When I lived in the Apple Valley area of California, I decided to go to my bishop after speaking with my dad about my sexual activity as a teen. In the course of meeting with my bishop, he asked me many detailed questions about how many partners I had sex with. If I truly was repentant and questions that made me question the process I was undergoing. After meeting with my bishop, I soon received word he wanted all the bishopric to sit in for a formal meeting with me (alone) to see if probation was enough for the things I had done. I was only sixteen at the time and had only been with one boyfriend sexually.
The bishop also went further in the fact he started questioning all the youth of my ward I was friends with to see if they too were engaging in sexual activities, drinking and drugs. This caused many of my friends to turn on me, to learn about my repentance process and much more. My dad being a former bishopric member went to my defense. He was also upset at how I was being treated by the bishop, even though he encouraged me to continue through the process
I did tell the bishopric I would not meet with them for a formal hearing. This caused the bishop to require me to write a letter to him specifically explaining to him if I was truly repentant. This made me feel as if I had to bare my soul in front of this man on paper. I did but hated myself the whole time I wrote this letter and I still hate this letter is somewhere floating around in church records.
I did for a time stop going to church once I hit the age of 18. I have never turned on the church principles as I believe in the gospel as a whole. I do have issues even to this day after coming back to the church in my late 20s and marring in the temple with policies and certain structures that are in place. I’m not overly active as I know the gospel is more than the people who practice it. So in that way, I feel I don’t need to attend church weekly or for all three sessions to feel close to my Lord. Even if others judge me for this viewpoint.
Does the church need to change some things, yes. Do the men of the church fully understand some issues women have or children have with the church, no. I feel how things are done could change without changing the principles the church is founded on. There is always more than one way to do things. Think of Joesph Smith and how the Word of Wisdom began. It wasn’t because the Lord said to stop drinking coffee or tea and no tobacco. It was because his wife complained about how the men were in her home doing these things that those were added to the Word of Wisdom. Not all things start from the Lord that are put into practice within the church. He lets man try to lead until they ask for help in all things.