Sam Young speaks during a press conference in Salt Lake City on Sept. 16, 2018. Young, a Mormon man who led a campaign criticizing the church's practice of allowing closed-door, one-on-one interviews of youth by lay leaders has been kicked out of the faith. Young read a verdict letter for the first time Sunday that had been delivered to him following an earlier disciplinary hearing with local church leaders in Houston. Young, a 65-year-old lifelong Mormon, becomes the third high-profile member of the faith who led protests about church policy to be excommunicated in recent years. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Another Mormon excommunication, 25 years after the 'September Six'

On Sunday, former Mormon bishop Sam Young of Texas announced his excommunication from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Young has actively and publicly campaigned for an end to the Mormon policy of allowing bishops to ask youth sexually explicit questions in worthiness interviews (see here). He read aloud his disciplinary letter in front of a crowd gathered at the Salt Lake Temple.

What’s on my mind today is how history repeats itself: specifically, what happened in the Mormon world exactly 25 years ago. I’m talking about the disfellowshipment or excommunication of the “September Six”—a half-dozen high-profile LDS disciplinary councils that were tried in Utah during a two-week period from September 14 to September 26, 1993.

Their cases were all different, but certain themes emerged: these various individuals had, in one way or another, all poked the bear of the institutional LDS Church. Most were feminists, and some were activists as well as writers and historians.

Their published criticisms proved too much for the Church, resulting in the wave of disciplinary actions. If the Church was hoping that the mini-purge would make the disciplined individuals’ voices disappear, however, that strategy backfired as the excommunications began receiving national media attention.

That’s where I first heard about them, in the pages of the New York Times. I was a divinity student at Princeton Theological Seminary at the time, and I tried to make it a practice to read the Sunday paper regularly (which was in paper newsprint then, back in the day).

I had a particular interest in the Times’s September 19, 1993 story about the unfolding LDS excommunication saga, as I was scheduled to be baptized as a Mormon myself the following week.

The excommunications’ effect on me was chilling. Here I was, a feminist who was training to be a historian, about to commit myself to a religious tradition that was at that very moment singling out feminists and historians for censure.

I prayed about it. Hard. The answer I received was that there would be a place for me in this church, not in spite of who I was and what I believed was right, but because of it.

I decided to go ahead with my baptism and lean on the religious faith I had discovered in the LDS Church, particularly my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I’ve never had serious cause to regret that decision. Here is the program from my baptism, which occurred 25 years ago next week. (And yes, this is that Mette Harrison, the wonderful novelist who sometimes guest posts here on RNS. It’s a small Mormon world.)

The answer I received in prayer was that I was loved and important, and that I had a place in the Church. I was to speak my mind, but do so whenever possible with love. This approach was confirmed in my patriarchal blessing some years later, which admonished me, “Do not hold back from saying the things you honestly believe if it will help the members of the Church” and said my job was to be “a leaven to discussions by providing different points of view” about the gospel. It then specifically mentioned my study of history and my responsibility to teach others what I felt was the truth. (By the way, this blessing came from a patriarch who did not know me or my background at all.)

I sometimes disagree with my Church – over same-sex marriage, for example, or the lack of women’s leadership – and over the years I have written about these disagreements. Sometimes (okay, many times) I have been accused by readers of “apostasy.” On at least one such occasion a reader even sent a marked-up copy of a blog post to my bishop, who, I later learned, promptly tore it up and threw it in the trash.

But excommunication for “apostasy” (which is an ill-defined and vague term) is actually rather rare in Mormonism. Since the September Six, only a handful -- including podcaster John Dehlin, Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly, and Remnant fellowship leader Denver Snuffer – have gotten the axe for this reason, or the all-purpose “conduct contrary to the laws and order of the church” reason.

In recent years, the driving factor that distinguishes excommunicants from those of us who merely voice our disagreements seems to be whether we have started a movement around our ideas. Sam Young, for example, founded the website Protect LDS Children, organized a hunger strike for three weeks, and called news conferences to publicize his position.

If there’s a change between the LDS excommunications of a quarter century ago and the ones we’ve seen more recently, it’s that the people singled out now have all started organizations and active protests, rather than simply writing about controversial or inconvenient facts of history, like D. Michael Quinn did in 1993.

