Brave Active Mormon Writes His Stake President

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Yesterday, an active member of the Church (I’ll call him Jeff here) sent the following email to his stake president.  I was blind-copied.

President ______,

I feel impressed to discuss with you the subject of one-on-one interviews with children behind closed doors. I hope you consider this in the spirit with which it is written. I know you can’t change the church. But you can change our stake. I understand you have told bishops to not ask inquiring questions about sexuality anymore and I applaud you for that. It took great concern and wisdom on your part to see the problems with inquiring into issues involving a kids sexual temptations.  Thank you for that. 

First, both Bishop _____ and Bishop ______ have respected our wishes to not ask any questions of a sexual nature to our children in these interviews. However, it goes beyond that. 

Legally, I can’t imagine ever allowing a person who is not a child’s parent to ask questions that even slightly touch upon sexual issues with a child. Even asking a child if they live the law of chastity is a problem. Morally, I know first hand of the damage that it can do. But those adults who ask questions should be clinically trained in that area. 

Why isn’t it sufficient to teach kids the law of chastity in Sunday school or in their homes by their parents and let them know what is expected of them? There could be great personal growth to let children exercise their consciences rather than be told they are unworthy (which is so awful that we would tell an undeveloped mind that they are ever unworthy to serve others in the church).  Our church feels insulated because they use the phrase “law of chastity.”  But make no mistake what is being asked.  

Somehow, our church is the only church still doing any closed door interviews with children from what I have found. Everyone else has abandoned the practice. A Bishop or priesthood leader can determine worthiness without these interviews. Where is the power of discernment? But also, is there any consideration to what it does to tell a child that they are “unworthy?”

Utah has one of the highest rates of teenage suicide and we have to ask ourselves, why? Could it be that we make kids feel unworthy for doing things that most normal teens struggle with? For the safety of the youth in the ______ Stake, I pray this practice be reconsidered. If every other church on the planet sees the problem these interviews create, how does our church not?   

I know you have been a courageous stake president and have taken the unusual step of allowing doubting members and the mother/father of a gay child to speak to our leaders. That you have given instructions about these interviews that were bold. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. I would love to discuss this topic and my personal experiences with you at any time.  Thanks for listening. 

Dear Jeff,

I am very proud of you for taking up this matter directly with your local leader.  It’s exciting to see members speak up to protect the children in their own church.  It’s also very encouraging to hear your stake president has instructed his bishops “to not ask inquiring questions about sexuality anymore.”  THAT.IS.AWESOME.

Dear Everybody Else,

Join us this year to Protect Every Child.  In 2018 our actions protected many children.  In 2019, our impact will be much much bigger.

Go tell it on a mountain,

Over the hills and everywhere.

Go tell it on a mountain,

PROTECT OUR CHILDREN NOW.

 

24 thoughts on “Brave Active Mormon Writes His Stake President

  1. Teen suicide in Utah isn’t because bishops ask the youth if they live the law of chastity. That’s ridiculous and absurd! Studies have shown that in the intermountain west that suicide and the LDS church are not related. In fact, statistics show that in the intermountain west, shows the areas of the least suicide rates per 100,000 people are in the areas of the highest concetration of LDS populations.
    Please quit using suicide threats as a means of gaining public favor. It does a disservice to treating and preventing the real cause of suicide.

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    1. Hi Robert,

      Thanks for your comment.

      My request to you is to please stop ignoring the suicide ideation, suicide attempts and suicide completions that have resulted from the shame inflicted in bishop’s offices.

      Last year your church released a statement in their abuse guidelines that stated MOST stories are true. Here you’ll find hundreds of stories about psychological abuse of our children that resulted in suicidal thoughts or action.
      Read the stories: https://protectldschildren.org/read-the-stories-2/

      Like

      1. Perhaps we disagree but there is no link to bishop interviews and an increase in suicides. Provide me some evidence-based some real statistics showing bishop interviews cause suicide. I’m calling your bluff.

