Hundreds march to change LDS Church policies on bishop interviews with youth

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • k483 Atlanta, GA
    Sept. 11, 2018 11:40 a.m.

    I don't think any Bishop ever relished having these sorts of conversations with their youth. And I would agree, there is an age-appropriateness that needs to be considered, as well as the depth of the questioning. That given, who is out there to speak plainly to the kids? Certainly not the school system; they were handcuffed some time ago. The parents, yes, but they will likely want the additional help.

    Who is this child going to go to if he or she has an issue and doesn't want the parents to know? What if the issue is with the parent?

    Who is going to give them the lay of the land; what is likely to happen if they continue on this course, and who will do it confidentially?

    Certainly, we all can do better in counseling our children. However, if we are asking that clergy
    take discussing the subject of immoral sexuality and its consequences completely off the table, then I think we need to stop crying about all the tragedies that come from such behavior, because there is going to be a lot more of them.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2018 10:44 p.m.

    "@Counter Intelligence;
    "II would be curious to know how many protesters are like Impartial7, not members but opportunists who love any opportunity to criticise"

    I just asked a question, which you deflected. How many prophets have you had that didn't prophecise?"

    I didn't deflect your question, I ignored it, since the fact that the LDS Church has not changed position regarding female priests and gay marriage is fairly indicative that protests do not drive church policy as you claim. Furthermore, I personally do not have a prophet because i do not belong to any faith, but I also do not know any Mormons who expect a formal prophecy every six months either. They indicate to me that they believe that it occurs on an as-needed basis (and is nice but not inherently necessary for individual management decisions).
    Although I should let them defend their own faith - As a non-LDS person, my motive is merely to clarify that all non-LDS do not buy into the "anti" garbage routinely espoused here

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    April 4, 2018 11:38 a.m.

    I have a question? If truth is truth, why would the truth need to be changed?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    April 3, 2018 1:23 p.m.

    The percent of bishops who have ever done inappropriate things to youth is most likely in the single digits however we live in a world where immoral temptations have exploded everywhere. The internet will confirm that with a mouse click on the wrong link. Men are not perfect and a few bishops stray -- we have even seen that in Utah recently. From a child and parents perspective I think having additional safety measures is needed....sadly... and the Church already addressed this issue.

  • BradJames Manti, UT
    April 3, 2018 8:15 a.m.

    my big issue with the protesters getting their way (which they won't, but I'm being hypothetical so bear with me) would be: when I was a missionary in Tucson, El Paso and Safford, Ariz., I had lots of companions that weren't necessarily nice to me. They were also being disobedient and refused to proselyte properly (halfway through my mission, Elder Ballard gave the "raising the bar" talk, so this is the old school Wild Wild West days, literally and figuratively :). When you're talking to your mission president during zone conference at the stake center nearest your area, that NEEDS to be private. You need to trust that the Melchizedek Priesthood authority in question is going to do the right thing. We come to the temporal world primarily to "see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them." (Abraham, 3:25). I realize this makes people uncomfortable, but we have to trust that the Lord knows what He's doing. OK, rant over!

  • idneb406 Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 2, 2018 4:22 p.m.

    I served briefly on a bishopric and always ran into difficulties with youth interviews because most of the youth had absolutely no idea what the Law of Chastity entailed. This always meant having to go into a brief explanation of the law, but I never felt compelled to go into detail.

  • Fear the Turtle!! ,
    April 2, 2018 10:51 a.m.


    "Imagine for a moment that a school teacher would ask your child about it's sexual practices. I am sure that at the end of the process the school teacher would be fired - rightfully so because it is child abuse.

    What makes it OK for the same thing to happen within a church setting?"

    This is an easy question to answer. I would expect a teacher to ask my children about the subject they teach, whether it be math, English or science. I would want them to be specific and thorough so as to make sure my child understood the concepts and could apply them in life.

    I expect when my child meets with a Bishop who has been ordained and called by God through inspiration by one having authority, and called to be a judge in Israel, that he would be sufficiently thorough and loving and compassionate to make sure my child understood the concepts and could apply them in life.

    No, Contemplator, this is not abuse. It is God's will and God's way to be accountable. And, if you have sinned, have it addressed in the proper way so as to activate the atonement of our Savior to be forgiven. I would not want anything less for the child I love more than anything in this whole world.

  • M_Hawke Golden, CO
    April 2, 2018 9:16 a.m.

    The 3000 stories, are unfortunately, just that--unverified stories. We are supposed to trust them for their veracity.

    Some apparently do not understand the consequences of violating the law of chastity. The church action (consequence) that is taken for violation of various acts are different, therefore the need to ask for specifics if there was a violation. In other words, if the answer is "no" to "Do you live the law of chastity?", the bishop needs to determine to what extent it was violated.

