Final Testimony

Sam in Lion TieToday is September 2, 2018.  My excommunication tribunal is now 1 week away on the 9th.  I plan to present a vigorous defense.  Never-the-less,  I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in hell that I will emerge with my membership intact.

I’ll be stripped of my bishopric, priesthood, saving ordinances and blessings.  I will be ripped from spending eternity with my family.  I’ll be consigned to an everlasting location with no future interaction with God, Jesus or my loved ones.

As an apostate, I am considered worse than murderers, rapists and pedophiles.  I will be condemned to spend the eternities in Outer Darkness.

What a gracious Mormon God we have.  How blessed we are that He has placed His power of judgment in the hands of men.  The power to tear a dad away from his family forevermore and damn him to the darkest corner of the universe.  A destination worse than hell.

Today, I attended my last Fast & Testimony meeting as a member.  I chose to share my final testimony with my ward family.  You can listen to it or read it below.


4 years ago, at age 61, my faith started to transition….into a beautiful faith in Jesus Christ.

In 1842, 2 years before his death, Joseph Smith penned The Articles of Faith.  In the early days of the Church, a  vote was held to canonize these 13 tenets of our religion as scripture. 

The 4th one says this:  ‘We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!!   Reading through the entire list of 13 articles, there are no instructions whatsoever to place our faith anywhere else.  Just in Jesus Christ.

President Nelson recently re-announced to the world what the proper, God-given name of our church is:  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It makes me happy that he reinforced this.

The Church of Jesus Christ.  The only being in whom our scriptures instruct us to have faith.  He is now the only being in whom I place my faith.

What gorgeous teachings he has given us.  The good Samaritan.  The parable of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked.  Reaching out to the marginalized, the vulnerable.  In his words, “The Least of these.”  Protecting children with his threat of physical violence to any who would harm them.  And his poignant summary of the commandments….love, just love.

What a glorious example he has set for us to follow.  He lived his parables.  He was the Samaritan who reached out to heal while the priesthood leaders ignored the wounded on the side of the road.  He sat with, supped with, talked with those on the margins of society.  He was criticized for doing so by the leaders of the church.  He was not restrained in speaking openly in opposition.  As a result, he paid the price with his own life.

Beautiful teachings.  Stunning example.  He asks us to follow him.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.

I love the teachings and example of Christ.  I now have 65 years of lived experience to KNOW that his way is a good and fulfilling way to live life.

This is likely the last time that I will bear testimony in the church that I love.  I have been summoned by my friends to a church court next Sunday.  I will likely be excommunicated by my friends for standing up and speaking out to protect our children. 

I don’t want to lose my membership.  But, I will go there with comfort that I am trying my darnedest to follow the teachings and example of my Savior.  He was tried, convicted and executed.  In the end, that worked out for Him and all the rest of us.

I share this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


As I left the podium, the bishop stood.  We hugged.  It was sweet.  I whispered in his ear, “I love you.”

Several women shed tears.

Two couples called me a hero.

Three men invited me to lunch on different days this week.

Several expressed love.

Several expressed support.

All in all it was a good day for a final testimony.

149 thoughts on “Final Testimony

  1. “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sam, you are a brave soul. I love how much you care. Thank you for all that you stand for, and your family for the support they give to you. I feel like I know you, watching as you fight for truth, and watching you interact with so many. Your example goes far and I just wanted to share my love for you. Thanks so much for all you have done and will continue to do. You have my support!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sam, You don’t know me, but I have been following your journey closely with full support. You were on my mind and in my heart today. Please know that you are doing the right thing, and the church is doing the opposite. God knows your heart. You have already helped so many people and I feel that you will only continue to help others as this thing progresses. You are a wonderful man. God bless you!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Since my comment will be a book if I say what I’m feeling and thinking, I’ll wait and give you a copy of the book after it’s written. I’ll say a little. I consider myself one of the most privileged people in the country, to get to be part of what you have done. I feel as much protection towards you and your family as you do towards us and the children. I want those men to look me in the eye who dare to walk into that room and excommunicate you. At the very least, I want them shook to the core as they realize they are committing an act of hate on such a loving man. Because whether or not the LDS Church is a cult or not, if they are committing an act of such hate, on a man they know is so loving and especially if they actually love you back, and they follow through, and fly the plane through the building anyway, then they are in a cult at that moment, regardless. And really, they can call it Christ’s Church all day long, and it doesn’t mean a damn thing.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. OMG This is so on point! Thank you! I look forward to your book!
      Once Sam is really free of the cult he will rejoice! He has the savior Jesus Christ !!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow!!! How beautiful! I’m so glad the bishop was there and gave you a hug!
    So proud of you and all you have accomplished and for most of all leading the example of following Jesus’ teachings!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Love I send you prayers of strength, love and peace at this time of transition and loss. There is freedom on the other side once time really does heal!

