Nobody who reaches the heavens does it “the easy way”, and individual healing is incredibly important in the process. Every earthly hurdle we overcome – no matter how irrelevant it may seem to others, brings us closer to personal ascension and connecting with the heavens. And when the veil is pierced, we are offered an entire universe of “new” information to learn and to integragte into this clumsy earth life, and we are faced with the opportunity to overcome new, and bigger hurdles that we’ve grown strong enough to handle by learning through earthly lessons. As we “become humble and teachable” and look inside ourselves and find our own faults and weaknesses and ignorance, we can move closer to the Fullness as we conquer those.
Every blog post or comment or letter I’ve written, declared what I understood at that moment – and then I got to learn more those things all over again, on a “higher level” while I discovered where I was wrong again, and again. You do not ever learn something new, without previously lacking understanding or having been wrong. The more you are willing to be wrong and overcome your own ignorance, the more you will learn. I thought I had learned all I needed to know about healing my past – I thought I understood all that had happened to me, until recently, when some “old baggage” was brought out of the proverbial closet for me to face again, while I learned some more, and healed some more, and grew some more.
This exposes another sliver of the not-so-easy journey I’ve been given to experience as a seeker now enjoying an audience with the heavens, and learning “the mysteries of the kingdom” as that view was opened up through trial and error and overcoming. Some of the trials I survived have given me an understanding of what it means to “descend below all, to rise above all”. I likely would not have the empathy I feel for the suffering of others, had I not suffered right along with them.
We cannot learn some things without having a taste of it ourselves. You cannot, for example, read about the elemental make up of salt, read recipes which contain salt, feel the salt between your fingers, watch cooking shows with others using salt – and then expect to understand the taste of salt, without having actually tasted the salt yourself – and further, without having tasted the salt used many different ways, and in conjunction with other ingredients. Likewise, I would not have been able to understand the things the Lord showed and impressed upon me when I was made privy to some of the more personal details and struggles He went through in the Garden of Gethsemane, had I not suffered some of my own horrific life experiences in order to learn through the many facets of the Pure Love of Christ. My difficult life journey has made my experiences with Him all that much clearer and more amazing – though this one left me on the ground sobbing as I anguished for Him with empathy and personal understanding as He explained to me from HIS perspective, what He endured and why He chose to go through that time when He could have chosen something else.
Today I offer eternal gratitude to a man who has been part of my healing journey as I continue reaching toward the Fullness; one who caused an enormous impact in my life personally, simply by following the highest he knew to follow, in his own corner of the world. This man sat with, sacrificed, and suffered for ME, to relieve MY burden of sacrifice and suffering. Though Christ has given me this, I am not referring to Him this time.
Sam Young – you have stood by me in a way nobody else on this earth has; not clergy, not counselors, not doctors, not friends and family, and not my own mother – who has never even heard this portion of the things you (and now the rest of the world), now know about me. I went to trial alone at age 17 and testified against the man convicted and sentenced to 54 years in prison for what he did to me; I went to those bishops’ offices and suffered more abuse at their hands, alone; I suffered through continual abuse in my family and my marriages, alone; I suffered abuse in other spiritual groups I’ve associated with after I left the church, alone; I have worked hard, alone, to protect my own kids from being hurt and suffering in the same ways I have.
You are my hero, and have helped open a chapter of healing and have ushered in closure that hasn’t been available to me before. You made me KNOW that I am no longer alone. Thank you beyond words for this. You have cried for me, and with me – and I have cried for you, and with you.
“Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)
No matter the decision of an institution, the work you have done with ProtectLDSChildren.org was ordained by a much higher source as you followed the spirit, despite the difficulty and criticism in doing that, and you have opened up healing for thousands of others besides me.
Sometimes blessings come wrapped in packages we judge on the surface to be trials or struggles. My little boy who has Down Syndrome came to me in a package that caused me concern and fear initially. I learned quickly, that fear was due to my worldly lack of understanding about what it was like to have a literal angel and heavenly teacher live in my home with me – protecting my home and family in ways I didn’t understand before. I assert that this “tribunal and excommunication package” is similarly, a blessing in disguise.
