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.

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40 thoughts on “Bishop Rapes a Child in the Temple

  1. What is wrong with people?!?! There is a reason that I haven’t read many of the submitted stories or even submitted my own (as benign as it is in comparison to some others). I just can’t. Thank you Sam, for your relentess pursuit and dedication to this cause. You are doing the right thing. And I know it hasn’t been easy, on several different levels. I don’t know exactly what you have planned for the end of the month, but I am hoping that I will be able to participate in some meaningful way once all is revealed. Keep up the good work my friend!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. C’mon Sam. There are lots of stories that support your position. Do you really need to post highly dubious stories like this? First of all, the existence of repressed memory syndrome is higly controverial. It has not been accepted by the mainstream psychological community. Do three minutes of research on the topic and you will learn that any stories that arise due to “recovered memories” should be viewed with extreme skepticim.

    More importantly, this story has clearly been told by someone who has never been to the Salt Lake Temple. There is no dressing room door that would “slam shut.” More importantly, the changing area is not private. If anything, it is uncomfortably public and constantly crowded. The bishop and the child would never be in the changing area alone, particularly if they were there with a youth group. Do you really believe that this kid was full on raped while people walked past the 3/4 length changing stalls? Frankly, this story reads exactly like it came from someone who has experienced false recovered memories.

    I know there is a temptation to post the most salacious stories you have recieved, but stuff like this only hurts your cause. It is a distraction. You don’t need to check your common sense at the door simply becasue you are fighting a battle against the church. Win your fight by using the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mahonri,

      Thanks for your concern. I’m following the recent admonition of the apostles on this one. In their new statement on abuse, they said that we should believe people when they come forward…that it’s rare for someone to falsify a story.

      BTW, your comment is the poster child for why victims are afraid to come forward. Rather than being received with understanding & empathy, their stories are torn apart. The church got it right this time. Believe the victims.

      Thanks, my friend, for your comment.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I think the commenter brings up a valid point. No accusation should just be believed because its been made. People and organizational reputations can and have been ruined by false claims. Any accusation should and must be investigated which is different than just believing.

        We shouldn’t teach anyone even a parent to just believe their child but to present it to proper legal authorities and mental health professionals to investigate. That is the only thing we should expect and demand out of each other.

        But no accusation should come at the expense of trying the accused even an organization in a court of opinion.

        I dont think you would like to wake up and read someone or multiple persons accusing an unnamed person/s of sexually assaulting them at the March for children in salt lake. That would throw even an immense distrust in you personally sam to run a coherent organization. You would want an investigation to create clarity as your personal reputation would be on the line not just an organization.

        Instead of collecting just stories collecting factual data and presenting stories found to be true by legal authorities that correlate with that data would be more appropriate as it would allow us to know what actions are actually effective to take to prevent people becoming victims and give an accurate picture of how devastating the problem is in Mormonism. Let alone proper perspective.

        Corporations are literally preventing women and men to travel together to avoid sexual assault accusations and lawsuits.

        Peoples careers are ruined just based off accusations.

        50 percent of children are molested by a family member. Does that mean I have to say no if my childs uncle invites him to tag along when he goes fishing?

        How do I know my child won’t be sexually assaulted by a psychologist or physician alone but the child wants privacy to talk.

        Men are far more stronger than women biologically that’s a fact. Should we not let women and men be alone to prevent rape?

        A clear coherent path forward that understands the complexities of relationships whether familial or not is the only way to prevent hysteria and emotion ruling when it should be rational thought.

        Trust me sam if you collect enough stories on young women dating you’ll want to ban girls being alone with boys before marriage.
        1/4 women are raped/assaulted.

        That’s far more than sexually abused children.
        I was amazed how many stories I’ve been told by lds girls where they had to push the man off them .

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The name of the bishop was included in the story. I chose not to accuse him. I’m not accusing anybody, the church or the leadership. We have a dangerous and irresponsible interview policy. Every other youth Christian church and youth serving organization no longer permits what we do to our kids. The arguments you made above could be used against all the other churches and organizations like the BSA to get them to reverse their ban on one-on-one interviews and sexually explicit questions.