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      2. You know what’s interesting to me? You have two contradicting ways of finding truth. Do you need a scientific study to prove every truth? If studies are your benchmark, then use it. You attempt to use it with great intensity to prove Sam wrong. Yet you believe in the claims of a man, one man, on this Earth, who claims to speak to God on your behalf by what? Why not take the same deep dive into whether this Mormon church is telling you the truth? No Hebrew blood in DNA of native Americans, book of Abraham proven to be a fraud, translated incorrectly after the Rosetta Stone was found, no archeological evidence of any cities, steel swords, horses etc etc claimed in the Book of Mormon.
        Bishops interrogate into the most intimate details of a child’s life and then judges them to be ‘worthy’ or ‘unworthy.’ That’s shame. Did you read the thousand stories? There IS proof that bishops use shame on children and young people in those interviews. The children then go through life hating themselves. We know that shame is a recipe for suicide. And there’s proof that Bishops use shame. So Sam’s claim is logical and legitimate.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I can’t help but notice that you are likely living on another planet, Bizarro World. In that case, the “Utah” of which you speak is Bizarro Utah, which is not the same because it is in a different dimension. Any Superman reader would know this.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Are you being for real right now? Where in the hell are you getting your information? It is related! It is the cause for Utah having the highest suicide rate in the nation! Just because you create and perpetuate a lie doesn’t Make it true! I get it, you are willing to lie for the church! You can not believe that your faith can do anything wrong! Because if it makes mistakes, is it not true? I behaved and thought the same way when I served in the three Bishoprics I served in! I just couldn’t believe what people were saying about my church! How dare they!! Well, I know right now without any shadow of a doubt that the church is not only not true, but it perpetuates many crimes against children and those who are not strong enough to protect themselves! Members like you and like I used to be, will fight tooth and nail to defend the church, even to the point of condemning the victims of rape, and child abuse. President Nelson’s own daughter and son in law are pedophiles and have raped, drugged and threatened children! President Nelson has protected them and promoted his son in law to the office of a mission president so he could escape charges in Utah. In my mind, that makes him a pedophile as well! Joseph Smith sent Fathers and husbands on missions and told them that he would watch over them! He took the wives and made them his wife and warned them not to tell Emma, he took the young girls and had sex with them after he had some sort of ceremony to let them think he was now married to them so it was okay. He also told them to not tell Emma! This is fact and indisputable! It is in our history! But you and other true believing Mormons will not look at the truth and choose to wear blinders and
      Only see what you want to see! I was like you once, I see now with open eyes and I know that the church is false more than I ever knew that it was true!!!’

      Liked by 2 people

      1. As far as President Nelson’s daughter and son-in-law are concerned, innocent until proven guilty. There is such a thing in this country. Among other things that would have to be proven is that their memories were not planted by the evil practices of their therapists during the 80s.

        And let’s just say they are guilty, it does not mean that President Nelson was complicit. If he were, then at least I don’t go to the Church of Russell M Nelson. I go to the Church of Jesus Christ. Nobody’s perfect except for the Savior. It’s really tragic that that has become expected within “Mormon” culture. I was that way myself for a lot of my life so far. I’m better now and my testimony is far stronger than it was prior.

        Liked by 1 person

    4. Reply to Fabled Creature

      I keep on hearing these and other arguments against the Church. To me, they are just as absurd as claiming that the Bible discredits the Church. When I say that, I actually agree with you about Bishops that do damaging interviews. The problem that I have is the following…

      1. One man speaking to God on our behalf. True and false. If completely true though the concept of personal revelation goes completely out the window. Which I have enough experience in to know that there is such a thing. We all have or should have a personal relationship with God.

      2. No Hebrew DNA evidence in Native Americans. Near Eastern DNA has been found in Native American DNA. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/11/131120-science-native-american-people-migration-siberia-genetics/. Sure, the dating is far earlier, but science has been wrong before. Science will be wrong again I’m sure…

      3. Book of Abraham “proven” to be fraud. A few things about this…

      a. The Church is a LIVING Church. Among other things, this means that scriptural canon is completely open. We are not like mainstream Christianity that had scripture canon completely closed during the early 4th century.

      b. Definitions of translate. express the sense of (words or text) in another language. Also, move from one place or condition to another. Whether or not what is actually written on the papyri is accurate to what is in the Book of Abraham is irrelevant. If God uses something to convey a different meaning (or possibly as it was originally intended) he is free to do so.

      4. No archeological evidence for the Book of Mormon. Evidence is there if you know where to look. Sure, there are plenty of things that are not known but the lack of “evidence” does not concern me. To even begin to disprove the Book of Mormon to me, you would have to invent a satellite capable of looking a mile beneath the surface of the Western Hemisphere. Every square millimeter. And then go over any evidence with me. In any case, even if the Book of Mormon was ultimately just a collection of parables, it would not hurt my testimony at this point in time.

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      1. Robert Bonfield, I recall that Boyd K. Packer suggested to the people affected by the activities of the Nelson daughter etal. that they “forget and forgive”. As the problem was swept under the carpet so to speak by the hierarchy, this statement was indicative of acknowledgement of some involvement by those mentioned. Furthermore, although our children are said to be only loaned to us, nevertheless even if our children were even remotely rumoured to be involved in such despiccable activies, we would be absolutely mortified and at the very least we would have come out in defence of said offspring or we would have expressed some kind of parental support in public.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. In fact, recent studies, done in Utah, especially within the LDS church, have shown that active LDS teens are at a lower suicide risk than their non LDS peers. The state of Utah did a study showing the same results that activity within religion reduces suicide risk.
    Think about what you are doing Sam, you are trying to lead people away from religion in Utah and thus increasing their suicide risk. It’s counterproductive.

