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  INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM
Total Articles: 18
Priesthood leaders several times per year interview Mormons. Men, generally a Bishop or a Stake President, conduct these interviews in private. Questions regarding personal "worthiness" are conducted. Mormons consent to these intrusions into their lives as these intrusions begin early in life. Every detail of the members' lives is inspected for worthiness. Mormon minor children are taken into rooms with closed doors - and are asked sexual questions by adult men. These children are asked if they masturbate and other sexual questions. This illegal practice must stop.
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Interviews In Mormonism
Saturday, Apr 8, 2006, at 08:30 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Priesthood leaders several times per year interview Mormons. Men, generally a Bishop or a Stake President, conduct these interviews in private. Questions regarding personal "worthiness" are conducted.

Mormons are asked if they believe in God. They are asked if they sustain the current Prophet and "recognize him as the only person on the earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys". They are asked if they sustain current Mormon General Authorities. They are asked if they live the law of chastity. They are asked if they keep the word of wisdom. They are asked if they are full tithe-payers (those who are not cannot receive temple recommends).

Any Mormons who cannot answer yes to all of these questions run the risk of loosing their temple recommends or loosing positions in the Church. This sets up a systematic progression of lies that are continued into adulthood.

Children as young as 8 years old are asked if they masturbate. Children as young as 12 years old are asked if they masturbate or have "petted" or have "necked" with a partner. Many Mormon children have no idea what any of these terms are. If the child has committed any of these "sins", they are pressed for details. Many are then scorned and told that their acts will lead them to hell. Those who have masturbated are then denied the sacrament and must then be interviewed by the Bishop on a weekly basis until the masturbation has stopped. Mormon children grow up sexually repressed and many grow up emotionally insecure about their own sexuality.

Parents are not allowed in the room at the same time these sexual questions are asked. Mormon parents are not allowed to question Mormon Priesthood authority and do not hesitate to turn their male and female children over to men behind closed doors.

The Mormon Curtain firmly believes that adult men asking sexual questions of minors behind closed doors is a criminal act.
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Mormon Church Interviews
Friday, Jun 17, 2005, at 10:37 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I think it's fine and dandy when people choose to seek counsel from their bishop or other ecclesiastic leaders, but where else but in the Mormon church can you expect to be called by someone (who you may not even know) at any time to initiate an interview (whose specific topic and purpose are undefined) with a local church leader (who almost certainly has no training in theology, scripture, counseling, or even rudimentary psychology) who thinks he wields the authority of God? Why won't they just TELL you what the call is about? Why does the secretary pretend not to know? It's obvious that bishoprics keep no secrets from each other, and I have no doubt they'd disclose anything you said in confidence if someone up-line wanted to know.

As a teenager, it was the same thing every six months: "Abner, the executive secretary called." What did he want? "You have an interview with the Bishop." God, I always hated that. I would usually "forget" the first couple of appointments, but they never gave up. Hesitation to participate was undoubtedly seen as a sign of some personal failing and desire to hide my sins from the bishop. Eventually I'd just go along with it, wondering all the time, "What right does the bishop have to know every detail about my life?" I didn't ask for that kind of supervision. I didn't ask to be interrogated about my testimony and whether I masturbated or smoked cigarettes. I found it all very invasive and not at all welcome. If I ever want your advice, I know where to reach you. Now quit with the power trip already.

Where did the church get the idea that it's acceptable to pry into people's personal lives? Was it commonplace in the religious climate of the 19th century? Did the local pastor just show up at your door and demand to know the intimate details of your religious beliefs and lifestyle? Do mainstream churches today do anything similar to this? Catholic confession is voluntary and initiated by the one who wishes to confess, right?
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Recovered Memory Regarding A Bishops Interview
Thursday, Mar 16, 2006, at 08:23 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
About three weeks ago, while I was discussing my state of unbelief with my wife, I remembered something that I had not thought of for a long time, and had repressed from my memory when I was young. I got so emotional thinking back on this experience, as the memories came rushing to my brain, that I was in major tears discussing it with my wife. Here is the story.

Just before I turned 14 I was scheduled for my Bishop's interview. I was excited to become a "Teacher" and was looking forward to the interview. So, I walk into the Bishop's office and he starts by asking general belief questions and how are you doing, stuff like that. Then, out of the blue, he asks, "Do you masturbate?" Well, my mind started to race, cause, I had heard that word, but, honestly wasn't really sure what it meant. Anyway, I said "I don't know, what does it mean to masturbate?" Well, he proceeded to tell me what it meant. So, then he asks me again, "Do you masturbate?" I became so nervous and scared, that my vision became distorted, my face became flush and I started to sweat profusely. I whispered "Yes". I was devastated, I thought I was doing everything that "God" commanded. I thought I was a good boy. Now I was being told that what I thought was exciting, fun and joyous - was a SIN.

Well, the Bishop showed absolutely NO compassion, or sensitivity. He proceeded to tell me that this could lead to disfellowshipment or excommunication if I did not immediately get it under control. I sat in the interview so worried about being "cut off" from my family at death, that again, my vision became distorted and I started to sweat. At this point I felt like crawling under the chair, and screaming "Mom, Dad, help!!!" But, I was alone, with God's representative - I had no where to turn.

The Bishop then started to tell me that if I continue this practice of masturbation, I may end up doing this act with furniture, with animals, or, heaven forbid, with men or boys -- and that masturbation often leads to Homosexuality. I was so scared, I couldn't even respond to the rest of the interview, and the Bishop dismissed me.

Somehow, the next Sunday, my Dad ordained me a Teacher - even though I felt like the scum of the earth. For the next three years, I spent incredible brain effort to convince myself that I was not homosexual.

I am heterosexual, but, I no longer think it is a sin to be homosexual.

After discussing this interview with my wife, she understands why I will NOT let any of our children sit in an interview alone.

I believe that interview constituted emotional abuse. What do you think?
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Sexual Questions Asked By Bishops
Thursday, Mar 16, 2006, at 08:30 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I was asked by the neighbor across the street--though in his capacity as Bishop.

I had no idea I was going to get hit with that question. It horrified me.

He asked "Do you masturbate?" I said "Huh?" He asked again "Do you masturbate? That is when you play with your penis." "No, I said (and lied) I don't."

This, from the man across the street. He was a neighbor, and I could not take him seriously as a clergyman. But there I was sitting there, while he asked. It embarrassed and mortified me. I could not believe a church would ask such a thing. Was this the church I had grown up in? When did this change occur? Why? I was mystified.

Later, my friends joked about it. No-one took it as a fair, valid, or "righteous" question. And it really was none of their business.

And in retrospect, why did they get so worked up about it? Why did they feel they could take ten percent of your income, and two years of your life, and ask such questions? Pretty remarkable.
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Interviews With The Bishop And Children
Thursday, Jul 27, 2006, at 07:28 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
The interview the bishop had with my 14 y.o. when he was to become a teacher was the last straw for me and the last time I ever set foot in an LDS Chapel. Because of some things that had happened before with the bishop bypassing me and going to my wife because of my doctrinal doubts, I had previously demanded to always be present whenever the bishop interviewed any of my kids or wife for anything. Thus, I sat in on his interview with my son where he proceeded to ask my son if he obeyed the law of chastity and also to describe in great detail several acts that would violate it.

My son is a pretty innocent young man with only a recent interest in girls now that he's fifteen. He honestly had no idea what the bishop was talking about when describing heavy petting and oral sex. I thanked the bishop for putting all those great ideas into his head but he did not back down, insisting that it was his right and duty to ask these questions and to know the answers to determine worthiness. We left the church that afternoon and have never been back.

I suspect Bishops secretly love being able to ask these sick questions and to imagine the youth before them in all sorts of compromising situations. More than that, they love the guilt trip they get to lay on anyone honest enough to admit their crimes. Bishops and SP's have way too much power and TBM's like I used to be willingly give it to them. Shame on all of us. If there's a God up there, he already knows everything about us and doesn't need any man to ferret it out or to explain exactly how to do it to our kids.

If you are the paterfamilius, tell your Bishop you WILL be present at all interviews with your wife or children or there WILL BE NO interviews taken. If there is a question to which you object, tell the man his question is out of line.
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On Planting Pansies
Monday, May 21, 2007, at 07:59 AM
Original Author(s): Tlc
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Sometimes I lie awake at night and wonder why anybody but me cares about who I make love to or have sex with. It seems such a personal thing really; and yet total strangers seem to want to meddle in affairs that are mine and only mine to deal with.

