LDS Church responds after founder of ‘Protect LDS Children’ says he may face excommunication

SALT LAKE CITY - The founder of the group "Protect LDS Children" says he received notice this week he may be excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sam Young posted a copy of a letter he received from his Latter-day Saint Stake President on social media. The letter informs Young that church leaders will "convene a formal disciplinary council in [his] behalf which includes the possibility of excommunication, disfellowshipment, formal probation, or no action".

Courtesy: Sam Young

The letter goes on to state the reason for the council is because Young encouraged others to oppose Church leaders.

Eric Hawkins, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, issued this statement in response to a request from Fox 13:

"Because of the personal nature of Church disciplinary matters and to respect the privacy of those involved, the Church does not provide information about the proceedings. Church discipline is administered by local leaders who are familiar with the individual and his or her circumstances. "

The statement from the LDS Church also included a link to a page on Mormonnewsroom regarding Church Discipline proceedings. 

Young is a former Latter-day Saint Bishop who has been an outspoken critic of the Church's policy to have bishops do one-on-one interviews with youth.

Church leaders say the interviews are necessary for bishops to determine if young members are living church teachings, but Young claims bishops often ask very detailed sexual questions—which he and others believe leave minors open to psychological trauma and sexual predators.

In response to the letter informing him about the possible excommunication, Young wrote in a blog post: "Fast 23 days. Stand up to protect children. Speak out against a dreadful policy. Work to help the healing of countless kids who were severely wounded behind closed doors. Document the horrors. Apologize. And what do you get? Excommunication!"

In late July, Young began a 23 day hunger strike protesting the practice. As part of that effort, he held nightly discussions across the street from Temple Square during which he invited members of the Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and First Presidency to come and talk about the policy.

No leaders ever accepted his invitation. In a statement issued in response to the hunger strike itself, the LDS Church stated in part: “They have received and reviewed his materials and understand clearly his viewpoint. Further meetings with him are not necessary to clarify his position on this matter.”

Young has previously told Fox 13 News he believes any interviews with children that involve questions of a sexual nature should only be done with a parent or guardian present, if at all.

The letter he received states the disciplinary council will be held Sunday, September 9 near his home in Houston, Texas.

Fox 13 News reached out to Young to see if he had any additional comment and we will update this story as more details become available.