We’re working on a timeline of Mormon sex abuse-related events, policies and responses.

Please tell us about anything you’ve found regarding the LDS church’s history of dealing with sex abuse allegations.

1975 | 1980 | 1985 | 1990 | 1995 | 2000 | 2005 | 2010 | 2015 | 2020 | 2024

Chronology of events related to sexual abuse in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


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1979: The LDS church publishes a revised edition of a doctrinal manual, “Gospel Principles,” in which the following teachings about chastity, rape, sexual assault and sexual sin are represented:


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1985: The LDS church publishes Child Abuse: Help for Ecclesiastical Leaders. In a General Conference address, President Gordon B. Hinckley condemns “a plague of child abuse spreading across the world.”


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1991: President Thomas S. Monson decries wife and child abuse during General Conference. A 1990 memo by Elder Glenn L. Pace on ritualistic sexual abuse is leaked to the press via Jerald and Sandra Tanner.


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1992: The Ensign publishes a first-person account by a female survivor of sexual abuse. Deseret Book publishes Blaine M. Yorgason’s novel Secrets. April Daniels and Carol Scott publish Paperdolls: Healing from Sexual Abuse in Mormon Neighborhoods.

LDS Church Administration Building, Salt Lake City, Utah


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1993: Deseret Book releases an audiotape by Cheiko Okazaki, Healing from Sexual Abuse: Eight Messages for Survivors, Family, and Leaders. It also publishes Confronting Abuse: An LDS Perspective on Understanding and Healing Emotional, Physical, Sexual, Psychological, and Spiritual Abuse. The Church settles a civil suit in California for “millions of dollars.”


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1994: Former General Authority George Lee pleads guilty to attempted sexual abuse of a child. President Hinckley speaks against physical and sexual abuse during the October General Conference. At a leadership meeting in Calgary, Alberta, President Hinckley says that sex abuse cases “are costing the Church millions of dollars in lawyers’ fees and settlements.”


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1995: The Church produces Responding to Abuse: Help for
Ecclesiastical Leaders (a revised version of their 1985 guide) and sets up a telephone helpline for Church leaders faced with child abuse cases.


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1996: “Adult Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse: The Case of Mormon Women” is published in Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work. The first volume of the Case Reports of the Mormon Alliance is published. Marion Smith publishes in the Event, a local Salt Lake weekly, an investigative report chronicling 16 cases of Mormon-related sexual abuse.


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1998: A new Church Handbook of Instructions is published with updated policies for dealing with child abuse. One of the changes requires annotation of the abuser’s membership record. A Texas jury awards $4 million to a boy molested at age eight by Church member Charles Blome.


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1999: The Church is named the 1999 “Child Advocate of the Year” by Prevent Child Abuse Utah. The Salt Lake Tribune re- ports that “more than forty plaintiffs have alleged church officials knew of molestations or ignored warning signs and failed to alert either victims’ families or authorities.”


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2001: LDS leaders settle a child sexual abuse lawsuit for $3 million. A North Carolina grand jury indicts Matthew Nash on twenty felony sex offenses committed while he was an LDS missionary.


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2002 (month unknown) LDS church publishes a 12-minute video – Protect the Child: Responding to Child Abuse giving instructions to local church leaders about responding to possible child abuse and abusers in their congregations.

2002-07-02: The Salt Lake Tribune publishes a quote from LDS church spokesman Mike Otterson: “We are determined to pursue child abuse in the church where it exists, and we have an unsurpassed record in doing it.” Otterson was responding to news that a lawsuit had said Mormon leaders knew since 1975 that Mitchell Blake Young was abusing kids (10+ victims). Multiple alleged coverups, probation violation.

Salt Lake Tribune, 2002-07-02, page B4


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2023 Mormon Sexual Abuse Events

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January 2023

  • Case report – Mormon church settles for $1.1 million in a civil lawsuit brought by a man who was sexually abused as a preschooler by a teenage volunteer in his Tacoma, Washington ward.

February 2023

  • Case report – a former LDS church youth leader in Utah pleads guilty to four counts of felony child sexual abuse. Police say he paid a victim thousands of dollars not to tell anyone. He is later sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

March 2023

  • Case report – a former Mormon bishop and former mayor of West Bountiful, Utah is sentenced to prison for child sexual abuse. He allegedly confessed to multiple LDS bishops about his sexual criminal behavior, but was not reported to police by any of them. Some of his sex crimes occurred years after his initial alleged confession to a Mormon bishop.
  • Case report – a Utah Mormon man who helped raise 54 foster children is charged with forcible sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl.
  • Case report – a former Mormon bishopric counselor and Idaho city councilman is sentenced to prison after sexually abusing a girl for 7 years.

