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295: Sam Young – Protect The Children

Today we sit down with Sam Young and discuss his effort to protect Latter-day Saint children.  Sam shares the why of his involvement in this issue, what he is doing to accomplish this, what would need to change, and how the Church is reacting.  We talk about transparency, forthrightness, and the shielding of this institution from vulnerability by its leaders.  Sam Young is courageous and is standing on the high ground defending LDS Children from distorted boundaries and deep unhealthiness.  Support Sam by visiting

Sam also offers this suggestion as a possible format for sharing with LDS leaders that you are establishing a healthier boundary for your children and their relationship with local leaders.

Dear Bishop,

Our family has decided to set the following boundaries with regards to our children.

  1. Our children are not to participate in any one-on-one interviews with anyone in the stake, including the bishop.
  2. We are to be notified in advance of any interviews with our children.
  3. One of us must to be present in all interviews with our children.
  4. No sexual matters are to be discussed during any meetings involving our children.

These limits have been discussed with our kids.  We and they fully expect that these boundaries will be respected.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

This decision does not diminish our esteem for you as our bishop.  We appreciate and thank you for your dedicated service.



7 thoughts on “295: Sam Young – Protect The Children”

  1. I signed as well.

    I think it’s despicable the LDS perspective on this. Leadership DOES have a responsibility to deal with abuse.

    They just talk big. They are more concerned with image than with a child’s life.

  2. These interviews (All interviews) should be recorded. The Church should retain a copy on file as well as the interviewee having a link to each recording that can be given to each parent to review and reload if necessary. This will stop all problems.

  3. This is great and thanks to Sam. I was even asked if I (40 year old male) masturbate the last time a went in for a temple recommend interview by a member of the stake presidency.

  4. WHile I respect Sam Young’s desire to protect children, his efforts are badly directed. Anyone who has 1.) served as a bishop, 2.) has interviewed youth, and 3.) has any type of rapport with youth has had a youth say, “Bishop, I am terrified about having done (fill in the blank) and I feel my parents would be terribly disappointed in me. I have been feeling terrible for some time and didn’t know who else I could talk to.” As in MOST cases, the bishop will help them to know that their parents love them, and reconnect them back to their parents. This is something that happened countless times in my experience serving as a bishop. Families or children that wish to be present during interviews would seem just to ask their bishop, and not make an issue of this. But the solution of taking ALL of these conversations off the table for youth that wish to talk to their bishop would, in my experiences, be disastrous for youth AND families. These families often have children that then have no other place to go for help. Is the child or youth, in the common mischiefs of youth, then to articulately request a meeting with a certified counselor? This is cutting off the nose to spite the face.

    NPR had a great program recently about hyper-vigilant families that have created an environment of anxiety for their children, until the children then develop anxiety. We once lived in a world where children wandered down the street to go to the park, visited elderly people on our streets for treats, or rode our bikes to the store for candy or soda. Crime rates are down dramatically in the past 40 years, but many parents have created this world where NO ONE can be trusted. We must do more to protect children, but THIS does not appear to be a very critical hole in the dam.

  5. I was raised in the church and fled church and home at eighteen because I wanted to learn how to think for myself and make my own decisions, rather than blindly obeying church leaders. It is interesting to listen to the focus in this podcast being on “what would Jesus Christ do?” Growing up in the church the focus was always on Joseph Smith. Only after leaving the church did I find out about Joseph Smith’s sexual behavior. Protect LDS Children asks for practices that strengthen the parent-child bond. Current LDS Church practice- which the church is defending-harms children and weakens the parent-child bond and the family unit.

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