I had a bishop at BYU who in meeting with me for the first time, asked me how often I masturbated. I tried to tell him the truth, more or less. (I couldn't say twice or thrice daily because that would just make me look so gay and I didn't know then that I was gay so I kind of had to lie.) And then this meddling bishop wanted to know more. He wanted to know how I did it and what I thought of when I did it and in what positions I did it in. (Can you imagine a nascent gay boy answering those questions honestly???)

I was shocked to say the least; at a certain point it started to feel really perverted to have this guy asking me such personal questions. But he was asking them and at that point I still felt some sort of beholdence to the oligarchy to come clean. So to speak.

In the years that followed I willingly submitted to more and more probing questioning by men who felt they had some sort of entitlement to information about my personal life. Why? Long story for another time. But I did get to a point where I put an end to this completely innappropriate invasion of my privacy and in the process removed my garments, trashed them without cutting out the patches and tossed them in a dumpster behind my townhouse in Hollywood; mormonism went into the dumpster at the same time and it wasn't too long before I dumpsterized christianity as well.

Baby out with the bathwater? You bet. It's nobody's business but mine who I make love to or have sex with. Much of contemporary christianity has villified that which jesus said nothing about. People who make stuff up and attribute it to a guy who lived over two thousand years ago have no credibility with me. I reject their pronouncements and condemnations and dismiss them without a second thought.

I find it amusing that in an attempt to besmirch or insult somebody who is known to be heterosexual, there are those who will ask that person if they're gay. Why is that question asked? It's simple: because you think that there's something wrong with homosexuality and you believe that by implying that someone is gay you can quickly and effectively insult or harm them.

In asking the question of someone you know is heterosexual, you have actually said far more about yourself than you have about the person you're attempting to insult. Those who have no issues with homosexuality would never think to use such a question as a weapon. I like the question though, because it instantly tells me who I'm dealing with and from there on out it's like shooting fish in a barrel. You've just made it so easy for me...

All that aside, I just keep asking myself why there are still those stragglers who care so much about who I love or have sex with. It's such a personal thing. It's so deeply personal that I just can't imagine ever wandering into a stranger's life and making judgements therein about what they do sexually or who they do it with. In my mind, the perversion is with those who make it their business what others do in their intimate lives.

The poet Goethe said: Let each man sweep in front of his own door And the whole world will be clean

But there are those who insist on sweeping in front of my door and it amuses me to see them standing there with their brooms in hand; piety dripping from their weary brows. I say to them: "Take your brooms, put them between your legs and ride away on them. I have no use for your concern."

What a waste of a life; to be so consumed and unduly concerned with who I love or have sex with. My love and my sex is just like yours: it comes from my heart and sometimes if I'm lucky it lasts for awhile and fills me up and makes me happy. The details are only details; you plant your garden with the kinds of flowers you enjoy having around you and I'll do the same. You don't like pansies? Don't plant them.

But please don't be telling me that there's something wrong with planting pansies in my garden because it's none of your business. Truly, it isn't.

My body, my life, my choices.
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Bishops Do Not Have The Authority To Interview For Dance Cards Or YM Camp
Friday, Jul 13, 2007, at 07:52 AM
Original Author(s): Adieu Lds
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
My former wife is still a member and I wrote the following email to my daughter’s bishop. I even called the General Priesthood office in Salt Lake City, and they concurred with me.

Dear Mr______.

I did receive the camp information. I have reviewed your request for an interview with my daughter in order to attend Young Women’s camp. I cannot find any authority in Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 1 Stake Presidencies and Bishoprics that gives you the authorization to conduct an interview. By what authority do you wish to conduct this interview? I have also reviewed both Young Women" section of the Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2 and the Young Women Camp Manual and I cannot find any authorization allowing you to conduct this interview.

It is my understanding that the only interviews you may conduct are as follows: Church Handbook of Instructions

Book 1 Stake Presidencies and Bishoprics

Interviews Conducted by the Bishop. The bishop conducts the following interviews with ward members:
  1. For temple recommends.
  2. For callings as full-time missionaries.
  3. For ordination to the offices of elder or high priest when authorized by the stake presidency.
  4. For annual tithing settlement.
  5. For callings to serve as ward auxiliary presidents.
  6. For baptism of eight-year-old children who are members of record.
  7. For 12-year-old children as they advance from Primary.
  8. For ordination to the offices of deacon, teacher, and priest.
  9. For callings to serve as deacons or teachers quorum presidents and as his assistants in the priests quorum.
  10. Annual interviews of all youth and semiannual interviews of priests and 16- and 17-year-old young women (usually annually, however, acting with inspiration and wisdom, the bishopric may adjust the frequency of these interviews).
  11. For an endorsement to enroll or continue attendance at a Church university or college.
  12. For patriarchal blessings.
I believe that you and the stake leaders have overstepped your jurisdiction in requiring interviews for young women’s camps and even for stake youth dances. I therefore do not consent to my daughter being interviewed for Young Women’s camp or youth dances. It is interesting to note that young men are not required to be interviewed before attending camp.
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Private Youth Interviews with Bishops
Thursday, Jan 1, 2009, at 05:35 PM
Original Author(s): Adieu Lds
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I went to see Doubt the movie last night.

It’s 1964, St. Nicholas in the Bronx. A vibrant, charismatic priest, Father Flynn is trying to upend the school’s strict customs, which have long been fiercely guarded by Sister Aloysius Beauvier the iron-gloved Principal who believes in the power of fear and discipline. The winds of political change are sweeping through the country, and, indeed, the school has just accepted its first black student, Donald Miller. But when Sister James, a hopeful innocent, shares with Sister Aloysius her suspicion that Father Flynn is paying too much personal attention to Donald, Sister Aloysius is galvanized to begin a crusade to both unearth the truth and to expunge Flynn from the school. Now, without a shred of proof or evidence except her moral certainty, Sister Aloysius locks into a battle of wills with Father Flynn, a battle that threatens to tear apart the Church and school with devastating consequences.

http://www.apple.com/trailers/miramax...

Sister Aloysius Beauvier: What happened in the rectory?
Father Flynn : Happened? Nothing happened, I had a talk with a boy.
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: What about?
Father Flynn : Private matter.
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: He is 12 years-old, what can be private?

This reminded me about my distrust for Bishop's interviews with the youth.

Below is a letter I sent to the Mormon Bishop of my children after I left the Mormon Church.

Dear XXXXXX:

I am writing you again in regards to youth interviews and situations in which my child may be at risk while participating in Mormon Church activities. As you may recall I wrote you a letter last May 14th, 2003 outlining my concern in regards to closed door interviews. I informed you, that any ecclesiastical official in the Mormon Church does not have permission to ask personal questions of our children pertaining to sexual topics including masturbation, homosexuality, impure thoughts, sex etc. If any interview was to take place behind closed doors, I insisted that interviews take place with a parent present.

You replied in writing on May 23rd, 2003, that you would respect my wishes and that in all matters sexual topics, a parent would be present and that I would be kept informed about all activities of my children. It appears you have not honoured my wishes. My daughter informed me that you conducted very lengthily closed door interviews last year and that you specifically inquired about her sexual activities. My son informed me that in an interview you asked him about masturbation and sexual activities.

Let me put this into perspective: An adult male, age forty-six, is asking my seventeen year-old daughter about her sexual activities in a closed office. Perhaps you and the Mormon Church believe it is normal situation. Think again. This behaviour is deplorable. If I were to ask the same questions to your minor daughter, I would expect that you would act in protecting her by contacting the authorities. What is the difference? These are my children, and such discussions should be only between a parent and their child. To do this after I have demanded that no such interviews take place is unacceptable. Although my older children are now over the age of majority, I do not want you to interview my 11 year-old daughter at any time. As a Mormon Bishop, you may think you have the authority above an apostate parent however, this is not the case.

As you may know there has been much heightened media attention of ecclesiastical abuse within the Mormon Church. This week a 21-year-old North Carolina man on a Mormon mission in Utah is accused of fondling girls as they slept. Earlier this week, police arrested two men in the Boston area on charges of sexually assaulting the 9-year-old son of a fellow Mormon Church member inside the church, and for failing to register as a sex offender. Police said both men would watch children while adults attended church meetings. Police also said: “Investigators are trying to find out if the church did background checks on its workers. Anyone that is put in a position in the church that would have direct access, watching kids or even teaching kids religion, we want to make sure the proper avenues were followed.”