    Protesters, marches, rallies against the church turn me off, regardless of their cause. It shows a confrontational spirit. Most times, if not every time, it also is a manifestation of emotions rather than rationale. I believe that there are other ways to get the Brethren's attention and engage in a dialogue.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 2, 2018 5:57 a.m.

    Re: ". . . licensed therapists . . . said a professionally trained counselor is in a significantly better position to talk to a child about sex."

    One could fill many more books with the stories of abuses by licensed therapists, than with stories about rogue bishops.

    Those that seek to counsel the Lord on this issue appear to have an agenda completely divorced from the welfare of God's children -- it seems more calculated to assure the continuation of sexual sin.

    One wonders why they're so committed to sin.

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    April 1, 2018 9:24 p.m.


    Thank you for your response... I had assumed you were LDS based on your defense of BYU... But if I am wrong these citations may not make sense to you.


    Read "Enrichment I" in the Student's Syllabus on the Doctrine and Covenants, focus on sections 68; 102; 107 and 13. If the seriousness of the sin is significant enough then confession to a Bishop (who represents the Lord as a Judge in Israel) is necessary for Remission of the sin, for determining worthiness, and for determining proper Penitence... The God's Appointed however, is required to keep the details of the confession confidential or else he pays a heavy price when facing the Lord's judgment.

    The BOM also deals with the topic in Mosiah 26 and in Ether.

    Boyd K Packard (former Pres of the 12 Apostles) stated:

    “Jesus Christ has prescribed a very clear method for us to repent and find healing in our lives. The cure for most mistakes can be found by seeking forgiveness through personal prayer. However, there are certain spiritual illnesses, particularly those dealing with violations of the moral law, which absolutely require the assistance and treatment of a qualified spiritual physician. (the Bishop).

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    April 1, 2018 7:16 p.m.

    @ poyman - Lincoln City, OR

    you wrote:

    "I usually support your comments ... But you're wrong on this one... The need for confession is in the scriptures and often discussed by Prophets and Apostles.

    Yes, Confession is indeed discussed by the Apostles.

    1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    James 5:16 - Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

    But where does it specify that one must confess to a Priest, who, speaking for/as God, can "absolve" you of your sins?

    This is the very Catholic... "Sacrament of Penance".
    A priest is "In persona Christi", because he acts as Jesus and as God.

    Thus....A Catholic Construct.

    Most scriptures pertaining to confession refer to Confessing that Jesus is the Christ.

    Many Protestant religions as well as Islam and Judaism, believe no intermediary is necessary
    when petitioning God for forgiveness.

    An Anglican aphorism regarding the practice of confession is "All may; none must; some should".

    And so it goes...

  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    April 1, 2018 2:20 a.m.

    So, now even the LDS church has protesters? Unbelievable..

  • bernygut Costa Rica, 00
    March 31, 2018 11:39 p.m.

    In the context of how I see the Church, the position of this former bishop, those protesting and some commenting really leaves me puzzled. How does a former bishop think that it's a good idea to protest against the church leaders and tell them what they are getting wrong? When did he forget who called them? How do people feel entitled to dictate what the leaders of the Church, millions sustain as prophets of God, should do?

  • london_josh lincoln, CA
    March 31, 2018 11:32 p.m.


    So it appears that we disagree with each other.

    Again, I'm comfortable with the current system, and support the update.

    So your disagreement is noted, and it didn't sway my opinion.

    Because you don't agree with the current system does not mean that it does not work for me.

    While the system can be improved, I appreciate the value of the system as it is and I really appreciate the changes to it as well.

    So thanks for your concern, but I'm good as is.

  • Chungman St George, UT
    March 31, 2018 9:09 p.m.

    Some great comments here. My perspective is one of grooming the child for possible abuse in the future. No doubt 99% of Bishops are very safe with children, but out of 30,000 wards and branches in the Church that still leaves 1% or 300 Bishops or Branch Presidents that may or may not be as circumspect as one would expect.

    Child abusers purposely choose those children that are already marginalized, have low self esteem and do not have strong parental examples in the home, etc. Some youth are not equipped to make a choice about having a third individual in the interview room, those are the youth that are most susceptible to an abuser's approach and need to be protected. If a child believes that it is a normal procedure for an older man in a Church position who speaks for God to ask personal sexual questions alone in a closed room, then that child becomes more groomed for a future bad actor that could happen as local Priesthood leadership is changed out or the youth moves into a new ward or branch.

    Most skeptics on this board probably have strong family structures and have never experienced sexual abuse in their family. I Pray your family never has that experience.

  • Bountiful Guy Bountiful, UT
    March 31, 2018 7:52 p.m.

    A couple of posters look pretty foolish now. Revelation galore!

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    March 31, 2018 7:02 p.m.


    "...The whole contemporary concept of confession, after all, is a Catholic construct."


