Mormon Bishop Sam Young To Be Excommunicated


Mormon Bishop Sam Young, who recently led an effort to protect LDS youth from being asked sexually explicit questions in worthiness interviews, is now facing excommunication. Bishop Young just finished a 23-day hunger strike in Salt Lake, trying to get senior LDS leaders to listen, but none came. Instead, he just received an official letter from the Church stating he will be facing a disciplinary council. This will most likely end in his excommunication from the church.

This is what happens when a Mormon dares to question the leadership of the LDS church. Read the letter here:


What is the purpose of this thread? It seems gossipy, and in light of events in our own faith community recently, should we be doing this?


Try reading the letter first.


Thanks. I did. I’m finished with this thread. We have our own house to put in order. I’m out.


I don’t know what to tell ya, pal. This is the Non-Catholic Religions forum, where we talk about Non-Catholic religions. Some of us have a great deal of interest in Mormonism, either because we are ex-members or have family who are members or ex-members. Don’t really need you telling us what we should or should not discuss no matter what’s going on in the Catholic world. This thread is about a particularly news-worthy event going on within Mormonism. Not an ounce of gossip, either. Why you would even say that is a mystery to me.


I’m not really surprised at this. Isn’t this how they always suppress dissident from within?


I don’t think the LDS leadership likes to be questioned, at least not publicly, and that was the bishop’s offense here.


What did you think of the letter?


It sucks that so many Catholics are having a me first attitude and refusing to hear or comment about other Churches that are in the same position. Wow a 23 day fast!!! That’s commendable. It’s terrible that The LDS Church, Jehovah’s witnesses and the Roman Catholic Church have failed in protecting children. This just shows that no matter how much fasting or praying one does nothing will change. Because change lies with a select few in the hierarchy. Time for the parishioners to vote with their feet!!


Sadly, I’m not surprised by the letter or the deliberate opacity among church elders. These excommunication hearings are mere kangaroo courts designed to humiliate and ostracize “disobedient” Mormons. Good on him for sharing the letter!

None of this excuses all of the corruption in my own Church. It does go to show that abusing the vulnerable in God’s name is one of the worst ways to take it in vain. :disappointed_relieved:


I think its mostly to not engage in needless criticism that some posters don’t want to talk about this.


Did you notice the part of the letter that says in order for Sam to attend his own disciplinary council he must sign an agreement that he has to abide by all their rules, including a rule that says you cannot record the proceedings? That’s because a number of LDS have secretly recorded their hearings and posted them on the internet.

Then they go on to say that if he wishes he can just have his name removed from the membership records of the church and avoid the disciplinary council altogether. I guess that means his guilt has already been determined, and they’re hoping he will just bow out so the whole PR mess will go away. I hope he goes through with the council and makes them kick him out (and that he records the whole thing too).


Indeed we do! And while certain Catholics call Pope Francis a heretic and demand his resignation without any kind of retaliation this Mormon bishop is facing the most extreme of ecclesiastical censures for nothing more than disagreeing with a disciplinary facet of Mormonism. It would be like a Catholic priest being excommunicated for speaking against clerical celibacy.

I raised my own points of skepticism in the OP’s other thread on this topic, and mentioned the same “people in glass houses” objection that you just did in there. But that was before the LDS Church decided to take the draconian response it did (as it always does in such cases). If you’re not familiar with this maybe you should read first hand accounts of the LDS Church disciplinary councils from ex-members before assuming this is nothing more than a Catholic posting about another religious tradition while Rome burns.


I was more in the glass-houses line of thinking, too. But I’ve decided that I’m not going to keep silent about these injustices, in or out of my Church.


You have to be familiar with Mormonism to know just how common excommunications and disfellowships are. It really doesn’t take that much. Just speaking out publicly against the Church on one subject or another can get you excommunicated. That’s what is happening to Bishop Young right now. To my knowledge he has done nothing immoral or against God in any way. But he did challenge the leaders of the LDS church and that is a big no-no.


And baptisms and rebaptisms! There is no such thing as an indelible mark left on the soul of a recipient of any of the Mormon ordinances. One’s baptism, confirmation, and ordination to the priesthood is rescinded with the stroke of a pen and each of these ordinances must be redone should the individual reconcile with the LDS Church.


Yeah I’ve never understood how it could be possible to be re-baptized.


The history teacher I had a few years ago is a Mormon. She was a great teacher and was extremely respectful of the Catholic faith (she worked at a Catholic School). There was another “teacher” there (she was an aide to a girl who has Down syndrome) who had no strong beliefs of her own, yet she sat in the back of the church on her phone every time we went inside, while the Mormon teacher participated in the Liturgy (though not, of course, in Holy Communion), singing the hymns and standing and kneeling along with everybody else. It was strange and somewhat ironic to note the differences.


I suppose I can comment on this thread with only this comment on how I will not comment more than this on the ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM (I almost succeeded …).

The CoJCoLDS in response to the less public concerns did change its policies. I recall thinking that if what Sam Young wanted was to make things better he would have stopped. I do not believe Sam Young’s course for the Church will protect youth as well as the current course the church is on. Sam Young’s position is that the youth should not be asked about sexual mores by church leaders. I believe the end game of Sam Young and/or MANY affiliated with him is the ending of sexual mores period (no teachings against homosexuality, no teachings against pre-marital sex, …). I also believe that the position espouses by Sam Young will result in greater harm to more youth because the sexual mores defined by God will be further eclipsed by the world in which we live.

One perverted bishop who enjoys asking probing questions of youth is too many. I think there are changes that have been made and probably more that will be made to guard against such things. But to end the discussion with youth about sexual mores completely or to remove the ability of a youth to council with inspired church leaders about this IMO will prove far more damaging to far more youth. If God’s Church abdicates teaching God’s truth because it is uncomfortable, the world will continue to teach that which is in opposition to God’s truth.

In addition to this, I think excommunication MAY be the right course of action for Sam Young. It was not just his hunger strike, it was his call to members of the CoJCoLDS to publicly declare that they do not sustain LDS leaders. I cannot participate on this board if I do anything half as anti-Catholic as Sam Young did publicly against the CoJCoLDS. It would seem to me that if a debate board that supports the Catholic Church can ask participants this, surely a Church can expect its members to not encourage folks to reject their membership in the church. Perhaps I am just a pro-LDS bigot.

LDS do not have wonderful Latin terms such as Latea Sententiae. LDS do not excommunicate themselves because of their holding of heretical beliefs. They do not excommunicate themselves because of teaching heretical beliefs. But, if they encourage folks to reject the tenets of the faith, they may be excommunicated. I find the way the CoJCoLDS deals with these issues to be far superior to the ancient way the Catholic Church handled these issues and still superior to the way the current Catholic Church handled these issues.

In a oblique departure from what I claimed in my first sentence let me say: I will add Sam Young to my prayers this Sunday when I carry out the fast I have planned already associated with horrible sexual scandal. If you say prayers and if you fast (my Catholic friend has already had a fast), perhaps you can pray for the CoJCoLDS and Sam Young too. That is what I would think you would do if you are concerned about LDS youth and Sam Young. I hope you are not just using “youth safety” for …

Charity, TOm


I have noted a difference between the way the sexual scandals in the news (including Sam Young) are addressed by LDS on LDS boards and the way they are addressed on boards that are not primarily made up of folks who have faith in Christ and embrace the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I think this speaks well of the Christianity of the CoJCoLDS. That being said, there are many fine examples of Christianity amid the clamor of other voices on non-LDS boards. I appreciate your post.
Charity, TOm

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit