I didn’t find out that masturbation was a sin until my bishop had a fireside for the youth. After that I felt extreme guilt because I couldn’t stop. I honestly thought I was the only girl who did this, I was so ashamed.
A few years later after admitting it to close guy friends in my ward, they encouraged me to tell the bishop. So I did. Bishop asked me very uncomfortable questions like when during the day was I most temped, or in the shower or bath?
Weekly meetings with the bishop instilled this sense of hope that I would be able to stop, but when I did it again, I was met with an even heavier guilt and self-loathing. My bishop encouraged me to tell my parents, which I obediently did, that made things weird at home. Bishop made up this code for when I’d see him at church or activities and he’d ask how I’m doing: if I said “good” it meant I hadn’t masturbated since we talked last. If I said “alright” he would know that I messed up and needed to set up a 1 on 1 meeting.
I trusted this guy so much because he was my bishop. Luckily he never took advantage of me, but I experienced extreme guilt and self-hatred because it was drilled into my head by the most important people in my life, that what I was doing was bad. Sexual sin was compared to murder. I regularly saw bishops about this through my sophomore year of college at BYU-Idaho. So glad that I left all of that behind three years ago. It was so unhealthy.
Sexual questions allowed in bishop interviews are breeding ground for manipulation and assault because the victim is so convinced bishop has keys over you to guide you, and you feel guilty already. Things really need to change.