The title was just an attention grabber. I do have a problem though. DD had an interview with the Bishop yesterday after our church meetings. A temple trip is coming up and they are held to a certain level of worthiness in order to be able to attend. Normally interviews are not a big deal and he will ask her how she is, if she needs help/advice with anything, and ask her how she is doing with saying prayers and reading scriptures. I guess because this interview was for the temple it was different. She came home crying and said that he asked her questions about kissing boys, masturbation, if she views pornography, etc. She got super uncomfortable when he asked her about masturbation and wouldn't answer him. She said she didn't want to talk about things like that. She actually got up and walked out! I was so proud of her for that!
Now he is saying that since she didn't complete the interview, she can't go with to the temple activity. I'm not Mormon so I really don't know what to do. She and her brother attend church with DH's parents. This is the first problem we have encountered in all the years they have went. Had I known she was going to be asked questions like that she wouldn't have been in that interview. I feel like a failure because she had to be in such an uncomfortable situation.
So I have some questinos for any Mormon mommies reading this. Is it normal to be asked those kinds of questions when you are a teenager? Is there someone else she could take the interview with? She really wants to go on this temple trip.
Update: DD said she was fine with me talking to my MIL about the situation. I called and told her exactly what DD had said and then I asked her if this was considered a "normal" and appropriate interview to go on the temple trip. She said yes!!!! I about died! She said that the Bishop is allowed to ask about your sexual purity and he can ask if you view pornography, have ever done any "necking or petting" (her words), and if you masturbate. I guess if she does any of those she is not worthy to go. I am very upset. She just turned 13 last month! She is still a kid and nobody should ask her those kinds of questions, especially a middle-aged man alone with her. I told MIL that is inappropriate and she did not understand why. She asked me "Well, how else will he know if she is worthy if she won't answer his questions." I ended the conversation before I said anything I would later regret. I have always had great respect for DH's parents. They were not active while DH was growing up so he doesn't know hardly anything about the religion but now they are very active and never miss a Sunday. I definitely think she knows what she is talking about. I just feel sick. I thought this was a good church and thought I was making a good decision by letting my children attend. They have both always loved it until yesterday. I always ask them what they learn and talk about and there haven't been any red flags. I can't believe I let this happen. :(
Update Again: I spoke with the Bishop. He said in no uncertain terms that the questions would need to be answered if DD wants to go on the trip. I explained why I feel the questions are inappropriate. He urged me to continue to let DD continue to attend services and said there would be "severe eternal consequences" if she leaves the church. After this conversation I talked to DD again. I told her what MIL and the Bishop said. She decided that she does not feel comfortable attending that church anymore. She has a friend who goes to a non-denominational Christian church. I called the friends mom and we will attend with them this Sunday. DD said she is excited to go. Thanks to everyone who gave advice. This has definitely been a learning experience for us!
Third Update: I need advice again ladies. You were all so helpful last time. Things have been a little tense around here. I spoke with MIL again last night and told her about DD's decision and how we are going to start attending other churches. She was upset but we kept the conversation civil. Well this morning I hear my doorbell ring and who do you think it is? The Bishop. I invited him in but he declined and said "this will only take a minute" and then he reiterated how much they wanted my daugher and son to continue attending their church. I politely declined on their behalf. He asked if he could talk to my kids. I said no you may not. Then he said that there is something I should know before I "fully commit" to having my DD stop attending. He proceeded to tell me that because DD has been baptized that he will be sending the missionaries over to talk to her and the young women in the ward will try extra hard to fellowship her. He also said that if she decides to join any other church she will face a disciplinary council. You have no idea how much this upset me. Here is this man standing on my front porch (who asked inappropriate questions to my 13 year old daughter) basically telling ME what will happen to MY daughter. He basically said they are not going to leave her alone. I thought she could just stop going on Sundays and be done but I guess not. This is where my question comes in. How in the world do I get her out of this church for good? I would ask MIL but I am almost positive she is the one who called the Bishop and I really don't know if I could control what would come out of my mouth.
