June 10th–Stand Up & Speak Up

Stand Up & Speak UP

These powerful words of encouragement were recently pronounced by Russell M. Nelson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

On Sunday June 10th, we will have the opportunity to stand up and speak up.  It’s National Children’s Day.

Button June 10

Protect Our Children With A Button

For National Children’s Day we are asking every supporter of Protect The Children to wear a button on June 10th.

Wherever you go, wear one.  Whether to church or other activities.  Have conversations!  Invite those you talk to to learn more at ProtectLDSChildren.org.

Our button action will bring awareness to the plight of LDS children who are being subjected to grooming and shaming behaviors all alone, behind closed doors with Mormon leaders.  Conversations will be started.  Awareness raised.  Even without a discussion, people will take notice.

Of course, we hope that many many people will wear their buttons to an LDS Church service.  Buttons in our buildings will make a big impact, whether you are an active member or haven’t been to church in years.

If you are not comfortable in a Mormon church, wear the button to another church, to the park, at the store or any activity outside of your front door.

We put up a petition—tens of thousands signed. Then a march—another thousand joined the line.  Now a button–thousands more will participate this time!!  We ARE changing the church’s interview paradigm.

Please post and share photos of you wearing your buttons!

How to Get a Button

  1. Make one of your own design.  People were super creative with signs at the march.
  2. Download the artwork and print your own.
  3. Order 1 Button.
  4. Order a 5 Button Pack.
  5. Order a 20 Button Pack.
  6. Order a Bumper Sticker.
  7. See all four options HERE.

ButtonsNote: Buttons are available with the cuddling lion or the roaring lion — if you want the roaring lion, please indicate it in the notes on your order.  Otherwise, we’ll send the cuddling version. Thank you!

Facebook Event

Please go to the Event Page and indicate your plans to participate.

Share the Event everywhere!   

Let’s Make This Big!!!

 

99% of LDS Bishops Act Like Sexual Predators

Temple Super Moon

On occasion, members of the church have fussed at the petition.  They have said that it paints all bishops as if they are pedophiles.  Let me straighten that out:  I assume that the number of pedophile bishops is pretty small.  The vast majority of Mormon leaders are good upstanding men.

The supreme head of the Catholic Church estimates that 2% of his priests are pedophiles.  Some estimates run as high as 7%.  Is it possible that the population of sexual predators in LDS leadership is smaller?  I hope so.  We simply have no scientific data to support any estimate.

However, plenty of evidence exists which proves that there ARE sexual predators in every rank of our Mormon hierarchy.  From Sunday school presidents, to bishops, to stake presidents, to mission presidents and seventies.  With the advent of the #metoo movement, more and more Mormon victims are coming forward.  Over the past 12 months, at least 8 leaders, mostly bishops, have been arrested, convicted or sentenced for sexual assault of minors.  So far in 2018, two men who served in high leadership positions have been revealed as sexual predators, Joseph Bishop and Philander Smartt.

So no, not all bishops are sexual predators…but some are.  Like every other institutional church on the planet have already done, we should implement protections against the dangerous men in our leadership.

Almost All Bishops ACT Like Sexual Predators!!!

Whatever percentage of our leadership might be evil, almost all of our bishops are ACTING just like sexual predators behave!!!

Taking minors behind closed doors, beyond the earshot and eyesight of everyone, IS predatory grooming behavior.

Asking a minor sexual questions is totally predatory behavior.

Almost every bishop is grooming our children for the sexual predators in our leadership ranks, in the neighborhood and anywhere else in society.  The bishops groom kids for those serving above and around them.  Bishops are grooming our youngsters for the predator who might replace him as the next bishop.

Fortunately, there are some leaders who refuse to take a child behind closed doors without a parent being present and also refuse to ask sexual questions.  Good on them.  Unfortunately, these bishops are in the vast minority.  They are the ones who are proactively protecting our children.

