LDS Church responds to man engaged in hunger strike to protest bishop's interviews

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  • PhoenixAZ phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 27, 2019 6:38 a.m.

    If this guy wants to go on a hunger strike ignore him and let him starve. It's his choice.

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    Aug. 3, 2018 9:13 a.m.

    Any questions regarding sex should have never been asked by any LDS Bishop.

  • Happy Convert ,
    Aug. 2, 2018 12:28 p.m.

    I am a convert that is currently awaiting to meet with my Stake President to go to the Temple. The President of my branch warned me that Satan would be working very hard on me the closer it came to going to the Temple. Boy, he was right! While I don't believe this article is a deterrent for me personally, I believe the former bishop telling people not to join Heavenly Father's true Church is. I will keep this man in my prayers.

  • TheTheist Provo, UT
    Aug. 1, 2018 5:16 p.m.

    @BryanPearson

    So I take it you have an issue when parents and children have "The Big Talk" together? How else can people understand?

    I've never had any issue with any of my Bishop interviews, and they have always been kind and supportive. They have never been sexually explicit and never go into detail about chastity unless I bring it up myself. While Sam's concern is commendable, I commend the Church even more for its response, and for doing whatever is possible to prevent any potential abuse.

  • Jaime Lee Bonberger Houston, TX
    Aug. 1, 2018 11:58 a.m.

    I know Sam and know him to have a good heart.

    Sadly, I have seen what began as a few legitimate concerns balloon into full-blown apostasy. He holds alternate meetings with his “followers” at “talkerias” regularly to promote his ideas. Unfortunately he is using John Dehlin as a resource on how to affect change in the Church, so he is receiving bad advice. The Bishop-youth interview is only the first issue on a longer list of complaints he has. We’ll see what approach he takes to air the others.

    As a youth, I actually wish my Bishop had been a bit more explicit in his questions. My non-LDS father had no interest in explaining sexually-related questions to me. I suppose he thought I’d pick it up from popular culture (shudder) or from the guys in the locker room at school (double shudder). Instead, my dear, sweet mother had to explain to me, her son, what masturbation was! How humiliating for her!

    I have been a bishopric counselor on multiple occasions. Some of those youth interviews were some of the greatest experiences I’ve had as I and a young person were both strengthened spiritually. I think the Church has taken reasonable steps to protect youth from potential abuse.

  • Josh_Shenzhen Lincoln, CA
    Aug. 1, 2018 10:54 a.m.

    Exactly, and this is why you don't always have the parents in the room!

    If a child (read pre-puberty) is involved with sexual activity that child is most likely a victim - and if the child is most likely a victim then the vast majority of the time it's a person living with or close to the family who is victimizing the child.

    The same posters are on every LDS story, I can't count the times in which they demand that the LDS church protects children and others from predators - and they are correct - but stifling the opportunity to ask simple questions, and I emphasize that the questions asked of children are very simple (is there anything wrong in your family? do you live a clean life?) also takes away the opportunity to expose predators. School teachers, doctors, police, and a lot of people are authorized to ask a child if anything is wrong in their homes - the conditioning to be honest to church leaders might have saved a lot of children from a horrible fate.

    This protest is an opportunity to criticize, leading to an ironic dichotomy of other criticisms, at the end the common thread is only criticism.

  • Mind Baggage Bentonville, AR
    Aug. 1, 2018 10:19 a.m.

    I'm confused. Is there a problem here?

    Should I be aware of an epidemic of sexual abuse cases being perpetrated by Mormon bishops?

    My guess is that there have been many more opportunities for a young person to tell a bishop in a one-on-one interview that sexual abuse is happening in their family VS the number of times bishops are abusing these youth.

    Those interviews might be the ONLY time a child has an opportunity to share something so sensitive and private.

    We shouldn't throw things out simply because we "feel" like it is bad today. I refer you to "Chesterton's Fence" for further philosophical thinking.

  • Oh, please! Saint George, UT
    Aug. 1, 2018 10:02 a.m.

    2close2call - Los Angeles, CA
    @Oh, please! "When did the LDS Church start doing "sexual sin" interviews with 8-12 year old children? There is an baptism interview and an interview when they leave Primary when turning 12."

    Are you really claiming the LDS church leaders do not ever ask about sexual sin in one-on-one interviews with youth? Or are you just stating they are not solely about "sexual sin" but about other sins as well?

    No, I was referring specifically to the 8-12 age range that was referred to in another person's comment. Please read carefully.

  • not status quo Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 1, 2018 12:43 a.m.

    when he gets hungry enough. he'll eat. just a publicity stunt that has apparently worked.

  • Josh_Shenzhen Lincoln, CA
    July 31, 2018 11:35 p.m.

    "Even though, I am exmormon, I 100% disagree with this comment! There is no need for any LDS bishop to know in detail how a member was sexually active. "

    From your perspective you are absolutely 100% correct.

    If you are an ex-Mormon then clearly you have made the choice not to repent through the help of a bishop.

    So for you, your statement is correct.

    What about me?

    Am I denied help and guidance because you (who are no longer a member of the church) feel that it's wrong for me?

    We all sat through a long ordeal years ago in which the President of the US was impeached on perjury related to sexual charges, long definitions of sex were recounted. So what is sex? it's a very complicated question.

    If some, like myself and like nearly every active member of the church, prefers and chooses guidance through a repentance process, then basic information about the situation is absolutely necessary.

    The other item that keeps getting dodged is that most of the same posters who argue that questions shouldn't be asked are the same individuals who argue that the church needs to better screen it's members and leadership to keep children safe - how's that done without asking questions?

  • 2close2call Los Angeles, CA
    July 31, 2018 10:53 p.m.

    @Oh, please! "When did the LDS Church start doing "sexual sin" interviews with 8-12 year old children? There is an baptism interview and an interview when they leave Primary when turning 12."

    Are you really claiming the LDS church leaders do not ever ask about sexual sin in one-on-one interviews with youth? Or are you just stating they are not solely about "sexual sin" but about other sins as well?

  • 2close2call Los Angeles, CA
    July 31, 2018 10:41 p.m.

    @DHuber - Palmyra, NY "The reason a youth might need a sexually explicit question is because they might be living a sexually explicit life. This we cannot abide."

    Even though, I am exmormon, I 100% disagree with this comment! There is no need for any LDS bishop to know in detail how a member was sexually active.

    To be clear to those that simply want to claim I am anti Mormon. I disagree with any religious leader from any religion having a one on one interview with children!

  • DHuber Palmyra, NY
    July 31, 2018 8:37 p.m.

    The reason a youth might need a sexually explicit question is because they might be living a sexually explicit life. This we cannot abide.

  • london_josh Lincoln, CA
    July 31, 2018 5:20 p.m.

    NeifyT,

    I understand you have strong thoughts on this and I appreciate the open dialog. Would you mind replying to the following questions:

    You state that children shouldn't be confessing sexual sins without adults (parents) present. that would imply a person under the age of puberty. Prior to puberty they would be victims of sexual misconduct in most cases. is it therefore acceptable to ask the child if anybody has touched them inappropriately? that's a question that we routinely ask our kids, doctors and others ask it as well.

    if such questions are wrong for adults - how does the church qualify which adults should and which adults shouldn't be around children?

    Are you aware of topics asking pre-pubescent children deeply intimate questions about sexuality on a regular basis? I'm unaware of that as a general practice, and I agree with you, it's wrong in most cases (unless something causes the question to come up).

    But if indeed a child comes up with something indicating sexual activity in their life - is it not the responsibility of any caring adult to find out about it and report it?

  • djmills Boise, ID
    July 31, 2018 4:50 p.m.

    Wynniscool - Norman, OK reminds us that Sam is risking "everything" for something he believes in. One presumes that "everything" means his standing in the church. That's fine if he is on the path he really wants, but it might be good to tread lightly.
    Harold B. Lee and others saw this coming many years ago.“You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may conflict with your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. … Your safety and ours depends upon whether or not we follow. … Let’s keep our eye on the President of the Church.” (Conference Report, October 1970, p. 152–153. BTW, aren't we all "risking everything " for something we believe in?

  • Canneryrow St. George, UT
    July 31, 2018 4:36 p.m.

    One is one too many if it is your child.

    There is a ward in Salt Lake Valley where the kids who grew up there are now in there 60's and 70's. The Bishop who had also been the scoutmaster twice had a problem. Problem is that no one knew and no one knew how to handle it. Young victims of this are too ashamed to even talk about it. Even today they remain silent. Imagine how that anger might percolate in you if it were you that had been victimized. Imagine if one by one they start to talk.

    What if the face of pedophilia moves away from the Catholic Priests and over to the Mormon Bishops? This gentleman's motives are to protect the youth and to protect the church. For those fine people who serve and serve honorably I pray the leaders aren't shortsighted of what really matters. One child is too many!

  • Kiwi57 - Hamilton, NZ Wills Point, TX
    July 31, 2018 4:19 p.m.

    It seems strange to me that Mister Young's supporters seem unable to grasp the fact that others may disagree with him for valid and principled reasons. Accusing the Church of having "groomed" its members is not only particularly nasty, it's also an exercise in poisoning the well. Those who have valid arguments to make don't need to resort to such shabby tactics.

  • Kiwi57 - Hamilton, NZ Wills Point, TX
    July 31, 2018 3:54 p.m.

    @hasie,

    Perhaps the men in authority (no scare quotes necessary) don't simply assume that every bishop is a predator.

    Since, after all, it is not at all reasonable to assume that they are.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    July 31, 2018 3:48 p.m.

    NeifyT
    Interviews of small children (8 yrs old) are generally done with the parents in the room. Priesthood interviews/Temple interviews are church required to determine worthiness for advancement or a temple recommend.

    "Do you live the law of Chasity?" is asked during these interviews.

    The bishop has strict guidelines on interviews with teenagers (12-18). Youth between the ages of 15-18 is where the "graphic" issue usually come up.

    The bishop is expected to help the youth not only "confess" their sins to a proper authority, so the repentance process can begin, but also work with the youth in working with their parents about their issue. This is not easy for either bishop or child, because some parents are not able to deal with worthiness issues, they instead try to ignore it or deny it.

