Though I did not encounter such terrible experiences as are here described, I did have one that was a bit humorous. During my first priesthood interview at age twelve, the Bishop asked if was masturbating. I thought he’d asked if I was “Master Bain.”
Trying to make sense of this, in the back of my mind it seemed like I’d once heard a lesson about a particular person who was always strongly in control of his own thoughts and actions. I further weakly recollected (or so I thought) that this person was named “Master Bain,” and the lesson’s point was that we should all similarly be “Master Bains” — by similarly exercising perfect self-control and dignity.
Conjuring this imagined sense of recollection, I figured I was pretty much such a self-controlled person, so I answered “Yes.” The Bishop asked if I knew what masturbating meant. This time I heard the word more correctly, and I answered “No.” He told me I’d better ask my dad.
Yeah, it was reasonably innocent (and, no, I did not ask my dad).
But that’s not my point. To say I am shocked and appalled by what I’ve read here (specifically regarding the experience of others), is a gross understatement. I am so saddened for so many. But the optimal solution is not to change the church. It is to reject the church.