Protecting Children in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Marci Hamilton's recent column entitled "How Other Religious Organizations Echo the Roman Catholic Church's Rule Against Scandal . . ." (Thursday, April 15, 2010) contains numerous inaccuracies about how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("LDS Church") handles child abuse. I have worked very closely with the LDS Church on child abuse issues for twenty years and am fully familiar with its approach. I have also served as an ecclesiastical leader in the LDS Church. And I have worked closely with other religious organizations on abuse issues. With this background and firsthand knowledge, I write to set the record straight.

Child abuse is a society-wide problem that affects people of all demographics. Tragically, every organization with families and children—religious or otherwise—faces the issue. That is particularly true of large and diverse organizations, such as the LDS Church, whose very purpose is to welcome and minister to all people.

The LDS Church has long had a highly effective approach for preventing and responding to abuse. In fact, no religious organization has done more. Although no one system is perfect and no single program will work with every organization, the LDS Church's approach is the gold standard.

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