Letter to Apostles–Invitation to Temple-Side Chat

Apostles ancientThe following letter was delivered to the apostles earlier today.

Dear Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

By now, I’m assuming that you are aware of what is taking place nightly in the shadow of our gorgeous and sacred Salt Lake Temple.  Just in case, here are the details again.

For a total of fifteen days, an event is being held across the street from temple square.  It is called Temple-side Chat with an Apostle.  Each day, one of the apostles will be invited to join us.  A chair will be provided for his comfort. The chat will last around an hour, unless the apostle desires to extend it.

People will gather each evening.  Many will be victims and survivors of the heartbreaking consequences resulting from youth interviews. They desire to speak directly with those responsible for the policies that enabled the crippling indignities suffered while they were mere children.

The stories of hundreds of these good people were delivered to your offices last March.  Elder Christofferson has read them all.  He described them as TRAGIC.  To many survivors, it has been highly meaningful that their accounts actually landed on Elder C’s desk.  That he read them is huge.  Just think what it would mean to them for an actual apostle to listen in-person to these TRAGIC stories.

A central purpose of the Savior’s gospel is healing. Our gentle Lord was in constant out-reach to those who were shunned by the priesthood holders of his time.

Jesus is lauded for healing in his wings.  As a Special Witness of Christ, please come and spread that healing to those we have harmed.  You will be spreading the Balm of Gilead not only among those present, but among thousands upon thousands around the world.

The Temple-side Chat with an Apostle begins every night at 7:00pm on the sidewalks of South Temple Street. If you would prefer a different venue, please let me know and we’ll happily convene there. Here is the schedule of invitations.

July 29:  Elder SoaresFailed to show.

July 30:  Elder Gong–Failed to show.

July 31:  Elder Renlund–Failed to show.

Aug 1:     Elder Stevenson–Failed to show.

Aug 2:     Elder RasbandFailed to show.

Aug 3:     Elder Anderson-Failed to show.

Aug 4:     Elder Christofferson-Failed to show.

Aug 5:     Elder Cook–Failed to show.

Aug 6:     Elder Bednar–Failed to show.

Aug 7:     Elder Uchtdorf-Failed to show.

Aug 8:     Elder Holland–Failed to show.

Aug 9:     Elder Ballard–Failed to show.

Aug 10:   President Eyring

Aug 11:  President Oaks

Aug 12:  President Nelson

Thanks for your heartfelt consideration,

Sam Young

P.S. Yesterday, referring to me, you stated: “Further meetings with him are not necessary.”  If you prefer that I not to be at the Temple-Side Chat when you are present, I’ll gladly accommodate.  Healing victims and protecting children are my primary concerns.

Dear Elder Gerrit W. Gong

Gong

Dear Elder Gong,

This past May, you and your wife Susan, spoke at BYU’s women’s conference.  Susan shared “three observations about what it might mean to love as Jesus loves.”

The first one was to understand.  She said, “There is healing, there is hope in just being known, just being understood.” She added, “If I am to love as Jesus would love, what do I need to do? I need to learn to listen.”

Secondly, she said, we must “feel compassion.”  Specifically she stated that “compassion requires imagination and intention . . . To feel how it really feels to have been abused.”

And finally she concludes, “Like the Good Samaritan, when Christ finds us suffering, He has compassion on us, He comes to us, binds our wounds, and brings us to the inn and cares for us.”

Elder Gong, there are wounded travelers on the side of the road.  They have asked to meet with you.  As your wife said, they long to be heard and understood.  Who will stop and love them as Jesus did?  And who will pass them by on the side of the road?

These wounded travelers are victims of abuse at the hand of church leaders who gained access to their victims through our church’s own policies that allow private one on one interviews where leaders can inquire after personal sexual issues.  This policy has the unintended consequence of providing cover and opportunity for the worst desires of humanity and this must change.

I plead with you, come and talk with the wounded travelers. Share the Savior’s love with them. Have compassion and hear their stories. Love them as Christ would if he were here.  It is me to them.

I trust that as a disciple of Christ  you will know what our Savior expects of you to be the Good Samaritan and not pass by like the priest or the Levite.

For a total of fifteen days, an event is being held across the street from temple square.  It is called a “Temple-side Chat with an Apostle.”  Each day, one of the apostles will be invited to join us.  A chair will be provided for his comfort.  The chat will last around an hour, unless the apostle desires to extend it.