I have to wonder, 25 years after the September Six, what this means today. I differ from people like Kate Kelly, John Dehlin, and Sam Young more in temperament than I do in ideas. I’ve little energy for starting or even joining a movement. Some of my issues with the institutional LDS Church play a role in this reticence, actually, because the flaws I see in that institution’s default mode of self-protection and otherizing can be seen in just about any movement, political party, church, or government. Self-protection is what institutions do best, battening down the hatches whenever they perceive they are under attack.

But I hope the LDS Church is not planning another excommunication – either mine or anyone else’s – anytime soon.

 


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Comments

  1. I love the information you shared from your patriarchal blessing – so interesting! God ways are higher than man’s ways.. thanks for sharing your unique perspective. We need it!

  2. Excommunication for Apostasy….Well, lets give LDS some credit — it’s only excommunication, not death. So the Mormons get a point or two more than Islam !!

  3. As long as you obey and jump thru any hoop placed in front of you and never question them openly, you should be safe. How anyone could be part of anything where they were afraid of their judgment, or openly questioning their perceived authority is the real issue.

  4. Excommunication, also called shunning, is advised in the New Testament (Matthew 18:17-18, 1 Corinthians 5:5, 1 Timothy 1:20) for those who will not live in the Church in peace according to the moral law.

    In some churches it is specified for certain offenses by Canon Law, in others it is decided on a case by case basis.

  5. The 15 grumpy old men in SLC can’t own up to how harmful their intrusive, sexually explicit questions are for teens and preteens without opening the LDS Church to an avalanche of well-justified lawsuits. All of their recent policy decisions under Nelson have been about following the “profits.” Nothing will change until they face a major existential crisis of their own making. Tick, tock. That comeuppance is more and more likely every day that Nelson “guides” the church.

  6. I don’t even think Young’s starting a “movement” is what ultimately provoked excommunication. I think it was the actively telling people not to join the Church. I don’t see how anyone can, with a straight face, say that one should be able to actively oppose an organization while still claiming membership to it.

  7. Keep in mind the Church has more than likely excommunicated more people for trying to protect children than actual sexual predators. I find it interesting the MTC leader(sexual predator) sits in Church each Sunday partaking of the sacrament while his accuser is considered an outcast.

  8. On at least one such occasion a reader even sent a marked-up copy of a blog post to my bishop, who, I later learned, promptly tore it up and threw it in the trash.

    Bully for the bishop.

  9. Excommunication in the LDS Church is not shunning. Those that are excommunicated are welcome to attend church. Other Church members are not told to avoid them, nor sever contact. I have known several who were excommunicated that did just that, attending church for years before be readmitted to the church.

  10. I appreciate your sharing bits from your blessing, because I look to you again and again for that “leavening” and those “different points of view” about the gospel. Your blog has restored my balance and my sanity in a church where females are marginalized, have little or no voice, few leadership opportunities and certainly no power. I find myself feasting upon your words and those of your ilk like Peggy Fletcher Stack. You both have the courage to say the things I am thinking but haven’t the guts to express for fear of retribution. God bless you!

  11. Excommunication is considered an act of love in the LDS Church. Excommunication relieves the former member of their covenants which the Church considers they have broken. They are considered to be in a better state in which to meet their maker having been absolved of the covenants than to be in a state of broken covenants.

    Many excommunicated folks are re-baptized into the Church at later dates and many eventually have their blessings/covenants restored.

  12. You don’t want to fight inequality, downright aggressive bigotry and homophobia that is causing so much harm and suicides in the Mormon church?
    The child sexual abuse cases don’t phase you as your membership in this organisation is more important to you.
    Sorry there seems to be a disconnect with your quest for equality and respect when you see the horrendous harm your church is doing to many if it’s members, young children, teens and older members.
    Sitting on your public perch of favour and influence you are well placed to very publicly defend the innocents being persecuted and sexually abused.
    Yet you remain an active member supporting this abuse by your continued membership to a cause that systematically stigmatizes vulnerable members causing suspicion and alienation from family and friends.
    Save us your concern while reposing in your position of selective influence while others suffer terribly and fatally at the hands of a inbred system of merciless evil whose support mechanism is the blind faith and fear of it’s members and an army of highly paid lawyers.

