LDS protester meets with disciplinary council

Former bishop Sam Young will have to wait to hear his sentence. (Photo: Lisa Nico/KUTV)

(KUTV) -- Former LDS Bishop Sam Young will have to wait to hear his sentence.

The Houston man has been protesting the policy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since last month, when he endured a 23-day hunger strike near Temple Square.

He was protesting the church’s practice of holding closed-door meetings between youth and leaders where they discuss issues including sexuality.

“It’s a huge problem within members of the church that is sometimes being covered up. I think there needs to be more training and collaboration with bishops about how to respond to sexual abuse and on what sexual abuse,” said social worker Tara Tulley, who supported Sam Young’s message.

His website ProtectLDSChildren.org contains the stories of those who say they were harmed by such interviews.

“I’ve had kids as young as 12 that have gone to their bishops, reporting they have sinned, not really realizing they had been abused. And the bishop told them to stop taking sacrament and basically treated it as a sin," Tulley said. "And, that causes long term lasting effects on mental health.”

Young faces myriad of repercussions from the hearing, including formal probation, disfellowship and loss of membership, which is called excommunication.

“It’s his very salvation that he is putting on the line,” said Cameron McDougle, a former Church member and current supporter of Young.

“An excommunication will nullify covenants: two-way promises between you and God that you’re going to obey him and receive salvation in return,” he said. “Coming from someone who’s an active Mormon, like Sam, it is a very big deal.”

Young met with the council in the Houston area Sunday evening. He is still waiting to hear how it rules.

During the meeting, his supporters held a march and rally in his honor. More than 200 people attended the event at Temple Square. Similar rallies were also held in Texas, Arizona and Colorado.

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