I used to think the Mormon Church just didn’t realize the damage that was being done to their young people. I’m talking about ‘worthiness interviews’ of children as young as 11, up through young adult ages, before their identity and experience in the world are fully developed. Everything from crippling shame, to sexual abuse involving explicit interrogation of the child’s chastity, including details about masturbation are common practice. Cases of acts of sex, if the bishop happens to be a predator in disguise, have also been reported. Most often these are handled privately by the church.
Similar to the Catholic Church, nondisclosure agreements are signed, and set amounts of money are offered if the family agrees not to, ‘harm the good name of the church,’ by pressing charges. Though no child should be alone with an older man answering questions of a sexual nature, the Mormon Church doesn’t perform the least of safety measures. Not even a background check is run on these bishops. Children are interrogated, to assess their ‘worthines,’ with sexual questions. Public shaming often occurs if the child isn’t controlling things like masturbation. For instance, a male will be forced to sit separately from his peers, forbidden to pass the sacrament until he is ‘worthy’ enough, according to the bishop. Both genders will be forbidden to take the sacrament during church, where anybody can notice. The worse the sexual sin, the harsher the punishment, up to and including disfellowshipping and excommunication.
Now that Sam Young has uncovered and exposed the horror stories of abuse of the past and present, the Church no longer has an excuse. They have no cloak to hide behind. Like the Emperor, we see them standing naked before us, and the sight has become disgusting. No more imagining them clothed with not knowing, having honest intent, up in their offices obliviously allowing abuse of children. They know!
Just like the Catholic Church, exactly like the Catholic Church, they pompously consider themselves untouchable, and they continue the harm. A gaggle of attorneys, apostles, and leadership, all the way down to the bishopric are turning a blind eye. Letting it happen! They know! Parents who have been made aware, and allow their child to be taken alone, now will also carry responsibility of knowing and doing nothing. Imagine the child’s response when they grow up, whose life has been damaged forever, finding out their parent knew of the danger and did nothing!
I believe that Mormons live in a bubble of false protection. They believe that their child will bounce back if something happens. God will protect their child. God will heal their child. Good will come of anything bad. They pray, go to church, pay tithing, wear garments; they’re protected! They need to take a courageous look at the lives of those Mormon children and those Catholic children who were damaged in this way. They are never the same again. They don’t skip away. Decades of therapy may help some find some relief, but think of the cost, just in dollars for therapy alone, as being only one wall blown down by the bomb of abuse going off inside them. The collateral damage to the lives of these children is catastrophic! It’s a lifetime of torture. Some can’t take the pain anymore and end their lives.
Thousands of Mormon stories of children who are now grown ups who suffered abuse attest to the outcome. If they don’t believe those, then believe the fallout of the abuse on Catholic Children.
Consider how only the tip of the iceberg was found by the Boston Globe Spotlight Team at first. Then remember how many victims were found, hidden away, having nowhere to go until the putrid lid was taken off the secrets, and the stench of abandoning those children was opened to the light of truth. This is just like the Mormon Church has done, and is doing to it’s own children.
Hopefully, as we became aware of that stench, we choked on our own vomit. Hopefully, we refuse to be a part of this damaging practice, by continually standing up to the Churches, who have this in the their midst and KNOW about it, and treat it with less care than if somebody fell and broke a bone due to the church’s negligence. Child after child is stuffed away, with non disclosure agreements, a fixed low price offered for their silence, and sent off to travel the paths of life with the ashes of an atomic bomb having gone off inside them.
Some are able to struggle through, if they are surrounded by support, and piece together a life that ‘works.’ These are they who appear normal on the outside, tho the stench of the abuse affects every aspect of their lives. They keep it hidden. What else can they do? Their life was stolen, ripped out from under them, as if an imbedded chip was placed in their brain that repeats over and over, ‘I’m worthless,’ ‘I hate myself,’ ‘I’m so ashamed and embarrassed,’ ‘it must’ve been my fault somehow because nobody would hurt a child on purpose,’ ‘How could God possibly love me?,’ and a million other self loathing messages set to go off at any moment of any day. It’s mental, spiritual, and physical torture (anxiety, depression, etc, affect every body system). Shame and worthlessness seem to attach itself to the DNA.
Like Sam said, we need to stop asking, ‘Why?’ Instead, we need to say THIS. MUST. STOP. Boldly stand up and say, ‘Not MY child!’ Adamantly oppose this practice wherever you see the opportunity. Be on the right side of history as this becomes another black eye on the Mormon church. Many stood on the wrong side of history, opposing our black skinned brothers and sisters from being considered ‘worthy,’ ‘born with a defect caused by their less valiant ways in the preexistence.’ They stood with the church. A church who now disavows this same teaching and distances itself from current members ever knowing that this was a solid doctrine of the church, proving their top leaders, all the way up to the prophet, can be misled, wrong, harm innocent people. And lie.
The the church takes no responsibility for this grave error in this doctrine, they instead try to minimize it to just a practice that went along with the times, which only shows they can also be misled by the times. If they can be misled, church members can bravely stand up for what is right, and refuse to be a part of allowing this practice to continue.
Many in the church, tried to persuade the church to do the right thing up until 1978 when blacks were allowed to participate in all the positions of authority and ordinances that previously belonged to only white people. Only this year, 2018, did the Mormon church officially disavow this practice, and try to pawn it off as going along the times, and never doctrine. Be on the right side of history! Be one those people who did right thing and stood up to persuade the church to stop a practice that should have never existed in a church that claims Christ is at it’s head. He would protect the children!
See protectldschildren.org up