“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

Want your child behind closed doors, all alone with a man talking masturbation? Then join the Mormon Church. We are the ONLY ones who do it.

Disgusted Girl

Yep.  That’s right.  You can’t find masturbation interviews for your children anywhere else.

“No other reputable institutional church, private or public school, sports group, youth serving organization, or community center allows one-on-one meetings between adults and children.  It’s an invitation for sexual abuse. Why is the LDS church endorsing this horrible practice?”  –Statement by Joelle Casteix, SNAP Western Regional Leader

SNAP is a prominent support group that helped expose widespread sexual abuse by Catholic priests.  The acronym stands for Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

In no uncertain terms, SNAP condemns what has become an LDS institutional hallmark, masturbation interviews.  According to Ms. Casteix, “The ramifications of these meetings are horrific.”

My Fellow Mormons

I’m ashamed that these closed-door-interviews are still part of our culture.  They certainly are not doctrine.  We are condoning the shame and self-loathing that our children are experiencing.

The rest of the world has already made changes to protect the kids.  Every institutional church and youth serving organization have eliminated behind-closed -doors-all-alone meetings with children…..except us.

We were forced by the Federal Government to abandon polygamy.  We lagged years behind the civil rights movement in finally ditching our embarrassing racism.  We are now years behind society again.  If you allow our “horrific” practice to continue….the harm to our children is on you!!!

***My Non-Mormon Friends***

You, your relatives, your neighbors or friends may be considering joining my Mormon Church.  If so, be aware that we are the ONLY church in America that conducts sexually oriented interviews with children, all alone, behind closed doors.

I’m giving you a heads up.  Your children WILL regularly be called into private one-on-one meetings with a leader of your congregation.  Often without your knowledge or consent.  It is very likely that those interviews will be sexually oriented with sexually probing questions.  Always behind closed doors and without a parent in the room.

The Church offers many good things.  I encourage you to seriously weigh the good against the severe risks that your children will be exposed to.

Additional Resources

Join us by adding your thundering voice to the PETITION

Next To Murder

Lonely.jpgFor the Strength of Youth

Children in the Mormon church, my church, are instructed to live by the precepts taught in a pamphlet called “For the Strength of Youth.”  Under the heading ‘Sexual Purity,’ the following is taught.

In God’s sight, sexual sins are extremely serious.  The prophet Alma taught that sexual sins are more serious than any other sins except murder

Here’s a question for you.  Is masturbation a sexual sin?  The vast majority of the membership would say yes.  So…really?   Masturbation is so heinous that it ranks right below murder?

Most reasonable adults would recognize this laughable and ludicrous.  If not idiotic.

However, we are not talking about adults here.  These teachings are targeted directly at our children.  From the tender age of 12, all the way to 17.  Six years of linking masturbation and murder in the same sentence.  For many, these childhood teachings, reinforced by years of probing youth interviews, will cement in place open wounds of shame that will haunt them into adulthood.

Certainly, parents must see the crushing guilt that can come crashing down on our most vulnerable children.  Not just shame.  Guilt.  Guilt of a heinous crime against God.  Is it any wonder that some kids live with self-loathing all through their teen years?  Can you see why some of our children ideate suicide?  And some attempt it?  And the tragic few who actually complete it?

Some of my fellow church members would claim that no kid would actually view masturbation as serious as being next to murder.  Oh…how you misjudge the vulnerability of our children.

Other fellow Mormons would say no bishop would ever teach such a gross exaggeration to a child behind closed doors.  Oh…how you underestimate our leaders’ commitment to the actual teachings coming out of Salt Lake City.  ‘For the Strength of Youth’ is held up as the standard for interviewing our children.

Read and thoughtfully consider the dangerous nature of an interview recorded on the Petition.

Most recent interview with my son, Bishop equated masturbation second to murder. And my son had to apologize to his father for I don’t know what!  Second to murder? Are you completely off your rocker? That was the last straw for me, I will not allow my children to go through that mental and emotional abuse. 

