Let the Shunning Begin

Shun

Tonight’s communique to my Stake President.

Dear President______,

I have an acquaintance with inside scoop about Church headquarters.  A couple of months ago, he informed me that a Church security person and a public relations person had been assigned to keep watch on me.

My inside source also told me that orders would eventually be sent down to my stake president to ignore me.  At the time, he speculated that you likely had already been told to shun me months ago.

All this, after a member of the church stalked my private Facebook conversations for months and reported them to you.  Kind of weird that both the Church and its members have a need to stalk, spy and tattle.  Doesn’t sound much like Christ to me.

I have now been told that you have received instructions regarding my “Letter to the Apostles.”  The directive is to disregard me and my concerns.  I don’t KNOW if it’s true.  However, the source has been dead on in the past.

If you are ignoring me, don’t worry about it.  You are in a difficult position between me, a mere mortal member, and the powerful Seventies.  The issue I’m bringing to the fore is a headquarters matter anyway.  Of course, I’d love to address it directly with them.  That’s one of the reasons I’ve been so transparent about everything.  So far, not a peep out of any of the ranks of leadership.  Sounds like shunning orders have been issued.

I find it ironic that the Apostles say, “Don’t send letters to church headquarters.  If you do, they will be sent back to your stake.”  Then, when I send my letter to the stake, the General Authorities tell the stake to ignore it.  Oh well….like always….I’ll just keep moving forward.

Here’s what I’m hoping about my stake president…Deep down in his good heart, he’s secretly rooting for my success in protecting the children.

All My Best,

Sam

Additional Resources

Dear Stake President-Please Forward My Letter to the Apostles

imageHi President ______,

I recently spoke with your executive secretary about setting up an appointment.  Of course, I realize that this is a very busy time of year.  I’d still like to speak with you directly.  In the meantime, here’s a heads up of what I hope to discuss.  All the issues revolve around the Petition to Protect the Children.  I sent you 2 emails about this petition and my concerns last November.

  1. The protocol for youth interviews in our stake.  I spoke with my bishop.  However, I still have a number of questions.
  2. I now know that explicit questions are being asked by our bishops.  Three members of our stake have reported that in 2017 they experienced interviews of such a sexually probing nature that they decided to leave the church.
  3. In the last few weeks there has been a firestorm of media coverage in Utah about the petition and our interview practices.  There is a story brewing that may very well be covered by major local TV news here in Houston  It could be highly embarrassing to our bishops.
  4. Finally, below you’ll find a letter that I’ve composed for the Apostles.  I’d really appreciate it if you would forward it to them. 
Thanks for your service & friendship,  Sam

_______________________________________________________________________

One Thousand of us are going to march on the church office building.  We will present Ten Thousand signatures calling for the immediate PROTECTION OF OUR CHILDREN.

National media outlets will cover our March-for-the-Children.

Your policy of taking children behind closed doors is going to be exposed to the world.

Your training and approbation of local leaders to probe our children about masturbation and other sexually explicit details is going to be unmasked to the public.

You and the church are not going to look good.  Sitting bishops are not going to look good.

Do the right thing.  Stand up with us to protect our kids.  Stop these interviews IMMEDIATELY.  Avoid the PR nightmare that is fast approaching.

We are marching to protect our children.

Sincerely,

Ten Thousand Thundering Voices

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.

 

Dear Bishop and Stake President…


imageFor those Voting Opposed In LDS General, Stake & Ward Conferences

Policies, major decisions, and other things that affect the lives of the Saints, are MANDATED to be presented for a vote at conferences.  Today, this law is not being followed.  As a result, I have decided to vote in disapproval (opposed) to the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles.  They are solely responsible, both for the church policies and for the mismanagement of not putting crucial matters up for a vote.

If you are disposed to vote disapproval, I recommend an email communication be sent to your local leaders informing them of your vote.  This should be sent around the time of the conference in question.  Personally, I think it’s best to vote with our HAND during the conference and then to send the email.  However, sending the letter without attending the session, is a perfectly fine and honorable choice.

I also recommend that you sign the Common Consent Register—A Record of Those Who Disapprove.

Email Examples

Following are examples of e-mail communications that can be sent to your local leaders.  Feel free to use for ideas, templates or outright copying.

