Subject: The worst abuse I myself witnessed in Abbotsford Ward
Date: Aug 08 02:45 2003
Author: Anonymous
Mail Address:

A young teenaged guy (a year younger than me; this was a long time ago) was saying the sacrament prayers. I NEVER HEARD ANY MISTAKES, but the bishop kept making him do it over... and over.. and over...

Finally, after many tries (and I mean MANY) the poor guy was crying. I can't blame him! I never saw a guy have to repeat the entire damn prayer from start to finish more than 3 consecutive times. I felt very angry at the penishood holder who was inflicting this torture and so sorry for this young man. The young man kept saying the prayer though his tears and began to make gulping sounds. The congregation began to show signs of discomfort. I didn't look at his family. I couldn't. Still the penishood holder kept making an ass of himself, making the guy keep repeating the prayer. The situation finally came to an end when a penisholder from the congregation went up to the young man, touched his shoulder and whispered something, then said the prayer himself. He only had to say it once.

The young man never went to church ever again.

Looking back, I wonder why nobody did anything. Why was everyone so passive? Sure, the volunteer helped, but why didn't anyone tell off the penisholder? Why didn't *I* tell him off? Maybe not during sacrament meeting, but why didn't I at least do it afterwards? I don't care how many years have passed, I would love to do it now. But darned if I can remember which penisholder it was. If anyone was in the Abbotsford (British Columbia) ward and remembers this disgusting display of "authority", please tell me the penisholder's initials only. No names because I want only to tell him off, not publicly humiliate. Yep, I know he deserves a taste of his own medicine, but I wouldn't stoop to his level.

Subject: Ugh. So many bishops are little tinhorn tyrants. n/t

That's truly horrible. It happened once in my old ward too. The kid had to repeat the thing probably five times. To make matters worse, he had a mild speech impediment. It was so sad.

Subject: It's even worse when the one blessing the sacrament
Date: Aug 08 04:21
Author: Charles
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does not speak a word of English and has to read the laminated guide. I can imagine the humiliation and the shame. This was when no translations were made yet. I couldn't help but pity the poor soul, however I was one of those passive sheeple who let the damn p'hood leader have his way with his people.

Subject: I see this kind of abuse all over in Salt Lake City. Utah.
Date: Aug 08 08:12
Author: free
Mail Address:

People are unreasonable and cruel sometimes when they get in positions of authority. My personal opinion, these little Hitlers will someday pay a price for their "assholiness." At least I hope so.

Subject: If any Bishop ever does that to one of my boys, I will do something very un-Christlike in church! n/t


Subject: I had the opposite experience
Date: Aug 08 08:39
Author: Mojo Jojo
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A young man in my old ward was physcially and mentally impaired. When he blesses the sacrament, he often makes mistakes. One time, he really botched it up, and the Bishop made him do it again. The second try, he botched it up again, it was obvious to everyone, but the Bishop let it slide.

My respect for my Bishop increased significantly that day.

I would not be surprised, however, if a ward member complained to the Bishop that he failed to make the young boy do it over again.

Subject: That's even sadder in a way.
Date: Aug 08 11:08
Author: Cheryl
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Most of the stories of compassion in the church are because members or leaders break the rules.

Subject: I saw that happen when I was a kid.
Date: Aug 08 10:18
Author: Cheryl
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I was about eight or nine and felt so embarrassed and frustrated for the sacrament kid that I swelled up into uncontrolled giggles from inside my chest. I remember choking and gagging to hold them back, which turned into coughing and sneezing fits, with my nose running and no hanky.

Magic word chants aren't nearly as magic as treating a kid well or poorly in church. Those incidents stick with all of us, but not like they do to the one who was the brunt of the abuse. Bishops who misuse power like that in front of the ward are probably doing much worse things in private in my opinion.

These teeth-grinding tense and humiliating Mormon events come back to me now when I go to the UU Church. I love it how UU people laugh off candles that won't light at key times, and along with kids who make kid-like mistakes in church. Such a difference than when I sometimes used to bite my nails through church and come home with the nail beds bloody and burning.

Subject: When I was a deacon...
Date: Aug 08 11:59
Author: renegade
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Our wardhouse was under reconstruction and we had to hold sac mtg in the gym. A makeshift sac table was setup and the priest had to kneel on the wood floor to give the prayer.

As he uttered the words, "Oh God", the other priest pulled a prank and shut off the mike so that that is all the congregation heard through the loudspeakers. We deacons started giggling. The priest was pissed. He started over and kept messing up the prayer so he kept having to start over. Then he accidently knocked over this container of extra water and it spilled all over the wood floor. By this time we were laughing our heads off. The priest giving the prayer looked at us and said, "Shut the f*ck up or I will beat the living sh*t out of you guys." I'm sure that several people in the congregation heard it. We calmed down somewhat but still were laughing as we passed the sac.

