First Response to Excommunication Summons

imageToday, I sent the following letter to the stake executive secretary.  Instructions have been given that I’m to have no direct communication with the stake president.  Only the go-between.

You can view the excommunication summons HERE.   It was delivered to me last Wednesday evening.  The tribunal will be held on Sunday, September 9th at 6pm in the Sugar Land chapel at 14555 Lexington Blvd, Sugar Land, TX.

Dear President, 

As you know, I’m in receipt of your summons to the church court.  Below are questions and concerns that I’d like addressed well before the 9th.

I.   Thank you for your heartfelt reassurance of God’s love and Christ’s atonement. That was very meaningful.

III will be present at the council.

III.  You have leveled 2 charges.  In order to plan my response, please forward the evidence against me that you are going to present.  Are you going to call witnesses?  If so, who are they and what evidence will they present?

IV.  Charge #1 is new to me. “Encouraged others to vote opposed to Church leaders.”

We have never discussed this before.  According to the Church Handbook, you are supposed to personally call my sinful behavior to my attention well before any disciplinary court proceedings.  You have not done that.  As a result, I ask that this new and unexpected charge be removed from the allegations to be considered on the 9th.

Last January, we clearly discussed indictment #2.  So, it’s fair game.  As for #1, if there was any wrong doing on my part, I should have been given the opportunity to repent.  Up to this point, you’ve been good at following the handbook dictates.  I would expect no less of you in regards to this matter.  Charge #1 should be deleted.

V.  With regards to not recording the proceedings in any form. As you should know, I have never recorded any of our meetings.  I don’t plan to record this one either.

However, it does seem strange that you are requiring every person in attendance to sign a document.  This is the Stake Presidency  & High Council for heaven sake.  It seems odd that you don’t trust this group enough to take them at their word.

Is this a new Handbook dictate?  Or are there High Councilors and Stake Presidency members that you don’t trust?  Right out of the gate, we seem to be starting out as adversaries with little trust in the room.  Not even trust for the 15 men that will be surrounding you.   Whatever happened to trusting those who have served with us for years?  Whatever happened to the spirit of discernment that you as the Stake President are supposed to have?

I don’t have anything to hide.  Hopefully you don’t either.  So, I don’t care one wit if you or anyone else records.   But, if all 15 tell me they won’t record, that’s just what I’d expect of them, whether in word or in writing.

VI.  Please send me a copy of the document you are requiring all to sign. These days, I prefer not to sign anything that I have not seen in advance.

VII.  Witnesses!!  Oh man, you are killing me on this one.  The requirements you have specified are a huge handicap.  You are putting me on trial for excommunication.  Think about that.  What member in good standing is going to risk their membership, temple recommend, livelihood, family relations by being a witness in my behalf?  There are many members of my ward and stake who totally support the changes I’ve been calling for.  They don’t believe that I’m “expressing opposition to the Church or its leaders.”  But they are afraid to state this out in the open.  If they did, they would be in the very position that I am.  We have such a culture of fear in the church.  By calling this court action against me, you are reinforcing that culture of fear and silence.

At this point, I have only found ONE member “in good standing” who might risk being punished for speaking up as a witness.  But, even this person’s commitment is tenuous.

It’s my eternal salvation that’s at risk.  Nobody else’s.  Only I risk being torn away from my family for eternity.  Yet, your actions have intimidated the very witnesses that could come to my defense.  How is that fair?  It’s not.  You and the Church culture have bullied credible witnesses into silence.  There are many possible witnesses in good standing who live in my ward and in the stake you govern.  But you and the Church have filled them to the brim with fear.

I’ve never viewed disciplinary councils as kangaroo courts.  The restrictions you have placed on potential witnesses have eliminated the vast majority of my friends from being qualified.  Your intimidation has effectively eliminated my friends who ARE ‘members in good standing.’  The way this tribunal is presently constructed IS a kangaroo court.  ‘You can call witnesses.  But, we have already scared the bejeebers  out of all that we consider credible.’

I call on you to change your witness requirement stating that “witnesses must be members of the Church in good standing.”  Otherwise, you are belittling & making a mockery of the Plan of Salvation.  I should be given every opportunity to present a compelling defense so that I have at least a small chance at real justice.   Not kangaroo justice.

With all that said, I do plan to call witnesses.  You have simply made it a really daunting task to search them out.  Please change the requirement.