    Thank you for your energy and voice they have created change.

    Lastly love to your family for supporting you. Thank you!

    Much love

    Liked by 2 people

  7. That was a beautiful testimony Sam. As you know, I know longer attend, or believe in the foundational claims of the LDS church. But I have chosen to live the rest of my days by the following principles: Love everyone. Treat everyone with kindness and respect. Be humble. Give of my time, talents, and my means. Serve. Seems like a good way to live IMO. To me, this is what Jesus was getting at anyway. I figure if I can do these things, I will be okay whatever comes next (if anything).

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Oh my dear brother in Christ, you wil not be damned to hell. You will not be separated from your family forever.
    This is a pa know lies, we as members of the church have been handed.
    You, as well as I, have taught the only way to be together forever is to follow a certain protecol.
    I have spent the past 20 years, although staying very active, knowing in my heart, that that wonderful man, who is our literal Father, would not separate billions of his beloved from each other forever.
    My heart aches for you. For all of the giving and love you have shown, only to be cast out by those who stand equally broken. Who are we to judge another?
    Only Christ carries that mantel.
    You are now free! You are free tonsay what you want without living in fear of the threat they hold over us.
    I love you. I know God rejoices in your good works!!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. These are the words I’ve heard since I joined the church, was sealed to my adopted family, and realized I couldn’t be sealed to my biological family, “It’ll all work out.” The same goes for you and to all the rest of the world. You are one of the most caring humans this world has to offer and that’s something that cannot be taken away. Much love to you.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I am so sad and heartbroken for you, because I know how much it means to you. I had a faith transition a decade ago at BYU. While I am in my thirties, and my wisdom is pretty young in comparison: something I do know- is the god I want to be in my life is an all inclusive loving god. He would never cut off a faithful servant, trying to bring about change for children. I hope you know how much support you have. And how loved you are. I’ve been ex Mormon for a lot of years and I still feel the zing or frustration when I know I get left out just because I love a god that doesn’t have an agenda or a task list that must be accomplished in order to be with who you love. That’s not the Christ, that represents Gods son. So thank you for your candor and your fight for the children. You are loved.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Sam,
    Only those who descend to the deepest depths of despair and feel its loneliness truly understand who God is. The Mormon church kept me from the full knowledge of my divinity and all encompassing love.

    It was hard to reconcile outer darkness for myself, but I learned first and foremost that a loving, all knowing God wouldnt create something she knows would spend eternity in what portrayed as a dark place void of light. I learned that God is loving, not narcissistic, unbiased, not vengeful, AND not jealous. She has exceeded those human characteristics. So then outer darkness becomes a tactic to control.

    Sam, read the book Sapiens. I learned a lot about how us humans create mythical systems from this book.
    Also read books by Steven Hassan.
    These books will help you understand and emerge from the negativity.

    Again, sending you love. You are not alone. Surround yourself with those who love you NO MATTER WHAT and be very kind to yourself.

    The world sees the abuse of the Mormon church. Sorry you are experiencing it.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Of course, having faith in Russell Nelson and Dallin Oaks and the Mormon church *IS* having faith in Jesus Christ.

    NOT having faith in Russell Nelson and Dallin Oaks and the Mormon church is NOT having faith in Jesus Christ.

    That’s what my dear Mother would say if she were here.

    It turns out, after her death, we discovered in her notes that, beginning back when she was a teenager and throughout her entire adult life, she had been tormented with shame and guilt. There had been hints and possible suggestions along the way, but nothing definite

    She even gave Spencer Kimball’s “The Miracle of Forgiveness” to her children. Apparently, she couldn’t get it to work for herself very well on all of her Mormon shame and guilt.