These are not isolated cases. I am aware of several cases of sexual crimes committed by members of my own former wards and stakes including sexual assault, possession of child pornography, rape and buggery. Former Mormon missionary Mark Hacking who has been convicted with first-degree murder in the death of his pregnant wife, Lori Hacking, served a mission in our city and even served in your Ward.

In order to protect my children I insist that the following measures be put in place.

1. In order to avoid potentially compromising situations, I ask that at least two adults are in attendance while supervising and/or accompanying my children at all times.

2. All adults in contact with my children have a Police Record Check (PRCs):

PRCs, should be mandatory for all primary teachers and youth leaders in contact with my children. I know that this is the case with leaders within the scouting program within the Mormon Church. I cannot understand why this is not the standard for all primary and youth leaders.

At the simplest level, I have a right to know everything that my children are involved in within the Mormon Church. In your May 23rd 2003 letter, you assured me that I would be informed of any activities in which my children would be participating, however, I am often not informed about my children’s activities at church such as speaking in church, performing musical numbers, or missionary farewells.

This is to inform once again, that you or any ecclesiastical official in the Mormon Church does not have permission to ask personal questions of my children pertaining to sexual topics including masturbation, homosexuality, impure thoughts, sex etc. No interviews are to take place. Even if my children consent to private closed door interviews, I prohibit and forbid the practice. If interviews continue without my consent I will contact Child Protection branch to assist me in my demand.

This is just due diligence that I want my children to follow, as a means of protecting themselves from abuse. As I was a victim of sexual abuse by a trusted adult in my youth, I insist once again that my demand be honoured and respected. I require written confirmation that neither you nor any other ecclesiastical official from the Mormon Church will interview my children and at no time will any personal questions be asked. I also insist at least two adults are in attendance while supervising my children, and have a Police Record Check. Should you have and questions or concerns about this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.
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Interrogation Of An 8 Year Old Girl
Tuesday, Jan 6, 2009, at 07:59 AM
Original Author(s): Lark
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
My 8-year old daughter was pulled out of Primary last week without warning and "interviewed" by the Bishop for her projected baptism coming up in late Jan. My wife & I were not told nor present during this interview as we have requested be done. (I have had my doubts about the church lately and wasn't sure I wanted her baptized--so the nerve of just assumming it will happen kind of angers me too. Who the $$@#@*# do these people think they are???!)

My daughter was in tears after the interview because of some the questions that she couldn't answer that the Bishop asked her such as:

Has she had sexual intercourse with a male OR FEMALE? (WTF????)

Has she engaged in deviate sexual intercourse? (sodomy, group sex or sex with objects) (Again WTF????? This is really, really sick)

Does she masterbate or has she allowed anyone else to fondle her private areas?

Does she look at pornography? Etc.

THIS IS AN 8 YEAR OLD!!!!! (WTFFFFF?????!!!!!)

According to my daughter, the Bishop had DOLLS he used to show the various actions so that she couldn't "misunderstand" his questions because her "eternal salvation" if she lied was in serious jeopardy.

He told her at the end of the interview that he would have to speak to her parents because at this time he doesn't feel he can allow her to be baptized.

I AM SO ANGRY I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO START PUNCHING!!! Doing this to an innocent, protected 8-year old is MONSTEROUS!!

Can anyone tell me how a middle aged man(Bishop) can ask questions like these behind closed doors and not think this is really inappropiate and perhaps criminal behavior? I had a friend who joined the church and he told me last night that his daughter (age ~11) was inteviewed seperately by the missionaries for baptism and he was appalled at how graphic the questions were that she was asked. It was such a bad experience for her that they never joined.

I was trying to hang on and be a cafeteria mormon, but after this latest episode my wife and I are ready to leave this mess behind. What will they do next??? I can't subject my kids to this abuse anymore.

Has anyone else experienced or heard anything like this or is this just an isolated event?
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Mormonism And Privacy
Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009, at 08:11 AM
Original Author(s): Lightfingerlouie
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I never could come to terms with the problem Mormonism has with the privacy of its members. It horrified me--- until I left. I could not understand it, and I never will be able to understand it.

Religions do not pry into the lives of members. They offer help when its asked for, and they are there when a need arises. If a member wants to confess something, the confession is listened to. But religions do no pry.

Mormonism starts its prying early, and it leaves members shaken and scared. It did me. We all remember the masturbation interview. It left us stunned and alarmed. There was no-one to talk to. I dared not mention it to anyone, least of all my parents. I was isolated by the interviews, and kept isolated. That, I think , was the chief purpose.

The church kept it up, too. It never stopped prying and asking . I have never heard of a real religion being that obsessed with the private details of a person's life. Mormonism is unique in that respect.

The Mormon church does all it can to make sure there are no family secrets, or individual secrets. They interview constantly, send home teachers, and encourage----demand----confessions. They pump so much guilt into members that many do confess----only to repeat the "sin" again and again. People are human. The church wants them to be superhuman.

I left before the days of the PPI. I know I could not handle it. I would refuse to go along with the intrusion. How anyone can perform, or co-operate with such a process, is beyond me. Like many others, I came to a conclusion one day: "I have had my last church interview." I decided it, and meant it. I also decided it applied to my kids. They, too, would not be forced to sit through and endure a prying interview from a neighbor dressed in the guise of Priesthood authority.

I can see why many practice a religion. They find comfort in it, and a sense of purpose. In times of need, they have someone to turn to.

Mormonism does not operate that way. They try to force you to turn to them, so you know you don't like or trust them. They cross every boundary known to polite behavior, and expect you to accept it. It is not just a way of life, it becomes your life, whether you like it or not. You soon live in a world of dread, because you know the next "interview" will be coming . I recall the feelings of dread I had as kid and as a missionary. You quickly realized that all the prying was not designed to meet the needs of the individual. It was designed to increase the hold of the organization.
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Speaking Of Nosy Bishops
Monday, Feb 16, 2009, at 08:10 AM
Original Author(s): Nightingale
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I had several bishop interviews in the ward I attended. As a new convert that he did not know, he not only went through the checklist of questions to determine my "worthiness", including the ever-favourite query about whether I followed the Law of Chastity, but also felt the need to explain to me that "oral sex is sex". No kidding. As an adult and a nurse I kinda knew that sex and oral sex were somewhat connected. When he moved on to the question about what underwear I wore and when I wore it, I did start to feel like I'd fallen through the looking glass, been trampled by the elephant and run over by the naked emperor. As in, what the goodheck kind of church did I join and why did I do it.

Postdumb had a recent thread discussing the tactics used by mopologists in which I had a somewhat contrarian view just at that moment. I was sorry to end up taking up so much of his thread on a tangent. Anyway, inevitably with mopologetics, the name of Daniel C. Peterson came up in that thread. I note that Daniel C. Peterson, who was relatively recently called to be a bishop in a student ward, doesn't actually discuss that much and certainly not the specifics of it. However, in a funny timing coincidence, I happened to see (on another board) the following opinion written by Daniel C. Petersonabout his duties as bishop:

"An applicant [for a TR] might respond "Yes" when asked whether he or she lives the law of chastity, but it may turn out that the person is using a narrowly technical definition of chastity that permits oral sex, coitus interruptus, and the like. If a bishop suspects that the term may be being used in an equivocal or evasive sense, he has not only the right but the obligation to inquire further."

Yow. Even as a formerly-quite-religious person who is accustomed to being "obedient" and "submissive" and following church leaders (in Mo and non-Mo settings) this is surprising and disturbing to me.

First, I don't believe that the above is within a bishop's duty and second, a situation like this is so open to abuse and third, the Mormons called to these positions more often than not have zero expertise in relevant matters and fourth to one-hundredth, just wow.

As I say, even being immersed in religion myself for years and understanding and subscribing to the belief that "God will qualify those whom he calls" and that there should be "order in the church", I am shocked that this goes on (and more shocked that people admit it and see nothing wrong with it).

At the time of my bishop interviews, I thought it was something that only applied to new converts. I certainly had no knowledge that all church members, including youth, are subject to such intimate conversations.

