Fast & Testimony Meeting: SVU (You’re the Bishop Poll #13)

By: Bishop Bill
December 3, 2011

During a fast and testimony meeting, a new sister gets up to bear her testimony.  She starts off pretty good, but then delves into her past, and explains that her father sexually molested her, and that the church didn’t do anything about it and he still holds his recommend.  You have heard this story before in private interviews with her, and have even contacted her parents’ bishop, where you learn that she has psychological problems, and that a thorough police investigation cleared her father.  In fact, there has never been any hint that sexual molestation occurred.

The sister is going on and on about how bad her father is. The congregation is getting uneasy, and the spirit has completely left the meeting. What do you do?

You're the bishop. What do you do (Poll #14)

  • Stand up and whisper in her ear, saying her time is finished, and that others are waiting to bear their testimonies. (42%, 57 Votes)
  • After she finishes, stand up and talk about the healing power of the atonement and that sometimes bad things happen to good people. (26%, 36 Votes)
  • Wait until she finishes. After the meeting, talk with her privately about not bringing up her abuse in sacrament meeting. (22%, 30 Votes)
  • Let her finish, as it is therapeutic to her, and she will feel better if she lets it all out. (10%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 137

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Discuss.

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56 Responses to Fast & Testimony Meeting: SVU (You’re the Bishop Poll #13)

  1. FireTag on December 3, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    My answer to the poll would depend on the likelihood that ward members would, now or in future, know the person being accused. If the likelihood is near zero, you do both 3 and 4, and in the private session you direct the “healing” toward whatever kind of spiritual and psychological counsel will be of assistance, based on what you have already learned.

    If people will know the accused, it has to be 2 & 4, or you’ll have even more healing across a couple of wards to handle.

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  2. hmmm on December 3, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    why would the spirit leave a meeting because of one sister talking about her personal experiences? that seems like punishing the people in attendance for something out of their control.

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  3. Ray on December 3, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    I agree with FireTag about the difference in whether or not people in the ward will be likely to know her father. That would be extremely tricky, especially given a thorough investigation that led to exoneration.

    I would arrange for a talk on the Atonement (and how it can heal all involved with instances of sin) the following week (or ASAP) by a member I know well and trust to handle it correctly – or I would deliver the talk myself.

    I would explain the purpose of F&T Meeting to the sister in another private meeting – and ask the RS President to get involved in trying to find professional care for the sister, if that is possible.

    This situation can’t be handled, imo, strictly within the structure of pastoral care. This one needs professional help, in one form or another. Lacking that possibility, if it happened again, I would go so far as to ask the sister not to speak in testimony meeting until further counseling had been initiated. It wouldn’t be a formal disciplinary action of any kind – just a request for time to help her heal. If even that didn’t work, it would be time, unfortunately, for more formal steps – but there are various things that could be done that would be “formal” without including official discipline.

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  4. Ray on December 3, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    #2 – If, in fact, a delusional person is making accusations about things that actually didn’t happen (and mentioning the accused by name – or family relationship), it is totally understandable that the Spirit would not be present.

    That’s not punishment; it’s just reality.

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  5. NewlyHousewife on December 3, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    Should have allowed multiple answers for this question.

    Fast and Testimony sessions like that (and I’m sure everyone here has experienced it at least once) make me shameful a medical disorder was formerly something to repent of. Bothers me more when I’m sitting in the audience and a bishop chooses to let her finish. F&T is NOT therapy.

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  6. Ray on December 3, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    I probably should be clear that I can’t reject absolutely the possibility that there wasn’t some kind of abuse in her childhood, since that is so difficult to determine without any doubt whatsoever – but for situations like this, the information received has to influence how public accusations are handled, especially in church and even more so in F&T Meeting.

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  7. Douglas on December 3, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    I would have a frank discussion with the sister about her using F&T meeting as a forum to air her grievances. While being tactful and understanding, I would make it clear that this isn’t what it’s for. However, I would also recommend her to LDS Family Services at minimum, or if somehow I could get her in with a psychiatrist that deals with these types of situations, I would arrange it. Whether the abuse happened or not, this is a woman that clearly needs help.
    Either way, the situation is deplorable. I would relate the incident to the Stake President (assuming the father lives in a different Stake) and get permission to contact the father’s bishop and let him know what’s up with his daughter. I wouldn’t be too subtle about relating the message that if indeed SOMETHING happened, that he needs to come forth with it and deal with it, both with the Church and with law enforcement if necessary, else he is damning both himself and his child. But if the father is innocent, he still needs to know that his daughter, for whatever reason, is trashing him. Even if she’s deranged and in need of compassionate help, it isn’t right that an innocent man be smeared.
    The problem is that many of these situations can’t be proven either way. An innocent man cannot and should not have to prove what he didn’t do. A guilty man, if his conscience didn’t bother him shortly after his misdeeds, probably has so lied to himself as well as others that he no longer deals in the truth. Again, very sad.