My recommendation

  1.  Never allow your child to go behind a closed door, all alone, with any man.  As the parent, accompany your child to ALL youth interviews.
  2. Never allow sexual matters to be discussed in these interviews.  There is too much danger for harm.  The sexual development of your child is YOUR responsibility as the parent.
  3. Actively teach your child that masturbation  and other sexual sins are NOT anywhere next to murder.

In the meantime, almost 7,000 strong are actively engaged in bringing this practice to a halt.  We are committed to Protecting our Children.

Join us by adding your thundering voice to the PETITION.

Additional Resources

Bishop Talks Oral Sex to a 7 Year Old

Bishop & little girl

The church places no limit on what bishops are allowed to discuss..…with our children…..all alone..…behind closed doors.  They have free reign to talk about whatever God whispers in their ear.

What the hell do we think is going to happen?  Specific and explicit?  Yep!  With a 7 year old?  Yep!

Comment from the petition

I was 7 the first time I was asked if I “abide by the law of chastity.” Not knowing what that meant, I asked for a definition. In that room in front of a man I barely knew, I was given my first discussion about female anatomy and intercourse, oral sex, and more. Disgusting!

If this disgusts you, plant your signature on the petition and share it everywhere.

Protect our children….from….this….crap.  Sign the petition.

Resources

Testimonials of masturbation interviews.

Testimonials of interviews about orgasm and sexual positions.

Why this petition matters.

How to talk to your kids about masturbation.

Is masturbation a sin?

Mormon Church Calls on Teenagers to Ask Other Teenagers if They Masturbate

LDS Missionaries

The title above turns my stomach.  This is my damn church.  What the hell are we doing!!!

During my brother’s full-time mission, he was called to serve as a zone leader.  One of his responsibilities:  take other teenage full-time missionaries behind closed doors and ask them is they masturbate.  What the hell!!!

A teenager being tasked by his mission president to ask other teenagers “specific and explicit” sexual questions.  This doesn’t qualify as inappropriate.  IT….IS….HORRENDOUS.

Here’s a snippet of our recent conversation:

ME:  How did you feel about that?

BRO:  It was weird.  I hated those interviews.  Prying and asking those questions.

ME:  Did any of the boys say they masturbated?

BRO:  Uhhh….yes!

ME:  What did you tell them?

BRO:  Ummmm….Well….To stop doing it.

Dear General Authorities

When you give Seventies, Stake Presidents and Mission Presidents the directive to be “specific and explicit,” horrific unintended consequences are the result.

“Specific and explicit” questioning of our children has become a rampant practice.  It is disgusting and dead wrong.  All done behind closed doors, all alone with our precious children.  STOP IT.

And then, to find out that you have tasked our teenage children to do the exact same thing.  SHAME ON YOU.

I invite you so sign the petition that has now been signed by 1,949 concerned human beings.  Click HERE for the petition link.

Other Resources

Petition:  Protect Our Children–Stop Mormon Masturbation Interviews.  Click HERE.

Why this petition matters.  Click HERE.

Testimonials of masturbation interviews.  Click HERE.

Testimonials of interviews about orgasm and sexual positions.  Click HERE.

How to talk to your kids about masturbation.  Click HERE.

Is masturbation a sin?  Click HERE.

 

Why This Petition Matters

WeThePeople2

Several folks have expressed that the church will not pay any attention to a petition.  That may be true.  Never-the-less, in and of itself, a petition can do a world of good.  In fact, it has already done a world of good for many adults and children.

Incidentally, I believe that my church will pay attention to this initiative.  They may not recognize it publicly.  But, it is already on my church’s radar.  Our public relations arm will be concerned.  It will be discussed by Seventies and maybe reach the level of the Twelve.  And, who knows, if enough people sign, changes just might be made.

In the meantime, the following wonderful benefits continue to accrue with each new signature.

