Samaritan’s Party: Apology & Challenge

good-samaritanSunday August 12, was another historic day in Mormon history.  A gathering was held entitled “The Samaritan’s party.”  You’ll discover the significance of the title below.  Hundred’s joined together to hear the words of survivors, therapists and Mormon bishops.  The music was very touching and inspirational.

President Russell M. Nelson was invited to come.  Hopes were high that he would show up.  The format of the meeting was set with him in mind, very similar to a Mormon sacrament meeting…without the sacrament.

Even though President Nelson failed to arrive, many said the meeting was the most spiritual they had ever experienced.  Many shed tears.  I shed hard tears.  I’m not sure how a gathering like this could ever be duplicated.

You can witness it yourself on Youtube.  The actual program begins at the 46:30 minute mark.

Historic?

Several items made this an historic moment in Mormondom

  1. It marks 16 days of a hunger strike by an ordained Mormon bishop to change a dangerous policy that has harmed many many children.
  2. The sitting head of a Mormon congregation publicly called for the policy to change.
  3. Thirty-nine Mormon bishops openly apologized to past victims for the shame, self-loathing, sexual abuse and other horrific trauma that they have endured.
  4. An ordained Mormon bishop issued a second open challenge to the apostles of the Mormon Church.

I don’t have the transcript of the many wonderful speeches.  However, I do have the text of the Bishops’ Apology and the Samaritan’s challenge.

Bishops’ Apology

As Bishops having been ordained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with humility and boldness, we apologize to you, the thousands of children, now adults, who were harmed by bishop interviews.

We didn’t understand how our words and actions could be dangerous and damaging.  We know now.  Some of you were groomed for tragic sexual abuse.  We apologize.  Some were sexually assaulted by their own bishops.  How can we apologize for something so unconscionable?  We.are.sorry. 

We recognize that thousands were mercilessly and most often inadvertently shamed.  Shamed into self-loathing as youth.  Oh how we apologize for that.  Many were shamed into making very poor life choices.  Some were shamed into taking their own lives.  To the parents, we sincerely apologize.  Many of you have suffered for decades with open wounds from what happened to you behind closed doors.  We are sorry and offer our sincere apology.

You are worthy.  You were always worthy.  We see you.  We hear you.  We give you voice.  What happened to you was wrong.  So wrong.  Hand in hand with you, victims of our dreadful policy, we now march forward to protect the children and youth of today.  Our sorrow is not expressed in words alone.  Hopefully, you will recognize our contrition by our actions.

We love you.

Many bishops, branch presidents and councilors have come forward to publicly declare their apology to you.  We will now read their names.  (Names are found below.)

The Samaritan’s Party—Sam’s Address and Challenge to the Apostles

30  A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

What a gorgeous parable.  One of the many reasons I love the teachings and example of Jesus.  We are all gathered here as part of the Samaritan’s party.

For decades, church policies have struck down our children as wounded on the side of the road.  For those same decades, we had no idea that these little ones were stripped of their self-worth and left for half dead.  My dear wounded friends, we see you now.  Unlike the priesthood in Christ’s parable, we are attempting to act as the Samaritan.  We come to where you are, we bind your wounds with compassion, validation and apology.  We now see you.  We will not pass you by on the other side of the road.  We love you.

Now, as an ordained bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on behalf of my wounded friends, I make my 2nd challenge to the apostles of my church.  The 1st being 29 Questions  

Dear apostles, you are special witnesses of Jesus Christ.  That should carry a special responsibility.  On this 16th day of my fast, I challenge you as special witnesses to embrace Christ’s parable of the Good Samaritan.  Act like the Samaritan.  As Jesus said,  “Go, and do thou likewise.”

  Certainly, you must see the wounded on the side of the road now.  Thousands of their stories were painstakingly delivered to your doorstep last March.  I challenge you to cross the road.  Bind up their wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set them on your own beast, bring them to an inn, and take care of them. 

They were not beaten by thieves.  Rather, they were wounded and stripped behind the closed doors of good men.  Good men without understanding.  Good men following an unfortunate mandate emanating from your office.