VIII.  45 MINUTE time limit? Is that a new Handbook requirement?  How disrespectful of the plan of salvation is that?  I have put my entire heart and soul into serving Christ, my fellow members and the Church for almost 5 decades.  And what do I get in return?  45 MINUTES!  45 MINUTES to defend my right to eternal salvation.   45 MINUTES to defend my right to spend eternity with my loved ones.  Is that the value the Church places on my eternity?  How sad is that?  We spend 3 hours every week in church services.  Just think how much accumulated time that is over the decades that I have dedicated to the Church.  Yet, when push comes to shove, my eternal family ties are only worth 45 MINUTES?

Even the church toilets are worth more than salvation.  I have spent hours and hours cleaning them and the rest of the church building.  The defense of my eternal destiny isn’t even worth 1 hour.  What kind of a time limit is that?

Here’s my request.  Give me at least as much time as we dedicate to cleaning the church building.  In my ward that’s 2 hours.  Certainly, my years of dedicated service, my family and my eternity are worth as much time as the Church toilets.

IX.  Option to request that my name be removed: I want to make it clear that this is not my desire.  I value my church membership and am confident that the Stake Presidency and High Council will come to realize that there is no legitimate reason to excommunicate.

Your quick response will be very much appreciated.

Until Sept 9th, all my best wishes,

Sam Young

PLEASE SHARE AND COMMENT.  The church has graciously provided us with another opportunity to bring greater and greater awareness.

 

58 thoughts on “First Response to Excommunication Summons

  1. AWESOME, SAM. As a bishop you spent a good 8 hours in Church every Sunday and many more throughout the week, I know. 45 MINUTES TO RESPOND TO YOUR STAKE PRESIDENT’S CHARGES? And you still don’t know what additional charges he will present. The letter only hints at others. How are you supposed to prepare for this? How is this “disciplinary council” fair? As it stands, IT IS a kangaroo court. They should be ashamed.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sam – great, thorough response. It makes you wonder if these men really, truly do believe that excommunication is as dire as they claim if they are going to only allow 45 minutes.
    Keep up the great work. We are praying for you!
    If the church is actively seeking to silence and disfelllowship/punish/excommunicate you for trying to protect children then that’s truly awful. God does not take kindly to those that offend his little ones – whether it be individuals or a church. In fact, it makes him pretty damn angry.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. We are with WryLyn , Sam. But you are wrong about thinking that these bozos can tear your eternal family from you. Only Christ is in control and He would never let you be separated from them. You have served Him too well. Rejoice!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. They shoot themselves in the foot and they shoot themselves in the foot again and they get someone else’s gun and shoot themselves in the other foot then they drop a rock on their foot and then they take a knife to their leg and eat their foot .

    Barbera Streisand effect every time. Even they must know there can’t be a shred of inspiration amongst them with all the bad decisions they repeatedly make. Over, and over

    45 minutes. So the new model is 1 minute per year of service. Fail

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Sam, as an active member of the church, I do not believe you will be separated from your family if the outcome is excommunication. This is not the Father I have s relationship!!! His desire is not to tear apart but keep together. He wants each child happy. Not living their eternal life in sorrow. Does that sound like a loving father?
    The longer I’m a member the more I know that what the church does is not in line with God. If you use logic, could you ever put your own child out? The answer is equitably no!!

    Liked by 6 people

  5. I have so much admiration and love for you Sam. I’m so very sorry for the pain you are going through and for the down right shitty people that are causing that pain.

    Please know that you are the most Christ-like person that I have known and it’s not your fault if you make them look foolish by simply being Christ-like.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Sam, I fear that this directive possibly did not come from your stake president, only through him. We have seen how these summons to church courts for church members who have been covered by the media come straight from the top, their verdicts already decided at Big Fifteen-level. Kate Kelly, John Dehlin, and Simon Southerton are three examples. I know you love the church, but I fear the not reciprocated, not for you, not really for anybody. The church wants strict obedience, and you have gone against that. You have also gathered media interest with your protest, and since the inception of Mormonism, the church has preferred to operate in secrecy. But the clincher–the excommunicable (if there is such a word) offence is that you have called “The Brethren” to repentance. I don’t want to be flippant, but man, they really hate that.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Sam, this is true. You may think differently but in matters where there is national publicity, your first responsibility is to hold the church blameless. 600/15 million=.0000004, not even the 1/4 of the statistics held out by the world. When these children get interviewed by DSHS, how are they interviewed? Now let’s say those 600 are interviewed and 1 :4 children are damaged by a rogue bishop,you are talking 150 bishops out of 28,000 bishops and branch presidents, far less than what national news is publishing. Yes, sexual abuse is horrific, yes there is no excuse for it but .0005 maximum children in the church are exposed to sexual assault thru bishops versus the 1:4 in the world is a scratch and is equivalent to lighting a match in a theater and then screaming fire and watching the screaming tumult leaving the theater. Of course the damage that a child of adult is put thru is excruciating. It is very very bad but you are adding one modernism to a parents job. And it’s SO much easier to not dress the kids up, sleep in, and say to oneself i just don’t know about the bishop and going in with the bishop is telling the church family there’s something wrong with the bishop

