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Idaho Bishop Released, Charged with Abuse


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Here:

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A bishop of Nampa’s 30th Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was removed from his post after allegations that he sexually abused two minors. He has since been charged with two counts of lewd conduct with a child and two counts of child sexual abuse, according to court records.

Dylan Kevin Whiting, 33, of Nampa, served as a lay bishop in the LDS church from December 2019 until January 2021, when he was removed from his position after the church became aware of allegations against him, according to a church spokesperson. ...

According to an affidavit from the Nampa Police Department, the two individuals in Whiting’s case are known to him personally rather than through his church involvement. The abuse allegedly occurred between 2011 and 2020.

So it looks like the alleged abuse overlapped his tenure as bishop, but did not arise out of him functioning as a bishop.

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Whiting has been charged with touching two underage girls in a sexual manner, according to a criminal complaint. Lewd conduct with a minor is punishable by up to life in prison, while child sexual abuse is punishable by up to 25 years.

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“Upon learning of these allegations in early January, Church officials immediately took steps to remove this individual from his lay leadership position in the Church,” Sam Penrod, a spokesperson for the church in Salt Lake City, said in a statement emailed to the Idaho Statesman. “Abuse of any kind is not tolerated in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Anyone who engages in such behavior is rightfully subject to criminal prosecution and also faces discipline from the Church, including loss of Church membership.”

The faith declined to say whether Whiting is still a member.

As I understand it, the Church normally waits for the criminal proceedings to play out before scheduling a membership council.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Here:

So it looks like the alleged abuse overlapped his tenure as bishop, but did not arise out of him functioning as a bishop.

As I understand it, the Church normally waits for the criminal proceedings to play out before scheduling a membership council.

Thanks,

-Smac

Maybe he confessed? 

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Quote

served as a lay bishop in the LDS church from December 2019 until January 2021

This is an interesting timeframe. A big chunk of that would have been during the no-church-meetings covid lockdowns.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

So it looks like the alleged abuse overlapped his tenure as bishop, but did not arise out of him functioning as a bishop.

Sure looks that way. They were known personally, not via his church involvement. I wonder if the no-church period gave him more opportunity to offend, and that's what finally brought things to a head.

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6 hours ago, JustAnAustralian said:

A period of 9 years does seem like it could be that way.

Yeah, if I'm reading the timeline right the abuse began ten years ago, back in 2011.

If he's 33 now, that would make him 23 at the time the abuse started, so some sort of family relative seems like a definite possibility. That would also possibly explain why the case has gone into mediation. I can see how family members might want a way to settle this quietly and involve the public as little as possible.

 

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1 hour ago, Amulek said:

Yeah, if I'm reading the timeline right the abuse began ten years ago, back in 2011.

If he's 33 now, that would make him 23 at the time the abuse started, so some sort of family relative seems like a definite possibility. That would also possibly explain why the case has gone into mediation. I can see how family members might want a way to settle this quietly and involve the public as little as possible.

 

Which makes me wonder where the discernment was when the leaders chose him for bishop.

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44 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Which makes me wonder where the discernment was when the leaders chose him for bishop.

That statement will make some people mad...but... excellent point.

One of the major cracks in my shelf came from similar(ish) experiences where I could not accept that leaders had any kind of discernment or even wisdom in some of the people they chose for leadership positions. Obviously discernment, in addition to being a spiritual gift, relies on the individual to receive and exercise that gift. So when a guy is called as bishop, and I know he and his wife beat 2 of their daughters, and I say something to the SP prior to the calling, but they call him anyway, I have zero confidence in the discernment of that leader. Which then makes me question the discernment of any leader.

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Which makes me wonder where the discernment was when the leaders chose him for bishop.

When I saw the title, I thought to myself “this will be one of those where was the discernment stories”.

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48 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

That statement will make some people mad...but... excellent point.

One of the major cracks in my shelf came from similar(ish) experiences where I could not accept that leaders had any kind of discernment or even wisdom in some of the people they chose for leadership positions. Obviously discernment, in addition to being a spiritual gift, relies on the individual to receive and exercise that gift. So when a guy is called as bishop, and I know he and his wife beat 2 of their daughters, and I say something to the SP prior to the calling, but they call him anyway, I have zero confidence in the discernment of that leader. Which then makes me question the discernment of any leader.