Simple

Dear Bishop_____ & President_______,

At General Conference today, I voted opposed when the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles were presented.  I’m not necessarily opposed to these men serving in their respective callings.  However, they have introduced polices of which I  firmly disapprove.

I would be happy to discuss details of my concerns with you.

Please register my disapproving vote through whatever channel the church uses with respect to the law of common consent.

The church does much good.  I believe it can be much better.  Jesus has commanded the church leaders to ask for my opinion 4 times a year.  I have prayed, searched and pondered . . .  a lot!!  For many reasons, I believe and feel that it’s important to my Savior that I give a true and honest opinion when asked.

Thank you for your unselfish service to the Lord and the members in our area.  I know that you spend countless hours in your calling.

All My Best to You and Your Family,

Detailed

Dear Bishop_____ & President_______,

At General Conference today, I voted opposed when the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles were presented.  I’m not necessarily opposed to these men serving in their respective callings.  However, they have introduced polices of which firmly I disapprove.

In the recent past, a new policy was announced regarding children of married same-sex couples.  I disapprove of excluding these children from the blessings of the gospel.  Inside my heart, here’s how I’m feeling.  The policy damages families, traditional and non.  Families have been driven out of the church, both traditional and non.  Our gay children have been hurt.   There are now reports that the message this policy sends is so hurtful that suicides have resulted.  Jesus said that we will be judged on how we treat “the least of these.”  Punishing “the least of these” is wrong.  We are denying baby blessings, baptism, the Holy Ghost, the priesthood, and the temple to the “the least of these.”  That doesn’t square with the teachings and example of the Savior.  I don’t believe this is what Jesus would want done in His church.

I would be happy to discuss details of my concerns with you further, if you’d like.

Please register my disapproving vote through whatever channel the church uses with respect to the law of common consent.

Our church does much good.  I believe it can be much better.  Jesus has commanded the church leaders to ask for my opinion 4 times a year.  I have prayed, searched and pondered . . .  a lot!!  For many reasons, I believe and feel that it’s important to my Savior that I give a true and honest opinion when asked.

Thank you for your unselfish service to the Lord and the members in our area.  I know that you spend countless hours in your calling.

All My Best to You and Your Family,

Here’s The Letter I Sent

I didn’t go into detail of the policies I disapprove of, as we have already discussed them at length:

Hi _____ & ______,

Just wanted to let you know that I voted in disapproval during conference this weekend.

I am not actually opposed to the first presidency or the apostles. Since they are not putting up major policies for common consent, my opposition to those polices is expressed when sustaining those who control the process.

My two issues are common consent and the exclusion policy for children of gay couples.

I loved many of the messages at this conference. It’s the best that I can recall. President Monson may be frail, but what a powerful communication he delivered!

I haven’t made a tally, but it seemed like concern over people leaving the church was a common thread. I would prefer that this wasn’t happening. But, it gave me super validation for the path that I’m on.

The work I’m doing can be and frequently is misunderstood. Sharp criticism from both active members and those who have left the church. My entire objective is to help both those in and out.

To those in and are questioning or about to leave?  We explore options of finding ways to stay. The problem here is that most people that I talk to have already made the decision to leave. Somehow, we need to find a forum where members can discuss before they’ve already reached their conclusions.

To those who have left?  Well, here’s the problem.  We are creating an army or enemies. Enemies who know and exploit our many, and uneccessary, weaknesses. Those who have left should be our friends, not our enemies. They seek validation, connection, and healing. These are good people.

Today, there are 12.5 million inactive and former members. Our 5 million active members are vastly outnumbered. 70% of Mormons are either resigned or inactive. And…we keep creating more disaffected, disappointed and disillusioned people for the other side. Not to mention the anger that often accompanies faith transitions.

Yet, I have now witnessed these good, formerly active members respond to love, friendship and understanding. A few weeks ago, a Relief Society president and High Priest group secretary came to the Talkeria. They were looking for suggestions on how they could reach out to those who are questioning or have left. Wow! Also in attendance were 4 resigned or about to resign members. One of the “about to resigns” had been his ward’s HP group leader as recently as last March. Hidden history, doctrine, and current policies pushed him, his wife and his 4 children out. What an amazing discussion we had!!! Our “enemies” helping local leaders of the church in which they no longer believe.