You know something I have long noticed? The churches that are the most strict about sexual matters go completely overboard in their focus on sex. This would include JW and Mormon, in my close and personal experience. They just go on and on and on and on about S.E.X.

It's disturbing.

In a similar vein, they also go on and on and on and on about SATAN.

"Normal" churches, in my experience, actually focus on Jesus Christ or at least the positive parts of the NT (Golden Rule etc) which is uplifting if you're into that kind of thing. After a sermon at my local Brethren or Baptist or Presbyterian or United or Episcopalian church, I do NOT leave with Satan - or sex - on the brain.

Since leaving Mormonism, the only people who have discussed sexual matters with me are those I have invited to do so (so to speak!). No-one at all has mentioned underwear of any type - except for posters on this board, lol!

But really. When I think of myself as a shy, naive, trusting, acquiescent little teen/student I can't even imagine how I'd feel if my spiritual advisor/leader asked me about such intimate things as sex and underwear. Even my doctor doesn't get that familiar! And even after years with him and a good relationship I still blush when he touches me, lol. (Especially the day I lost my bra in his office and couldn't get dressed - but that's another story).

And I can't believe I am on the Internet talking about my personal stuff like this. (And yes, I'm blushing). I must definitely have been here too long. :)

But really. Don't you think the Mormon Church asks for the criticism it receives from its members - current and former?

Stupid.

Stupid.

Stupid.
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Bishops Asking For An Inappropriate Level Of Detail
Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011, at 07:26 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I had a Bishop's interview when I was about 13 where the Bishop (a dentist whose daughter I'd gone to school with all my life, and who regularly spilled gossip from such sessions that she heard her Dad blabbing about at home) pried in exactly the way indicated by this grotesquerie:

I was not of course, seeking a recommend but had been ambushed by the Bishop after MIA for the interviews they were starting to subject girls to at that age. Bishop A paused on #5 with a meaningful "discerning" look. When I answered that yes I was living the law of chastity (I'd never been on a date, let alone had any boy show any interest in me), he asked if I really knew what "chastity" meant. Was I sure I was living the law? I said yeah, wondering if he was implying something like "self abuse." But no, he wanted to make sure I knew in detail that chastity meant not having sexual intercourse, which he helpfully explained is when "the man" puts his penis in "the lady's" vagina. Was I sure I hadn't been doing that? Did I also know that "chastity" meant things like when a boy feels your breasts? Or puts his fingers or hands between your legs? Was I also aware that "chastity" could be broken by oral genital contact? (I wasn't even sure what that was.) Finally, he got to masturbation, in the same nauseating detail.

I wasn't surprised that this guy acted like that because he had once turned one of his daughter's slumber parties into an impromptu "standards night" by coming downstairs when we were all in our nighties and lecturing us on how sexual sins were next to murder. Especially masturbation. Which was a fascinating detail to me, since up to that point I had no idea that girls could masturbate. I was under the impression it was something only boys did since all descriptions I'd heard or read of it involved owning a wang. The Bishop also went on to opine that if a girl were raped it would be better that she were killed too, instead of living with the shame and loss of virtue.
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Practice Of Interviewing Children - This Is Not Mainstream Christianity
Monday, Nov 14, 2011, at 08:05 AM
Original Author(s): Korihor's Second Cousin
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
As a Mormon, I was expected to have regular interviews with my priesthood authorities. These interviews were used to determine my worthiness to attend the temple and to hold volunteer positions in the Mormon so called "lay" ministry. This concept of continual private interviews seems to be a huge step outside of mainstream Christianity. These interviews are not limited to adults. They start with children as young as eight years of age.

Interview Questions:

The interview questions cover the following:
  1. Do you believe in God, the Eternal Father, in his Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost; and do you have a firm testimony of the restored gospel?
  2. Do you sustain the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the prophet, seer, and revelator; and do you recognize him as the only person on the earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys?
  3. Do you sustain the other General Authorities and the local authorities of the Church?
  4. Do you live the law of chastity?
  5. Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church?
  6.  Do you affiliate with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or do you sympathize with the precepts of any such group or individual?
  7. Do you earnestly strive to do your duty in the Church; to attend your sacrament, priesthood, and other meetings; and to obey the rules, laws, and commandments of the gospel?
  8.  Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?
  9.  Are you a full-tithe payer?
  10.  Do you keep the Word of Wisdom?
  11.  Have you ever been divorced or are you now separated from your spouse under order of a civil court? If yes, (a) - Are you current in your support payments and other financial obligations for family members, as specified by court order or in other written, binding commitments? (b) Were there any circumstances of transgression in connection
    with your divorce or separation that have not been previously resolved with your bishop?
  12.  If you have received your temple endowment -- (a) Do you keep all the covenants that you made in the temple? (b) Do you wear the authorized garments both day and night?
  13. Has there been any sin or misdeed in your life that should have been resolved with priesthood authorities but has not?
  14. Do you consider yourself worthy in every way to enter the temple and participate in temple ordinances?

Answering no to any of these questions may make the interviewee  unworthy to enter the temple and will likely spark additional meetings with priesthood leaders. Lacking temple worthiness may also preclude a Mormon from participating in the normal functions of the Mormon church such as holding a "calling". Almost all active members have a "calling"/responsibility in any given ward. These "callings" range from Sunday school teacher, to leadership over the various groups within the Mormon organization to church librarian..

I want to make it clear that I personally have no issue with an adult that wishes to subject himself to this line of questioning. I think it's important for Mormons to realize that this practice is definitely not a norm in most Christian faiths. It's my opinion that these interviews are used to keep members in check. It gives leadership the authority and power that many of them crave.

Temple Entrance - What's the big deal?

I know many outside of the Mormon faith may be asking themselves, "Why would anyone care? What does it matter if a practitioner of is not allowed to enter the Mormon temple?"

Mormons teach that temple ordinances are required to enter the highest kingdom of God. It's only in this highest kingdom that families can be "together forever". The bonds of family are manipulated to ensure strict adherence to Mormon beliefs. This manipulation of members using family bonds is exacerbated when a family loses a child or a beloved member. I find it cruel to use these feelings to ensure obedience.

Mormons also integrate Temple ordinances into family traditions. Before a Mormon is married, they must be initiated through temple ceremonies that are required to enter the highest kingdom of god. All worthy close family members are invited to attend the ceremonies. These ceremonies include the actual wedding/sealing ceremonies. Family members that are not deemed "worthy" for entrance are excluded from these ceremonies.

I think most Christians would be shocked to hear that grand-parents and close family members are routinely excluded from attending temple ceremonies because they are deemed "unworthy" to enter. Even fathers and mothers of the bride and group are excluded from the ceremony if they fail to answer the questions to the Bishop's satisfaction.

I watched my wife's grandmother wait outside of the temple during our wedding and during the weddings of every subsequent grand child because she was not a member. It honestly makes me sick today to imagine what she must of felt sitting on the benches outside of the temple. She was there before the ceremony to see throngs of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grand parents enter while she sat outside like an untrained dog. To this day, it's one of my greatest regrets and continually inspires me to expose the true nature of the Mormon church.

The Questions:

  • Do you believe in God, the Eternal Father, in his Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost; and do you have a firm testimony of the restored gospel?

In order to truthfully answer yes to this question, Mormons must believe that Mormonism is the only true faith in the world today. This question goes back to the belief that the "true" gospel of Jesus Christ was taken from the earth during what Mormons refer to as the "Great Apostasy".  Answering yes to this question nullifies the legitimacy of all current religions and forces the interviewee to affirm that the LDS church is the only true church.

  • Do you sustain the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the prophet, seer, and revelator; and do you recognize him as the only person on the earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys?
This question has a very cult like aspect to it.  The Mormon prophet is to be held beyond reproach. Members are not to question his authority or his decisions in any way. Research on the characteristics of a cult renders the concept of the infallibility of the cult leader. Cult members are punished or shunned for even questioning the authority of a leader. In this case, the Mormon church prohibits any member that does not sustain the prophet of the church from entering the temple.