    Good work Sam, and good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you brother for standing up for the protection of our children. Your sacrifice will bless so many and will not go unnoticed. I feel that The God of Heaven will only bless you the more for your courage and sacrifice; there are countless scriptural examples that attest to that. God speed!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Blessings to you, Sam. Thank you so much for all you have done for LDS children everywhere. The day will come when they will stop the one-on-one interviews and the sexual questions. Their lawyers will tell them to do that. You will be vindicated. It will take some time, but eventually (and this time I think sooner rather than later) they will do what you have been telling them to do. Countless LDS children will be spared what your daughters went through along with many others. Love to you!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Sam. My wife and I are with you and your family. You will be leaving a corporation called the lds church, that’s all. They have no authority to bless nor condemn you. There is no intermediary between you and God. There is no authority outside of your own life that can determine where you will go or what your life will be at any time in the future. God bless you for your goodness!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Oh dear Sam!
    I just know you will feel peace once this crap is out of your life! You are an amazing servant of Jesus Christ! Bless all you are doing to Protect the Children!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Sam my heart is full of love for you, thank you for giving a voice to the voiceless child inside of me that was so hurt, that child is finding healing. My story is #209. We will no longer be silenced!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Thanks for championing this issue. My story is one of the stories you shared with church leaders. Because of what happened in the interviews I experienced, I made plans to end my life while in high school. I didn’t follow through, choosing to live with guilt put there by church leaders. Now, years later, I thank you for your efforts to end this. You have made a real difference to many people.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. You know Sam, no one feels sorry for you, you can rejoin the church in a year. You don’t have to lose everything you claim to hold dear.

    You know what’s really sad, you aren’t even being excommunicated for fighting for more stringent rules, like you claim, they are bringing you in for a disciplinary council for things you’ve said against the church that they’ve SPECIFIED in your letter. How people overlook this is beyond me. Just two seconds reading the letter will tell them that it wasn’t because of your cause.

    You talk about standing up for something, let me tell you that your fight with the Church was a waste, the Church has been consistently checking itself and improving itself, not on your account. The church has never harbored pedophiles, they’ve always cooperated with police.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are comepletely wrong on all accounts Jeri! Defending the Pharisees does not help your cause. The LDS church does harbor pedophiles when they promote them to higher callings. The LDS church does not cooperate with police when you are told to call the church first for a crime. Private interviews with children about sex are of the adversaries church and not of Jesus Christ. They are evil practices. Sam is innocent because the charges are so historically Christian. He is being charged with following Christ before men. Maybe you should read all the proof out there instead of just this letter. The stories tell it. Stop being an LDS Lemming.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Dear Jeri,

      The depth of your cluelessness and “correlated blinders” distortion of reality is truly stunning.

      Congratulations on being the ideal True Believing Member … the kind The Brethren like best.

      “Forgive her, for she knows not what she is saying.”

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Really???
      I am a very active member of the church, I am a curremt temple recommend holder.
      I do not know a lot about the details of this case, but I DO know that my ex husnand sexually abused my children. My son told the bishop as a teenager. The bishop did not beleive him and did not report it.
      At a later date my ex admitted it in court, and served time, yet has not been excommunicated, or had any church action. There are countless stories like my own.
      My faith is intact, sadly I cant say the same for some of my kids.
      The church does need to open their eyes and pay attention. They are losing innocent victims of abuse.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Sam. You are a true deciple of Christ. You have more support than you realize. Due to the culture of the mormon church, there is fear to speak out. Too much at stake. You are setting an example. Thank you for what you are doing and sacrificing. You have helped me in my healing. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was taught that as I grew up. There was a chart in the front of the standard Book of Rembrance the illustrated the plan of salvation. Arrows led from the earth to the 3 kingdoms. And one arrow that dove downward to Outer Darkness. It was labeled apostasy. I didn’t know what it meant, except that it had to be pretty bad. That was our doctrine then. With the way our doctrine continually changes, it might not be doctrine today

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m not a gospel scholar, but I recall that “denying the Holy Ghost” is a ticket to Outer Darkness. Maybe something about having a “sure knowledge” and then later denying it.