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    1. Provide me some evidence-based some real statistics showing your claims. I’m calling your bluff because I saw statistics in newspaper, showing suicide rates higher in Utah than nation-wide, without any researches into whatever causes. The Utah’s higher-than-nationwide suicide rates look like a societal taboo.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I responded on the wrong place to you, above. Please cite the studies you claim support your position. You are making claims that are not logically linked to the issue. The problem is that we are losing many young and older LGBTQ youth since the church invoked its cruel exclusion policy proclaiming queer people to be apostates if they act on their essential natures as people. We lose young people who are guilted for masturbating—a natural function that works in just the opposite way the ill-informed church claims it does. Young children are psychologically injured by untrained and uninformed clergy who ask questions that should never be asked in that situation.

      The things that you state have been found in “studies,” which you did not cite, do not negate these things. Sam Young has put together hundreds of personal accounts of harm done by perverted and sick church leaders against children and youth entrusted to their sacred care, as well as accounts of long term psychological harm done by these nefarious leaders.

      Sam is not leading anyone out of the church. For the life of me, I cannot understand why he’d want to associate with such an organization as the church, but he does. He is hoping to make positive changes within the church and wanted to remain a member.

      People leave the church because it is having a truth crisis—not the members who discover it is not what we were told and taught as children and its truth claims are nothing more than historical fiction. Good people are dragged out of the church by their own consciences when they can no longer believe untruths or support a corrupt corporate church.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I can illustrate just how great a problem it is when allowing an adolescent alone behind closed doors with a middle-aged man. My father passed away when I was 16, and the one who broke it to me was my bishop, who–assuming, I guess, that I was in a vulnerable state–tried to molest me. So that’s the image I carry with me about the death of my father. PS: The bishop was excommunicated a couple of years later, but all we know is that it was some sort of misbehavior in a public place. Hm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dreamer,

      What happened to you was so wrong and I’m so sorry. Yesterday a story was submitted to Protectldschildren.org recounting a similar story to yours. Except it was her mother who had passed.

      Would you mind sharing your story. I don’t want you to feel any pressure to do it. Only if you feel comfortable. But now we know that neither of you are alone. There are sure to be others like you who will find some solace that they were not the only ones who were taken advantage of by bishops in this way.

      Love and best wishes my friend,

      Sam

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have seen statistics on suicide in Utah and the other states in the “Mormon” column. Among the highest in the nation. But suicide is a problem everywhere with a variety of different reasons.

    The gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect. The Church, however, is not. Although I believe that with President Nelson as Prophet it is becoming closer to perfection.

    There are also rumors floating around that there is going to be a major revamp of worthiness interviews in
    or around next General Conference.

    However, I do think that by far the biggest problem in the Church has been the extremely false and destroying premise that our leaders are perfect or near perfect. There has never been any such thing. Only our Savior has ever been perfect. If people in the Church would just pay attention to the scriptures there never would have been any problems with creepy Bishops…

    Matthew 7:15-20. Doesn’t ONLY apply to Prophets…

    2 Nephi 28: 21, 24-26, 31

    D & C 121:34-40

    We have been warned about such things for at least the better part of 200 years now. Why the heck do we in the Church ignore the scriptures when they warn us about such things!?

    Having the Church become more Family centered instead of attending Church centered can only do good things for those of us who remain.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Furthermore Robert Bronfield let me assure you that it is not the position of this “church ” to be even remotely Family Centred. It has a Function assuredly to be administrative only: build meeting houses, set meeting times etc. God is the only being who can determine one’s worthiness.. this is a matter between individuals and the Lord God.Prophets…what prophets??? Latter-day prohets have not received one revelation from the Lord. Prophets do not act together as board members; they act independently and their message has been to encourage us to worship the Lord God and above all to develop compassion towards our fellowmen.Why do you seek to undermine what Sam has achieved and will yet achieve? Without Sam Young we can only shudder to think what awaits our children and grandchildren still encapsulated in this awful organisation. The more you and your kind seek to diminish Sam the more sickened I am by every word that proceedeth out of your mouths.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Robert Bronfield I am sorry (my children have this to level against me…mother, you have issues”) but I actually have issues with several of your statements, in particular relating to your “Definition of Translate”.Basically two aspects need to be taken into account when translating from one language to another viz. Word Order and Idioms. How is it even remotely possible that inscriptions relating to people who had passed on, be misinterpreted as the story or history of Abraham? How patronising of you to concede that God is free to use something to convey a different meaning. What could that meaning possibly be? It is simple. The Book of Abraham simply has nothing to do with the prophet Abraham. The book is fraudulent. I know that God loves each of us. I know that he decided to give us a push out of this church because I was chewing on my ” issues”….55 years was rather a lengthy period of time. I am able to understand things so much more clearly since we resigned and have learnt to understand God and his designs for us…which are in fact quite straightforward, and are not designed to be confusing at all. BTW I so admire Ryan Goslings’ mother, who told him he was raised by “a religious zealot” referring to herself. Later he said “She was really cool”.She said: “This is an option,but this isn’t the only option. This is an idea, but it isn’t the only idea. You have to find your own truth. I never really could identify with [Mormonism}.”

    Liked by 1 person

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