I sometimes find it difficult to speak or write about Church issue’s without becoming emotional in some way, whether that’s anger, or sadness, because it is still so recent that I discovered that I had been deceived by the Church.
I try to be as un-emotional as I can, but sometimes it creeps in.
I like ex-Mormon forums for the very reason that as recovering Mormons I feel comfortable you will accept my comments with a degree of empathy, even though you may not agree with the content, because you’ve been where I’ve been & so understand why I’m saying things.
I faithfully served as a bishop for nearly 7 years. During that time I believed at the time that I received ‘revelation’ as a judge in Israel!
I now know very different!
For example, since I resigned I have spoken to several members who confided in me that they never believed everything, nor obeyed everything they should have as worthy Temple Recommend holders. Yet I had interviewed them & I had specifically asked them questions regarding these things. It became obvious they had deceived me despite my ‘power of discernment’!
The worst case scenario for me was discovering that a close family member who served as Branch & District President for many years was later discovered, & confessed after being confronted by his accusers, to being a serial sexual abuser of children!
For decades this highly respected Priesthood Leader had lived a double life. In public he was the respectable Face of the Church in our community, but privately lived a sick double life of a paedophile. His wife, stood by him in public too, but hated him in private, which we can now see really damaged her psychologically.
Personally, I couldn’t deal with this. I could not face the man I loved all my life, who I now knew had deceived me and hurt so many family members & friends in such a terrible way.
Yet one of the first things I had to do as bishop was to deal with this tragedy, and later when he died conduct his funeral service. It was very difficult and painful.
What hurts me now is knowing that many, many of his priesthood leaders, including General Authorities, had interviewed him having the ‘power of discernment’ and he had deceived all of them! The Church claims this miraculous power of revelation from God, and I believed I had this power as a Bishop, yet it is a sham!
These priesthood leaders could have protected the innocent by discovering and exposing this wicked Servant of God, but failed miserably!
What is so serious about this is that as TBM members we put our trust in these men who should be living the basic standards of Temple worthiness, but are actually a million miles from it.
From what I gather about Joseph Smith himself, he most definitely would fail the Temple Recommend interviews if alive today. Could the Priesthood Leader discern his worthiness despite his charismatic lies??!