Totally understand this - and, while I still don't have cracks in my personal shelf over this, I understand why people would. Especially if you mentioned transgressions you knew of before a calling was issued and nothing came of it - that would be really upsetting to me as well. 

 

I think you hit the nail on the head when you talked about the gift needing to be received and used - my personal belief and observation is that most leaders just 'do the work' to get things done when issuing callings and look for available and willing participants and call them.  I think there is a lot of spiritual work involved in getting real discernment and a lot of introspection and quiet reflection time is often required.  I think often, this doesn't happen.  I know that I am guilty of presenting names to the bishop for callings just based on initially feeling good about an available person without going much further than that.

 

That said, I think there are other scenarios possible too that don't require a failure in discernment.  - for instance, a person could be worthy when called, but then make a terrible choice a la King David.  

 

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5 minutes ago, rongo said:

 

I've mentioned before that I've often been asked to meet with people with CES letter concerns, and the like. (True) leader atrocity stories are, in my view, the single hardest concern to address, because there really is not much that can be said. At the extreme end are known stories where a leader sexually abused people while in office. Even if this was a "David" fall after being called, it raises questions that have no good answer (along the lines of "problem of evil" questions --- why does God intervene in some cases, but not this one? Why no revelation to a file leader that this is going on? I know from personal experience that this is possible and happens, but it is also not automatic). 

It's hard to know where the breakdown is --- lack of discernment, God having a larger purpose that is inscrutable to us, etc., but it really seems from our mortal understanding like He should intervene sometimes when He does not. 

I've never found a good way to address this when it is a major problem for people. 

God not intervening with these precious souls that are being abused, but intervenes with finding your car keys is a huge shelf item for me. 

I hope that God at least sends His angels to help the abused be able to somehow leave their bodies during the act.

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27 minutes ago, rongo said:

 

I've mentioned before that I've often been asked to meet with people with CES letter concerns, and the like. (True) leader atrocity stories are, in my view, the single hardest concern to address, because there really is not much that can be said. At the extreme end are known stories where a leader sexually abused people while in office. Even if this was a "David" fall after being called, it raises questions that have no good answer (along the lines of "problem of evil" questions --- why does God intervene in some cases, but not this one? Why no revelation to a file leader that this is going on? I know from personal experience that this is possible and happens, but it is also not automatic). 

It's hard to know where the breakdown is --- lack of discernment, God having a larger purpose that is inscrutable to us, etc., but it really seems from our mortal understanding like He should intervene sometimes when He does not. 

I've never found a good way to address this when it is a major problem for people. 

I concur

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41 minutes ago, rongo said:

I've mentioned before that I've often been asked to meet with people with CES letter concerns, and the like. (True) leader atrocity stories are, in my view, the single hardest concern to address, because there really is not much that can be said.

Yep.  This injury, borne of hypocrisy (a member of the Church acting contrary to commandments and principles taught by the Church) can be quite acute and difficult to overcome.  There can be some percevied damage done to the message of the Restored Gospel by the hypocrisy of the messenger.  Consider Alma's words to his son Corianton (who, while serving as a missionary, engaged in serious misconduct) :

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1 And now, my son, I have somewhat more to say unto thee than what I said unto thy brother; for behold, have ye not observed the steadiness of thy brother, his faithfulness, and his diligence in keeping the commandments of God? Behold, has he not set a good example for thee?

2 For thou didst not give so much heed unto my words as did thy brother, among the people of the Zoramites. Now this is what I have against thee; thou didst go on unto boasting in thy strength and thy wisdom.

3 And this is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou didst forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron among the borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel.

4 Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many; but this was no excuse for thee, my son. Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry wherewith thou wast entrusted.

5 Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?