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  7. Sam I am with you 100% because you are doing the most important thing and that is giving voice to the children. Now, by letting the world in on your excommunication experience you are sharing with the world the pain that all faithful Mormons who have had to leave the church because of harmful policies and politics, false truth claims or misrepresented history have had to go through. For me it was many years ago, but my parents kicked me out of the family and then nearly a decade later lied about it and said they hadn’t done that. If I had been a weaker person It would have killed me but I am not unscathed. Many of us lost everything in that dark moment when we found ourselves conscientiously objecting to church politics and policies. I didn’t believe they held the keys to my eternal salvation at that point but at one time I did and I can hear your emotional pleas for honesty and righteousness on their part and it is heart breaking. We love you Sam and Thank you!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. This disciplinary council seems really lopsided. You should have the right to examine the witnesses and evidence against you for reliability and credibility, especially since they don’t trust anyone enough to take them at their word. Why should you, Sam, have to take any of them at their word?

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Hello Sam
    I’m in WA state. We’ve never met. Sam long ago, about 22 years , I read Melody Beatties book CO DEPENDENT NO MORE. In reading that book I remember so clearly her words, “God loves you, no matter what”. It was at that moment I had an epiphany and so truly felt His love and grace. I had never felt that in the LDS church.
    Sam you will NOT lose your family or your place with God, you will however gain a freedom of peace. You know you’ve served God well, He knows it. You will have your family in the eternities. The LDS church is so full of untruths but they want you to feel FEAR of losing, then they have you right where they want you.
    Sam I totally pray for your eyes to be open and accept their excommunication, of course after you’ve given them a good piece of your heart, soul and mind!!

    Liked by 9 people

  10. What a bunch of deceived jokers in tight wool suits. The level of anti christ deception that has wrapped the modern day brigamites up in is ALMOST laughable. Foolish foolish blind and deceived pharacies…

    In their wildest dreams do they hold the keys to administer to the sacred things of the Father. Yeah ok. 😂🤪🙄

    Liked by 7 people

  11. Sam, I hope reading all the loving comments and positive support online is a comfort to you as you stand to lose so much in the face of those who offer nothing but fear.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Sam, you are a courageous and genuine individual who has done nothing but seek for the best interests of children, and have lived in harmony with Christ’s teachings.

    Your stake president is acting under direct orders from SLC. He may try to deny this, but the requirements were not made up by him, but by church headquarters.

    He would be dishonest if he tried to claim otherwise.

    He is clearly not a man of integrity and he clearly is not acting in harmony with Christ’s teachings. I could say far worse about this man and those who act on his behalf.

    Following orders does not absolve an individual of the responsibility for their actions.

    Anyone participating in the court actions are only fighting against children and the teachings of Christ. These people are reprehensible. Shame on them. Shame on your stake president for choosing to follow the devil rather than the teachings of Christ. Shame on him.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I concur with the last comment. The church uses fear and intimidation to keep its members in line. You are feeding into it by pleading to save your eternal salvation. He has you where he wants you. Do not let this group of men judge you and render a verdict. Do not give them that power. The Church is sinking in the sand it was built on. I hate to see you beg for mercy. You need to be like Jeremy Runnels and Quit the Church. That would make a powerful statement and I can assure you that your place in Heaven is secure!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree. My friend who is famous and who publicly spoke out against Mormonism once read in the press that she had been “excommunicated”. It was such a lie. She had told them years earlier: ” You can’t fire me; I quit!” and went back to Christianity, which was the religion she had been raised in. Yet when she became a whistleblower, they gave a defamatory statement to the press that she was “excommunicated” to make her look bad. She finally had to threaten a lawsuit.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Sam, I love you, brother. You have been unfailingly polite, almost absurdly so, in the face of these events. If there is a Good worth worshipping, he knows your heart and would never turn you out.

    The folks who claim to represent him, in the other hand, are showing their true selves by their actions.

    Stand strong. Your true friends and family will be there when the dust settles.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. As they are requiring you to provide all of the evidence that you will present in advance, including the testimony of all of your witnesses, is it not fair that they provide all of the charges and evidence that they plan to present in writing in advance as well?

