Trigger warning: This interview discusses sexual assault. Please practice self care, and use discretion regarding who else listens in.
In Part 1 of this interview, Jared shares how he was allegedly sexually abused as a young boy by his uncle and how these experiences formed the basis for his most vivid memories. Jared also talks about the guilt and shame he carried from those experiences throughout his youth and through his LDS mission. As Jared progresses through life, he feels he has forgiven his uncle and was ready to move on, until his uncle was called as a bishop and given stewardship over a ward, including children. Feeling pressure to say something, Jared finally told his wife Juli of the abuse he suffered decades earlier.
In Part 2 of this interview, Jared and Juli discuss multiple meetings and interactions with LDS Church leaders including multiple stake presidents and bishops, and a private meeting with Elder Steven O. Laing of the Seventy (recorded by Jared and Juli and presented as Part 3 of this interview) to warn them of his uncle’s alleged history of abuse. During this meeting, both Jared and Juli were still true believing members, but now regard the inaction taken by their priesthood leaders and instead focusing on their personal faith as a major tipping point for their testimonies. As of today, Jared’s uncle remains bishop in a northern Utah ward.
Notes/Links mentioned in this interview:
- Bill Reel’s special podcast episode on Elder Cook’s Church History fireside
- KUTV News coverage of this story
- Mormon Mental Health podcast interview on this topic
- How to reach Natasha Helfer Parker, a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist
- Mormon Newsroom statement on “How the Church Approaches Abuse“
Part 1 – Jared details the abuse he suffered as a child:
Part 2 – Jared and Juli talk about their efforts to warn LDS Church leaders about the abuser, with little to no success:
Part 3 – A recording made of their meeting with Elder Steven O. Laing of the Seventy: