active for nigh on to 50 years. Growing up I was interviewed, very perfunctorily, for ordination to each of the Aaronic priesthood orders and for ordination to Elder. I was only asked about masturbation in my pre-mission interview, and, as I recall, the questioning was not particularly searching (of course, I lied).
So I have a question.
When the hell did all this nosing into members' private lives start? As a kid I was never taught I had to confess to the bish. It was between me and the Lard. In fact, the Catholic practice of confession was derided. So when did the Morg start adopting the practice in a peculiarly vicious variation? It blows my mind members have passively accepted this.
That's a good question! I have also been in it for 50 plus years, and have noticed them getting more strict and paranoid about "worthiness." I remember the big announcement about missionary worthiness, to the effect that they were going to tighten up the requirements, so the young men better toe the line, etc. I think that was 10 or 15 years ago.
I think the church changes with the GA's who are in, and right now we have some real hard-nose moralists who think about sexual sins a lot. (Read BKKKP here.)
Asking young women and boys about sex is out of line in my opinion. These are lay clergy and have no business doing that. I have never felt any urge to confess to a bishop. I'm an adult, perfectly able to deal with God directly in regard to any problems between He and I. It's just a way of controlling people to claim intercession by a man.
I think a lot of it came from all the BYU influence. The "Honor Code" aka fink on your fellow students.
Add on the Home Teacher and Visiting Teacher checking up on you to see if you are "OK" and reporting to the bishop and RS Pres all about you.
Then add on the guilt that God wants you to come clean for forgiveness and people will go to the bishop to confess. People are told it frees their conscience so they squeal on themselves. All it takes is a few talks telling people they need to make things right and rid themselves of their wrongdoings and people fold.
Mormons have been criticizing Catholics about everything but end up mimicing them over time. It's laughable. (Why Catholics would indulge their priests with confessions is another issue of control for another thread.) The point is, it keeps the priests/bishops in a position of authority over the flock.
Lastly leaders are told to investigate people to see if there are grounds for excommunication. That leads to all kinds of nosing around.
I'm thinking the focus on details in interviews emerged along with correlation. When I finally spoke with my mom,(who is in her 70s now), she couldn't belive it either.
In fact, she accused me of fabricating the whole story.
The church today is a different animal than it was even in the 1970s.
I remember my older siblings doing crazy stuff for pixie week in seminary, the road shows, big ward dances and parties, talent shows, etc. Todays morg is nothing but pay, pay, pay, pray, attend countless mind numbingly boring meetings, pay, pray, obey some more.
It's like the members are paying for their own spiritual rape and torture......... Boggles the mind, doesn't it?
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/28/2012 11:28PM by ambivalent exmo.
I was asked about masturbation in my interview for advancement in the Aaronic priesthood. That's back in the early 1960s. My BP was embarassed to ask it and quickly accepted my lie and moved on. It must have been in the handbook because he never would have thought of asking it on his own and only did it because it was required.
I've heard the phrase "unresolved sins" for decades. "Unresolved" means "not yet confessed to the bishop." I recall a talk given decades ago by Monson where he talks about a woman who confessed a sexual indiscretion to him and how the anxiety and pain left her face when she got it off her chest. Interestingly then he went on to say how bishops don't remember any of the confessions that they hear.
You mention the Catholic view of confession. in the Catholic version you go to confession when YOU decide to and it is, in theory, anonymous and to a priest. In Mormonism they call you in and grill you and it's face to face, and to someone in your neighborhood who just happens to be serving as bishop at the moment. Oh, and the Mormons make a note in your membership records of any "major" sins. God may forget it. The blood of Jesus may wash it away, but the Church keeps a record of it.
He was a teenager--graduated HS in 1960. He was advised to read The Count of Monte Cristo every night before going to sleep. He did and he claims he gave up the practice. Before that he didnt know it was wrong.
When our kids turned 12-13 he said enough, he didn't want them to go through what he had. So that is when he finally figured it out and we left the church--even though they called him "president."
I made it through the Aaronic priesthood...never got asked about masturbation....and then cajoled my Dad and the SP into letting me get ordained and elder....still no interview....and I woulda lied anyway....not anybodies fucking business but my own...
I agree. I never even considered going to a bishop and I was taught that the Catholics had it all wrong in regard to confession. We did have worthiness interviews to go to the temple but they were not anything all that bad