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I’d have pushed back on the ‘no recording’ aspect. I think the world should know exactly what goes on in these ‘courts of love’. I can understand them not wanting anyone to record on their end to protect your privacy, but to bar you as well from recording your own kangaroo court is very telling indeed:)

    Best of luck to you, and here’s hoping they comply with your more than fair requests.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. I highly doubt your eternal salvation is determined by 15 random men in a rigged kangaroo court where potential witnesses have been intimidated by the fear of repercussions if they stand with you. I have been following your efforts and I have never seen you act in a disrespectful way towards the LDS church leadership. You have taken a valiant stand to protect those who have been hurt by bad policies. It is truly a sad day for the LDS church when they seek to throw out someone like you. I don’t believe God is that way. He is fair and merciful. I do not believe in the slightest that these actions being taken against you represent His will.

    Liked by 5 people

  18. It’s time for another sign up sheet. This time it will be a long long list of active members who will leave the Church if Sam is Excommunicated . The leadership must realize that he does not stand alone.

    Liked by 5 people

  19. Continue walking in God’s light and the Truth shall be seen.

    What a great marketing ploy;
    Create a solution to a non-existent problem.
    Prior to Joseph Smith’s claims, there was no fear of being separated from your family for eternity.
    His solution paid off: Pay a fee (tithing) to gain entry to the temple. Then, and only there, will the problem of not being with your family in the afterlife be solved.

    It was never a problem in the first place. There was no solution even needed.

    There is nothing out there that can severe you from your family. Even if you stop paying a church 10% and they say you can’t be with your family.

    They are lying for money.
    Children are hurting because of money, and power.

    I was one of those children decades ago. Luckily the still small voice helped me realize the fraud and abuse, and I was led to safety.

    It means a lot to me that you’ve persevered against all odds. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I’ll be shocked if he complies with any of your very reasonable and well thought out requests. But I certainly give you an “A” for effort ! Good for you Sam. And Good Luck. Love following your story.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Sam, our prayers are with you. You’re lucky to get 45 minutes. Our SP told me and my wife we couldn’t say anything in a defense. I knew church history and theology was in error, so I expected the excommunication. They asked about my faith in the BofM, current prophet, church, and Joseph Smith. How strange that I was ex’d from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and they didn’t ask me about my relationship with Jesus.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. The conditions set by the Stake President are a clean, efficient set of parameters that support the speeding delivery of accusations, condemnations, and punishments.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Bishop Young,
    I’ll be candid. I don’t want to seem overly critical, but I won’t stroke your ego or tell you what a fine job you’re doing, and I apologize in advance that what I will say is not popular and perhaps undeserved. I only comment because it surprises me that what is obvious to an outsider either truly escapes people who are in the middle of it or they subconsciously have not come to terms with their own point of view and react out of habit, not realizing they are on the other side of the fence or perhaps, deliberately push back, feigning awareness of the consequences of their behavior.

    For what it’s worth I am somewhat of an outsider to your whole effort, but I partially recognize the tragedy you’re trying to prevent, but despite my personal views, I’ll just put some of this out there, take it or leave it. I doubt very much that it will have any effect other than maybe to galvanize you or add yet another layer of surrealism as you watch yourself drift towards a consequence that you can neither avoid nor forestall its fulfillment.

    You may be a member now, but let’s not kid ourselves. You’ve been a non-member-in-blogger-name-only for some time now, with one foot out the door, active in circles of people who are disheartened and hyper-critical of the church.

    If what you truly want is NOT to be excommunicated, stop acting like a dissenter, don’t be wishy-washy, work within the parameters of the church as counseled by your bishop and/or your spouse.

    If excommunication is a small price to pay to move forward, don’t listen to the church, stop letting them tax you with counsel you neither want nor agree with. Your scope of influence in the church will suffer, but you weren’t on the fast track to some way in which your influence in the church was going to go anywhere magnificent.

    And wouldn’t it have been bizarre if it had? The church is more of a hospital than a place for people to give hour long testimony’s in church, and you always know who those people are. They have joy in their works for a season, but in the end whatever they say might have meaning for them, but it does not uplift others, heal others or fundamentally change anyone’s life in any lasting way. Ultimately, in 8 to 10 hours’ time, no one will remember what was said, less so today with cell phones and other things that distract people.

    I personally don’t think you need to get all worked up with the details, and rail that you’re being treated unfairly. You dearly wanted a response from the church and you received one. You’ve already set your own counsel above procedure and above those whom are set apart and sustained by the members of the church to the callings they have. You’ve discouraged membership with the church over its policies. I think that you deeply feel and believe in your cause, but as a member, when you mingle statements of dissension and “no confidence”, that isn’t the behavior of a shepherd or a sheep of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is it?

