This is one of many stories that are completely unacceptable during my teen years attending the LDS church. I was 16 & in high school in a the Northwestern U.S. All of my friends had tried alcohol and so I was curious (my parents don’t drink & I wasn’t taught anything about alcohol except all of the “negatives”) my best friend had snuck a small bottle of rum and we were all trying it. The minute I drank it, I felt incredibly guilty. Why? First, I was not about to tell my parents. Imagine how lonely & confused I was feeling. Second, I was taught things like this require you to confess to your bishop. I was so afraid to go and see him but my trained, and brainwashed conscience was telling me to go see him. So I did! Ha! Wish I could go back in time. Anyways, when I saw him and basically confessed that I had tried alcohol his questions were not appropriate at all. I remember feeling so terrible about myself because of the way he was talking to me. He then asked me a set of questions that still to this day sit uneasy in my stomach.
“What kind of alcohol? Vodka? Beer?” I lied. I said I didn’t remember
“Who was with you? Boys? Girls?” To which I said it was just a group of girls
“Did anything happen between you and these girls when you drank?” I told him I didn’t really understand the question
“Like as in anything sexual? Touching?” I was shocked. I felt my stomach drop. Of course this didn’t happen! In one small drink?? I told him of course not
“You know we don’t drink alcohol because it makes us do things we wouldn’t normally do. It tears families apart & thats what will happen if you continue to drink.” I was dumbfounded at this statement. I simply said ok.
The end of my interview was near, he told me I was not allowed to take the sacrament for 6 weeks. (What?) and he also told my parents about what I had done. I had no idea he would do this and I did not consent to this. He also told my parents that if they did a better job at parenting I would have ended up like this. This started a whole new situation at home & ultimately made me a very rebellious teenager. This interview created rage, embarrassment, and rebellion.
At the age of 16 I was smoking weed, sneaking any kind of alcohol I could get my hands on with my friends, sneaking out, talking to any kind of guy that would give me attention. Oh, also faking my temple interviews that my parents forced me into doing. So while I was going to the temple on a lying recommend I was also spiraling out of my own control. The church crushed my sense of self at the pure and ripe age of 16.
What a shame that a man “called of God” had any kind of right to tear me down like this. And my parents didn’t stop him. They made it clear that they did not like him, but they never stopped him. I hope all 3 parties feel a sense of guilt to this day, as I did at the age of 16 for being a small amount of curious. The church has let me down. And a real and true God would not tell a leader to do this to a young 16 year old girl. That was one of many stories.