Should Mormon Missionaries Tell the Truth about Children?

MissionariesToday, I had lunch with an old friend.  We feel quite a kinship for one another.   He’s a very faithful member of the Mormon Church.  However, he agrees with me that sexual questions should not be asked to kids. Here’s a snippet of our conversation.

LDS Friend (LDSF):  We are working with a family in my ward who are considering joining the church.

SAM:  Okay.

LDSF:  Do you think I should tell them about the youth interviews?

ME:  For me, my integrity would demand that I tell the parents about the dangers their children will face.  How would I feel when they confronted me after their children were interrogated behind closed doors?  I would feel complicit.  The only honorable thing to do would be to give them a heads up so they could make an informed decision about the safety of their children.

LDSF:  If I told them, I don’t think they would join the church.  Well, maybe if their testimony of the restoration was stronger than their concern for their kids.

ME  Everybody outside the Church is repulsed by this practice.  They recoil when you explain that twice a year children are taken all alone behind closed doors by the bishop.  People are shocked and incredulous to find out that the bishop will then ask the kids about their sex lives.  I would tell anyone considering joining the Church that they should wait until the Church changes it’s policies.  Too many children have been horribly harmed.

LDSFDo you think that missionaries should tell their investigators?

ME:  Absolutely.  They shouldn’t be hiding something this important.

LDSF:  We might as well just bring all the missionaries home.  Do you think the church should do that?

ME:  Doesn’t that say it all?  You are afraid to tell the family that is considering baptism, otherwise they’ll change their minds.  You fear that if the 70,000 full time missionaries were to be forthright about worthiness interviews, they might as well all be brought home.  If the Church has to hide how they treat children, it should be a clear sign that it’s a very bad practice.

After 2 hours of cordial discussion, we hugged and parted as good of friends as we’ve ever been.

So, what to do you think?  Should Mormon missionaries inform potential converts about the Church’s current interview policies?

Climb a Mountain, Save a Child

We have big plans this year to continue to press for change.  And not just in the Mormon Church.  Nevertheless, the LDS Church will still be central to our cause.  They are the poster child of unsafe practices.

I have previously announced our plans in various places.  HERE’s one.  More detailed explanations will be published soon.

What Can You Do

  1. Climb a mountain, peak or driveway.  Unfurl a banner or poster.  Take a picture & share.
  2. Share this opportunity with friends and family.  This is no longer just a Mormon adventure to protect Mormon children.  Invite your friends of all religious persuasions.
  3. In SLC on Oct 5, 2019, another march and rally will be held.  Make plans to come and wave your banner high.
  4. If you can’t come to the march, that’s ok.  We’ll carry a banner in your honor of the mountain you climbed.

This is a high and noble cause.  We are saving children, both in and out of the Mormon Church.

Last year, a THOUSAND people marched in the streets of Salt Lake City with bold and colorful signs.  It was magical.

Now imagine this fall:  FIVE THOUSAND men, women and children bearing banners from mountain tops around the world proclaiming a message of safety and healing.  That’s our goal–5,000!!!



PLDSC has a ton of preparation to do.  Two things that will happen soon to support you.

  1. A registry will be published where you can record in advance what mountain, hill or driveway you plan to climb.
  2. Banners have been ordered and will be available for purchase soon.  Of course, home made flags are wonderful.  That’s the route we went for our first mountain climb.

This will be an amazing adventure of a lifetime for all of us.


26 thoughts on “Should Mormon Missionaries Tell the Truth about Children?

  1. I find it ironic that while being raised Mormon I was always told “honesty is the best policy,” yet the organization continues to shy away from practicing what it preaches. I’m concerned that the collective might lack the ability to face the truth and do what is right. It makes me sad for those who remain faithful.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes I am
      Glad that he has the courage to stand up and question as that takes a lot to do that.
      So many people follow blindly and I am so impressed by him

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was wondering if all the people I had baptized would have joined the church if the Joseph Smith storyline included the stone in the hat translation trick versus the make believe urim and thummim story? That and this interview thing must take a lot of explaining.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Mormon Missionaries should tell the truth about church doctrine, policies, and practices so people can make an informed decision about the religion.

