Priesthood interviews

 

Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Priesthood interviews represent special  and sacred opportunities for believing members to interact with the Lord’s representative. Bishops and stake presidents represent the Lord and are authorized to act on his behalf and facilitate forgiveness and lift burdens from our backs. Priesthood interviews can be an experience that replicates an interview with the savior. Priesthood interviews are important opportunities because our priesthood leaders hold sacred keys and are our stewards; thus, they are authorized to receive revelation and instructions for us.
 
Taking the spiritual benefits aside, Priesthood leaders are frequently respected and well qualified people who have a strong desire to help and serve others. Priesthood interviews can thus serve as an opportunity for both youth and adults to develop relationships with and get advice from exceptional people.
Priesthood leaders are frequently respected and well qualified people who have a strong desire to help and serve others. Priesthood interviews can thus serve as an opportunity for both youth and adults to develop relationships with and get advice from exceptional people.
 
Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Because priesthood interviews discuss topics like pornography and masturbation, priesthood interviews facilitate the development of lying. It might not be reasonable to expect our youth to admit to grown men behind closed doors that they touch themselves. Given this, priesthood interviews can be seen as unnecessarily placing our children in an environment where they feel pressure to lie.
 
Some believers might admit that Priesthood interviews might cause some people to forego professional counseling that they are in need of and instead rely on the untrained advice of a Bishop or Stake President. It is true that there is some degree of instruction for priesthood authorities to refer certain types of issues they encounter to medical or mental health professionals, but this does not always happen. Many members are discouraged from seeking help for personal issues outside the church or simply do not realize that it is appropriate to do so. Many people thus lose out on professional help that they might have otherwise have thought to seek out were it not for the church.
The nonbeliever is likely to agree with the cons listed in the believing section, and they are not reproduced here for the sake of brevity.
 
Many nonbelievers feel that priesthood interviews for children who are under the age of 18 are unethical. Why would we encourage or coerce a child into discussing their sexual thoughts and experiences with an adult man behind closed doors? Even if the church was true, the fallibility of man and the absence of professional training and certification would seem to make this a bad idea. If the church is not true, this type of behavior seems inexcusable. This unnecessarily opens the door for psychological or even physical trauma and abuse to occur. There are countless experiences of both youth and adults who are humiliated and traumatized by what goes on in an interview with a Priesthood leader.
 
Priesthood interviews can be harmful even before they occur, because they add to the unnecessary guilt and shame that “sinners” already experience. Adults and even youth are taught about the “deep sadness in [their] soul” that will develop if they do not confess their sins. For some serious sins, “a person cannot obtain forgiveness without confession to the appropriate priesthood leader”. Many people are uncomfortable or afraid of confessing to a Priesthood authority and thus delay or choose not to. This frequently only makes the guilt and shame of a previous “sin” even worse. Where many people would have been able to find peace in their mistakes on their own, the church, because of priesthood interviews, forces many people to go on for years and years in unnecessary guilt and shame. To the nonbeliever, this is a great harm.

 

Comments relating to your lived experience with Mormonism are welcome. Although it can be difficult to distinguish at times, please focus on how the church helps and harms rather than it being true vs untrue.

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