LDS Church Official Statement on Child Abuse

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued an official statement on the serious issue of Child Abuse.   It is a lengthy and personal statement from the perspective of Mormonism, which touches on many facets of this most grievous of sins.  It's hard to read, but even harder to imagine the magnitude of this problem that too many children are affected by.  It breaks my heart to think of such things happening to even one child.

From the introduction:
"The abuse of a child awakens in us an intensity and breadth of emotion that is beyond adequate expression. Perhaps this crime moves us so personally because we remember what it was like to hold our own children for the first time — the overwhelming feeling of love and the deepest parental instinct to nourish, teach and protect. It is shocking, almost inconceivable, that someone would hurt a child. It is the ultimate form of betrayal.
Society is uniting, rising up and rooting out child abuse. Over and over again, we see entire communities mobilize to search for children feared kidnapped and abused. It is national news when a single child is in danger.

But child abuse was not always the subject of national media reports. This evil lurked in the shadows, mostly unseen, almost always unmentionable. Yet even before the issue first came to the forefront in the United States, Gordon B. Hinckley, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, publicly denounced child abuse as a terrible evil. In the early 1980s, he captured our thoughts and feelings when he said in a worldwide conference broadcast: "I am glad that there is a growing public awareness of this insidious evil. The exploitation of children . . . for the satisfaction of sadistic desires is sin of the darkest hue.
What other position could the Church possibly take? The issue goes to the heart of Church doctrine. Little children are innocent and precious in the eyes of God. Jesus Christ experienced some of His most tender moments with children and reserved His strongest language for those who abuse them. "Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:6). Moreover, the family is at the core of the Church. Children attend Church services with their parents. Church practice includes a weekly family night, in which other interests are set aside so that strong family relationships can be built. In the family, parents draw strength from each other to cherish and protect their children by providing an environment where children can grow and develop in an atmosphere of love and support. The Church provides a gathering place for families intent on raising their children with spiritual values. Both the Church and family have the highest interest in the welfare of children.
In this document, the issue of child abuse is set forth from the perspective of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What is being done to discourage it? What is the Church doing for victims? Have there been court cases and settlements, and if so, why? How does the Church treat those who abuse children? How do the experiences of this church differ from those of other religious and secular organizations, and what are the similarities? In these few pages such questions are explored." LDS Newsroom

You can read the entire statement here, and please considering sharing this...

Official Statement on Child Abuse - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints



  1. I didn't read the statement, but what I can tell you is that child abuse in all its forms is so damaging on so many levels. It shatters innocence and leaves lives desolate and unbelieving in anything good in the world.
    hard-hearted (as in no one gets in)
    and the cycle continues from one generation to the next until one is able to be strong enough and stand up and say NO MORE! I hated the way I was treated, I hate the way I feel, and i will not continue this lifestyle.
    Many are standing up to share what happened, only to be told they are lying and ridiculed and shamed.

  2. Anita -

    Thank you for your heartfelt comment. I can assure you that the LDS Church has a zero tolerance approach to child abuse. The first and most important concern in all circumstances is for the victim.

    The Church is most definitely saying NO MORE!

    I'm deeply sorry for whatever you have suffered, and hope and pray that as we go more public with this issue, more victims will get the love, help and support that they desperately need.

  3. Hi Kathryn
    I can relate to this as I was abused for 14 yrs, noone can really know what it does to a person, how extra hard they have to get through a day, at appearing what society see as normal, everything is a battle and only a few actually get through it to live relatively normal lives but even then its not without a price we shouldnt have to pay. I feel i am one of the lucky ones, in the respect that i found the gospel just at the right time when i couldnt keep pretending anymore and i left my first husband, moved across country away from a destructive family who seemed to think i'd asked for it (i was 3 when it began, im pretty sure i didnt ask for it! haha) and started all over again. the times the Lord has assured me that HE will deal with it in due course has been a line that has kept me going.
    I'm glad the church has an offical opinion on this, it confirms to me that we are a church lead by God and not man, we are a church that waits patiently for the works of God to come into fruition at the right time.
    Until then, I do look at myself and see my imperfections, i accept those but i no longer feel like i asked for or deserved what happened. I have shared my experiences with so many people and i have come to think that maybe this is my way of really coming through it...I just know that for each person that speaks out, that pulls that one potentially at risk child and loves them that little bit more when they need it, the less the chance of abuse and lifelong damage. if only we could stop it all!
    Thanks for a lovely post Kathryn, i always enjoy reading your writings :)