Mormon Church must end children’s sexual interviews, members say

By Jo Adnitt and Joice Etutu

Current and former members of the Mormon Church are calling for an end to the practice of asking children as young as eight intimate and sexual questions during annual interviews by church officials.

“I suffered with a lot of guilt, because I did things we weren’t supposed to do,” 27-year-old David Sheppard told the Victoria Derbyshire programme.

“They teach us masturbation is just below murder, and I felt like I was some sort of sexual deviant or pervert for doing it.”

Mr Sheppard, from London, was brought up within the Mormon Church.

From the age of 12 he was interviewed alone in a room by a bishop for what is known as a “worthiness interview”.

The Mormon Church is divided into wards, similar to parishes, with the bishop being the spiritual head of a local ward.

The worthiness interviews, the church says, are designed to prepare children and teenagers spiritually and ensure they are obeying the commandments.

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