    So, it’s time to think about the question, “What does the church do for you?” If you know that how you would do things and how they would do things are so very different, can you abide in a congregation with that disagreement without it spoiling your membership, supporting programs & current practices as well as your interactions with others? Maybe you feel that because you’ve bolstered your proposals with a publicly-supported vision of correct and protective behavior and gathered petitions of both members and non-members that agree with you, that should be enough? If you garnered the support of a third of the hosts of heaven, do you think it would be enough? In forcing the issue publicly, you’re no longer sustaining the leaders of the church and you’ve left no room for them to counsel with Heavenly Father, have you? A member believes they (the leaders) do and should, a non-member does not have any such confidence.

    Everything you’ve done is to use public support and social media to push or pressure the church into action and there are plenty of recent examples to inform you what the final conclusion is of people who behave this way is. That’s not the way Jethro persuaded his son-in-law, Moses, that’s the way Korah, Dathan, and Abiram did. Korah gathered all the leaders he could and with that support tried to change the order of things. You’re doing it again with this public sharing of your summons.

    No one in the non-member community or the bloggernacle will think less of you for being excommunicated, none of those members who support you will think less of you, if that matters to you. There is no real public shame except to those who choose to make it so and if they do, they have no power to make anything they think of any eternally lasting effect towards you. As I am sure you realize, the Lord is really the only one that should matter here, though maybe that answer is a little too peter priesthood to take seriously.

    Regardless, even if the church removes the “promise of the blessings”, that was never a guarantee, even when you’re a full member in good standing. Only the righteous have a promise, and that’s up to the Savior and it has nothing to do with membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

    Your spouse will undoubtedly support you no matter what. Excommunication is simply a time to re-assess. What do you really want? You can’t tell people what to do, you just can’t and you can’t tell a church what to do, but unless they decide they agree with you and act on their own, you’re going to come to a crossroads. Have you ever succeeded in telling people what they should do, with no authority to do so, and seen a great measure of success?

    It’s none of my business what you do. And what you do, I am certain, will be a matter of public record, thanks to you, so I suppose thank you for feeding mine and everyone’s curiosity, though I, who doesn’t matter at all, will silently lament that things couldn’t have been otherwise.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’ve asked a lot of questions. My concern is the protection of children. That’s it. They are in danger. We have harmed many and keep harming them with our irresponsible practices. I worked through ‘proper’ channels for over a year before I started to go public. Actually, I don’t think there is a proper channel for saving children. Once I realized that no church leaders gave a damn, I went public and have used pretty much every method I could dream up to raise awareness. As a result, many children are now being protected by their parents. Plus, many adults who were damaged as children have now embarked on the healing process.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Thank you for the courage to go public.
        When I when tried to tell people about how church leaders abused me, I was accused of lying and of sexual deviancy. In this way, my comments could be ignored. I regret not having had the courage as a young teenager to keep talking. Instead, I chose to go silent. To my shame, my abusers continued their work of asbuse, including rape, on other youth. If I had not gone silent, maybe someone would have been spared. I hated myself for being a coward and for many years felt I was guilty of a malignant evil that had destroyed my soul. I wanted to disappear.
        Finally, the 2nd counselor in the Stake Presidentcy, who was decended from a former Prophet and had the distinctive family name of this Prophet, was caught in the act of raping someone whose family had greater “mojo” in SLC than this man’s family, so something was quietly done about him. But others, that he had positioned throughout the Stake, escaped.
        There was no kindness or mercy, extended to the victims who had survived.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Trying to protect children is one thing. But when you started to speak degrading of the Church and the leaders did you feel that was choosing the right? I felt it was wrong. You speak that the Church is responsible for casting fear, or shaming. When in fact we are the masters of our own emotions. Blaming others or Churches is not of God. There is a better way, but the company you keep is misguiding you and stroking you or lulling you into dangerous paths. The Church is NOT excommunicating you. You are. Your heart has been apostate for some time, and your actions are not entirely for the children as you may think. Satan is very crafty as he leads one down a slippery path. He has helped you and bolstered you into publicly using words or phrases that are extremely insulting of good, loving leaders of the Church. You have been more instrumental in dregrading the Church then you have been in your so called help to protect the children. So if the decision is made that your membership be withdrawn for a time. How affective will you be in changing certain procedures within the Church? None. Satan knows this too. I so heartedly believe the Church has a very protective policies already in place, but maybe maybe a few have made weak mistakes, but they are mistakes of men, not of the Church. You have let the imperfections of a few fester you into having angry rebellious heart. Please read again what Paul says of charity. Then consider if all your statements towards the Church have been charitable. Read what Christ says about understanding and how we cannot see, hear or understand if our eyes, ears are shut, and our heart is closed. So sorry to see what is happening here. Words penned or spoken can be so damaging, and the only way they can be taken back is by pleading for forgiveness. If you would ask it of others you must first ask it of yourself.