    I usually support your comments ... But you're wrong on this one... The need for confession is in the scriptures and often discussed by Prophets and Apostles.

  • plporter Orem, UT
    March 31, 2018 2:55 p.m.


    said: ' "no minor should ever face a sexual question" is a viewpoint that I consider myopic and might do more damage than it helps because it's all mitigated if the minors don't have anything to confess ... '

    Hummmm, the number of teenage boys that have not masturbated, since their last worthiness interviewer a year ago?

    I would say that it is pretty myopic to think that worthiness questions would only apply to a small number of immoral teenagers....

    You might want to rethink your position, london_josh.

  • bluesman503 south Jordan, Utah
    March 31, 2018 2:19 p.m.

    Maybe the only questioned asked should be is there anything in your past or present conduct that would keep you from feeling worthy to serve a mission or receive a particular calling. It occurs to me that a person could go thru the process of repentance without being asked to confess a particular sin. Of course they should declare that they have or have not broken any laws that would affect worthiness and if they are still in the process of paying any debts to society.
    Young people should be advised that they can have someone present and be given the choice as to who it will be.

  • plporter Orem, UT
    March 31, 2018 1:53 p.m.

    Hi Ben, this might help you get a better crowd estimate next time your editor creates a misleading headline for your story.

    From the ijnet International Journalists' network. (

    "How reporters can estimate the number of people in a crowd"

    I was there and saw Church employees taking cell phone photos of the crowd from several stories up in the tower.

    You should have sent a photographer up there to also get a better head count.

    (former BYU Journalism graduate)

  • Jacobiuntherus Salt Lake City, UT
    March 31, 2018 1:47 p.m.

    @Contemplator - Salt Lake City, UT

    You made this confusing comment: "Imagine for a moment that you found out that a school teacher would ask your child about it's sexual practices. I am sure that at the end of the process the school teacher would be fired - rightfully so because it is child abuse. What makes it OK for the same thing to happen within a church setting"?

    Friend. Not sure how well acquainted with religion you are? May I just say that there is a huge difference between the background and spiritual preparation a Church leader has compared to the role of a school teacher. For centuries, spiritual leaders have in part functioned to help members of their flocks navigate through some of life's difficulties with mostly positive success. It is kind of like going to a therapist for guidance and counseling if one has a psychological issue to deal with. You wouldn't send your child to a school teacher for psychological advise would you? Most religions have a place and person to go to regarding repentance, spiritual counseling and such.

  • Westy Sheboygan, WI Sheboygan, WI
    March 31, 2018 1:46 p.m.

    Any former Bishop and any other member of the LDS Church that would deny the Bishop, who is the Common Judge in Israel, the ability to discuss sexual worthiness with potential missionaries and those seeking Temple Recommends should quickly repent of their apostasy. This is the LORD'S church. Church leaders are called of God. Lucifer is very good at convincing our youth that certain seriously sinful conduct is just fine. Masterbation is an abuse of the procreative power and every active member of this church should understand that. Some kids think that sexual touching over clothing is okay. It is not. Some kids think you can do anything sexual as long as you do not have intercourse. Not true. We should have NO sexual relations with anyone we are not married to. Church leaders need to clearly teach our youth what is right and wrong as we live in a very wicked world filled with evil teachings. Members of the church who think some person with some secular degree granted by a university run by godless atheists, would be more qualified than the common judge in Israel who is called by God has some serious testimony issues.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    March 31, 2018 1:44 p.m.

    I guess that I was surprised to hear that there were some concerns regarding this issue.

    Several years ago I served in a bishopric and conducted many interviews with our youth. I did so with the understanding that I was to just ask the questions as stated in the Interview Book. When I asked that question, I simply asked - do you live the law of chastity? I didn't ask for details, I didn't ask for examples, I just stated the question as written. If there was ever a No answer, then my part concluded and the individual was invited to meet with the bishop.

    I always felt that it was up to each individual member to answer this and every question as they felt to do so without prompting or further clarification from me.

  • someguyaaron Parowan, UT
    March 31, 2018 1:01 p.m.

    99.9% of all worthy church members who have no ax to grind or who make their living trying to damage the Church. Have no problem with having The Bishops ask questions about, are you living the law of chastity and such, sometimes the child is being abused at home. The young person certainly would not reveal that with the parent.
    I am sure that many “so called members” who are complaining about this, but I have never met anyone in church who has ever indicated anything like this to me.
    It is the same about LGBT. you hear about how we talk about them. WE DON’T. Within active members. All is good. Except the exceptional pervert church leader, and they need to go.

    March 31, 2018 12:04 p.m.

    As a youth in the church I had great appreciation for the bishops interview and involvement in the repentance processes, however it has been so difficult to see the huge negative affects our very well intended Bishop has had on our teenage cgildren when they have gone to him in similar situations.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    March 31, 2018 10:59 a.m.