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  8. Jen on December 3, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    I remember, as a child, a woman got up and started talking of some totally inappropriate things in F&T meeting. The bishop actually got up, stopped her and escorted her out of the chapel.

    I would have stopped the woman in this story considering there were children in the meeting. If it was all adults, I may have let her finish, but not a chance with young people there. It makes it difficult for parents who have to go home and try to explain what happened in Sacrament. I would rather have one upset member than a whole congregation. Sex abuse isn’t something you talk about over the pulpit.

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  9. Stephen M (Ethesis) on December 3, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    I’m always at a loss when someone who is mentally ill starts explaining how President Hinkley has conspired to have them held in a mental institution because the military has a grudge or something similar …

    I’m glad that is rare.

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  10. FireTag on December 3, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    Jen:

    Good point about the children. I’m so used to being in small congregations where testimony meetings are usually special occasions where children are otherwise occupied, I forgot about them. That would definitely make me go to 2 and then 4.

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  11. hawkgrrrl on December 4, 2011 at 4:32 AM

    My first instinct has always been to take these types of claims at face value, assuming no one would make up such a thing if it is not accurate considering the high personal cost of such a claim. But having read about the debunking of the “repressed abuse memory” movement in psychotherapy, I’m floored at how many people became convinced by a therapist that they were abused when in reality they weren’t.

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  12. Will on December 4, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    My brother was at a meeting in West Bountiful when this very thing happened. I think he said the meeting went on uninterrupted.

    Again, you don’t have the right answer in the poll. The Bishop needs to have the courage to stop her and then communicate it is not appropriate to discuss such matters from the pulpit and then he needs to finish the meeting right then without a closing song or prayer.

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  13. Paul on December 4, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    As always, the bishop needs to listen to the spirit. We had a somewhat but not exactly similar experience in which the bishop allowed the brother to finish, then followed him with a lovely and spiritual testimony that invited the spirit back into the meeting.

    Concerns about who might know the father are very reasonable. And concerns for this dear sister’s mental health are very reasonable. (It would appear that LDS Social Services, a counseling agency, is not likely to be equipped to resolve her issues, though; if she suffers from delustions, it’s likely psychiatric intervention will be required.)

    I know very well a father who has a son with similar problems who has seen him on and off his meds. When he is off his meds, no amount of counseling from a bishop or a therapist will resolve the delusions.

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  14. rk on December 4, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    I know of a situation where a wife’s husband became addicted to pornography. He in turn had an affair and left her. She got up in Fast and Testimony meeting and voiced her anger and outrage that he was not excommunicated. This woman told me that the bishop was not happy about this and told her not to come back (her account). This poor sister was from a different country. She had some rather poor social skills that may or may not have been cultural. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some mental issues.

    I don’t know what the bishop actually said and did, but I wouldn’t blame him whatever he did. It would be awful to have such an uncomfortable situation thrust upon you on your watch where you have to make a split decision.

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  15. LovelyLauren on December 4, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Will, I’m curious as to why you would want the meeting to end right there. It would seem even worse in some way (to me) to end on a note that weird, like it would highlight what she said instead of inviting the spirit back in.

    I would probably let her finish if there were no children in the meeting, and then talk to her in private. Perhaps preface the next F&T meeting with a discussion of what is appropriate in testimonies?

    This is a good question though, because it forces you to examine who testimony meetings are for: the bearers, or the listeners. Obviously, it’s both, but here you have to choose: Do you value the comfort level of the congregation more than what one woman wishes to say about her past? Personally, I think asking her to wrap it up would be so personally embarrassing for her that I wouldn’t do it. Also, I wonder if silencing her abuse would have a far more negative effect on her healing than it would a positive on the congregations.