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      3. Some people have used “proper” channels to address concerns with both their local and general leaders, yet sufficient change doesn’t happen. This leaves people to use unconventional methods to achieve adequate results.

        When proper channels don’t adequately work for victims, what are they to do?

        When a church demonizes, vilifies, and uses gaslighting techniques on people who speak truth to power, what are they to do?

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Sam I think that the issue here has to do with the SECULAR aspect of membership of the Mormon Church…which we know has only an ADMINISTRATIVE function. As far as the SPIRITUAL aspect is concerned you are answerable to only the Lord God, who stated categorically : Thou shalt have no other gods before me…pagan , man-made etc., etc. He loves you and we all need to address our concerns to Him to protect lds children. Your efforts on their behalf have already taken a giant leap forward as parents have become aware of their responsibilities. On the otherhand your response has shown the Administrative Leaders up in their true colours.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Sam my Man,
    Your compassionate evolved consciencness is way too much for these little men to handle. Modern day David and Goliath.
    You already know the outcome of the tribunal.
    My heart goes out to you ….

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Sam, I don’t think you should take two hours. I don’t even think you should take 2 minutes. Let them know how ridiculous the charges are and make it clear you are on the side of truth and good. Sometime like this:

    “I was offered 45 minutes to rebut these charges. I shall not waste that much of your evening.

    I was taught in primary to try to be like Jesus. I sang the hymn in sacrament to that taught me to ‘do what is right, let the consequences follow.’ I have tried to do what Jesus taught by standing up for the little ones. I standby the instruction from Jesus in Matthew 18:6. You brethren have the legal right to cast me out of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What you don’t have is the moral imperative, nor the ethical high ground. You can do what I am pretty sure your leaders have instructed you to do this evening. Regardless of your vote or the outcome, I stand behind my actions. I stand with Jesus. Who do you stand with?”

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Rejection is rejection even if you don’t want to be part of the group, but you do still want to be part of this group. that is hurt you so much and hurt the children so much

    I could see the same pain in you that I saw and John when he was Exed

    You can save yourself a huge amount of heart ache an pain if you except some important things ……

    1. These are just people they don’t have the authority of God and they don’t represent how God feels about you

    2. They don’t have the authority to kick you out of God‘s church or take away all your blessings — because they don’t represent Jesus

    3. These are people who are refusing to help innocent children— they don’t really care about the issue at all what they care about is that you’re making the church look bad

    4. You are doing what is right they are doing what is wrong

    5. Sadly except the fact that they are not your true friends but they are friends only if you are doing what they want you to do

    6 This obviously comes from the top of the church where they are lawyers and PR people have made sure that they’re doing what they need to keep people like you quiet

    7 there is no love or justuce in what they’re doing — they don’t really care about that

    I know you don’t want to hear this now but I believe after this all takes place and you start doing more research about the church you will find that it’s not what you thought it was and you will be glad you’re not a member anymore

    In the meantime realize they don’t have the power they claim to have to reject you from God‘s love and blessings

    You’re a good Man Charlie Brown

    Liked by 3 people

  28. I pray that you will make it through this coming out with a new change, having your heart and mind come to the truth in Christ.

    I was LDS for 47 years until I asked God “why” I needed LDS tokens to cross the veil to get into the CK where H. Father lives. I asked him “why” I needed these tokens, for I believed I needed them because the church was true and couldn’t and wouldn’t possibly teach me something false. The Spirit came and spoke to me, which I never had this happen all my years as an LDS member. He said: “Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes unto the Father but by me.” John 14:6 He spoke it word for word in my mind and he also placed John 3:16 into my mind. Both verses testified to me that Jesus is the way. He was telling me I don’t need tokens to enter into God’s kingdom because Jesus made that possible for me. Then he said this to me: “Anything that takes away from the Atonement of Christ is not of God.” Another words, the LDS Endowment was teaching me a different way to God other than Jesus. And I realized the LDS Church was false. After that, it was like my blindfolds were removed and God sent me information about the Church that I never knew. I learned about the Book of Abraham and how it is not what Smith said it is but is the funeral rights for the Egyptian man that it was buried with. Makes sense! Why would any Egyptian be buried with a Hebrew papyrus as Smith claimed? They wouldn’t, would they? I learned many things and I started to read the Bible and learned that the gospel in the Bible is not the LDS gospel.