Subject: do mormons curse a lot?
Date: Aug 08 12:03
Author: njy
Mail Address:

it seems like this board is filled with stories of mormons cursing. in church of all places. i grew up southern baptist and i can say that i never once heard a swear word in church -- or even from the mouth of anyone who went to our church outside of church.

not saying that's a good or bad thing, just an observation.

Subject: I don't think most mormons curse much.
Date: Aug 08 22:20
Author: Cheryl
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They often use substitutes like, holy gosh, or h-e-double tooth picks.

The stories here about cursing are because they are shocking and unusual, the best ingredients for good stories.

Subject: Fortunately most of my bishops were nice guys
Date: Aug 08 12:04
Author: Joe
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Sure they had the phony used car salesman smile, but whenever a 16-17 year old kid struggled with the sacrament prayer, typical the bishop would shake his head and tell him to repeat it one time, if the kid got it wrong again, a member of the bishopric would walk over, kneel with the kid, and quietly explain where the error was, the kid would usually then get it right. What purpose is served by just telling the kid to keep repeating it without explaining where he's getting it wrong. He's just going to keep making the same mistake and get frustrated. That bishop deserved a kick in the balls.

Subject: The psychology of groups turning people into sheep
Date: Aug 08 12:20
Author: Joe
Mail Address:

I watched a Dateline episode about how being in a group makes everyone passive. Maybe a psychologist on this board knows more about this. They did an expirement where they brought people into a room and then the person doing the study said, "I'll be right back" he then disappeared into a back room, made some pots and pans crash onto the floor and then cried out in pain. They first did this experiment on indivdual people, and found that when people were by themselves they immediately jumped up, and tried to help. They would yell, "Are you all right? What happened?" and would walk toward the backroom trying to find the 'injured' person. They then did this study with groups of 3 people. When the person doing the study went into the back, made the crashing noises and cried out in pain, the 3 people looked at each other nervously and nobody said anything. The cries of pain continued and the group continued just nervously looking toward the back room and at each other but nobody did anything. The psychologist concluded that when we are by ourselves, we naturally take charge of situations, but when we are in a group, we automatically wait for someone else to take charge. This makes sense for your story. I'm sure a bunch of people were pissed, but everyone was waiting for someone else to take charge. Fortunately, the guy in the congregation decided to, but it took him probably longer than it should have because of the group-sheep mentality. That's just my amateur psychologist opinion.

Subject: Not so strict anymore...
Date: Aug 08 12:20
Author: jahs
Mail Address:

Lately Bishops have been told to not be so strict as to cause unnecessary embarrasment for the Priest. If a very minor mistake is made, they let it slide now.

Subject: Why do so many friggin' bishops need to be told everything?
Date: Aug 08 13:59
Author: Warren
Mail Address:

It's like they lose all common sense and have to defer to policy and procedure instead of think for themselves. This type of mentality is what pisses me off the most about LDS priesthood holders. It's a paint-by-numbers religion... barf.

Subject: The church and its legalistic approach to everything is a huge cause of this problem. nt

Subject: It is only their cultish control over their followers' minds.....
Date: Aug 09 03:02
Author: Intrigued
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that lets Mormon leaders get by with such abuse of others. Mormons are just like every other cult in this regard.

Subject: I think it's more a function of fidelity than unrighteous dominion.
Date: Aug 09 08:28
Author: Marvelous
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It is sad and stupid that young men risk being so humiliated. There was one priest in the ward of my youth who could never get it right the first time. There were times when he had to repeat it several times. Maybe he had dyslexia, I don't know. I felt terrible for him, and I'm sure the bishop did, too. I assume he felt obligated to follow the Church's mandate of saying the prayer perfectly. What a shame!

Subject: This happened to a grown man in my small branch
Date: Aug 09 09:40
Author: Gracie
Mail Address:

I remember this so well. He was in his 40s and blessing the sacrament. This was a small branch, so it was the usual thing for grown men to both bless and pass (not until I visited a Utah ward did I realize that this was a job for adolescents).

The man could not read all that well, but he was doing his best, reading slowly, distinctly. He just kept misreading the prayer in the same spot over and over again. And over and over again the BP made him repeat it.

He finally couldn't take the humiliation and walked out, never to be seen again. Someone else took over and the sacrament was finished, like nothing had happened.

Of course, all the tongues wagged about how the man had been 'offended' and I kept thinking, 'And why not?'

Subject: Why must it be so precise...
Date: Aug 09 09:45
Author: Me
Mail Address:

...and so what if a little 'flub-up' is made. I mean, for hell sakes, God supposedly has written those prayers, and has heard them repeated so many time, I think he gets the gist of it all. And, being so 'perfect', maybe he's got an automatic 'speech mistake filter' on his end, so that when any errors are made by us filthy sinners, he hears it correctly. LOL!

Subject: Put it in the Abbotsford paper...
Date: Aug 09 09:52
Author: Josh
Mail Address:

if you never find his name. That way he will remain anonymous and there is a possibility that he will read it and your mission will be accomplished.


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