  13. Excommunication in, for an example, the Catholic Church is considered medicinal.

    It is strong medicine to bring the individual to her or his senses.

    It also protects the community. No society can function properly with disease in its body.

  14. Yes, how the Scriptures are applied differs among denominations.

    In the Catholic Church, for example, the excommunicated are welcome to attend church and other members are not told to avoid them or sever contact.

    They simply cannot receive the sacraments.

  15. What is the point of having power unless it can be used against others? How can control-freaks be happy if they can’t control? It is as Jesus said, “Blessed are the control-freaks, for they will build My church for Me on a rock.”

  16. Yeah, some things to consider but as for ‘high profile’ Sam Young being ex’ed, meh, tis just house cleaning. He can now go make his own church and dance with snakes or practice whatever he wants.

    Just remember that having a line like this in your PB –‘if it will help the members of the Church’– means that you will be held responsible for driving people away or making them want to stay. Sometimes I read you and feel your focus is to drive people away Jana by the way you laud whatever nonsense is socially popular at the moment in the world.

  17. The harm you speak of comes from ignorant liberals encouraging gay sex acts among young people. No guilt if you’re not sinning.
    The more gay literature/films/clubs etc you promote, the greater the problem becomes.

  18. “Tick, tock. That comeuppance is more and more likely every day that Nelson “guides” the church.”

    meh, self proclaimed geniuses have been saying the church will fail since Joseph Smith’s days- people like yourself have been wrong for nearly 200 years now.

    Maybe you can become the prophet of your own church, seeing as how you know so much about the future- that “comeuppance” fantasy can be your first prophecy.

  19. I hope that sooner rather than later people will realize that the “church” they belong to is irrelevant or at its worst destructive to self. What matters is what’s inside of you, not the clothes you wear or where you go to church or whether you toe the appropriate doctrinal line.

  20. OK…so is it possible to get excommunicated just at the right age, such that you avoid having to missionary around on bikes in the hot summer dressed in your finest LDS black and white?

    Then when a bit older…re-up back into LDS, never having learned to master a 10-speed Schwinn ??

  21. Nah. It could be she just honors the truth, rather than appearances of truth.

  22. No one is encouraging gay sex acts among young people. But thank you for reducing my life, and the lives of millions of people like me, to sex acts.

    There is absolutely no problem with being gay. There are a great many problems with people who vilify us, attack us, do their best to make our lives as difficult, unpleasant, dangerous, and expensive as possible.

    The issue is not, and has never been, homosexuality, but how so very much it obsesses, offends, frightens, tantalizes, excites, angers, attracts, bothers, and fascinates some heterosexuals, and, I am increasingly convinced, a whole bunch of people who desperately wish they were heterosexual, but ain’t.

  23. I understand that this is a lame attempt at a joke, but you can simply not go on a mission and remain a member of the Church.

  24. Excommunication as an “Act of Love” is the real joke here.

  25. I’m confused. You don’t seem too supportive of the Church. If that’s the case, wouldn’t an action that places someone outside of the Church be a favorable outcome in your eyes?

  26. Your statement is simply untrue and nonsense. I have personally sat in local disciplinary councils where those involved in sexual misconduct towards a minor (and towards adults) were excommunicated, and that was long before all the media attention. It is a very big deal to most church leaders. No doubt there are a few exceptions, but they are exceptions. I have my own concerns with bishop interviews with youth, and have expressed those in the past, especially in regard to the inconsistency of discipline applied to youth from ward to ward and the need for better training for bishops, who do the best they can, but could do better with better training. However, the Church has made reasonable efforts to hear and resolve some concerns expressed by Young, and has not ruled out further efforts in the future. The reality is that most of those interviews by bishops do a lot of good and help protect youth from abuse, and help them improve and be happier. Young took things several steps too far. It only damages efforts by others to make improvements when people like Young become the symbol of those efforts.