Healing

  1. Standing up for our 12 year-old-self.  We were violated, shamed and damaged by intrusive interview practices.  As a child, we couldn’t stand up for ourselves.  As an adult, we can speak up for our childhood-self by signing and commenting on the petition.  This promotes self healing.  Has this happened?  Yes…PETITION SUCCESS!!!
  2. It is healing to witness someone speak out against the wrongs that were perpetrated on us.  Many of us have kept the shame and humiliation bottled up inside; some for years, some for decades.  It is therapeutic to see thousands openly state that these practices are unacceptable and wrong.  Has this happened?  Yes…PETITION SUCCESS!!!
  3. The wonderful Natasha Helfer Parker taught me this.  “Being able to share your story in a safe place is part of the healing process.”  Many short story narratives are retold in the comments section of this petition.  Yes…PETITION SUCCESS!!!
  4. Victims can see that they are not alone in having been asked and then experiencing the consequences named in the petition.  Yes…PETITION SUCCESS!!!

Awareness

  1. Believe it or not, many members of the church have no idea what is happening to children behind the bishop’s closed door.  I didn’t until 7 months ago.  Has awareness been raised?  Yes!  PETITION SUCCESS!!!
  2. Awareness has been raised to the fact that parents have options.  For example, a parent can insist that they be present during their children’s interviews.  They can also insist that no sexual questions be raised.  Has this happened?  Yes!  PETITION SUCCESS!!!
  3. Parents can see that they are not alone in their concerns regarding our youth interview process.  PETITION SUCCESS!!!

Protection of Children

  1. Numerous parents have resolved never to allow these dangerous and shaming practices to be perpetrated on their children.  Yes & Yes again!!!  PETITION SUCCESS!!!  HOORAY!!!
  2. Validation that parents are not alone in taking action for their children’s welfare.  Right now there are 1,867 people who openly support these parents.   PETITION SUCCESS!!!

Local Leadership

  1. Bishops may be touched by the petition initiative.  They might cease the practice.  Or, seeing thousands of signatures may validate their current path of never asking children about masturbation.  Has this happened?  The numbers aren’t big.  But, it has happened.  Two sitting bishops have expressed appreciation for the petition initiative.  One sent me this message, “I appreciate what you’re trying to do with the harmful interview practices in the church.”   PETITION SUCCESS!!!

Church-wide Changes

  • The church could meet the demands of the petition.  No petition success yet But, we are only 1 1/2 weeks into the process.

Resources

SIGN…THE…PETITION!    Click HERE.

Testimonials of masturbation interviews.  Click HERE.

Testimonials of interviews about orgasm and sexual positions.  Click HERE.

How to talk to your kids about masturbation.  Click HERE.

Is masturbation a sin?  Click HERE.

Is It Happening in My Stake?

imageThis afternoon, I sent this e-mail to my Stake President and Bishop.  Both are very good men.

Dear President ______ and Bishop __________,

Tonight, I’m having an interview regarding the petition initiative:  Protect The Children–Stop Mormon Masturbation Interviews.  

I have been saying that I believed these questions were no longer being asked in our stake.  However, I was just sent a copy of a memo from the Seventies.  It gives instructions that “worthiness interviews need to be specific and explicit.”

As a result, I’d like to ask the question again.  Are stake and ward leaders following this instruction to pose “specific and explicit” sexual questions to our children, anywhere in the age range from 11 to 17? 

Tons of people have reported that this is happening all over the church.  Tonight, I’d like to confirm in advance of the interview whether or not it is happening in our stake.

As always, thanks for all you do,

Sam Young

To all who read this:  Join 1,917 Others to Protect our Children

SIGN…THE…PETITION!    Click HERE.

Other Resources

Testimonials of masturbation interviews.  Click HERE.

Testimonials of interviews about orgasm and sexual positions.  Click HERE.

How to talk to your kids about masturbation.  Click HERE.

Is masturbation a sin?  Click HERE.