Nope. That was the only part of this episode that rang true for me.
IMO, it would not be out of character for a mainstream LDS girl to believe her bishop has Divine discernment and should be a trusted place to talk about stuff. Right? Most clergy, in other churches, can be relied upon to respect one’s privacy. At Heather’s age, she may not yet have been placed in the position to have shared something personal with the bishop only to find out later that there’s telephone, telegram, and tell a bishop. I learned that the hard way at age 15, but most of my peers did not encounter the lack of respect to one’s privacy in bishop interviews until later (when you start discussing more serious adult issues with your clergy).
As soon as the bishop (and what is with that luxurious office he has? That is so not how bishops’ offices look. Picture your elementary school principal’s office. That’s what a bishop’s office looks like) perked up, I started screaming at the TV: “No, Heather, don’t do it! He will throw them all under the bus! DON’T DO IT! DON’T DO IT!” I knew she’d do it anyway because she’s been taught to trust the bishop implicitly, despite the fact that he’s probably an engineer or a salesguy or something and has no ecclesiastical or ministerial training whatsoever. Bishops are completely unqualified to do the job they do, but mormons who were born and raised in the church don’t know any differently, so they do what they’re told: They tell the bishop everything.
The exmormon and postmormon boards are full of stories about how people learned the hard way not to tell the bishop your secrets.
Doctrinal note: Mormons are not required to confess any sins except sexual sins (adultery) or murder. If you feel compelled to confess a sin to the bishop, you’re welcome to (and the bishop will just use your guilt and shame to control you), but for the most part, mormons believe they can be forgiven for sins through prayer and repentance, directly with god. No need to go through a middleman unless you killed or fucked somebody. That said, many mormons use their bishop as a sort of advisor/therapist (despite their general lack of qualifications for such), which is what appears Heather was doing. Most people don’t go to the bishop unless he requests a worthiness interview; those are conducted prior to baptisms, some youth group activities, and for temple admittance.
Typing that out, I just saw a contradiction I never really noticed before. While confession isn’t generally required, one is expected to confess to sins during the worthiness interviews. I guess they’ll get it out of you one way or another. :rolleyes: