Many years ago a dear friend of mine was having her temple recommend interview and her bishop asked her if she and her husband engaged in oral sex.
She was shocked and horrified that any man would ask her such an inappropriate and intrusive question. After she regained her composure, she looked her bishop in the eyes and said:
“Bishop, that is none of your damn business”
I suspect her bishop went whimpering to his Stake President to complain about how my friend had abused and disrespected his authority. I also suspect that his Stake president ask him why the H@#l he was asking people such bizarre questions.
A few years later my friends husband became the bishop of that same ward and I can guarantee you that those kinds of questions were not asked anymore.
The purpose of this post is to-
1- Observe some current events relating to heretical worthiness interviewing practices conducted by Bishops in the modern corporate LDS church
2- Note that “Bishops interviews” are not found in scripture
3- Document what the true calling of the office of Bishop really is, and to provide evidence showing that the office of Bishop is categorically tied to the law of consecration and the “Bishop’s Storehouse”.
As if these interviews with consenting adults are not strange enough, the church also sponsors interviews between Bishops and the youth of the ward, wherein questions regarding sexual practices are also sometimes conducted.
Years ago, as I was beginning to compare the foundational practices of New Testament Christianity and the LDS restoration with the current practices of the modern corporate LDS church, it became alarming to me that local Bishops were conducting these kinds of interviews with children and other people’s wives behind closed doors.
I was concerned because I could find absolutely no precedence for this practice in the scriptures and it seemed that the scriptures give the responsibility of teaching children to their parents.
At that time I notified my Bishop that he was to never conduct an interview with my wife, sons, or daughter, without my consent and without me being present in the interview.
Needless to say, he was offended at my apparent distrust and lack of respect for him and his “authority”.
I bring this unsavory topic up because the church has come under public scrutiny of late for conducting “Bishop Interviews” with young boys and girls and asking them about their sexuality.
In a recent article on this topic, Tribune religion reporter Peggy Fletcher Stack begins the article thusly:
An older Mormon man routinely sits alone in a closed-door conversation with a younger woman, or even a teenage girl, talking about, of all things, sex — and it doesn’t take a Matt Lauer-under-the-desk lock to keep them both there.
No, the parties are willing participants in an LDS religious ritual: the bishop’s interview.
This generally happens in two ways. First is when the Mormon lay leader of a congregation (usually the bishop and always a male) calls in the boys and girls in his flock from age 12 on up for an annual interview to ask about their testimonies, church attendance, faithfulness to the LDS health code (called the Word of Wisdom) and adherence to the law of chastity.
Some bishops pose pointed questions about moral cleanliness in these conversations, perhaps quizzing about masturbation, heavy petting or fornication, while others keep their queries more general.
The other type of interview is when penitent members go to their bishops to confess actions the church deems to be “serious sins.” This exchange may also delve into details of intimate sexual behavior.
Stack ends her article by pointing out that an online petition urging the LDS Church to “immediately cease the practice of subjecting children to questions about masturbation, orgasm, ejaculation, sexual positions or anything else of a sexual nature”.
An online petition with more than 6,000 signatures urges The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “to immediately cease the practice of subjecting children [ages 10 to 17] to questions about masturbation, orgasm, ejaculation, sexual positions or anything else of a sexual nature.”
In a follow up Tribune article by Bob Mims noting that the petition has garnered over 11,000 signatures as of January 18th, it is revealed that the petition was created by Sam Young, a former Mormon bishop who is a Houston businessman who describes himself as an active Mormon.
Sam plans on formally presenting the petition to the church at their headquarters on March 30th, but hopes they will cease and desist in the practice before that date.
This current controversy has resulted in videos produced by critics of the modern corporate church depicting the absurdity and hypocrisy of leaders of the church who conduct these types of invasive interviews.
The following video by a critic of the church contains a parody which poignantly illustrates how Bishops who claim to be Christ’s earthly representative are not mirroring Christ’s actions by conducting these interviews.
“Man shall not counsel his fellow man”
It is my belief that the above declaration from Section One of the Doctrine and Covenants is to be taken at face value.
It means what it says.
