I was raised LDS and was used to bishop interviews. My first bishop was pretty respectful, the farthest he would go was, “do you obey the law of chastity?” And when I didn’t know what that meant instead he asked “have you sinned in a way that disrespects your sacred body parts?” Enough said, it never went past that.
Then comes high school, a boyfriend, and a new bishop. We ended up doing what teenagers do and sneaking off during lunch or after school to make out. This escalated to sexting. I was eventually caught by my mom, and as if that wasn’t mortifying enough, I was forced to go to the bishop.
The key here is I did NOT want to go to the bishop. Every single nerve in my body was telling me NO. But because my mom wanted me to and I knew my temple recommend was on the line, which meant my salvation was on the line, I had to. So I set up a bishop interview.
I met with this man for a month, just trying to be worthy enough to get my temple recommend. It felt like my heart, mind, and body were being dissected. I felt completely at this man’s mercy. But I forced myself to keep enduring this for sake of my mom and what I thought was my salvation.
Some of the questions asked where:
“Did he touch your breasts?”
“Did he rub them?”
“Were your nipples hard?”
“Did he touch your vagina?”
“Did it feel good?”
“Have you orgasmed?”
“Have you touched his penis?”
“Has he ejaculated?”
“Did you touch each other underneath your clothes?”
“Have you seen each other naked?”
The months after this incident left me in the darkest place I had ever been. I had demonic nightmares almost every night about the bishop’s shadow standing over me, anxiety attacks which I’d never had before, suicidal thoughts almost daily, and I completely withdrew from the world.
I’ve been able to find peace with the Jesus of the Bible. He’s taught me that Jesus is the ONLY mediator I need between me and God. I don’t need a strange man to tell me what I’m worth. I don’t need anyone telling me whether I can go to the celestial kingdom or not. I KNOW my worth.
However, there have also been some long term effects. I still suffer from anxiety attacks sometimes, especially when it comes to anything related to the Mormon church. I have a lot of insecurity with my sexuality in my marriage (I married my high school boyfriend, who wasn’t some anti Mormon who was using me for sex like my bishop said.)
This experience was that final push I needed to escape the Mormon church and discover the Jesus of the Bible. And although I honestly wouldn’t take it back because of the direction it helped me find, I believe I will suffer emotional consequences for the rest of my life.