I had several good bishops growing up in the LDS Church.
However, they didn’t realize I was a victim of child abuse.
I was sexually molested as a small child by a member of my ward.
I never told anyone about it
I always felt like it was something I had to hide.
And what was really messed up with the situation was even though I knew the sexual abuse was wrong, I liked how it felt. So at a very young age I became interested in recreating that feeling by masturbating.
As I got older and began having bishop “worthiness” interviews, I learned to hide my secret behavior by lying. I learned to cope with the guilt and shame by pushing down those feelings into some deep, dark abyss and just working and trying harder to be a better person.
My bishops didn’t realize that asking me any question beyond “Are you morally clean?” and then telling me to read the Miracle of Forgiveness (which ironically teaches about no forgiveness at all!) increased and intensified my negative feelings toward myself – and how damaging it was to my hurting broken soul.
I was taught that what I was doing was second only to murder, and THAT was hard to cope with, even to the point of many times thinking about ending my life.
The good news is I left that system a long time ago.
And I stepped into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus has been healing my heart, and my soul in ways I never knew were possible. There truly is a place of no more guilt, shame, or condemnation, and that is in the person and presence- the Victory on the Cross- of Jesus Christ!