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Bishops Asking This in Temple Recommend Interview?


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On 9/22/2020 at 10:13 AM, Bernard Gui said:

“Whoever named it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.” Groucho Marx

Maybe I laughed so hard because I have successfully escaped any attention by the female gender in far, far too long. :huh::unsure::unknw:

:D:rofl::D

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On 9/18/2020 at 10:21 AM, Tacenda said:

I wonder if the year "2015" has anything to do with the Nov. '15 policy concerning gays. Kind of a shot in the dark, but could it have something to do with the recommend questions for the YSA's.

Yes.  It is a total  shot in the dark. <_<:rolleyes:

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10 hours ago, 2BizE said:

...the Mormon obsession with control over human sexuality is disheartening in my opinion.

As compared to the rest of the world where one hears or sees what is viewed as acceptable behaviour how often (abortion-yea or nay, virginity as a sign of naivety or social awkwardness, a negative...best to lose it, men in muscles and women in bodycon)?

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34 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

I'm not convinced that we as a Church fully understand the doctrines around sexuality. 

Humanity in general are clueless imo while thinking they know it all, who should the Church be much different?

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Humanity in general are clueless imo while thinking they know it all, who should the Church be much different?

Why (I assume you meant why) should the Church be different? Because we are led by prophets and apostles and have the gift of the Holy Ghost that, in theory anyway, grants us special access to founts of pure knowledge?

While I agree that humanity in general are clueless, I think there are some out there who have gathered up some good data and used those data to produce some good insights into the nature of sexuality. Most of these people are secular experts in the field. Religiously oriented experts that I like tend to draw quite heavily from these secular experts, and then figure out how our sexual morality fits inside of the secular understanding.  Perhaps this is just another example of not relying on general authorities (as Elder Ballard said) for knowledge that should be obtained from experts?

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3 hours ago, gopher said:

If we talk about sex, we are obsessed.  If we don't talk about sex, we are repressed.  My view is that Bishops should stay out of the sexual counseling business and leave that to the professionals.  But Bishops still have the responsibility to help those who wish to confess sins and transgressions.

Some of the problem comes from trying to help those who didn't have sexual sins they had committed.

It's kind of weird how many go about it. If a bishop asks if you are honest and you say you are then I think few would then ask "have you hidden purchases you have made from your spouse?" (I've heard people confess that a number of times on message boards.) But if a bishop asks if you live the law of chastity and the person says yes then bishops, at least in the past, were much more likely not to accept the yes and ask follow up questions.

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2 hours ago, MrShorty said:

It seems pretty clear to me that it comes from misunderstandings of doctrine. It also seems pretty clear to me that these misunderstandings occur at both the bottom and the top of the Church hierarchy. In a top down, authoritarian Church, when the top misunderstands and teaches their misunderstandings, there are bound to be problems.

Pres. Kimball's misunderstandings that led him in the early '80s to declare the OS was inappropriate -- maybe sinful -- in marriage is illustrative. The practice of revoking/denying temple recommends to couples for OS was short lived, but I still hear anecdotes, nearly 4 decades later, of couples (usually newlyweds) who were told by mom/dad/bishop/stake president just before/after marriage that good LDS couples don't do that.

That example is pretty straightforward, but human sexuality is complex and nuanced enough that other issues are never quite as clear. I'm not convinced that we as a Church fully understand the doctrines around sexuality. It seems to me that we must be misunderstanding some things around sexuality for these kinds of problems to continue, but I'm not sure where or what those misunderstandings are.

Yet some members I know appreciated that the church discouraged OS because they feel it is degrading and demeaning.  No, none are male.  Is that evidence that these women have an unhealthy view of sex because of the church?

I agree that we don't fully understand the doctrines around sexuality.  I'm just not convinced that we are getting closer to that understanding.  Maybe we are.  I don't know.

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2 hours ago, gopher said:

When you say "kids" and "child", are you referring to YSAs that are discussing here?  It's much different for YSAs because they usually know more about sex than the Bishop.  Their innocence is long gone by then.

Their naivety may be gone, but hopefully many will still have innocence. 

I've met a fair number of YSA who are still naive to many things though. My daughter has always been comfortable asking me questions and the questions she has shows me that those who are innocent often don't have the knowledge because they don't know what they have heard means.  I see the same thing in my son who rarely has questions.

I was in high school in the 80s.  It amazes me sometimes how much I didn't understand from those songs when I hear them now.  But I lacked the experience so it wasn't till after I got married that I understood. 

