What an amazing journey these past couple of years have been. Not just for me, but for tens of thousands of us. My heart often overflows with gratitude for what my new friends have done. At this season of Thanksgiving I want to express my deep gratitude.
I’m not going to mention names for a couple of reasons. First, for many people it’s not safe to be known as a supporter of this movement. Second, so many people have been involved that I know I would forget somebody.
This journey did not begin with survivors in mind. My objective was to see the LDS Church change its dangerous and inappropriate interview practices. I had no idea that so much damage had been done over the past few decades. I offer my thanks to the survivors and victims who have stepped forward and shared their stories. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your friendship. Sharing your stories has helped countless people heal. Your open and vulnerable words have reached the ears of parents and church leaders. Many have taken action to protect children. This is huge.
Helpers & Participants
Petitions. Marches. Temple-side chats. Mountain climbs. Press conferences. Websites. Facebook. Youtube. Samaritan gatherings. Oh my gosh. So many volunteers. So many participants. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate every single one of you who have helped out or participated. It humbles me. You have raised visibility to our children’s plight in ways that will ripple with good outcomes for years to come.
Spreading the Word
Unfortunately, it’s not always safe in the Mormon culture to openly speak about the cause of protecting children. If it was too much of a risk for you to share this work, do not feel bad. I know that you found other ways to support. I want to give a shout out to all who did share on social media, who spoke with friends, family and acquaintances. A big thank you to those who raised the issue with church leaders. Some of them actually listened and responded favorably. Some leaders took action against you. Thank you for your fortitude in the face of censure. Your sharing magnified our efforts a thousand fold.
All this has cost a ton of money. Hundreds of you have generously helped out. Donations from $1.00 on up to….well, let’s just say bigger, were received. All were meaningful and helpful. Those who donated know who you are. Thank you. Thank you very much. Your money helped raise awareness in a big way. And that awareness has saved many children and promoted much healing.
I know, I know. I said no names. What the heck. Obedience has not always been my best suit, even to my own rules. Only a very few.
Bertie Young Criddle, my mom: She has been at my back pretty much every step of the may. From the very first action at Temple square, to every press conference, march and then the weeks of the hunger strike. Her biggest aid came in the form of moral support. Dark days of doubt and discouragement have been frequent companions. And there was my mom cheering me on with the supreme confidence only a mother can have in her son. Thanks mom. I love you dearly!
John Dehlin: In the summer of 2017, Protect LDS Children was a complete unknown. At the outset, my friend John generously hosted me on his widely known platform, Mormon Stories Podcast. He has given our cause a huge boost several times over the past 2 years. Thanks John for your unflagging support and encouragement.
Tanisha Martin: For over a year, Tanisha basically led from behind the scenes in countless ways. She seemed to be an expert at everything. Most of the time she just jumped in and got things done before I had any idea that they needed getting done. Tanisha, you are awesome. Thank you!
Tim Coray: I met Tim in the Summer of 2018, shortly before the hunger strike. I needed someone to help live-stream the nightly Temple-side Chats. Tim volunteered. We were together on the streets of Salt Lake City for over 3 weeks. An amazing adventure. For the next several months we continued to work together on other video projects for the cause, including coverage of the excommunication both in Houston and Salt Lake City. We happened to be together for his birthday last fall in Houston. I asked what he would like to do. “Let’s go to a drag queen show.” We did. My first. What a fun, delightful and eye-opening evening. Thanks Tim, for everything!
Tyler Slack: The Mountain Man. For months he worked on planning a series of 11 consecutive climbs to unfurl banners on mountain peaks in Utah. Then this summer, he and I, accompanied by lots of other child protection advocates, ascended the summits. It was tough. But that Tyler is one tough cookie with an extraordinarily buoyant attitude. Thanks Tyler for all the planning, phone calls, meetings, recommendations and redrafts. Thanks for getting us to the top of every single peak…well except for Timp. Only you made that one, you intrepid trail blazer.
Katie Moore: An exceptional person. The 2019 version of Tanisha. Her analytical mind and perceptive eyes spotted various areas where Protect Every Child could do better. Out of the blue, she contacted me and started making wonderful suggestions. I queried if she would like to put her ideas into action. She enthusiastically took on task after task after task. Not only was she the right-hand man (woman), she was also the left-hand, and seemed to have a bunch of other hands. Thanks Katie for your tireless dedication and commitment to our noble cause.
I could add name after name after name. Please forgive me for not listing yours. Just know that I appreciate everyone and everything. All the support. All the encouragement. All the work. Even the heartache that many of you have expended in benefit of protecting our precious kids.
May you feel uplift and fulfillment at what we have managed to accomplish. We are not done. Plans for the future are in the offing and will take shape over the coming months.
Appreciation, godspeed and love to you, my lovely friends.