The First Banners are Unfurled

Banner Enchanted Rock

This morning, I and three of my grandchildren climbed Enchanted Rock.  A landmark in central Texas.  Being four hours from Houston, it made for an all day adventure.  The kids loved it.  I loved it.  They want to plant more flags and then come to the march this fall in Salt Lake City.

As you can see, there was quite a breeze….a cold breeze.  Fortunately, the hike up the steep slope had warmed us.  Never-the-less, we were glad to descend when our little ceremony was finished.

Ceremony?  Well…we videoed the whole thing.  I’ll post it soon.  First, we assembled the flag poles.  Then the banners were unfurled in the perfect wind.  Finally, I gave a little speech which you’ll find below.  Pretty much everyone on the summit, about 20 people, gathered as the colorful flags started to wave.  Their attention was especially riveted when I got to the Mormon part of my presentation.

Unfurling Speech

Today is January 1st, 2019.  As we unfurl these 3 banners on the summit of Enchanted Rock, we declare this year as the year to Protect Every Child

We plant these flags in memory of our precious and innocent children.  We call the attention of the world to their vulnerability.  1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18.  Abuse is dreadfully abundant.  Yet, to most of us it’s an invisible monster stalking and destroying our kids.

We unfurl these banners in memory of the abused children of yesteryear who are now adults.  We know you are there.  What happened to you was not your fault.  It was wrong.   You are loved.  We care that you were harmed.  If you have spoken up we believe you.  If this is not the time for you to speak up, we will be your voice.

From this mountain top, we call upon all institutions to take every step possible to Protect Every Child.  We encourage churches to implement the full range of best practices regarding all adults dealing with children such as finger prints, background checks, criminal checks, regular & professional training, 2 deep leadership.

We call on law makers to take up this issue as a priority.  I was very encouraged by a news report that I woke up to this morning from Australia.  The headline: 

Abuse victims can sue churches much more effectively.

The attorney general said this: “I’m pleased my first item of business in 2019 is to create a fairer civil litigation system for all child abuse survivors.”

“The new laws stipulate a duty of care on organizations which exercise care, supervision or authority over children, to prevent abuse perpetrated by individuals associated with it. It reverses the onus of proof onto institutions, requiring they prove they took reasonable steps to prevent abuse.”

“It is also to encourage institutions to do everything they can to prevent the abuse from occurring in the first place.”

Good for you Australia. 

In 2018, our focus was only on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Dear Mormon Church: Soon you will have nowhere to hide.  You are now singled out as the most unsafe institutional church in America.  You have employed almost none of the best practices to protect children.  And you mandate some of the absolute worst practices.  You facilitate one-on-one behind closed door interviews between adult males and children.  Then you mandate that these adult men ask the children about sex and allow any sexually explicit question that the adult feels prompted to probe the children with.

Mormon church and every other church, we call on you to do everything you can to prevent abuse from occurring.  Everything.  Our children deserve no less.

Now, these are the first 3 banners unfurled on a mountain top.  I ask that everyone in the sound of my voice make a New Year’s resolution to take up the cause of protecting every child.

Pick a peak to climb.  Whether it’s the top of Kilimanjaro or the top of your driveway, it matters not.  Plant a flag.  Take a picture.  Share it with family and friends.  Then, if you can, join us this fall in Salt Lake City as we march in unison to unfurl our flags in memory of our children.

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. Make plans to come to the march this fall 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.

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

On March 30, 2018, a THOUSAND people marched 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 my goal–5,000!!!  At this point, I know it will be at least 3.

BE A PART OF IT.

Preparations

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 will be made available for purchase.  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.

 

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