Devastating to adults? To children it can destroy.

lacrima

A story from a friend.

It was the mid 80’s. I had already suffered 2 miscarriages. This was devastating to me. I wanted to be a mother more than anything in the world. I came from a large family. I was taught that this was my destiny as a woman in the church. It killed me a little bit when I would see a woman yelling at her kids in the grocery store.

I remember laying on the floor in the living room of our modest 2 bedroom apartment. We had painted the second room baby blue, in hopes of having a boy. I was having symptoms of another miscarriage, spotting and cramps. My husband brought in 2 male members of our ward. I was given a blessing of health and that “everything would turn out right.”

Later that night, I went into full labor and delivered a baby that fit into my husband’s hand. He said that it was deformed. That is something that I can thank him for, he did not allow me to see my baby. I would have had nightmares. He buried it in the flower garden outside of our apartment.

At our next temple recommend interviews, the bishop asked if I kept the law of Chastity. I answered yes, because I had only had sex with my husband within the bounds of marriage. My husband told me later that he had confessed to the bishop that we had tried oral sex. The bishop told my husband that we were evil and that the miscarriage was due to breaking the law of chastity.

After that, I descended into a deep depression. My feelings of worthlessness were overwhelming. My self esteem was zero. It was late summer, I remember canning corn. As I cut the corn off the cobs, I was thinking that, if I am not worthy and good enough to be a mother, I must not be worthy to eat. From that time forward, I just existed in what I called a “zombie” state. My world had so much pain that I felt nothing. I equated the feeling of being hungry with a positive state of being. At my thinnest, I was 105 pounds which was really thin for a tall female.

It has been years, since this time period in my life. Recently, a friend traveled to the city where this happened. Memories of the past came flooding back. I used google maps to find the my apartment. It was still there, but the flower garden wasn’t. I have different beliefs now, but it still pains me to know that the body of the baby I called Jonathan is under a parking lot now.

I still struggle with eating and food. Sometimes I horde food, sometimes I will only eat when I am with someone. When I am sick I fall back into the same physical feeling, I have to force myself to eat. I have been to see several therapists, but not one that understands the culture of guilt and shame that is perpetrated by the Mormon church. I hope and wish that all that have endured spiritual abuse by the hands of the church will find peace and healing.

Guilt and shame that is perpetrated by the Mormon church

There was a time that I viewed a lay clergy as an advantage. Today, I see it very differently. Having untrained clergy is an advantage only to the financial health of the LDS Corporation, saving it millions of dollars every year.

It is a huge disadvantage to members who need professional pastoral guidance and understanding. Instead, they are often subjected to uninformed, clumsy and dangerous counsel. In this case, it was devastating. Blaming a miscarriage on oral sex? Heinous on the bishop’s part and resulting in decades of depression and disorders.

Although the woman in the story was an adult, here is how she described her immature state of development way back when:  “I was basically a child as far as education. I Knew nothing of normal sexual interaction.”

What the Mormon church so often does to both its children and adults is gut-wrenching and preventable.  It’s time that either the church change its ways or the members stand up and protect themselves.

Please join us in our 2019 campaign to Protect Every Child.  More information will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

On New Year’s Day, our very first banner will be unfurled high on a mountain top.

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I’m Screaming–Damn the Mormon Church’s Policy

Scream

Is there no end to the twisted scenarios of Mormon bishop interactions with children?  I have not found an end yet.

Today, I have been transferring more stories of immoral bishop interviews.   The highest leadership of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints condones this behavior.  Never a word of condemnation for bishops’ abusive verbal assaults.  Never a single word of apology or reconciliation to the child victims of their own policies.  NEVER.

As I have read the new stories, one after another has caused me shock, tears, and anger.  Below are three examples of new lows.  Remember, the apostles of the Mormon church condone this behavior of their bishops.

Two of these children attempted suicide!!!

#992

My uncle started molesting me when I was 6 years old. At my 8 year baptismal interview, I “confessed” what my uncle was doing. My bishop told me he would make sure and “handle it”, and stressed the importance of my baptism and how it would “wash me clean again.”

It continued for years…. When a new bishop was called (or maybe wards split, fuzzy on those specifics) during my tithing settlement interview one on one with my new bishop I asked him why HF (heavenly father) was still letting me get hurt. My bishop asked if I had told anyone about it, and I told him my prior bishop knew. He told me HF was testing me and when I proved valiant to him, the abuse would end. This set me into a lifetime of sexual abuse.