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  16. Jake on December 4, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    This reminds me of a fast and testimony meeting on my mission. It was a particularly weird church meeting generally. Sunday School had been all on exultation and how we will become Gods, the songs in sacrament had been O my Father and If you could Hie to Kolob. Then a lady (who no one had ever seen before) gets up and for 20 minutes talks about how her kids saw Brigham Young and Joseph Smith in the wall, and how once when she was on the way to go to church Joseph Smith had appeared and told her not to go to church because the devil was in there, and she was confused why the devil was in a church. Every time it seemed like she was about to wrap it up she found another weird story. Eventually the bishop pulled her aside. The testimony after was wonderful. A recent RM got up and said that as a missionary there were three things you dreaded about church: Testimony meeting, If you Could Hie to Kolob and anyone bringing up the doctrine of exultation. This meeting had managed all three. His humour about the situation was able to diffuse the situation.

    Obviously, this wouldn’t work in the situation mentioned in the OP, but it shows that there are many ways of dealing with these moments and that sometimes just taking the weirdness that always crops up in church in your stride rather then making a big deal out of it is the best way of dealing with it.

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  17. Will on December 4, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    LL,

    As mentioned, such discussions destroy the spirit. It is not the forum to air dirty laundry. A testimony meeting is just that, a meeting to bear one’s testimony, chiefly of Christ with a distant second on any other gospel principle.

    It could be done with compassion and without offending the girl airing the laundry too much. If she is embarrassed, she is the one that brought it up. The Bishop could stand up and put his arm around her as he takes over and say:

    ‘this is a discussion GIRL and I will take to my office as this is not the form to address such matters. With this in mind, we will now adjourn. Please feel free to use this time for personal study or to talk quietly amongst yourselves and we will continue with Sunday School as scheduled at 2:10. Thank you”

    Then leave the room with the GIRL and go and discuss the matter. Pretty simple one in my eyes.

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  18. MH on December 4, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    Will, I think your solution is the absolute worst idea imaginable.

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  19. Will on December 4, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    Mh,

    And you are entitled to that opinion.

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  20. LovelyLauren on December 4, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    That would cause such a hoopla, I can’t imagine making everyone feel any more awkward. People say odd stuff in sacrament meeting, but it blends into the background if it’s followed by some genuine spiritual outpouring. To me, that seems to make it even weirder and more memorable, which is exactly what you don’t want to do.

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  21. all+black on December 4, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    #2 “why would the spirit leave a meeting because of one sister talking about her personal experiences? that seems like punishing the people in attendance for something out of their control”

    Because obviously it isn’t true. The spirit would stay around and help her if it was but, as the op piece states, they investigated the father and concluded that the daughter’s is just nuts.

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  22. Will on December 4, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    LL,

    “That would cause such a hoopla”

    It already has by the girl. One of the Bishop’s responsibilities is to teach the congregation the true meaning of fast and testimony meeting. It is not a time for people to get up and convey personal problems, or to make accusations against others or air dirty laundry. It is a time to bear testimony of Christ. It would send the clear message this type of behavior is not acceptable.

    I had an experience with my son (who is now serving a mission) that changed his life. I was at scout camp with him and went to town to pick up some supplies. He thought I was still gone and was spreading lies about things he had done to others at the camp fire. I stopped him right there in front of everyone. It was completely awkward and embarrassing, but it changed his life and the life of every one of those young men. To this day, they recall that event. I was moved upon by the spirit to reprove him and I am glad I had the courage to do so.

    The Bishop also is commanded to “reprove betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the spirit”. This has been interpreted to mean the correction needs to take place at the time of the offense as it increases the impact it has on those in attendance.

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  23. LovelyLauren on December 4, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    I don’t think it’s as big of a deal as you would be making it into. Everyone has heard weird things said from the pulpit, but I have NEVER seen a bishop stop a meeting for it (and I’ve lived in a LOT of wards in my admittedly short life.) I can tell you that I can’t remember a lot of the weird stuff that people said, but I would definitely remember a Bishop stopping a meeting.

    And what worked with your son is decidedly different because you’re a parent and can use that as a teaching moment. Publicly ostracizing a young woman with a history of abuse from male figures for an overshare is not the time for that.

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  24. Will on December 4, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    “Publicly ostracizing a young woman with a history of abuse from male figures for an overshare is not the time for that”

    Read the post, the Bishop had already investigated and concluded their was NO abuse. She is bearing false witness and it is the Bishop’s job to stop it.

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  25. Will on December 4, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    Sorry, there was no abuse.

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  26. Will on December 4, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    I would add, there could be people in the audience that know her father and if the Bishop let’s it go on he is causing serious damage to this man that was found innocent.