    Don’t let the LDS leaders bully you. They use fear and lies to keep you deceived. Fear that you can’t be with your family when you die, which is a lie. Jesus is the way which means he made it possible for us to have eternal life together in his kingdom. You don’t need a Mormon ceremony to be with your family in heaven. I am saved because of Christ and so is my family. So why would I not be with them when I die? It is a scare tactic used by the church to keep people in their grasps so people won’t leave or question their doctrines.

    Do not be ruled by the fear that the LDS Church will place on you and has already placed on you. It is Satan’s tactic to keep you deceived and to keep you living in fear. Instead, open your Bible and search and pray. God will show you the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Sam, I have an idea regarding the refusal for you to have any witnesses besides “members in good standing.” How about if you copy and paste some of the best letters of support that you have received into an email to the executive secretary, and send them as far in advance of the proceeding as possible? There is no doubt that the executive secretary is passing information on to the stake president. This would allow some of your followers, even faithful members like myself, to write comments that the stake president can potentially see.

    Here is a letter that I would like to have reach your stake president. If you don’t think you can send it to him, can you provide the address or name of the Stake house where it could be sent?

    Dr. Stake President,

    I am a faithful church member with a current temple recommend, serving in a very visible calling. It is well known in my northern Utah community that I am a member in good standing. Please note that I am not related to Sam Young despite sharing the same last name.

    I probably don’t need to tell you that the eyes of both the world and many thousands in the Church are on you as the date for Sam Young’s disciplinary hearing approaches. This must be stressful and weigh heavily on you. I bet that you would like to see this just go away. Maybe you feel a similar terror that I feel writing this—terror on one hand from the harm you can inflict on Sam, his family, and many others, but also fear from consequences of not walking in lockstep with Church leaders. My family and I are frankly terrified of posting our own legitimate Church concerns on social media for fear of damaging family relationships, friendships, our reputation in the Church and community, and my livelihood. What I am writing now is NOT on traditional social media, and it is only under these conditions that I am willing to speak up. There is no doubt that Sam’s followers that are willing to post on social media represent only the tip of a silent iceberg. Please be aware of this.

    I am deeply concerned that only “members of the Church in good standing” can be witnesses for Sam. If I did not face the paralyzing fear that testifying for Sam would jeopardize family relationships, friendships, Church standing, and my livelihood, I would pay my own plane ticket to come testify for him. I have followed his activities, and I feel that he is not even close to an apostate. But I remain an intimidated witness! I can’t come to testify for the sheer terror of what might happen in my own life and to my Church standing! Thus at this moment you are reading the words of an intimidated witness. Please stop and take this seriously. The threat of my loss of Church standing and my own salvation is as palpable as any physical threat to my life.

    Witness intimidation in US law is a crime. Federal witness intimidation is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Enough said.

    I am a physician in a largely LDS region. I am personally acquainted with mental health care providers whose already over burdened practices deal with significant numbers of people whose lives have been damaged by usually well-meaning bishops. What does it mean to you when the president of the Mormon Mental Health Association, a church member, comes out publicly saying that ending one-on-one interviews is a “no-brainer?” Have you read the letters from those harmed? There are recurring themes of mechanisms of harm that current guidelines don’t go far enough to protect. Additionally as a physician, for my own protection, I would never EVER be in a room alone with a minor. This is standard practice for most health professionals. Why should this be any different for a bishop? Leaving this decision up to a child is obviously inadequate!

    There are those who say that Sam Young should have gone through proper channels. He has, and that has not brought the necessary results. Protecting people from harm becomes an ongoing moral imperative that supercedes other imperatives. It has been necessary to go public to gather the necessary personal histories to demonstrate the problems that mental health professionals already know exist. To say that Sam is doing this for personal attention is ludicrous. To those who follow him, it is obvious that there is nothing that he would want more than to be able to take back his life, his work, and his family.

    So as the day for the council approaches, I ask that you to remember that excommunicating Sam will not only discredit him in the eyes of many members, but will muffle the voices of those who had the courage to write their stories of personal trauma. Excommunicating him will additionally instill a greater measure of terror in those of us who already feel that we cannot speak up with our concerns. I personally know a couple who were excommunicated for doing just that. Please do not use this ugly weapon on September 9th. The consequences of doing so will be far reaching, and in our well connected world, will damage not only the reputation of the Church, but many lives around the globe.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I would be honored for you to do so! My wife just clapped when I read her your comment. She is also a complete supporter of yours. She used to work with abused LDS children.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Emma Griffin, this is so true that ” once one starts to research the church (
    and even restrict that research to ldsorg.) one finds that it is not what you thought it was”.

