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  1. I sent a letter to the members of the First Presidency and two apostles (to their homes), which, in part, recommended that Bishops STOP asking females “do you masturbate?” I recommended that the Church call mature women as “Matrons” in Wards and Branches, and that the Matrons “interview” the women and girls about sexual matters, and then the Matron would “report” to the Bishop, and if there was a “problem” the Matron would appear with the girl/woman beside them in the Bishop’s office (i.e. no girl or woman would ever be alone with the Bishop in his office). Sent those letters about a month ago.

  2. It was great seeing Sam’ Young’s direct approach directly after the Greg Prince series. I think your grandkids are onto something Sam.

  3. While I respect Sam Young’s desire to protect children, his efforts are badly directed. Anyone who has 1.) served as a bishop, 2.) has interviewed youth, and 3.) has any type of rapport with youth has had a youth say, “Bishop, I am terrified about having done (fill in the blank) and I feel my parents would be terribly disappointed in me. I have been feeling terrible for some time and didn’t know who else I could talk to.” As in MOST cases, the bishop will help them to know that their parents love them, and reconnect them back to their parents. This is something that happened countless times (almost weekly, without prompting or questioning) in my experience serving as a bishop. Families that wish to be present during interviews would seem just to ask their bishop, and not make an issue of this. I had a sister that wanted to be present during interviews as she had experienced abuse with a previous spouse, and had challenges with trust. I don’t know of any ecclesiastical leader that would challenge this.

    But the solution of taking ALL of these conversations off the table for youth that wish to talk to their bishop would, in my experiences, be disastrous for youth AND families. These families often have children that then have no other place to go for help. Is the child or youth, in the common mischiefs of youth, then to articulately request a meeting with a certified counselor because Mom and Dad have taught them not to trust bishops? This is cutting off the nose to spite the face.

    NPR had a great program recently about hyper-vigilant families that have created an environment of anxiety for their children, until the children then develop anxiety. We once lived in a world where children wandered down the street to go to the park, visited elderly people on our streets for treats, or rode our bikes to the store for candy or soda. Crime rates are down dramatically in the past 40 years, but many parents have created this world where NO ONE can be trusted. We must do more to protect children, but THIS??

  4. Hi John, thanks for continuing to cover this important topic. I really appreciate the work that Sam Young and others are doing. Just two points of clarification:

    1. I’ve heard it here and in several other places that the bishop’s hotline is staffed primary by lawyers. I don’t believe this is the case, and this is something that can be easily verified. At least as of a few years ago, and I believe it’s still the case, licensed counselors from LDSFS also staff the hotline and are available to instruct bishops on issues of abuse, mental health, etc. By the way, I would appreciate a verification of who staffs this hotline. I would get it for you, but I suspect a correction from you on this matter would go a lot further than it would from me. By the way, I 100% agree that it’s not enough – we need a hotline for all members.

    2. Regarding agitating/grass roots. I think there is a subtle but important difference in agitating and making demands. I agree with Greg Prince and Angela Clayton that making demands doesn’t ever get us far. We might take one step forward, but then it’s two back. A great example is Ordain Women. The name itself is a demand, and it’s not representative of how most LDS women feel, including progressive women. After the OW actions, we saw a great digging in by the higher ups and I personally feel like it set us back. Personal example – prior to this, I was able to have a pretty open dialogue with my stake president and had made some strides towards equality. It’s slow, but it was moving in the right direction. Then when the OW stuff was going on, there was a suspicion about my motive even though I made it clear I was not demanding ordination. I love the revolutionary spirit involved with these movements, but it’s too much too soon for most mainstream members. However, a slow and steady agitation can indeed make a difference and I’ve seen it many times in different ways. Again, change is not fast enough for some of us and in that case we need to make our decisions accordingly – but as a general rule, gentle agitation seems to get us further than making demands does.

  5. How about the Church STOP asking anyone if they masturbate, etc.! Sheesh! Sexually-explicit questions are not in the temple recommend interview. How about asking 12-112-year-olds if they obey the Law of Chastity – and accept the answer! If the interviewee doesn’t know what the question is, maybe the bishop suggests they ask a parent/trusted adult/YW or YM leader. A bishop – who wasn’t even MY bishop (just my friend’s dad who happened to be a bishop) – took me into a vacant church building, to his bishop’s office, then asked me sexually-explicit questions. It was inappropriate, to say the least, and humiliating. JUST. SO. WRONG.
    I love you, Sam Young! Thank you for all you are doing to protect children. Stay strong!

  6. Consider with me the case of Joseph Bishop, trusted President of the MTC for FIVE years who was involved in numerous “private personal missionary interviews” wherein “stuff came out” and the missionary had to be sent home. The idea of THAT man being privy to such such “private sacred interviews” makes me frankly SICK. Now it comes out the sickness of this man, “called by inspiration and the Revelation of the Lord”, sick in a most perverted way. May he roast in Hell, not because of his sickness, but that he would not immediately RESIGN his calling as the President of the MTC knowing his sickness, knowing he did not qualify, knowing he was not worthy. As for my children, my young ones, so precious to me and their dear Mother, the very possibility that something MIGHT happen has me and their Mother so concerned that my children will NEVER be interviewed by any Church Leader for ANY reason without us being present in the room, until such time as they reach adulthood. Then at that point, they can do as they please. But it frankly makes me angry, some other man NOT in authority in my family (the Bishop)potentially talking to my daughters and sons about matters they have NO business talking about. Sam Young is right. This is a power grab away from the Father and Mother of the Family, asking such personal sexual questions when such is the purview and the authority of the Parents. But this is typical of Apostate Churches who seek to “play the power game” with their members. The Book of Mormon WARNED us about such “men in authority” as does the Doctrine and Covenants (see Section 121). When men get a little authority as they suppose it….. well, you know the rest….

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