop roulette.’ Some people get bishops who won’t give an inch, others will give a mile. My bishop was more of the former, my wife’s more the latter. This causes so much confusion and disparate messaging. We’re literally at the mercy of the character and experience of a different guy in our neighborhood for a period of five years. This man’s interpretation of the spirit of God will likely differ significantly from his predecessors, and those who will follow him.
Each person gets a different experience. With all that variability in interpretation and reaction, and potentially millions of ways things can go wrong, doesn’t it make sense to reduce those chances by eliminating one on one interviews with children, and prohibiting sexually explicit questions?