#hearLDSwomen: I Was Punished for Warning Parents About a Pedophile
So, in the midst of all the crap that’s going on, I decided to look up a former high school teacher and see if he was on the sex offender registry. Nothing ever happened to me (I got the creeps super early on and avoided him like the plague) but I’d heard that he was later arrested and charged with child molestation and wasn’t surprised AT ALL.
Not only is he not on the registry, but he’s living in North Salt Lake, retired from teaching, and has an “I’m a Mormon” profile.
I am completely skeeved out by this. There was never anything that I could report–all he did was call me into his office for a one-on-one meeting and proceed to tell me I had a “sweet spirit” and try to get close to me. I saw all the warning signs, dropped the extracurricular he was in charge of, and told my parents (they 100% believed me and said to stay away from him).
But I honestly thought he’d been caught and sentenced. And he wasn’t, apparently.
When I was Cubmaster, I fought my way up the chain (first committee chair, then Primary president, then bishop), to inform parents that one of our den leaders had ended up in jail for having sex with minor girls. My intent was to make sure he had not also harmed any Cub Scouts, so parents could be simply informed and then ask their kids if they were okay. I got shut down. A few days later, a good elder of the Church posted the news link to our ward’s Facebook page, and nobody batted an eye. It got worse for me from there out. I have zero desire to ever serve in a calling again.
Immediately after I got shut down, the Primary president started micromanaging my calling as Primary chorister. She was mad that I had escalated above her to the bishop regarding the den leader, and she was teaching me a lesson. After some agonizing weeks, I was finally let go for “doing too much” in that calling. That was the final blow to my faith in any patriarchy having any sort of revelatory power over me, for, or on my behalf. I absolutely knew those callings were where I was supposed to be. I went from being very involved and feeling like a contributing member of my ward to one that simply goes home after Sacrament.
On a side note- it freed me up to study women in church history, which has been very enlightening!
It sounds horrible, but I feel like I’ve grown from it. I don’t feel as bitter about it as I used to. It didn’t break me, it made me stronger.
– Katharina Nelson
Pro Tip: Support women and girls in trusting their instincts. Always, always inform ward members (and others who may have been affected) if a fellow congregant is a sexual predator.
“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)