Okay, I checked out the links that were posted. I sat down with DD and we typed a letter of resignation together. We both signed it, took it to the bank to be notarized, and we just got back from the mailing it to Salt Lake City. We shipped it Priority with Delivery Confirmation which is what the websites suggested. This way we can see when they receive the letter and as soon as they receive it she will no longer be a member. Hopefully this whole mess will be over within a few days! Thanks again for all your help ladies!
Update: Well, things have been a little tense with the in-laws. MIL told me that the Bishop came to her house and talked to her last week and asked her if she could keep bringing DD to church. Umm, no. I have tried to be respectful because MIL and FIL think I am waaaay overreacting and they are upset that DD sent off her resignation papers but it is getting difficult and I find myself ignoring her phone calls (bad, I know). We sent the papers about 3 weeks ago and we still haven't heard anything back. Does anyone know how long the process usually takes???
UPDATE: We finally received our confirmation letter!!!!! I will update a little later about how things have been going but I just wanted to let everyone know that DD is OUT of that church!
UPDATE AGAIN: Well, I finally have a little time to relax so I thought I would fill everyone in on what has been going on. We got our confirmation paper back. A few days prior to that, the Bishop called our house. He said that DD had been called to be in some young women's presidency. I don't even know what he was talking about. I told him firmly that she is officially out of the church and that if he, or anyone else from the church, contacts us again we will be going to the police. I've been considering going to the police anyways because of the nature of the questions he asked. A lot of the LDS people said that those questions are NOT normal so it makes me think that guy may be some kind of pervert. It scares me that he is in a position of authority.
As far as things with my MIL and FIL, they are going a little better. I finally put my foot down and told DH that they are his parents and he needs to deal with them. I was caught in the middle for a while and it was awful. He has had a few discussions with them and they said they are not happy with our decision to get DD's name removed from the membership records but they will respect our wishes. We have still been going to the non-denominational church and the kids both LOVE it. DH and I are athiest but we go with them every week. After this whole experience we have learned that you never can be too careful with who we put our kids around. Anyways, that's about it. This will probably be my last update. Thanks again for all of the support. :)
UPDATE AGAIN: The last few weeks have been HELL at our house. My inlaws had another chat with their lovely Bishop and decided that they will not respect our wishes. They now want nothing to do with me, Dh, or our children. They said that the Bishop told them that if they were involved in our lives he would not renew their temple recommend. He said they cannot support or affiliate with any group or individual who'se beliefs are not aligned with the LDS belief. I think he is mad that DD resigned her membership and it didn't make things better when he found out that DH and I are athiest. I don't get it though. DH's parents have had a great relationship with him up until a while ago and no other Bishop has told them not to have a relationship with us. Most people have known we are athiest for a long time. I dont' understand why things have to change now. Their Bishop sounds VERY extreme but for some reason they think he is pretty much the greatest person every. I don't get it. So we haven't heard from them since they called to basically say they are disowning us. We used to have a Halloween tradition of going to their house to play games and eat yummy treats but they told us we are no longer invited. They didn't even come see my kids in their costumes. Not a big deal for my teen but it was for her younger brother. He was heartbroken. I texted my MIL asking her if they would like to spend Thanksgiving with us (they do every other year) and she never replied. I have tried to call several times but I only get voicemail. My calls have not been returned for about 2 1/2 weeks. My daughter has had a particularly hard time in school. She used to be really good friends with the girls she went to church with but not anymore. One of them (a rather snotty girl) asked her if she knew that leaving the church was the worst thing a person could ever do. She told my sweet daughter that since she left she will now go to Outer Darkness (AKA Hell) when she dies. She also said she will never see her family again after she dies. What kind of a cruel girl says that? Better yet, what kind of cruel adults say things like that? I'm sure that girl heard if from her parents or some other adult. I am so disappointed and sickened by all the adults in this situation who are putting RELIGION above LOVE and FAMILY. I don't know what to do. I guess my kids don't have grandparents anymore and my husband has no parents. It boggles my mind that they are throwing away their relationship for us just because of what their Bishop says. He sounds looney and I sincerely hope all LDS Bishops do not act like this. I am trying not to judge every Mormon by his and my in-laws actions but it is getting harder...I guess I just needed to write it all out and vent. The only good news is that our small family has been brought closer together through this and we have not had anymore visits from the Bishop or others in the church. We are still attending the non-denominational church too. My daughter has made great friends who have been so wonderful for her through all of this. I am so thankful for them.