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      3. What a mealy-mouthed bunch of double-speak. “Even though the details of this repressed memory don’t line up in any way whatsoever with the layout of the actual shower room next to the baptismal font in the Salt Lake Temple, I’m going to sustain the Brethren *this* time by believing the victim.” How convenient for you, Sam. If you had testicles, you’d go after the rapist bishop. If this predatory bishop really does exist then interviews are nearly irrelevant to this story. Grooming can happen many ways. It’s like you’re trying to cure cancer by banning deodorant.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. So sad that you know more about what happened to my husband then he does. This happened during the 1980’s and yes there are dressing rooms. Maybe they have been remolded? We googled this and found a description that matches my husband’s. If you would like to meet with Jon and I for coffee sometime we would be more then happy to discuss this with you. And just a note to you we have acused this person to his face to his children and to the church. No one is denying this has happened. My in laws also know the day it happened because there was such a change in Jon. But like we say we would love to meet with you. Here is an article that explains the dressing room situation at the time. http://ldsliving.com/LDS-Church-Not-Just-Temple-Building-But-Temple-Renovating/s/84965/

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That article you mentioned says very little about the dressing rooms. (I’m not doubting your story just was looking to gain more understanding). But the article merely mentions new dressings room were created in the underground area in 1962. It doesn’t say the design or anything so it doesn’t verify the story.

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    3. No one is winning while the abusers are protected. However, you doubting the truth and only giving the benefit of the doubt to the abuser speaks volumes about how damaging the teachings of the LDS church can be. You are protecting a pedophile. Maybe instead of defending what you’d prefer to be true, you should be asking more questions.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have a question. What’s this rapist bishop’s name? How can I help bring him to justice? The Church doesn’t need to ban interviews. It needs to prosecute people like this alleged creep. If there’s a groundswell of pitchforks directed at the right place—the perpetrators—then the Church’s hand could be forced. “Banning interviews” is a publicity stunt that accomplishes nothing but putting Sam Young into the spotlight he craves.

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      2. Joy, your logic is circular (at best).

        In point of fact, you are every bit as guilty of favoring “what you’d prefer to be true” over fact.

        The fact is that Marcie’s anecdote is second-hand, unsubstantiated, based on a highly dubious scientific premise, and contrary to both the logistical realities and the common experience of those who’ve actually been in the Temple.

        You are ALSO assuming (without evidence) that those accused ARE, in fact, guilty- and that any skepticism or doubt are automagically “protecting” the guilty.

        Perhaps you should let go of your own biases and bigotries before accusing others…

        … you know, that whole “mote and beam” thing the Savior talked about at great length.

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    4. Wish I had the time to educate you with academic citations but you’ll have to do the research on your own. “Suppressed” memories are not the same as “repressed memory syndrome.” She didn’t say anything about recovered memories.

      Suppressed memories happen to most people; they are memories that fade out of mind because of avoidance but the person knew all along that the incident happened. “Repressed memory syndrome” isn’t even a syndrome. You mean “recovered memory” which is controversial because the person claims to never have known until it surfaces as a recovered memory. Not a repressed memory of a negative experience which is normal. But something that was not consciously known in order to repress in the first place. She tells her husband’s story showing he showed signs of knowing and avoiding when he got angry at allowing their newborn to be with LDS people.

      I worked in the SL temple baptismal font in the 80s. When you got out of the baptismal font in wet clothes, there was a shower room with drains that had no stalls where you went to take off the wet clothes. You changed into dry temple clothes for the confirmation process in another room. But you still had to walk from there to locker rooms to get back into your regular clothes.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Why do you think a personal, horrific story must follow academic standards to be true? That in itself is an absurdity venturing into abuse. Even the rules of evidence within our judicial system are not bounds by peer review!

        Liked by 2 people

    5. You are confusing two things: recovered memories of incidents that never happened and repressed memories that come flooding back. The former is facilitated by a “therapist” who is essentially aiding in their manufacture, and the latter is a very familiar, very real phenomenon that happens most often without the aid of a third party.