  27. Thanks for responding Tom. I noticed you never mentioned the specific case about the MTC. That case goes against your comment about how the church takes this seriously. Second, Mormonleaks published an excerpt on some cases from the law firm that works for the church that shows a pattern of not caring. Their behavior in Salt lake is quite similar to the catholic church. You say these interviews “help protect youth from abuse.” You have no idea if that is true but I would doubt it. You also say the church has made reasonable efforts to listen to Young.That of source is opinion, but the facts do not bear your opinion out.They refused to have a conversation with him or the victims but hide behind closed doors when they do speak with him and they hide behind attorneys. Jesus never had to do that because he cared about people and was always willing to talk. These interviews are not needed and are prone to abuse. Jesus was all about protecting children but the leaders are not.Men like you will always defend the status quo just as the scribes did.

  28. Hmm, you say you don’t condone gay sex acts among youths but where and when have you objected to such ?

    Your silence is deafening.

  29. It’s funny, in every single conversation you mention homosexuality and go on and on about it, leaving the impression that it obsesses, offends, frightens, tantalizes, excites, angers, attracts, bothers, and fascinates you.

    Step out of the conversation and the topic doesn’t appear.

  30. And the only reason you honor her is because she wants gay marriage like you do. If she stood for marriage between a man and a woman only, you would despise her.

    Jana has her glory, in your approval.

    Oh yes, she’ll do some talk shows to attempt to undermine the church’s policy when she plugs her book and maybe just maybe, she’ll cross the fine line she walks with her gay marriage advocacy and will end up walking in the shadows like sam young now does.

    And you Ben, you will clap when she is as lost as you are.

  31. Agreed.
    I don’t see this as a ‘publicity’ issue – it is much more of a ‘recruitment’ issue.
    People are free to disagree with the Church, and even to do it openly. But when they start recruiting others to attack, leave or avoid the Church, then they have a problem.

  32. You know that ONE person has been excommunicated for criticising the Church about protecting children – and continuing to do so after the policy changed.
    You have ZERO knowledge of how many excommunicants there are for being sexual predators – especially as the Church refuses to comment on the outcomes of disciplinary councils.
    I have personal knowledge of two.
    As for Ms Denson and Mr Bishop – again, we have no idea what, if any, discipline has been imposed. We know he denied any sexual assault occurred and there were no charges laid and no discipline was originally taken. Since the police interview has come out it sounds like the Church will reconsider discipline – but unless Mr Bishop says something, again we probably won’t know. There is a rumour he has resigned his membership. Who knows.
    Our chapels are open to all – good and bad.

  33. Your post suggests you have reduced the work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints to a vehicle for oppressing young gay people.
    Surely you can acknowledge that there is more to it than that?
    And, if you can, surely you can accept that a fundamental issue for any Church is to deal with behaviour it regards as sinful?
    Then the only issue is, what is the proper response of a Church to behaviour it regards as such?

  34. Mormon leaks is not a reliable source as it is by a person with an ax to grind. Any recording can be taken out of context. Any written word can be taken out of context. Any statement can be taken out of context. You, nor anyone but the people in that meeting knows what exactly was said in what context. As far as “hiding behind closed doors,” the church long has had a policy that in essence, it is none of anyone’s business and the church will not comment on private issues concerning individuals and investigations into misconduct or disciplinary courts. The church is not a government, it is a private entity and is not required to disclose any private meetings with anyone. That said, even government entities do not have to disclose personnel issues discussed behind closed doors. Young made the choice to go public with his disciplinary court decision, that’s his choice. But the church will not comment on it. You wrongly interpret the church’s desire to honor individual’s right to privacy as “hiding.”

  35. This church is highly relevant and is only constructive to my life, my wife’s life, the lives of my children, and the lives of hundreds of Latter-day Saints that I know personally. I agree with your last sentence except for the last phrase. Of course, what matters is who you are. And this church makes the best “who you are” than any institution on the planet BECAUSE of “toeing the appropriate doctrinal line.”

  36. “suicides in the Mormon church” is a falsehood. Go check resources online that has actually studied this. You saying this and the guy from Imagine Dragons, Dan Reynolds, spout off accurate statistics and rates about suicides, except he does not disclose that they are stats and numbers from studies of the general population and do not apply to Utah or the church. The widely touted study that many anti-church people like to refer to is an _empirical_ analysis. (Go look up that word.) The researchers even conclude that there is little _direct_ evidence between youth suicide rates of LDS teens but they derive their conclusions from indirect and anecdotal “evidence.” (Go look up that word, too.) You know what? I can skew anything to come to any conclusion I want through anecdotal evidence. I could go on and on. And on. With real research.

