Can child sexual abuse happen in a Mormon chapel?

Yes.

28+ documented cases, 65+ victims, 100s of times that we’ve documented as of March 2024.

By a missionary? Yes. By a bishop? Yes. In bishop’s office? Yes. In Primary? Yes. In Sacrament meeting? Yes. LDS church has paid such victims a total of $7.3+ million. Do your loved ones know?

An official LDS Newsroom article states that “Church facilities are designed to protect against abuse. Since 2006, all classrooms in new chapels and meetinghouses have windows so parents and others can help watch over children and keep them safe.”

Despite this, Mormon priesthood leaders have sexually abused children inside LDS chapels on hundreds of documented occasions, including:

President Uchtdorf’s office inside the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City Monday, Sept. 18, 2017.

On the other hand, FLOODLIT.org is aware of zero documented instances where sexual abuse in a Mormon church building was thwarted or even claimed to have been thwarted via the gift of discernment, which the Mormon church teaches “enables a bishop or branch president to […] know what is in a person’s heart.”

See also this LDS scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 46:27: “And unto the bishop of the church, and unto such as God shall appoint and ordain to watch over the church and to be elders unto the church, are to have it given unto them to discern all those gifts lest there shall be any among you professing and yet be not of God.”

If you know children who currently attend LDS church meetings or activities, please consider sending their families this information. Awareness is a key to safety.

Have you ever heard of anyone being groomed or sexually assaulted inside an LDS chapel or other Mormon church building? Report abuse to FLOODLIT. It’s anonymous by default and can help others stay safe or find healing.

Do you think Mormon chapels are safer places for children now than they were during your childhood?

More resources and help for LDS sexual abuse survivors