The fact that I am able to even submit a success story, is in and of itself, a success story in my opinion. My name is Tony Peterson. If you were following this movement 2-3 months ago, you would have seen interactions online between myself, Sam, and some of his followers that seemed quite contentious. Many people would have thought I would be the last one willing to sign the petition, and put my name behind this movement. Much of that was misunderstanding, due to my unconventional style of communication, but some of it was due the fact that Sam and I seemed further apart than we really were.
I am an active, temple recommend holding member of the church. My father was bishop twice as I was growing up. The church has always been a major part of my life. I love the church, I love the teachings, I love the people. During my time in church, I have held a few callings in Boy Scouts. Whenever you hold a position within Boy Scouts, you are required to complete Youth Protection Training once a year. This training specifically calls for leaders to NEVER be in 1 on 1 situations with youth.
The first time I went through this training, Bishops interviews were the first thing that came to my mind. That situation is one where there is NEVER another adult in the room. It always bothered me in the back of my mind. When I came across “Protect LDS Children”, that thought was brought off the back shelf of my mind again, thinking that we NEED to do this. I began talking to Sam about my thoughts, and how important it is to make sure that active members see that not only CAN they support the cause, but they SHOULD support it.
During these discussions, Sam and I became dear friends, and I found myself engaging more and more in the cause. Eventually I signed the petition, while posting a fairly long post outlining my reasons for doing so. On my facebook post, I received numerous comments and posts from people within the church who fully supported my position.
Soon thereafter, I went into my Temple Recommend interview with my Stake President. I spoke with him at length about the cause, my support of it, and questioned whether that meant that I was disqualified from holding a recommend. My wonderful stake president thanked me for being a concerned parent, told me that he believed that change was coming, and that he loved how concerned I was for the church. He happily gave me my recommend. I have had wonderful, spiritual experiences while working with Sam to protect the LDS Children. I know that if we protect the children through these measures, we will also protect our leaders, and ultimately our church. I call on ALL active members to join me and support this cause, and protect our children, leaders, and our church.