    Like

  31. “Do you realize that God needs you? Do you realize that you are God’s partner?.. Without us, God has no eyes; without us, God has no ears; without us, God has no arms. God waits upon us, and relies on us. . . .You should not be daunted by the magnitude of the task before you. Your contribution can inspire others, embolden others. . .”

    I heard this quote by Desmond Tutu this morning and I thought of you, Brother Sam. This work you’re doing to protect Mormon children is so important. Have no doubt that, you are God’s ears, eyes, and partner, shining a light on activities that are causing harm to children.

    You are inspiring others to have the courage to stand up and tell our leaders to protect our children. You are also healing the hearts of so many adults who have suffered in silence from the psychological impact of those intrusive questions.

    As you move closer to this meeting, do not be daunted by the magnitude of this action. You have the prayers and goodwill of so many, lifting you and your family up during this chapter of your journey. God needs you, Sam. God needs all of his children to protect LDS children. Peace to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Sam, thanks so much for sharing your response to the church. It is very heartfelt. I am an attorney who hasI left the church. I spent decades in it, paying tens of thousands in tithing, holding numerous callings, and maintaining a temple recommend. Moreover, if I felt it was right for me and my family, I would rejoin the church in a minute. But apparently my large contribution to the church means nothing. I have completely lost my voice in an entity that doesn’t respect any of my large contributions or the knowledge of what belonging to a church entails. I couldn’t even if I really wanted to testify at your defense. In a real court trial, each side gets to CHOOSE their own witnesses. They don’t simply get to pick from a frightened and/ or biased pool.

    It is sad that the church gets to pick the judge, the jury, the exact length of the trial, and even the witnesses. I have one word to say: kangaroo court.” Why not just cut you out of the church without wasting the 45 minutes? All this drama is ridiculous. If the verdict is set, the church should just state it and be done with it.

    Also, if anyone dares to refer to this fiasco as a “court of love,” I would like to tell them that I would pick “a court of hate” with a fair legal procedure any day of the week.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. The church cannot take from you that wish they did not give you. Your priesthood, your covenants, your baptism, your other ordinances… Those are all between you and the Lord. The only thing the church can take from you is your membership. At this point, they can have mine. I don’t need it anymore. They have revealed themselves time and time again as the corrupt institution they are. There are many other, better ways to worship the Lord.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. You have my admiration and gratitude, Sam. Some of the creepiest moments in my life were when, in my calling as a bishop’s counselor in the 80s, I was tasked twice a year with asking young teenage girls if they were masturbating. The cognitive dissonance was overwhelming. I did my best to make my inquiries quick, kind and friendly, but I felt deeply that the system was diseased and corrupt. It never occurred to me to push back against the assignment. Of course we were alone. I felt terribly alone. I didn’t want to know if they were masturbating; I was more interested if they were trying to be kind to the other kids at school.

    When you experience your friends heaving you off the Good Ship Zion, know that the work of God persists, that Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon are yet the Lord’s signature evidence of his love for us in vastly expanding our understanding of Jesus Christ. While the church appears to show little interest in the matter, Zion will manifest. The Lord has spoken it. However, it seems unlikely that the church amassing billions of dollars in real estate and investments will convince him of their worthiness of anything but chastisement.

    When I taught the Old Testament in Gospel Doctrine class once, I came to believe that apostasy usually starts at the top and works downwards. Your eclesiastical pressure at the hand of parties higher than your stake president is probably evidence of that in our day. According to D&C 121, your accusers’ willingness to deceive and exercise dominion over you is the criteria that Heaven is warning them of, lest they be rejected. By remaining true to the only being that can save us, you’ll find your testimony of him and his plan strengthening further. Do take heart. He needs friends in mortality who are willing to emulate him at all costs. The angels be with you, brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. They reached the right conclusion, one that you no doubt expected. “You are entitled to your opinion or position, but you cannot remain a member in good standing while attacking the Church and its leaders and trying to get others to follow you.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “There is no more neutrality in the world. You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.” – Eldridge Cleaver

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with you Glenn. I speak as an active member of the Church. The LDS definition of apostasy conspicuously and sadly makes no mention of the terms “truth,” “acting in good faith,” or “protecting others.” Unfortunately, acting on these moral imperatives can get you kicked out. You are thus ostracized, stigmatized, and discredited in the eyes of your family, friends, and fellow members. You get to choose between speaking the truth to protect others, or protecting the church leaders. It is inexcusable to place good, moral people in this impossible position.

        Liked by 1 person

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