        It’s pretty tough to have a “sure knowledge” of something that does not even exist, so technically, logically speaking, Outer Darkness will be a lonely place … with nobody there. Never mind that Outer Darkness does not itself exist either.

        Sam, I sent you email not long ago … fyi.

        Loved your Final Testimony today. (The audio link is maxed out until later.) The Brethren might control the minds, but the hearts of the members still belong to them, Sam. Many of them felt their hearts being touched by a powerful LionHeart today. I am glad some were brave enough to let you know.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Gary,

        I’ve finally caught you in error. “It’s pretty tough to have a “sure knowledge” of something that does not even exist.” Ummmm. Consider your Mormon experience. You’ll change your mind.

        “Outer Darkness will be a lonely place.” Dang it. I was hoping that I’d be with many others of like minds. This is really disappointing to hear.


      3. Sam, before my mother died (in April) I told her I would be sent to Outer Darkness. She scoffed and said No, I wouldn’t. I suspect she did not want it on her Celestial Resume’ that more than half of her 7 children had stopped drinking Kolob Kool-Aid.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You are correct that Outer Darkness is a concept.

        Outer Darkness does not actually exist. It’s a Mind Control Tactic to scare the sheeples into obedience.

        By the way, fear-mongering by Religions and Churches works most of the time.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Sir, I do not know you but what you stood for is right. You done what the Lord wanted you to do. Children should NEVER be interviewed with only one person in there. THAT IS WRONG. I am not LDS, I was excommunicated but for a much different reason. It was a very scary thing in there. I just want you to know that I backed you 100% in what you did. God will bless you.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. 2 Nephi 28:3-5
    For it shall come to pass in that day that the churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord’s; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord’s; and thus shall every one say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord— And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance. And they deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and

    From D&C 121
    No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood…the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but…we have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority,
    they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion…when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the Heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

    Don’t be so sure the just and righteous God of Heaven is bound to the edicts of men trying to wield power over your soul by mere virtue of their priesthood, especially when they act in opposition to His will. Supposing one has priesthood authority does not enable one to wield heavenly power — e.g. determining whether you will retain your family — divorced from the principles of Righteousness, regardless of claims by men in supposedly high places. God has not given his power unto men, he always retains it and retains the right to nullify all men’s efforts to misuse it. If the scriptures are true, then an unjust council simply has no power to separate you from anyone or anything in eternity, regardless of claims in any Handbook or manual, and anything unrighteous attempted upon your soul will only serve to place their own souls into that very jeopardy. That is also a sad thing, but for them.

    In the loss of your membership, don’t be surprised if you come to find Christ.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Today as I sat in Sacrament meeting and listened to the typical ward members tell us in attendance how much they know that this is the only true church etc. I thought of you and how much I appreciate your efforts in behalf of all the children. I never published my daughters experience but did the right thing and turned the old pedofile into the police and they took him to jail and after that the church pulled his temple recommend. Too little to late, this man was typical and had hundreds of other children in his career of molestation. What you have done shines a brilliant light on the problem and I believe it will bear fruit! Love you Sam. You did good.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Thank you for protecting the children. I recently left the lds faith, for problems I found in it.i know in my heart that you will not go into hell. You were doing what Jesus would do. You were giving children a voice. You go in and face your demons, during that court appearance. You did nothing wrong, all you did was right.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Sam, I go on record as saying I LoveYou and Patty and your family. You were an outstanding home teacher and showed love to all who knew and know you. However, in your Testimony of Jesus Christ , whom I know you love, you failed to mention the most important thing he did for you and all of us. I speak of the atonement. Because of the atonement you may lose your blessings for a short time, but you can have all those things you say you have lost back. All you have to do is humble yourself and repent. You aren’t being called before the Priesthood for fighting for the protection of the children, but for publicly opposing the leaders that we sustain as prophets, seers and revelators. We don’t sustain then as perfect human beings. Were they flawed when you were called to be a Bishop or High Councilman. Of course some of them were. We do not base our testimony on the man, but on God and Jesus Christ. You made the brethren aware of something terrible that was happening. And they changed the policy. But then you decided that wasn’t enough. No one youth or adult should be allowed in the temple that cannot answer the questions asked. It is the Lord’s House. Sure there will be those who lie, but they will need to repent or put before the judgement of God. You knew this was true or you would never have turned your recommend in to your Bishop months ago. I hope you are wrong and excommunication is not the outcome of your council.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Janice,

      Thank you for sharing your perspective on Sam and his upcoming excommunication.