    I am not one to think bishops are perfect (from personal experience), but I do believe that most of them try to do the best they can, when they realize they can't help, they send them to someone who can (therapist).

    Back in the "old days" a bishop did not have the knowledge or tools available to them as new bishops today has.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 31, 2018 3:11 p.m.

    As an LDS Missionary in Alaska and throughout my life I have found some common theme's that occur. People whom publicly attack the church like this character have more than meets the eye in their closet. Usually there is personal sin followed by Church Discipline followed by resentment and embarrassment and anger directed toward the Church. A guy doesn't just go-off like this over one issue unless there are mental issues. There is a correct and proper line of communication for members and it starts with their bishop ...not the street corner and social media. Usually when a member goes off like this he or she loses their marriage as well and it keeps sliding downhill from there. Very sad -- like Thomas Marsh in early church history. Marsh later returned a broken man but at least humbled and asked to be baptized again after a long painful and angry absence. Members lose their way -- they lose sight of the Savior first then they seem to get caught in the thick of thin things which tends to be a slippery slope to bad places. However the Saviors Atonement is there for all as a way back and we all have to use it daily.

  • djmills Boise, ID
    July 31, 2018 3:05 p.m.

    James E. Faust (First presidency) Had a message for those who try to give direction to church leaders:
    "There is a certain arrogance in thinking that any of us may be more spiritually intelligent, more learned, or more righteous than the Councils called to preside over us. Those Councils are more in tune with the Lord than any individual persons they preside over...."
    (General Conference, Oct. 1993)
    Interesting, isn't it, that counsel given 25 years ago is so applicable today?

  • Sherriga Houston, TX
    July 31, 2018 12:30 p.m.

    People are free and have agency to follow Sam. I am standing with our Prophet and Apostles, they are humble and showing all of us a good example. I am sad to see as Young goes about trying to put the Church in open shame, they are also doing it to the Savor who I follow. If children are being groomed to learn and follow the gospel, this is good, when you follow the commandments and keep covenants, Satan has no power over you. People who are being told not to join the church, really who is grooming that. Bishops may not be therapists or trained as being said , that may be so, but if they are serving worthy, they have more then mortal training. Yes there are perhaps evil bishops and they will answer for any harm they do. President Nelson is a prophet with authority to act and receive direction for the church and we can go in prayer and get confirmation of everything our prophets directs the church to do. The true safety any of us here on earth have, is our Savor and his church that has the ordinances we need and again keeping covenants and following the commandments learned in the Lords church, doing this, Satan has no power over you and Satan knows this.

  • bassoonlady OREM, UT
    July 31, 2018 11:30 a.m.

    @Wynn
    The comments on this board are not hateful. People are trying to understand why this man keeps pushing. He has a good cause and got together evidence, and went to the apostles to ask for change. The leaders counseled with him, saw that there was a problem and made changes to mitigate the problem. That was admirable of him. The next step is to wait and see if it was enough. If it is, then problem solved. If they are not, then we meet back together and discuss more options.
    Continuing to push for only one answer without giving consideration to other options/needs is not admirable.
    They tried to organize people to come shout during a solemn assembly in general conference. Thankfully, they misguessed the session, because it was a very spiritual and emotional event. They intended to disrupt a sacred event for their cause. That is not admirable.
    Telling people not to join a good church that is trying to find a way to address these concerns and continue to have a means to determine if worthiness requirements are met until you get the answer you want is not admirable.
    Standing up for what you believe is admirable, but do it in a way that is also admirable.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2018 11:27 a.m.

    @london_josh,

    (continued and clarification)

    First I noticed another post of yours that you respond to those who were not members. Let me say that I grew up in a staunch LDS household; and I had those interviews with bishops starting ate 8 for baptism, 12 for priesthood ordination and limited temple recommends, etc.

    I did not feel they were "inappropriate" then because I was groomed by the church to believe such interviews were "normal." Suffering major problems with sexuality throughout my entire life (to the point of suicidality) I think I can speak from greater experience than most.

    I now look back at those times; and I see honest men (thankfully I did not encounter any pervs) doing their best to council me through difficult things. But, I also look back and see those honest men; saying and doing things that were not helpful at all and made matters far worse (one example of many: putting a rubber band around my wrist and then pulling it hard and snapping it into my skin anytime I thought about that part of my body).

    20+ years I have studied psychology; and realize the damage done. Hence why I have strong feelings why children should not be confessing such to bishops alone.

  • Oh, please! Saint George, UT
    July 31, 2018 11:10 a.m.

    @Neify. When did the LDS Church start doing "sexual sin" interviews with 8-12 year old children? There is an baptism interview and an interview when they leave Primary when turning 12.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2018 10:55 a.m.

    @london_josh,

    You disagree with my post; but I suspect you do not see the rationale behind my statement. Unfortunately 1200 characters even x 4 posts; is not enough to provide the rationale.

    I ask you first then, is your disagreement from the perspective of an adult or of a child (8-12 years old?)

    I have no problem giving confessions in private as an adult. But, because of laws regarding child sex abuse; it is unconscionable for for a child to be "confessing sexual sins" to a pastor in the first place. The purpose of two unrelated adults; both genders is to ensure that there is no private talk of sexuality between the adult and the child in the first place. Children are not even legally allowed to be sexual in our country. They can report abuse and such should be handled then by two adults (a perv would take advantage of that). There are reasons why "Best Practices" for all other organizations requires two adults present at all times.

    Again "confessions" of sexual sins are fine for adults; but if the church is going to teach children that even self sexuality is a sin; given the laws disallowing child sexuality with adults; children must be protected even in the confessional.

  • london_josh Lincoln, CA
    July 31, 2018 10:42 a.m.

    "If my faith leaders ever made such inquiries of me, let alone my children, I would leave and consider litigation."

    If you aren't LDS then your opinion is based on here-say, and what you accept is based on the bias you have to your church, your choice.

    I have never had an inappropriate question asked of me. It happens I'm sure, but it happens so rarely that it makes the news when it does. In 30,000 units how many have issues with leadership?

    How do we find those issues?

    Only one method - you ask members about their personal purity before they become leaders.

    Questions are asked on basic levels and only go deeper when needed, the idea that teenagers are hit in the face with deep sexual questions is a misnomer, if it happens it's rare and wrong and we'd only find the bad apples (leaders) by asking them questions too.

    My daughter is dating boys now, I like that she's in a church where sin is considered sin. She's never been asked an inappropriate question, but since Mormon kids statistically spend less time in the back of a camero I count the lds church as a blessing in my life.

    It's all perspective and tradeoffs. I side with the church I'm a happy member of.

  • Oh, please! Saint George, UT
    July 31, 2018 10:18 a.m.

    Interviews are to determine worthiness to (ultimately) enter the temple...then mission service and temple marriage. With a recommend in hand, it is assumed the holder has been properly "cleared" by priesthood leaders to be there.

    Many of our young people are/were going on missions under false pretenses. Mission presidents can readily attest. Youth lied about illegal drugs and depression medication usage (some at the urging of their parents), sexual sins and perversions. When they get in the mission field or in a marriage the guilt wins out, all heck breaks loose, they break down, causing major issues for their companions (mission and eternal), mission presidents and families.

    Some manage to get through a mission (which wasn't the best two years of their life, hard to live a lie), return home, get into a temple marriage and then get hooked back into porn or drugs...as in a case I am intimately familiar with. Many lives are affected by this one person who didn't fully confess and forsake when it was the proper time to do so.

    Accountability is a good thing for the youth (and adults) to learn. These interviews are intended to catch the problems early.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 31, 2018 10:10 a.m.

    The charity of LDS church members is fully on display in these comments. Or, rather, the lack of it.

  • Hockey Fan Miles City, MT
    July 31, 2018 9:02 a.m.

    @ tabby:

    Thank you so much for sharing your perspectives as the wife of a current bishop. I agreed with everything you said, and I think my wife would too. It is incredibly difficult to be a bishop and have some very sensitive, private issues brought to the bishop. I have things locked inside my head that will stay there until the day I die. It's a daunting responsibility. As I said in my earlier post, this seems to be a no-win situation, and I really don't know what the answer is.

    I have implicit confidence in the 15 people that I sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators. I'm sure they have ongoing discussions in the Salt Lake Temple about how best to address the very issues and concerns that have been shared by everyone who has posted comments on this threaded discussion, and elsewhere. Already, we see the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve revising and refining protocols and policies. I'm sure we will continue to receive direction from them.

  • MJBofDCA Henderson, NV
    July 31, 2018 8:20 a.m.

    These interviews are unique to the LDS. They don't occur in mainline Protestant faiths where clergy and lay leaders are prohibited from meeting alone with minors. Such an interview in my parish would result in a police investigation. If my faith leaders ever made such inquiries of me, let alone my children, I would leave and consider litigation.

  • london_josh Lincoln, CA
    July 31, 2018 1:37 a.m.

    "So long as the church still teaches against certain personal practices as "sins" that are so "grievous" they need council from a Bishop to repent of; and only given choice as above; they are likely to be abused. Two adults should be "required" to be present (male and female unrelated) for all interviews; and the child should be encouraged to bring another adult as well."

    I've confessed sins before, I wouldn't want a crowd watching me.

    At no point have I ever felt a question was improper. I'm not suggesting that it's not an issue, however a former bishop saying that it was improper would potentially suggest that there were problems is actually alarming to me. Why is he not saying that his discretion allowed him to make this a non-issue?

    Mandatory to have several adults in the room? That seems far worse on several levels to me.

  • tabby ,
    July 31, 2018 1:04 a.m.

    My husband is a current Bishop and I think the church puts these men in a terrible position by expecting them to have these interviews. They definitely don't ask the wives of the Bishops how they feel about their husbands having conversations with the young women or adult women of the ward who come to them in private to confess their sexual "sins." It's so wrong on so many levels. Would it be appropriate for my husband to have conversations with the women in his workplace about pornography, masturbation, or sexual habits? Nope. But somehow it's totally normal and expected that he is to have these "Law of Chastity" conversations with women in my ward (women that I'm friends with) who feel guilty and need to confess their sexual misdeeds. It's extremely inappropriate and needs to change. Bishops are just men, they shouldn't be in charge of fixing everyone in the ward. And for their safety, they shouldn't be having these interviews alone. We don't even allow leaders alone with youth in the scouting program to discuss knot tying. We don't allow one man to be alone to count tithing money. This culture in the church of one-on-one interviews & Law of Chastity questions needs to change.

