My situation was a little different but similar. I became aware that a ward member was using crystal meth and other illegal drugs in her home. The woman is middle aged. The young sisters missionaries regularly visited her at home. Should I speak up to the mission president? I did tell her bishop but he did nothing despite the fact there are children in the home. I could be wrong but understand that crystal meth gets on things in the house and the sister missionaries and other visitors can pick it up on doorknobs or other household surfaces. And yes, I am absolutely certain of the facts.
My family had a registered sex offender for a home teacher for a short time. Fortunately he did not act inappropriately toward anyone in my family, but he was apprehended shortly after he moved from our ward for molesting children. He is now in prison for those actions. I believe that bishops should check names for being on this registry before assigning them as home teachers, and if they are on the registry, they should be interviewed carefully to see why their names are on the registry, and they should only be assigned as home teachers if the bishop and/or stake president are certain that they are not a current risk.
I am interested in the research that I have seen that says sexual predators cannot be rehabilitated, and so the definitions of what a predator is, have changed. That IS the reason for the registry; they may not be incarcerated forever, but are considered dangerous forever. I think keeping evil's secret is something I will not do.
There is a reason our society has a sex offender registry, and that is so people can protect themselves. As this is public knowledge, it would not be gossip to help protect others. The LDS church has several lawsuits against it for not protecting it's members from known sex offenders. The bishops handbook instructs them to call the church's lawyers and not the police when they hear about abuse in their congregation. If the church won't protect us from predators, we should protect ourselves. If this man has truly changed, then he should not be embarrassed to admit to what he did and say he's changed. Let members decide for themselves if they want to believe him.
Definitely I would tell the bishop. He may not know this ht is on the registry. How many people regularly monitor it. I would not be concerned about asking for a change. Many ht assignments are changed regularly.
The writer of this letter needs to be aware that she, I assume, does not know WHY the man is on the register. I personally know three men who are registered sex offenders in their home states for the crime of spanking a child in public. Those states consider it an assault, and the child in each case was female. So, they are sex offenders. We cannot assume the worst when we discover someone is on that list.
IN the administration of the Church, not all decisions are inspired. Mistakes do happen. And, this one needs to be fixed pronto!
I personally know someone who served years in prison and is on the registry simply because when he was 18 his girlfriend was only 17 and her parents pressed for prosecution. We don't know the severity of the infraction which, I guess is part of the concern. I'm just saying, we shouldn't assume the worst.
It's not a hard question at all. Would you put a recovering alcoholic in a position where he'd be tempted to drink? No. It's unkind. It's similar in this instance--only now it's also unkind to the sister. This brother should not be placed in any situation where he's going to be alone with a sister. Ever. Should she serve him? Yes. But she should never be alone with him. There is nothing un-Christlike about recognizing weakness. The repentance process doesn't forget weakness, it forgets sins. I understand why the bishopric did not mention it, but they should be actively working behind the scenes to ensure everyone's safety and well being--and that includes the sex offender who might be tempted.
The only thing I might say is that sometimes people are placed on the sex offender list for something like having consensual sex with a 16 year old when you are 18. It's not always done fairly. But those details can be seen on the registry.
Well this can be touchy. The list is so very broad as to be in some cases unfair. A very good friend and neighbor's son was placed on the list, his offence.. having sex with his under aged girlfriend, he was 17 she was 15, one time encounter, one time and it was very consensual but because of age, was convicted and listed on the registry. He is no threat to anyone, it happens. I agree, do not gossip as that, in my opinion is just as bad, if not worse than some offenses, especially if someone is trying to repent and do better. talk to the Bishop and pray for understanding. for who among us is without sin. our sins are just not listed for all to see.
People who are on the sex offender registry have been asked to explain their crimes over and over again when applying for jobs, housing, etc. There is nothing wrong with asking this man who is your home teacher, why he is on the list as you explain that it makes it difficult for you to trust him. There is a man in my stake who is on the list because when he was 19 he had a consensual relationship with a 16-year-old and her parents made such a fuss that the judge labeled him a sex offender. Obviously the man had things in his past to repent of, but his sins were far different from a man out on the registry for rape.
Amen DM. Thank you for the interjection about gossiping. I continue to be surprised at some of the council that Geoff extends. Is that really how you feel the Savior would answer this question. Let him (or her) without sin cast the first stone. I can personally tell you of men I have counseled as a bishop that are on a government list of one sort or another for very trivial and even coerced reasons. Despite what the current media would have you believe, people do change. How about some council to help women realistically evaluate their perceived fears.
I had a home teacher that was a major sex offender of children. I was a single mother of 5 children and he molested my 3 oldest sons. Sorry, I just can't condone this on any level. Nothing was done to help my children the bishop decided it was his duty to fellowship the molester. My family was harmed for life. We were told to forgive the offender and yada yada yada. My kids ended up suing the church for millions of dollars because they wouldn't own up to their responsibility in the whole thing. Do not let anyone like that into your family circle.
Why would anyone in authority allow this registered sex offender into anyone's home? Surely there is another way they can serve so that this question would never have to be asked again. Surely there is another person who would not cause controversy and make excuses necessary to this poor woman. Bad, bad planning. Bad, bad shepherding of this woman and her son.
I understand your concern, however, each person is different. I happen to personally know someone who was in prison for 30+ years, is registered. He is in wonderful standing with the church, he's a senior citizen, the things he did to put him in prison happened 40 some years ago. He converted in prison and worked so hard to change his life and had to wait 15 years to get out after he had converted. He was baptized shortly after being released from prison and is a very hard working, very loving individual. He is married and actually lectures people he encounters on their behavior towards people (especially women). He is a completely different person than the young guy he used to be. You can absolutely see how the Atonement has completely changed his life. His story is an inspiration to everyone he encounters. He is a wonderful man. Basically what I'm trying to say is to always use prayer when feeling troubled by someone. If you absolutely don't feel comfortable around the person you're talking about, then yes, prayerfully go to the Lord and to your Bishop about it. Every person's situation is different, be very careful about any preconceptions influencing your judgments. That's how I approach anybody. Praying for you :)
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