Things have got to change. Our leaders in SLC know it. They are working on it. They’re in a really tough spot. Things actually boil down to what is being done in the trenches. I’m digging trenches as fast as I can.

Thanks for all that both of you are doing in service of the Savior and especially for my friends.

All My Best, Sam

Other Resources

The Only True Hope for the Only True Church

Jesus Pleads His Case for Common Consent

Do We Love Jesus Enough to…

A Resister for Disapproval (Opposition)

LDS Website on Common Consent

Final Note

I know this takes great courage.  Every step of the way can be scary.  Raising your hand alone, all by yourself?  I know it’s scary.  I’ve now done it at each conference level this year.  Big fat butterflies every time.

Sending an email to the stake president…yeah that can be real scary.  But, how scared do you think the gay children are who are still hiding in the pews?

Putting your name on a public register of disapproval…scary?   You bet.  It scared me, too, when I hit the submit button two days ago.

There are many in our midst who are at risk and cannot speak up.  We are standing up, voting out, putting our name on the line for those who cannot fight for themselves.

“May we maintain the courage to defy the consensus.  May we ever chose the harder right.”  And that’s just what we are doing here.  Standing up for the marginalized, for the “least of these,” IS a noble and just cause.

Godspeed. Godspeed.  Godspeed.

 

 

Do We Love Jesus Enough To…..

voting-opposedDo we love Jesus enough to…. stand up for what we believe is right?

Do we love Jesus enough to….stand up for the marginalized in our very midst?

Do we love Jesus enough to….stand up for those in our midst who are in danger?

Do we love Jesus enough to….be honest when Jesus asks for our opinion?

Do we love the church enough to….stand up and protect it as Jesus has designated?

Do we love the church enough to….participate in its governance as Jesus has designated?

Do we love the apostles enough to….be honest when they ask for our opinion?

Finally, do we love Jesus enough to….to follow Him?

General Conference

On Saturday October 1st, a very special event will occur.  At the general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Law of Common Consent will be put into practice.  This is a sacred opportunity for all members of the church to express their “approval” or “disapproval.”  (D&C 124:144)

This divine system of governance in the kingdom of God was declared by the Savior Himself.  In Doctrine & Covenants 28:13, “For ALL things MUST be done in order, and by common consent in the church.”

Can a person hold an office in the church without the consent of the people?

Nope.  “No man can preside in this Church in any capacity without the consent of the people. The Lord has placed upon us the responsibility of sustaining by vote those who are called to various positions of responsibility. No man, should the people decide to the contrary, could preside over any body of Latter-day Saints in this Church.” –LDS Website

Who should nominate the officers of the church?

“It is not the right of the people to nominate, to choose, for that is the right of the priesthood.” –LDS Website

Does Common Consent apply to more than just church officers?

Oh yes, so much more!!!   “This same principle operates for policies, major decisions, acceptance of new scripture, and other things that affect the lives of the Saints. (see D&C 26:2) LDS Website

And, there is the sticking point.  Today, no policies, no major decisions, not anything that affects the lives of the Saints are being presented nor accepted by common consent.  If we are opposed to any of the above, the only real option seems to be voting opposed to the general leadership.  Someday that will change.  Eventually, the membership will no longer tolerate disobedience of this plain and precious law of God.

If You Support Everything The Church Is Doing…

Please, carefully consider your vote.  A vote to sustain the prophets and apostles is a great way to vote.  I commend & support your action.

If You Generally Support Everything, But Have Concerns…

Please, carefully consider your vote.  Whether you abstain or vote in approval, good for you.  Your opinion is important to the governance of Christ’s church.

If You Have Major Issues with Policies “That affect the Lives of the Saints

Please, carefully consider your vote.  The unanimous votes that are recorded at General, Stake and Ward Conferences are sending a clear signal to SLC and to the general membership that “all is well in Zion.”  However, many feel that all is NOT well in Zion.  That includes me.