  • sgallen Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2018 7:58 p.m.

    If this movement to end worthiness interviews makes you angry, ask yourself why that is. Why would a stranger, with concern for children, disrupt your peace?

  • WarEagleAU Niceville, FL
    July 30, 2018 7:13 p.m.

    Comes across as grandstanding.
    Well, go hungry.

  • hasie Australia, 00
    July 30, 2018 6:24 p.m.

    These men of "authority" really think that a child predator is going to stick to their list of questions?

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    July 30, 2018 6:21 p.m.

    tinplater - scottsdale, AZ

    In short, I don't want to be part of a church that doesn't hold worthiness interviews for myself, my spouse, my children, my grandchildren, and the leaders and congregants with whom we worship. The Master whom with I covenanted with at baptism (renewed every Sunday in taking the Sacrament) and in the temple, holds me to a standard. It's His church. He expects me to represent Him. Ergo I've no issue with worthiness interviews.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    July 30, 2018 6:13 p.m.

    rltnspd - Sandy, UT

    "My thoughts are that It should NOT be up to the minor if he or she chooses to have another adult present."

    I disagree. My thoughts are two-fold. First, under the guise of these "regular" interviews, this may be the only opportunity for youth being abused (victimized by the very adults you insist should be present) in their homes to speak with a trusted adult and get help. Or it could be less serious, but important to the child to discuss the relationship they have with their parent(s) without them being present. Kind of important, don't you think?

    Second, talking confidentially to an adult other than your parents about any number of issues that could be part of a worthiness interview is a great opportunity -- especially where you don't want to disappoint your parents, but need the assistance of someone authorized to represent the Lord in extending forgiveness. Yes, 12-18 year olds need privacy -- again, as directed by the Lord's prophets and apostles, if they choose it.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    July 30, 2018 5:57 p.m.

    "He is still protesting because the changes in the Handbook simply state that young people *may* bring an adult with them into interviews, but the reality is that most youth are still probably meeting one on one with the bishop."

    Perhaps, if that is THEIR choice. Autumn Meadow are you/Sam Young suggesting that having an adult present be mandatory? And when there are issues with the adult(s) who would insist upon their right to be present? Or, as was my case as a youth, wanted to discuss my worthiness privately with the bishop and stake president. Where in hindsight I wish the questions had been far more direct and probing.

    It is unfortunate a few expceptions (incidents) gave cause for these new guidelines. As a parent of (now all adults), as a grandparent it is disappointing that these interviews may be more non-specific and vague... because even more today the semantics and parsing of self-justification is even greater. Someone needs to be asking these 'uncomfortable" questions.

    So if it falls to parents, grandparents, counselors -- somebody better be knowledgable about current lingo, explaining what things mean and making clear where lines are drawn.

  • adamgale La Verkin, UT
    July 30, 2018 5:43 p.m.

    Just another anti-Mormon who can't leave the Church alone. The moment he started encouraging people to not join the Church he showed who he really was, and what his true motives for the hunger strike really are.

  • Hockey Fan Miles City, MT
    July 30, 2018 5:11 p.m.

    This is a no-win situation. Having been a bishop, I absolutely agree that bishops/stake presidents must exercise extreme discretion with the questions they ask and the discussions they have with youth, especially regarding issues of chastity. Unfortunately, peers at school and in locker rooms, and the media, exercise no discretion whatsoever. So youth are exposed to incredibly crass input at every turn. How can leaders best help parents fortify youth against the evils of the world? How can leaders ascertain worthiness for people who want to serve full-time missions? These are important and sensitive issues that require meaningful dialogue, not mean-spirited diatribe.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2018 5:07 p.m.

    I would like to add my 1186 characters to this topic. I can see both sides of the issue. I do believe that this former Bishop is falling into personal apostasy; but I can also see his passion to right a wrong.

    The LDS church has made significant progress; it is true. They have relayed a very stringent set of questions to ask (hoping that Bishops will follow that list, and not go rogue). They have made a policy that youth can bring a trusted adult into an interview. And they no longer print the "factories" pamphlet. These are huge strides forward.

    But, I have to agree with this former Bishop in that these things do not go far enough. Children and teens especially are easily manipulated; and hence they will easily be led (by a rogue leader) into a one-on-one interview; if they are given the "choice."

    So long as the church still teaches against certain personal practices as "sins" that are so "grievous" they need council from a Bishop to repent of; and only given choice as above; they are likely to be abused. Two adults should be "required" to be present (male and female unrelated) for all interviews; and the child should be encouraged to bring another adult as well.

  • chuckster Saratoga Springs, UT
    July 30, 2018 5:02 p.m.

    I was fellow shipped into the Church in 1956 by a great Teachers Quorum in Santa Monica CA when I was 14 years old. 2 of those boys have died, but the other 6 are still active. I've hunted them down over time, and even found some that have moved to Utah County where my wife and I live. We go to lunch every month, and never tire of telling stories of our youth and our great leaders. The 8 of us were just ordinary boys, but somehow we were fortunate to have leaders that seemed to have only one goal, to help us gain and keep a testimony. They taught us what having one meant, as well as how we would feel if we lost it. When I read or hear of a priesthood holder arguing about something he doesn't like about the Church, be it doctrinal issues or external issues, I wonder what happened to his testimony. I don't believe you can lose a real testimony. No one can tell me differently, because my soul knows it. We have been tested like many have, but we know that there is a Savior. I know He is real. What else do I need to know? His existence answers it all.

  • Max Upstate, NY
    July 30, 2018 4:27 p.m.

    Bamaphone: I don't see any "hateful" comments either.

    To try to make it clear, the child or the parent can request to be there at any interview. Most kids, I have found, don't want their parents there. I have asked parents if they would like to be there. All have declined. Nevertheless, the option is there for both parents and kids!

  • dennisne Lehi, UT
    July 30, 2018 4:12 p.m.

    Its hard to say without more details, but it kind of feels that Bro. Young is protesting a problem which the church has already taken well-considered steps to resolve. I wonder how many of the statements / stories he has collected occurred prior to the recent changes which the church as put in place regarding youth interviews which church leaders. Probably 100%. So, effectively, he is simply wanting the church to implement his changes rather than those which it has already made. Doesn't work that way. The church is not a democracy, and decisions are not made by polling the membership to arrive at a consensus. There is, however, a fairly simple fix which is completely within Bro. Young's purview. If he is unwilling or unable to abide by and respect the counsel of his inspired church leaders, he can simply ask to have his name removed from the membership records of the church, and then go out and start the church of Sam Young of Latter-day Saints. At least that's a more honest response.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    July 30, 2018 3:36 p.m.

    Wynniscool
    OK, deep breath taken, I don't see hateful comments here, yours included, just thoughtful objective observations and some humor in some cases. If we believe in our leaders, we will support them to the best of our ability, even amid frailties of some. In the end God will judge us, including me and you. So with the wild accusations of hate, the best place to start is with a mirror.

  • BAKC Litchfield Park, AZ
    July 30, 2018 3:23 p.m.

    I love all these comments about how parents should ALWAYS be with their children when interviewed by a Bishop - cmon be serious. Are you the same parent who lets your child go to public school and allow them to see and hear things that go well beyond ‘Do you live the law of chastity’?

    You cannot be with and protect your child every day and every place they go, plus a church interview is twice a year - and that’s if the Bishopric is doing their calling.

    Let’s not loose sight of what really happens in those interviews - 99% of the time it is genuine concern and love for the well being of any member who visits with their Bishop - sure there are bad seeds out there. They will have their day.

  • logical Meridian, ID
    July 30, 2018 2:55 p.m.

    @tinplater
    I didn't realize that the objective was to remove all youth interviews. But that seems to have been addressed. The church leaders pointed to the new instructions and I don't believe the interviews were removed. You don't have to get a temple recommend, your child doesn't have to have the priesthood or go to the temple, so all the interviews are voluntary. Why is "not having an interview" even being discussed? For those who don't want to talk to the bishop or church leader, don't schedule one. Problem solved, Start eating.

    For the church to give up these worthiness interviews would be like the US government giving up security clearances. They could just ask a room full of candidate to raise their own hand if they think they should be given a clearance. No fuss, cheaper, no embarrassing questions, and of course there would be no accountability. So much easier, unless it doesn't work.

  • Wynniscool Norman, OK
    July 30, 2018 2:53 p.m.

    It is not the "so called" (Please note, the credit to using this phrase should go FairMormon) Anti-Mormon information out there that causes me to question my faith; rather it is the "supposedly" (another big shout-out to my homies over at FairMormon for this as well) faithful members and their Christlike example peace, love, and understanding on these comments, as well we the comments on KSL, that cause me to have a faith crisis. Forget about "true", how about just good.....are we good? I am sure I will get slammed by some; however, think about what Sam is doing - he is risking everything for something he believes in. Most of the people posting hateful comments in here do not even have the guts to use their real names (me included) as we all hide behind our keyboards and criticize a person who has the guts to take some action. Whether you agree or disagree, that level of commitment to a cause deserves respect. For a moment, just step away, take a deep breath, and think about how powerful and unifying it would be if someone from the Q-15 would have come down and talked. The world starving for leadership, how amazing would it be for our faith to set the example. Go ahead and slam me

  • Wyoming Jake Casper, WY
    July 30, 2018 2:38 p.m.

    Perhaps there should be NO worthiness interviews by bishops. The questions embarrass many people. How then would only WORTHY adults and youth be able to attend the temple? Some one needs to answer that question.

  • Kiwi57 - Hamilton, NZ Wills Point, TX
    July 30, 2018 2:21 p.m.

    I've seen young children try to get their way by threatening to hold their breath until they turn blue. How is a "hunger strike" any more mature than that?

