Bishop Youth Interviews: What would you do with this?

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
Roy
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Re: Bishop Youth Interviews: What would you do with this?

Post by Roy » 24 Aug 2014, 09:53

I'm sorry for your situation Origami,

In my own situation I have worked hard to present myself as quirky and questioning - but flexible, humble, and harmless. My bishop does have authority - even if only as the duly appointed adminitrative head of the ward. I was recently able to baptise and confirm DD and DS is coming up in about a year. I team teach the 4 yr olds with DW and the bishop and PP know that this must come to an end in january when the ward schedule changes due to a work conflict. Yes, working on Sunday is my friend because it provides a semi-acceptable excuse for limiting what I can give. Fortunately for me - I have a very reasonable man as bishop. I know that all do not have this luxury.

My own style would be to try to have a conversation with the bishop about your concerns. He may fear that you would turn the youth interview into a war zone. Perhaps let him know that you and DW cover these subjects at home but are uncomfortable with having the kids discuss these issues in any detail with non-family members. If he is assured that you will only act the part of supportive parent (as long as he sticks to the agreed upon questions) perhaps he may be willing to relent.

As far as going up the food chain...

I don't think anybody would side with me and my family over a bishop and/or SP unless they were grossly out of line.
"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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cwald
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Re: Bishop Youth Interviews: What would you do with this?

Post by cwald » 24 Aug 2014, 13:02

Cache Valley at its...normal.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Bishop Youth Interviews: What would you do with this?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 24 Aug 2014, 14:01

Knowing what I know of the situation, I am quite sure this is not going to be resolved in any way that includes concession at the local level. I think expecting that is counter-productive and damaging, since unrealistic expectations are just that - unrealistic.

I think any solution has to be either escalation upward or a continuation of no interviews. I think something like this is a good chance to teach youth the concept of boundary maintenance and standing for convictions as part of faithfulness and charity, knowing it's not an easy or ideal way to have to teach that concept.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Origami
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Re: Bishop Youth Interviews: What would you do with this?

Post by Origami » 24 Aug 2014, 17:18

I appreciate the thoughts you all have shared. I glossed over a lot of details in my OP, we have already done a lot of what has been suggested here.

I responded with a polite but blunt 4 line email to both SP and BP informing them that our position wasn't changing and then clearly telling them there would be NO private interviews with our kids.

I expect we will be ignored and treated like outcasts from here on out. I'm totally fine with it, but it is hard on my wife and kids. I do not fit the StayLDS mindset anymore, but GodisLove still does and this has been emotionally very difficult for her.

This experience was a catalyst for us to sit down with the kids and openly share my disaffection/unbelief and to let them know that our family is still good, strong, and united despite this new position that I have grown into. I believe this black cloud had a silver lining afterall this discussion was several years in the making and it feels good to finally have it all out in the open with my kids.

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silentstruggle
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Re: Bishop Youth Interviews: What would you do with this?

Post by silentstruggle » 25 Aug 2014, 05:52

We don't allow any worthiness interviews for our kids except in our own home with an open door. In addition to protecting our children from being alone with a priesthood leader behind a closed door, it also serves to rid the interview of some of the trappings of authority that exist in the bishop's office (big desk, photo of the prophet, picture of Christ).

There are plenty of examples of people who have had priesthood leaders commit sexual abuse. I am astounded that the church still continues the practice of one-on-one interviews behind closed doors. It is not worth the collateral damage in my opinion.

I personally think that no man should ever be asking a young woman sexual questions. I think it would be an easy change to make to have female leadership perform these interviews.

At a deeper level, I completely disagree with the guilt/fear model as a productive means of achieving improved human behavior. I think the idea of excising human beings from their sexuality to be completely unrealistic and unhealthy.

I think 'worthiness' is a funny game we play in the church. It is totally possible to answer the 'worthiness' questions correctly and honestly and still be a rotten human being.

I also think that separating the 'worthy' from the 'unworthy' to just be another system of 'us' and 'them' in the church; one of many. It is exclusive in nature and un-Christian in my opinion.
Last edited by silentstruggle on 25 Aug 2014, 11:35, edited 2 times in total.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Bishop Youth Interviews: What would you do with this?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 25 Aug 2014, 08:19

It is exclusive in nature and un-Christian in my opinion.
Jesus did it regularly. If you doubt that, re-read the Gospels; it is a common theme. It also is part of every aspect of our lives.

I agree we botch it regularly in the way we apply it (inside and outside the Church), but the concept itself is integral and important in communal life.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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silentstruggle
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Re: Bishop Youth Interviews: What would you do with this?

Post by silentstruggle » 25 Aug 2014, 10:32

Yeah Ray, I understand that Jesus did the wheat and chaff thing. I'm just thinking it's not our job. Let God figure that out. We would do better to be inclusive.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Bishop Youth Interviews: What would you do with this?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 25 Aug 2014, 10:36

I agree that we should be as inclusive as possible - but "worthiness" simply is part of life.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Bishop Youth Interviews: What would you do with this?

Post by Roy » 25 Aug 2014, 12:29

Ray DeGraw wrote:
It is exclusive in nature and un-Christian in my opinion.
Jesus did it regularly. If you doubt that, re-read the Gospels; it is a common theme.
Isn't it ironic that Jesus could in some ways and at some times be described as un-Christian. :lol:
"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

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16675
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Bishop Youth Interviews: What would you do with this?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 25 Aug 2014, 13:31

Isn't it ironic that Jesus could in some ways and at some times be described as un-Christian. :lol:


Yep - and, in some cases, ultra-orthodox and highly conservative.

I think Jesus is a perfect example (ironic wording, I know) of the danger of stereotyping and labeling. He was a radical progressive in some ways and a radical conservative in others. People tend to acknowledge the part(s) with which they identify and ignore (or miss completely) the part(s) with which they don't.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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