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  27. hawkgrrrl on December 4, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    Here’s a stray thought. What about the bishop or the one conducting the meeting stepping forward and calling for a rest hymn. If well chosen, that seems like a way to bring the spirit back to the meeting while letting the woman be heard.

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  28. LovelyLauren on December 4, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    Sorry, I must have missed that the first time, but I stand by my position that public ostracizing is not a good way to teach and drives the spirit further away because it’s insensitive.

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  29. Will on December 4, 2011 at 9:55 PM

    LL/MH:

    Part two with this GIRL in our private meeting, would be the exact same thing I told my son after I pulled him aside at the Camp Fire. I told him, either you tell the truth or I do. He opted to come clean and took the first few minutes of Deacon’s Quorum to tell those present what he said was not true. I would offer the same ultimatum to the GIRL at fast and testimony meeting.

    Those kinds of accusations can be really damaging and I’m sorry you and MH don’t see that they are.

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  30. Will on December 4, 2011 at 9:58 PM

    LL,

    @28, I agree this is the best approach in most cases. In this case it needs to go public as she is going public with her damaging false accusations.

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  31. Will on December 4, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    Hawk.

    “letting the woman be heard”

    Really? Continue to let her spread lies about her dad. Come on. Not you Hawk, you are usually one of the more sensible ones.

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  32. LovelyLauren on December 4, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    I was actually much more interested when I misread the post and thought she had been abused.

    Will, if she actually had been abused, would you treat the situation the same?

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  33. Mormon Heretic on December 4, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    Will, if the woman was sane, perhaps your solution would work, but the woman has mental problems; therefore, you need to handle this differently. Closing the meeting immediately will draw even more attention than trying to pretend that someone with a mental problem said something weird. Doing something to bring the spirit back in is a better way to go.

    You are not a therapist, and I don’t think pulling her into your office and treating her like your son is a good idea. She needs help, and not from you. She needs help from a trained mental health professional, and you could probably use some guidance from a trained mental health professional on how to deal with the situation. I have a feeling that a professional would be appalled by your proposed solution. She will probably view your response as calling her a liar, and you will irreparably harm the relationship between you and her. This needs to be treated with care, not your bull in the china closet response.

    Most likely, everyone in the ward already knows she has problems, and probably isn’t going to take these accusations seriously anyway. In my singles ward, we had a wacky sister that made a similar accusation. Everyone in the congregation knew she was wacky. The bishop didn’t close the meeting immediately, and we all knew he was meeting with her privately, and we also knew that this wasn’t going to be the last wacky thing she said. Frankly, I felt bad for the bishop, but I felt he handled it well.

    I assume that SVU means Southern Virginia University. I expect that there probably won’t be any children there, because it is probably a university ward, where people understand mental illness better, and won’t take this at face value. The congregation is probably pretty smart, and probably knew she is mentally unstable. It’s better to roll with the punches, then stop the meeting and make the situation worse. It’s better not to alienate a troubled sister.

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  34. Mormon Heretic on December 4, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    Part two with this GIRL in our private meeting, would be the exact same thing I told my son after I pulled him aside at the Camp Fire. I told him, either you tell the truth or I do.

    She probably does think she is telling the truth, unlike your son. Standard rules don’t apply to the mentally ill, and neither do ultimatums. (Did you forget she is mentally ill?)

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  35. Will on December 4, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    MH,

    “Most likely, everyone in the ward already knows she has problems, and probably isn’t going to take these accusations seriously anyway”

    Go back to the post it is clear they don’t:

    “The sister is going on and on about how bad her father is. The congregation is getting uneasy, and the spirit has completely left the meeting”

    Like you said, if they knew she was mentally ill they would just roll with the punches. I go back to the fact that she is causing real damage to her dad. As Bishop, I couldn’t in clear conscience let this continue. This is why it is best to stop it immediately and take her to your office. This way, people know that you as a Bishop have an issue with what she is saying. The victim needs to be protected here and the victim is her father. You may be right about part two, about what to say to her in the meeting, but one thing is clear and that is to you have to let those in the audience know the charges were investigated and they were deemed to be false. The best way to do this is unclear, but regardless of how hard or uncomfortable it is it needs to be done to protect an innocent man. Protect the victim, not the perp..

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  36. James on December 5, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    “Protect the victim, not the perp..”