  • Do you sustain the other General Authorities and the local authorities of the Church?
Mormonism takes the concept of infallibility one step further and applies it to all authorities in the Mormon church.  Any questioning of church authority is met with the same cult-like behaviors. Members are told that complying with authorities will bring blessings regardless of whether the leader's direction is contrary to God's will. Wilford Woodruff taught:

"When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan--it is God's Plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give directions, it should mark the end of controversy, God works in no other way. To think otherwise, without immediate repentance, may cost one his faith, may destroy his testimony, and leave him a stranger to the kingdom of God."

  •  Do you live the law of chastity? 
This question rarely stops here. Priesthood leadership are encouraged to probe deeper into this question to enforce the Mormon view on sexuality. It is not enough to say that you are in a committed monogamous relationship. Your sexuality must fit into a box defined by octogenarians.  (I'll discuss the inappropriate nature of this question later in this post when I talk about interviews of children (8-18).

  • Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church?
This question is pretty basic. In this question, the church wants to cement the concept of eternal families in the brains of the interviewees. This goes back to temple worship and the manipulation of family bonds to ensure member compliance.

  • Do you affiliate with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or do you sympathize with the precepts of any such group or individual?
I had a chance to ask a bishop in the past about this question. I asked if this pertained to groups that wish to maintain the legality of abortion. He said that certainly affiliation with such a group would apply to this question.

This question is also a "cult-like" defense mechanism. It informs the individual that they should not even affiliate themselves with groups or individuals that disagree with the Mormon church. In many situations, it's an invitation to divorce for those faithful members that have a spouse that is in the process of apostasy.

The question again highlights another aspect of Mormonism that identifies it as a cult. In the cult 101 check list by Janja Lalich, PHD and Michael D. Langone, PHD 

  • Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
  •  The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
  •  Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.   

  • Do you earnestly strive to do your duty in the Church; to attend your sacrament, priesthood, and other meetings; and to obey the rules, laws, and commandments of the gospel?
This is another question to ensure compliance and ensure that members do not stray from Mormonism.

  • Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?
This is probably the question I like most of the entire interview. It's too bad that the interview is muddled with additional psychological warfare aimed at inducing guilt and compliance.

  • Are you a full-tithe payer?
 Mormons are held accountable for paying 10% of their money to the church in every priesthood interview. Failure to pay a full tithe again precludes members from attending the temple. There are additional meetings called "tithing settlement", that Mormons attend yearly to ensure that money is being collected. Members are not allowed to see where that money is spent.

Unlike most Christian denominations, no accountability is provided to the membership.  The Mormon church is not required to "open the books" due to the protection of religion in the United States. Members are not to question where the money is spent.

Salaries paid to church leadership is also not published. Most members think that the Mormon church doesn't pay the general authorities. This is not true.

  • Do you keep the Word of Wisdom?
This question is usually followed by follow up questions. The Word of Wisdom prohibits the use of Alcohol, Tobacco, tea and coffee.

  • Have you ever been divorced or are you now separated from your spouse under order of a civil court? If yes, (a) - Are you current in your support payments and other financial obligations for family members, as specified by court order or in other written, binding commitments? (b) Were there any circumstances of transgression in connection with your divorce or separation that have not been previously resolved with your bishop?
This is a more recent addition to the questions. This ensures that Mormons support their children. I believe everyone should be subject to this question but that the enforcement of such a law should come by way of the government. Priesthood leadership has no authority or jurisdiction over these matters and hence very little effect on enforcement.

  • If you have received your temple endowment -- (a) Do you keep all the covenants that you made in the temple? (b) Do you wear the authorized garments both day and night?
This question goes back to the cult-like nature of the Mormon church. In the previously mentioned  Cult 101 checklist we find:

The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry–or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth). 
Temple garments are designed to remind the wearer of the promises made in the temple. The markings on the garment are Masonic in origin. They're tied to various rituals performed in the ceremony.

The practice of wearing garments controls the type of clothing that Mormons are allowed to wear. This also ensures that Mormons conform with the rigid requirements on dress.

  • Has there been any sin or misdeed in your life that should have been resolved with priesthood authorities but has not?
The cultivation of guilt is an important tool employed by cults to control the behavior of adherents. Guilt is used as a motivator and as a tool to keep members in line. This question is used to motivate adherence to the belief system because of previous misdeeds in the interviewee's life.

Training in Counseling 

Mormonism is led by a "lay" ministry. This means that most priesthood leaders receive no training in counseling. The advice that is dealt generally comes down to common "horse sense". The biggest issue here is that these interviews touch on very complex human emotions.

It's my opinion that the "lay" dispensing of counseling has been very detrimental to adherents in the past. The Mormon view on homosexuality has had a fatal effect on homosexual youth. These interviews are utilized to cultivate members' feelings of inadequacy to ensure compliance to Mormonism.


Practice of Interviewing Youth

These personal interviews start at the age of 8 and accelerate in frequency as a child approaches adolescence. The practice is extended to male and female youth members. Each time a youth is promoted from one age group to another, an interview is scheduled. Interviews are also a prerequisite for performing "Baptism for the Dead".

These interviews are performed in private and parents are not allowed to attend. Youth are encouraged to confess wrong doings to the bishop through the same questions that are listed above.

In asking these questions, youth are forced to verbalize or confess their beliefs without the proper background on the subject. The setting pits at least two authority figure adults against a single youth. Priesthood leaders are assumed to have the "power of discernment" to assist them in dealing with the answers provided by the youth.

What most non-Mormons will find most disturbing is the practice of asking personal questions of youth on sexuality. The priesthood leaders are encouraged to ask "age appropriate" questions about sex outside of the presence of the child's guardians.

The questions involve masturbation and questions regarding porn. The questions also delve into the youth's sexual experimentation. I want to remind you that these men, in most cases, have absolutely no training in counseling.

I personally cannot imagine a setting, outside of a professional counselor, where parents would allow discussions on personal sexuality to occur with their children. The Mormon oligarchy's view on sexuality is not one that I would consider healthy and is in disagreement with most psychology professionals.

Mormons preach that masturbation is a sin. Mormons also preach that the sin of homosexuality is close to that of murder. Imagine the damage done to the self esteem of an impressionable mind when his/her is told that their natural instincts put them in the depravity realm of a murderer.

Summary

Mormons seem to desperately desire to be counted as just another Christian denomination. The cult label seems to offend and spark countless articles on the mainstream nature of Mormonism. I will admit that I have little experience in practices outside of the Mormon religion but I'm always surprised to find outrage when I tell my mainstream Christian friends about the practice of Priesthood Interviews.

The practice of Priesthood interviews is one practice that lends the title of cult to describe the Mormon religion. When you inspect the practices of organizations that society deems as a cult Mormonism qualifies on many levels.

This practice should be discontinued immediately with children. There is never an appropriate situation that requires an untrained religious leader to talk to an impressionable youth about sexual matters in private. There are no "age appropriate" questions on the subject matter that should be broached. If the Church of Latter Day Saints wishes to be know as a mainstream Christian faith, they will discontinue this practice.

http://korihorscousin.blogspot.com/20...
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Inappropriate Investigator Worthiness Interview Questions?
Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012, at 08:15 AM
Original Author(s): Captaincanuck
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
This was my experience as missionary in Japan in the early 90's.

When a new investigator had accepted to be baptized into the church, he or she must first have a brief interview by a missionary. This interview (done by a "senior" missionary like a zone leader) would test the investigator's knowledge of the discussions, determine how serious they are in joining the church, and gauge their worthiness. I sat in on a few of these interviews (there had to be 2 missionaries present of course) and conducted one myself just before I came home. We were required to ask if they had ever murdered anyone or committed a serious crime for which they had not already confessed. There was a popular rumor that a Tokyo missionary had received an affirmative answer about murder from a former yakuza (Japanese mafia) member, but it's probably just an urban legend. If anything serious was mentioned (it never was) the investigator was supposed to be sent for an additional interview with the bishop or branch president before they would be allowed to be baptized. We were often warned that Japanese females could sometimes misunderstand a missionary's eagerness to talk to her and would simply join the church to impress the cute Americans, hence the required interview to see if she was really willing to be a hard-core Mormon!

One of the questions we had to ask was, "Do you masturbate?" I can't tell you how humiliating it was to ask this, especially to the Japanese who are so easily embarrassed. Other missionaries had told me of having to ask this of females who were so shocked they would even feign ignorance about what the word "masturbate" meant! I still remember one of the interviews I was in and the brave young investigator (very nice 20-something guy) asked "Why do you want to know that?" My companion explained that until you confessed to this "sin" you would not be worthy to be baptized. He simply lowered his head in shame and confessed "Yes, I do." He was thanked for his admission and told to never do it again.

