“I have lived my entire life loathing myself”

 

Lions Surround Yourself cropped

I hope you loathe no more, my friend.  This day, you have courageously taken action.  Commendations and congratulations from the entire Protect LDS Children movement.  Thank you for taking a stand to prevent the rising generation from being shamed into self-hatred.

Today, the following letter was sent to this brave man’s entire bishopric and stake presidency.  Every letter like this moves the church closer to grass roots changes.  I highly encourage all to do the same.  You can find additional letter formats HERE.

Gentlemen,

I am writing on a matter I consider to be of the highest importance and worthy of your attention. Please understand the real concern that has motivated me to write this to you.

Let me preface this by saying I have no issues with bishop **** at all. I consider him a friend and a good person. This is not about the leaders of the ward or the stake specifically.

The Mormon church has a policy to protect its money and those who handle it. Two men are always present.

The church has a policy to protect its members who teach children and those children from harmful and inappropriate situations. Two adults are always present and/or the doors are open.

The church policy won’t let children be alone with adults who are not their parents.

Except when it comes to bishops.

Bishops can call out and interview any kid in the ward at will unless they have otherwise been proscribed from doing so by the parents.

Please do not be dismissive of this concern at this point.

There are predators in all organizations and at all levels.

You often can’t know who they are.

Some will say that discernment is real and will prevent this.

If that were the case there would not be an issue, but history shows that discernment is not real and predators get into positions of ecclesiastical power all the time in this church.

Real children in YOUR stake are being hurt every day YOU fail to act to prevent it.

The good news is that it is easy for you to end the pain of those who are being hurt right now.

NO one on one interviews EVER!

NO sexually explicit question EVER!

Bishop **** and I have discussed this a bit. I sent him a video where these explicit questions (News Article) were laid out in plain English. It has a pornographic and dirty feel to it. The man leading the charge found out his daughters had been asked these questions without his knowledge and it set him off. Bishop **** said he had never been asked, asked them himself, or known someone who was asked these questions. I said to him and I say to you all, I have. It was me. I was asked many of these embarrassing and deeply personal questions before I was old enough to even process what I was hearing. I have been ashamed and resentful of myself my entire life because I have never been worthy.

Let me repeat that for you:

I have lived my entire life since my early adolescence loathing myself for my inability to be good enough. The church’s perfectionist/puritanical culture, namely its hurtful and disgusting interview policies, as well as its policy of public shaming and shunning has left me a 44 year old man with no sense of self worth or confidence in my ability to be better by your standards.

The atonement failed to make any difference in me. I have plead with God since I was a child to be relieved of the burdens of my sins, and it has failed me my entire life.

I believe you will blame me for this.

I moved around a lot as a kid. I had a lot of bishops. Most, if not all of them, went into excruciating detail about my personal habits of masturbation and later other sexual intimacy. Do not be dismissive of this. The church itself has had policies of inquiring about the sexual interactions of its married members in their own bedrooms. It is easy to confirm this online through church resources.

I was never physically touched. I was merely made to hate myself. I have friends who have harmed or killed themselves over this issue. It is real. IT IS GOING ON IN YOUR CHURCH NOW. Children are being raped and molested in YOUR buildings. Adult men and women are being made to feel worthless by YOUR worthiness interviews. Teens in YOUR care are, right now, contemplating suicide because their self worth has been determined to be ZERO by YOUR standards.

You can fix it:

NO one on one interviews EVER!
NO sexually explicit question EVER!

Asking about the law of chastity is one of those questions. It is unnecessary and harmful. Yes, even that one. I made a decision at one point that I was never going to be different despite the public shaming and shunning policy, so I would just lie and hope to eventually become better. You are not helping people be better. You are killing them.

Worthiness is self determined even now. You should only ask one question in an interview: “Are you living up to the standards of the temple?”

