Petition to end private youth interviews?

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Cnsl1
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Petition to end private youth interviews?

Post by Cnsl1 » 22 Jan 2018, 09:24

Did anyone see this?

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/local/2 ... ely-today/

[Admin Note}: StayLDS.com, as a site, does NOT support any petitions or organized movements to demand change within the LDS Church. It is fine if people here do so individually, but we don't do so as a site.

Roy
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Re: Petition to end private youth interviews?

Post by Roy » 22 Jan 2018, 11:03

Interesting. I wonder if there could not be some sort of compromise - like the door being left open for youth interviews or having the session recorded "for quality assurance" or perhaps have a woman interview the female children. It would not surprise me if some sort of change happened, probably after the pressure dies down to not be too obviously linked.
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nibbler
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Re: Petition to end private youth interviews?

Post by nibbler » 22 Jan 2018, 11:10

I don't like the idea of the meeting being recorded. Blackmail of the interviewee comes to mind.

They could put a glass window in the door to the BP's office, though even that has its challenges:
1) People could walk by and see who is in there and their general countenances.
2) It does nothing to help in scenarios where the BP is interviewing people when building is otherwise empty.

What do worthiness interviews of youth accomplish? Could they be dropped altogether?
The night stared me in the face, amorphous, blind, infinite, without frontiers. Not a single star relieved the darkness behind the glass.
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LookingHard
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Re: Petition to end private youth interviews?

Post by LookingHard » 22 Jan 2018, 11:26

I am not so gung ho on stopping all of these.

BUT

I do want there to be MUCH more explicit guidelines and have those guidelines communicated to parents and the youth. So they know when a bishop is stepping over the line and they can either push back in the interview or report it to their parents.

To give an example, I know all the bishops in my stake a few years ago were asking YM, "When was the last time you looked at porn" and "when was the last time you masturbated" and even worse.

On top of that I think there needs to be quite a bit more training how to be less "judges in Israel" and more pastoral - as in less a judge and more of someone to assist people with their issues. Also some examples of when they need to transition someone to professional help. And last but not least, not jumping to conclusions. It sickens me how many women say they were "violated" and when they go in to the bishop and hope to get help, they are accused of causing the issue, "what were you wearing" a whole "YOU were responsible for what happened." I could go on, but training bishops better is a big deal for me. The vast majority are good people, but I have seen too many that take what they "feel" and assume that is the Lord confirming and they are just way off and cause damage.

Roy
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Re: Petition to end private youth interviews?

Post by Roy » 23 Jan 2018, 16:08

LookingHard wrote:
22 Jan 2018, 11:26
It sickens me how many women say they were "violated" and when they go in to the bishop and hope to get help, they are accused of causing the issue, "what were you wearing" a whole "YOU were responsible for what happened." I could go on, but training bishops better is a big deal for me
This gets back to the BYU sexual assault issue. Suppose a YW went to her bishop to talk about being date raped. They were out late and drank alcohol (possibly a Rohypnol unawares) and can only partly remember the actual sexual encounter. I imagine that the bishop would likely jump on the being out late and drinking alcohol. Some may even believe that the memory loss is just an excuse to avoid taking responsibility.

I honestly cannot think of any sort of sexual assault issue where the bishop would be the correct person to turn to.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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SilentDawning
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Re: Petition to end private youth interviews?

Post by SilentDawning » 24 Jan 2018, 07:45

I am divided about this. One one hand, I know that it floored me when my daughter went to our Bishop for advice, and it conflicted with my own. And she took our bishop's advice. It wasn't a big conflict, but it surprised me. Maybe that was simply the indpendence of coming of age of my daughter.

But that is a minor side.

The thing for me is that kids will tell other adults things they won't tell their parents. Having parents there will kill that line of communication. So, having a caring Bishop to share issues with alone, when they know their parents will be really mad at them if they knew, might provide an avenue for good advice that helps the youth. But then, there are the problems with too much invasiveness, and the other more extreme but presumably rare instances of abuse.

In our society, kids see counselors alone a lot, and no one seems to question in. I am favoring letting the Bishops interview youth, but really training them in the do's and don'ts.
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dande48
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Re: Petition to end private youth interviews?