November 8, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Yep... I'm confident in my previous answer... y'all are definitely better off away from that church. Very glad you've found a good one for them!
I actually asked the Bishop about having a female interview her and he said they don't do it like that. The priesthood leaders are all male and females cannot do the interviews.
WOW. This is the first time I've seen this post but WTF??? First of all, if it was really necessary to know about a 13yo girls "sexual purity" they should have at least had a woman asking her, not a middle aged man. Now that that's out of the way... forget them! If they won't have anything to do with you because you go to a different church (I know you're atheist, I mean taking your kids) then they shouldn't be around you anyway. You have to have *some* level of tolerance for others. How in the world could you even go anywhere near other people if you think they must be exactly like you? I'm not even saying this the way I want because the situation is so ridiculous it's messing with my head. Just freakin wow. I think you and your children are better off not dealing with his family until they can be more considerate.
Wow this is still going on? I remember this from awhile ago, it still sounds like a cult. I am being 100% serious, I just saw a thing on the news about more cult like churches. That is horrible about your in laws, I don't think they realize how much they are truly losing. I hope things get better soon for you and your family.
I grew up Catholic in North Florida so there is the very hard core Southern Baptist present in our community. I was told similar things about idol worship (because we believe in intersession of Mary, the saints and even dead friends and realitives - easist way to understand it is that they pray with you/on your behalf - which makes complete sense if you believe that life continues after death) It was extremely upsetting. Tell her to look up Joseph Smith, his history (he was run out of town for being a con man) and the actual historical history of the church. Are their good christians in the Morman Church, Absolutly but your family fell in with the hard core type. And NO man should ever be alone with a young girl asking questions about her sex life. lol. When I first had sex was the first time I did my confession behind the partition. Like some how the priest who had been taking my confession since I was seven wouldn't recognize my voice. He didn't treate me badly though. He just said that God forgave me and that I should pray and meditate on mastering my desire and not letting them control me. (aka don't do it again. lol.)
"My daughter has had a particularly hard time in school. She used to be really good friends with the girls she went to church with but not anymore. One of them (a rather snotty girl) asked her if she knew that leaving the church was the worst thing a person could ever do. She told my sweet daughter that since she left she will now go to Outer Darkness (AKA Hell) when she dies. She also said she will never see her family again after she dies. What kind of a cruel girl says that? Better yet, what kind of cruel adults say things like that? I'm sure that girl heard if from her parents or some other adult. I am so disappointed and sickened by all the adults in this situation who are putting RELIGION above LOVE and FAMILY."
by AnonymousNovember 8, 2012 at 11:12 PMLike I said, a "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet would have explained this all to you. This could have been handled differently, but, honestly, 8 is the age of accountability in the church. You knew this. At some point, you have to take responsibility for your actions. Could you not have arranged for a meeting with the stake president to get further clarification on the matter if you felt his questions were inappropriate? Also, why couldn't your daughter just say no? Why would this bother her if she was acting appropriately? I don't know you or the standards that you hold your children to, but this may be a warning for you as parent of you think she is too young to be participating in sexual activities. If you feel comfortable with your decision, then own it. Your family will come around. It is NOT common for members to ostrasize non-members nor is it against church policy to associate with you. It's just disappointing to your in-laws.
We went with her twice a month (the other two weeks, my inlaws would take her) and had no problems before this specific interview with the Bishop. I think it's great to be chaste. I DO NOT think it's great for a middle aged man to sit alone with a 13 year old CHILD and ask her sexually explicit questions.
