This is sacred story #586. The author ends it with, “Please, let Jon be the last one to fall victim.”
To My dear friend: Protect-The-Children’s goal is to eliminate the very grooming opportunities that resulted in your husband’s childhood tragedy. My heart reaches out to you in tears & love. But, that is not enough. On July 28th and 29th, myriad voices will be raised long and loud to call for changes to protect today’s children. May this be healing to Jon. You and he are now active parts of this movement. Thank you, for I know it is difficult to share such a vulnerable history.
My husband Jon was very well liked by his bishop. He was often called on to give speeches during church. From the outside it appeared my husband had found favour in the eye of his LDS bishop.
What people didn’t know is this behavior is a very common grooming process of predators. My husband suppressed these memories until a few years ago when I was having health problems. It was as if Pandora’s box was kicked open and she reveled her ugly head of unthinkable past memories.
Let’s go back to the setting. My husband had joined his youth at the Salt Lake Temple. The children were lined up in the basement of the church taking turns in the beautiful baptismal fount held up by a base of golden oxen. It was my husband’s turn. Proxy names were read. He was baptized after each name. He wore a white jumpsuit-like attire as approved by the temple for all the children performing baptismal rituals. Once he finished his proxy baptisms he was told to return to the dressing room to dry off and return to his street clothes.
My husband was confused. He heard the door to the dressing room slam shut soon after he entered. He had not yet gotten dressed. That is when his bishop, _______ ______, entered. The bishop said nothing to him. He walked over and sat next to him. Then he started molesting him. He then took down his own pants and sodomized my 13 year old husband. That was my husband’s introduction to sexuality. My husband knew no one in his family would believe him. It wasn’t until we were married almost 20 years that he was able to tell me what had happened.
There were clues in his behavior though that should have put up red flags. Like him transforming over night from a straight A student to a troubled youth. His parents chose to dismiss this as he was a bad kid. The time he was angry at me when I let his mom take our newborn to meet members of her ward. I was punished and told to never let our children near “those people.” Yes, the whole riddle came into focus and all this seemingly odd behavior became clear.
Please, let Jon be the last one to fall victim. It’s more then time to stop this needless behavior of grooming during bishop interviews.
If you have not yet signed the petition to protect our children, please consider joining the thousands who already have.