This movement you started would not have brought nearly the awareness, would not have reached as many people, and would not have opened up the opportunity for so many to heal, had it not been wrapped in this threat of excommunication that was nothing more than a facade, in attempt to dissuade the truth of the work you have been doing for others and protect those perpetuating the abuse. The response offered by the church is a textbook 101 response; an expected response from an abuser who is at risk of being exposed. The audacity of the situation, the offensiveness of it all, the insanity and ridiculousness would not have been recognized, without that enormous exclamation point; excommunication for protecting innocent victims, while protecting the reputation the perpetrators.
I testify based upon everything I know up to this point, that regardless of what church leadership chooses in order to protect themselves and the institution, you are protected by God and have an army of witnesses standing with you, who will intercede and testify before the Lord on your behalf, as you have on our behalf.
Your sealings with your family will remain in tact whether the church recognizes them or not. All sealings are governed by the Holy Spirit of Promise – a higher authority than an earthly church whose duty is to teach and administer the preparatory gospel. Your blessings come from the heavens, not from any church. You are no more guilty of wrong, than we are guilty as victims of abuse (despite some of the teachings of the church about such absurd things as “non-consensual immorality”).
At the risk of being redundant, I want to point out that those who made the decisions about your future with the church, are the same church, and the the same leadership, protecting the same governing policies and bylaws, that harmed all of us standing with you. You are clean before Him, just like we are.
“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
Sam it is certainly not you who has offended these little ones. You have sat with the broken, while others pine to brush elbows with, look good before, and follow “the elites”, as they see them. You have carried our burden and made it yours. We are all blessed by your efforts to help us heal from the trauma we’ve suffered at the hands of the organization you faced on our behalf.
We should all be so brave and selfless helping the poor and suffering among us. THIS is what “building Zion” is about – not building more buildings, not doing more dead works and rituals, not clamoring over someone who has tasted the heavens and hoping to ride their coattails to exaltation. Building Zion is about getting your hands dirty and suffering WITH the poor and needy, until you BOTH taste healing, freedom, joy, peace, and sit with the Christs. It’s about using your own strengths to help another receive relief, and also helping them to overcome what they lack – whether that be a lack of healing, prosperity, love, safety, peace, understanding, or any other condition whose lack would cause suffering, and helping lift them to a position of overcoming their need. Zion is built with the Pure Love of Christ.
Sam understands the principles of building Zion and ushering in Christ; he was willing to go beyond the comfort zone where the big man on campus sends down instructions through the pyramid of perceived authority, and sit with the proverbial whores – just like Jesus Christ did. He has been willing to taste a bit of the salt rubbed in our wounds and gain as much understanding as he could by succoring “the poor” he saw around him. He has been willing to empathize, and sacrifice and “lay down his life” for others. His membership in the LDS Church was something of eternal value to him, and he lay this important-to-him thing on the altar, for thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people he will never meet in this life. THAT is an example of what building Zion is about. THAT is how Zion will become filled with Christs who walk among The Christ.
Thank you again Sam for doing what nobody has done for ME before, and what nobody did for hundreds and thousands of my peers, before you risked all that is important to you and your own family, to stand for the innocent. Thank you too for preventing all the future victims that will now be kept safe, regardless of the decision of the church – as bishops, parents, and kids have been educated and empowered to stand up for what is right while they begin to take matters of protecting LDS kids (and adults) into their own hands, and have the confidence to stand for themselves – and disregard non-doctrinal policies and traditions of man – despite the LDS Church’s desperate attempt to maintain their whited sepulchers. Those who haven’t learned to behave better toward others, might also now choose to hesitate and make better decisions, as all those before them have been given this new voice and empowerment. LDS Church and offshoot groups perpetuating the same abominable behaviors – I hope you figure it out soon, for the sake of those you continue to hurt, and for yourselves.
As I said in another writing, what you have done Sam, is a lot like something the Savior did.
Very sincerely and gratefully yours,
My church abuse experience #785 – along with over 800 others, can be viewed on the ProtectLDSChildren.org website.
- To those who have been hurt and to those who suffer in painful silence – you are not alone, you are believed, and you have advocates who are working for you – and YOU ARE WORTH IT.
- To those who have harmed others, who have been complacent, or have refused to protect those who have been harmed, and refused to succor those in need – especially after discovering their needs, and to who continue to perpetuate such atrocities, WO, WO, WO – you know the rest.