For the Strength of Youth
Children in the Mormon church, my church, are instructed to live by the precepts taught in a pamphlet called “For the Strength of Youth.” Under the heading ‘Sexual Purity,’ the following is taught.
In God’s sight, sexual sins are extremely serious. The prophet Alma taught that sexual sins are more serious than any other sins except murder.
Here’s a question for you. Is masturbation a sexual sin? The vast majority of the membership would say yes. So…really? Masturbation is so heinous that it ranks right below murder?
Most reasonable adults would recognize this laughable and ludicrous. If not idiotic.
However, we are not talking about adults here. These teachings are targeted directly at our children. From the tender age of 12, all the way to 17. Six years of linking masturbation and murder in the same sentence. For many, these childhood teachings, reinforced by years of probing youth interviews, will cement in place open wounds of shame that will haunt them into adulthood.
Certainly, parents must see the crushing guilt that can come crashing down on our most vulnerable children. Not just shame. Guilt. Guilt of a heinous crime against God. Is it any wonder that some kids live with self-loathing all through their teen years? Can you see why some of our children ideate suicide? And some attempt it? And the tragic few who actually complete it?
Some of my fellow church members would claim that no kid would actually view masturbation as serious as being next to murder. Oh…how you misjudge the vulnerability of our children.
Other fellow Mormons would say no bishop would ever teach such a gross exaggeration to a child behind closed doors. Oh…how you underestimate our leaders’ commitment to the actual teachings coming out of Salt Lake City. ‘For the Strength of Youth’ is held up as the standard for interviewing our children.
Read and thoughtfully consider the dangerous nature of an interview recorded on the Petition.
Most recent interview with my son, Bishop equated masturbation second to murder. And my son had to apologize to his father for I don’t know what! Second to murder? Are you completely off your rocker? That was the last straw for me, I will not allow my children to go through that mental and emotional abuse.
- Never allow your child to go behind a closed door, all alone, with any man. As the parent, accompany your child to ALL youth interviews.
- Never allow sexual matters to be discussed in these interviews. There is too much danger for harm. The sexual development of your child is YOUR responsibility as the parent.
- Actively teach your child that masturbation and other sexual sins are NOT anywhere next to murder.
In the meantime, almost 7,000 strong are actively engaged in bringing this practice to a halt. We are committed to Protecting our Children.
Join us by adding your thundering voice to the PETITION.