So, here is my 2nd challenge to you, dear apostles:  Be Samaritans, not priests who pass by on the other side of the road.  Cross the road and join this party of Samaritans.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ whom I serve, Amen.

Program Order

  • Jeni Gozart:  Program Conductor
  • Melissa Draper:  Music Director
  • Martine Dirick Smith:  Music Conductor
  • Technical Director:  Tim Coray
  • Where Can I Turn For Peace:  Opening Hymn
  • Lisa Mayo Murphy:  Opening Prayer
  • Melodi Diamond:  Survivor #1
  • Tara Workman Tulley:  Therapist
  • Jessalyn Speight:  Survivor #2
  • Melissa Draper & Tamsyn Spackman:  Instrumental, Jesus Once Was a Little Child.  Violin and Keyboard.
  • Brian Bresee:  Survivor #3–Son died of suicide.
  • Tammie Johnson Ellis:  Therapist
  • Bishop Stuart Smith:  Bishop’s address
  • Bishop Bill Moore:  Bishops’ Apology
  • Bishop Earl Erskine:  Reading of Councilor names
  • Bishop Russell Bennion:  Reading of Bishop/Branch President names
  • Kristen Jenson:  Vocal, You’ll Never Walk Alone
  • Jaimee Echert-Griffin:  Survivor #4
  • Bishop Sam Young:  The Samaritan’s Apology
  • A Child’s Prayer:  Closing Song
  • Emily Micklos:  Closing Prayer

A special thanks to members of the choir and other musicians  They all contributed to wonderfully sounding music.

Bishops Who Publicly Apologize

  1. Lane Bagley
  2. Eric Bendorf
  3. Russell Bennion
  4. Joshua Biggley—Canada
  5. Vince Cockbain—South Africa
  6. Brian Cowley
  7. Matthew Crandall—Currently serving as Branch Pres of the Tallin Branch in Estonia
  8. Earl Erskine
  9. Sebastien Faudin
  10. Mike Hancey
  11. Rick Hansen
  12. Heber Henke
  13. Scott Hoyt
  14. Matt Ireland
  15. Steve Johnson
  16. Kirby Justesen
  17. Tom Kauffman
  18. Kevin Kloosterman
  19. Mike LeBaron
  20. Jared Lusk
  21. Isaac Mathews
  22. Gary Mitchell
  23. Bill Moore
  24. Bryant Richard Newell
  25. Garth Ogzewalla
  26. Bart Pascoal
  27. Brent Patterson
  28. Kevin L. Priddy
  29. Scott Purvis
  30. Casey Randall
  31. Bill Reel
  32. JonathanReid
  33. Robin Richey
  34. Russ Ryan
  35. David Silsby—UK
  36. Stuart Smith
  37. Wally Taylor
  38. Frederick Volcansek
  39. Sam Young

Councilors Who Publicly Apologize

  1. Benoit Allmbert
  2. Ammon Buehler
  3. Reed Burk
  4. Jamie Lee Christensen
  5. Thomas Christensen
  6. Wade Christensen
  7. Curtis L. Craven
  8. Rob Thomas Damascus
  9. Matt Dana
  10. Scott Davis
  11. Dean Doll—Canada
  12. Brock Ebmeyer
  13. Wagner R. Ferreira
  14. Abe Gardner
  15. Matt George
  16. John Griffith
  17. Greg Hanning
  18. John Harwood—Australia
  19. Chad Hastings
  20. Joseph Hollenbaugh
  21. James Jenson
  22. Peter Jeppsen
  23. Kevin Johnson
  24. Ron Johnson
  25. Bryce Kerby
  26. Jake Malouf
  27. Joe McCaul
  28. Paul Miller
  29. David Murdock
  30. Ben Rogers
  31. Douglas S. Satterfield
  32. Tyler Slack
  33. Jeremy Steenblik—Currrently serving as 1st bishopric councilor
  34. David Vance
  35. David Wilson

 

Come Heal the Hurting & Save Our Children–Invitation to the Prophet

March Crowd pic from City HallThis coming Sunday, President Russell M. Nelson has been invited to join us in a special meeting.  Supporters of Protect LDS Children will be gathered in the hundreds to greet & welcome him.  Numerous survivors will be present in person and myraid orthers witnessing the proceedings by livestream around the world.