      While the narrative does come from someone who hasn’t been in a temple, neither is she claiming to have been. She is obviously relating the story of someone who has. So if you are troubled by her calling the basement of the temple a “church”, you are on very shaky ground dismissing it simply because of these narrative details or because you think it is too horrific to be believed.

      Liked by 3 people

    6. I wouldn’t trust the “mental health community” nor their official stance on repressed memory syndrome. They are glorified drug pushers who also push the trans lifestyle on children.

      Liked by 1 person

    7. Mahoney, Many experts have found that the trauma associated with child sexual abuse not only causes disassociation but is felt that a child is so traumatized by the event that he is unable to even acknowledge or comprehend what had happened to him until years later when something triggers the memory. Here are a few examples from experts. David Lisak is a clinical psychologist who has devoted his professional life to studying the causes of violence and abuse. His research on the long term impact of childhood sexual abuse has been published in leading scientific journals (http://www.davidlisak.com/biography/#sthash.cwwGy932.dpuf ). He contends that child abuse overwhelms a child cognitively and emotionally and since they have fewer resources to to deal with this, they protect themselves by completely blocking the incident. Dr. Lisak has said that he has worked with patients who one day will completely and absolutely deny that something had happened to them and the next day suddenly remember. In addition, Dr. Lisak said that toxic stress changes memories of abuse into sensory flashbacks which are bits of the memory of the trauma flashing into consciousness due to a trigger later in life. This is how the brain in neurobiology works in any type of stressful event. And there are many experts who concur with this. For example, in the investigation of child pornography in which over 2000 children were identified, very few acknowledge or remembered being abused. (Dr. Anna Salter, 2007 “Predators,Pedophiles, Rapists and other Sex Offenders”) .

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Speechless. My heart goes out to Jon. I hope by sharing his story it might be another step in his healing. I also hope the weight of what happened to him helps to further change. Children are worth so much more than someone else’s reputation. The are worth more than the church’s reputation. Abusers must be held accountable. That will never happen in the shadows. Sending love to this very brave couple. 💕

    Liked by 2 people

  4. … So!?! Now you-re outraged-&-werent, when Millions of Tithing $$$ was used against Gay Rights-&-“Same Sex Marriage” in California?!? Really?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not sure what you’re getting at here. But, I am outraged that the church led the effort in California to overturn gay marriage. I lived in Texas during prop 8. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear a word about what went on until just a few years ago. And yes, I was highly disappointed to hear of the church’s involvement.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. In all due respect… I support gay rights, and am an exmormon, and I support legalizing marijuana in Utah and think the church needs to stop being political, or just come out and say ‘If you’re not Republican and with us, you’re against us!’. But not allowing marriage and raping a child are TWO hugely different things…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry this has happened, you need to get this man in jail asap before he does it again. What is his name? I need his name so I can spread it around to stay the hell away from him. He is so dangerous. HURRY UP TIME IS A WASTING. Tic Toc another child just got abused. Parents don’t trust these adults with the kids okay. If you do you are starting a generational problem. It’s that serious.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This one made me tear up. I fight tears most of the time because I, too, had to be strong as a child. I was also an A student who became a ‘troubled’ failing child. The adults couldn’t put two and two together. I buried it then got my head together, in part, to restore the academically lost years but a passion for justice and child protection has never left me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These people tearing apart this story are the reason why people like my sister committed suicide… no one will believe them. They will have their story torn apart from end to end. They will be blamed for what happened. In my case, it is literally impossible to deny my sister’s rapes by her bishop starting when she was a few months shy of her 15th birthday.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Any incident of abuse seemingly benign compared to others … is life affecting. I came across a podcast … a “Clinical Psychologist…” he told a victim of (sexual) abuse paraphrased (but will post a link and “Clinical Psychologist’s… ” name upon request by Sam Young) “your abuse was not as bad as your brothers’…”.

