Another Bishop Protecting Children

March Sign Worthiness2

A Recent Email

I wanted to send a heart felt thank you for standing up and putting your neck on the line regarding the Bishop interviews and sexual questions. I heard on NPR today you were excommunicated. I believe your fight is worth it. 

Earlier this year, my Father had just been called to be a Bishop.  I immediately knew I needed to talk about the Bishop interviews with my Father now that he was in this leadership role. I wasn’t sure how to bring it up. Then I read your story in the news, and sent it to my Father.

As a youth in the church, it is all fun and beautiful until you hit about 12, and yes, the Bishop interview threw me off.  Why was this man asking me these questions? I could never look that Bishop in the eyes again without feeling gross. I avoided him.

Flash forward to hearing about your story earlier this year. I sent a link to an article about you to my Father. And it opened the dialogue.  For the first time in my life I told my Father we needed to talk about this issue.  That I wanted to share my story with him. My father cried when I told him what happened to me. 

My Father, still a Bishop, has promised to not ask sexual questions to youth, and has promised to invite parents or church leaders to interviews.  I asked my Father to be an example of what the church could and should be.  I believe he will.

Thank you again for championing this important issue. For sacrificing your name on the church records. It has made a difference.

My response

Your message sent goose bumps down my arms and legs.   Still there.  Electrifying.  By speaking with your father you have provided a level of protection to the children of his ward and to him.  Amazing.  In my mind, I’m hugging you with love and admiration.

Would you mind if I publicly shared some of the details of this email?  Anonymously of course.  It’s such great news.

Warmest regards, Sam

Audiences

To date, actions have been directed at 3 audiences:

  1. The Q15.  I had hoped that as they were confronted with the massive damage their policies have done to thousands of children that they would change the policy in a substantive way.  The 15 chose to excommunicate rather than to mitigate.  I no longer plan to reach out to these men who turn a blind eye to their own victims.
  2. The Mormon members.  My hopes are that parents and local leaders will implement changes to protect their own children, their congregation and themselves.  The email above is one of many witnesses that Protect LDS Children has accomplished a great work here.  Many children are being protected from harmful interviews and potential predators.  However, most members have either not heard of our cause or have chosen to support the policy from SLC.  Going forward, I’ll continue to reach out to the fine members and good-hearted leaders in the Church.
  3. Non-members.  Our cause has now reached the ears of millions of people outside the Mormon Church.  They get it.  I have never talked to a non-Mormon who wasn’t disgusted.  Nor was anyone previously aware of what Mormons subject their children to.  Our efforts to reach this group has met with resounding success.  We will continue to spread the word in the community-at-large.

Action

You can make a difference!

Talk to your friends, your family, your local Mormon leadership.  If it’s not safe to discuss with members of the church, spread the news to every non-member you encounter.

21 thoughts on “Another Bishop Protecting Children

  1. I’ve started a dialogue with our new bishop who said that pornography and masturbation are the biggest problems among the youth in our ward. I’m pretty sure none of the living Q15 have said a word about masturbation over the pulpit. I’m going to try and get him to drop that subject from his discussions with youth.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sam, in case you haven’t heard, a recent “This American Life” podcast episode relates to your movement. https://www.thisamericanlife.org/661/transcript –> this includes the despicable excuses of Eric Hawkins over current policies, including, “You may have a young woman who is 11 years old, or 12 years old, 13 years old, who is completely innocent. You may have one of her counterparts who is of the same age, but very, very mature in her thinking, and the ways of the world, and so forth. And so the conversation would be very different for those two individuals. And that’s what’s outlined in the guidelines for bishops, as far as interviews.”

    As has been pointed out elsewhere, an 11 year old girl who is “very, very mature in her thinking, and the ways of the world” likely has experienced abuse and needs professional support, not the naive prying of a well-intending ecclesiastical leader

    Liked by 2 people

  3. As an active member of the Church, I have sent a detailed letter to each member of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. The letter addressed several issues. It called on them to be honest about the harm done by doctrines once taught, and now acknowledged by the Church to be false. Examples of these doctrines include the teaching that black people were cursed with dark skin because of actions in the pre-existence, and that same gender attraction is born of personal perversions and can be repented away. I called on them to apologize for these egregious falsehoods that have caused immeasurable harm. I called them out for Sam’s excommunication, stating that there is a moral imperative to speak out when people are being harmed. To ignore the harm and kill the messenger is unacceptable. I explained to them that there are growing numbers of active mainstream members who are watching them to see if they will be true men of God and rectify these wrongs. Many of those members are ready to walk away. I told them that if they ignore these issues, they do so at the peril of the whole Church. I sent my letter anonymously, and told them that the reason for that was a fear of repercussions, and that that culture of fear has no place in Christ’s Church. My letter was respectful but hard hitting.