As a BIC alwaysMO, I had no idea that new converts were asked such things. Another North American missionary, who joined the church as a teenager, said he was never asked the masturbation question in his interview, so I thought it might be only a Japanese thing.

Anyone else asked personal question like this as a new convert? Any missionaries out there who had to ask?
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I Have Always Felt Violated
Tuesday, Dec 18, 2012, at 09:40 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
I am still 'haunted' by the experience of being 13 and all the AP boys were taken to a room on the far end of the Cultural Hall stage - it was a room where no one could hear what was happening.

The leader asked we boys if we knew what masturbation was. I had no idea. But looking around the room I saw many hands go up - so i raised my hand too so i wouldn't get singled out and embarrassed further. I remember being so uncomfortable. I had no idea what was going on or being talked about (that wouldn't happen for another year when I was 14 - late bloomer here).

To this day I have wondered if our parents knew about this. In my mind it was ABUSE - it was stealing my innocense. I think and believe children should be allowed to discover sexual themes on their own terms and in their own time. I have since learned from a therapist that this is correct - you answer the questions a child asks you.

I have always resented that abuseful day when we were all dragged to the secret classroom and asked those personal questions and told those victorian views - i have always felt violated. They had no right to do that and as i said earlier in any other circumstance that would have been sexual abuse - but we as a society and a nation allow that abuse in the confines of a church. I would really like to form an effort to stop that. How many other children are being abused?
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Do The Bishops Ask Women How Often They Masturbate?
Monday, Aug 19, 2013, at 08:00 AM
Original Author(s): Cl2
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
Answer: Yes.

I was asked from age 12 on up to when I believe THAT bishop was released.

I don't remember the next bishop asking that question. He was my high school teacher and he always treated me with respect.

The bishops were left in longer, so it was more than 5 years that it went on. And all the girls got asked--as my sisters were asked and my older sister talked to her friends in the ward and they also were asked.

I was asked if I necked and petted, too. The bishop knew I didn't date as I was his daughter's best friend.

If we wanted dance cards, we were asked these questions 4 times a year for dance cards and once a year for bishopric interviews. At the 6 month interview by a counselor in the bishopric, I don't remember being asked those questions.

My cousin was the bishop when my brother had to go to bishopric interviews. He just recently told me that he asked him "disgusting" questions. My son said, "yep, your cousin is a pervert."

I said, "You should see the guy who asked me these questions." An absolute CREEP.

I must add--that my brother had no idea that I was asked these types of questions. I don't know if he knew that anyone else was asked these things. I KNOW he wouldn't have discussed it with anyone else back then. (We are 56 and 45--so long time ago.) Most people who go inactive as my siblings have have no idea some of the stuff we have discovered when reading on this board.
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This Must Stop: A Call to End Sexually Invasive Interviews Between Priesthood Leaders and Minors in the LDS Church
Monday, Aug 19, 2013, at 08:01 AM
Original Author(s): Kam
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
When I was 13-years-old, I was violated in a very personal way. A middle-aged man from my neighborhood pulled me aside, brought me into a private room, and asked me explicit sexual questions. It was a traumatic experience. It triggered severe anxiety, and I spent the next 15 years worried that something like that might happen to me again. I developed obsessive-compulsive rituals to avoid finding myself back in such a situation. I internalized a tremendous amount of shame from the experience and struggled with feelings of self-loathing.

For many years, I had no idea that what had happened to me was wrong. My culture, and even my family, made me feel that such an experience was normal and acceptable.

You see, I was at church, in my bishop's office, when I had this experience.

It is very difficult to speak of such a tender subject. It goes against several taboos. It opens up a very private, personal experience-one from which I have largely healed, thanks to excellent counseling and by the grace of God-but it's not something that I like to revisit regularly.

But for several months now, I've felt as though I should speak up about what happened to me and advocate for other children who might be in a similar position. I want to encourage parents to set boundaries to protect their kids. I hope our LDS community will demand change so that the frequency of these situations can be diminished.

A Common Problem

I'm not sure if this is still the case, but when I was growing up, youth aged 12-18 were interviewed by the bishop or one of his counselors every six months. They'd bring us into an office and ask how we were doing. On one particular occasion, my bishop deviated from the standard "script" and took the opportunity to ask very inappropriate questions.

I'm not sure why he did it. It could have been for perverted reasons. Part of me wants to paint him this way because it's less complicated. But I actually believe he did it because he thought he was being helpful. Because he genuinely believed it was his role as bishop. Because he had been raised in a tradition that has some very unhealthy notions about sexuality, stewardship, and worthiness.

Unfortunately, this was not the only time it happened. Throughout my years as a teenager and young single adult, I had at least two other experiences where priesthood leaders asked very explicit questions. Each time it was disconcerting and stressful. I've heard of similar things happening to others. This makes me believe that it's a relatively widespread problem-one that we simply must correct. It's not necessary, acceptable, or even understandable.

It's abusive.

Confession Must Be Voluntary

As far as I can tell, the "logic" behind the practice of conducting regular interviews is to encourage confession of sin. And certainly, confession is a Christian principle. It is the acknowledgment of wrongdoing and the fruit of a repentant heart. Scripture has several injunctions to confess, including 1 John 1:9 ("If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"), James 5:16 ("Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you might be healed"), and Proverbs 28:13 ("Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy").

Most Christians view confession as a private affair; you confess your sins to God in prayer and to those whom you have wronged. Some groups include confession to a leader or small group. There are a few Christian congregations that practice public confession-that of naming your sins out loud to everyone. Mormons practice a blend of the first two: for the most part you confess your sins to God in prayer, but some sins are deemed "bad enough" that they require confession to an ecclesiastical leader. Included in this "extra bad" category are certain types of sexual sins.

I have serious reservations about the idea that some sins are "worse" than others in the first place, and the reservations are compounded when we're speaking about sexuality. If we're going to "rank" sins at all, I believe that sexual sins are probably less serious than what C.S. Lewis called "diabolical vices"-sins that rise from hatred or hardness of heart as opposed to passion or weakness of flesh. I see nothing in scripture, ancient or modern, that supports the categorization we currently use, and I pray we do away with it.

But even granting that it is legitimate to require special confession to ecclesiastical leaders for certain types of sin, such confession must be offered voluntarily and not coerced in any way. Asking graphic, probing questions in an attempt to elicit confession is anathema to the spirit of repentance. There is absolutely no theological justification for such invasive interrogations.

Protecting Minors

Even more problematic is that these interviews take place between authority figures and minors, behind closed doors, without parents or witnesses present. It's one thing for two adults to be sitting across from one another. It's entirely another to put minor children in this situation, especially in light of the fact that LDS bishops are volunteers with no training in pastoral care or counseling. Even though I'm sure that in a majority of cases, bishops aren't asking graphic questions (or worse!), is it worth the risk? It's a set-up that makes abuse extremely easy to perpetrate. There is no other context where this would be acceptable-not in school, scouting, extra-curricular activities, or even at the doctor's office (a nurse always comes in when I'm getting a breast exam, for example). It's just too dangerous.

Further, sexuality in minors is the purview of parents. I don't want an untrained neighbor, who might have ideas and beliefs about sexuality that are diametrically opposed to mine, using his authority to co-opt conversations that should be happening at home. If youth approach trusted leaders of their own accord to address questions or problems they are having about sexuality, that may be acceptable if the conversation remains respectful and careful, with proper regard for boundaries. But there is no situation in which it is appropriate for leaders to "take matters into their own hands" and initiate these conversations. We have an obligation to protect our children from such egregious violations of their privacy and abuse of authority.

A Call for Change

With these things in mind, I call on the LDS Church to take fast action to protect children and minimize the instances of ecclesiastical and sexual abuse. Suggestions for change include.
  • Explicit instruction to bishops to avoid questioning minors about sexuality.
  • Extensive training on how to deal with reported incidents of sexual abuse or activity in minors, including protocols on when to notify authorities, parents/guardians, and/or refer out to therapists or other trained professionals.
  • "Two-deep" interviews, so that minors and priesthood leaders are never alone in a room together.
  • Re-examination of teachings and policies that require special confession for sexual sins in light of scripture, the Holy Spirit, and the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Setting Boundaries

Until the church makes policy changes to protect minors from ecclesiastical abuse, it's up to parents and concerned leaders to do so. Here are some practical things we can do to set boundaries and prevent this practice from damaging our children.