April 2023

  • Case report – a federal court in New Mexico grants partial judgment in favor of the LDS church, saying that priests’ sexual misdeeds do NOT fall within the scope of “church employment.” The alleged sexual abuse occurred in the 1960s by a Mormon branch president (Las Vegas, New Mexico Branch).
  • Case report – an LDS church member and former Primary worker in the Redmond, Washington area admits to investigators to sexually abusing around six to eight young boys over a period of multiple years. Some of the alleged child sexual abuse occurred during Sunday sacrament meetings, in view of multiple adults.
  • Case report – A California jury awards a sexual abuse victim $2.28 billion in a default verdict against her stepfather who she claimed had abused her for years, starting when she was 6 years old. The LDS church settled in December 2022 for $995,000, which resulted in it being released from being a defendant in the lawsuit. During the abuser’s sentencing, only one adult (not LDS) sat with the victim. Several LDS members, including her mother and bishop, sat on the abuser’s side.

May 2023

  • Case report – a Mormon church member in Utah is charged with multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a minor on suspicion of his involvement in sex tourism and distribution of child sexual abuse material, or CSAM (commonly referred to as child pornography, or CP).

June 2023

  • Case report – an LDS church member and former BYU professor in Provo, Utah is sentenced according to a plea agreement in which he agreed to plead no contest to three class A misdemeanor charges of sexual battery, complete 24 months of probation, do 50 hours of community service, and take a sexual boundaries course. He had been accused by three former students of sexually abusing them.
  • Case report – an LDS church member in Idaho was sentenced to 8 to 18 years in prison for sexual abuse of an underage victim. He sexually assaulted his victim while his family was at Mormon church meetings.

July 2023

  • Case report – former Mormon missionary arrested in Idaho and charged with rape of a minor. He was caught in a sting operation in December 2022 in Virginia while on his mission, and accused of soliciting explicit pictures and video from a person he believed to be an 11-year-old girl. We spoke with a source familiar with the case, who told us that the defendant’s Mormon leaders failed to inform his congregation about the reason he was sent home early from his mission.
  • Case report – $10.3 million lawsuit filed against former Mormon “ministering brother” (home teacher) and youth leader awaiting trial for child sex abuse in Virginia.

August 2023

  • Case report – a retired Mormon police officer and former Utah Valley University adjunct professor in American Fork, Utah was arrested and charged with 11 felony counts related to child sexual exploitation. He allegedly tried recording a 13-year-old girl showering. Investigators found 300+ child sexual abuse material (CSAM) images/videos on his devices.
  • Case report – an LDS church member and president of the National Association of Realtors resigns after accusations of sexual misconduct. He is a former Mormon ward young men’s leader in Utah and bishopric counselor in a BYU-Provo ward.

September 2023

  • Case report – In Colorado, a former Mormon stake president and deputy district attorney is charged with felony sexual assault on a child by a someone in a position of trust. A ward bishopric in his LDS stake sends its members an email about it. He is a grandson of deceased Mormon apostle Bruce McConkie.

October 2023

November 2023

  • Case report – Arizona court cites clergy-penitent privilege as it dismisses a child sex abuse lawsuit filed by abuse victims against the Mormon church.
  • Case report – A former Mormon bishop and therapist in Utah is arrested and charged with sexually assaulting up to a dozen men during therapy sessions dealing with their homosexuality. The exmormon subreddit played a role in gathering information leading up to his arrest.
  • Case report – A former Mormon bishop and stake presidency member is sentenced to prison for child sexual abuse.
  • Case report – Story breaks that a known sexual predator assigned to work with Mormon youth in Georgia had been convicted not only in Utah, but also in Scotland.
  • Case report – Several sexual abuse victims hold a press conference to speak publicly about their experiences with Tim Ballard, a prominent Utah Mormon and activist against human trafficking.

December 2023

  • Case report – The Associated Press reports that the Mormon church paid a sexual abuse victim $300,000 to not use her story as the basis of a lawsuit against it, and to keep the payment secret. We’ve spoken with multiple sources familiar with this case.


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2024 – January:


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