What a horrid indictment on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that the vast majority of our bishops continue to act like sexual predators.  They are preparing our most vulnerable children for the monsters lying in wait.  Some of those monsters are other bishops, stake presidents and mission presidents.

And remember…this ONLY happens in the LDS Church.  In all other churches that I’m aware of, this behavior would result in the the pastor being disciplined or defrocked.  Our friends the Catholics set a laudable example by not tolerating sexual questions being posed to minors.

Protect Your Children—NOW!      Send your Bishop a Letter

Set firm boundaries with your children.  Let them know that it is not appropriate to have one-on-one meetings with church leadership….or anyone else.  Inform them that they are to let you know if anyone attempts to take them behind closed doors, including the bishop and stake president.

Then set the same boundaries with the bishop.  Put it in writing.  Send your bishop a letter or email.  Three sample templates can be found HERE.

I regret that my children were exposed to sexually explicit questions, all alone, behind closed doors.  Please take action so your children won’t be victims.  Otherwise, you can see and read the horrid consequences that may be in your children’s future.

What Else Can You Do to Help Protect The Children?

  1. Like Protect LDS Children Facebook page.
  2. After you send a letter to the bishop, share your experience on the Success Stories page.
  3. Sign or share the petition.
  4. If you have experienced inappropriate bishop interviews, share your story….if you feel ready.  Victims of either overt or covert sexual abuse are the only ones who can determine when or if sharing their story is appropriate.  We support you in whatever decision you make.
  5. If you are unfamiliar with the damages the LDS Church is causing to our children, educate yourself.  See the stories.  Read the stories.
  6. I have chosen to invest a ton of my own money into this campaign.  If you want to help, feel free to donate.  And thank you to all those who have already helped out to the tune of $80,000 over the past 6 weeks.  Your commitment to save our children is stunning.

Donations

To make a donation, go to our website ProtectLDSChildren.org.

On a laptop, the donation button is in the upper left hand corner.

On a tablet, the button may be on the left or right side, depending on the size of the device.

On a phone, click the three line menu.  The Donate button will be at the bottom of the menu.

All funds will go to a new organization named “Protect The Children Association.”  A 501C3 application has been filed.  All donations made 27 months before the application is approved by the IRS will be tax deductible.  I’m expecting everything donated at this point will fall in that category.

Caveat:  DO NOT feel any obligation to donate.  DO NOT feel one whit of regret if you can’t or choose not to donate.

Thank you for traveling this journey at my side in whatever methods you choose.

Is something brewing, about to begin?

mary-poppins

League City Stake

This afternoon I received an amazing message.  The pertinent portion is paraphrased below.

Our stake has received a letter stating that no leader in any capacity, including bishop, can be alone with a minor.  Over the past week we have been working on implementing these provisions.  Sometime after August of this year, the policy will be introduced to the entire church.”

This person wants to remain anonymous and does not have a copy of the ‘letter.’

However, I do know that he/she is in the League City Stake which is just south Houston, Texas.  Yay Texas.

If this is true…..it’s HUGE!!!

Of course, this might not be what it seems.  Can you help?  I’d like to confirm that bishops are actually being restricted from one-on-one interviews.

If you live in the League City Stake, can you confirm that this is happening?

If you have contacts in the League City Stake could you ask them if this is accurate?

Has anyone heard of similar instructions being implemented in other stakes?

Does anyone have access to the ‘letter?’

Elder Bednar

Tonight, another person in whom I have total confidence, shared the following.  Elder Bednar recently made a comment along these lines:  “Big changes were announced at conference.  More are coming.  In fact, a tsunami of changes are on the way.”

_______________________________________

We know the the church will eventually be forced to stop one-on-one, sexually explicit interrogations of our children.  The changes might be closer than our wildest dreams would have expected.

Fingers crossed.  Never-the-less, we are not stopping until complete victory is won.

 

Great Grass Roots News

March Don't Make me grow up

Today, I received 3 encouraging reports.