    Mister Young may or may not have a valid point to make, but emotional blackmail is not the way to make it.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    July 30, 2018 2:18 p.m.

    Seems to me that several here are more focused on sparing someone embarrassment rather than their salvation.

    Yes, some of these questions can be really, really, embarrassing--especially if the person has been involved in sexual sin.

    But what's the remedy? Save the embarrassment but abandon the sinner to their doom? Or ask the embarrassing questions and try to help the sinner? if the person is offended or embarrassed too much, they are not likely to have a penitent heart at that time.

    Confession is a crucial part of forgiveness. Those attacking the Church here are attempting to short-circuit repentance and forgiveness. Read Mosiah 26 again.

  • rltnspd Sandy, UT
    July 30, 2018 2:13 p.m.

    The Church says that they have responded to Sam Young and have told him that they have already solved the problem.
    Has or hasn't the Church changed the program when it comes to interviewing minors for any reason.
    The church says that they have authorized Bishops to allow an adult of the minors choosing to accompany the minor to interviews. My thoughts are that It should NOT be up to the minor if he or she chooses to have another adult present. The Children's parent or guardian should ALWAYS be with the child and should ALWAYS know what is going on and the questions asked. If a question does not sit well with the parent, than the parent can object or terminate the interview. I don't think that is in the handbook. Those are my thoughts of what the process should be. I am not an apostate but A parent is ALWAYS a parent and should be responsible for what their child hears and agrees to.

  • tinplater scottsdale, AZ
    July 30, 2018 2:03 p.m.

    Church's "response" completely sidesteps the question which is getting rid of the worthiness interviews. Must be taking their lessons from the Trump and Sanders academy of spinning and deflecting.

  • hbeckett Colfax, CA
    July 30, 2018 1:59 p.m.

    he could be hungry for a very long time Jesus Christ is the head of the church and he selects his leaders.the solution for any perceived situation has already been applied so getove r it smith's choice is his own problem not mine I will not change my testimony for so much fleeting fame

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    July 30, 2018 1:53 p.m.

    Parents should ask themselves if they would trust their child to a plumber for an appendectomy; if not, then why should they trust a layman as a child therapist. Young or old, peoples minds are not subjects for amateurs.

  • Paul Campbell Las Vegas, NV
    July 30, 2018 1:39 p.m.

    A note to all the people who think Sam is in the wrong for suggesting he "knows more than his leaders". Let me give you a lesson in church history. Emma Smith "knew more than her church leader" when she told Joseph she was tired of tobacco spit and he went to the Lord to inquire, and received the Word of Wisdom. The Federal Government "knew more than the leaders" when they forced their hand in a revelation that changed polygamy from a requirement for salvation, to a sin worthy of excommunication. The leaders are just mortal men. They aren't angels, gods, or translated beings. They are intended, in D&C, to be our EQUALS. Not our superiors. Sam has every right to think he knows more than them about something.

  • Paul Campbell Las Vegas, NV
    July 30, 2018 1:27 p.m.

    Alot of these comments remind me of how the majority of the members of my church do NOT represent the "peculiar people" the Lord wants us to be. Plenty of people don't smoke and drink. That no longer denotes "Mormons". The only thing left is to be peculiar in our showing of Christlike Love, understanding and forgiveness. Some of these comments appear to have been left by very standard, run-of-the-mill people. Nothing "peculiar" about them.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2018 12:58 p.m.

    There are many church leaders, men and women, who have good boundaries and clearly understand what are appropriate questions. They do their best to be appropriate at all times with all people, including children.

    There are many others with poor boundaries themselves who have dysfunctional sexual attitudes, behaviors or histories, pornography issues, sexual obsessions, behaviors that interfere with them being appropriate with others, adults or children. They tend to live double or compatmenaluzed lives that are problematic. Unfortunately, some of these individuals have access to adults, youth, or children in the church that can be dangerous for them. Some of these vulnerable individuals are like sitting ducks for these individuals that would abuse their authority and access to them.

    Most kids are sexually abused by family or people they know not by strangers.

    Church leaders are generally not trained to deal with all of the above.

    Some have their own sexual problems all while talking to and judging others regarding their moral views/behavior. Therein lies one of the biggest challenges for the Church.

  • Mack2828 Ft Thomas, KY
    July 30, 2018 12:44 p.m.

    This internet age where everyone has a megaphone makes for a tough time to be a general authority in the LDS church.
    These kind of issues crop up all the time and put our leaders in a bind where they can't win. Think about it. If they cave in and do what this guy asks they embolden 10,000 other people to start demanding change for whatever their pet greivence is. If they don't give in they are seen as insensitive and tone deaf and resistant to changing societal norms.
    If I were them I would just do whatever they think is right and let the chips fall where they may. Ancient prophets weren't popular so no reason that modern ones need to be either.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    July 30, 2018 12:26 p.m.

    Bishops may occasionally make mistakes but thousands and thousands of people have been helped through difficult times in their lives through the caring leadership, counsel and advice of a bishop.

  • NewsFlash Kearns, UT
    July 30, 2018 12:09 p.m.

    There is so much misinformation out there, and it seems people would rather be "re-active", than "pro-active" in their responses.

    The bishop asks several questions for Temple recommends, which are basically the same questions he asks the parents seeking a Temple recommend. There is one question that centers on this issue "Do you live the law of Chasity".

    The only other time a bishop interviews a child, is if there is some important date coming up like baptism or ordination of the priesthood.

    Some youth in the LDS church (or any church) have problems with not keeping the law of chastity. For the kid, they have to deal with not only the guilt of violating their religious beliefs, but also the reaction of their parents.

    What are the kids supposed to do if the Bishop can not have a open and frank discussion about the kids chastity issue in private? Would you feel comfortable having someone in the room when you discuss violating God's commandments with your spouse in the room? Why would you think a child does?

    I understand the need to avoid graphic questions, but this is not LA LA land here, this is the reality of this world.

  • JkeithC Richland, WA
    July 30, 2018 12:06 p.m.

    I have been a Bishop. It was a wonderful experience. I have never thought that I was as good as I should be. Nevertheless I was good Bishop. Some concerns have been raised that the church should protect children. I agree completely. The interview process is a wonderful way to assist parents and to protect the children. Sometimes in an interview the Bishop learns things that Can change the course of a young person's or adult's life for the better. Of course the interviews should be held properly. Far more good is done through the interview process than if the interview process were not implemented.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    July 30, 2018 12:03 p.m.

    I like the point raised by someone: God will interview us at some point, and He will not shy away from the "tough questions." There have been times in my life when being asked certain questions by my bishop made me very uncomfortable.... because guilty conscience. And thankfully, there are other questions that don't make me uncomfortable at all. And there have been times when the last people I want in an interview was my parents. And I've never, ever wanted to confess my sins to two people--the bishop is hard enough.

    Bishops are supposed to ask the uncomfortable questions; to ferret out sin and help their flock.

    It's far, far better to have that uncomfortable conversation and probing questions from the Bishop rather than the entire high council, in my opinion.

  • 2close2call Los Angeles, CA
    July 30, 2018 12:01 p.m.

    As an Exmormon, I can kind of see points on both sides of this issue and am not sure what the answer is.

    On the one hand, sometimes bishops(admittedly, likely a very small percentage) use there authority, in very bad ways. Does that mean you should completely stop one on one worthy interviews with those under 18?

    If it was a policy of an organization I presided over, I definitely would not have adult, child one-on-one interviews(particularly male adults with female minors), simply to protect my organization from potential legal action.

    I also know, when I was a member of the LDS church, it was the policy to men should never be alone with a sister(whether a child or adult) on a church activity and always avoid the the very appearance of wrongdoing. Not sure why the church has found this should not be enforced simply because it involves a bishop.

  • JaiRad Rogersville, AL
    July 30, 2018 12:00 p.m.

    I have been part of several interviews that were worthiness related. One of them involved a former stake presidents daughter who had sex while at BYU. The questions asked were deeply specific and probing. Every sexual detail was discussed and it was incredibly embarrassing for her. I felt then as I do now, that what was happening was wrong. In the LEAST there should be a woman there to support her as an advocate in her behalf. How is it right that men can sit in a room, privately ... and ask a young woman explicit sexual questions? Why would there not be a woman in that room to support her? How is this behavior acceptable? What's even worse is that a RECORD was kept ... and typed out word for word. I saw the record, handled it and it is now somewhere in the church system. I doubt that that young woman knows the existence of that document. But why ... if your sins are forgiven and the Lord remembers them no more ... why does the church retain the deepest darkest parts of our lives? I have felt terrible after being a part of that council, for those who have not experienced this particular part of the church, this actually happens!

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    July 30, 2018 11:27 a.m.

    It is my understanding that the church had already addressed this issue, with new, updated guidelines for church leaders to follow. It is also my understanding that the church is CONTINUING to improve their guidelines as they review the policies. This former bishop should have a better understanding of how the church does things than this. I am wondering if he is trying to raise funds for his own agenda, or if he thinks he is wiser than the apostles?

  • BAKC Litchfield Park, AZ
    July 30, 2018 11:06 a.m.

    Could it have been his own line of questioning while Bishop that caused him the angst he now feels?

    Seems a little extreme given he was once one who administered those ‘sexually probong’ questions.

    Looks like he had a hold of the rod and the building was just to enticing - quite a shame.

  • crimendelsiglo Schenectady, NY
    July 30, 2018 10:57 a.m.

    confessional booths, renamed to personal interview booths

    be careful abt what one condemns in life, in others, in institutions, in the things of god ... in oneself;

  • BAKC Litchfield Park, AZ
    July 30, 2018 10:54 a.m.

    @strom

    Corporate response or no need to discusss, as this man has laid out his concern and won’t hear the other side of the conversation?

    The concern about having an individual confess to a Bishop and then having the Bishop probe further into the matter is not wrong - unfortunately some of the questions may be interpreted as being sexual perversion on the part of the Bishop.

    We still see licensed counselors in the professional field take advantage of their patients sexually - look at Hollywood.

    The other option is to invite the EQ President to sit in with these interviews as he has keys and it takes the two deep leadership out and removes a parent if it’s uncomfortable.

