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jkwilliams

BBC: Mormon Church must end children's sexual interviews, members say

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A view from Britain on youth interviews. Many of the same issues that have been discussed here. 

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44644130

Quote

Stephen Blomfield, from Bedford, was on the church's Stake High Council until 2011 and is still a member of the Mormon Church. He did not conduct interviews but acted as an advisor to people who did.

But he also now believes the interviews must be scrapped.

"At my first youth programme aged 12 or 13," he says, "we were told kissing was bad, liking girls was bad and touching was bad.

"So I adopted huge feelings of guilt, because I had already kissed girls."

Masturbation and pornography, he adds, were described as "satanic".

Mr Blomfield - whose father was a bishop - says, in his experience in the 1980s and 90s, how intrusive the questions were during interviews depended on the bishop.

"Some leaders asked really explicit questions... whereas others never asked unless you confessed first.

"The interviews could be really embarrassing, exposing and stressful."

Mr Blomfield now has children of his own, but says he has informed his local church they will not be interviewing them.

"If they want to, they need to discuss it with me first or make sure I'm present.

"I'm of the opinion the interviews should be scrapped.

"They've been around since the religion began, but they should have never been set up.

"They're intrusive and ask private questions, and I think they're the reason some Mormons can suffer shame- because they can't live up to the standards set."

I don't know how much of what these members said is accurate or an exaggeration (I've never heard "masturbation is just below murder"), but I do agree that these interviews varied wildly in intrusiveness, depending on the person asking the questions. And I do agree that they are the cause of a lot of shame among many young Mormons that is often carried throughout their lives.

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1 hour ago, jkwilliams said:

A view from Britain on youth interviews. Many of the same issues that have been discussed here. 

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44644130

I don't know how much of what these members said is accurate or an exaggeration (I've never heard "masturbation is just below murder"), but I do agree that these interviews varied wildly in intrusiveness, depending on the person asking the questions. And I do agree that they are the cause of a lot of shame among many young Mormons that is often carried throughout their lives.

I wouldn't want my son to go through an interview like this if he attended the mormon church. He is only 9 and I don't think he needs to be exposed to these types of questions at this time. I realize the mormon church likes to take on a parental role with its adherents and questioning children in this manner fits this model. However, maybe the church needs to take a step back on this one? Maybe it should be more of a trusted friend instead of the stern parent it seems to embrace?

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2 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

A view from Britain on youth interviews. Many of the same issues that have been discussed here. 

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44644130

I don't know how much of what these members said is accurate or an exaggeration (I've never heard "masturbation is just below murder"), but I do agree that these interviews varied wildly in intrusiveness, depending on the person asking the questions. And I do agree that they are the cause of a lot of shame among many young Mormons that is often carried throughout their lives.

Interesting to read....thanks for posting this.  I do think a light needs to be shined on these types of interviews if there are church leaders who are still asking those types of questions.

Regarding the part about masturbation being next to murder, I had a missionary companion who had huge guilt issued over masturbation as he was told this by his Bishop (who delayed him going out a year because of it).  So I do believe there were leaders telling youth this.

There are quotes like this where this belief may come from:

Quote

Petting is indecent and sinful, and the person who attempts to pet with you is himself both indecent and sinful and is likewise lustful… Is that what you want? Will you not remember that in the category of crime, God says sex sin is next to murder? (Apostle Mark E. Petersen, General Conference, 3 October 1956).

Also Spencer W. Kimball's awful book added fuel to these types of beliefs, IMO.  I'm glad it's no longer sold and I hope no local leaders are making it required reading for anyone who is in the repentance process.

Edited by ALarson

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The questions were often in the guise of wanting to teach what the Law of Chastity requires.   The latest interview guidelines include bishop giving the complete list to the kiddo/parent before the interview.  Explicitly saying that parents are the ones to teach, and that kids can invite a parent to be there.   If the guidelines are followed, and bishops who ask questions outside the stated ones released if they do it again, then the entire problem is solved, isn't it?    How long is media and protect children going to beat on this if the problem has been resolved. 

If I was concerned about children based on my own experiences, I'd be talking to the SP about bishop training in the new guidelines, and I'd be going over the new guidelines with my bishop.   (I'd be giving them a copy of Of Souls, Symbols and Sacraments which outlines the actual doctrine that should prompt members to overcome the natural man and help their spirits control their normal feelings, which we need to do when we came here to get a body and learn to use it in submission to God's will.)

 

Edited by rpn
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48 minutes ago, rpn said:

The questions were often in the guise of wanting to teach what the Law of Chastity requires.   The latest interview guidelines include bishop giving the complete list to the kiddo/parent before the interview.  Explicitly saying that parents are the ones to teach, and that kids can invite a parent to be there.   If the guidelines are followed, and bishops who ask questions outside the stated ones released if they do it again, then the entire problem is solved, isn't it?    How long is media and protect children going to beat on this if the problem has been resolved. 