    People are too easily offended.

  • Watcher1 Sandy, UT
    March 31, 2018 10:32 a.m.

    Suggestions for introspection, examination, and improvement are rarely bad things . . . although they may be disquieting to some. There will always be those who claim that any disagreement from any source is the result of someone's personal weakness, sin, and our apostasy, and not to be taken seriously by those who are duly obedient, compliant, and conforming. I have lived long enough to know that regardless of a person's ecclesiastical callings or responsibilities, we are all still mortals, and still subject to error and missteps, depending on our own personal weaknesses, understandings, and experiences. Many would probably call my position on some of these things heresy or blasphemy, but I strongly believe that as long as I'm the one paying the freight, so to speak, for my activities and decisions--I'll be the one making the crucial decisions relative to the management of my life. I really don't see the need for other mortals to pass judgment on what I'm doing, regardless of their perceived positions or roles.

  • Contemplator Salt Lake City, UT
    March 31, 2018 10:28 a.m.

    Imagine for a moment that you found out that a school teacher would ask your child about it's sexual practices. I am sure that at the end of the process the school teacher would be fired - rightfully so because it is child abuse.

    What makes it OK for the same thing to happen within a church setting?

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    March 31, 2018 9:50 a.m.

    Perhaps a better alternative would be to provide outside proffesional sex education to help the youth with their growing and maturity.

  • Broken Arrow Draper, UT
    March 31, 2018 9:40 a.m.

    As members of the LDS Church, I don't we should simply turn a blind eye to this issue and automatically dismiss Bishop Young's cause. I read a few of the stories on the Protect LDS Children website and was almost brought to tears.

    The efforts of this group have already prompted the brethren to make a policy change a few days ago and I'm hopeful that they'll continue to evaluate and do what's best for our children.

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    March 31, 2018 9:38 a.m.

    I am glad that I was taught at home and it was not left to outsiders. The Bishops I had never surprised me or embarrassed me because my dad was watching and talking to me at home in ways a Bishop could not. I knew stuff and it had been taught with love which gave me admiration for whom I was to become. Parents have given their rights as parents to outsiders and I don't mean just the Bishop. It may happen out of frustration and that is not what I am talking about here nor is it trying to teach above the level of understanding that the child might have. It is all about helping the Bishop or other youth leader to get the child through this difficult age and difficult time.

  • MoreMan San Diego, CA
    March 31, 2018 9:35 a.m.

    Out of the Q70 and the 15 they sent out two interns with a PR statement instead? Their lack of empathy and compassion speaks volumes.

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    March 31, 2018 9:26 a.m.

    When I was young, 13 or so, I had a interview with my bishop who I admired but He asked me a couple of the questions regarding sexuality that left me feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable . Never did I attend another bishop interview.

  • MPS Kirtland, NM
    March 31, 2018 9:21 a.m.

    In reply to Yuge Opportunity Here: You struck a chord with me. I am a grandmother. Two weeks ago I decided to be baptized for three deceased ancestors (yes this granny went into the water). It was a wonderful experience. I was assisted by teenage girls obtaining my white clothing and then I was baptized by a priest.

    I think Yuge Opportunity Here is onto something when he said the youth are being targeted by forces of evil. What I saw and felt with my experience in the Temple Baptistry was a glorious event. I think our Father In Heaven is casting the net wider to offer the opportunity for more people to participate in covenants and ordinances and service . And I think these protesters are being subtlely led into error. Youth and adults almost always have an uplifting experience with their priesthood leaders. The new policies are there to make sure this happens.

  • JaneB Wilsonville, OR
    March 31, 2018 9:21 a.m.

    I agree with this effort. The only questions about sex to youth should be "do you live the law of chastity". And, "are you worthy to enter the temple". Youth know if they are or aren't. If they lie, that is on them, not the bishop.

    It's very simple to instruct the YW, YM on a regular basis what the law of chastity is. In detail. 2-3 times per year. You can have youth leaders or the bishop or RS pres come in answer anonymous questions about it. We have done this in our ward.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    March 31, 2018 9:14 a.m.

    The message of these protesters seems to be: If I had a bad experience, I want you to have no experience at all.

  • JoshuaTree North Salt Lake, UT
    March 31, 2018 8:40 a.m.

    Somewhere along the line I realized that I didn't need a middleman to moderate my relationship with the Almighty. I highly recommend it.

  • taatmk Brigham City, UT
    March 31, 2018 8:38 a.m.

    Mountains out of mole hills people. Easy solution. Bishop asks the youth, "We can talk individually, or you can have a parent or other adult sit in with you. Which would you like to do"? It's the child given the choice for him/her to decide.

    Not all youth want an adult sitting in with them, contrary to what the protestors' way of thinking with their self centered points of view. Some youth may actually NOT want their parents learning of the things they may confess to. Confession, is after all, a very person thing.

    Allowing for the bishop to ask the question above allows for privacay and for a support person, AND gives that choice to the youth.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    March 31, 2018 8:27 a.m.

    It enhancesThe LDS Church oprerations to have member direct involvement in church policies and management that moderate and strengthen their top down dictates and mandates.

  • Elsleuith Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 31, 2018 8:25 a.m.

    Thank you

    Bluto - Sandy, UT

    I have read Deseret News comments for five years. Your comment was my favorite of all time.

  • ute alumni Salt Lake City, UT
    March 31, 2018 8:11 a.m.

    Th se folks might want to join another church that doesn’t do this or start their own. There are even some now that don’t believe in hell. Sounds good to me.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    March 31, 2018 8:10 a.m.

    To those here that advocate having your neighborhood dentist, accountant or local business owner asking minor children about sexual issues, there's a word for you. Complicit.

  • toosmartforyou Kaysville, UT
    March 31, 2018 8:05 a.m.

    Isn't it amazing how many people want to be able to govern the Church? And most of them are ones that have an issue somewhere in their lifetime where they were "offended." There's a scripture about being offended, stating that they are blessed "whoever shall not be offended in me" in both Luke 7 and Matthew 11. Maybe the questions are awkward as asked by a bishop that isn't a social worker by profession, but get over it. He needs to ascertain worthiness. I once thought a bishop who interviewed me had a great idea when he asked if I kept the law of chastity, and when I said I did, he asked "What is that law according to your understanding?" and let me define it. He was satisfied with my definition.

    Why are all these young children present for this "demonstration?" It appears that children are being used as pawns to add leverage to an adult's agenda, which is less than impressive to me. It smacks of "policy decisions should be decided by popular vote and by shaming." Who do you think inspires such behavior, particularly when taken in context of the scriptures I cited? I assure you, it isn't the Lord for "contention is not of me (Him)."

  • Rise n Shout South Jordan, UT
    March 31, 2018 7:59 a.m.

    Protesting on the steps of the Church Office Building? This is nothing new. It even happened before the dawn of time. A third of our brothers and sisters protested the plan that our Heavenly Father himself presented that would give them a body as well as their agency, i.e. the ability to protest... and they went away mad.

    The pattern continues--- protest something that comes from God's prophet.

  • common sense in Idaho Pocatello, id
    March 31, 2018 7:56 a.m.

    When my Father was a Bishop many years ago (1960's/1970's) he always made an effort to interview children in their own homes in the living room. Mom or Dad weren't sitting right by their children as the interview was taking place but were usually in a nearby room (like the kitchen) and could hear everything that was said. He did it this way not because he was directed by the church to do so but because he felt more comfortable doing the interviews this way. And he felt the parents were more comfortable with it too.

    So is this a possibility church wide?

    Also, if a child is asked if he obeys the Law of Chastity and the response is, What's the law of Chastity?, what then is a Bishop supposed to do?

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    March 31, 2018 7:50 a.m.

    @Counter Intelligence;
    "II would be curious to know how many protesters are like Impartial7, not members but opportunists who love any opportunity to criticise"

    I just asked a question, which you deflected. How many prophets have you had that didn't prophecise?

  • Yuge Opportunity Here Mapleton, UT
    March 31, 2018 7:47 a.m.

    As the youth of the Church increasingly engage in redeeming the dead, note the protests from Satan. He knows that he is the bug loser if the youth are in the temple as saviors on Mt. Zion.

    To be sure, youth have been occasionally abused by adults in the Church. That is Satan's work.

    But so is casting a pall on the very program of interviewing youth and providing them with recommends. If Satan can destroy confidence in the Bishopric, he strikes at the heart of youth temple work.

  • mike_m Scottsbluff, NE
    March 31, 2018 7:45 a.m.

    Parents need to wake up and be parents to their own children and stop passing the buck to the church. Think about it. Who in their right mind would send their own child to sit down and discuss sex with a used car dealer or any others of the lay ministry of bishops? Get with it folks, those priesthood leaders are not educated, trained, certified or qualified to have those kind of conversations with children. In cases where a parent is dealing with an abused child of their own, call the police, get a trained and licensed therapist to help and keep the church out of it. There are no church miranda rights and repentance isn't necessarily forgiven and forgotten. Anything that child victim says can be used against her or him much later in life, as we now know in the case of the victim of Joseph Bishop. The subject of sex in discussions with children needs to be stopped from occurring the behind the closed doors of priesthood leaders offices. Period.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    March 31, 2018 6:32 a.m.

    Parents need to teach their children at an early age how recognize and avoid a bad situation, long before the Church interview process takes place.

