was an LDS stake president and stake patriarch in Alberta, Canada; accused of sexually abusing multiple young men

Personal information

  • Pierson, Chesley Nels
  • Alias(es): Ches Pierson, Ches N. Pierson
  • Born: 1928
  • Died: 2021
  • Gender: Male

Case summary

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10/26/02 Calgary, Canada

LDS Pierson was accused of several sexual abuse allegations. “The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter Day Saints has excommunicated a long-time high-ranking member in the wake of
multiple allegations of sexual abuse and a police probe, The Sun has learned…. Pierson, a
Patriarch with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Calgary, is being
investigated by police over allegations he has had inappropriate sexual contact with young
males in the church. Patriarchs are high-ranking church elders who can bless congregation
members. …In 1973, Snelling, now 57, says he complained to his stake president – similar to
an archbishop – of the Mormon church in Edmonton that Pierson had fondled his genitals.
That individual has since died. “(The Stake president) swept it under the rug,” Snelling

From L Moss Sharman
Church Shocker Mormon Leader Excommunicated
by Kevin Connor,
Edmonton Sun 10/26/02

from Pierson’s obituary:

“Ches was born in Lethbridge and raised in Jefferson and Sterling, Alberta. After High School he attended Brigham Young University and then served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to England, a time in his life that he cherished. After returning from England, he met [his wife], the sister of one of his missionary companions. Soon after they were engaged and married in the Logan Utah Temple. They began their life together in Calgary where they settled and raised their family.

Ches worked in various positions until he was offered the opportunity to work in funeral service, his life long desire. He began at Foster’s Garden Chapel, then later moved to Cy Foster Gooder Funeral Home. He left funeral service for about five years to work at Cowley and Keith Real Estate, a move that allowed him to use his organizational and social skills.

During this time, his son [name] began working in Funeral Service which provided many family and friends to continue to be cared for by a Pierson family member. After the sudden collapse of Cowley and Keith and without employment, our family decided to open our own funeral home. Ches, [wife and son], along with the support of many renovated a building & opened Pierson’s Funeral Service in Forest Lawn in 1983. This was the realization of a life long dream and they worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the business.

Ches and [wife] served two missions for the church, first in Oakland, CA and then in the London England Temple. Upon returning to Calgary, they moved to the community of Oakridge and then when [wife]’s health began to fail, into Garrison Green.

Ches loved to serve others and he loved to work! In his younger years, he supplemented his income by teaching Dale Carnegie, which enhanced his skills in public speaking. He served in many positions in the Church, including Home Teacher, Bishop, Patriarch and other Stake callings, and a variety of callings as a teacher. Rotary was an important part of his life and he was a member of the Rotary Club of Calgary East.”

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LDS/Mormon church membership history

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LDS mission information

The accused did not serve a full-time LDS mission.

LDS temple marriage information

FLOODLIT is not aware whether the accused was married in a Mormon temple.

LDS church positions ever held by the accused: Bishop Missionary Other leader Stake patriarch Stake president
LDS church positions held by the accused at the time of the alleged crime(s):
LDS church positions held by the accused at the time of being publicly accused:

Alleged crime(s)

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Alleged victim(s)

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  • Number of alleged victim(s) - note if approximate:
  • Average age of alleged victim(s) at time of alleged crime(s):


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Criminal charge(s)

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Criminal verdict(s)

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Criminal sentence

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Prison time

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Other court cases

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LDS church response(s)

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  • Alleged failure to report by local LDS leaders? no
  • Alleged misconduct by local LDS leaders? no
  • Alleged misconduct by global LDS leaders? no

FLOODLIT is not aware whether the Mormon church paid any settlement amounts related to this case.

View all Mormon sexual abuse settlements


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