LDS Church leaders, teachers now required to take online course on preventing abuse of children, teens

Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Photo: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 16, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Friday it will require adults working with children and teens to complete a 30-minute training course intended to prevent abuse.

The course must be completed by Sept. 22, the statement says.

“The scriptures contain many examples of the Savior’s love for His children,” says the statement. “His Church does not tolerate abuse of any kind.

“As part of an ongoing effort to protect children and youth, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has launched an online training course for all adults who interact with children and youth in their Church assignments.”

The training has launched first in North America, with other areas to follow the statement says. The requirement will apply to anyone assigned to work with children or teens.

“Each leader will log in with his or her Church account so completion of training can be recorded,” the statement says. “Local leaders are notified if the training is not completed. The training can be accessed at ProtectingChildren.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

The statement quoted Joy D. Jones, Primary general president.

“We take Jesus Christ’s teachings about children and youth very seriously,” she said. “He welcomed them into His presence and gave stern warnings against abusing, bullying or hurting them in any way. Jesus said of children, ‘Of such is the kingdom of God’ (Mark 10:14). His deep concern for children and youth must continue to be our deep concern.”

Those North American Church leaders who will be required to complete the new training are:

  • Stake and district presidencies, bishoprics and branch presidencies
  • High councilors
  • Stake, district, ward, and branch Primary, Young Women, Young Men and Sunday School and Relief Society presidencies; elders quorum presidencies
  • Secretaries, teachers, advisers, camp leaders, activity day leaders, music leaders, pianists and others serving in positions in the Primary, Young Women and Young Men organizations
  • Teachers of youth Sunday School and seminary classes
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“Latter-day Saint leaders registered in Scouting should also complete the required Boy Scouts of America’s Youth Protection training through the remainder of 2019, after which the Church will no longer be participating in BSA,” the statement says.

“In addition to those working with children and youth, parents and others are encouraged to complete the training.”

The training is designed to increase awareness, highlight policies and identify best practices for supervising and interacting with children and youth, the statement says.

“It also helps leaders know how to prevent and respond to abuse. Leaders and specialists from child protection organizations, family therapists and other professionals participated in the creation and evaluation of the new training.”

Stephen W. Owen, Young Men general president, said in the statement that Church members “… must do all in our power to bless and protect each child entrusted to our care. This online training is one important way we can help ensure our children have the loving parents and devoted leaders they deserve and need.”

To read the statement online, click here.

 

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