  1. Several active families in Tucson are working in their stake to implement petition style interviews.
  2. Several active families in Scotland are working on the same thing.  They have promised to return & report.
  3. Then, the following letter.  Amazing letter.  Sent by a father of 3 daughters to his good bishop.  He attended the march and was disappointed that not one word was uttered at general conference about protecting our children.

Hello [Bishop],

You may have heard about the rally that was held last Friday in support of asking the Church to update its policies regarding Bishops interviewing children one on one and to also stop asking children sexually explicit questions. A petition was also presented to the Church leaders with over 56,000 signatures requesting these changes be made. I want you to know that I signed the petition and I participated in the rally as well. I want you to understand that this is in no way an indication that I do not trust you as a person. I think you are a good man and I’m glad you’re the Bishop of the ward. 

That being said, I think that it would better serve our children if the church worldwide updated its policy to require two adults in the room when children are being interviewed. This would be similar to the scouting program, where two deep leadership is a requirement at all times. Both for the safety of the child and for the protection of the adult from possible false accusations.

I realize that the church last week updated its policy to allow the child to request another adult be present in interviews if they wish, but I don’t think this goes far enough. This places the burden of protection on the child, who may not even know that it’s an option for another adult to be present. Considering my support for this cause, I felt I would be lacking if I didn’t communicate with you concerning my wishes for my children.

I am respectfully requesting the following with regard to my children:

  • My wife or I will be present in all interviews, whether with you or one of your counselors. Even if an interview is to be brief, one of us must be present. This includes formal interviews (such as at birthdays) or informal (such as a quick pulling in from the hall for a class presidency re-arrangement).
  • If in the event one of my children requests that someone other than me or my wife be present, we will allow them to choose who should be present (such as a counselor, or YW president or advisor, etc.)
  • Explicit questions about moral worthiness will not be asked to my children. The very nature of determining “worthiness” insinuates that a child may be unworthy. My children are good kids and I know that God loves them. Even if they do make mistakes, as we all do in life, I do not want them to ever feel that they are unworthy before God. They are always worthy of his love, no matter what. My wife and I, as parents, can help them with the repentance process and to accompany them to visit with you if that is needed. I am requesting that you do not ask explicit questions about masturbation, sexual orientation, or any other intimate sexual activity. These are items that My wife and I will discuss with our children in our home, as their parents. I do not think it is appropriate for a young girl to be in a room alone with a man, any man, and be asked these types of questions.
  • Children are not under covenant to obey the Law of Chastity. That is a temple covenant. We will discuss chastity in our home with our children. What it means, and how it relates to them. However, I do not want them being asked by an adult man if they are sexually pure. I believe that this type of questioning could possibly play a role in a child at some future point being groomed by other adults (whose intentions are evil) if the child feels that it’s OK to discuss sexual topics with an adult man. Now, maybe you never would ask these explicit questions. But there are plenty of Bishops out there who do. And it is damaging. It is damaging to a child’s sense of worth, and it could be damaging to their sexual development that could cause relationship and mental health issues both in the present and later in life. It is damaging that a child may develop a sense that they are not worthy of God’s love, as was the case for me during my teenage years.

If you would like to discuss this further or have any questions, I’m happy to have a conversation with you. However, as the father of my daughters, I respectfully request that you consider and adhere to my requests above. Thank you.

“My bishop replied that he would respect my wishes. Now, if more people would do this, we could force change! And bishops may make this their own policy even if they are not mandated by SLC.”

Good Point

My friend has a good point.  20,000 people have now signed the Protect-the-Children petition.  What would happen if only 1,000 of us sent a letter to our bishop?  We CAN make this change in the trenches before SLC eventually decides to do the right thing.

If you send a letter or talk directly to your bishop, please share it on the Success Stories page.  Today, we have 12.  Tomorrow there will be hundreds…as we each take individual action.

What Can You Do Now?

Help bolster our army of thundering lions.  Our petition currently has 20,138 signatures.   My next goal is 30,000.

If you haven’t already, Sign the Petition.

If you can, Share the Petition….again.

