Youth Bishop Interviews

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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BeJoyful
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Re: Youth Bishop Interviews

Post by BeJoyful » 05 Jan 2018, 22:14

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BJE
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Re: Youth Bishop Interviews

Post by BJE » 24 May 2019, 21:12

amateurparent wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 09:25

I never had a bishop or church leader ask me anything beyond “Do you keep the LoC”. I was never asked if I had touched myself. I was never asked about mastrubation.
I know this is an old thread but I wanted to say that as a youth in the 1970’s it was drilled into us that masturbation is a sexual sin and sexual sins are next to murder. We were also given the To Young Men Only pamphlet and asked about masturbation. If I remember right I lied about it until I was preparing for my mission when I came clean about it. I was wracked with guilt over my infrequent masturbation all through my teen years.

Fast forward to the end of 2016. I was 52 years old and was interviewed to be ordained a high priest. My stake president asked me right out if I masturbate. I told him that I hadn’t been asked that since I was a teenager. He said that in a temple recommend interview he wouldn’t ask but since he is the president of the high priest quorum it was his “duty” to see that no man who masturbates is ordained a high priest.

I’ll mention that the questions for Melchizedek priesthood ordination are essentially the same as those for a temple recommend. Therefore he deviated from the standard questions by asking specifically about masturbation and also about whether I view pornography.

If he will interrogate a 52 year old married man about masturbation I can imagine how he must grill young men about masturbation who are preparing for missions. I can also imagine how he would advise bishops in our stake to handle the issue.

Regardless of how it may be handled in other areas I can say that in my stake asking specifically about masturbation is alive and well.

Minyan Man
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Re: Youth Bishop Interviews

Post by Minyan Man » 25 May 2019, 05:14

I am curious. I didn't grow up in the Church. As an adult, no one ever as me, in an official church capacity, about masturbation.
Or, anything remotely this personal. Has anyone on this forum ever said:
this topic is between me and God.

Then said:
this interview is over.
Is there nothing sacred in a church interview? I know there are policies & guidelines for interviews. My personal opinion is:
when a deviation like this occurs we not only have the right but the obligation & responsibility to say, this isn't right or you're wrong
& I am not going to answer your question. (My blood pressure just went up. Sorry.) This should be taught to our children too.

I'm curious if anyone has ever done this?

BJE
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Joined: 24 May 2019, 13:02

Re: Youth Bishop Interviews

Post by BJE » 25 May 2019, 09:22

Minyan Man wrote:
25 May 2019, 05:14
I am curious. I didn't grow up in the Church. As an adult, no one ever as me, in an official church capacity, about masturbation.
Or, anything remotely this personal. Has anyone on this forum ever said:
this topic is between me and God.

Then said:
this interview is over.
Is there nothing sacred in a church interview? I know there are policies & guidelines for interviews. My personal opinion is:
when a deviation like this occurs we not only have the right but the obligation & responsibility to say, this isn't right or you're wrong
& I am not going to answer your question. (My blood pressure just went up. Sorry.) This should be taught to our children too.

I'm curious if anyone has ever done this?
I could have refused to answer the question and ended the interview but then I wouldn’t have been ordained a high priest either. However I’d like to confront him on the topic of asking that question.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Youth Bishop Interviews

Post by DarkJedi » 25 May 2019, 10:07

BJE wrote:
24 May 2019, 21:12
If he will interrogate a 52 year old married man about masturbation I can imagine how he must grill young men about masturbation who are preparing for missions. I can also imagine how he would advise bishops in our stake to handle the issue.

Regardless of how it may be handled in other areas I can say that in my stake asking specifically about masturbation is alive and well.
I'm just curious if you know this to be the case for youngsters (teens and/or those being interviewed for missions). Just like there are rogues with the TR questions, I'm sure there are rogues with the missionary interview questions. The missionary interview questions do leave an opening for masturbation if the answer to the question "What do you understand about the law of chastity?" includes masturbation or if the interviewer does not get the answer he expects about masturbation being included. Personally I think the best answer to the question is "That I have no sexual relations with anyone to whom I am not legally and lawfully wedded," but of course most being interviewed for missionary service have likely not heard that exact wording (although Elder Bednar affirms we can certainly teach that to our kids). Masturbation is not specifically mentioned in the questions, however porn is a specific question. Anyway, the reason I ask is because I'm on my third missionary son and the last was interviewed prior to the standard questions - but none of them were asked about masturbation by either the bishop or SP (we changed both between son 1 and son 2). Only son 2 was asked about porn and he owned up to it (this was by a BYU bishop, the local bishop and SP did not ask).

That said, back in the day I was asked prior to my mission and by my MP. Like everyone I have ever mentioned it to (including fellow missionaries at the time) I lied. I was not asked when I was ordained a HP (early 1990s) nor at any other time as an adult.