    The other part of this - is what if the parent is the offending party, no kid is going to confess of their parent abusing them with them looking at them during an interview. This is a matter of doing the best they know how. You can’t eliminate the interview as it pertains to the temple and the worthiness to enter or ones worthiness to serve a mission.

  • Mayfair Logan, UT
    July 30, 2018 10:47 a.m.

    AC_68 said "It would really be nice if the article clarified WHY he continues to protest."

    Seeking attention in person, seeking attention in the news, attempting to embarrass or discredit the Church, attempting to get the Church to pattern their policies to his specifications by theatening to do harm to himself by not eating to compelled them to capitulate---these are just a few of the reasons.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    July 30, 2018 10:41 a.m.

    Jesus is the way and the light. His Prophets and Apostles and tens of thousands of Church leaders carry out God’s work many times a day by following the rules and guidelines from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the various handbooks and their own Temple Recommend interviews.

  • brotherhatch Glendale, CA
    July 30, 2018 10:40 a.m.

    It's odd that the article says definitively that "None of the questions are sexually explicit," without listing the questions or explaining further.

    What poor writing.

    I hope people aren't blindly reading this and not thinking for themselves. "Do you obey the law of chastity?" is a sexually explicit question. A 13-year-old child starts thinking of masturbation and pornography when asked a question like that. It's entirely inappropriate for an adult man to ask a child this behind closed doors.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    July 30, 2018 10:31 a.m.

    He probably has a stash of Haagan Daz bars in a cooler in his car. What some people get hung up on is truly amazing. Pretty sure scripture points out that God will be interviewing us all at some point with some hard questions, might as well get prepared.

  • neece Hyde Park, UT
    July 30, 2018 10:30 a.m.

    First of all why are you doing this? It states Clearly that children are allowed to have a parent present during the interview. Seems to me you are like the "Kelly" woman and trying to get attention. And finally, You are a former Bishop... You know better... and to encourage people not to join the church??? wow you really know better. Don't put yourself in a position to be in a Bishop Counsel/Court.

  • logical Meridian, ID
    July 30, 2018 10:26 a.m.

    A lot of crying and complaining going on here but I don't see any constructive responses. "I hope the church does the right thing here." Is not constructive. The church's position and policies were made very clear in the article or you can go on line and read them, what more do you want them to do? You can read the questions the bishop's ask, what is explicit? What is he protesting? A teenager can go get birth control and in many cases an abortion without a parent's permission or notification, but do you want to force a youth to have their parent in a bishop's interview?
    I am so confused on what this guy wants changed and the rest of you complaining about the church not doing anything. What exactly does he want other than to call attention to himself?

  • london_josh Lincoln, CA
    July 30, 2018 10:24 a.m.

    Our outlook is based on our own experiences.

    I've never been uncomfortable in a bishop's interview. So if this man is saying that it's awkward, it makes me question why it was for him, as a former bishop.

    Well, enjoy your protests and eating at home each night after the protest.

  • LKHillman Canada, 00
    July 30, 2018 10:13 a.m.

    The Church leaders are being realistic. Since the church leaders cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous, as stated in D&C 10:37 about the lost 116 pages of the Book of Mormon manuscript, the same holds true with bishops in a position of trust over the youth, and equally to those members who falsely accuse. And yes, other professions have one on one interactions with children and youth. Therapists and doctors can be quite indignant as they bar parents from appointments. It’s great that youth and adults can both opt to bring another adult of their choice to interviews with church leaders!
    When I was 17, and our ward was preparing for a youth temple trip, instead of getting detailed with each youth about sexual purity, we had a youth meeting where the bishop clearly defined chastity and other areas of temple worthiness before he interviewed each one of us and asked the temple recommend questions. I think this clarification needs to be taught to the youth several times a year starting when they’re 12. Further, parents actually need to be told what to teach their children and when. Not everyone has seen A Parent’s Guide, put out by the church.

  • Cougarbib2 Moorpark, CA
    July 30, 2018 10:11 a.m.

    Against my better judgment, I visited his website. I do not recommend it. After reading a dozen or so victim stories in the order presented, not one of them had anything that would be solved by having 2 adults in an interview. Most had nothing to do with interviews. Many were about children abused by family or dates. Much were about alcoholic or drug using parents being terrible parents. Some sad stories. But nothing to do with interviews. Some just do not like the commandments inhibiting their desire to experiment.

    This man would do greater good if he tried to find ways to reduce abuse by families or to reduce date rape.

    Obeying the commandments would solve it if parents, kids, and friends all did so. Alas, too many imperfect beings.

  • Allen South Jordan, UT
    July 30, 2018 10:12 a.m.

    I grew up in the church during a time when the bishops held no interviews at all. I went through the Aaronic Priesthood program with no interviews from anyone. Things are different, today. As I understand it, our children are interviewed every six months. The church has strict requirements for membership, and Bishop (and counselor) interviews are to insure the youth are living by those requirements.

    One of the problems is that men who actually are unworthy of the calling are called as Bishops. Perhaps the church needs to improve its method of selecting men for high callings.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    July 30, 2018 10:10 a.m.

    To paraphrase Shakespeare - methinks he doth protest too much.

  • DonO Draper, UT
    July 30, 2018 10:09 a.m.

    @ JWB said. "Jesus is the way and the light. His Prophets and Apostles and tens of thousands of Church leaders carry out God’s work many times a day."

    That is a true statement. But let's also remember that each and every one of these leaders is a human being, subject to the same missteps we all are. The fact that a person has been called to a position of leadership in the Church does not make him/her infallible. They are going to make mistakes.

    @ Idaho Girl said we have got to "stop putting them on pedestals." Truer words have never been posted.

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2018 10:07 a.m.

    I checked out this guy's website. As with many such operations, he asks for donations but doesn't tell the reader how the donations will be used. Nor does the website tell us if the man runs a non-profit organization. In other words, there will be no accounting for any donations people make.

    Further, the stories told on the website are all anonymous. And they all seem to be written in the same writing style and word expression.

    Last, if church leaders, including at least one general authority, have heard his concerns, as the article states, why does he keep it up? It seems his fast (on a street corner, no less) is nothing more than personal attention-seeking -or possibly even a money-making scam.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    July 30, 2018 10:06 a.m.

    @Johnny Triumph.
    I agree with you. There are times when the little window would be appropriately covered. Also, bishops and stake presidents have been known to invite those sensitive interviews to come to the chapel at times when there is almost no one there.

    Also, I like the question (especially for youth), explain to me your understanding of the law of chastity.

  • Glen Danielsen Yorba Linda, CA
    July 30, 2018 10:05 a.m.

    I have an idea: To help stem the tide of inane, nonsense comments, sites such as this can require that everyone must at least post using their real, verified full name. These comment sections are often so full of thought rot.

  • everyonejustrelax Liberal Central (Sugarhouse), UT
    July 30, 2018 9:51 a.m.

    As a youth going through these interviews with my bishop and his counselors, I have to say that I never felt out of place, awkward, pressured, or traumatized from the experience. My bishopric stuck to the questions and mostly chatted about things unrelated to worthiness. I do not discount the negative things that have happened to other people who have been traumatized, but my point is to say that there are two side to every story and I believe this recent outcry is the result of a noisy minority of the overall church.

  • MikeSLC2018 Herriman, UT
    July 30, 2018 9:38 a.m.

    This guy probably goes home and eats after his protests.

  • Rita B Herriman, UT
    July 30, 2018 9:35 a.m.

    In Matthew 18:6 Jesus says, "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

    It is clear to me that Jesus wants children protected. I hope that the Church will do the right thing to protect them all.

  • JimmyJoeJoe Portland, OR
    July 30, 2018 9:34 a.m.

    He has a concern/question, and he's fasting about it. Well done, Brother Young.

  • Peter B Gravesend, 00
    July 30, 2018 9:21 a.m.

    As well as protecting children - my ward's bishop a few years ago was a paedophile and was arrested while serving as a bishop and served a jail sentence so don't kid yourself that this doesn't happen; everyone trusted him - we need to end one to one interviews to protect the priesthood leaders. They are amateur volunteers, they are not required to have any of the training in counselling, child development, teenage psychology during puberty, or any police checks into previous convictions that we would expect of adult leaders in schools, Scouting and workplaces counselling children. If there is not another adult in the room hearing every word said and seeing everything that happens they have no protection whatsoever if false accusations are made against them. A door ajar, a door window or an adult sitting outside in a corridor are all useless. Regardless of the official policies, every individual interviewer should just make that a watertight practice and not put themselves at such risk. Many local leaders have already made that their practice. It is the only way to actually fulfil the instruction in the new policy to avoid ANY situation that can be misinterpreted.

  • IdahoGirl Pocatello, ID
    July 30, 2018 9:10 a.m.

    These are the signs of the times that we have been told would come. We know that in the latter-days even the elite will fall. You cannot sit on the "fence" anymore....either you are on the Lord's side or you are not. The church has addressed how they want these interviews to be handled. We have got to stop putting our leaders on pedestals! They are HUMAN, they will make mistakes, they are not going to be correct or right every time. As members of the church we have to remember that SATAN is out to destroy each & every soul he can. He will do whatever he can to cause us to doubt what we believe, question ourselves & not trust our leaders, therefore we must be vigilant in what we know & what we truly believe. Heavenly Father will not let us be lead astray if we are true to what we believe.

  • Johnny Triumph Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2018 9:06 a.m.

    I like the idea of a window in the door, but there could be times that someone in an interview wouldn't want anyone to know he/she is in there. This is a similar reason that Stake offices now have an external entry, so that those in sensitive interviews don't need to exit through a lobby filled with basketball players.

    And how about this idea...rather than asking Do you obey the Law of Chastity the Church leader could ask Please explain to me what the Law of Chastity is. Learning of someone's understanding on a subject can lead to better teaching and would be much more effective in learning if someone is correctly living a Gospel principle.

  • dordrecht Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2018 9:03 a.m.

    When the Savior chose his apostles, he apparently didn't ask them any of the intimate questions a Mormon bishop asks, or else, it would have been in the scriptures. I believe there is too much emphasis on sex and not enough on Christ's example of living.

  • Mario McCash Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2018 8:57 a.m.