Elder Gong, you are the apostle who I’m cordially inviting to join us on Monday, July 30th at 7:00pm.  The chat will be broadcast live on FB.  You will reach 10’s of 1,000’s around the world with your healing words.

With Love,

Sam Young

P.S.  This invitation was not composed by me.  It was written by a woman, an active member of the church.  She fears family and ward backlash if she were to openly sign this letter.

Dear Elder Ulisses Soares

 

Soares-Ulisses2017Congratulations on your new calling as an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I’m confident that you will continue to serve the Lord diligently and faithfully.  You have my support and prayers.  Today, my wife went to the Houston temple to specifically put your name on the prayer roll, along with the 14 other apostles.

Yesterday, I was told that you should already know of me and my cause to protect our children.  Thank heavens that the Quorum of the Twelve has paid attention to the thousands of members who are crying out in concern and pain.

For the next fifteen days, an event will be held across the street from temple square.  It will be called a “Temple-side Chat with an Apostle.”  Each day, one of the apostles will be invited to join us.  A chair will be provided for his comfort.  The chat will last around an hour, unless the apostle desires to extend it.

Topic of the chat?  It will center on our church policy for interviewing minors.  There is no matter more important than keeping our children safe.

Who will the apostle be chatting with?  Adults who have been egregiously harmed as children.  Concerned parents.  People with questions about our interview practices.  Others who simply want to express love for our leaders.

Elder Soares, I cordially invite you to be the first apostle to intimately grace the presence of concerned members.  Join us, Sunday, July 29th at 7:00pm.  This will be broadcast by livestream on FB.  You will touch 10’s of 1,000’s around the world with your compassion and wisdom.

Please don’t leave the chair empty.

With Love, your brother in Christ,

Sam Young

P.S.  If for some reason, your chair does sit empty, I’ll try my darnedest to give good answers to those who participate in our Temple-side-Chat-with-an-Apostle.

 

Apostolic Possibility!!!

Apostles 2018

One week ago today, I met with my stake president.  He had received personal revelation that it was urgent to give me a message.  Referring to Protect the Children, he said, “Walk away, Sam, walk away.”

He asked me to seriously consider it.  I said I would.  We didn’t discuss it much further.

After our meeting I carefully deliberated.  Within a few days, my decision was firm.  “Walk with the children, Sam, walk with the children.”  I chose not to walk away.  Rather, I would move full steam ahead with preparations for the action on July 28 & 29.

I have purposefully been vague on what the action would entail.  Here are some of  the reasons for withholding details:

  1. Many people surely would have called me out to NOT pursue this course.  I didn’t want to spend my energy in defending.
  2. Many people would have scoffed and called the action meaningless.  Again, I didn’t want to waste the energy in convincing.
  3. I didn’t want to give the church advance warning this time.  In all of our storied history, this would be the first time they have ever faced this type of action

 Meeting in the Wind?

I arrived in Salt Lake City yesterday, Wednesday.  Within one day, unforeseen developments have arisen.  A staunch supporter of PLDSC invited me to an early breakfast.  He has deep connections in the church.

Following, is a very shortened version on the conversation.

SupporterWould you be interested in meeting with an apostle before the action if I could line it up?

SamOf course.

SupporterI’d have to know what you are planning.

Sam(I described all the elements of the action.)

SupporterThat has the potential to cause a real PR nightmare for the Church.

SamThat’s what I’m counting on.

SupporterIf you secured a meeting with the apostle, would you be willing to call off your action?

SamI’d at least be willing to postpone it.

Supporter:  Okay….I’ll reach out to my contact right after breakfast, describe what’s going on and see if he would be willing to contact the apostle.

This afternoon, Supporter had a “long” meeting with his Contact.  They discussed the many risks the church faces by continuing these interviews, the potential PR storm and several other implications.

Contact already knew about my work.  He even AGREES with the changes we are calling for.  How amazingly cool is that!

Memos about policy changes have crossed his desk.  Often he thinks to himself, “This has Sam written all over it.”  I thought, “Nope it has 10’s of 1,000’s of good people’s names written all over it.  And 1,000’s upon 1,000’s of survivors names written all over it.

Within only 24 hours of arriving in Utah, my apple cart may have toppled completely over.  But in a good way.  We have a possibility of making our case directly to an apostle, someone who actually has the power to make changes.