    I too stand with Sam Young and honor each and every victim’s experiences, may each be able to tell.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. My brother was a bit of a hellion but mostly a good, thoughtful kid. That changed one Sunday when he was 14. We came home from church and he locked himself in his room and started blasting the radio. He had never done that before. After that day he was mean (especially to his little sister) and abusive. I have always wondered what happened that day but I’ll never know. He died of a drug overdose in 1999.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I know this is rather off topic, but this part of the story sticks out in my mind. Maybe Marcie can elaborate on it, but I was concerned, not only about what happened to Jon, but that something seems to have happened to Marcie because the story says:

    “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.”

    You were punished by your husband? What does that mean? What was the punishment? It’s one thing to for a husband/spouse to be upset or disappointed, but something else entirely for them to “punish” the spouse.

    Maybe I just read that part wrong. Please elaborate.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The Mormon Church and its Leaders own this Mess….the latter facilitated it …they need to deal with the consequences. BUT they are in a quandry because, although so-called Mormon Revelation is always “from the ground up” the anticipated revelation is struggling to be revealed. It contradicts other policies, and Sam’s petition is clear and straight forward …Protectlds Children. Btw I think it was Sam himself who pointed out earlier that by having no sexually explicit questions etc., Bishops, SP etc would also be protected……………………Saying that the Church needs to prosecute people like this alleged creep, what a laugh!! LDS inc.protects the perpetrators refer McKenna Denson; she should have had support from church leaders years ago but even now the leaders will not accept the consequences of their ungodly policies. We are each responsible for our own salvation. God has an open door policy. He gave us parents ideally to guide us when we are young.( Refer Elder Packer’s Talk: Bishop Help Me To Help My Son). My husband says we were conned and surrendered our salvation and also our responsibilties for our children to the church. The biggest problem is attitude..”.this is the only true church upon the face of the earth”. Why is the Lord concerned with only 5 million people (not 15 million as claimed) and a dwindling number at that ? Why claim Jesus Christ as the leader of this church and yet follow a policy such as The Second Anointing? It is obvious that an auto-immune disease is wasting the Mormon Church.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Unfortunately, you have a good point. Fortunately, it is getting safer and safer to share. It’s only appropriate when you are ready. And it’s wholly appropriate to never share.

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  12. I thought the saying was “the church is perfect the people aren’t”? I can’t imagine someone’s first reaction to this horrible story being to tear the person apart just because you can’t admit someone who goes to the same church you do might be a bad person. Human empathy is more important than protecting a multi billion dollar institution in the comments section.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The many comments victim doubting and blaming are just staggering.
    So sad Mormons seem intent on enabling pedophiles rather than protecting children.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why is asking logical questions automagically conflated with “enabling pedophiles”?

      In what moral or logical realm are we required to take unsubstantiated allegations at face value simply because they are tragic and unconscionable?

      Like

  14. so sad people, in general, seem intent on attempting to categorize one another. Mormon people, Mormon members are extremely invested in making our gathering places safe for members of both genders and of all ages. Where ever there are people there will be wonderful good deeds and horrendous offenses to humanity, it all depends on the force one chooses to follow. God will not let these acts go unpunished. These victims are martyrs to Jesus Christ and He will avenge. No matter how hard denials are shouted, no matter how often the blame is pushed onto the victims. Vengance is mine! Saith the Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Having worked with chidlren adults and sexual trauma for 25 years as licensed clinician, I feel compelled to comment. While it may seem “unbelievable” and even “salacious” to some, this is exactly how abuse occurs, especially in religious settings any church/faith. My friend Sam is far too kind in his comments. Some of those who commented (ie. Mahonri) are the very reason why children don’t get help because they KNOW if they told, no one would believe them. Just like the leader who didn’t believe a young woman coming home off her mission early after being raped in a secret room in the MTC. People, sexual abuse happens. All the time sadly. What I will say is that I’ve worked as a therapist with the LDS population and every single time it seems “unbelievable”. Every time I think “how in the world could he/she hurt a child like this…how could this happen right here/there?” (even though there is probably not much I haven’t heard perps being leaders, primary teachers etc). With that said, I have such great respect for Sam Young. He is a hero. I also have greater resolve to do more prevention work as even my Stake asked me to do in all the wards.

    Liked by 2 people

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