We are putting together a great program including survivors, experts and music.  The atmosphere will be festive, upbeat and supportive.  Truly a time of healing and protection.

Details

Date:  August 12, 2018

Time:  12 noon.

Length:  Approximately 1 hr and 10 min.

Location:  175 West 200 South, Salt Lake City.  There will be ample signage directing all to the proper place.

Parking:  A large parking garage is conveniently located behind the building.  Street parking is also an option.

Dress Code:  Sunday dress is appropriate.  But, anything is acceptable.

Note:  The venue is standing room only.

Day 16

This will be day 16 of our Hunger Strike and Spotlight action.  I’m still going pretty strong and should be able to continue my fast until the 12th.  The spotlight that ya’ll have been shining is yielding amazing results.  This Sunday will provide another prime opportunity to Spotlight.

Media….or the Prophet?

Of course, my first choice is that President Nelson come.  His presence would be a win-win for everyone.  The victims and survivors would find huge solace and validation.  President Nelson would be lauded as a hero as he emulates Christ’s great example.

In the event he fails to show, we will rely on media to help spread awareness far and wide.  We anticipate that 2 things will draw our media friends.  1) 16 days.  2) A crowd.  That’s where you come in.  We need people!!!

1,000 of you came to the march.  It was magical.  This event will be magical too.  We just need you to come.  I’m sacrificing food and I’m asking that you sacrifice some time.

DO NOT BE DETERRED by the size of the venue.  Today, once the owners understood our cause, they gracious expanded the capacity by several hundred.  Several video monitors will be set up so the live feed can be viewed at all locations in the facility.

There is an emergency brewing all across the land behind bishop’s closed doors.  So far, the apostles have not sensed the urgency.  On the other hand, the dire situation of our children has caused all of US to jump to action.  Now, it’s time for us to gather again.

We just need people, lot’s of good people.  Please come.  Don’t miss it.  Be a part of making Mormon history.

You can register on Facebook HERE.

29 Questions

Questions

***Trigger Warning***

Disturbing pornographic questions below.  They are too obscene for polite adult discussion.  Yet, they appear to be approved fodder for probing our children behind the closed doors of our Mormon leaders.  Hundreds of testimonials are found HERE.

Dear Apostles,

If you don’t condemn, you condone

Regarding youth interviews, you have published this statement regarding church leaders:  “They are counseled to not be unnecessarily probing or invasive in their questions.”

Here are 29 questions that have been asked and continue to be asked in order to probe our children.  To me, they are ALL ‘unnecessarily probing or invasive.’  They are disgusting and vile.

My challenge to you, dear apostles:  Pick just one question that you condemn as being ‘unnecessarily probing or invasive.’  Certainly, there is at least one that you can condemn.

29 Questions

Do you masturbate?

Do you know what a vagina is?

What were you thinking of while you masturbated?

When was the last time you watched pornography?

What type of pornography do you watch?

Do you masturbate while you watch pornography?

Where and how did your boyfriend touch you?

Where your nipples hard?

Did you get wet?

Where were his fingers?

Where was your underwear?

What color were your panties ?

Did you orgasm?

Did you know that once boys reach a certain level of arousal, they have no choice but to keep going, that they can no longer stop their sexual advances?

Have you ever put your penis in another boy’s anus and if so, did you like it?

Describe the sexual positions you engaged in?

Did you engage in oral sex?

Did she orgasm?

Did you ejaculate?

How many times did he ejaculate?

Where did he ejaculate?

Did you engage in anal sex?

Did the boy ejaculate in your mouth?

Did you put your mouth on her vagina, or use your fingers?

Did he touch your breasts?

Did you touch his penis?

Did he penetrate you?

To a rape victim:

Did you like it?

What did you do to egg him on?

What were you wearing?

Did you orgasm?

My apostolic friends, thousands of testimonials were delivered to your office on March 30, 2018.  At least one member of your quorum has read them all.  To date, you have not condemned a single question.  I am left to conclude that you condone every one of the repulsive 29.

Please let me and the world know that I’m wrong.

With love your brother in Christ,

Sam Young

P.S.  You can also see these questions in VIDEO.

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.