Protect LDS Children Launches Multi-Week Ad Campaign Urging Mormon Church Leaders to End One-on-One Meetings with Children

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Thousands of LDS Church Members to Wear Buttons on National Children’s Day Calling Attention to Mormon Church’s Refusal to Act

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“All institutional churches in America have already implemented clear policies to curb abuse and protect children except the Mormon Church.  That is not acceptable and we must have real change now.”

On the heels of a successful march in Salt Lake Lake City recently where hundreds of Church members called on the LDS Church to finally end the abusive practice of sexually-explicit interviews between male church leaders and minors, Protect LDS Children, a grassroots organization that organized the march, announced today that it is launching a multi-week ad campaign ahead of National Children’s Day on Sunday, June 10th.

“All institutional churches in America have already implemented clear policies to curb abuse and protect children except the Mormon Church.  That is not acceptable and we must have real change now,” said Sam Young, the founder of Protect LDS Children. Young is a Houston business owner, father of six daughters, and active LDS Church member. “Church leaders seem to believe they can wait us out by staying silent, but our growing grassroots movement will continue to call attention to this abusive practice until the danger to our children is addressed.”

Protect LDS Children will be running billboard ads in and around Salt Lake City and has already begun an extensive digital advertising campaign calling attention to this issue and particularly, the continued refusal by the LDS Church to take real steps that would protect Mormon children from potential abusers. Included is just one example of the targeted digital ads currently running on Facebook to members and supporters of the LDS Church.

Additional Background:

Young last year founded the Protect-LDS-Children Initiative which to date has helped gather over 55,000 petition signatures from LDS Church 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. Notably, new LDS Church guidelines issued recently do not mandate a parent or guardian be present in any one-on-one “interviews by male Church leaders, but rather, leave it up to the children to decide, and also do not address the issue of sexually-explicit questions and conversations This effort has gathered nationwide support, as more survivors and families have come forward to share their stories of how one-on-one “interviews” by LDS Bishops negatively impacted their self-esteem, self-worth, and emotional well-being. You can read the petition by clicking here.

Sunday June 10th is National Children’s Day. The day’s purpose is to honor the children in our lives.  Protect LDS Children (PLDSC) plans to honor our children by fostering their protection. The organization is encouraging all supporters to wear a button on June 10th that will help bring awareness to the plight of LDS children who are subjected to grooming and shaming behaviors, behind closed doors with Mormon leaders. 

You can find additional information on National Children’s Day by clicking here.

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Katy Summerlin
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