    The problem is that sexually explicit questions do often get asked anyway, that’s the point. So there is official policy and there is actual real-world practice. Some layman, untrained clergy will make mistakes and there’s no recourse against that. The culture is that leaders are to be supported no matter what. Stake Presidents stand by their Bishops, always. That’s my own personal experience anyway. Bad behavior tends to be treated less seriously as it should be when it involves the Brethren.

    It is very important to note that this is a real problem with church interviews with adults, not just children or youth. This problem exists with any and all members.

    It is not deliberate or malicious, not at all. The intent is honorable, mostly. The problem is unqualified & untrained very conservative men doing most of these interviews. They can often only make things worse. The Spirit or Holy Ghost is not always there to compensate for weakness or failure leading to disastrous results or hurt feelings or confusion or simply unresolved issues. Harm is done. It is naive to think that the Spirit will always compensate - that’s just not true. Are they in tune? You can only hope...

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    July 30, 2018 8:58 a.m.

    I do remember those bishop interviews and those interviews and other factors lead to my request to have my name removed.

  • Peter B Gravesend, 00
    July 30, 2018 8:54 a.m.

    I am amazed that in a Church that teaches Jesus' fundamental principle that 'if you have done it unto ONE of the LEAST of these my brethren you have done it unto me' and importance of leaving the 99 to go and rescue the one, members in this thread are arguing that the sexual abuse suffering of a few is worth avoiding inconveniencing the rest if us a bit. That's just terrifying. The few who are at most risk should be our overriding priority. We do not have a 'two deep' protective policy regarding worthiness interviews, which HAVE to include at least some specific discussion of sexual matters while sexual worthiness - chastity - is compulsory to discuss, as well as 'past unresolved sins' which are usually sexual. Handbook 1 and the recent instructions tell children, parents and leaders to use the text of For the Strength of Youth as a basis for discussion and judgement. Actually read it - it describes ANY intentional sexual arousal as sinful, and sexual sins as second only to murder, so of course we are setting young people up to have big guilt trips for years and leaders to feel it is their duty to constantly address the details of sexual activity of any kind in interviews.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    July 30, 2018 8:50 a.m.

    He appears to be walking on thin ice when the Church has built a better and stronger pathway to follow.

    When he is advising people to not join the Church when these people have read and understand the words of Moroni 10:4-5, he is also walking on a slippery slope.

    I have seen too many pull others down that slope or break the weak ice.

    Remember who was the liar from the beginning that wants people to be as miserable as he is.

    Jesus is the way and the light. His Prophets and Apostles and tens of thousands of Church leaders carry out God’s work many times a day.

  • Johnny Triumph Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2018 8:46 a.m.

    Even before the interview changes I've never known a Bishop that would refuse a parent in an interview with a child. If parents have a concern about a one on one interview then speak up. And make sure to teach your child to not allow any one on one situations to happen.

  • MoreMan San Diego, CA
    July 30, 2018 8:38 a.m.

    What are they afraid of in simply talking to this man and the church's own victims of this policy? Why just create a Press Release? Even Joseph Smith had the guts and integrity to return to Nauvoo to face his accusers.

  • Canneryrow St. George, UT
    July 30, 2018 8:36 a.m.

    @stanfunky:

    Your point, sadly, is probably true unless the leaders can get out of their own way to solve the problem. For many members of any church the opportunity to purge their guilt over something they felt was wrong by confessing to an ecclesiastical leader brought them peace. The problem is that on occasion a pedophile slips through the network and does permanent damage. It doesn't matter which religion it is the damage is still done.

    I applaud this man for taking a stand that ultimately protects children and their parents who spend the rest of their lives trying to clean up a mess that rarely if ever, gets fully cleaned up.

  • toosmartforyou Kaysville, UT
    July 30, 2018 8:32 a.m.

    For those who are suggesting Sam's position isn't clear from the article, what is clear is that he is expressing actions that are apostate in nature and feels perhaps he ought to be able to dictate how the Church is operated. They have talked in person with him on local and general levels and apparently don't agree that his view should be the standard for the Church; that's the prerogative of the President of the Church. That is abundantly clear from the article, just like those who made a big deal about ordaining women, years ago the equal rights amendment, or any other issue. Those folks all found themselves outside the Church. They were too proud or "their cause was too important" for them to let it go after they made their point. It's likely going to end the same way here. (I can't imagine a former bishop protesting against missionary work-----that just doesn't compute.)

  • TLM American Fork, UT
    July 30, 2018 8:31 a.m.

    I've never had a leader be inappropriate in an interview with me, so at first I didn't understand what Sam was protesting either. But my experience is definitely NOT the experience of everyone. There are some truly horrific stories shared by people who were coerced, shamed, and harmed by men who were supposedly called to their positions by inspiration. Some happened because the men in authority were just plain evil. Some happened because the men in authority don't know how to respond appropriately to the information they're given and they're influenced by their own bias. Since Sam shined a light on this problem, members of my own family have admitted they've had bishops be inappropriate in interviews, and they never told their parents about it because they were too embarrassed or afraid. So it isn't just the one-on-one nature of the interviews that's the problem. It's the extremely sexual and inappropriate followup questions many people have been subjected to and the fact bishops who don't have adequate training to deal with reports of rape, assault, and abuse often end up blaming the victim. At least read the stories on ProtectLDSChildren.org before you decide all is well.

  • Peter B Gravesend, 00
    July 30, 2018 8:26 a.m.

    Sam Young is not one person on an ego trip. He represents and is supported by tens of thousands of fully active members of the Church like myself as well as those who have left after experiencing a range of psychologically and spiritually harmful as well as specifically sexually abusive situations as a result of what was said and done through one to one interviews about sexual matters with untrained adult men. Even the latest tweaks to our official policies do not come anywhere close to child protection safeguarding protocols that are the norm in secular organisations, businesses, schools and many other churches. Safeguarding has to protect every child all the time every time, not depend on who happens to request what based on their varying levels of care or awareness. It's that simple. There is no reason why having 2 adults in the room is any more embarrassing than having one when confessing sins. It doesn't have to be your parent.

  • arabengineer Cedar Park, TX
    July 30, 2018 8:11 a.m.

    The comments are disappointing. People just don't get it. Because they have been conditioned/groomed to accept a practice that is wrong. No different than growing up in a society with child brides or arranged marriages. They just don't understand people from the "outside" griping about it, and those from the "inside" griping are even worse, they're seen as faithless.

    The church has not addressed the basic concerned as expressed by Sam and Protect LDS Children. The changes implemented arguably make the situation WORSE. It places the burden of consent on a minor child.

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    July 30, 2018 8:03 a.m.

    I really have no problem with the explicit questions. As someone in my youth and even as a young adult hood who had worthiness issues sporadically I was grateful to my bishop for probing because as human beings we tend to down play just how aggregious our sins are. we to rationalize and justify ourselves into thinking it wasn't so bad. I remember an account from President Kimball who was interviewing a couple for temple marriage worthiness and how they were shocked to realize their heavy petting had actually crossed the line into fornication realm with how intimate they had gotten. Remember a Bishop is not just a position for counsel and mercy. They are judges in Israel and their stewardship is to assess whether we meet the standards to participate in ceratin ordinances or partaking of the Sacrament. Youth if we are honest dont always recognize the full weight of their actions or we expect some leniancy and although their is some individual lattitude at the end of the day they are still bound by certain eternal standards to enforce. This Bishop seems to have forgotten that. when confessing to my bishop the last person I wanted in the room was my mother

  • Tom Johnson Spanish Fork, UT
    July 30, 2018 7:52 a.m.

    There are some children, such as those who are being sexually abused at home, who vitally need to have a confidential (alone) interview with their bishop to be able to get help. They will never talk about it if a parent is there in the interview. Likewise, some children have learned principles of the gospel that they see their parents not living or, sometimes, the parents are encouraging the child to believe or do things that are contrary to the gospel. In a confidential interview the child can explore whether he or she properly understands the gospel or learn how to be tolerant and forgiving of their parents or learn to decide what their own values are and how to stand up for them through counsel from their bishop.

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 30, 2018 7:48 a.m.

    Should a 12 year old be asked in depth questions about sex? No. Should a 16 year old be asked if they're following the law of chastity? Yes. Do all of them understand what that means? No. So a bishop needs to see find out what that youth understands. Is it possible some bishops aren't as good as others as teaching about this? Of course. But in too many cases the parents aren't doing their jobs in this area. The bishop shouldn't go in depth beyond a youths comprehension, but to some youth, sending nude selfies isn't bad. Or worse. If the bishop can't perform his calling, the youth will suffer even worse.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    July 30, 2018 7:42 a.m.

    This is a tough one. Some youth won’t talk to anyone but the bishop alone about their concerns. Even the Boy Scouts, who have recently been pioneers in “two-deep” adult leadership recognize the need for some private conversations, one-on-one, within eyesight of another adult.

    The only improvements I can see are, one, add those little windows to bishops doors that the church has for all classrooms, and two, a strong admonishment to all priesthood leaders to avoid any touching other than handshakes.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    July 30, 2018 7:39 a.m.

    Much more often than abuse by a bishop during an interview, those interviews allow youth to report abuse by a step-parent, parent, or other family member, or other person, which is reported to law enforcement and child welfare authorities, and is acted on by church disciplinary councils if the abuser is a church member. Taking away the opportunity for teenagers to privately report this abuse to their bishops would harm many teens. I don't think "Sam" understands the harm that his desired policy would cause. I speak from the viewpoint of a former high council member and former prosecutor.

  • MormonMunk Spanish Fork, UT
    July 30, 2018 7:27 a.m.

    I hope this comment does more good than bad.
    I will be forever grateful to a Bishop who had the courage to ask me, when I was 16, if I had a problem with pornography and masturbation. It was during a simple interview to become apart of the priest quorum presidency (I assume). I am sure that it was not easy for him to ask such a question. But he had to because there is no way that I would have had the courage to put into words what was happening.