    Wow. Just, wow. I can’t believe what I’m reading here. You are saying the mentally ill are “perps” victimizing people? You are being obscenely cold-hearted, Will. By making a spectacle of this person with a mental illness you would not be protecting anyone, you would only be victimizing and embarrassing a person with profound difficulties and on top of that, you’d be making an awkward situation for the entire ward. Your solution would not produce edification for anyone. And you’re wrong that this young woman is bearing false witness. There is no sin in her, unless you reject the notion that where there is no law there is no sin. If she sincerely believes what she is saying, then she is not sinning, unless you think that simply being mentally ill is a sin.

    Grinding an axe is not the same as doing God’s will.

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  37. James on December 5, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    Oh, and MH, I’m pretty sure ‘SVU’ in in reference to ‘Special Victims Unit,” like the Law & Order series which deals with victims of sexual abuse.

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  38. Will on December 5, 2011 at 5:18 AM

    James,

    Where does it say she is mentally ill. It says in the op the Bishop called her parents ward and was told by her parents Bishop she “has psychological problems” in other words, the Bishop didn’t even know she had problems until he called, so how would the rest of the ward know?

    Just because she has psychological problems doesn’t mean you can allow her to continue to ruin someone’s reputation. It has to be stopped to protect an innocent man.

    With your logic, if you witnessed a sexual assault by a mentally Ill person, you would allow them to continue. Right?

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  39. Will on December 5, 2011 at 5:36 AM

    James,

    The reality is most crimes are committed by people that aren’t there mentally. If you don’t believe me just volunteer at the prison as I have. Most of them have psychological problems.

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  40. hawkgrrrl on December 5, 2011 at 6:21 AM

    SVU does in fact refer to “Special Victims Unit.” I help Bishop Bill with his post titles. :)

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  41. hawkgrrrl on December 5, 2011 at 6:25 AM

    I think there is some reason to question where the line is for mental illness in this kind of situation. Again, when I was reading about this issue of psychotherapists convincing people that they had repressed memories of their sexual abuse, this pulls a person into a self-justification closed loop. They have been manipulated by someone they trusted into destroyed the lives of the people they should love the most. Because they have to believe they are good people, it’s very hard for someone to take back that kind of a claim. They assume that there is something to it, and they seek and find the confirming evidence they want. No matter what the father says, it seems like the father is covering up and trying to dominate them. If the mother backs up the father, she is the one who can’t face the truth (in the mind of the psychotherapist and patient). Is that mental illness? It’s certainly manipulation.

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  42. Jake on December 5, 2011 at 7:50 AM

    Having had a girlfriend who had a similar issue and made up similar rumours about her dad molesting her, I don’t think that the shame them publicly approach works, and if she had done this in testimony meeting and Wills approach had been used of closing the meeting, it would have done so much damage to her and made the situation worse. If the bishop had done what you suggest I would have been so mad as its just so cold and uncompassionate. No one really knows their heart and why they do it. Ultimately many make up the past to try and deal with how unhappy they feel now, they need to make their life more interesting by creating some trauma in the past that validates them feeling victimised.

    However Will what is the issue here? Is it the lying in sacrament meeting? If so then would you stop Paul H. Dunn in sacrament meeting if he started telling one of his embelished stories that didn’t really happen? Is it the ruining of a reputation? If so, then the fact she is in a ward where nobody knows the parents means he has no reputation to be ruined. Is it the fact that its a inappropriate topic that is raised? If so then it reduces the ability to express healing, it means that those who have gone through awful trials are silenced in sacrament because its an uncomfortable truth. Why shouldn’t the abused be able to talk about their trauma? What actually is the problem that you have here?

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  43. Paul on December 5, 2011 at 8:31 AM

    Will: Time for the good bishop in this post to pull your coattails and tell you to sit down.

    Your public castigation of your son may have been effective, and may not even have hurt him in the long run. That’s great in your case. Let me tell you from my own experience that there are plenty of times when such an approach could be devastating, and I’m glad it worked out for you.

    Second, terminating the F&T early? Seems a little weird to me. Why can’t one of the bishop’s counselors continue the meeting while the bishop visits with the sister?

    I think you give her fellow ward members little credit. Even if she’s new, the bishop has had a chance to meet with her enough to investigate the matter. It’s likely that at least some of her fellow students are aware that she is struggling.

    Psychological problems? Mental illness? Without a competent diagnosis, who’s to make that judgement? If her believe of her father’s abuse comes from a therapist’s suggestion (as has been discussed) that’s one thing. If she suffers from delusions, that is clear mental illness. In any case, a chat in the bishop’s office is not likely to resolve the matter.