In other words, unless a valid servant of the Lord receives a valid revelation from the Lord regarding another person, human beings are not supposed to be counseling other human beings on how to conduct their lives.
And yet, the culture within the modern Mormon Church is the epitome of man counseling his fellow man.
Layer upon layer upon layer of uninspired and ungodly counsel is given other members of the church continuously by home teachers, Sunday school teachers, auxiliary leaders, Bishops, Stake Presidents and General Authorities.
The same critic that created the above video has posted a secret recording of a closed door conversation between a recently divorced woman and her Stake President in which the Stake President informs the woman that she has the right to silently disagree with local leaders but the minute she refuses to unconditionally obey their council she is in apostasy.
It is a textbook example of unrighteous dominion.
The conversation is extremely painful to listen to and downright nauseating. I do not encourage you to listen to it.
I provide the link only as evidence to support the astounding fact that blind obedience to Bishops and Stake Presidents is being mandated by Bishops and Stake Presidents in the modern corporate church.
It takes the concept of priest craft to the next level.
In her article, Peggy Stake refers to the “Bishops Interview” as a “religious ritual“. But where does this religious ritual originate from?
Where in the scriptures do we first find mention of such a practice, even when the true office of Bishop is functioning on the earth?
I am still looking for such a passage.
What exactly are the real duties and responsibilities of the office of Bishop?
According the New Testament, a Bishop must be blameless, vigilant, sober, and hospitable.
He must be the husband of ONE WIFE and an able teacher. But nothing is mentioned about conducting private interviews containing explicit interrogations about sexual practices with other men’s wives or children.
1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Paul informs us that the Bishop needs to not only expound the gospel to his flock, he also needs to be a defender of the faith, convincing the gainsayers with sound doctrine:
9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.
When was the office of Bishop first introduced into the restored church?
If you do a quick keyword search of the term “Bishop” in the Doctrine and Covenants, you will likely assume that it was in April of 1830 when the church was restored. It will appear as if the office of Bishop was first introduced in section 20, known as the articles and covenants of the church. In this section it detailed which priesthood offices were in the church and what their responsibilities were. Section 20 explains how the restored church was initially to be governed prior to the fullness of the gospel and priesthood being restored.
HOWEVER the use of the term “Bishop” was not in the original revelation when Section 20 was first given, it was added at a later time RETROACTIVELY.
The office of Bishop was first introduced into the church when section 41 was given.
Why wasn’t it included in Section 20 when it was initially given?
Did the Lord forget about this most import office when explaining how the restored church was to be governed in Section 20?
The office of Bishop was not mentioned in Section 20 because there was no need for that office yet.
The primary purpose of Section 41 was to pave the way for the LAW OF THE CHURCH containing the LAW OF CONSECRATION that would be revealed in Section 42.
In Section 41, the Lord was instructing the prophet and church elders to assemble together and unite in the prayer of faith to receive God’s “LAW” so that they could properly govern the church when the fullness of priesthood would be given in June of 1831-
1 Hearken and hear, O ye my people, saith the Lord and your God, ye whom I delight to bless with the greatest of all blessings, ye that hear me; and ye that hear me not will I curse, that have professed my name, with the heaviest of all cursings.
2 Hearken, O ye elders of my church whom I have called, behold I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall assemble yourselves together to agree upon my word;
3 And by the prayer of your faith ye shall receive my law, that ye may know how to govern my church and have all things right before me.
In this revelation God was introducing the office of Bishop and explaining that the responsibilities of the office would be provided in the upcoming law that was about to be revealed-
9 ..I have called my servant Edward Partridge; and I give a commandment, that he should be appointed by the voice of the church, and ordained a bishop unto the church, to leave his merchandise and to spend all his time in the labors of the church;
10 To see to all things as it shall be appointed unto him in my laws in the day that I shall give them.
Following that revelation, the Law was revealed in Section 42.
So what does section 42 tell us about the role and responsibility of the Bishop?
28 Thou knowest my laws concerning these things are given in my scriptures; he that sinneth and repenteth not shall be cast out.
29 If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments.
30 And behold, thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken.
31 And inasmuch as ye impart of your substance unto the poor, ye will do it unto me; and they shall be laid before the bishop of my church and his counselors, two of the elders, or high priests, such as he shall appoint or has appointed and set apart for that purpose.