    Was that question too sexually explicit for a 16 year old? I don't think so. And with what is happening today and how easy it is to access pornography, we as parents and leaders have to be more open about these things and have discussion. Not to normalize it, but to make everyone more aware. Wasn't that the reason for the #metoo movement? Not to normalize sexual harassment, but to make people aware and find ways to combat it. When we keep it secret, hidden, or ignore it, that is when the adversary continues to speak lies in our ears and keep us in his trap.
    I applaud the bishops who are on the front lines of this spiritual warfare and have the courage to ask hard questions that are no less uncomfortable for them either.

  • Chad DeVore Orem, UT
    July 30, 2018 7:13 a.m.

    This article doesn't fairly represent Sam Youngs logic or position.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    July 30, 2018 7:10 a.m.

    I'm betting Bishop Sam is going to get hungry

  • Autumn Meadow South Jordan, UT
    July 30, 2018 7:06 a.m.

    screenname - I don't know that we can say that the "vast majority" of youth prefer to be alone with the bishop. I think they just do that because everyone else is doing it and it is a bit of a hassle to ask another adult to be there. When I was a young woman, if it had been standard procedure to have another adult present, it wouldn't have bothered me at all. And it would have kept me safe from personal, probing, unnecessary questions of a sexual nature.

  • Maryk1963 Ireland, 00
    July 30, 2018 7:05 a.m.

    Church leaders do everything in their power to protect the children and the youth. As mentioned in this article the church leaders made the decision in March to allow the youth to take a parent or adult of their choice into interviews with their bishop. Also there are no sexually explicit questions in these interviews. Hopefully this man will end his hunger strike soon for his own sake.

  • calu Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2018 6:41 a.m.

    When I was 12 years old my bishop asked me a very personal question however growing up in a very strict LDS family I had never heard the word he used before and did not have any idea the meaning. When I told my mother she got angry but was too loyal to the church to do anything about it. As soon as I was old enough I left the church. I still live by the morals I learned growing up and appreciate that learning but I see way too much hypocrisy in a lot of church members (and bishops)

  • Happy In Paradise The Woodlands, TX
    July 30, 2018 6:20 a.m.

    For those who dismiss Sam have not been hurt by lds church leaders on any level. Unfortunately I have had the misfortune to have several church leaders who are so far orthodox and cause pain by their blind behaviors and offending comments. They love their handbooks and programs more than individuals. Once you realize you are not accepted in the institution then you are on the downward slope. The solution is to start accepting and conversing with members. STOP counseling....which means hierarchy abuse...."obedience to lds leadets... even when wrong.

    The next conversation needs to be early morning seminary at 530 am and the harm causing to the youth and their health. Not allowing alternatives to the early hour is abuse and unrighteous dominion

    Again lds church protects its programs more than its.members

  • james d. morrison Sandy, UT
    July 30, 2018 6:13 a.m.

    Been a member my whole life, 42 years. I can't say that at any time did I have an interview where any of the questions registered in my memory as anything unusual. The questions now are especially generic.

  • dfb123 Saratoga Springs, UT
    July 30, 2018 6:08 a.m.

    @Autumn - ok. but what do you suggest?

    For many, many people, having someone else in the interview would ruin it. As a kid, there is absolutely no way I would ever have had an open conversation with my bishop if a parent or some third party was in there. For many (if not most?) people, especially youth, having somebody else in there would feel a lot like being in front of an audience.

    All the kids are important - not just the ones who have been hurt or offended by the rare, less-than-ideal interview, but also the ones who have benefited from being able to privately counsel with their bishop, and a change that eliminates the hurt for those rare cases in exchanging for causing hurt to many others isn't an improvement.

    What the Church did instead seems like a much better solution.

  • Cougarbib2 Moorpark, CA
    July 30, 2018 5:43 a.m.

    15 minutes of fame. Sounds like his number of supporters is shrinking over time based on the numbers reported in this article.

    At his next appearance, I hope someone shows up with a double double from InNOut and a dozed Krispy Creme doughnuts and tests his resolve.

  • Malcolm McLean Canada, 00
    July 30, 2018 5:37 a.m.

    For those who say that the church has already addressed Bishop Young's concerns, please note the wording in this article:

    "In June, the church released a standardized set of questions for bishops to use in interviews with youth seeking to attend the temple. None are sexually explicit."

    Non-members of the LDS church may not be aware (but members certainly are) that bishops conduct youth interviews for reasons other than attendance at the temple. Further, that none of the standard questions is sexually explicit does not preclude the asking of non-standard questions. What Sam is asking for is:
    - no one-on-one interviews for any reason
    - no sexually explicit questions at any time

    which is different from the above statement.

    Members are also aware that many youth interviews are conducted by someone other than the bishop - often one of the bishop's counselors. Why not, then, have a counselor present for all interviews?

    To the anonymous "screenname": "What about the vast majority of youth who'd prefer not to have an audience when speaking to their religious leader?" Is it possible that youth may feel that way *because of* their experience with sexually explicit questions?

  • Sherriga Houston, TX
    July 30, 2018 4:34 a.m.

    The church leaders have listened and addressed this person's concerns. This person is a gifted sales person who is doing a lot of damage. Of course those who have been violated are being heard and are in the leaders and our prayers. Telling people not to join the church is marching them away from the one who has the power of healing. Most of all remember whose church this is who bears is name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Savor invites us to come unto him he does not sale to us. The Savor offers the pure love and peace, found no where else.

  • Max Upstate, NY
    July 30, 2018 4:31 a.m.

    The church has made it clear that kids have the option to bring an adult (actually they have always had that option) but most kids do not want their parents with them for a bishop's interview. The important thing is that kids and parents have that option. Also, I wouldn't consider the question "Do you live the law of chastity?" to be sexually explicit. It is the only question that is asked that is even close to anything sexual and it is also asked of adults when they want a Temple Recommend.

  • DaleG slc, UT
    July 30, 2018 1:10 a.m.

    Go SAM!

    So many don't understand why further changes are needed:

    1. Most kids don't know that they can ask for an adult to go in with them. Kids are not assertive enough to keep asking to find this out. It is very unlikely that anyone will go out of their way to inform kids that they can ask for someone else to be with them.

    2. The standardized questions are a good start but they amount to a "white list." Certain sexual questions and subjects should be off limits with children, but currently there is nothing to stop a bishop from asking very offensive questions.

  • Nathan3387 United Kingdom 🇬🇧, 00
    July 30, 2018 1:07 a.m.

    I also only have a sample size of one. I grew up in the church. All of my Bishops were respectful and Honourable men who loved The Lord. All of my interviews were proper, helpful and edifying. I love my past Bishops and my Current Bishop. Each came from very different walks of life all United by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know who is The Head of The Church and I know He has all of His affairs in order.

  • Moag Farmington, UT
    July 30, 2018 12:05 a.m.

    Sadly, it seems that threatening to hurt oneself in this type of situation may be a misguided form of emotional blackmail. That is especially so considering the Church has already addressed and appropriately resolved the issue. It made me think of something Elder Boyd K. Packer said in 1971. He compared the gospel to the keyboard of a piano and then said: “How shortsighted it is, then, to choose a single key and endlessly tap out the monotony of a single note…when the full keyboard of limitless harmony can be played.“ He then warned that “some members of the Church who should know better pick out a hobby key or two and tap them incessantly, to the irritation of those around them. They can dull their own spiritual sensitivities. They lose track that there is a fullness of the gospel… This becomes exaggerated and distorted, leading them away into apostasy.“ I feel badly for Brother Young and his family. I sincerely hope he will realize where he is headed with this, accept what the Church has done, and enjoy the full “keyboard” of the gospel before he loses everything he once had. I appreciate how the Church has handled this matter.

  • AcStGeorgel St. George, UT
    July 29, 2018 11:56 p.m.

    The abuse is real. The majority of those commenting here have fortunately not been affected, but I have and far too many others have as well. You seem to think that the problem has been solved, but that just shows me that you don’t understand what the problem is and have likely not visited the ProtectLDSChildren.org website to learn what needs to be changed and why. Have you read the statements collected on the site from affected members? Those personal testimonies were in the notebooks provided to the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12. The Church keeps on putting bandaids on the problem, when it really needs major surgery. At least learn about the issue before declaring it solved.

  • Jonny Canuck Medicine Hat, 00
    July 29, 2018 11:56 p.m.

    I often felt uncomfortable being interviewed pre-mission by my stake president because he talked about sexual ideas I had never heard about. I wonder where he got those ideas?
    Also when we stop doing Scouting, what will replace the two-deep rule, abuse training and police clearance checks? It should be for all youth leaders.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    July 29, 2018 11:17 p.m.

    A former bishop is protesting the Church's policy?, a policy meant to help eliminate what little improper actions (statistically speaking) there were?

    To those who look at it with their eyes open, this is clearly a case of "even the elect shall fall", just as Christ warned us.

    Sad.

  • AC_68 Provo, UT
    July 29, 2018 11:07 p.m.

    I'm reading
    (1) a man is protesting
    (2) the problem he is protesting has been addressed and corrected.

    It would really be nice if the article clarified WHY he continues to protest.

  • #MormonMeToo Farmington, UT
    July 29, 2018 11:05 p.m.

    While I appreciate the improvements that the brethren have made to interview policies I am still concerned. I never had a bad experience with a bishop but I’ve read the thousands of accounts of those who have. It’s so sad and unnecessary.
    According to child development experts, children & teens are unlikely to ask that a parent join the interview if it is perceived to be socially unacceptable to do so. Parents need to step up and protect their children. We cannot place all of the responsibility on the church. As a Mother, it is MY job to keep my children safe.
    I would love to see fellow members of the church come support Sam and pledge to not allow their children to have one-on-one interviews. I feel that working together we can create a healthier, safer community of followers of Christ.

  • TX BYU Fan Heber City, UT
    July 29, 2018 11:04 p.m.

    It hurts me to see Sam doing this. I worked very closely with him when I was 17-18 years old while he was our Stake Young Men's President. Sam is a good man. I just don't understand his position on this when the church has clarified that children can bring adults if they wish. In all the interviews I had as a youth, not one time was there any kind of sexually explicit question asked of me. Nor has there been since. I wish Sam the best and I hope he finds the peace he is looking for. I just don't think he's going to find it this way.

