Ex-LDS bishop who went on hunger strike faces possible excommunication

The former LDS bishop who went on a three-week hunger strike to protest church leaders doing one-on-one, private interviews with children and youths faces possible excommunication from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sam Young went to social media to post a copy of a letter he received from his stake president, a regional Latter-day Saint leader in Texas, informing him the church will “convene a formal disciplinary council in your behalf which includes the possibility of excommunication, disfellowshipment, formal probation, or no action.”

FILE - In this March 30, 2018, photo, Sam Young, center, speaks to a group of people demanding an end to one-on-one interviews between Mormon youth and lay leaders during a march to church headquarters, in Salt Lake City. Young, a Mormon man has launched a hunger strike on Friday, July 27, 2018, to bring attention to a campaign calling on church leaders to bring an end to closed door, one-on-one interviews between youth and lay leaders where sexual questions sometimes arise. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

FILE – In this March 30, 2018, photo, Sam Young, center, speaks to a group of people demanding an end to one-on-one interviews between Mormon youth and lay leaders during a march to church headquarters, in Salt Lake City. Young, a Mormon man has launched a hunger strike on Friday, July 27, 2018, to bring attention to a campaign calling on church leaders to bring an end to closed door, one-on-one interviews between youth and lay leaders where sexual questions sometimes arise. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) (Rick Bowmer/)

The president of the Houston South Stake wrote that Young has, “among other things, 1. Encouraged others to vote opposed to church leaders. 2. Organized more than one public ‘action’ that expressed opposition to the church or its leaders.”

Young’s response: “Fast 23 days. Stand up to protect children. Speak out against a dreadful policy. Work to help the healing of countless kids who were severely wounded behind closed doors. Document the horrors. Apologize.

“And what do you get? Excommunication! After all, we are the Mormons. At least we used to be.”

Young launched a petition drive demanding a halt to the closed-door, one-on-one interviews with children, which drew thousands of signatures. In July, Young launched his hunger strike, saying that bishops often ask young church members very detailed sexual questions, which he asserted can cause psychological trauma and predatory behavior.

“I am calling my fellow members to step up and not just protect our children,” he said, “but protect the good name of the church.”

In response, the church issued this statement: “In recent months, the church has taken important steps to improve these interactions and to strengthen the relationships between young people and their parents and leaders, and will continue to do so.”

from The Salt Lake Tribune https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/08/30/ex-lds-bishop-who-went

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