Sounds like you should have researched this church and maybe attended it a few times before allowing your daughter to join. Mormons have strict rules regarding chasity. Things like sex before marriage and masturbation are not considered chaste activities. Masturbation is frowned upon by the church because it leads to impure thoughts and fantasies. Sex is something to be enjoyed and done after marriage according to the church. Picking up a reading a "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet outlines exactly what is acceptable and unacceptable as far as dating, behavior regarding the opposite sex, and how to keep yourself pure. They make one for boys and a seperate one for girls. This pamphlet should have been given to your daughter by the Bishop to begin with. You should have checked up on this. Would it have killed you to learn about the church that you allowed your DD to be baptized into?
by mommy425906November 8, 2012 at 11:14 PM
I skimmed through it and got the gist of what happened. I don't blame you. Those questions seemed very inappropriate, especially if other LDS members said that isn't the norm.
I understand. :) It's gotten super long with all the updates.
Wow, this post is just waaaaay too long for me to read. Sorry, OP.
November 8, 2012 at 11:18 PMI dislike religion. It was intended to control the masses, obviously.
I can't even imagine this. I went to Catholic school and conventionally you get confirmed when you are in the 7th grade (my school had kids of other faiths and they were welcome to be included as part of the celebration, sing at the mass, come support their friends ect.) Well one of my friends didn't want to be confirmed after it was all explained to her because she understood that it was a spiritual commitment and honestly wasn't sure in her faith or that she even believed in God. Of course her mom tried to MAKE her get confirmed and brought our Bishop into it. He told her mom to take a hike. He praised her for her maturity and invited her to come to him with any questions she might have in the future. I just can't imagine actually belonging to a church that would do that. Your Aunt is correct that is spiritual abuse.
It will get better.
When I was 7 years old, my family left a church. They were actually kicked out because my father went to the pastor with questions about some of the beliefs. A list of 3 questions got him kicked out. There was a lot of pressure put on my mother to continue going to church with us children, and she refused.
At that point, the church children (small town, small school) turned on my sister and I. The principal called my mother one day. I was hysterical after being chased around the playground by the church kids who were chanting that my dad was going to hell. Things went from bad to worse.
We went on vacation to California. We got back home about midnight, and my parents just packed up the camper with more stuff and moved to a different town. They called my grandmother up (she answered only because that was before caller ID) and told her that we had moved.
It was 2 years before we saw or heard from my grandmother and aunts again. It was another 2 years after that that they finally stayed the night when they came to visit us in the new town. It was another 8 years before my parents brought us to church again.
It wasn't easy, and I won't say that time heals all wounds. But, there is a chance that given time they will start to capitulate and want to see their grandchildren again.
This is what my aunt (who also left the church my father was kicked out of) calls spiritual abuse. They (the church) are showing their true colors and using emotional abuse to try to get your children to rebel against you and go back to church. It puts your entire family in a very unhealthy position.
I am very sorry, but please know that I have been there, and I understand. Your children will be all right. This will hurt them, but they will be ok. You may need to explain to them about spiritual abuse and its efforts at manipulation and control. It may help them if you explain that their grandparents are being manipulated and controlled by the church. She will realize what she has missed out on eventually, but it will take a while.
Maybe you could start a scrapbook or album to catch them up on what has happened in your children's lives in the meantime while they were severed due to the church. That will help your children realize that this decision is completely on their grandparents and they won't cast blame on you.
Once again, I am sorry. Due to my own experiences, I hate seeing families torn apart by a church.
by AnonymousNovember 8, 2012 at 11:20 PMPeople get crazy with religion. I'm proud to be atheist.
by AnonymousNovember 8, 2012 at 11:21 PMWow!!! I grew up in Utah, I used to be a Mormon when I was young, I am not anymore... Like at all! It's a cult. Infact on the slc temple there is an upside down star on the building!! I am so pissed off just reading ur post! How dare any grown adult ask minor/ child questions like that! Sounds like a fucking pedophile if u ask me!! And for the record, the sex offenders are deep out there in Utah. One third of the prison is sex offenders!