2 hours ago, gopher said:

I'm sorry you've had to deal with creepy Bishops.  I don't think asking about 'm' needs to be part of the temple recommend interview for younger kids.  I've never discussed it with any young women.  It's only the young men that I've ever talked to about it and in all cases pornography was also involved.  Sure, they were uncomfortable conversations at first, but seeing how these young men gained personal experience how the atonement works for them made it worth it.

I also agree that Bishops shouldn't deliberately try to make anyone feel uncomfortable, unworthy, or creeped out.  That isn't part of the repentance process. 

And there's a special place in hell for sexual predators of youth in the church.  I'm glad the church has taken additional precautions in the past few years to help protect our youth.  But we still have to be vigilant.

 

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15 minutes ago, Rain said:

Some of the problem comes from trying to help those who didn't have sexual sins they had committed.

It's kind of weird how many go about it. If a bishop asks if you are honest and you say you are then I think few would then ask "have you hidden purchases you have made from your spouse?" (I've heard people confess that a number of times on message boards.) But if a bishop asks if you live the law of chastity and the person says yes then bishops, at least in the past, were much more likely not to accept the yes and ask follow up questions.

Hopefully, that doesn't happen any more in temple recommend interviews with the current instructions.  If you are asked a followup question, refer the Bishop to the instructions at the top of the page of the interview questions.

One problem is having people confess things they haven't done.  One sweet sister had been reading the racial discussions going around online.  She confessed that she must be racist since she read that white people in the US are racist whether they will admit or not.  She couldn't list anything she had said or done that was racist.  It was interesting.

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29 minutes ago, gopher said:

Yet some members I know appreciated that the church discouraged OS because they feel it is degrading and demeaning.  No, none are male.  Is that evidence that these women have an unhealthy view of sex because of the church?

It could. The therapists that I believe understand this best would refuse to let a woman (or a man) hide their discomfort with OS behind Pres. Kimball's proscription. They would encourage the woman to explore and self-confront about why she finds it degrading. This will often lead to exploring the husband's attitudes and forcing him to explore and self-confront about OS (maybe he is a bit boorish or coercive about it or maybe it really boils down to a refusal to reciprocate or something else that needs exploring). We frequently claim that sexuality is supposed to be about bringing a couple closer together, but, when we hide behind artificial proscriptions (or prescriptions) handed down by some Church (or other) authority, we actually impede the ability of a couple to use their sexuality to grow closer together. Navigating and negotiating these differences is, IMO, a big part of how sex increases intimacy.

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1 hour ago, gopher said:

ne problem is having people confess things they haven't done.  One sweet sister had been reading the racial discussions going around online.  She confessed that she must be racist since she read that white people in the US are racist whether they will admit or not.  She couldn't list anything she had said or done that was racist.  It was interesting

Brainwashing, propaganda, victim of critical race theory teachings.

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On 9/24/2020 at 7:50 AM, Calm said:

As compared to the rest of the world where one hears or sees what is viewed as acceptable behaviour how often (abortion-yea or nay, virginity as a sign of naivety or social awkwardness, a negative...best to lose it, men in muscles and women in bodycon)?

My opinion is around the control aspect.  I find nothing wrong with a church teaching values around human sexuality.  However, the church takes its control over sexuality to an unnecessary level.  Why does the church insist on asking children about sex?  It is unhealthy for children.  That is the responsibility of parents not the church.  The church has to nose its way into everything. What happened to “teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves”?  
Why does the church insist on asking adults about their underwear habits?  It’s really creepy when you think about it....

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On 9/17/2020 at 10:54 AM, Tacenda said:

Yes, yes, yes!! It's a huge problem, after reading many letters from people on Sam Young's site. https://protecteverychild.com/about/ Where the masturbation guilt and shame, led to horrific problems, even suicidal thoughts. Youth can be very hard on themselves, and particular personalities will take it to the extreme. Psychologically, bishops don't have the knowledge or education, to prevent the harm done. 

Luckily, I didn't have any issues with youth interviews except when as a 12 year old  I was interviewed by a counselor who took me into an empty classroom and sat right next to me, knee to knee, the room was dark, not pitch black but no lights, and it felt icky, like something was not right. And therein lies the problem, the youth my age don't know how to navigate what is going on. That counselor could have said things inappropriately and I wouldn't know except for my spidee sense. Can't remember if he asked a sexual question, just remember him getting into my personal space. 

ETA: I hope it's okay if I bring up the problem of these interviews concerning a very natural thing the youth are going through. One of the letters I read from a female, mentioned the trauma she felt when she was asked about masturbation and realizing how bad it was, she did it sometimes as a kid, and had no sex education. And the fall out from the shame led up to her having problems in her marriage later on and not enjoying sex for a very long time. Is this possibly a reason there is a huge problem with p o r n addiction with men in the church? Could be the domino affect.