6 For behold, if ye deny the Holy Ghost when it once has had place in you, and ye know that ye deny it, behold, this is a sin which is unpardonable; yea, and whosoever murdereth against the light and knowledge of God, it is not easy for him to obtain forgiveness; yea, I say unto you, my son, that it is not easy for him to obtain a forgiveness.

7 And now, my son, I would to God that ye had not been guilty of so great a crime. I would not dwell upon your crimes, to harrow up your soul, if it were not for your good.

8 But behold, ye cannot hide your crimes from God; and except ye repent they will stand as a testimony against you at the last day.

9 Now my son, I would that ye should repent and forsake your sins, and go no more after the lusts of your eyes, but cross yourself in all these things; for except ye do this ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. Oh, remember, and take it upon you, and cross yourself in these things.

10 And I command you to take it upon you to counsel with your elder brothers in your undertakings; for behold, thou art in thy youth, and ye stand in need to be nourished by your brothers. And give heed to their counsel.

11 Suffer not yourself to be led away by any vain or foolish thing; suffer not the devil to lead away your heart again after those wicked harlots. Behold, O my son, how great iniquity ye brought upon the Zoramites; for when they saw your conduct they would not believe in my words.

"O my son, how great iniquity ye brought upon the Zoramites; for when they saw your conduct they would not believe in my words."

How many blessings were lost because of what Corianton did? 

How many people missed the opportunity to accept the Gospel because of what Corianton did?

The Atonement will take care of such things in the end, I believe.  But Corianton's sin added to the Savior's burden, as do all of our sins and misdeeds.

41 minutes ago, rongo said:

At the extreme end are known stories where a leader sexually abused people while in office. Even if this was a "David" fall after being called, it raises questions that have no good answer (along the lines of "problem of evil" questions --- why does God intervene in some cases, but not this one? Why no revelation to a file leader that this is going on? I know from personal experience that this is possible and happens, but it is also not automatic). 

We don't really have clear answers to this.

41 minutes ago, rongo said:

It's hard to know where the breakdown is --- lack of discernment, God having a larger purpose that is inscrutable to us, etc., but it really seems from our mortal understanding like He should intervene sometimes when He does not. 

I've never found a good way to address this when it is a major problem for people. 

I think avoiding an all-or-nothing posture is helpful.  As you note, there are instances when revelation and discernment are apparent.  And times when discernment is lacking.

Thanks,

-Smac

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48 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

God not intervening with these precious souls that are being abused, but intervenes with finding your car keys is a huge shelf item for me. 

I hope that God at least sends His angels to help the abused be able to somehow leave their bodies during the act.

Okay, I have to ask. Are there really hordes of people who are testifying about God helping them find their car keys?

I have heard a story like that once that I can remember and it was a legitimate crisis due to a woman going into labor and they couldn’t find the car keys to get her to the hospital and they lived pretty far out and no one nearby could reasonably assist in time.

I mean, maybe it the equivalent of the crazy person I knew in one ward who would bear her testimony about things like angels rearranging her bathroom mirrors and how she baptized her pet bird and would occasionally break out into song at which point the woman she lived with would stand up in front of the pulpit and apologize and say that she is crazy.

I miss that ward sometimes…….

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12 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Okay, I have to ask. Are there really hordes of people who are testifying about God helping them find their car keys?

I have heard a story like that once that I can remember and it was a legitimate crisis due to a woman going into labor and they couldn’t find the car keys to get her to the hospital and they lived pretty far out and no one nearby could reasonably assist in time.

I mean, maybe it the equivalent of the crazy person I knew in one ward who would bear her testimony about things like angels rearranging her bathroom mirrors and how she baptized her pet bird and would occasionally break out into song at which point the woman she lived with would stand up in front of the pulpit and apologize and say that she is crazy.

I miss that ward sometimes…….

Specific to car keys? Maybe not. But I know I've heard that one before. But that example is used to show how people do testify of God intervening for small, inconsequential issues (like car keys). I've heard stories about keys, about the prompting to slow down just before coming across a police officer, thus saving a ticket. I've heard someone testify about not having enough money to get their child a snow cone and then the next minute hearing an ad for free snow cones on the radio.

