The Lord's Annointed

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

I will start off by explaining something that people who are not familiar with the Mormon religion need to know to fully understand where I am coming from with this post...

Local Churches are called Wards. These wards are then gathered in larger group areas called stakes. The stake president is in charge of the stake, and the local Bishop is in charge of the local ward. These men (never... ever a woman) are supposedly called to these positions by God, and supposedly have morals and love for people. These men get no training in their own scriptures, or training on how to deal and council members of the stake/ward that come to them for help. The only thing these men have to go on, is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints handbook.

Spending more time online, I have become more and more aware of how this lack of training and schooling effects the very people that come to Bishops/Stake Presidents for help. Here are a few examples taken from an online board... I have done a little editing to protect the people that wrote them. These stories are graphic at times, so prepare yourself... you will be shocked.

A friend came into work one morning really upset. She had recently kicked her husband out of the house after finding out that he was molesting their oldest daughter, one of ten children. (Yes, she had to work for a paycheck besides being the mother of ten because her husband was on "disability".) She had gone to her bishop the day before and he told her that if she was more submissive and paid more attention to the husband's needs that this wouldn't have happened.

So her husband is sexually abusing her daughter and she seeks her Bishops help and support through the difficult time. Instead of helping her with kind words and telling her that she is doing the right thing by keeping the abuser away from her child, he tells her it's all her fault because she wasn't good enough in the bedroom. Simply amazing.

When I was suffering with my abusive exhusband, I occasionally tried to get help from bishops. It was always a joke. My exhusband was fixated on my weight, like he had projected anorexia or something. I was already technically under weight, he was pushing me to lose more. I think he just wanted me to either die, or maybe just disappear. At any rate, I went on OTC diet pills to try to lose weight, and my parents freaked out and asked the bishop to please talk to me. He listened to my story, and patted my hand and told me what a good little wife I was to try to lose weight to please my husband. WTF???

Another bishop, after hearing about my exhusband's vicious verbal abuse, informed me that "all men talk that way", and if I needed help dealing with it, to talk to his WIFE. HIS WIFE. I did talk to her, and it was obvious she was suffering from the same sort of emotional abuse I was suffering from, and was not happy about it. But her lame advice was to turn the other cheek, because "the cycle has to stop here". Yeah, made no sense.

Bishops are just yahoos pulled off of the street, with no background training in counseling. It's frightening the amount of damage they can do.

And oh, yeah, I forgot to mention the bishop who tattled on me to my father about me getting behind on my tithing. I was a married woman living in a different city, but that didn't stop him.

So her husband wants her to be super-thin, to the point where she started to take diet pills and the bishop thinks its a good thing? She is being a good wife putting her health in danger just to make him happy?

The second bishop's advice that all men talk in an abusive way to their wives and offered his own wife up for advice on how to live with the abuse is flabbergasting.

These men love the power they have over the people in their wards. These bishops have the power to take away a person's temple recommend, or tell them to stop taking the sacrament if they feel "inspired" to do so.

My sister started getting physically abused by her husband while she was pregnant. Apparently it had been going on for a little while, but she knew better and before it got worse she came forward to friends, family and the church. They sent him to counseling and what not but the worst part is that her Mother in Law got angry with my sister for threatening to divorce her son.

The Mother in law confessed that her husband physically abuses her all the time and it was confirmed by the other children (the couple had like over 10 or 12 kids together), which is obviously why sister's husband was abusive too. But any ways, the mother in law told my sister that 'physical abuse was NO REASON to leave her husband.' That's how brainwashed that poor woman was. Temple marriage bonds meant more to her than a few knockdown abusive fights that obviously have effected the children enough to continue the cycle of abuse.

Yes, I know this one isn't technically about a bishop or stake president, but it shows you how much they discard their lives on Earth for the belief that they will be in the kingdom of God in the next.
I was watching a PBS show about a major LDS cover-up of a sexual offender being repeatedly hired to attend Boy Scout camp. Bishop's were covering this guy's a$$ left and right saying he was reformed because he had confessed and repented, etc etc etc.

Some women on my former LDS boards talked about how they browsed the sex offender registry and found male ward members who were in youth positions. They informed their bishops who basically told the women that they knew already.

I don't believe that sexual offenders can be "fixed" and that putting men or women who have been convicted of this type of abuse around children is morally wrong. They are putting kids in danger, and feel that the priesthood they hold is going to keep them safe.
Once, right before the internet really caught on, I had heard that the temple ordinance's resembled or were taken from Masonic rituals. (How absurd - can you believe that?). So I waltz into the Bishops office after letting it fester for a few weeks and asked him about it. He basically handed my head back to me on a platter.

He went off on how this is the exact thing that not reading the scriptures, not praying, and not keeping the commandments would lead too - murmmuring and descention. So I was probed in all aspects of life and when a weekness was found in my character (I mean who's perfect, right?) he sat back in his chair with the tip of his fingers together and let this little, "just as I thought ...." slip out. I think he was proud of himself.

I was commissioned to pray, pay, and obey. The worst of it is, I bought it. Hook line and sinker. I walked out of there thinking, why am such scum of the earth. Why can't I ever do anything right. I've never felt much better whenever I'm inside a chapel. I remember the repremand and I'm reminded what scum I am.

Of course, I build self esteem through doing well at work and being the best father I can be, but it all disappears when I remember that I'm a mormon.

So there you have it. How a bishop guides and directs his sheep with love.

In the eyes of the Mormon leaders, the church can do no wrong. If you are having doubts about your religion, it's because you are doing something wrong. You are not praying, reading your scriptures, or you are committing a sin that you need to repent for... maybe you are not paying enough tithing. The fault never lies with the church.

Bishops have private meetings with any member of the congregation when they please. If the member is a young child, they are not allowed to bring their parents inside this meeting with them. The bishop has the right to ask whatever questions he wants, and he expects absolute honesty. He asks about sexual acts, and some bishops go further, wanting to know every single detail about things like masturbation or teenage make-out sessions. You often find yourself wondering if he is asking these things to help you, or if he is getting a less-than-God-inspired thrill out of asking this from a young person.

I made this post because of the horror stories I have heard (this is truly just a few stories out of thousands and thousands). If these men are supposed to be inspired by the spirit, how can they let these horrible things happen?

The Mormon Church needs to set higher standards for it's bishops and stake presidents. They need to be professionally trained to deal with sensitive issues, and they need to learn how to deal with people with love and decency. As it stands right now, my brother could get a calling as a bishop (like he would take it!) and he would be in the office the next day. It doesn't matter if you have experience dealing with things, because they believe the priesthood is enough.

It's not.