    And don't venerate Church leaders either, they're just human and if you recognize them being inappropriate, call them out on it or report it. If one person does not believe you then go to another.

    As my Dad used to say, it's perfectly ok to tell someone, even Church leaders, that it's
    "None of your Business".

    I wonder if we won't see a day in the LDS Church, when confession of ones sins to a Church leader becomes instead, a personal exercise between just you and your maker, as is the case now in Judaism, Islam and many Protestant faiths..

    The whole contemporary concept of confession, after all, is a Catholic construct.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    March 31, 2018 6:26 a.m.

    See the pattern here folks?
    It's Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals.

    "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."

    Every Conference it's another issue.

    -City Creek Mall
    -Women and the Priesthood.
    -Women wearing pants.
    -Member resignations.
    -Gay marriage.
    -God's Commandment of Chastity
    -The Church's policy for children of gay parents.
    and on and on.....

    This April Conference selected feature....
    -Bishop's interviews.

    We are now taking bets on October's Conference "Whine-Athon"...

    Just pick up a contest form from any "High Anxiety is Us" outlet, correctly guess the next Concocted Controversy for October Conference and win a prize, (forms must be submitted by Sept. 1, 2018).

    Winners receive a Yoga Mat, MyPillow, set of comfort stones, lifetime supply of Snicker bars and a puppy..

  • ConservativeCommonTater West Valley City, UT
    March 31, 2018 5:29 a.m.

    This situation reminds me of the old joke..."why do you take 2 Mormons fishing and not just one."

    It's pretty bad when the people need to have one person watching the bishop to make sure there isn't anything amiss in their meeting with someone.

  • Xpat1961 ,
    March 31, 2018 4:19 a.m.

    If bishops have noticed that many peple do not understand the meaning of the law of chastity, perhaps it is because it is too vague or too poorly taught. If everyone knew and understood the law, it should be enough to ask if one is living it. In the end it is between the individual and the lord.
    Bishops are human and a bad bishop can drive a wedge between the young person and the church that might never be healed.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    March 31, 2018 1:04 a.m.

    You have to keep in mind folks that we are dealing with the extra sensitive snowflake generation.

  • markc69 keokuk, IA
    March 31, 2018 12:37 a.m.

    i read a lot of the stories on the protect children site - some are legitimate - some are strange - i think you get some women and men who were abused as children and or who whose parents werent open about sex and they were asked questions and they took it the wrong way - you also had questions from bishops that were wholly inappropriate - you should just stick to the recommend questions - i can c where/there can be bishops with there own problems or hang ups and they go to far - a lot of the anger was over the do you masterbate question - which isnt in the recommend question - but used to be asked a lot - i dont think it is as much any more - so a lot of it is based on the persons own perception - of what was going on in the interview - and that might be able to be handled better - but to completely dismiss these people is wrong - because there are always going to be legitimate complaints and times when we can do better -

  • london_josh lincoln, CA
    March 31, 2018 12:15 a.m.


    You've had your stories and experiences, and I've had mine.

    I don't think either of us will be cured of our current perspective and converted to the other perspective by discussion - you seem to be both intelligent and grounded, I assure you I am the same.

    Different viewpoints don't make one person right and one wrong; and there are clearly countless imperfect experiences working with the 16,000 lay minister bishops in the church.

    16,000 Bishops and they deal with these cases on an all too frequent basis, let's say at least 15 per year. So this year that's 2.5 million of such interviews in the last decade alone.

    I don't want to marginalize the 3000 stories, however as you and I have different perspectives one thing is for sure, since they all came prior to this rule change they all are instances of individuals saying something against the word of a bishop who generally can't speak to defend himself anyway.

    Just as you and I just seem to see things differently, my guess is that the majority of those 3000 cases also just see things differently.

    I don't blame any of them, it's a hard experience to go through, I hope they all found peace one way or another.

  • Occidentali Los Angeles, CA
    March 31, 2018 12:11 a.m.

    I prefer that the church decide how to conduct interviews and counsel youth rather than protestors in the street.

  • Caleb Joe Saratoga Springs, UT
    March 31, 2018 12:10 a.m.

    I have told my children many times that there are only two possibilities in regard to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Its claims are true and it is what it says it is or it is not. If it is what it says it is then it led by Jesus Christ and direct revelation. Those who administer in its affairs do so with authority from God. Would I want to put a family member in the hands of a man who has authority from the creator of the universe or counselor/therapist who is trained only in the ways of the world. I chose to build my house upon a rock because a foundation made of sand is bound to fail when the rain comes tumbling down. It seems that we have more and more church members who are happy to join those who mock from great and spacious building.

  • Bountiful Guy Bountiful, UT
    March 30, 2018 11:14 p.m.