Jesus’ system of church governance addresses practical concerns.  Common Consent helps prevent errors, correct errors, provide accountability and put a check on “Unrighteous Dominion.” (D&C 121:39)

Besides practicality there is another side of Common Consent.  To me, this law is one of the most beautiful in our entire canon.  Most commandments are like:  “Do this…Do that…Don’t do this…Don’t do that!”  Oh…but this law is more like:  “Sam, you are of great worth.  I value your opinion.  I value your critical thinking.  I have commanded the apostles, whom I have put in place, to ask for your input.  When they do, please be honest.  I’m trusting and relying on you, Sam.”  When I consider how the Lord Jesus has set up the governance of His church, a tear of joy graces my eye.  He loves, respects and values each of us and our opinions.

If You are Opposed, I Encourage you to Vote Your Opinion

First, I know that many are constrained by fear.  Fear of family, friends, or business repercussions.  Those are legitimate considerations.  It’s an unfortunate element of today’s LDS culture that prevents full participation in the Law of Common Consent.  Your silence is understandable and certainly an honorable path.

Now, to the group in which I find myself:  Those who oppose and are willing to fully engage in the divine process of church voting.

Please, carefully consider casting a vote.  This is general conference (GC) and is the easiest of all the conferences.  The voting session occurs Saturday afternoon.  Here’s how you can effectively vote.

  • Attend GC in Salt Lake City.
  • Watch GC in your stake center or local chapel, if conference is broadcast there.
  • Watch or listen to GC in your home.
  • MOST IMPORTANT:  After the Saturday voting session, send an email to your bishop and Stake President.

Questions and Concerns

Do I have to spend time composing an e-mail?  Not necessarily.  Click here for examples.  Take ideas from it.  Modify it.  Or flat out copy it.

How will anyone know that there are actually members opposing?  Great question.   A Common Consent Register has now been created.  In this document you can record your name as having voted OPPOSED or planning to vote OPPOSED.  For many it is a scary experience…putting their name in full view of the public.  Certainly, it is a worthwhile cause to stand up for what we believe and to speak out for those who can’t speak for themselves.

What are the risks?  There shouldn’t be any risks to obeying a commandment from Jesus Christ in the church of Jesus Christ.  But, the risk is real.  I’ll address that in a blog post coming in the next few days.

Will I be asked to meet with a church leader?  It’s likely that the stake president or bishop will want to discuss with you.  That should be a very good thing.  It gives you the opportunity to explain your position.  In an ideal church, your opinion would be forwarded up the chain.  If a significant number of members engage in common consent, vote tallies will be taken seriously.  In the ‘risks’ posting, I’ll give some ideas for the interview with church leaders.

My Hope & Prayer

I love my church.  The church of my child and adulthood.  The church of my forefathers, my parents, my children, my grandchildren.  It’s a good church.  It’s the church of Jesus Christ.

I pray that good men and women all over the world will raise their hands and express their sincere and true opinions.  Jesus is counting on us.

I wish you Godspeed in this vital voting opportunity.

Divorce or Disobey?

Hint: Adam and the Mormon Temple say……..DISOBEY.

image

A Tender Text

Today, my youngest daughter sent me this message:

Dear dad,

Thank you so much for putting mom and our family before yourself. Today I met a Mormon couple that is getting divorced because the man has left the church. I talked with them for a while and it was apparent that he just wasn’t willing to make sacrifices for his wife’s happiness. I am so glad to have a father who is able to see the importance of family above everything else.

Love, Emily

BTW, I have not left the LDS church.

Divorce

Over the past couple of years, I have come in contact with many members who have left the church. Their prior faith obliterated by history, doctrine & policies that they had only recently discovered. This includes good friends and family.

Sometimes, married couples depart from the church together. Sometimes, it’s only one spouse whose faith transitions. Unfortunately, I have heard and read many stories of couples divorcing when only one leaves the church. Often, the believing partner is encouraged by bishops and stake presidents, family and friends, to divorce the non-believing spouse. The family is broken. Children confused, scared and heartbroken.

All this over belief & church.  Is marriage less important than belief?  Is family less treasured than church?

Disobedience

For the first time in almost 2 years, I recently attended the temple. I explain here exactly why I decided to go back.  This time, I went with new eyes.  It was fascinating, uplifting, and spiritual.  Lot’s of new understandings.  I have already written about one monumental take-away here.

