SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – Thursday is Day 20 of Sam Young’s hunger strike; he is striking to urge the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to end one-on-one worthiness interviews with children and youth.
In this piece, News4Utah’s Sarah Martin interviews members of the group Protect LDS Children who are also active members of the Church about their motivation to call for change from within their faith.
Some are motivated by personal experience, like Lisa Murphy. She says that as a youth, she was emotionally and spiritually abused by her Bishop in a closed-door interview, “I felt like the questions the Bishop asked were voyeuristic and invasive, but I was a naive Mormon girl who had been taught to obey and support priesthood authority and when you were asked a question you answered.”
Others are motivated by professional experience. Tim Birt is a child therapist and advocate in Alabama. He says, “We know that the training for bishops and stake presidents and others who work with children is not adequate, and it is inappropriate for them to be asking sexually explicit questions of children.”
News4Utah reached out to the Church for information on on-on-one interviews with children, but the Church declined to comment.