Expanding Mormon “worthiness” interviews to children as young as 8: Why?

Religion News Service | 7/12/2019 | Staff
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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints appears to be considering a new policy that would call for children ages 8 to 11 to have regular “interviews” with a member of the bishopric, like older youth and adults do.

The church’s internal research division has sent a survey to some rank-and-file members to assess their feelings about the potential change:

Should it happen at all?

If so, should the interviews be conducted by a male priesthood leader or a member of the Primary Presidency?


Should a parent be present?

What topics should be covered? Should a child’s personal “worthiness” be discussed?

Screenshots - Reader - Person - Discussion - Group

I received some of the screenshots below from a reader who contacted me directly, and some from a person in a discussion group I am part of, who gave me permission to share them anonymously. Both recipients of the survey were deeply concerned about the proposed changes and urged the Church not to move forward with them.

I’m inclined to agree. Priesthood “worthiness interviews” in which teenagers are alone in a room with a middle-aged man to talk about, among other things, their sex lives (!) can be highly problematic. I’ve criticized that practice here in the column, and others have raised questions about it, most poignantly in a 2018 episode of the radio program This American Life.

To read: “When I...
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