    What impartial7 knows about revelation is akin to what I know about who fabricated the gold plates.

    Maybe knowledge of both is non-existent. Maybe revelation and the gold plates are real.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    March 30, 2018 11:01 p.m.

    As with any communication, the Church has to be more specific when directing Bishops how to act with youth.

    The most important direction is not to condemn youth at all but simply counsel them. Then, when the actions are serious (involve the act of sex) they can loving encourage them to repent.

    My expectation is that most of these stories occurred many years ago but it is still not acceptable. Getting Bishops out of the expectation to provide marriage counseling would be a big positive step. As for abuse victims, require bishops to report any person accused or real abuse and refer them to professional counselors.

  • Chris Norton American Fork, UT
    March 30, 2018 11:00 p.m.

    @london_josh: you make excellent points in your response, and I agree with almost all of them. I would just again encourage you to read the stories on the site in order to see the severity. I don't think the problem is akin to Fabio novels; it actually can be much more graphic than that. I've experienced it myself. Read the stories.

  • Facts are friendly Sandy, UT
    March 30, 2018 10:59 p.m.

    Man, some people have entirely too much time on their hands.

  • itsumademoheiwa Los Angeles, CA
    March 30, 2018 10:59 p.m.

    @london_josh "i don't disagree that they don't need to go into graphic detail, I disagree that it's a problem to the extent you feel that it is. "

    It doesn't have to be a problem to the extent someone feels it is, it just has to be a problem in need of a solution and that can be solved.

  • london_josh lincoln, CA
    March 30, 2018 10:49 p.m.

    "And if someone has something to confess, they should be able to do so without being made to go into graphic detail."

    i don't disagree that they don't need to go into graphic detail, I disagree that it's a problem to the extent you feel that it is. There is a difference in finding out what happened and getting the version of what happened as it would be contained in a book with Fabio on the cover.

    I've been on both sides of that desk and in all cases once the problem is identified it becomes about bringing healing rather than looking into sordid details.

    Active Mormon kids have significantly lower rates of premarital sex than other kids - I personally find that to be a very good thing; I don't want to see that reversed and if you do the same thing as everybody else you'll get the same results.

    You can't have that good thing without rules and enforcement. I grew up with parents and church leaders keeping watchful eyes on me - but when I drive I speed until I see a cop.

    By the way when I get pulled over for speeding they always ask "do you know how fast you were going", likewise "what exactly happened" is a fair question in assessing how bad an offense was and how to fix it.

  • Chris Norton American Fork, UT
    March 30, 2018 10:44 p.m.

    @Caleb Joe and others on this post who are so quick to criticize the protesters: have you actually read the stories on the Protect LDS Children website? The problem is too large to simply be chalked up to 'imperfect people.' Turning a blind eye or refusing to look at the problem head-on doesn't mean it isn't there. And one can understand this AND believe in the sacred calling of church leaders at the same time.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    March 30, 2018 10:38 p.m.

    II would be curious to know how many protesters are like Impartial7, not members but opportunists who love any opportunity to criticise

  • Caleb Joe Saratoga Springs, UT
    March 30, 2018 10:36 p.m.

    I am amazed at so many church members who do not seem to understand the core doctrines and teachings of the church. A bishop is a judge in Israel who holds all priesthood keys for the ward that he leads. In these interviews and during the repentance process he uses these keys to discern the situation helping both youths and adults to bring their lives into full harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ. While I hold no illusions that the men who hold these keys are anything but imperfect human beings, I have no doubt in the source of their authority and keys that they exercise. This gives me great comfort and allows me to put myself, my wife, and my children in their hands as they do the Lord's work. If they make mistakes they will be held accountable before the greatest judge of all. With this knowledge it is hard for me to understand what these protests are all about. It seems that those who are demanding change do not have full faith in or knowledge of who the real leader of the church is.

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    March 30, 2018 10:35 p.m.

    Rebels without much of a cause... Policies in the church are not changed by petitions and a former Bishop should probably know that... Time to get a life.

  • Chris Norton American Fork, UT
    March 30, 2018 10:34 p.m.

    @IMAPatriot2: have you read the stories on Protect LDS Children website? If not, you might gain some insight before deeming the cause "stupid." Seek to understand their point of view before assuming yours is right.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    March 30, 2018 10:32 p.m.

    Most bishops and state presidents are probably ok. But. since we moved to Utah I have worked with a few over the years that had issues with sexually harassing women at work. No one did anything about it because of their church positions. We had some neighbors at one time who had a sex president that would ask them how many times a week they had sex and what kind. Never understood that. I'm sure there are also ones that have sexual issues or hangups of their own. It seems it would be best if these young people or women had an adult of their choice with them when they are interviewed. This could help to ensure everyone's safety and inappropriate questions being asked.

  • IMAPatriot2 Logan, UT
    March 30, 2018 10:21 p.m.