In high school I got into partying. One night after a game there was a house party at a friends house. A bunch of the Mormon football players were there, and I was a very vulnerable freshman. Long story short I was “tag teamed” (as they put it) by one of the boys and his friend. It was very brutal and highly embarrassing. Because I had been drinking i was afraid to tell anyone. The boys went to school and bragged about it and making sure the entire school heard about it and knew I was a “easy fuck”. A very active LDS friend of mine felt it her duty to tell our bishop of my “sins”. I was called into a court of love and placed on probation which stripped me of my YW callings, taking sacrament, and praying in Sunday school etc. Those same boys both went on missions. I learned early on what happened when I told the truth to a bishop.

#990

When I was 14 I was interviewed for a temple recommend to go with our ward to do baptisms for the dead. It went well until the bishop asked if I was morally clean. I honestly answered yes because I knew I was. He said “I don’t believe you.” I still remember the sick feeling I had about basically being called a liar by a man I believed to be filled with the spirit of discernment. It got worse from there.

B. Do you even know what it means to be morally clean?

Me. Yes.

B. I don’t think you do. Do you masturbate?

Me. No.

B. I don’t believe you. Do you let boys touch your breasts?

Me. No.

B. I don’t believe you. Do you touch boys on their private parts?

Me. No.

B. I don’t believe you. Do you have sexual relations with boys?

Me. No.

B. I don’t believe you. I know you do things you shouldn’t but I am required to go by your answers in this interview. You know that entering the temple unworthily is a sin. I’m making a note here though so the stake president will know you lied to me.

There were more questions but you get the idea. Using the plural “boys” he was saying I was not only lying but promiscuous as well. And having been through the “crushed rose” and “used chewing gum” lessons in Young Women’s classes I felt horrible that anyone would think I was like that. By the time the interview was over I was in tears and afraid to proceed with the interview with the stake president but I knew I was worthy and really wanted to participate in the baptisms.

The stake president was great. When he asked if I obeyed the law of chastity I answered yes, prepared to be called a liar. He just said ok and signed my recommend.

Since that bishop’s interview I have been hyper-aware of doing anything that could be considered sexually promiscuous, even within my marriage! It took lots of counseling and a wonderfully understanding husband to get over the guilt and shame about sex.

#984

I grew up in a strict LDS family in Las Vegas. The inappropriate interviews began at age 12 when I started young women’s.

Age 12, Bishop asks me if I kept the law of chastity. I say yes. He then proceeds to ask me about masturbation and if I knew it was a sin. I didn’t really know what masturbation was. I knew it had sexual connotations. He told me if I ever felt like touching myself “down there” then I needed to immediately get on my knees and pray or The Holy Ghost will abandon me.

Age 13 interview. I shamefully admit to masturbating. Was asked more specific questions, did you enjoy it? Did you orgasm? I’m mortified and embarrassed. I shamefully can’t tell my parents because of my sins. Oh how I wish my parents taught me it was normal and not sinful. Anyway, I was told not to take the sacrament. I did anyway and bishop watched me. Later told me we had to talk later. I avoided him.

Interview at 14. My younger brother and I were going to the temple for baptisms with parents. He Interviews both of us at one time. Asks my brother about masturbation and makes me tell him what it means. So awkward and inappropriate.

Age 15, started lying at the interviews when asked about masturbation. Was told by bishop all my sins will be made known during the Second Coming.

Age 16, refused an interview. Told my parents I didn’t believe in the church, did not want to go. Told me I didn’t have a choice as long as I lived under their roof. Later that night I took a random amount of pills and packed a bag of clothes. I don’t remember much but I ran away. Luckily a lady found me out in the desert on east side of town. She took me home and my parents made me go to a LDS counselor which did nothing but berate my feelings.

Age 17, went to interview and that went ok for once. Before I was 18, my parent told me I had to get my patriarchal blessing. The interview with the stake president didn’t go well. I was chastised for giving into urges to touch myself. He said I could get the blessing though. I didn’t want it. How could grown men who do not know me and only obsess about masturbation possibly be a seer for Heavenly Father?

There is so much more I could add but it honestly brings up such horrible memories of the church. I truly wanted to believe but felt like I was a monster. I was deemed unworthy.

NO CHILD should ever be deemed unworthy. I don’t care the circumstances. Clergy members have NO RIGHT questioning children about masturbation. I don’t think they should discuss sexual matters ever unless a parent is present. No exceptions.

My four precious little boys will NEVER have to be questioned like that by anyone. I fear for my nieces and nephews who’s parents believe that the church is infallible.

At  the top of my voice:  THESE WERE CHILDREN!!!!!!

News Conference

Everyone of these stories recount abuse of children.  Covert psychological abuse by the bishop.  The Mormon Church has its religious freedom.  But religious freedom does not give any church the right to abuse children.  You and me and thousands of others are going to stop this horrendous practice.