**Update:  Contact just requested my cell phone number.

Choices

I’m not terribly hopeful that an apostolic meeting will actually happen.  If it does, I will then have to decide whether or not to postpone.

If nothing is set by tomorrow, it’s full steam ahead.

Details

So now, the Church knows the details.

A major Salt Lake TV station called me today.  I shared the details and swore them to silence.  As a neophyte, I’m hoping the media keeps confidences.

The circle of people in the ‘need to know’ category has now expanded to 15.  Some of them gave me serious push back as described above.

Even so, I’m not ready to release all the details in public….except for the ones below.

The action’s start date has been moved up to Friday July 27th at 7:00pm MT.  It will continue behind the scenes all day Saturday.

Sunday, July 29th

9:00am: I will announce the entire action from the shadow of the Salt Lake Temple.  It will be broadcast by livestream on Facebook and hopefully Youtube.  I haven’t figured that one out yet.

11:00am:  I’m going to sacrament meeting to renew my covenants.

5:00pm:  I return to South Temple and hope to meet many of my friends.

6:45 – 8:00pm:  Still at South Temple, a daily ritual will be established and a special meeting conducted.

Obviously, I have left out the PR nightmare details.  Those will be announced Sunday morning.  At the same time, I’ll be sharing many ways that people in every nook and cranny around the world can actively participate.

The march was historic.  It was magical.  It accomplished so much in so many ways.  It landed the Sacred Stories of  our Sacred Children on the desks of the apostles.  Elder Christofferson took the time to read them all.  Kudos to Elder C.

The coming action, nameless until Sunday, will be every bit as historic.  This will be the first and maybe the only time this occurrence faces the Church.  I have heard many people lament that they missed the march.  Don’t lament missing this action.  I’m depending on YOU to give it a powerful walloping punch felt around the world.

With all that said….a meeting with an apostle may put our maneuver on hold.

 

17 year old Mormon girl weighs in on sexually explicit interviews

March march emotional abuseEvery week bishops and their counselors, stake presidents and their counselors  continue to to harm children around the world in one-on-one interviews, behind closed doors with sexually explicit questions.  Most of the harm is unintentional.  Never-the-less, it’s still dreadful harm that we are working hard to bring to an end.

Here’s a 17 year old young woman, clearly laying out the healing effects of our movement.  Plus, it’s a nicely composed note of thanks.

Hey Sam! I know you’ve gotten a ton of thank you notes already, but I feel the need to thank you myself.

I’m 17 and I live in Utah. I experienced the harmful effects of explicit bishop interviews first when I was 13 and for a few years after that. I submitted my story on your site, but in short, they seriously hurt my self esteem, self worth, and will to live.

I always thought I was the only one to experience what happened to me, but your movement has made me realize that I’m not the only one and my hurt is valid and is a real problem. Realizing this has helped me to start the healing process instead of continuing to bottle it up.

Before this movement, I hadn’t told a single soul about what had happened because I was so ashamed of what took place. It lifted such a big weight off my shoulders to share my story anonymously, since I would still never share it with anyone in person.

And let me tell you, Sam, nothing feels better than knowing that a printed hard copy of my story is in the hands of the apostles, the people who allowed this to happen and the people who can prevent it from happening again.

It’ll take time, but sharing my experience has helped start me on the path of finding closure from what happened. Your determination and love for the people around you inspires me so much. I think it’s amazing that you saw a huge problem, and took action instead of just standing back and watching. Now I know that 1 person really can make a difference. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much. You are an angel, never forget how much difference you can make.

Thank you my friend for your note of encouragement.  You have helped clarify what our movement is all about….I’m still learning.  So happy to hear of your progress and glad that it is happening while you are still young.

My stake president is urging me to walk away from my efforts.  Your words are very encouraging to continue on, especially as I face the difficult & daunting action on July 28th & 29th.

Reminders

If you want to share your story of inappropriate bishops interviews, tomorrow, July 21st is the deadline, if you want it included in the book that will be used in next week’s action.  HERE is the link to share.

If you haven’t signed the petition, please consider adding your name and comment.  HERE is the link to sign.

Correction

Sheesh. I made a whopper of an error on this post.  I initially titled it as a young man.  This note came from on wonderful young WOMAN.  Sorry about that, my friend.

A Slut? Hell no!!

