As Latest Sex Abuse Story Rocks Mormon Church, Thousands of Church Members Join Protect LDS Children's Call for Long Overdue Reforms to Protect Kids

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Ahead of March 30th Rally Scheduled in Salt Lake City, Over 53,000 Petition Signatures Now Gathered to End One-on-One Meetings With Mormon Children & Male Church Leaders

“All institutional churches in America have already implemented a certain policy to curb abuse and protect children except the LDS Church and that should be unacceptable to everyone. Our Church is lagging behind and it’s time to catch up and protect our children,” Young said.

As the latest story of sexual assault by a former missionary training center president begins to receive media attention this week, the founder of a national grassroots organization aimed at reforming practices involving children by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said today that these numerous stories of abuse make clear why changes are both needed and long overdue.

“To quote SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests), ‘No other reputable institutional church, private or public school, sports group, or youth serving organization allows one-on-one meetings between adults and children. Why? It’s an invitation for sexual abuse,’” said Sam Young, a Houston business owner, father of six daughters, and active LDS Church member. Young last year founded the Protect-LDS-Children Initiative which to date has helped gather over 53,000 petition signatures from LDS Church members and non members calling on Church leaders to end a decades-long practice in which Church elders conduct one-on-one meetings with children, without their parents present, and which often involve discussions and questions of a sexual nature.

“All institutional churches in America have already implemented a certain policy to curb abuse and protect children except the LDS Church and that should be unacceptable to everyone. Our Church is lagging behind and it’s time to catch up and protect our children,” Young said.

Young’s latest comments come as yet another documented report of abuse by a Church leader has become public this week. As the Salt Lake City Tribune and other news outlets report today: “A former president of the LDS Missionary Training Center has admitted that he took a young woman into a small room at the Provo campus in 1984 and asked to see her breasts, according to a report released Wednesday by Brigham Young University police. The release comes three days after MormonLeaks published an explosive, taped conversation between the woman and Joseph L. Bishop, whom she accuses of attempting to rape her.”

The Protect-LDS-Children Initiative is organizing a March 30th rally in Salt Lake City where the more than 53,000 signed petitions will be formally delivered to the LDS Church office. This effort has gathered nationwide support, as more survivors and families come forward to share their stories of how these interviews negatively impacted their self-esteem, self-worth, and emotional well-being.

“It’s time for us, as Mormons, and friends of Mormons, to stand up for our children which is why we’re calling on the LDS Church to end the practice of one-on-one interviews with children and male Church leaders,” Young concluded today.

You read and hear the firsthand accounts of many of these individuals by clicking here.

You can read the petition by clicking here.

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