    I can think of a lot of stupid causes but this is near the top of the list.

  • Chris Norton American Fork, UT
    March 30, 2018 10:14 p.m.

    @london_josh: the hundreds who marched today are a small fraction of the tens of thousands who signed the online petition in support of the effort. And have you read the hundreds of stories on the Protect LDS Children website? It's a much bigger and more common problem than you might think.

    "Do you obey the Law of Chastity?" is a good enough question for adult temple recommend interviews; it should be for teenagers as well. And if someone has something to confess, they should be able to do so without being made to go into graphic detail.

  • Quiet man Logan, UT
    March 30, 2018 10:11 p.m.

    People rightfully are anxious when they are dealing with worthiness questions? You have forgotten, that you should write down in detail the problem, or transgression; that way the entire, often embarrassing facts are properly given to the Judge in Israel. You have a very rationalizing group of protestors; if too many people interview children as minors, then they answer what they believe the person is wishing them to say? Lives are too easily ruined by such witch-hunts? I know where I speak, as I was a prosecutor in Illinois and Wyoming for nearly 10 years. You cannot expect Bishops, to be Psychologists, Family Service Professionals; even well trained, even with spiritual discernment to deal with such areas, it is a difficult task? Authorities should automatically be included, and reported to, IF it appears there maybe improper contact, or conduct.

  • Denverite Centennial, CO
    March 30, 2018 10:03 p.m.

    I think the protesters have not experienced, or do not believe, two things that many of the rest of us in the Church know about:

    1) In a non 1-on-1 interview, many people (especially teens) are reluctant to confess a misdeed to the bishop with a third person in the room. But they do need to confess, so...1-on-1 is sometimes necessary.

    2) Sexually explicit questions are also necessary, not only for confession but to check that people know what "the law of chastity" means. Nearly every bishop has to have a hilarious story about someone who doesn't know--and what that person thinks it means.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    March 30, 2018 9:51 p.m.

    Used to be changes in the church were brought about by prophesy and revelation. That hasn't happened in a long time. Now, it seems like public outcry is the only way to get revelation to change policy.

  • london_josh lincoln, CA
    March 30, 2018 9:50 p.m.

    The major changes already happened.

    There is no perfect system, take the people with a grievance versus the people who say that they were guided through a repentance process and you'll find a massive group of people, and in my opinion vastly bigger on the side of those who are grateful for help in repenting.

    I understand the allowance for other adults to be present - do you want a full room during a confession?

    But then again, I have no problem with my kids being faced with tough questions, I'm a fan of accountability. I'm far more concerned about my daughters boyfriends than what our bishop might ask them - because I hope he does ask.

    I hope these people feel better for having participated, and I hope they recognize the big step already taken prior to their march.

    Evolution of the system based on prophetic action is a good thing, but saying that "no minor should ever face a sexual question" is a viewpoint that I consider myopic and might do more damage than it helps because it's all mitigated if the minors don't have anything to confess and relaxing the accountability probably isn't the best way to do that.

    Hundreds are on their side, millions have a different opinion.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    March 30, 2018 8:56 p.m.

    I understand the concerns, but we as Latter-day Saints are commanded to live the law of chastity. If, during the interview, a person indicates a violation of that commandment, it is the bishop's job to go further and inquire as to the nature of the violation. Being mealy-mouthed or pussy-footing around won't accomplish that. Of course, the bishop must be careful as to how he phrases his questions, but if someone has violated that commandment, then they need to repent.

  • Mel50 Nashville, TN
    March 30, 2018 8:44 p.m.

    In reference to the comment about a child not knowing to ask for an adult to be present during an interview - I would think the leader doing the interview would let the child know that is an option, but not mandatory.

    The Church deserves credit for at least addressing the issue. Not all churches do. It's not perfect, but it's better than just sweeping it under the rug.

  • TheAztecTomb Aurora, CO
    March 30, 2018 7:59 p.m.

    I Want a Taco- Unfortunately, media attention might be the only way to get the message across. Clearly, the recent policy change came in response to the MTC President fiasco. Protest is rarely popular in the organization or with its adherents. I’m sorry you had a bad experience in an interview that could have been avoided.

  • I want a taco Springville, UT
    March 30, 2018 7:42 p.m.

    I tend to agree with these folks. I though I don’t believe this is the method they should go about making such a request. Frankly, I had a pretty unpleasant experience that likely would have never happened if a second member of the bishopric was in the room at the time. The consequences of that meeting really got my life off course for many years.

    In the end sharing their request in a manner so public and irreverent is not the right way to do it.

  • Karen Walker Salt Lake City, UT
    March 30, 2018 7:24 p.m.

    When children and abuse survivors speak, real men listen and believe them! Never stop sharing your stories because you matter!