    A true religion will welcome significant examination of their doctrines, history, and leadership. A false one won’t.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That’s almost funny Harold. People believe practically anything they are told only because they are told. Hence the success of fake news, etc. The success of religion is proof of human gullibility, while here in the west our kids are raised in deception like it’s a running joke. Religions have always shared the parts they like. Mormons never talk about the faux pas of the prophets unless confronted. Nobody proselytizes like that. We only find the dirties later on.

      Liked by 5 people

  4. How about telling the truth when telling people about the Church’s interview policy. “twice a year the Bishop interviews the youth of the ward on the worthiness for that youth to advance in the Priesthood or attend the Temple”. As the parent of that child you have every right to attend that interview. Or your child may invite another trusted adult to attend the interview. To put this information on missionaries is ridiculous. Parents have this responsibility and no one else. There is a purpose why the church has instituted the 2 hour block on Sunday and a more home centered teaching. These children are our stewardship. Yes, there have been Church leaders who said and did disgusting things, but my belief is that if it does go on, parents should be teaching their children in the home, what to do. Stand up and walk out and tell their parent.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Parents have this responsibility and no one else.”

      Trouble is when missionaries teach a family the gospel, parents don’t know what church policy is concerning interviews. Also, there are children of inactive parents who attend church and are clueless about church policies. Before the year 2015 how many parents do you think knew that the bishop asked their children sexual based questions?

      Liked by 5 people

    2. I don’t want the be rude, but the parent still needs to know before they join the church. And clearly you haven’t been in this situation as a child. Do you know about the test they did a decade ago where they had parents teach their children about stranger danger and to never talk to anyone they didn’t know? They then had these children playing at the park, one by one, and every single one of them was easily lured into helping a man find a puppy and getting into his van. Children aren’t equipped with the ability to stand up to an authority figure, especially who represents God, and could be a predator with skills far above their ability to understand. Even an emotionally abusive bishop can do severe damage the child isn’t able to handle. I was raped starting at 11. One night after it happened when I was 14, I stayed awake all night trying to figure out how to escape. I wasn’t dumb, I had all that information in my head. But I couldn’t access it. My mind couldn’t think of anything that would work to escape. It was dark, I was terrified, had PTSD which shuts down parts of your brain like a deer in the headlights. You just can’t leave this responsibility on a child to stand up for themselves. They should never be alone with an older man who has authority to ask them indecent questions or even to be alone behind closed doors, meant to be intimidating. Ever. Would you put a child alone with a Catholic priest?

      Liked by 4 people

  5. Missionaries absolutely should tell investigators about the worthiness interview practice and policy. They won’t, but they should. The shroud of secrecy is heavy and dark in the LDS church, as it seems to be in many religions. The Catholic Church is clearly not immune (; the Pope is having trouble eradicating the problem, but at least acknowledged it (finally) and says they’re trying to deal with it. The Mormons (yay, another win for Satan!) would do well to follow that example.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Informed consent. It is a must before committing to a religion, having a medical procedure, participating in research, marriage, buying a house, car, age of consent for sex. It’s so important, that a child cannot give consent to a contract because they aren’t mature enough to process the information needed to make an informed decision. Consent is essential in our culture and cannot happen without full disclosure of what you are getting into. Information and truth are essential. All contracts are null and void without it. Mormons worry about a toe coming out of the water during baptisms, but are perfectly fine with leaving out information and truth about the religion people are actually joining. They strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Fabled Creature…There is much food for thought in your comment re: Informed Consent. “All contracts are null and void without it.” w.r.t.. the claim that the spirits which come forth in the latter days are choice, I used to tell our children…BIC how special they were, more so than others who were converts. I consoled myself that their parents , who were converts, nonetheless were special because they had been elected to bring forth such worthy spirits. Oh my goodness what absolute rubbish! At any rate now my consolation is the being BIC , if one still regards such as a contract, is in fact “null and void.” What a relief!On the contrary though, we accepted the BIC as an absolute fact thereby condemning our precious children to all the laws and restrictions especially to baptism and membership in a cult which binds, manipulates and controls.They were in fact Born In Captivity.Our children did not consent to membership in the Lds/Mormon ‘religion.’ Two are no longer involved but will not resign.”Why do we need to resign when we do not acknowledge the authority of this organisation.? If we were to resign we would in essence acknowledge the existence of a legally binding club… it is nothing, has no consequence in our lives, we did not agree to membership.” This despiccable organisation caused a good deal of anguish and disruption in their lives. Fortunately they were both young enough and strong enough to recognise that those priesthood holders were not “of their kind.” Their mother always had issues …they were raised to question and above all they are fortunately not locked into relationship with TBMS. It is more difficult for the four who are. Our prayer each day is that these four and their families will recognise that that contract made in the London Temple almost 50 years ago was illegal; it is null and void.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. Sam had the missionaries told us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, ultimately we would not have had two sons waste two years of their lives.It is not a matter of pride to have sons serving missions…it is wrong to perpetuate this religion in the name of Jesus Christ…he has nothing to do with it as is evident in the Second Anointing. (poor missionaries).