1) Insist on being present in interviews. It's a no-brainer that "two-deep" interviews should be standard policy, but until such time as it occurs, parents can create a safer environment by insisting on being present in any interviews that occur. The policy in our family is: there will be no interviews between priesthood leaders and our children unless we are present, period.

2) Teach children principles of sexual agency. Help children protect themselves by teaching them that their bodies belong to them and no one else. Teach them that no one has the right to ask them intimate questions about their bodies, genitals, masturbatory practices, or personal relationships. Teach them it's okay to say, "No, I won't answer that; it's none of your business." Stand by them if there are repercussions by domineering priesthood leaders who withhold access to religious ceremonies and rights of passage as a result of children's refusal to compromise their sexual agency.

3) Foster a healthy questioning of authority. This problem exists in the church because no one has thought to question the practice in the first place; it's simply "what we do." Teach children that as they mature, their objective is to internalize their own spiritual authority and stand before God as fully actualized spiritual agents. Let them know that it's healthy and important to question what they've been taught and come to their own conclusions.

Conclusion

Christ said: "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:5-6).

It's time to cast this millstone off. We cannot claim to be Christ's people while we tolerate and perpetuate practices that harm children.

This simply must stop.

http://www.dovesandserpents.org/wp/20...TRIGGER WARNING: sexual and spiritual abuse
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Youth Worthiness Interviews: What's Your Personal Experience?
Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013, at 07:18 AM
Original Author(s): Kinderhooker
Topic: INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM   -Link To MC Article-
From the time I was 12-years old to the time I left on my mission, I had four different bishops. I was interviewed by a bishop every six months–about 15 different worthiness interviews while I was in the YM program. This doesn't include priesthood advancement interviews or missionary preparation interviews, so there were around five more interviews with bishops along the same vein, and maybe two with the stake president. So a total of twenty-two worthiness interviews by five different church authorities.

Here is where I'm going: There was not one of these twenty-two interviews in which I was not asked specifically about masturbation. Not one. I was often asked other invasive questions as well: Do you look at pornography? Have you ever touched anyone's private parts either under or over the clothing? Have you ever engaged in homosexual activities? Have you touched a woman's bottom? Do you engage in sex perversion? (Side note: What is sex perversion? Anal? Oral? Soaking? Just fantasizing about sex?) I believed this line of questioning was completely normal, and required by policy. I wasn't involved in any of these things aside from masturbating a lot in fall of '94, which I discontinued cold turkey, and never confessed until my mission prep interviews four years later. Lot's of guilt or shame (I can't tell which) associated with "hiding" that completely normal behavior.

Some say they have never been asked such questions by a bishop, but I find it hard to believe because I never had a bishop who didn't ask! What's your personal experience? Were you asked these invasive questions as a pre-teen and teen?

I'm a thirty-four year old male who was pestered like this twenty-two times!
 
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Archived Blogs:
Interviews In Mormonism
Mormon Church Interviews
Recovered Memory Regarding A Bishops Interview
Sexual Questions Asked By Bishops
Interviews With The Bishop And Children
On Planting Pansies
Bishops Do Not Have The Authority To Interview For Dance Cards Or YM Camp
Private Youth Interviews with Bishops
Interrogation Of An 8 Year Old Girl
Mormonism And Privacy
Speaking Of Nosy Bishops
Bishops Asking For An Inappropriate Level Of Detail
Practice Of Interviewing Children - This Is Not Mainstream Christianity
Inappropriate Investigator Worthiness Interview Questions?
I Have Always Felt Violated
Do The Bishops Ask Women How Often They Masturbate?
This Must Stop: A Call to End Sexually Invasive Interviews Between Priesthood Leaders and Minors in the LDS Church
Youth Worthiness Interviews: What's Your Personal Experience?
5,766 Articles In 365 Topics
TopicImage TOPIC INDEX (365 Topics)
TopicImage AUTHOR INDEX

