I am a 41 year old life long male member of the LDS church. I was sexually abused as a young child by my Uncle who was 12 years older than me. I was offered no help or counseling as a young child to help me deal with the abuse I suffered. Adults were told and aware of the abuse according to what I remember.
As a child I lived with guilt which transitioned into shame as a teenager. I have dealt with the trauma much better as an adult as I have come to know it was not my problem, but his problem. I buried the memories as deep as I could and told no one of this abuse until a few months ago.
That abuse however is not what is troubling in this story. Two years ago that uncle was called to serve as an LDS Bishop and is currently serving in a Northern Utah ward interviewing children alone in his office. 3 months ago, I approached my Priesthood leaders with this concern. It went to my Stake President who then contacted his Stake President. There was no record of him “taking care of” this issue from what they could see. They asked me how I would want to handle the issue and suggested maybe it would be best for me to confront him about the abuse.
That seemed like an odd request to me, but I complied and faced what was probably the most difficult situation of my life. He denied that the abuse occurred. I have learned that is a common thing for abusers to do. So now it is his word against my word. This is currently still being discussed by my Stake President and his Stake President. In the meantime, he continues to serve as Bishop and could be interviewing a child, maybe yours, tomorrow alone in his office. So, not only do we have Bishops who are good men asking inappropriate questions, but we have Bishops who have been sexual abusers of children in their lives asking children inappropriate sexually explicit questions. Alone.
I doubt President Nelson will ever read any of these stories, but if you do President Nelson, where is God in this? If you don’t see that this policy needs to change, you are out of touch with the issues that those you lead are really facing. Prophets protect the flock. Let’s protect the most precious part of that flock. Protect our children President Nelson.