A plan of action has been lined out for 2019.  This Thursday, December 20th, the stategy will be announced.

What:  News Conference

When:  December 20, 2018, 10am MT

Where:  50 West Club and Cafe, 50 West Broadway, Salt Lake City

Invitees:  All news media outlets and Friends of Protect LDS Children

It’s Official. Eleven year olds are now fair game in the Mormon Church

Mountain Top GirlThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is changing up programs for children and youth.  Their official announcement from December 14, 2018 can be found HERE.

New Policy For 11 Year Old Children

“Young women may receive their first temple recommend and young men may receive the Aaronic Priesthood and then their first temple recommend in January of the year they turn 12.”

“Ordinations and obtaining limited-use recommends will typically take place throughout January.”

This means that a child born on Dec 31 is to be interviewed within his/her first month of being 11.  It moves the assessment of ‘worthiness’ up by almost a full year from the past practices.

Here we have a mere child being taken behind closed doors with an untrained older man.  In June of 2018, the church openly declared that bishops are to ask the question “Do you live the law of chastity?”  That is a SEX question….with a child who is barely 11.

Can bishops ask “Do you masturbate?”  Absolutely!!!  Protect LDS Children has challenged the Church to condemn 29 Questions that are being used to prob our kids.  Masturbation is at the top of the list.  The church’s response?  “Bishops should not ask unnecessarily probing questions.”  What the hell does that mean?  It sends a loud and clear message that bishops can ask any question that they deem as ‘necessarily probing’.  Now they are free to do it to kids 1 year younger than they we allowed to previously.

THIS.IS.HORRENDOUS.

Dec 12, 2018:  Bishop Charged with Sex Abuse

Two days before the church announced that 11 year olds are now to be interrogated about sex, a Mormon bishop was charged with sex abuse of young people in his congregation.   How ironic that both these news stories appeared at the same time.

Much of what this bishop did is CONDONED by the LDS Church.  You can read the news stories at FOX13, 2KUTV, and KSL.

What Does the Mormon Church condone?

One night, after a church activity in August of 2017, Head drove the boy home. But when he got to the boy’s driveway, he “locked the vehicle doors and stated, ‘We have to figure this masturbation thing out. You’re not leaving until we figure this out,'” the charges state.

A bishop all alone with a young boy?  Bishops are totally sanctioned to be alone with the children and youth of their congregations!!!!

A bishop behind closed doors?  Absolutely.  Whether it be an office, a car, or a home, the church allows children to be taken behind any closed door by any bishop.

Bishops talking about masturbation with a minor?  You better believe it.  That’s the #1 question on the list of 29.  In many stakes and wards, the leaders have been told that masturbation specifically should be asked.

Another boy told police that Head would discuss sex “all the time,” according to the charges.

A bishop talking about sex all the time?  Bishops are mandated to interview the youth at least 2 times per year.  If he perceives the child needs help with a ‘problem,’ he has the purview to call the child into interviews as often as he deems necessary.

A decade after it happened, I found out that at age 12 my daughter was probed by the bishop, “Do you masturbate?”  I asked her if that question was ever posed again.  Like the boy who was abused by his bishop, her response was “All the time, dad.”

The Mormon Church provided this statement in response their bishop being charged with child sex abuse.

“Abuse of any kind cannot be tolerated in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”

My rebuttal to this statement:  LIARS!!!  Their policy of one-on-one interviews opens the way for abuse.  Asking sexual questions IS child abuse!!!  Thousands of witnesses provide a monstrous monument to the massive abuse the church has facilitated.  You can SEE and READ hundreds of those stories at protectldschildren.org.

News Conference

There was a time that I wondered, “Why do the Mormon apostles allow this?”

There was a time that I asked, “Why do Mormon bishops continue to take children all alone behind closed doors and interrogate them with sexual questions?”

There was a time that I pondered, “Why do the good members of the church tolerate this practice?”

I no longer care why the Mormon Church harms children.  At this point, I just care that children are in harm’s way.   It must stop.  It will stop.

On Thursday Dec 20, 2018, I will hold a news conference in Salt Lake City.  The plans for our next action will be publicly announced.

This will be a MAJOR action.  Bigger and more comprehensive than anything we have done before.  Our message will be expanded.  The audience will be extended.  Its impact will be a gigantic and historic hammer blow to protect ALL children.

To the Mormon Church

I never wanted to embarrass you.  I never wanted to shame you.  You were my church.

But now the time has come.

You, without apology, shame children into self-hatred.  It’s time you be shamed.  From the mountains tops.  All around the globe.

Banners are about to be unfurled, calling to all the world: 

PROTECT.OUR.CHILDREN.