  37. Most people in the world believe in a deity or deities, some purpose or meaning to life, and a moral code associated with those beliefs.

    Josef Stalin showed the world what was inside him, and you see how that turned out.

    That’s why self-proclaimed life-long atheists like yourself have little success in your proselytizing.

  38. What is the point of being an anti-religious nutcase and showing up at Religion News Service to troll those with religious beliefs?

  39. The fact that an ex-Catholic Buddhist-influenced naysayer is commenting on it is the real joke here.

  40. No — what is flippant and relevant…are LDS missionaries where I live — inappropriately approaching people, including myself and my kids, at the most awkward of times.

    When that stops…the bike jokes stop…fair ?

  41. You aren’t as far advanced spiritually as you seem to think you are! Paul once said I paraphrase here, “In Christ there is no Jew or Greek, Owner or Slave, Male or Female”……..try carrying that sentiment a bit further as many followers of Eastern Religions have and New Agers have and even Atheists have…..we are all one no matter what church we belong to or don’t belong to, what clothes we wear or don’t wear, where we are from, our immigration status, wealth, skin color, age, social status….it isn’t what’s on the outside (the church you belong to) it is what is on the inside that counts! ALL the rest is irrelevant.

  42. Nothing is wrong with responsible, consensual sex…gay or straight. That applies to responsible youths too,…16 to 20 years old is the typical age for young people’s firs sexual activity.

    What is the problem here? Nobody should object if handled responsibly.

  43. You were sitting on the toilet when the door to the bathroom opened?

    Be honest …. any time for you is the most awkward of times.

  44. First, I disagree that MormonLeaks is not reliable. If you have a specific example to prove your point, show me. As for the recording, you probably have not listened to it because it is long and in context.I agree the church has the right to excommunicate Sam Young, but it also shows where their priorities are. They are out to protect the BUSINESS CORPORATION first. Show me where Jesus protected the institution over people. Their behavior is the opposite of what I see from Him.

  45. Stop it. The mouth of bob is never, ever wrong, and he knows everything about everything.

  46. That shows how backward you are. Advanced spirituality isn’t about “bowing” to anyone, it is about embracing everyone!

  47. You sure do a lot of eye rolling. Kinda makes me picture Chris Farley crossdressing in an SNL skit.

    “And this church makes the best “who you are” than any institution on the planet BECAUSE of “toeing the appropriate doctrinal line.”

    Commence belly laughs. The website quitmormon.com at this moment has 15 resignations queued for legal review, 2125 resignations queued to send to church headquarters, and 3820 resigations awaiting confirmation from the church. If I read correctly, it has processed almost 10,678 resignations, of which about 2800 were active members, and 8300 were inactive, and approximately 550 did not disclose their activity status. There are so many resignations rolling in. One person calculated it’s about a ward per week.

    On Reddit r/exmormon there are so many selfies of people resigning. They are awesome to behold. And this is just a snapshot of now.

    Why do you think there are now so many conference talks about staying in the boat, dealing with doubts, etc? Because the church is feeling the drain in membership and tithing money. People are giving themselves an immediate 10% raise. And they are finding out the world is not the dark dreary place Adam and Eve were supposedly consigned to.

    So to your assertion, my reply is, “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”. Hitchens’ Razor. Now you can eye roll.

