[ Cross-Posted from J. Max Wilson’s blog: Sixteen Small Stones ]
Recently critics and dissidents have been clamoring for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to abolish the common practice of having lay bishops hold private interviews with youth in which they ask them questions about sexual morality and the Law of Chastity.
Many of these critics are concerned about the propriety of having a bishop talk about sexual issues with young men and women alone as well as the potential for abuse. And they point to legitimately tragic anecdotes from people who feel that the practice had a negative effect on them as youth. Some even claim that it facilitated abuse by a bishop.
Earlier this year, the church announced that it would update its policies to optionally allow youth to have a parent attend the interview with them. The church provided bishops with standardized questions to be asked. And parents and youth were also to be given information about the kinds of questions and topics that would be included in the interview beforehand.
But the changes do not seem to have appeased the critics, who will not be satisfied until they have pressured the church to abolish the interviews completely and with them any enforcement of the Law of Chastity.
I just wanted to raise a point in support of the interviews that I have not seen made elsewhere, and that I hope the critics will seriously consider:
What about youth who are being sexually abused by their own parent? Continue reading