What is the bishop NOT allowed to ask me?


LePeel
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26 minutes ago, LePeel said:

Is there anything the bishop can't ask me? And can I say "that question makes me uncomfortable" to any question I don't like?

Well... I imagine a bishop ant ask you to do anything immoral or to break any laws. And you can refuse to answer any question anyone asks you.

but correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think the bishop has any direction on specific things not to ask.

He can ask “Do you keep the law of chastity”. If you answer no, he can asks for specifics so that he knows what he needs to do to help you.

remember a bishops duty is not to simply “manage” the ward on behalf of the prophet, the Bishop’s duty is shepherd the members he has stewardship over. And he needs to know how to help us. He can’t do that if he doesn’t know where the wounds are and how deep they are.

for example, questions about the law of chastity tend to come up a lot in the news and by “unorthodox” members. Here is the situation. Breaking the law of chastity extends everywhere from thinking about a girl/guy, you are not married to, In Underwear, and all the way up to adultery, rape and incest. He needs to ask questions to find out where on the spectrum you are.

So the bishop can ask whatever he deems necessary to find out where your wounds are.

Edited by Fether
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25 minutes ago, LePeel said:

Is there anything the bishop can't ask me? And can I say "that question makes me uncomfortable" to any question I don't like?

Use basic sense.

And you can say "that question makes me uncomfortable" to anything.

Though some questions that would make interviewing difficult.      For example, Bob is going to get his temple recommend renewed, and his Bishop asks standardized recommend question: "Do you have faith in and a testimony of God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost?" and Bob replies "that question makes me uncomfortable".... which sort of makes the entire interview at sort of a stands still.  

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34 minutes ago, LePeel said:

Is there anything the bishop can't ask me? And can I say "that question makes me uncomfortable" to any question I don't like?

You are not a mind washed zombie.... You can say or do whatever you want.  There can however be consequences.  If you are talking with the bishop then one of you is trying to accomplish something.  If you choose not to cooperate then that goal might not happen.  If it appears that the Bishop is asking things not related to whatever is trying to be done you can always ask how it is relevant to the goal at hand.

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44 minutes ago, LePeel said:

Is there anything the bishop can't ask me? And can I say "that question makes me uncomfortable" to any question I don't like?

What would your answer to the question be if we crossed out “bishop” and wrote “doctor” or “counselor” or “psychiatrist” or “victim advocate” or “judge” or “lawyer”?

Have you ever gone to any online forum to ask that question about any of those other types of people?

If not—what, specifically, has your bishop done to render his motivations less pure than those of the other professionals/caregivers I mentioned?

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2 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

What would your answer to the question be if we crossed out “bishop” and wrote “doctor” or “counselor” or “psychiatrist” or “victim advocate” or “judge” or “lawyer”?

Have you ever gone to any online forum to ask that question about any of those other types of people?

If not—what, specifically, has your bishop done to render his motivations less pure than those of the other professionals/caregivers I mentioned?

The bishop is requiring me to abstain from masturbation in order to meet his worthiness requirements. I've been trying to meet that requirement for the last 12 years, it's not going to happen, and at 25 I've decided that is not something they should be asking me. So I figured the next time he or the stake president asked, I would just tell them I'm not comfortable with that line of questioning.

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Guest MormonGator

@LePeel, I admire your honesty big time. I know of people who would just lie to the bishop. 


To be fair though, I think you are putting him in a tough place, especially if he already knows your struggles. After all, telling him not to ask a question is basically admitting that you are still doing what he asked you to control. 

Edited by MormonGator
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1 hour ago, LePeel said:

Take the sacrament, so the requirement to do literally anything.

So, you're currently going through church discipline?  

My advice is to listen to your church leaders and let them help you get you through this.

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Just now, NeuroTypical said:

So, you're currently going through church discipline?  

My advice is to listen to your church leaders and let them help you get you through this.

Their suggestions aren't helpful anymore. My bishop said I could continue to masturbate but the stake president told him I can't. The reasons the stake president gave for why I can't had nothing to do with my situation and were unhelpful. I just don't want them to ask anymore. I've made a lot of emotional progress in this area and their paradigm of abstinence and shame forces me to regress. And if I was married they wouldn't even ask, which make me think the only reason they can ask is because I'm single, and that just doesn't make sense to me.

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17 minutes ago, LePeel said:

Their suggestions aren't helpful anymore. My bishop said I could continue to masturbate but the stake president told him I can't. The reasons the stake president gave for why I can't had nothing to do with my situation and were unhelpful. I just don't want them to ask anymore. I've made a lot of emotional progress in this area and their paradigm of abstinence and shame forces me to regress. And if I was married they wouldn't even ask, which make me think the only reason they can ask is because I'm single, and that just doesn't make sense to me.

(The below is just a common trend I've observed.  I don't know if it applies to you at all)

It seems commonly that these acts are symptoms of something else.  For example, Bob's had a bad day and his self esteem is in the garbage, so Bob performs this act to cheer himself up.  Without that act, he doesn't get the cheer up, and stays feeling bad and it just gets worse.  But the act itself is shameful/destructive, resulting in Bob feeling bad later, and this thing becomes a giant self-feeding downward spiral.

 What Bob really needs first is to learn a better way of cheering himself up -- one that doesn't involve violating God's ways.  After Bob finds out what his triggers are, and a better way to resolve those trigger feelings.  Once a healthy way of doing things is established it's a ton easier to stop the unhealthy way.  