  48. Well, he needs to find a real Christian church and not worry about this cult.

  49. Mike, I don’t normally get into back and forth, but you seem to have an interest in this subject but not much background, and seem to think that you know the thoughts of Jesus here. Having been on both ends of those interviews and having been in dozens of disciplinary councils, and having raised five teens who went through those interviews with a number of bishops, plus being a former school teacher, and a teacher of youth sex offenders, and a family law attorney who deals with abuse everyday in my profession, I am not just popping off with some opinion on something I know little about.
    Those interviews need some tune-ups and are not perfect–I have so stated before. I have issues with how some bishops do these interviews. However, the interviews focus mainly on helping the youth develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They provide personal encouragement and coaching. Prayer and scripture study are discussed one-on-one. Questions as to faith and life can be asked. They provide opportunity for a youth to express concerns as to any abuse going on with family or others. They provide opportunity at times to help a youth obtain professional counseling. They provide personalized teaching moments. And they provide opportunity to confess and correct unclean behavior. Jesus Christ taught that no unclean thing could enter into heaven. When properly done, which is usually but not always, they strengthen the youth and bring them closer to Christ. They are needed, but they also are needed to be better, and must be, and that is my position.
    As far as this former MTC president, he denied the main allegations. Church doctrine requires two or more witnesses or evidences unless the person confesses the transgression. Being an expert as you are on Jesus, you know the Bible says that by two or three witnesses shall every word be established. Latter-day Saint scripture requires two or more witnesses or evidences to excommunicate. This single witness has an unfortunate history with her credibility, and Bishop did not confess the matter until the recording, and even then did not confess to the major allegations. Church doctrine also takes into account evidences of long, faithful service after an alleged transgression, if no further transgressions have taken place. This woman was not a minor child. This is NOT the same as the Catholic situation. Should Bishop be disciplined now? That is up to his local leaders to decide in council based upon the evidence that they have. If he was previously disciplined for any of the conduct, then that will be considered. If he was not, or if he was deceptive, and if he is competent to understand, etc., then he very well may be disciplined and even excommunicated. But that is up to a council, like a court, that will have a lot more information than what you or I have, and be a lot more objective. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of the only churches that actually does discipline and excommunicate in any significant numbers for misconduct. Latter-day Saints have among the very highest rates of successful marriages and youth who are successful and happy. They have among the highest education and literacy rates. The rates of happiness for active Latter-day Saints are among the highest of any group in the nation per Gallup. The disciples of Jesus, in the Bible, often met just with Christ or together, and not before the world. Leaders did meet with and listen to Young and policies were reviewed and revised in response. There is no such thing as a right to a meeting with the president of the Church by every person who has an issue or grievance. I have plenty of issues and things I would love to see improved or changed, but there is one prophet and 16 million members, so I don’t really see the prophet having a sit down with me to hear my ideas anytime soon. But lower-level leaders occasionally do have to hear me. The reality is that the youth programs and policies are working well, overall, and bringing youth closer to Christ, mostly. Improving, not destroying, hardly qualifies me as a scribe. Modern Christianity little resembles the Church established by Christ in the 1st Century. Attacking me for upholding a Church that strongly resembles the 1st Century Church of Christ is not productive.

  50. TomMars, I will ignore the condescending attitude and focus on your points. You spend a longtime pointing out your experience in this area. I served in a bishopric and stake high council so I also have a wealth of experience in this area. Te interviews do hit on other topics but that does not make up for the negative aspects and potential danger for any child. In some cases, children have been groomed and sexually abused. You mention these interviews need to be fine tuned, but where is the inspired leadership in Salt Lake? Sadly, as with many social issues, they are stuck far behind more enlightened people.
    These interviews developed over time in murky ways and are sexually explicit. Please do not pretend otherwise. There is no reason a grown man with no training in this area should ever be alone with a child asking these questions. It is a fertile environment for sexual predators. Do most children avoid this tragedy? Yes, but that does not make up for the few who do get abused. The idea that these interviews are places where children can confide about abuse is a sad defense of these interviews. There are plenty of mandated reporters such as teachers who actually have training.
    You mention the MTC leader has denied the charges. Many guilty people also deny they did anything wrong. I get the feeling you did not listen to the tapes. I have. He clearly admits wrong doing. Victim blaming the women by trying to throw dirt on her shows how weak your defense is.
    You say I thin I know what Christ is thinking. Of course. I read his words and they are all about protecting children. He loves and protects them,not ask sexually questions.Paul told us to put on the mind of Christ. McConkie interpreted this to think as Christ thinks. Christ would never approve of these interviews. They are ripe for abuse and it is sad the prophet is slow to heed the inspired words of Sam who acted in good faith and was always respectful which is sooo important to the apostles. They should take the lead instead of cowering behind close doors when he knocked and they would not open.

  51. Folks who go around embracing everyone may wind up somewhere undergoing psychological evaluation.

  52. Mike: “These interviews developed over time in murky ways and are sexually explicit. Please do not pretend otherwise.”

    I’m not going to “pretend otherwise.” I’m going to flat-out contradict you.