      The decision to excommunicate Sam has already been made. Your stake president would not have offered Sam the option to resign preemptively otherwise. I’m sure that makes sense to you.

      You help other readers understand the honestly held perspective of a lifelong TBM true believing Mormon.

      I respect your right to believe as you choose to believe, and to interpret Sam Young through the lens of your own choosing.

      Thank you again for chiming in. Every voice has value.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. In one of the last church lessons I taught I discovered Ezekiel chapter 34, which says that when unrighteous shepherds neglect and scatter the flock, the Lord himself steps in and becomes your shepherd. Don’t believe them when they say the Spirit will abandon you. It’s not true. You just take the middleman out of your relationship with Christ. Congratulations.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. I love you man. You’re not selling any new doctrine or attempting to gather a religious following. You’re standing tall in the court of King Noah advocating for those most vulnerable souls who can’t speak for themselves. I am one of those souls. Though I did not include my story in your book, I endured years of shame and guilt heaped upon me by such a ‘loving’ church. It didn’t help me. It has only continued to haunt me into my middle age. God willing you or I can save one of God’s other children from such a fate.

    One day I too will stand in that court. One day I will publicly refuse to kiss the ring of the LDS priesthood. One day they will execute me on their legalistic funeral pyre. I’m confident though that their fire has no true sting. Their furnace is all flash and no heat. They can no more spiritually execute a man than any other whore of Babylon.

    Perhaps you and I will meet one day and embrace as brethren of Christ. Keep heart sir. I will too.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. I find it sad that the LDS / Brighamite church doesn’t want bad reputation or bad things said about them even if they are true. In fact their courts of love [of power] don’t focus on real repentance or change but saying that the leaders are right and that we will follow them, the arm of flesh. On top of that they say that doctrine of the Messiah visiting us in this life personally is something we should not talk about or encourage but Joseph Smith publicly declared that God visited him even to none believers.

    Oh! I beseech you to go forward, go forward and make your calling and your election sure; and if any man preach any other Gospel than that which I have preached, he shall be cursed; and some of you who now hear me shall see it, and know that I testify the truth concerning them. – Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 366

    Mosiah 17:7-8
    7 And he said unto him: Abinadi, we have found an accusation against thee, and thou art worthy of death.
    8 For thou hast said that God himself should come down among the children of men; and now, for this cause thou shalt be put to death unless thou wilt recall all the words which thou hast spoken evil concerning me and my people.

    Lectures on Faith 2:56 We have now clearly set forth how it is, and how it was, that God became an object of faith for rational beings; and also, upon what foundation the testimony was based, which excited the enquiry and diligent search of the ancient saints, to seek after and obtain a knowledge of the glory of God: and we have seen that it was human testimony, and human testimony only, that excited this enquiry, in the first instance in their minds—it was the credence they gave to the testimony of their fathers—this testimony having aroused their minds to enquire after the knowledge of God, the enquiry frequently terminated, indeed, always terminated, when rightly pursued, in the most glorious discoveries, and eternal certainty.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. In your preface to your testimony I think you know that the church is the only one that believes that you will be stripped of all of those things. However if you have the kind of relationship with our savior that I believe you , I think you know that you will be just fine that no authority will be erased and that our savior looks kindly down upon you at this time .

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Sam Young have You considered making a presentation on sexual abuse that continues in Mormonism on TED TALKS? Can You imagine the publicity Your message would receive?

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Sam, the first day I met you, I asked you if you were afraid of being excommunicated. You told me then that you weren’t afraid to follow Jesus. You are still doing that now, and I am proud to call you a friend and an example of a true man of integrity. You have been called a heretic, an apostate, and lord knows what else, but through it all you have shown nothing but kindness and open arms to try and cross that gap to mutual understanding. If only the church could do the same. They are pushing away one of the best. Thank you my friend, for showing us how to love those who despise you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First time for anything is usually very special. That first time you and I talked I can remember exactly which parking lot I pulled into so I could focus on our conversation. Thanks for your friendship.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s