That brings me around to MM's question. No I have not had the experience of being able to stand up to a leader as an adult, unless you consider me an adult as a missionary and in that case I didn't. In my many years of experience working with youth/adolescents and my understanding of adolescent psychology, let me affirm here that 18, 19 and 20 year olds are not adults. In actuality, neither are most 21, 22, 23 or 24 year olds. Some 30 year-year-olds are not, although by that time physiologically, including brain physiology, they are capable of being adults.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Minyan Man
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Re: Youth Bishop Interviews

Post by Minyan Man » 25 May 2019, 10:53

BJE wrote:
25 May 2019, 09:22
...I could have refused to answer the question and ended the interview but then I wouldn’t have been ordained a high priest either. However I’d like to confront him on the topic of asking that question.
What are we doing as a Church when we know leadership is by passing policy & guidelines and the membership is left with the choice of lying, rationalizing or walking out of an interview? Personally I would rather not be ordained than live with the lie. I wonder if they ask a perspective
Apostle, 70 or SP about masterbation? And if they did, what would their response be? Silly, I know.

squarepeg
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Joined: 17 Feb 2017, 12:51

Re: Youth Bishop Interviews

Post by squarepeg » 25 May 2019, 12:07

With all the recent decisions by President Nelson and the Twelve lately to the tune of putting more trust in members' capacity to use the spirit to make decisions, and moving away from letter-of-the-law structural rules, I hope that there would be more trust in members' abilities to use the spirit in living the Law of Chastity, and less and less of asking direct questions about specific behaviors. But it really is an awkward situation if a local priesthood leader is still running interviews under the "old law," because by skirting the question or questioning the interviewer, the implication is that the interviewee is "guilty". My kids haven't had a chance yet to use their scripted lines that I taught them in the event that an interviewer asks about masturbation. But it is concerning and unfortunate that some leaders are obviously still asking the question. Isn't it the whole point of Christianity as Jesus taught it, that we are trusted to live a higher law, live in the spirit, be full of love and goodness, and be free of the constraints of nitpicky rules and obedience to mortal authority figures?

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DarkJedi
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Re: Youth Bishop Interviews

Post by DarkJedi » 25 May 2019, 12:25

Minyan Man wrote:
25 May 2019, 10:53
BJE wrote:
25 May 2019, 09:22
...I could have refused to answer the question and ended the interview but then I wouldn’t have been ordained a high priest either. However I’d like to confront him on the topic of asking that question.
What are we doing as a Church when we know leadership is by passing policy & guidelines and the membership is left with the choice of lying, rationalizing or walking out of an interview? Personally I would rather not be ordained than live with the lie. I wonder if they ask a perspective
Apostle, 70 or SP about masterbation? And if they did, what would their response be? Silly, I know.
Another good question, MM. Yes, you can "report" your bishop to the SP if he asks an unscripted question in a TR interview, but what if the SP is like-minded? Likewise, you can do the same if it's the SP and speak to the AA, and although the AA holds no keys they do have a "supervisory" with the SP or at least a liaison role with church HQ. I know in my own stake our SP puts great stock in what the AA says. I also know that our AA (the one who does the coordinating council) is more orthodox/conservative than my SP (I'm not a fan of the guy and am consoled in the idea that I doubt he will be "elevated" to the status of GA). I'm actually not sure where I'd get appealing to the AA, but it's an unlikely circumstance at this point anyway. I do know where I'd get if I talked to my SP about a perceived bishop's infraction and I have a close enough relationship with my SP that I could directly address him. (He would correct the bishop, I've seen him do so.)
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Minyan Man
Posts: 1661
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Youth Bishop Interviews

Post by Minyan Man » 25 May 2019, 14:22

I know that all of us answer these questions on our own. That's the way it should be.
My situation is different than most.
. I am the oldest member on both sides of our family. (No family stigma.)
. I am known within the ward & stake as a bit of a rebel & free thinker. (I try to be diplomatic about it.)
. I am closer to "judgement day" than most members of this forum. (I am really old.)
- I want to go on my own terms & with a clean conscience. (I wouldn't be able to do that by lying)

If we as members continue to accept the interviews as given & don't speak up, what prevents someone from asking questions
that are further "off base". (I know this is extreme to some extent.) For example:
. How do you calculate your tithe offering? It seems like it is low compared to other members of the ward.
- Have you ever been attracted to someone of the same sex? Who was that & when?
- You can add your own examples.

BJE
Posts: 36
Joined: 24 May 2019, 13:02

Re: Youth Bishop Interviews

Post by BJE » 25 May 2019, 17:32

DarkJedi wrote:
25 May 2019, 10:07
BJE wrote:
24 May 2019, 21:12
If he will interrogate a 52 year old married man about masturbation I can imagine how he must grill young men about masturbation who are preparing for missions. I can also imagine how he would advise bishops in our stake to handle the issue.

Regardless of how it may be handled in other areas I can say that in my stake asking specifically about masturbation is alive and well.
I'm just curious if you know this to be the case for youngsters (teens and/or those being interviewed for missions). Just like there are rogues with the TR questions, I'm sure there are rogues with the missionary interview questions. The missionary interview questions do leave an opening for masturbation if the answer to the question "What do you understand about the law of chastity?" includes masturbation or if the interviewer does not get the answer he expects about masturbation being included. Personally I think the best answer to the question is "That I have no sexual relations with anyone to whom I am not legally and lawfully wedded," but of course most being interviewed for missionary service have likely not heard that exact wording (although Elder Bednar affirms we can certainly teach that to our kids).
As far as my stake president is concerned, if he won’t allow a middle aged man to be ordained a high priest if they masturbate it seems highly likely that he wouldn’t allow a young man to be ordained an elder or go on a mission without “overcoming” it first.

Your definition of the law of chastity is what I covenanted to obey and I can say I’ve never had a sexual relation with anyone besides my wife. I’m curious where I might find what you refer to that Elder Bednar said?

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