    There is nothing “sexually explicit” about “Do you live the Law of Chastity.”

    You’re making a false claim.

  53. I see a logical fallacy in your comments. Put on your glasses and you will see it as well. I agree that if a bishop asks another adult and he is never allowed to go into detail about what “chastity”means, then ok, just a kooky practice both of them signed up for. Two problems with your simplistic approach. The first is that some bishops take the opportunity to go into explicit details. This is just creepy and has the potential to lead to abuse. Second, this type of questioning when a minor is involved is wrong. A grown male behind closed doors asking sexual questions of a minor. In any other circumstance, you would be an intelligent adult and say, “Not my child.” Why? Because there is a possibility for abuse by a pedophile. Hyperbole?? No! It has happened in the church many times and the church pays people off instead of protecting these little ones. Christ would never approve.

  54. That’s not a “logical fallacy.” You’ve simply changed the subject.

    Thank you for admitting that the question is not sexually explicit – which was my whole point.

    If indeed, as you argue, the practice is subject to abuse, then that is a different matter. But the question is not sexually explicit, and bishops are not supposed to explicate it.

    The various claims about such abuses need to each be examined on their merits. Blanket accusations such as those contained in your second-to-last sentence are bogus, as well as being essentially untestable. People without axes to grind will rightly reject them.

  55. Mike: “Keep in mind the Church has more than likely excommunicated more people for trying to protect children than actual sexual predators.”

    That’s an outrageous accusation. Can you support it? (That’s a rhetorical question, BTW. We both know you can’t.) The only excommunications you know about are those wherein the excommunicant chose to publicise it for personal gain.

  56. Unfortunately your point is meaningless. Example so you can understand. A teacher wants to groom a child for abuse. He says, “Stay after school and I will help you with your homework.” Innocent sounding enough but from there the grooming and abuse begins. This what happens in the church. You ignore the important points to focus on the non-important points to defend the institution. Christ was all about the person, not an institution.
    Men have been lying and covering up these things since Joe lied to Emma. You are just the latest in a long line of enablers.

  57. Yes, let’s work through that example, shall we?

    A teacher wants to help a student, so he says, “Stay after school and I will help you with your homework.” Perfectly innocent, until someone with an agenda tries to create a moral panic by claiming he’s really “grooming” the kid. This is an accusation that will stick to him for the rest of his life, even if it is proven to be bogus (which is very difficult to do) so he stops trying to help students out of hours.

    Incidentally, have you ever wondered why there are so few male teachers left? Have a guess. Go on.

    Mike: “This what happens in the church.”

    No. It is not.

    This is, without question, an anti-Mormon campaign, intended to interfere with our religious freedoms. The excuse of “protecting the children” is inevitable; it is also painfully transparent. The trouble-makers, including but not limited to your good self, don’t care about the children at all, except to the extent that they provide a convenient club with which to bludgeon the Church of Jesus Christ.

    “You are just the latest in a long line of enablers” is an utterly vile thing to say. Which isn’t surprising, given the cavalier way in which you throw about serious and unsupported accusations against your ideological targets.

  58. Ok, let us reason together as Isaiah said. You have a gift for focusing on the unimportant in an attempt to protect the institution. This is typical of those who have been institutionalized. Give me a case in the church where your scenario has happened. I will give you examples where my points are backed up by evidence.
    In September 2008, bishop Timothy McCleve pleaded guilty to sexually molesting children from his ward.He was sentenced to one-to-15 year prison terms for the abuse.In sentencing McCleve, the judge noted that the sex abuse happened repeatedly, with one girl being victimized a dozen times, another 14 times. Two others had come forward reporting abuse dating back to 1977. That covers the time he was bishop.
    In March 2010, former LDS Church bishop Lon Kennard, Sr. was charged with 43 felony counts of sex abuse and sexual exploitation of children, and was imprisoned in Wasatch County, Utah. In November 2011, Kennard was sentenced to three terms of five-years-to-life in prison to be served consecutively, after pleading guilty to aggravated sex abuse of a child for sexually abusing his daughters.The sexual abuse outlined in court records started in 1995, around the time Kennard was serving as bishop of his LDS Church ward.
    These are only two examples of leaders abusing children and the Spirit said they were worthy members. Ha! I have an entire list and documented cases of the church paying victims.
    These situations where an adult male takes a child or even young person into their office, lock the door, and ask sexual questions is sickening, unseemly, anti-scriptural, and is defended by sick puppies such as yourself. Get on the right side of history.