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2 hours ago, LePeel said:

The bishop is requiring me to abstain from masturbation in order to meet his worthiness requirements. I've been trying to meet that requirement for the last 12 years, it's not going to happen, and at 25 I've decided that is not something they should be asking me. So I figured the next time he or the stake president asked, I would just tell them I'm not comfortable with that line of questioning.

So you know the consequences of you telling the bishop not to ask anymore...   So you have a choice to make...  Tell him to stuff it and remain restricted... Or you continue to work the issue even if you find the bishop to be unhelpful... until you find a way that works.

The choice of which set of consequences you take on are yours

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1 hour ago, LePeel said:
1 hour ago, NeuroTypical said:

So, you're currently going through church discipline?  

My advice is to listen to your church leaders and let them help you get you through this.

Their suggestions aren't helpful anymore.

Nothing you said changes my advice.  You don't have to follow it, and I guess you never really asked for it, yet it remains my advice.

 

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7 hours ago, LePeel said:

The bishop is requiring me to abstain from masturbation in order to meet his worthiness requirements. I've been trying to meet that requirement for the last 12 years, it's not going to happen, and at 25 I've decided that is not something they should be asking me. So I figured the next time he or the stake president asked, I would just tell them I'm not comfortable with that line of questioning.

That’s rough.  It sounds like your bishop (and stake president, if I read your later posts right) see you as being more powerful than you yourself do.  

Thats a tough blessing to endure—but it is a blessing.  

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On 6/1/2019 at 3:49 PM, LePeel said:

The bishop is requiring me to abstain from masturbation in order to meet his worthiness requirements. I've been trying to meet that requirement for the last 12 years, it's not going to happen, and at 25 I've decided that is not something they should be asking me. So I figured the next time he or the stake president asked, I would just tell them I'm not comfortable with that line of questioning.

You can do it!  I'm going through something similar, among other things.  I just hit 5 months clean and I am not planning on relapsing.  I suggest finding a local Addiction Recovery Program to attend, getting a sponsor to keep you accountable daily, going to therapy to find the underlying issues that @Jane_Doementioned.  I am doing it, and I know you can too.  You can DM me if you have any questions or if you just want to talk.

https://addictionrecovery.churchofjesuschrist.org/find-a-meeting?lang=eng

Edited by dprh
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On 6/1/2019 at 5:38 PM, LePeel said:

Their suggestions aren't helpful anymore. My bishop said I could continue to masturbate but the stake president told him I can't. The reasons the stake president gave for why I can't had nothing to do with my situation and were unhelpful. I just don't want them to ask anymore. I've made a lot of emotional progress in this area and their paradigm of abstinence and shame forces me to regress. And if I was married they wouldn't even ask, which make me think the only reason they can ask is because I'm single, and that just doesn't make sense to me.

Regardless of why they asked or how you feel when you are asked... you are still sinning and won’t qualify for the blessings of the gospel.

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The Bishop probably shouldn't ask you what color underwear you are wearing. . . oh, wait . . . um . . . I suppose that would be circumstantial too.

In all seriousness, though, you shouldn't give up on keeping the commandments.  Trying to live them and failing is part of the process.  At the last day, Christ will care more that you kept trying, than He will that you failed.

Quote

Therefore, let him contend earnestly . . . saith the Lord; and when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord.
(D&C 117:13) emphasis added

As far as practical things, have you tried keeping a Seinfeld Calendar?  I have successfully used them in the past for a lot of things!  One of the biggest and best parts is that, even if you break the chain, you will be able to look back and see that there are more days when you succeeded than when you failed, and that should be motivating in and of itself!  Also, it would make it easier to communicate your progress to your bishop.  Don't want to answer his question?  Send him a screenshot photo every month of the calendar, he would probably only pull you in to talk if he saw you made no progress over an extended period of time.  The image of a calendar would be an obvious visual reminder to the bishop of your successes as the most prominent thing on the calendar could eventually be (if not already) successful days.  And, to top it all off you will be able to see trends, that would help you identify things like doing really well and then slipping multiple days in a row and doing really well again and then slipping multiple days in a row again.  That, for example, would help you identify that the cycle of depression from slipping up, affects you for an average of X days.  Then you first goal could be next time you will make sure no matter what that you don't let it affect you for more than X - n days.

Image result for seinfeld calendar

Anyway, if if I were in your shoes, I would recommend suggesting something like this to your Bishop as a more comfortable way to check in, and also a way that will give him the most information to enable him as he seeks to help you.

I wish you the best, and encourage you to never give up!

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On 6/1/2019 at 4:49 PM, LePeel said:

The bishop is requiring me to abstain from masturbation in order to meet his worthiness requirements. I've been trying to meet that requirement for the last 12 years, it's not going to happen, and at 25 I've decided that is not something they should be asking me. So I figured the next time he or the stake president asked, I would just tell them I'm not comfortable with that line of questioning.

Well, then you won't meet the worthiness requirement. Just because you say that you can't stop this behavior doesn't mean that the rules will no longer apply to you. The fact that you are now refusing to keep trying and continue changing shows that you no longer want to repent. Why would you want to even take the Sacrament then? The Bishop not allowing you to partake of the Sacrament is actually a blessing in disguise. It is meant for those who want to draw closer to the Savior and become more like him...to repent. If you are thinking that you will never be able to stop this behavior then the adversary has already won...don't let him.

Edited by scottyg
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