I recently just had my temple recommend interview with a member of the bishopric. I’ve been in these many times before. So, after being asked if I lived the law of chastity, you can imagine my surprise when I heard the following question:
In the past two years, have you viewed any pornography?
I’m sure I had a confused look on my face.
No, but why do you ask? I just told you I live the law of chastity.
In my opinion, this is an abuse of position. According to Elder Dallin H. Oaks, in the 2005 General Conference had this to say about pornography being raised in the interview:
Some have suggested that pornography should be a separate question in the temple recommend interview. It is already. At least five different questions should elicit a confession and discussion on this subject if the person being interviewed has the spiritual sensitivity and honesty we expect of those who worship in the house of the Lord.
This seems to be a direct call to bishoprics and stake presidencies worldwide to not worry about it. Don’t ask it. It’s already in the interview in at least 5 different questions. And, the counselor was not inspired to ask the question. Turns out, he asks that question to everyone. My wife received the question, and I learned of others in the ward who had been asked that as well.
This is not a new interview question. It’s not in the handbook. This is a result of President Gordon B. Hinckley raising awareness for the issue many times in General Conference and other meetings in the LDS Church. I have had bishoprics clarify that the Law of Chastity includes not entertaining pornography, as well as masturbation, but never has it been raised as a separate question. It seems that stakes and wards are taking it in their own hands to determine what should be asked in the interview. It’s one thing to be led by the Holy Spirit. It’s another to make up your own questions.