This is probably the most disgusting problem with the church.  It comes down to the unhealthy need the church has to control human sexuality.

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On 9/24/2020 at 9:25 AM, MrShorty said:

Why (I assume you meant why) should the Church be different? Because we are led by prophets and apostles and have the gift of the Holy Ghost that, in theory anyway, grants us special access to founts of pure knowledge?

Okay.  I think they've done that.  The Law of Chastity is a wonderful thing.

Could you expound on what you mean by "fully understand the doctrines around sexuality?"

On 9/24/2020 at 9:25 AM, MrShorty said:

While I agree that humanity in general are clueless, I think there are some out there who have gathered up some good data and used those data to produce some good insights into the nature of sexuality. Most of these people are secular experts in the field.

Sure.  Some insights are good.  Some are not.

On 9/24/2020 at 9:25 AM, MrShorty said:

Religiously oriented experts that I like tend to draw quite heavily from these secular experts, and then figure out how our sexual morality fits inside of the secular understanding.  Perhaps this is just another example of not relying on general authorities (as Elder Ballard said) for knowledge that should be obtained from experts?

Guidance about sexuality is not an either/or proposition.  We can look to both revelatory and secular sources for guidance, just as we do for most other areas of inquiry.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Sure.  Some insights are good.  Some are not.

The interesting thing with this statement is that I would say this of both secular and revelatory insights. If I look at the scorecard, I would say that the secular has had more "good" insights for my sexuality than the revelatory. I don't know what to make of that observation.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Could you expound on what you mean by "fully understand the doctrines around sexuality?"

Not sure I can. Maybe a couple of examples will help.

The example from the OP about M in youth interviews. In some places (both LDS and broader Christian), the debate over whether or not M is a sin is quite contentious with little consensus. Even in youth interviews, this seems to be one of those issues that is most subject to "leadership roulette" where some bishops will treat it as a significant sin and other treat it as not sin (or not enough of a sin to merit their time and attention). Judging whether M is a sin should either flow out of direct revelation (canonized scripture does not explicitly declare it a sin and modern prophets are mostly silent except for a few statements after the mid-20th century) or our "understanding of the doctrines around sexuality." It seems to me that, if we fully understood the doctrines around sexuality, we would have a stronger consensus on whether or not M is a sin and how leaders should handle the issue (if at all) in interviews.

In its response to the Obergefell decision, the Church stated that same sex sexual behavior "violates the purposes of human sexuality." This could just be me, but I've thought about it and, either I don't understand the purposes of human sexuality or I don't understand why those purposes as I understand them merit such a strong opposition to same sex marriage. Our opposition to same sex marriage seems rooted in our understanding of the doctrines of sexuality, and I obviously don't understand them well enough to understand our opposition.

I guess both cases are about judging something as sin. Maybe that's what I am meaning. Our understanding of these "doctrines around sexuality" would be the principles that we are using to make moral right/wrong judgements.

Does that help?

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6 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

The interesting thing with this statement is that I would say this of both secular and revelatory insights.

I wouldn't.  Revelation from God is good (though still susceptible to erroneous or misguided interpretation/application).  "Secular" wisdom is a lot more of a mixed bag.

6 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

If I look at the scorecard, I would say that the secular has had more "good" insights for my sexuality than the revelatory. I don't know what to make of that observation.

I suppose this turns on what you mean by "good."

I think the Church's teachings about marriage and sexuality are very "good," and also substantively conform to God's expectations of us.  Secular "insights" are all over the place.

6 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

The example from the OP about M in youth interviews. In some places (both LDS and broader Christian), the debate over whether or not M is a sin is quite contentious with little consensus. Even in youth interviews, this seems to be one of those issues that is most subject to "leadership roulette" where some bishops will treat it as a significant sin and other treat it as not sin (or not enough of a sin to merit their time and attention).

I think the general principle is sound.  The particulars of how it is taught and observed can vary a bit.  And we are living in an increasingly sexualized and perverted society.  More vulgarity.  More obscenity.  More porn, more degradating manifestations of it, and infinitely more and faster access to it.  

6 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

Judging whether M is a sin should either flow out of direct revelation (canonized scripture does not explicitly declare it a sin and modern prophets are mostly silent except for a few statements after the mid-20th century) or our "understanding of the doctrines around sexuality."

I dunno.  I think the Church's counsel on this topic is pretty good.

6 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

It seems to me that, if we fully understood the doctrines around sexuality, we would have a stronger consensus on whether or not M is a sin and how leaders should handle the issue (if at all) in interviews.

I think we're there.  Bishops can do, and are doing, better.

6 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

In its response to the Obergefell decision, the Church stated that same sex sexual behavior "violates the purposes of human sexuality."

Yes.

6 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

This could just be me, but I've thought about it and, either I don't understand the purposes of human sexuality or I don't understand why those purposes as I understand them merit such a strong opposition to same sex marriage.

The purposes of sex are A) to procreate, and B) to foster and strengthen the relationship between a husband and wife.  

Same-sex behavior is necessarily outside of both of these purposes.

6 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

Our opposition to same sex marriage seems rooted in our understanding of the doctrines of sexuality, and I obviously don't understand them well enough to understand our opposition.

Okay.  I hope you keep studying the matter.  For myself, I feel the Church's doctrines about marriage and sexuality are quite sensible and divinely-inspired.

6 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

I guess both cases are about judging something as sin.

FAIR has a good summary about M here.

6 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

Maybe that's what I am meaning. Our understanding of these "doctrines around sexuality" would be the principles that we are using to make moral right/wrong judgements.

Does that help?

I'm not sure.  Are you saying we don't have these principles in hand?  I think we do.

Thanks,

-Smac

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5 hours ago, 2BizE said:

Why does the church insist on asking adults about their underwear habits?  It’s really creepy when you think about it....

It's only "creepy" if you take it out of context, mischaracterize it, and/or willfully persist in not thinking about it...

 

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@smac97I don't know how far down these rabbit holes I want to go. I don't see anything in your response that hints at new stuff that I have not already encountered. Maybe a couple of comments.

3 hours ago, smac97 said:

I think the Church's counsel on this topic is pretty good.

Having studied Malan and Bullough's review (published 2005 in the journal Sexuality and Culture. abstract:https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12119-005-1003-z ) of the Church's attitudes towards M, I think we'd have to be clear as to exactly what the Church's counsel on the topic is before deciding if it is pretty good, which brings us back to clearly understanding doctrines.

3 hours ago, smac97 said:

The purposes of sex are A) to procreate, and B) to foster and strengthen the relationship between a husband and wife.  

I would add a third purpose that seems big on the mormonandgay website -- to develop self-mastery. This is the problem for me, though. If this is our complete understanding of the purposes of human sexuality, why are we so opposed to same sex marriage? Monogamous same sex couples will still develop self-control just like monogamous opposite sex couples. Sexual behavior will foster and strengthen a same sex relationship just as it will an opposite sex relationship. Which leaves us at procreation. With a sizable post-menopausal population and solid birth control methods, there is an awful lot of heterosexual sexual activity that has little to no chance of leading to pregnancy. The ability to procreate is a difference (at least for now) between same sex and opposite sex couples, but it seems like such a small part of the purposes of human sexuality that I feel like there is something I still don't understand in order to justify the strength of our opposition to same sex marriage.

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On 9/24/2020 at 9:25 AM, MrShorty said:

Why (I assume you meant why) should the Church be different? Because we are led by prophets and apostles and have the gift of the Holy Ghost that, in theory anyway, grants us special access to founts of pure knowledge?

While I agree that humanity in general are clueless, I think there are some out there who have gathered up some good data and used those data to produce some good insights into the nature of sexuality. Most of these people are secular experts in the field. Religiously oriented experts that I like tend to draw quite heavily from these secular experts, and then figure out how our sexual morality fits inside of the secular understanding.  Perhaps this is just another example of not relying on general authorities (as Elder Ballard said) for knowledge that should be obtained from experts?

Have you ever received an email survey/questionnaire? The church gets a lot of feedback on everything from the temple to temple clothes to so many other topics. Maybe this should be one to add to the list. 

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1 hour ago, MrShorty said:

@TacendaI don't recall every receiving a survey. It's possible that I have received one and am not remembering it.

For some reason they send them to my email, but addressed to my 28 year old son who doesn't live with me anymore. I've received some in the past.

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On 9/24/2020 at 11:25 AM, MrShorty said:

Why (I assume you meant why) should the Church be different? Because we are led by prophets and apostles and have the gift of the Holy Ghost that, in theory anyway, grants us special access to founts of pure knowledge?

I wonder if the temple recommend process will ever involve questions about violating these aspects of
keeping the Sabbath:

Our prophets have told us that we should not shop, hunt, fish, attend sports events, or participate in
similar activities on that day.

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