32 And it shall come to pass, that after they are laid before the bishop of my church, and after that he has received these testimonies concerning the consecration of the properties of my church, that they cannot be taken from the church, agreeable to my commandments, every man shall be made accountable unto me, a steward over his own property, or that which he has received by consecration, as much as is sufficient for himself and family.
33 And again, if there shall be properties in the hands of the church, or any individuals of it, more than is necessary for their support after this first consecration, which is a residue to be consecrated unto the bishop, it shall be kept to administer to those who have not, from time to time, that every man who has need may be amply supplied and receive according to his wants.
34 Therefore, the residue shall be kept in my storehouse, to administer to the poor and the needy, as shall be appointed by the high council of the church, and the bishop and his council;
35 And for the purpose of purchasing lands for the public benefit of the church, and building houses of worship, and building up of the New Jerusalem which is hereafter to be revealed—
36 That my covenant people may be gathered in one in that day when I shall come to my temple. And this I do for the salvation of my people.
37 And it shall come to pass, that he that sinneth and repenteth not shall be cast out of the church, and shall not receive again that which he has consecrated unto the poor and the needy of my church, or in other words, unto me—
38 For inasmuch as ye do it unto the least of these, ye do it unto me.
39 For it shall come to pass, that which I spake by the mouths of my prophets shall be fulfilled; for I will consecrate of the riches of those who embrace my gospel among the Gentiles unto the poor of my people who are of the house of Israel.
The law of consecration was given to temporally take care of the poor.
In other revelations God would inform that saints that they must be equal in both temporal and spiritual things.
Members of God true church were commanded to impart their substance and lay it before the Bishop with a covenant and deed that cannot be broken. This is how the Bishop’s storehouse was to be established.
The revelation gives additional details as to how the Bishop was to manage and administer the residue of the consecrated substance in supplying the wants and needs of God’s people and in purchasing additional lands for the benefits of the saints.
This law is requisite for the gathering of the saints prior to the coming of Christ to his temple! It is requisite for the salvation of the saints! This celestial law will still be lived by those who will be prepared to receive the Lord when he returns.
Please notice that the revelation does not mention anything about authority to conduct private interviews about sexual behavior.
Interestingly, the revelation states that when someone is tried for adultery, they are to be brought before the ELDERS of the church. It only states that it is desirable for the Bishop to be “present” if possible. It says nothing about the Bishop sitting in judgment on such a charge nor does it give the Bishop authority to preside over spiritual matters.
Section 72 and other revelations reiterate the fact that the Bishop has a stewardship over temporal things while the Elders and High Priests are to administer spiritual things.
Section 84 lists one of the few passages that suggest that the Bishop can raise the sound of the Gospel and the warning voice, but again, it has to do with the temporal desolation utter abolishment that will fall upon those that reject the gospel.
Section 85 informs us that the temporal inheritances shall be determined and handed out by the bishop.
Section 102 mentions that the Bishop is to stand as a judge in Zion over temporal disputes.
Sections 68 and 107 inform us that only descendants of Aaron have the “legal” right to serve as Bishops and that when no descendants of Aaron can be identified, High Priests may be “ordained” to officiate in that office.
A high priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices. Hence, he may officiate in the office of bishop when no literal descendant of Aaron can be found.
A complete word search of the term Bishop in modern revelation makes it clear that the office of Bishop sits as a judge in Israel over TEMPORAL things, not spiritual things.
Bishops have not been commissioned to conduct worthiness interviews or discern the spirituality of their fellow saints. Obviously, they have not been authorized to pry into personal sexual matters of the saints.
One of the astounding things that the scriptures and the history of the church testify of is the fact that there was no need for the office of Bishop until the law of consecration was given and the saints were commanded to impart of their substance to the poor.
Without the law of Consecration, there was no legitimate Bishops storehouse.
Without a valid Bishop’s storehouse, there was no need for a Bishop to administer to the needs of the poor, according to the law of God.
It appears to me that when the saints rejected the fullness of the Gospel and failed to live the law of consecration, the office of Bishop became null and void.
