A former Latter-day Saints bishop, now excommunicated, is back in Salt Lake City to spread his message to "protect every child" from sexual abuse, and to announce a march on the same weekend as general conference this fall.
A bearded Sam Young wore a shirt and tie, along with shorts and hiking boots, as he gathered with others at a downtown club on Sunday. He had the bearing of a hiker, rather than an ecclesiastical minister.
“This is the most important message that we should be taking into our hearts to protect our children,” said Young, who has sharply criticized leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints interviewing children over sexually-explicit matters.
Just over a year ago, the Church released "new guidelines" allowing a parent to accompany a minor into those sessions, but Young said that change was not enough. He went on a hunger strike that lasted for weeks to protest the interviews.
Now, he has widened his work through protecteverychild.com to assure kids are safe inside religious institutions, and the march from the city and county building to the state capitol on Oct. 5 is part of that effort.
Young told 2News:
We are going to be preparing for at least 5,000 people. We’re talking about going to the moon again. Well, that’s a cool thing, but our children are even more important.