  59. Mike: “Ok, let us reason together as Isaiah said.”

    If you can, please do.

    Mike: “You have a gift for focusing on the unimportant in an attempt to protect the institution. This is typical of those who have been institutionalized.”

    Not off to a very good start, I’m afraid. Bigoted pigeonholing is not a sign of high reasoning ability.

    Mike: “In September 2008, bishop Timothy McCleve pleaded guilty to sexually molesting children from his ward.”

    Wow, some actual facts for a change, instead of hysterical blanket accusations. Well done.

    Mike: “In March 2010, former LDS Church bishop Lon Kennard, Sr. was charged with 43 felony counts of sex abuse and sexual exploitation of children, and was imprisoned in Wasatch County, Utah.”

    Really?

    The Church doesn’t seem to have done a very good job of “protecting” him, does it? And in Wasatch County, Utah, too!

    Mike: “These are only two examples of leaders abusing children”

    And clearly the best (and most recent) that you have.

    Mike: “and the Spirit said they were worthy members. Ha!”

    And you said you were going to “reason together.” Ha!

    Like most anti-Mormons, you don’t know (or care) what the Church actually claims about such things. Your only interest is how you can attack “the institution.” No wonder you are so obsessed with silencing anyone who looks like they might be trying to defend it.

    Mike: “I have an entire list and documented cases of the church paying victims.”

    Yes, it’s called “compensation.” Cheap demagogues try to pretend there’s something nefarious about it. Informed people know better.

    There is no system anywhere that can’t be abused, if someone is sufficiently determined. Only an obsessive loon would insist that every system must be scrapped until it can be made abuse-proof.

    Not that you care, of course, because you have absolutely no concern for the well-being of the children involved, but the Church has recently made important changes to the way these interviews – which are, when properly done, uplifting, sanctifying and edifying, as well as being scripturally mandated – are conducted. These changes are directly designed to protect children from unscrupulous deviants.

    There are many ways to exploit children. One way is to exploit them for sexual gratification; another, to exploit them for ideological point-scoring. Those who exploit them in the first manner will rightly go to jail for their crimes. Unfortunately the scum who commit the second kind of exploitation will have to wait a little longer before justice is done upon them.

  60. And your bitter anti-Mormon rants demonstrate your own deep spiritual enlightenment – how, exactly?

  61. Let us review:
    1. You mention men who may be falsely accused. Thank you for making a point for my side. The best way to protect these men is to either stop these interviews or make substantial changes.
    2. You say the church has already made changes. Yes, they have made cosmetic changes. Now take the next step and make substantial changes.
    3. You are an institutional man. By making changes, they can reduce these payouts to victims.
    4. That would also free up peoples hard earned tithing money to be used for other purposes. Maybe they would actually develop charity and use it to assist the poor. Oh wait, that is fantasy on my part.
    5. The church would be more in line with the teachings of Christ by protecting the little ones.

  62. Mike: “The best way to protect these men is to either stop these interviews or make substantial changes.”

    And, as it happens, substantial changes have been made.

    Mike: “You say the church has already made changes. Yes, they have made cosmetic changes. Now take the next step and make substantial changes.”

    The changes are substantial, and go directly to the ostensible concerns that are exploited to fuel this campaign.

    Mike: “You are an institutional man. By making changes, they can reduce these payouts to victims.”

    No, I’m a principled man. I don’t expect you to understand what that means, though.

    Mike: “That would also free up peoples hard earned tithing money to be used for other purposes. Maybe they would actually develop charity and use it to assist the poor. Oh wait, that is fantasy on my part.”

    Oh, a cheap shot. How – unexpected. Or something.

    It’s also a counterfactual. As you perfectly well know, but will never admit, the Church boxes well above its weight when it comes to helping the poor.

    Mike: “The church would be more in line with the teachings of Christ by protecting the little ones.”

    The Church already protects the little ones. That self-righteous accusers (Greek diaboloi, devils) say otherwise is to be expected.

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