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  1. On May 28, 2013, the Mormon church released a statement, “Effectiveness of Church Approach to Preventing Child Abuse” through its on-line outlet, mormonnewsroom.org. This following is a quote from that release:

    “The Church takes abuse allegations so seriously that even one member with a credible concern can derail the selection. And even after a bishop assumes office, any credible allegation of abuse against him would quickly result in the Church’s terminating the calling and selecting another bishop. Because termination does not result in loss of salary or living arrangements (local clergy are uncompensated), there is no need for a lengthy internal process. This zero-tolerance approach risks problems with false allegations, but the Church has chosen to err on the side of caution. The result is that abuse by LDS clergy is exceedingly rare and swiftly addressed.”

    This statement was made well before the abominable handling of Jared’s case. Obviously, bishops and stake presidents never read the 2013 church statement. It seems to have been strictly for consumption by the public. It was a public relations move, not a policy actually put into practice in the church. You will not find the statement on-line now. It was removed from mormonnewsroom.org on April 28, 2016.

    1. https://supreme.findlaw.com/legal-commentary/protecting-children-in-the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints.html

      It is still online. It was from legal commentary from Von Keetch in 2010. That is where they came up with the current “abuse policy” which is nowhere to be found in any handbook for local Bishops, Stake Presidents, or even General Authorities. It is only for the media. They dropped that paragraph dealing with accusations against Bishops for some reason. I’ve been asking why and have never received an answer as to why it was dropped.

  2. I rate this as the most important mormon stories podcast to date, especially as it comes on the heels of the Sam Young excommunication. The Corporation of the President of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and all its subsidiaries need reorganization, they are an embarrasment.

  3. John you continue to bring the ugly truth to light and teach us all the truth —so that we can make our own choices! please don’t ever stop !

    Jared and Julie it takes courage to do what you’ve done

    The stake president (whoever that was doing all the talking) sounded just like Warren Jeff’s with a soft sweet voice Leading you into The darkness of his deceiving ideas

    Priesthood leaders who are apologists making it look like the bad is really good after all

    It’s better to stay away from people who don’t focus on the facts— but their own interpretation instead

    He’s an apologist who causes confusion and doesn’t focus on the facts

    trust your own mind and heart

  4. On May 28, 2013, a statement, “Effectiveness of Church Approach to Preventing Child Abuse,” was released through the church’s official on-line news outlet, mormonnewsroom.org. The author, Von G. Keetch, who died in January of this year, was a general authority in the 1st Quorum of the Seventy, Executive Director of the Public Affairs Department of the church, and a lawyer employed at Kirton and McConkie, the law firm that represents the church. The following are quotes from the release.

    “The Church takes abuse allegations so seriously that even one member with a credible concern can derail the selection [of a bishop]. And even after a bishop assumes office, any credible allegation of abuse against him would quickly result in the Church’s terminating the calling and selecting another bishop. Because termination does not result in loss of salary or living arrangements (local clergy are uncompensated), there is no need for a lengthy internal process. This zero-tolerance approach risks problems with false allegations, but the Church has chosen to err on the side of caution. The result is that abuse by LDS clergy is exceedingly rare and swiftly addressed.”

    “Because its clergy are laymen without professional training or qualifications in social work, in 1995 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints established a 24-hour help line and instructed its ecclesiastical leaders to call it immediately when they learn of abuse. The help line is staffed by licensed social workers with professional experience in dealing with abuse. They advise clergy about how best to protect the victim from further abuse, protect others from abuse, deal with the perpetrator, and aid the healing process for victims. Child abuse is a crime with serious legal consequences. The help line provides legal counsel to aid clergy in complying with the law and working with law enforcement.”

    “The Church has long had a highly effective approach for preventing and responding to abuse. In fact, no religious organization has done more. Although no one system is perfect and no single program will work with every organization, the Church’s approach is the gold standard.”

    Too bad the bishops and stake presidents in Jared’s area somehow didn’t get the memo. You will not find the 2013 release on mormonnewsroom.org anymore, because it was removed from the website on April 28, 2016. The statement appears to have been strictly a public relations move for the consumption of 0n-line readers who at that time were questioning the church’s handling of abuse cases. It appears that the protocol described in the statement never was a policy that was actually put into practice in the church. If it had been, Jared’s case would have been of great concern, he would have been treated much better, his uncle would have been handled very differently, and the safety of the children in his uncle’s ward would have been of utmost concern.

    Thank you, Jared, for your courage in shedding light on a subject that the church wants to keep in the shadows. Best wishes for a bright future that is free of the burden you carried alone for so long. Kudos to Juli, what a loving, wise, and supportive partner.

