I have a hard time organizing how I want to approach this blog. There are emotional aspects for why I left, and there are factual reasons, and spiritual reasons.. I could go on. It’s hard to decide what I should post about. I think I’ll start with the more spiritual and emotional posts at the beginning, then move into the actual research I’ve done that started my journey out of the church.
This post I want to talk about a moment that sticks out in my mind while I was still a member of the Church that really took me by surprise.
The one that sticks out the most in my mind is when I was getting my “interviews” before I got married. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this process, when you are going to be married in the temple, you have to be completely worthy. Which in Mormon terms means a lot of things. I will post those questions momentarily. I got engaged to my boyfriend exactly 3 years ago from this coming Thursday. After we get engaged, we have to go through a series of interviews to determine whether we are worthy to be married in temple. We both are interviewed separately and then together. In my personal interview, the Bishop asks me if there is any major sin in my life that I haven’t repented from.
Now, before I finish the story, especially if you don’t know anything about the church, when you are a full on brainwashed Mormon, you feel like you have to do everything perfect. The pressure is so intense. The rules, the principles, the tight hold Mormonism has on your mind is so powerful and engaging, you feel like if you lie just the slightest bit, the Bishop will somehow know you are lying and there will be major consequences. Back to the interview. As soon as I’m asked about any major sins I haven’t repented of, I immediately think about my encounters with women. I had committed one of the most terrible sins ever. I participated in homosexual activity. In my mind I know I have to tell him because he will know I’m lying and God will make me feel that guilt for lying to get to the temple forever. I have to make a split decision to lie and just deal with the insane amount of guilt I will feel for disappointing God, or tell the truth, and go through the grueling and embarrassing repentance process.
I told the truth. I told him that I had had experiences with women before, and I repented years ago with a different Bishop, but since then, it had happened a few times after, and I never repented of that. So I’m dying inside, waiting to find out my fate. Waiting for him to tell me what I can’t participate in anymore, waiting for him to tell me I can’t be a children’s leader anymore, and most of all knowing we will probably have to postpone my marriage until he decides I’m “fully repented”. Despite all of that, the questions that followed my admittance of that “HORRID” behavior took me by complete surprise. First I was asked how many females. I responded truthfully. Then I was asked how many times. I responded truthfully with an estimate. And here’s the kicker, he proceeded to ask me if I had an orgasm during any of those times. I said no. I didn’t answer the question truthfully, I just said no. I didn’t want to answer the first few questions, but the third question made me realize the more I told, the more questions I was going to get. The more details he was going to want to know. I was so embarrassed he asked that. It was such a terribly awful moment of shame. I had lied to the Bishop. If I had told him the truth, how far was the conversation going to go? I felt awful for lying.. I felt like I probably jeopardized my relationship with God. It was subconsciously a turning point for me because WHY IN THE WORLD DOES ANY OF THIS MATTER? ESPECAILLY IF I HAD AN ORGASM. Why do you need to know the details? Why do you have to know every little experience of my life? I look back now and think about how SICK that entire conversation was. Why couldn’t it have stopped when I admitted the sin initially?
It wasn’t until after I left the Church that I realized how disgusting those questions are. After doing later research I found out this is regular protocol. The Bishop must know every single detail about your sin. They must ask about every aspect. I think it’s a really messed up way for them to be in your business. I don’t doubt for a single second that some of that information is written down in your ‘membership record’ for any administrator in the church to see.
Anyway, I will discuss more moments in later posts. This one end up taking longer to elaborate that I thought. To end this post I want to post the questions / rules you have to abide by before going to the temple :
1 Do you have faith in and a testimony of God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost? (To me, that’s a pretty normal and acceptable question to be worthy.)
2 Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Christ and of His role as Savior and Redeemer? (I feel like this is also appropriate)
3 Do you have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel in these the latter days? (Basically, do you believe Mormonism is God’s true church? If you answer no, you’re not worthy, and you can’t go to the temple.)
4 Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local authorities of the Church? (Do you believe all the old men you’ve never met are ordained of God and have the authority of God to act for him on this earth? No? You’re not worthy! Sorry!)
5 Do you live the law of chastity? (Refrain from sex.)
6 Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church? (I never really understood this question honestly.)
7 Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? (If you support anything that is against any of the rules, you’re not worthy. Even if you don’t do it, if you’re in the group that supports it, you’re not worthy)
8 Do you strive to keep the covenants you have made, to attend your sacrament and other meetings, and to keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel? (Do you go to church, and obey all the rules of the Church?)
9 Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?
10 Are you a full-tithe payer? (You are required to pay 10% of your income to the church. It’s not a suggestion. You must do it, or you are not worthy. Oh yeah, and that’s BEFORE Taxes. Let me also mention this is not a typical offering bucket. You have a “tithing settlement” at the end of the year to make sure you paid all your tithing for all your income)
11 Do your keep the Word of Wisdom? (Do you drink coffee or tea? Do you smoke or drink? Yes to any of those? You’re not worthy to go to the temple)
12 Do you have financial or other obligations to a former spouse or children? If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations? (You owe child support? You’re not worthy.)
Then after you go to the temple for the first time, you tack on an additional question in all your interviews for going to the temple which is
13 Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple? (I plan to discuss what goes on the temple in a later post. If you want to know more now, here’s a link to a video. A guy snuck into a temple with a small camera on his watch and recorded what happens. You probably won’t get a Mormon to tell you what actually happens in the temple, so youtube will be your best resource. The video is completely accurate. I experienced all of this on my wedding day.)
14 Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple? (I discussed this in my previous post)
15 Have there been any sins or misdeeds in your life that should have been resolved with priesthood authorities but have not been? (The question about sin you haven’t repented of yet)
16 Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord’s house and participate in temple ordinances?