Every week that goes by, children continue to be egregiously harmed behind bishop’s closed doors in Mormon churches all around the world.

IT’S.TIME.TO.PULVERIZE.THIS.POLICY.

Links

Sign the Petition

 

 

Active Members are on the Move–Success Story #3.

Father and son

What a great email to wake up to!!

Dear Sam/Bishop Young,

I wanted to write to you to thank you for the information you are sharing. I know this has been so troublesome for you and a heavy load to bear. I also know that the burden of hurt carried by so many members and their children has been heavy and lonely. I am a former Relief Society President and life long member of the church. Like you I have served in presidencies and served a full time mission. I have family and friends who have their own experiences with well-meaning or not so well-meaning church leadership.

I wanted to let you know that I have shared our concerns and your press conference with our bishopric, RS, Primary and YW Presidents. Our bishop expressed his concern as well and is planning to bring up the issue in his next Stake Welfare meeting. Our RS President is well aware and endorses our efforts to address the issue. My husband, who is currently on the High Council, and I sat down personally with our Stake President a week ago to express our concerns. He was very open and willing to address the issue in the Stake and has told us he will bring the issue to his next meeting of Stake Presidents who meet with the area authority Elder _____. I believe our stake president sees the wisdom in taking some action to protect children and also to avoid huge liabilities. I have also shared the press conference and my concerns with the Stake RS President, Stake Primary Presidency and the Stake YW President. The quickest solution we offered is for a child to choose a parent or another leader to accompany them into the interviews.

We also have been sharing our concerns with family and friends, especially those who hold leadership positions in our faith. We pray that they will have the courage to share their concerns and that the spirit will guide them in how to do so in their respective spheres of influence.

God bless you and guide you as you take this journey.

Thank you,  T.D.

THANK YOU, T.D.  Your efforts will protect our children.  This is so awesome!

My totally active daughter has been telling me for months, “Dad please don’t quit.  There are more people in the church who agree with these changes than don’t.  It’s just that the members who support you are afraid to speak up.”

Last week, I was told the same thing by an active member who has also spoken with his friends, family and leaders.

I’m starting to believe them.

How Can You Help Protect Our Children?

Share your concerns with leaders, friends and family.

Share YOUR Success Story.

Share the Petition.

Share the website, ProtectLDSChildren.org.

Join the March in Salt Lake City, on March 30th.  570 have already registered.  Don’t miss it.

Or…..join a Local Rally on March 30th

Other Resources

 

Masturbation & The Accountant

AccountantToday, I sat down with my accountant to review the company’s tax filing for 2017.  Her name is Mill.  She is a partner at a large regional accounting firm.  Twenty five years ago,  my taxes got too complicated for me to handle.  After many semi-annual meetings, we have become good friends.

The review began with the usual small talk.  Soon she recognized that I seemed distracted and in a hurry.  She asked why.  The following conversation was launched.

MEI know your son is grown now.  But, suppose this happened to your son when he was 12.  Your pastor called him in for a one-on-one meeting . . . .

MILL:  (She quickly cut me off with a firm karate chop to the conference table.)  NO!  That’s wrong.  It makes me feel sick.  With the Larry Nassar scandal and the Penn State stuff and all the sexual abuse that’s coming out, it makes me ill to think of my son alone with anyone.

MEI’m not done.  Suppose that the pastor then asks your son if he masturbates . . . .

MILLThat’s disgusting.  It’s none of the pastor’s business.  It’s personal and should only be a family matter.  I never talked to my son about masturbation.  The only thing I told him was that if he got a girl pregnant, I would require him to drop out of school, get a job and pay for the baby.  I don’t believe in abortion.

Our discussion continued about the petition, the stories, the damage done, the news coverage, possible excommunication, and the threats to my family, business and to myself.  We talked about the types of harm these interviews cause.  I didn’t have to recount them all.  She was fully capable of explaining to me what the dangers were.   We also discussed the toll this is taking on my time and resources.

MILLSam, I hope you know that you’re doing the right thing. 

