SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – A former LDS bishop who went on a hunger strike asking leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to end one-on-one bishop interviews with youth says he may now face excommunication.
In a letter posted to his blog, Sam Young said he was given the notice of a church disciplinary council to be held Sep. 9.
The letter tells Young the council could result in “…the possibility of excommunication, disfellowshipment, formal probation, or no action. The reason for this council is that you are reported to have acted repeatedly in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its leaders. You have, 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 irs leaders.”
In July, Young went on a 23 day hunger strike protesting the practice of Mormon bishops having one-on-one interviews with youth – especially interviews that include discussions on chastity. Young has said interviews that involve questions of a sexual nature should be conducted only with a parent present.
Young invited church leaders on Temple Square to discuss his views, but none accepted the invitation.
In his blog post about the notice of disciplinary council, Young wrote, “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!”
Young’s movement has grown rapidly online; his petition to the Church now has more than 20,000 signatures.
In the letter, Young is told that he is being disciplined for speaking publicly, but members of the movement say they have no other option. Hailey Allen is a convert to the Church and a member of the movement; she said, “I don’t think there’s anything I can do to make the Church listen to me. I’ve written letters, I’ve sat down face-to-face, I feel that I’ve done everything that I can do. When I say that I’ve been hurt, when I’ve been wronged, who am I to go to?”