By Kyle James  |  09-17-2018   News
Photo credit: Rick Bowmer

A now-former Mormon bishop has found himself ex-communicated after he led a campaign criticizing the church's closed-door, one-on-one youth interviews by church leaders that often included sexual questions such as masturbation habits or whether or not the interviewee was a virgin. Sam Young announced his official ex-communication from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Sunday during a press conference. Young was the founder of Protect LDS Children, the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" was more or less the "re-branding" of the Mormon religion.

Young announced that he had received a letter on August 28th that a formal disciplinary council would convene to determine his fate. The letter also said the council could result in "the possibility of excommunication, disfellowshipment, formal probation, or no action. The reason for this council is that you are reported to have acted repeatedly in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its leaders." Church elders hand-delivered the verdict letter to Young at his business in Houston which he read aloud at Sunday's press conference.

The news of Young's ex-communication spread and people expressed their anger over the verdict online. Many social media users took issue on Twitter with the fact that Young had been ex-communicated yet Joseph Bishop, a church official who admitted to sexually abusing victims, had not. One Twitter user wrote, "If you are going to excommunicate Sam Young whatever, but how at the same time is Joseph Bishop still a member taking the sacrament? Rape is fine as long as you keep it DL and don’t challenge the apostles."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">If you are going to excommunicate Sam Young whatever, but how at the same time is Joseph Bishop still a member taking the sacrament? Rape is fine as long as you keep it DL and don’t challenge the apostles. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Scribe (@spartan1908) <a href="">September 16, 2018</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">For sexual predators in the church, the cost of repentance is minimal. Often it is the same or less than the repentance expected of their victims. The church fosters an environment for grooming and abuse, and this must change. Shame on you for disciplining Sam Young.</p>&mdash; Brian Walker (@brian_malarkey) <a href="">September 9, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Young raised awareness to his cause in July when he went on a 23-day hunger strike during which he called for church leaders to end one-on-one ecclesiastical interviews between bishops and children, as well as the sexually explicit questions within them. Young told News4Utah in July, "I have six daughters and four of them were asked sexually-explicit questions. That's what caused the gears to engage in my brain and say 'That's wrong for my children and sure as heck wrong, when you go to the lengths, for everybody'."

The church leaders were not pleased with Young shining a light on their shady practices of interviewing young children and teens about their sex lives in a closed-door environment. The church eventually held a disciplinary council hearing where Young would be present while his supporters demonstrated in multiple states including Utah, Texas, and Arizona. One demonstrator named Mindy Burton said, "There's some people saying, 'Oh, Sam's doing this for attention.' Well yeah, we're calling attention to something we find harmful and damaging."

She added, "I logically understand why he’s been brought into the church council, but if you look at things objectively and see things in my eyes, we’re just standing up and supporting little kids." Another of Young's supports named Tara Tulley said, "It's broken some of my trust with some of the leadership. I support many things that the church does but this is an area that the church needs to look at."

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One woman named Crystal Legionnaires said Young's clause hit close to home for her because of the trauma and shame she faced after her own ecclesiastical interviews. LLegionnairessaid the church's response has been a disappointing one for her. "How do we stop sexual assault if everyone who's calling it out gets silenced?" she said. "It shows that they are more willing to protect predators than they are to protect Sam."

She was adamant that Young's ex-communication would do little to hinder their efforts to bring better protection to children in the church. "I think that if they wanted to shut up Sam, that's something that needed to happen at the beginning. It's too late now," Legionaires said. "There's so much fire to this flame and too many individuals are standing behind it that it's about standing with us and recognizing change may be hard. Change may be uncomfortable but it is a necessary change."

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The Mormon church, or as they preferred to be called now, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", issued a statement in response to Young's group called "Protect LDS Children" in July. The statement said:

<i>"Children and youth are precious. We share a desire to protect them, to help them grow and develop faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ and to live good and moral lives. This includes building good relationships with ecclesiastical and youth leaders who can provide support in many settings including personal interviews."</i>

<i>"In recent months, the Church has taken important steps to improve these interactions and to strengthen the relationships between young people and their parents and leaders, and will continue to do so."</i>

<i>"Church leaders at every level—from Sam’s local bishop and stake president to a recent conversation with a general authority—have met with him to express love, to listen and to counsel with him. They have received and reviewed his materials and understand clearly his viewpoint. Further meetings with him are not necessary to clarify his position on this matter."</i>

<i>"The Church will continue to look for ways to guide, inspire and nurture young people by strengthening homes, providing positive role models and offering activities and learning opportunities that build character and deepen faith in Jesus Christ."</i>

<i>On Twitter:</i>

<a href="">@MAGASyndicate</a>

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Twitter: #Mormon #ChurchofJesusChrist #LatterDaySaints #LDS #SamYoung #YouthInterviews #ProtectLDSChildren
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Smarty Pants No. 37275 1537244481
When taken into account that many parents use churches as a free babysitting service so they can go party, it shoild not suprise people that perverts desperately flock to church jobs involving children.
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