    I would encourage any who feel likewise to write the Brethren. They may need to hear from many people before they decide to change. Sadly, they may listen more to active members of the Church whom they fear to lose than to those who are already wounded by the side of the road. Let’s let them know that our tolerance for dishonesty and indifference to those harmed is wearing very very thin.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “There is a moral imperative to speak out when people are being harmed. To ignore the harm and kill the messenger is unacceptable.” Wow, that’s powerful.

      Actually, your entire comment is powerful. Thank you for taking action and speaking truth to power.

      Like

    2. Steve Young,

      Amazing and courageous proactivity to write a letter overflowing with TRUTH in an attempt to get the attention of the Spiritual Dwarfs masquerading as SpokesModels for Jesus.

      What is needed is a “12-Apostles 12-Step Program” They are all ADDICTED to the incredible personal benefits of possessing Locked-Down Mind Control Power over millions of clueless marks who have lost (if they ever had it) control of their basic cognition and information processing functions.

      What is happening in Mormonism is a variation on Stockholm Syndrome:

      “Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity. These alliances, resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims.”

      From outside the Church, the ubiquitous practice of “voluntarily” transferring that much power and control of the details of your life and access to your wealth to Salt Lake Suits whose broken record “spiritual” guidance boils down to PRAY, PAY, OBEY … looks like nothing short of Mental Illness to outsiders.

      At the end of the day, there is only ONE EFFECTIVE REMEDY to start your healing and recovery process.

      Just GRADUATE yourself!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. When I was a teenager we were suppose to meet with the Bishop. I remember the older girls in our neighborhood (ward) warned us to never be alone with the Bishop. I never met with him I was to afraid!! I have since had my name removed from all church records.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is amazing that LDS kids are talking to each other and WARNING about Bishop interviews. If more assertive and aware kids decide to refuse to be groomed and shamed by their Bishop … that would be monumental.

      Thanks for sharing you story … and thank you for taking loving care of yourself.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. How are you claiming this as a success? You didnt do this. This bishop is right in line with the Church policy. What happened to your stance on “no one on one interviews?” Wishy washy much?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My stance hasn’t changed. This bishop has made a major change, both to one-on-one interviews and sexual questions. Church policy is 1) that one-on-ones are perfectly fine and only to be allowed is the child desires. That’s idiocy to put the child’s safety in the child’s immature and trusting hands. 2) The church does not forbid any sexual questions from being asked. None. Bishops have free reign to prob children with any pornographic question they desire. I have asked them to condemn a whole raft of queries that bishops have asked. Their silence gives cover to shame bishops heap on many children.

      Like

  6. Sam, you and your family are in our daily prayers for protection and divine guidance. We are not Mormon and never have been. We are avid supporters for this cause. You and your family have given up a lot to stand up for the right. We believe your soul and all souls are part of the One God, and therefore eternal. Be well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “the massive damage their policies have done to thousands of children ”
    Are you sure it’s thousands or does it just seem like thousands? I am 65 years old and of all the interviews I had with any Bishopric member I was only asked if I keep the law of chastity, which I already understood based on what I had learned in the church. No sexually explicit questions. I am sure what you say has happened to some kids and maybe I was a lucky one, but I doubt your claim to “thousands” is accurate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a fun question to ask. Assume a Bishop typically serves 5 years, and they come into the orbit of 40 kids or so on average during their tenure. Let’s look at the period from 1977-2017, where the average is about 11000 wards in the US and Canada, so we’re looking at about 88000 bishops that have served over 40 years in the US and Canada, and about 3.5 million kids that have been interviewed (this number actually matches remarkably well with counting up the number of children of record baptised / increase in the number of children of record [the name for what looks to be the same value changes between 1996 and 1997, so I added one column from pre-1997 and one for post-1997], which is close to 3.3 million).

      Let’s suppose that the large majority of Bishops and their counselors are appropriate with their questions and behavior. Say 0.1% are bad apples. Then you and most people you know have a low likelihood of even meeting one in your lifetime. But these 88 bishops would have still harmed several thousand children. And 0.1% is a fairy tale number

      Liked by 1 person

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