If they say no, you should teach them your doctrine of faith and repentance. You should teach them they have worth. You should teach them why your gospel is good. Not shame them. Not humiliate them publicly. Not treat them like a pariah. Not give them a reason to kill themselves or even lie to you.

Children are dying and adults are living hollow lives under your watch as long as you do not make this change. Every day you do nothing, children are sexually assaulted in YOUR buildings. Your bishops and you will find yourselves accused of things you have not done as well. It will happen. Please help.

My children will not be alone with the bishop. He knows this and we are all agreed. The problem with the church’s policy change of late is that it puts the duty of protection of the child on the child. That is not right. I think you can agree that a child faced with the authority of the bishop will not choose to have their parent present. It has been tried. When asked they all refuse. It is not their responsibility. It is YOURS and their parents. But their parents will not look faithless in the face of your authority. They will not ask for this unless they are pushed or you make it OK.

You may ask “How will we know if they have . . . ?” The answer is: “You don’t need to know.”

Save lives. Do what is right.

Thanks for your time,

Russell A.

Awareness is building!

Keep the momentum growing!!

Please Share!!!

 

8 thoughts on ““I have lived my entire life loathing myself”

    1. NO! Jesus said, “Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?”
      She said, “No man, Lord.” And Jesus said unto her, “Neither do I condemn thee…”
      Why are Jesus’s teachings and examples barred from His own church?
      Alma 31 Mormon 8:32-41 Ether 8:24-25 Matt 7: 15-23 Matt 23: 10-29 Luke 17: 2-3

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I googled sexual abuse in the Mormon Church online, and also on Mormon Leaks. I was chilled at the number of court cases that showed up, knowing that only a small percent of abuse is ever reported. The predominant theme in the cases that were, seemed to be of the church protecting, covering up, and excusing the perpetrators, many who were high profile leaders, who were then continued abusing. There was the suggestion that some perpetrators were related to general authorities in the church. If they change the policy to “No One on One interviews. No Sexually Explicit Questions, Ever. the ready supply of victims available to sexually predatory leaders will dry up. Something is frighteningly amiss with the president and apostles not leaping to make the policy change to Protect LDS Children. What would background checks of them and their relatives reveal?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My friend, my heart cries out to you. But the Mormons lied to you when they said to you: “Be ye therefore perfect”. Don’t you see my friend,. we don’t HAVE to be perfect. Coz that’s why Jesus came. He knows that we are flawed individuals, who make mistakes. But that’s okay, because He is forgiving and loves us anyway–warts and all!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I cannot believe the wanton arrogance of your misguided “friends” and their institutional heirarchy. My path has lead me to believe that there is no higher power, but yours is of unshaking faith, dedication, and true sacrifice. Your quest to make your church a better institution for a belief and connection with Christ has been honorable. You have “fought the good fight.” You’re a good man, and please remember that you are not in the wrong – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is in the wrong. When this is all over, please resist the temptation to become bitter and vengeful, as it will dilute your cause, and the integrity and conviction that drives you. When this is all over, and they return to their granite and mahogany castle, do not apologize for doing what is right. Don’t give in to their scheme. Be who you are, do not let this change you. I love you, brother.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. These things just aren’t happening. I have never been asked any kind of sexual questions as a married adult about my bedroom life, ever. Not in 30 years. And I know of no one that ever has, ever. And that’s a lot of interviews by a lot of different bishops and stake presidents. I have never been asked detailed questions about my sins just generals and one bishop said please no details. So to put this like everyone is doing it is just plain dishonest. This is just not happening, maybe once in a great while by some rouge bishop but quit trying to make it out to be “everyone” is doing it, they just aren’t. But…..but….the interwebs said it so it has to be true. It’s not.

    I’m Waxman and I approve this message.

    Like

    1. We have thousands of testimonials that it is happening. But, maybe they are all liars, including my 4 daughters. Regardless, do you think it’s appropriate behavior for a bishop to ask sexually explicit questions?

      Like

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