  · ADAM GOD DOCTRINE (4)
  · APOLOGISTS (54)
  · ARTICLES OF FAITH (1)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD (31)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD - PEOPLE (16)
  · BLACKS AND MORMONISM (12)
  · BLACKS AND THE PRIESTHOOD (11)
  · BLOOD ATONEMENT (4)
  · BOB BENNETT (1)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 1 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 2 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 3 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 4 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 5 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 6 (19)
  · BONNEVILLE COMMUNICATIONS (2)
  · BOOK OF ABRAHAM (51)
  · BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1 (25)
  · BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 2 (25)
  · BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 3 (16)
  · BOOK OF MORMON EVIDENCES (18)
  · BOOK OF MORMON GEOGRAPHY (24)
  · BOOK OF MORMON WITNESSES (5)
  · BOOK REVIEW - ROUGH STONE ROLLING (28)
  · BOOKS - AUTHORS AND DESCRIPTIONS (12)
  · BOOKS - COMMENTS AND REVIEWS - SECTION 1 (26)
  · BOOKS - COMMENTS AND REVIEWS - SECTION 2 (18)
  · BOY SCOUTS (22)
  · BOYD K. PACKER (33)
  · BRIAN C. HALES (1)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG (24)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY - SECTION 1 (25)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY - SECTION 2 (29)
  · BRUCE C. HAFEN (4)
  · BRUCE D. PORTER (1)
  · BRUCE R. MCCONKIE (10)
  · CALLINGS (11)
  · CATHOLIC CHURCH (5)
  · CHANGING DOCTRINE (14)
  · CHILDREN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 1 (24)
  · CHILDREN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 2 (24)
  · CHRIS BUTTARS (1)
  · CHURCH LEADERSHIP (3)
  · CHURCH PROPAGANDA - SECTION 1 (5)
  · CHURCH PUBLISHED MAGAZINES (54)
  · CHURCH TEACHING MANUALS (10)
  · CHURCH VAULTS (4)
  · CITY CREEK CENTER (23)
  · CIVIL UNIONS (14)
  · CLEON SKOUSEN (3)
  · COGNITIVE DISSONANCE (2)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 1 (24)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 2 (21)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 3 (24)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 4 (22)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 5 (37)
  · CONCISE DICTIONARY OF MORMONISM (14)
  · D. MICHAEL QUINN (1)
  · D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON (6)
  · DALLIN H. OAKS (103)
  · DANIEL C. PETERSON (89)
  · DANITES (4)
  · DAVID A. BEDNAR (24)
  · DAVID O. MCKAY (9)
  · DAVID R. STONE (1)
  · DAVID WHITMER (1)
  · DELBERT L. STAPLEY (1)
  · DESERET NEWS (3)
  · DIETER F. UCHTDORF (13)
  · DNA (24)
  · DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS (8)
  · DON JESSE (2)
  · ELAINE S. DALTON (5)
  · EMMA SMITH (5)
  · ENSIGN PEAK (1)
  · ERICH W. KOPISCHKE (1)
  · EX-MORMON FOUNDATION (33)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 1 (35)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 10 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19 (26)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 24 (31)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 3 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 4 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 5 (23)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 6 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 8 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 9 (26)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 1 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 19 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 24 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 25 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 26 (62)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 3 (21)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 4 (22)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 5 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 6 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 8 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 9 (26)
  · EXCOMMUNICATION AND COURTS OF LOVE (19)
  · EZRA TAFT BENSON (30)
  · FACIAL HAIR (6)
  · FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS - SECTION 1 (25)
  · FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS - SECTION 2 (24)
  · FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS - SECTION 3 (21)
  · FAITH PROMOTING RUMORS (11)
  · FARMS (30)
  · FIRST VISION (23)
  · FOOD STORAGE (3)
  · FUNDAMENTALIST LDS (17)
  · GENERAL AUTHORITIES (30)
  · GENERAL CONFERENCE (15)
  · GENERAL NEWS (5)
  · GEORGE P. LEE (1)
  · GORDON B. HINCKLEY (68)
  · GRANT PALMER (8)
  · GREGORY L. SMITH (9)
  · GUNNISON MASSACRE (1)
  · H. DAVID BURTON (2)
  · HAROLD B. LEE (1)
  · HATE MAIL I RECEIVE (23)
  · HAUNS MILL (2)
  · HBO BIG LOVE (12)
  · HEBER C. KIMBALL (4)
  · HELEN RADKEY (17)
  · HELLEN MAR KIMBALL (4)
  · HENRY B. EYRING (5)
  · HOLIDAYS (13)
  · HOME AND VISITING TEACHING (9)
  · HOWARD W. HUNTER (1)
  · HUGH NIBLEY (13)
  · HYMNS (7)
  · INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM (18)
  · J REUBEN CLARK (1)
  · JAMES E. FAUST (7)
  · JEFF LINDSAY (6)
  · JEFFREY MELDRUM (1)
  · JEFFREY R. HOLLAND (34)
  · JEFFREY S. NIELSEN (11)
  · JOHN GEE (3)
  · JOHN L. LUND (3)
  · JOHN L. SORENSON (4)
  · JOHN TAYLOR (1)
  · JOSEPH B. WIRTHLIN (1)
  · JOSEPH F. SMITH (1)
  · JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH (8)
  · JOSEPH SITATI (1)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - POLYGAMY - SECTION 1 (21)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - POLYGAMY - SECTION 2 (23)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - PROPHECY (8)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SECTION 1 (25)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SECTION 2 (23)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SECTION 3 (22)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SECTION 4 (31)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SEER STONES (7)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - WORSHIP (13)
  · JUDAISM (3)
  · JULIE B. BECK (6)
  · KEITH B. MCMULLIN (1)
  · KERRY MUHLESTEIN (9)
  · KERRY SHIRTS (6)
  · KINDERHOOK PLATES (6)
  · KIRTLAND BANK (6)
  · KIRTLAND EGYPTIAN PAPERS (17)
  · L. TOM PERRY (5)
  · LAMANITE PLACEMENT PROGRAM (3)
  · LAMANITES (37)
  · LANCE B. WICKMAN (1)
  · LARRY ECHO HAWK (1)
  · LDS CHURCH - SECTION 1 (20)
  · LDS CHURCH OFFICE BUILDING (9)
  · LDS OFFICIAL ESSAYS (26)
  · LDS SOCIAL SERVICES (3)
  · LGBT - AND MORMONISM - SECTION 1 (44)
  · LORENZO SNOW (1)
  · LOUIS C. MIDGLEY (6)
  · LYNN A. MICKELSEN (2)
  · LYNN G. ROBBINS (1)
  · M. RUSSELL BALLARD (13)
  · MARK E. PETERSON (8)
  · MARK HOFFMAN (12)
  · MARLIN K. JENSEN (3)
  · MARRIOTT (2)
  · MARTIN HARRIS (5)
  · MASONS (16)
  · MELCHIZEDEK/AARONIC PRIESTHOOD (9)
  · MERRILL J. BATEMAN (3)
  · MICHAEL R. ASH (26)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 1 (25)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 2 (25)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 3 (25)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 4 (25)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 5 (25)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 6 (20)
  · MITT ROMNEY (71)
  · MORE GOOD FOUNDATION (4)
  · MORMON CELEBRITIES (14)
  · MORMON CHURCH HISTORY (8)
  · MORMON CHURCH PR (13)
  · MORMON CLASSES (1)
  · MORMON DOCTRINE (35)
  · MORMON FUNERALS (12)
  · MORMON GARMENTS (20)
  · MORMON HANDCARTS (12)
  · MORMON INTERPRETER (4)
  · MORMON MARRIAGE EXCLUSIONS (1)
  · MORMON MEMBERSHIP (38)
  · MORMON MONEY - SECTION 1 (25)
  · MORMON MONEY - SECTION 2 (25)
  · MORMON MONEY - SECTION 3 (24)
  · MORMON NEWSROOM (5)
  · MORMON POLITICAL ISSUES (5)
  · MORMON RACISM (18)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CEREMONIES (39)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CHANGES (15)
  · MORMON TEMPLES - SECTION 1 (25)
  · MORMON TEMPLES - SECTION 2 (25)
  · MORMON TEMPLES - SECTION 3 (24)
  · MORMON TEMPLES - SECTION 4 (42)
  · MORMON VISITOR CENTERS (10)
  · MORMON WARDS AND STAKE CENTERS (1)
  · MORMONTHINK (13)
  · MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE (21)
  · MURPHY TRANSCRIPT (1)
  · NATALIE R. COLLINS (11)
  · NAUVOO (3)
  · NAUVOO EXPOSITOR (2)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL - SECTION 1 (1)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL INSTITUTE (1)
  · NEIL L. ANDERSEN - SECTION 1 (3)
  · NEW ORDER MORMON (8)
  · OBEDIENCE - PAY, PRAY, OBEY (15)
  · OBJECT LESSONS (15)
  · OLIVER COWDREY (6)
  · ORRIN HATCH (10)
  · PARLEY P. PRATT (11)
  · PATRIARCHAL BLESSING (5)
  · PAUL H. DUNN (5)
  · PBS DOCUMENTARY THE MORMONS (20)
  · PERSECUTION (9)
  · PIONEER DAY (3)
  · PLAN OF SALVATION (5)
  · POLYGAMY - SECTION 1 (22)
  · POLYGAMY - SECTION 2 (23)
  · POLYGAMY - SECTION 3 (15)
  · PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS (1)
  · PRIESTHOOD EXECUTIVE MEETING (0)
  · PRIMARY (1)
  · PROCLAMATIONS (1)
  · PROPOSITION 8 (21)
  · PROPOSITION 8 COMMENTS (11)
  · QUENTIN L. COOK (11)
  · RELIEF SOCIETY (14)
  · RESIGNATION PROCESS (28)
  · RICHARD E. TURLEY, JR. (6)
  · RICHARD G. HINCKLEY (2)
  · RICHARD G. SCOTT (8)
  · RICHARD LYMAN BUSHMAN (11)
  · ROBERT D. HALES (5)
  · ROBERT L. MILLET (7)
  · RODNEY L. MELDRUM (15)
  · ROYAL SKOUSEN (2)
  · RUNTU'S RINCON (79)
  · RUSSELL M. NELSON (14)
  · SACRAMENT MEETING (11)
  · SALT LAKE TRIBUNE (1)
  · SCOTT D. WHITING (1)
  · SCOTT GORDON (5)
  · SEMINARY (5)
  · SERVICE AND CHARITY (24)
  · SHERI L. DEW (3)
  · SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS (4)
  · SIDNEY RIGDON (7)
  · SIMON SOUTHERTON (34)
  · SPAULDING MANUSCRIPT (8)
  · SPENCER W. KIMBALL (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 1 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 10 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 13 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 15 (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 2 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 3 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 4 (25)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 5 (22)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 7 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 8 (13)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9 (19)
  · STORIES - SECTION 1 (1)
  · SUNSTONE FOUNDATION (2)
  · SURVEILLANCE (SCMC) (12)
  · TAD R. CALLISTER (4)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 3 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 4 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 5 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 6 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 7 (9)
  · TALKS - SECTION 1 (1)
  · TEMPLE WEDDINGS (6)
  · TEMPLES - NAMES (1)
  · TERRYL GIVENS (1)
  · THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE (1)
  · THE SINGLE WARDS (5)
  · THE WORLD TABLE (3)
  · THOMAS PHILLIPS (26)
  · THOMAS S. MONSON (33)
  · TIME (4)
  · TITHING - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TITHING - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TITHING - SECTION 3 (22)
  · UGO PEREGO (5)
  · UK COURTS (7)
  · UNNANOUNCED, UNINVITED AND UNWELCOME (36)
  · UTAH LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRY (3)
  · VALERIE HUDSON (3)
  · VAN HALE (16)
  · VAUGHN J. FEATHERSTONE (1)
  · VIDEOS (30)
  · WARD CLEANING (4)
  · WARREN SNOW (1)
  · WELFARE - SECTION 1 (0)
  · WENDY L. WATSON (7)
  · WHITE AND DELIGHTSOME (11)
  · WILFORD WOODRUFF (6)
  · WILLIAM HAMBLIN (12)
  · WILLIAM LAW (1)
  · WILLIAM SCHRYVER (5)
  · WILLIAM WINES PHELPS (3)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 1 (24)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 2 (25)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 3 (37)
  · WORD OF WISDOM (7)
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