Index: https://floodlit.org/lpe/ever-mission-president/

Were any of these men your mission president?

Here is a list of former LDS mission presidents who were accused of sexual abuse or other sex crimes.

Joseph Layton Bishop

  • President of the Argentina Buenos Aires North mission from 1978 to 1981.
  • President of the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center (MTC) from July 1983 to 1986.
  • Allegedly sexually abused multiple sister missionaries.
  • Admitted to BYU University Police that he had asked a missionary to expose her breasts to him.
  • Admitted to her that he had had inappropriate conversations with her, and that he had molested a second sister missionary.
  • Described himself as a sex addict, a hypocrite and a predator.

 

George Patrick Lee

  • President of the Arizona Holbrook mission in 1975.
  • Appointed to the First Quorum of the Seventy (a General Authority) in 1975.
  • In 1994, pleaded guilty to attempted sexual abuse of a child, a third-degree felony.

 

Gerald Ebert Mortimer

  • President of the Philippines San Pablo Mission from 2005 to 2008.
  • Temple president of the Cebu City Philippines Temple from 2009 to 2011 or 2012.
  • Admitted to secretly using his sperm (he was an OB/GYN) to artificially inseminate multiple women.
  • He wasn’t the only Mormon doctor to do this: Cecil Bryan Jacobson

 

Spencer John Palmer

  • Mormon temple endowment ceremony actor, BYU professor, mission president, temple president and LDS church area authority.
  • President of a mission in South Korea from 1965 to 1968.
  • Died in 2000.
  • Posthumously accused of sexual abuse by his grandson in a 2021 Mormon Stories podcast episode.
  • In that episode, the grandson’s wife accused her Provo OB/GYN David Harris Broadbent of sexual abuse; over 80 women eventually joined her in a class action lawsuit against Broadbent.

 

Byron Lloyd Poelman

  • Stake president in Salt Lake City, Utah in the early 1990s.
  • Founding partner in a law firm that represented the LDS church (now named Kirton & McConkie after dropping his name).
  • President of the Tennessee Nashville mission from 1978 to 1981.
  • Arrested in 1994 (while serving as an LDS stake president) for soliciting a prostitute in Salt Lake City.
  • Pleaded guilty to a class B misdemeanor charge of patronizing a prostitute.
  • Excommunicated.
  • Died in 2014.
  • AKA B. Lloyd Poelman

 

Philander Knox Smartt

President of the San Juan Puerto Rico mission from 2013 to 2014. Allegedly pressured multiple sister missionaries into agreeing to become his polygamous wives. (He wasn’t the only mission president to allegedly do this.) Released in 2014. Was not charged with a crime; however, an LDS church spokesman said, “the sister missionaries who had been deceived and victimized were provided with ecclesiastical and emotional counseling […] the wife and family of the mission president have been assisted by the church with the legal, emotional and personal consequences resulting from the immoral and sinful behavior of one man.”

 

Lowell Robison

  • President of the Mexico Leon mission from 1995 to 1998.
  • Accused in 2018 of sexually abusing missionaries.
  • Two months later, committed suicide.
  • More details: Reddit thread about Lowell Robison

 

Richard Miles

  • Was an LDS church member in Bountiful, Utah.
  • Son-in-law of Mormon church president Russell Nelson.
  • Accused of child sexual abuse in a civil lawsuit.
  • Case was dismissed with prejudice due to issues regarding statute of limitations.

 

Preston Robinson

  • Was a prominent LDS church member in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Personal mentor to Thomas S. Monson, who later became president of the LDS church.
  • Served in numerous church leadership positions.
  • Was president of the Utah Symphony.
  • Was general manager of Deseret News Publishing Company and editor of the Deseret News.
  • Accused posthumously, along with his wife Christine Hinckley Robinson (Mormon prophet Gordon Hinckley’s sister), of child sexual abuse.

 

Do you know of any LDS mission presidents missing from this list? Browse our database by LDS church calling/position or US state.

Were you ever abused in any way by a mission president, or do you know someone who was? Contact FLOODLIT or add information anonymously.