Of course, several years later, the Lord rejected the church with their dead.
From that time forward, the were no valid Bishops that met the qualifications given in scripture.
The fact that the office of Bishop was not mentioned in Section 20 in the original revelation was not an oversight on the part of the Lord. It simply was not necessary at that time since the restored church only had the preparatory gospel at that time and the fullness of the gospel and the LAW of the Gospel had not been restored.
Although the revelations canonized in the D&C provide a clear explanation of the office of Bishop, there is a published but un-canonized revelation that provides even more clarity.
One of the most instructive revelations pertaining to the role of the Bishop was given in March of 1832. In this revelation it is revealed that the Bishop was to stand in the judgment seat for the express purpose of administering the temporal “overplusses” of all of the saints who have entered into consecration:
1 Verily thus saith the Lord unto you my servants Sidney and Joseph:
2 I reveal unto you for your own profit and instruction concerning the bishops of my Church—
3 What is their duty in the Church?
4 Behold, it is their duty to stand in the office of their bishopric and to fill the judgment seat which I have appointed unto them: to administer the benefits of the Church or the overplusses of all who are in their stewardships, according to the commandments as they are severally appointed.
5 And the property or that which they receive of the Church is not their own but belongeth to the Church.
6 Wherefore it is the property of the Lord and it is for the poor of the Church, to be administered according to the law;
7 For it is the will of the Lord that the Church should be made equal in all things.
8 Wherefore the bishops are accountable before the Lord for their stewardships, to administer of their stewardship (in the which they are appointed by commandment jointly with you my servants) unto the Lord, as well as you my servants or the rest of the Church, that the benefits of all may be dedicated unto the Lord, that the Lord’s storehouse may be filled always, that ye may all grow in temporal as well as spiritual things.
9 And now verily I say unto you, the bishops must needs be separated unto their bishopric and judgment seats from the care of business, but not from claim, neither from counsel.
10 Wherefore I have given unto you commandment that you should be joined together by covenant and bond;
11 Wherefore see that ye do even as I have commanded.
12 And unto the office of the presidency of the High Priesthood I have given authority to preside with the assistance of his councilors over all the concerns of the Church.
13 Wherefore stand ye fast, claim your priesthood in authority, yet in meekness;
14 And I am able to make you abound and be fruitful and you shall never fall;
15 For unto you I have given the keys of the kingdom, and if you transgress not they shall never be taken from you.
16 Wherefore feed my sheep. Even so. Amen.
From the above revelation we find that Bishops are to labor with the other High Priests so that the church can grow temporally and spiritually. However the stewardship of the Bishops expressly has to do with being a standing as a judge over the temporal storehouse for the express purpose of taking care of the poor and endeavoring for temporal equality.
The bottom-line is that without the law of consecration and a Bishops storehouse, there is no need for a Bishop.
This is why the office of Bishop was not mentioned in the original Articles and Covenants of the Church currently published as Section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
The scriptures inform us that when the saints begin to reject the truth, the knowledge of the truths they had previously learned is taken away from them.
In previous posts I have observed that virtually every true doctrine of the kingdom has been lost or perverted by the modern apostate church. I would now add to that, the fact that the true purpose and intent of the original priesthood offices and priesthood callings have now been lost or perverted by the modern church.
Deacons were supposed to be adult males who were to look after the congregation, they were not supposed to be children.
Evangelists were “missionaries” who held the evangelical priesthood that had been restored by John the Baptist, they were not stake patriarchs that were giving patriarchal blessings.
Prophets were to prophesy and to be filled with the spirit of prophecy, not to act as corporate administrators
Revelators were to reveal new doctrinal truths and expound on existing ones.
Seers are able to look through interpreters and translate ancient records through the gift and power of God. They are not administrators who hire translators to work for the church.
Bishops are temporal judges in Israel who are responsible for the Storehouse and for ministering to the poor. They can only function when the fullness of the gospel and the law of consecration is enacted. Without the true law of consecration and the a true Bishops storehouse, there is no legitimate need for the office of Bishop. Bishops are not to be conducting worthiness interviews and interrogating adults and children about their sexual practices. The is no scripture support for such practices.