  • BryanPearson Sandy, UT
    July 29, 2018 11:01 p.m.

    It is misleading to state none of the standard interview questions are sexually explicit. Question five on the standard list is, "Do you live the law of chastity?"

    Even explaining what chastity is requires sexually explicit terms. A 12-year-old may not even know the names of the body parts involved - let alone the ways that interaction with them might violate chastity.

    An adult meeting one-on-one with a child behind a closed soundproof door to talk about sexual matters should be against any organization's policy.

  • screenname Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2018 10:38 p.m.

    Autumn Meadow,

    And what would the solution be that would improve the system? Mandatory adult supervision? What about the vast majority of youth who'd prefer not to have an audience when speaking to their religious leader?

  • Leo Winegar Sachse, TX
    July 29, 2018 10:20 p.m.

    With love, I reached out to Sam earlier this year to understand his perspective. We have since interacted multiple times online, and we have talked on the phone 3 separate times. Each time I've encouraged him to change his approach, offering him reasonable, alternative ways, based on Mormon doctrine and history, to more appropriately/effectively express his views. Yet sadly, every time Sam has declined my offer. I even personally gave him detailed feedback regarding the wording of his petition, and rewrote it for him. Sadly, he hasn't listened.

    Why?

    Well, at this point it seems (at least to me, based on our history) that Sam is more interested in hurting the LDS church, and losing his membership, than he is interested in actually protecting LDS children. If Sam really wanted to protect LDS children, he would speak directly to LDS parents, instead of trying to force an apostle to meet him on the street. LDS parents (like me) will continue to ignore Sam, not because we don't care about our kids, but because Sam's approach is wrong.

    If Sam or his followers read this, I sincerely wish y'all the best. No hard feelings from me. Just asking for you to listen. Take care.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    July 29, 2018 10:21 p.m.

    10,000 plus bishops worldwide that rotate every five years or so and conduct dozens to hundreds of interview each during their tenure, and we've heard of how many inappropriate incidents regarding bishops and teenager interviews in the past 5-10 years or so? One? Two? Not downplaying the severity of an incident when it does occur but the sky isn't falling like these ant-mormons and those soon to join their ranks, would have us believe. If parents want to be in on the interview, by all means they should. By the way, that has always been allowed but back in the day, no teenager would want their parent with them. Maybe times have changed. They certainly have with those that are bound and determined to kick against the pricks.

  • Autumn Meadow South Jordan, UT
    July 29, 2018 10:04 p.m.

    dfb123 - Sure, it's helpful to many, but he is concerned about the few who have been badly hurt by one on one interviews. A handful of children hurt when the system could be improved to eliminate the hurt? Well, I think those children are worth it.

  • DrGroovey Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2018 9:56 p.m.

    "...he directly called on people to encourage others not to join the church."

    Well, he is no longer a member trying to share his point of view. He is now an apostate fighting against the Church.

  • n8ive american Shelley, Idaho
    July 29, 2018 9:18 p.m.

    If Mr Young does not like Church policy, he is perfectly welcome to join another church of his liking or even starting one of his own with his own rules.

  • Rita B Herriman, UT
    July 29, 2018 9:03 p.m.

    I also have a sample size of one. The majority of my dozens of bishop's interviews were good and helpful. However, during one interview, a bishop said some things that were inappropriate and hurtful. It took me a long time to deal with those comments in a healthy way. I really don't think he would have said those things to me if someone else had been present.

    I think we expect too much of our bishops sometimes. They are human beings who make mistakes the same as the rest of us, and adding another person to every interview could help protect the bishops as well as the children.

  • PhoenixAZ phoenix, AZ
    July 29, 2018 9:04 p.m.

    Well, it's his choice. If he won't eat, it's his decision. What will that prove?

  • dfb123 Saratoga Springs, UT
    July 29, 2018 8:51 p.m.

    @Autumn: yes, most youth probably are still meeting 1-on-1 with their bishop - and good for them! If this guy doesn't want to meet with his bishop 1-on-1 or doesn't want his kids to either, that's his call.

    But I don't think it's right for him to try to forcibly stop something that is helpful to lots of other people.

  • Midwayian Randlett, UT
    July 29, 2018 8:30 p.m.

    I mean it was never against the rules to bring in another adult to an interview if the youth wanted to- but now thats even more clear. What more is wanted? I mean the most common option would be a parent joining in the interview- but when I was a kid thats the last thing I would've wanted.

    I think the Church has taken steps to mitigate this guys concerns- now it's all about him and he's started down a dangerous road. I hope he figures it out before it costs him deeply.

  • Jacmo5 Southlake, TX
    July 29, 2018 8:22 p.m.

    Dear Christians,

    there are wounded travelers on the side of the road. They have asked to meet with these leaders. They long to be heard and understood. Who will stop and love them as Jesus did? And Who will pass them by on the side of the road?

  • AlwaysTellTheTruth Orem, UT
    July 29, 2018 8:13 p.m.

    Where is the inspiration? The church has been doing this for well over a century, and it took one man to point out how dangerous this is.

    Sam Young has gathered and recorded over 3,000 stories of abuse from this inappropriate practice. My story is not recorded yet, but I spent several years of extreme suffering, trying to recover from an abusive bishop’s interview.

    What we are seeing is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Most of the comments above are directed at Sam Young….where is the concern for the children that have been harmed?

  • Autumn Meadow South Jordan, UT
    July 29, 2018 7:50 p.m.

    Hiccup - he is still protesting because the changes in the Handbook simply state that young people *may* bring an adult with them into interviews, but the reality is that most youth are still probably meeting one on one with the bishop.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    July 29, 2018 7:42 p.m.

    I struggle to understand this. Come on folks. Can't you all just get along? Focus on what you have in common.

  • Sherriga Houston, TX
    July 29, 2018 7:17 p.m.

    Thank you to our Church leaders and I stand with our Prophet, he is chosen by the Savor to guide us in these days. With humble prayer all can know truth and Revelation is a gift to answer truth. There is no better time to hear about truth and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the way here on this Earth. There is safety in truth and The Savor stands ready with healing in his wings, come unto him and you will never be blind to his gospel and his truth.

  • Lizardo Washington, UT
    July 29, 2018 7:09 p.m.

    Methinks Bishop Young has considerably more as his objective than simply putting a stop to one-on-one bishop's interviews with children and youths of the Church. I have no doubt that some bishops have previously gone beyond the guidelines now established by the Church for use during interviews with young people, but I seriously doubt that it happens much anymore. In fact, the Church has vigorously sought to make sure that it does not happen. Church leaders have reportedly met with Bishop Young to listen and often counsel. If he ignores their counsel and persists in encouraging people not to join the Church, he certainly must realize that his actions constitute apostasy. Hopefully he will reconsider his present course of action before it costs him his membership. Or perhaps that's what he's aiming for.

  • Uncle_Dave Springville, UT
    July 29, 2018 6:38 p.m.

    I only have a sample size of one. I grew up in the church. All of my bishops were respectful. All of my interviews were proper and helpful. I loved my bishops. I could feel their genuine concern for me.

  • omahahusker Modesto, CA
    July 29, 2018 6:39 p.m.

    A hunger strike at Temple Square may raise some public awareness about a church policy he disagrees with. But that is not the way to change church policy. Having an adult accompany a child for a Bishop interview will now protect all involved. Any abuse in the past is few and far between. Sorry he is out to make a name for himself.

  • Hiccup Provo, UT
    July 29, 2018 6:34 p.m.

    I think Tad Walch did a good job on the article and is an example of what an objective looks like.

    My only question is why is the former bishop still protesting? It sounds like The Church already did what he's demanding.

  • Strider303 American Fork, UT
    July 29, 2018 6:22 p.m.

    Mr. Young is free to consume solid food or not as he so chooses. I am sure he will maintain health through "liquid" food. This is no bid deal, as the country suffers from excess poundage anyway.

    I feel it is emotional bribery of a sort to blame self-inflicted harm on another person or entity when one's voice is not sufficiently heard by the target audience.

    He is not the rudder, and apparently he is no longer interested in being part of the crew.

    I suggest he hold his breath to get his way, as he may have done earlier in his quest for recognition and appeasement.

    I am not impressed with adults acting childish, it demeans many causes that could be taken more seriously.

  • Nanook of the North Los Angeles, CA
    July 29, 2018 6:18 p.m.

    I do NOT like this response. That is all.

  • LauraLM61 Albuquerque, NM
    July 29, 2018 6:12 p.m.

    This man has every right to be concerned. The church has already responded to the problem. However, telling others not to join the church is not his place and makes me wonder what his true motives are.

  • PapaBear55 San Ramon, CA
    July 29, 2018 6:13 p.m.

    Either this man has been deceived or has questionable motives. Nearly everyone, members and parents of children everywhere, share his concerns for child safety. Church leadership has wisely changed old policies to enhance safety and protect both children and leaders. Have mistakes been made in the past? Yes, as has also tragically occurred in nearly all organizations dealing with children and youth--churches, scouting, schools, sports leagues, camps, etc.

    If Church leadership has strongly addressed this issue and clearly acknowledged their shared desire to protect all children and youth, while lovingly seeking to understand his concerns, then his actions appear to be a publicity stunt intended to harm the Church's reputation, cause doubt among many congregants and embolden it's enemies.

  • strom thurmond taylorsville, UT
    July 29, 2018 6:10 p.m.

    Tad: your bias is transparent

    You wish to attacks the character of this man.

    That is a shame.

  • strom thurmond taylorsville, UT
    July 29, 2018 6:07 p.m.

    “Further meetings with him are not necessary to clarify his position on this matter.”

    Such a corporate response.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    July 29, 2018 5:59 p.m.

    Young is protesting a potential problem already fixed.

  • strom thurmond taylorsville, UT
    July 29, 2018 5:47 p.m.

    I was asked obscene and intrusive questions as a youth, and at the MTC.

    This practice must be abolished.

    If this good man is disciplined, I will resign my membership.

  • stanfunky Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2018 5:46 p.m.

    Looks like this won't end well for him. When it becomes all about saying you know better than your leaders, drawing attention to yourself and convincing others to follow you, that's several steps down the path to apostasy.