SAMI do. Yes, I absolutely do.

Dear Fellow Mormons

Everyone outside the church is sickened, disgusted or repulsed by our interview process.  Somehow, what is abhorrent to our neighbors has become normalized to most latter-day saints.

You have to know that what we are doing is wrong–way wrong!!!

I’m confident…

  • That the good members of my church are capable of  being smarter than our own policies.
  • That when good parents sincerely consider the ramifications of sending their children behind closed doors to talk about sex, that they will start to be sickened by the possibilities.
  • That Mormons will start to protect their children the same way our neighbors already are protecting theirs.

Many active members have already raised their voices loudly to call for changes.  Join us.  Don’t sit on the sidelines while our children are at risk.

Join Our Historic March-For-The-Children

If you are in Utah, within driving distance, or even flying distance, come help us assure that the children of the future don’t repeat the dreadful experiences of children in our past.

On FridayMarch 30, 2018 we will gather at the Salt Lake City/County Building.  Then march 5 blocks to the LDS Church Office Building.  Upon arrival, we will present 2 items to church officials:

  1. The signatories on the Petition to Protect The Children.
  2. Sacred Stories of Sacred Children.  A record of childhoods destroyed behind closed doors.

Register here so we can get an accurate count ahead of time.  Our goal is 1,000 marchers.

How can you help protect our children:

  • Share the march info everywhere.
  • Bring your friends & family.
  • Encourage friends & family in Utah and surrounding states to join us.

We are making Mormon history.  Come make it with us.  It will be a once in a lifetime event.

Local Rallies

Many friends of Protect-The-Children who want to come to the march are constrained by time, distance, or money.

Good News!!!  We are organizing local rallies in offsite locations to coincide with the Utah march.  Same date, same time…different place.  Imagine 20 people in Seattle, 30 in Dallas, 25 in St. Louis and so on and so on and so on!

Every place we have a gathering, local media will be invited to cover.  We are expecting the national media to be at the SLC event.  The local rallies will illustrate in a big way that our cause is a country-wide movement and deserves national attention.

This will be a big step in bringing awareness to good Mormon parents and bishops everywhere.  So far, our efforts have reached some.  The march will extend our reach many times over.

If you are interested in participating in a local rally, please register here.  A volunteer coordinator will reach out to you soon.

Come help us save our children!!!  Whether it be at Church Headquarters or at local venues all across the country, your efforts will protect generations of children to come.

Links

“This is Sick and Sad,” Parents learn a lesson.

lessons-learnedThis is story #376 on ProtectLDSChildren.org.  So many things wrong!!!

We had postponed my daughter’s baptism for months so that her older brother could return from a sales job and baptize her. Days before the scheduled baptism we got a text from our bishop that our son was not ” worthy” to baptize his sister because he had masturbated that week. Our bishop encourages youth to text him right away when they masturbate so they can repent right away. My son is so good and honest and sensitive that he actually did it.

We tried to talk to the bishop, noting that in the church handbook it does not give bishops this authority. My husband has never been asked if he masturbated before baptizing our other kids. It also says in the handbook that fathers who are not temple worthy can baptize their kids. The bishop spent the whole time defending his point and assuring us the stake president would be on his side.

So, my little girl cried herself to sleep and my other children had to deal with unacceptable explanations. And my son…I’ve never met a young person so connected to the Spirit, so humble and willing to do what’s right, so committed to study and prayer. His best wasn’t good enough, and it was devastating. He was thrown into a pit of depression for months. Thankfully, he is doing much better, and we have learned our lesson.  How did I think these interviews were okay when I won’t leave my kids alone with a doctor or dentist?

My oldest son also had his mission papers delayed for 20 months, always keeping him in limbo affecting college and life plans. Arbitrary abstinence times set up that dragged on because, well because they thought it was their business to know if he masturbates. There is plenty of scientific research showing that masturbation is normal and healthy and there is nothing in church doctrine to show otherwise. This is sick and sad. We must do better for our kids!

Links