  5. The church is a business venture corp thats it, its what joseph smith wanted when he was a treasure seaker and now the church has the treasure in the trillions the lawyers make sure they keep it…. lol Wake up and see what it really is…..

  6. Jared and Juli,
    Thank you for your bravery and welcome to the Post Mormon community! Jared, I feel a great deal of empathy and compassion for you. The abuse you suffered at the hands of your uncle was awful. It shouldn’t happen but it happens all too often.

    I also suffered abuse at the hands of a church member. I was 15 and he was an adult priesthood holder who, at the time, held a position in the Young Men. His wife was a wonderful woman who went to girls camp with us and we all loved her so much. I understand why people are afraid to talk and why people don’t wnat to rock the boat. I was all those things. I felt ashamed, afraid, guilty and so many other things. I told my bishop within a couple of weeks of the abuse. Then I never spoke a word until I was 26 and engaged to get married. Then my life was crazy for a long time.

    I applaud you both for being strong and leaving an abusive church and standing up to tell your truth. Bravo!!

  7. I watched the interview with great sadness for the experience that Jared and Juli described. What a shame that a religious organization is unable to get its procedures of protection well planned , organized and fully implemented so that everyone who is abused is cared for and supported fully. By the absence of such protective procedures, the only conclusion that can be reached is that the LDS organization really doesn’t care about the victims. Sam Young’s experience in seeking to protect children intensifies this as well. Mr. Oakes’ position on the LGBTQ community is yet another piece of evidence that LDS.org simply is not based in any sense of protection for the most vulnerable. How sad for all victims!!! Thank you for the bravery you have shown in your statements. May God bring peace and comfort to you as you heal.

  8. I would like to express my gratitude to Jared and Juli for being willing to share such a difficult life experience. I am sure your courage will be an example for others who have also faced difficult issues within the LDS Church.

    I was a little confused by the comments Jared made about his faith. When meeting with Stephen Laing, the comments seemed to reflect a strong commitment to a belief in God. During the interview with John Dehlin, Jared made a comment about a possible agnostic or atheist perspective. Since the Mormon Stories interview was the more recent comment, It seemed to me that there had been a change in the way he believed. My additional comments are made based on the assumption that Jared is now questioning or having difficulty believing in God.

    In case anyone hasn’t seen my other comments on this site, I am a Christian who became interested in the Mormon people after being contacted by a number of LDS missionaries. I found them to be wonderful people who had a belief that was much different than the mainstream Christian belief. The most significant difference I found was the Mormon belief that a person can attain the position of a god or goddess. Isaiah 43:10 and Isaiah 44:6 and 8 clearly refute that position. Surprisingly, I also found it refuted by Moroni 8:18.

    As a Christian, I am glad to hear Jared and Julie appear to no longer believe what I consider to be a false religion. On the other hand, the loss of confidence in the teachings of Mormonism does not mean there is no God. I would strongly suggest Jared or anyone else who doubts the existence of God examine the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. The Christian belief stands or falls on the resurrection. Both William Lane Craig and Gary Habermas have a significant amount of information about the resurrection that can be easily obtained through internet text and video sources. It is something each person should investigate for themselves.

    I also heard Jared comment about checking out a number of different churches. In mainstream Christian belief, the Church is the body of believers. It is not a building. It is the group of true believers in and followers of Jesus Christ. Local buildings that are called churches are simply places for believers to gather, fellowship and worship. Personally I find it more satisfying to pray and worship God while I am in a more natural setting … like while walking in the woods. On the other hand, I think it is also necessary to meet with and fellowship with other Christian believers on a regular basis.

    In conclusion, I would like to say to Jared that you have found a good woman to be your wife. Juli has stood by your side and supported you through some very difficult times. In my opinion, she has a love for you that runs very deep. Are you are ready to take the atheist position that her love for you is simply a biochemical reaction of some sort? I think you know there is something much deeper and more significant about her love for you than simply a biochemical reaction in her brain. If I am correct, you need to reconsider any thoughts of atheism. The agnostic people I have known and know about live their lives as if there is no God. For all practical purposes they are atheists. Real, true love, as most people think of the term, cannot be found within the perspective of an atheist world view.

    1. Thanks for your input. As a wandering soul… I found value on what you have stated here.
      I am dwelling on the statements you have made.