Until hopefully the majority of problems regarding this are solved.  I believe there are still local leaders asking probing questions and who are not aware of the new guidelines.  More local training needs to be implemented and followed up on.  I believe this is happening more and more now....but it needs to be happening in every stake and in every ward.

Edited by ALarson

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3 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

A view from Britain on youth interviews. Many of the same issues that have been discussed here. 

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44644130

I don't know how much of what these members said is accurate or an exaggeration (I've never heard "masturbation is just below murder"), but I do agree that these interviews varied wildly in intrusiveness, depending on the person asking the questions. And I do agree that they are the cause of a lot of shame among many young Mormons that is often carried throughout their lives.

our Stake President at the time, this was a few years ago said that Masturbation leads to Murder, this was in Stake Priesthood Meeting. I thought then and now, that because I live across the street from a High School, I'm dooooooooooooooooooooooooomed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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And yet it is perfectly acceptable for the State to mandate a curriculum that teaches everything anyone wanted to know about sex but were unaware that they even needed to know about when aged 8 let alone 13. Nothing is judged because we wouldn't want shame to cross the young mind. We have the b-word ,the l-word , the n- word , the p- word , the f- word, etc. etc., ( these words are not necessarily what you might assume ) . All of this will be discussed openly and at " appropriate ages" . Parents who might object are ignored at best and ' shamed ' at a minimum.

Edited by strappinglad

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On June 29, 2018 at 9:34 AM, jkwilliams said:

A view from Britain on youth interviews. Many of the same issues that have been discussed here. 

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44644130

I don't know how much of what these members said is accurate or an exaggeration (I've never heard "masturbation is just below murder"), but I do agree that these interviews varied wildly in intrusiveness, depending on the person asking the questions. And I do agree that they are the cause of a lot of shame among many young Mormons that is often carried throughout their lives.

There are new directives coming out all the time, it will soon come to an end. In fact it is moving in the right directions where parents are to teach the principles, and Bishop to ask one yes or no. Just as he does with adults; "Are you living the law of Chastity"? 

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IMHO any sexual questioning should be limited to "Do you obey the law of chastity?"

Guilty parties know what this means.  No additional "education" is needed.

I was exposed to the "masturbation" question in a mission interview.  This was so long ago, that I had to ask what it meant of the Bishop, because my friends and I were using "street" language to describe this.  I remember in Mutual (as it was then) petting was discussed and how bad it was.  But nobody knew what that meant either!

Edited by mrmarklin

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Petting is one of those words that is hardly ever precisely defined.  No one should use it, imo, but they do because it feels safe. 

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On 6/29/2018 at 8:50 AM, rpn said:

 If I was concerned about children based on my own experiences, I'd be talking to the SP about bishop training in the new guidelines, and I'd be going over the new guidelines with my bishop.   (I'd be giving them a copy of Of Souls, Symbols and Sacraments which outlines the actual doctrine that should prompt members to overcome the natural man and help their spirits control their normal feelings, which we need to do when we came here to get a body and learn to use it in submission to God's will.)

 

If this is the one by Jeffrey Holland, it is excellent and one I believe all parents/children should read... It goes into the "why" chastity is so important, not just the "No, no, no it's wrong."

GG

Edited by Garden Girl
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On 7/13/2018 at 3:53 PM, mrmarklin said:

IMHO any sexual questioning should be limited to "Do you obey the law of chastity?"

Guilty parties know what this means.  No additional "education" is needed.

I was exposed to the "masturbation" question in a mission interview.  This was so long ago, that I had to ask what it meant of the Bishop, because my friends and I were using "street" language to describe this.  I remember in Mutual (as it was then) petting was discussed and how bad it was.  But nobody knew what that meant either!

In my experience just asking "do you obey the law of chastity" is not always enough.  There are members of the church who are not sure exactly what this means.  There are also members of the church who are much harder on themselves than they really need to be.  A little explanation as to what a question means can go a long way in those situations.

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5 hours ago, Garden Girl said:

If this is the one by Jeffrey Holland, it is excellent and one I believe all parents/children should read... It goes into the "why" chastity is so important, not just the "No, no, no it's wrong."

GG

I remember buying the VHS tape and showing to the youth at church in a classroom and brought refreshments to munch on while listening. I don't know where the tape went now but I remember the youth liking it.  

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I was unaware that "the Mormon Church" has "sexual interviews."  I admit, I haven't been the activest of active Mormons lately, but perhaps this gives me a good excuse to go back to see what I've been missing. :huh: :unknw: 

;) :D :rofl:

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