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I recently learned that there is an important Hebrew idiom in Matthew 5:21-22

    Matthew 5:21-22
    21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

    To get a better understanding of it please watch a section of this video Understanding the Difficult Words of Yeshua from 38m35s to 49m59s. Here are two of the most important statements from it.

    Don’t question somebody else’s relationship with God. If you do you are making yourself god.

    You should not accuse someone of being separated from God because that is not up to you.

    When a bishop says that we need their help to know if and when God has forgiven us, he is questioning our relationship with God, he is saying we are not capable of hearing God’s voice even after He has forgiven us. Something we should remember is that Cain talked with God after he slew Able. Which is questioning our relationship with God even when we are clean, possibily to the point of being worse than Cain’s. This is one of the things that once we understand this idiom it is saying not to do.

    The bishop is doing the same thing when he interviews boys or men to decide if they are worthy to progress through the priesthood and women as they progress also, sorry I don’t know the best word for it I didn’t grow up as a girl.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. While serving my mission years ago, we were told not to tell our investigators about polygamy or that black people couldn’t hold the priesthood at that time. Shortly after my first baptism (a family of 3), they found out about polygamy from another source. I did my best to explain/justify it. They felt betrayed and left the Church. It was a bad feeling for all of us. I was just doing what I was told, but I was haunted by their feeling that I had deceived them. As members, we are now getting a taste of that feeling of betrayal as the current information age allows us to uncover things that the Church has tried to keep us from finding out. Brutal honesty about certain topics would likely bring convert baptisms to a halt or nearly so. Sad but true.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. They should, but I’m sure they won’t, because their convert statistics would go down even more. And the numbers are what matter to them, apparently, not the safety of children.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Missionaries are to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and that salvation comes through him and the things he has outlined and that should be their focus. From my time as a missionary in the late 80’s to working with missionaries now I’ve never been told or have heard of any missionary say they’ve been told to not talk about or avoid any subject. Of course due to time considerations during appointments there is no possible way to touch on every subject matter in the church but if someone asks then we answer. It seems social media has had its typical amplifying effect of making every bad incident seem like the norm which is not. In our Ward the Bishop meets the individual or Family (youth included) before Baptism and talks to them about any concerns, questions, expectations, youth programs and makes them aware of youth interviews etc.,and that parents are welcome to come if they choose or not to. The questions a bishop asks during interviews are the same as Temple questions which can be found easily online, they are not hidden in any way. Unfortunately things don’t always happen the way it should but this is how I’ve seen it approached in our ward. Thanks Sam for your continued effort to bless the lives of youth everywhere, in doing and giving your time to help make sure no youth are harmed in and out of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sam,
    When you were Bishop, you never consulted with parents before you took children behind closed doors. Time to get over it, the policy has changed and interviews can be conducted with parents present or door open. Bishops now are very clear about this.


    1. Nathan Wagner please note any change in policy as you describe it with regard parents present or door open are entirely as a a result of Sam’s efforts with regard to protecting lds children….thanks to Sam Young himself. HOWEVER,the changes do not go far enough in protecting lds children as they still groom the child and do not stop short of asking sexually explicit questions. No-one but no-one has the right to ask ANYONE particularly young children or teenagers questions such as “Are you chaste?” I can vouch for the fact that bishops still have the absolute audacity to pose such a question to a young child even in the prescence of a parent. Shameful indeed.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. The vast majority of interviews are still conducted one-on-one. No sexaully explicit questions have been barred from these interviews. I’ll get over it when the church prohibits behind closed doors interrogations about children’s sex lives.


  13. “Well, maybe if their testimony of the restoration was stronger than their concern for their kids” A strange statement, to even think that any act or belief would be more important to ones children, I’d steer clear of any group that would even think that one face that choice.

    Liked by 1 person

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