    2. Bill,

      We met with Elder Laing in April. We recorded the podcast with John in October. I have tried to hold onto what faith I had when all of this started a few years ago. For 40+ years I believed God led the Mormon church. I realized that wasn’t the case early on in this journey, but still felt God in my life and believed God was there. I still felt that way at the time we met with Elder Laing. It comes out very clearly in our meeting with him. I walked out of that meeting a devastated man. We have never been back to an LDS church since that meeting. We have since regularly attended a local evangelical Bible church. I love the community there and feel peace when I am there. However, if you have never lost a faith tradition you held to be absolutely true for 40 years, it is hard for you to understand why one can’t leave a 40 year tradition and jump right into another religious tradition that claims it is the “way”. You have to rebuild your entire faith. Your trust of any institution or religious tradition claiming truth becomes very suspect. We are attempting to figure out where we end up. We are doing this in a faithful way, but have realized it will be a long journey. One of the most influential people in this whole journey for me has been a close co-worker who is an Evangelical Christian. I didn’t talk about him in our interview. He is a man I will always respect and he knows where we started and where we are now with our faith. He is a great man. I value Christian principles and I study the Bible daily. However, at this point I just don’t know what God is to me. I feel it is OK to identify as an Agnostic at this point. I know you will feel otherwise, just as my great evangelical co-worker does. I respect your position and beliefs. Honestly, I wish I could believe. I may be able to again. I won’t say that I cannot ever believe again. Right now though, we just have to re-build what has been destroyed in our lives.

      1. Jared,

        Thank you for the reply and the clarification. The one thing I will not say is that I understand what you are going through. I don’t, and I never will, because I have never been in a situation like yours. On the other hand, I have been through some very difficult life circumstances that have made me question my faith. My wife died of abdominal cancer (T-cell lymphoma) two years ago. It was a very difficult experience that taught me a lot about pain, deep sadness and loss. I definitely understand those feelings. I also understand how difficult circumstances can cause someone to question the existence of God.

        As I understand the LDS faith, both God and Jesus are portrayed very differently than they are in mainstream Christianity. I would encourage you to spend time with your close Christian co-worker discovering exactly who it is that you are agnostic about at this point. Because of your prior Mormon belief, you may have an understanding of God and Jesus that is not accurate. In my opinion, it would be helpful for you to thoroughly investigate the Christian Biblical God and Jesus before you reject them.

        In Christianity, it is Jesus who claims to be the way, not an organization. He said he was the way, the truth and the life. The organization he formed is the true Church I mentioned previously, not an earthly building. Reading the New Testament is the method used to discover who Jesus is and why to follow him. Continuing to read the Bible, as you have been doing, is a great way to start rebuilding your faith. another suggestion I have for you is to get a good Bible version that reads more easily than the original King James Version. Try getting a version that has the words of Jesus in red. This is another place where your co-worker could be very helpful. The New King James red letter version might be a reasonable place for you to start.

        The mainstream Christian faith is different than the LDS faith in another way. Christianity encourages investigation of the faith to discover what is true. In my many years as a Christian, no one has ever told me not to look at or read any material that was critical of Christianity. I am free to read or view anything I like as long as it is not pornographic or profane in nature. I spent a lot of time investigating the claims of atheism because of my scientific background. I’m a veterinarian by profession. Atheists claim science is on their side, but I have not found that to be the case. For me, the scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports Christianity.

        You and Julie have been through some extremely difficult trials. I do understand that difficult life circumstances can cause people to doubt the existence of God. I am sorry you have had to experience the compounded problem of loss of faith in both an Earthly organization and the questioning of the existence of God. Loss of faith in the LDS Church and the god of that organization was clearly justified. It is unfortunate that your bad experience with an Earthly organization and its false god has caused you to also question the existence of the God who created you. I pray you will eventually reconsider your present agnostic position and turn to the one true God.

  9. What a powerful story. Like you I never feared my marriage would end because of my faith crisis and eventual total inactivity and loss of belief. Sadly I have a friend whose wife told him that she will stay until their kids are raised but if he is not THE at that point their marriage is done. He says the marriage is really good except in this one area.

  10. This podcast really resonated with me. Thanks for sharing. My abuser was a neighbor and ward member. No one reported anything, including my parents, because they didn’t want to cause problems in the ward. This man’s wife served in the YW and there were issues there, but no disciplinary action was ever taken against him. Last I heard he was working as a veil worker in the temple. So, my abuser is now playing God in the temple. When it comes to sex abuse, the church is beyond messed up.

  11. This podcast really resonated with me. Thanks for sharing. My abuser was a neighbor and ward member. No one reported anything, including my parents, because they didn’t want to cause problems in the ward. This man’s wife served in the YW and there were issues there, but no disciplinary action was ever taken against him. Last I heard he was working as a veil worker in the temple. So, my abuser is now playing God in the temple. When it comes to sex abuse, the church is beyond messed up.
    BTW- His name is Jeff Jacobsen and it was in the Logan 20th Ward.

  12. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m very sorry that you were treated this way, both by your uncle and by the institution.

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