The temple movie presents a beautiful portrayal of the creation story.  Adam & Eve are placed in the Garden of Eden.  Satan tempts Adam do disobey God.  Our first father will have nothing to do with disobedience.

Eve is Lucifer’s next target for temptation.  She carefully considers the Adversary’s argument. Her rational decision is to disobey God.  Result: Eve was to be cast out of the protected, perfect and paradisiacal Garden of Eden.

Now, it’s her turn to offer the forbidden fruit to Adam. He considers. Refuses.  “I will not disobey Father,” he insists.  Eve persists.  Finally, Adam looks into heaven and weighs the options.  His decision: it’s more important to disobey God than to have their precious union broken-up.

What a tremendous temple statement!  What an amazing example of righteous disobedience!  This, from the very first story in the bible.  The foundational epic of Christianity and Mormondom highlights two “sinful” acts.  Eve disobeyed God in order to bring about the human race.  Adam disobeyed God in order to keep his marriage in good grace.

So, bishops & stake presidents, friends & family, reflect on the temple teachings before you encourage a believer to divorce the non-believer.

1 Corinthians 7:14 “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband.”

“The Dominant Church Narrative Is Not True”

image

This, according to Dr. Richard Bushman. I have many friends who have left the church because they, also, have found out what Bushman knows. More friends are on the fence. “The dominant church narrative is NOT TRUE.”

Fireside

Dr. Richard Bushman, is a serving LDS patriarch, former stake president, historian, expert on Joseph Smith, and author of Rough Stone Rolling.  At a recent fireside, he was the featured speaker.  During the Q&A, the following exchange took place:

Questioner:  “In your view, do you see room in Mormonism for several narratives of a religious experience or do you think that in order for the Church to remain strong they would have to hold to that dominant [orthodox] narrative?”

Richard Bushman:  “I think that for the Church to remain strong it has to reconstruct its narrative.  The dominant narrative is not true;  it can’t be sustained.  The Church has to absorb all this new information or it will be on very shaky grounds and that’s what it is trying to do, and it will be a strain for a lot of people, older people especially.  But I think it has to change.”

Not True

Thank you, Richard Bushman, for validating what so many of us already know! “The dominant narrative is not true!”

We have been taught, and are still teaching, things that are untrue. Untrue = false. Teaching a known falsehood = lying.  Either way, unwittingly teaching falsehoods or lying, neither should an integral part of the “only true and living church.”

Somehow, our LDS culture has developed to where it’s improper, stigmatized, or outright forbidden to discuss “new information.” As a result, half truths and falsehoods are commonly taught. Openly discussing our history, doctrine and policies is not permitted, at least not in my locale.

It Can’t Be Sustained

So, why are we trying so hard to sustain & control our current curriculum and discussion?

I think many members are totally fine with the falsehoods in the church. For them, the false narrative feels safe. I’m OK with that.

However, there is a large and growing group of members who will not tolerate a narrative saturated with falsity.  I have joined this group.  Feeling betrayed, many have left.  Feeling betrayed, I stay.  Still committed to the church. Still committed to truth.  No longer committed to false narratives.  Life is too short.  Salvation, too precious to embrace what I & Bushman know to be false.

MoroniAll Truth Can Be Circumscribed Into One Great Whole

I now pay very close attention to the covenants and doctrines of the temple. At the end of the endowment ceremony, we are taught that “all truth can be circumscribed into one great whole.” Profound and thought provoking.  The church is violating it’s own temple instruction.  It has circumscribed falsehoods into the “great whole” and consigned much truth into hidden obscurity.

My temple covenants are more sacred to me than circumscribing a narrative that is “not true.”

Driving Members Away

I have been told that we should never discuss our true and complete history and doctrine at church.  It can cause people to lose their testimonies.

What a weird thing to say!  So, it’s better to hide the truth so that a person will continue to believe the “truth” that’s really not true?  I know that there are adults in the church who want to be treated this way.  Not this adult.  In fact, most adults would say this is not adult behavior.  “When I became a man, I put away childish things.”

I now see the other side.  Not discussing our complete history and doctrine at church is causing members to lose their testimony.  It has driven my friends right out of the LDS church. The church whose “dominant narrative is not true.”

Teaching and embracing falsehood is not good…at least, not in my neighborhood.  My church is good, it’s time to get better.