Post by dande48 » 24 Jan 2018, 11:07

nibbler wrote:
22 Jan 2018, 11:10
I don't like the idea of the meeting being recorded. Blackmail of the interviewee comes to mind.
That's exactly the first thought I had. Our conversations would go VERY different, that's for sure.
SilentDawning wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 07:45
The thing for me is that kids will tell other adults things they won't tell their parents.
And this was the second thought I had.

On the one hand, I don't think it's appropriate for a male clergy to inquire a youth female regarding topics of an explicit nature ("Have you previously engaged in masturbation.", for example). If you were to flip the gender roles, I would feel equally uncomfortable having a female clergy ask a male youth the same question. But a male bishop asking a male youth the same question, I feel is more acceptable.

It'd be a big change, but I'd propose a new layer added under the Bishop; A male and female youth counselor. Or even better, just make one of the Bishop's counselors a brother, and another a sister, and remove the "priesthood" requirement. Last I checked, the counselors could still conduct youth interviews on the Bishop's behalf. And I think everyone would be more open to discussing the more "sensitive" matters with someone belonging to their own gender.

Also, give them all professional training, and a small stipend for their time. ;)
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LookingHard
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Re: Petition to end private youth interviews?

Post by LookingHard » 24 Jan 2018, 12:49

dande48 wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 11:07
It'd be a big change, but I'd propose a new layer added under the Bishop; A male and female youth counselor. Or even better, just make one of the Bishop's counselors a brother, and another a sister, and remove the "priesthood" requirement. Last I checked, the counselors could still conduct youth interviews on the Bishop's behalf. And I think everyone would be more open to discussing the more "sensitive" matters with someone belonging to their own gender.

Also, give them all professional training, and a small stipend for their time. ;)
I like it. A good step.

And BTW, I think the handbook says, "Bishops once a year" (I have always seen this be at the youth's birthday), and one of the counselors once a year (usually around the birthday + 6 months). The times I was a counselor we were told by the bishops I served under to stick to the questions and if anything came up, stop and direct them to the bishop. He also asked us to let him know if we were just getting odd vibes from the youth (no eye contact, odd body language).

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mom3
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Re: Petition to end private youth interviews?

Post by mom3 » 24 Jan 2018, 13:31

I too am mixed. Even as an adult, I panic when I get a phone call that says, "Bishop so and so would like to talk to you." I know it's a calling everytime, but I get nervous. What if, it's not. And I have had those. I had a presidency member start an ugly gossip about how I didn't sustain the Priesthood. As a kid - holy crap, talking to a church leader who has a list of questions. That alone is scary. I was nearly a model youth, but I am sure my demeanor in an interview could be construed as guilt. When actually it was just angst and discomfort.

As a youth, I didn't want to go through puberty. I also didn't ever want to talk about. Not even with peers. Baring my soul or even being asked by some old man about anything related to that made me ill.

I understand we want them to be able to repent or stay on the strait and narrow, etc. But really, there has to be a better way.

I am for having girls speak to women.

I am also a firm believer that repentance doesn't require a mediator. A guiding hand or listening ear? Maybe.

I think a single youth shouldn't be alone with an adult of the opposite sex in a church setting. Period.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

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nibbler
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Re: Petition to end private youth interviews?

Post by nibbler » 24 Jan 2018, 14:24

In my mind I keep coming back to this:
nibbler wrote:
22 Jan 2018, 11:10
What do worthiness interviews of youth accomplish? Could they be dropped altogether?
Or, what do worthiness interviews in general accomplish? Adults and youth alike.

I didn't grow up with this being a part of my culture or childhood. I defaulted to assuming I was a good with god and I think introducing a pass/fail interview with an ecclesiastical leader would have planted the question "Am I worthy?" or "Does god love me?" where no such question would have existed before.

I get wanting to help guide youth as they grow. What I don't get is why this needs to take the form of involuntary interviews with leaders. And what I mean by involuntary is that they're not of the "come to us if you need help" variety, they're more of an obligation, where not fulfilling the obligation reduces your involvement with the community. Time to see the bishop, time for judgment. Most of the time it feels like there's more potential to be punished than any benefit you'd get in the form of receiving help and guidance.

So what does the interview accomplish? To ensure that children have "correct" beliefs and acceptable behavior?

Other churches don't do this and a little birdie told me that good, bad, and in between kids come out of those traditions just like they come out of ours.
The night stared me in the face, amorphous, blind, infinite, without frontiers. Not a single star relieved the darkness behind the glass.
― Stanisław Lem

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