Father and son

Dear # 439,

I’m in the process of preparing for the July 29th. action.  That includes updating the Sacred Book of Sacred Stories, Childhoods Destroyed Behind Closed Doors.  Somehow, I had left off the consequences on your story.  They have been added back.  As I did so, I reread your account and pondered what each of the numbers meant …..1 …..2 …..3 …..4 …..6 …..7 …..8 …..9 ….. Fortuitously, #10 did not happen.  I choked up.  I teared up.  I cried.

A mere child having to go through all this with so much shame at home.  Dreadful, crushing shame.  That shame then reinforced and magnified as you sat all alone in the bishop’s office.

Although your healing may not be complete, it sounds like you are doing well today.   That makes me happy.  I’d like to say this to you…

I see you.

I believe you.

You are brave.

You are enough.

You are strong.

I love you, Sam.

#439’s Story:

There is so much. I can not write it all. I was beaten for masturbating. I was snuck up on if my bedroom door was closed or in the shower to “catch me in the act” so I could be beaten again if caught masturbating. I was raped by a guy I had gone on a date with at age 18,(1994) and ended up pregnant. I was a virgin. My parents didn’t believe me. My mother told me I had to have enjoyed it and had an orgasm to get pregnant. She also called me a slut. My father called me the town whore and since I was the oldest of 7 kids, I was the bad apple that would spoil the bunch.

They made me go to the bishop who also didn’t believe me. He said I had lost my chastity and for that I must repent. I was a sinner and the only sinner worse than me was a murderer. I was put on probation and had to meet with him once a month.

He sent LDS social services to my house to try to convince me to give my baby up. My child had nothing to do with that rape. It wasn’t her fault and I could never give her up. She was why I was holding on to my own life.

After she was born, I had horrible guilt and shame. I felt, and was told by my parents I was ruined and I could never marry a decent man now. No one wanted a ruined woman with baggage. I tried to electrocute myself by sticking a knife in a socket. I felt even worse after I had tried that because the very last thing I wanted was my daughter being raised by my parents. I did my best to work and raise my daughter. I did eventually meet and marry a man in the Washington DC temple in August 1997.

It was amazing to watch ward members mouths drop open when they found out I was getting married in the temple. My parents didn’t attend. Didn’t even wait outside because they felt I shouldn’t have been allowed to. It wasn’t until years later , watching my own children go through puberty and knowing what was going on in their classes and interviews, that I came to the realization of how horribly wrong and abusive I was treated. How sickening, what they did to me and how they made me feel. I could not allow my children to be told anything remotely close to what I was told by my bishop or by anyone else. I have raised my children to practice safe ( sex positive) loving relationships with themselves and other people. There are so many more experiences and just not enough words to express the feelings and emotions of those experiences.

Suicide

Is it any wonder that Utah has the highest youth suicide rate in the nation?  Most of the sacred stories in the book include suicide ideation.  Many recount suicide attempts.  Several resulted in death by suicide.  What a shame that we are driving our kids to such extremes.

This accounts screams that parents need training.  Bishops need training.  Why the hell are we sitting on billions of dollars in the bank?  Billions more in land, malls, high end condos and who knows what else.  It’s high time we invest in the safety of our kids.  And….GET THEM OUT OF THE CROSS HAIRS OF DANGEROUS AND IRRESPONSIBLE INTERVIEWS.

Share Your Story

An updated book will be a central part of the action on July 28 & 29.  If you would like it to contain your story of inappropriate bishop interviews, now would be a good time to share.  The deadline for inclusion is midnight Sunday, July 22.  BTW, telling your story is not part of everyone’s healing process.  It is appropriate and perfectly okay not to share.  It’s more important that you heal.

Share your sacred story HERE.

Read the sacred stories HERE.

See the sacred stories HERE.

Sign the petition HERE.

Key to Consequence #’s

  1. Inappropriate shame and guilt
  2. Childhood self-loathing
  3. Adulthood self-loathing
  4. Normalizing children to sexual questions by adult men. (Grooming)
  5. Sexual abuse. (Pedophilia)
  6. Impaired sexual relations after marriage.
  7. Years of recovery from childhood shaming.  Often lasting decades.
  8. Suicide Ideation
  9. Attempted Suicide
  10. Suicide of a loved one or friend.

Bishop Rapes a Child in the Temple

Salt Lake Temple Lighting

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.

Petition

If you have not yet signed the petition to protect our children, please consider joining the thousands who already have.