    The other concern I’d have is for other members of the congregation who may have suffered abuse, but have not yet revealed it. If the bishop yanks this young woman from the stand, declares her a liar and ends the meeting, what message of compassion is sent to those others who may be trying to decide to share their story with a bishop or someone else?

    Until this young woman has the help she needs, she will believe that she is telling the truth. That is the nature of delusion. In her mind she is not bearing false witness. A public challenge could easily result in a very public shouting match.

    Oh, and by the way, a woman who is discussing sexual abuse is probably not going to respond well to a bishop’s putting his arm around her shoulder.

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  44. Paul on December 5, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    #39 Will: “The reality is most crimes are committed by people that aren’t there mentally.”

    Evidence?

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  45. Will on December 5, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    Paul,

    “Evidence?”

    It is just common sense. Someone that is mentally stable would not force themselves on another personal sexually. They would not commit assault or murder. They would not hold another person against their will. Yes, I would say most people that commit crime do so because they are not there mentally. They are not in the right state of mind. This is why attorneys use the defense temporary insanity. I agree it is insanity, just not temporary.

    Back to the post, there are a few things you are failing to address. 1) Her problems are not that noticeable as the Bishop didn’t know she suffered from such problems until he contacted her parents Bishop. 2) You have full knowledge an innocent man is being falsely accused. You must protect this even if it is uncomfortable or awkward to do so.
    Emotionally stable or not she needs to be stopped. Period. You may have a point in having one of the counselors taking over, but as mentioned in the OP the spirit has complete left the meeting so I don’t see the point in continuing the meeting.

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  46. Paul on December 5, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    Let’s be clear. My responsibility as bishop is to my congregation and to those living in my ward boundaries first. She bears the responsibility for the false witness she bears, not me. (Jake’s comparison to Paul Dunn is a great one in this regard.)

    Your evidence is no evidence at all. Though I don’t fault you for thinking the way you do. But the fact is, not every criminal survives through an insanity defense. I’d be interested to know how many actually do.

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  47. Will on December 5, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    Paul,

    So you are saying that people that committ these types of crime are in the right state of mind?

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  48. Paul on December 5, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    I do not know. That’s why I asked for evidence. I know that I would not commit these types of crimes if I were in my right state of mind.

    I know also that many crimes are drug related. One who is under the influence of drugs is still responsible for his actions even if his actions are drug- or alcohol-induced. Whether that influence is because of addiction or a one-time fling, I have no way of knowing.

    My point is that an over-arching statement that criminals are all (or mostly) mentally ill is probably not supportable.

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  49. Will on December 5, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Paul,

    We are just going to have to agree to disagree and thank God I will never be a Bishop.

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  50. Paul on December 5, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    Will, agreed. Peace.

    Should the Lord call you, I’m sure he’ll also help you to make the right call in difficult circumstances such as these. (Even if the “right” answer isn’t neatly available on an internet quiz…)

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  51. Will on December 5, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    I’m to much of a loud mouth know-it-all who can’t keep his mouth shut and has a tendency to over-react at times. I just don’t see it. Besides, I think the activity rate would go down dramitically the second I was called.

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  52. Henry on December 5, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Will:
    There are evil people in this world who are absolutely in a right state of mind who do force themselves on others. It does happen. There are some very bad people in this world who delight in wickedness.

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  53. Mormon Heretic on December 5, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    Hawk, Re: SVU=Special Victims Unit. Well, like I said on my Sister Wives post, I don’t watch tv much. (I don’t even have cable.) Sorry I missed that reference.

    I thought it was a student ward at Southern Virginia University. (I was wondering how Bishop Bill moved across the country, but then I know he changes things and perhaps it was a student ward at UVU or something…) Certainly the students in my singles wards in Utah said goofy things in testimony meeting…

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  54. hawkgrrrl on December 5, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    Actually Bishop Bill was a CA Bishop, IIRC, not UT.

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  55. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on December 9, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    I applaud Will for vigorously defending the real victim in this case the guy who (according to the OP) is being slandered from the pulpit. Not cool to stand idly by and let crazy people tell a captive audience (investigated, confirmed?)lies about upstanding citizens. The Mormon church doesn’t run on a system of Anarchy… Justice would require someone to do something.

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  56. James on December 14, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    Way to stay classy, SUNNofaB.C.Rich

    You might want to read this article.

    http://www.examiner.com/mental-health-in-portland/bias-against-the-mentally-ill-the-last-acceptable-prejudice

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