These testimonies are generally shared to express how God knows and cares for each and every one of us and will intervene with tender mercies, which is nice. Yet it leaves the question of "why help the person find car keys or get a snow cone but not help the child avoid continued abuse?"  One person's faith affirming story can lead to someone else's WTF God? stories.

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17 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Okay, I have to ask. Are there really hordes of people who are testifying about God helping them find their car keys?

I have heard a story like that once that I can remember and it was a legitimate crisis due to a woman going into labor and they couldn’t find the car keys to get her to the hospital and they lived pretty far out and no one nearby could reasonably assist in time.

I mean, maybe it the equivalent of the crazy person I knew in one ward who would bear her testimony about things like angels rearranging her bathroom mirrors and how she baptized her pet bird and would occasionally break out into song at which point the woman she lived with would stand up in front of the pulpit and apologize and say that she is crazy.

I miss that ward sometimes…….

I've seen it in my life, I at one time lost my wedding ring and credited God (after praying to find it) for finding it. 

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Just now, HappyJackWagon said:

Specific to car keys? Maybe not. But I know I've heard that one before. But that example is used to show how people do testify of God intervening for small, inconsequential issues (like car keys). I've heard stories about keys, about the prompting to slow down just before coming across a police officer, thus saving a ticket. I've heard someone testify about not having enough money to get their child a snow cone and then the next minute hearing an ad for free snow cones on the radio.

These testimonies are generally shared to express how God knows and cares for each and every one of us and will intervene with tender mercies, which is nice. Yet it leaves the question of "why help the person find car keys or get a snow cone but not help the child avoid continued abuse?"  One person's faith affirming story can lead to someone else's WTF God? stories.

Thanks, this is an answer that I apparently couldn't give. 

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1 hour ago, rongo said:

 

I've mentioned before that I've often been asked to meet with people with CES letter concerns, and the like. (True) leader atrocity stories are, in my view, the single hardest concern to address, because there really is not much that can be said. At the extreme end are known stories where a leader sexually abused people while in office. Even if this was a "David" fall after being called, it raises questions that have no good answer (along the lines of "problem of evil" questions --- why does God intervene in some cases, but not this one? Why no revelation to a file leader that this is going on? I know from personal experience that this is possible and happens, but it is also not automatic). 

It's hard to know where the breakdown is --- lack of discernment, God having a larger purpose that is inscrutable to us, etc., but it really seems from our mortal understanding like He should intervene sometimes when He does not. 

I've never found a good way to address this when it is a major problem for people. 

Yes- that is an age old question. Why does God allow suffering, sometimes horrendous suffering, yet will then intervene in relatively trivial ways? For me the answer ended up being belief in a deistic approach to God, meaning that God exists but rarely (if ever) intervenes. Which then means that all of the tender mercies attributed to God (like finding lost car keys) really have nothing to do with God because he doesn't intervene in such things. Some people don't like that form of 'distant' God, but it does make it more palatable to accept humans being human and making mistakes without god intervening, like in this story of this abusive bishop.

Of course in the church Revelation and an intervening God is essential to the restoration, which then leaves subscribers to the idea of an interventionist God trying to justify why He allows such atrocities while simultaneously blessing some people with trivial things.

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43 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Specific to car keys? Maybe not. But I know I've heard that one before. But that example is used to show how people do testify of God intervening for small, inconsequential issues (like car keys). I've heard stories about keys, about the prompting to slow down just before coming across a police officer, thus saving a ticket. I've heard someone testify about not having enough money to get their child a snow cone and then the next minute hearing an ad for free snow cones on the radio.

These testimonies are generally shared to express how God knows and cares for each and every one of us and will intervene with tender mercies, which is nice. Yet it leaves the question of "why help the person find car keys or get a snow cone but not help the child avoid continued abuse?"  One person's faith affirming story can lead to someone else's WTF God? stories.

 

35 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Yes- that is an age old question. Why does God allow suffering, sometimes horrendous suffering, yet will then intervene in relatively trivial ways? For me the answer ended up being belief in a deistic approach to God, meaning that God exists but rarely (if ever) intervenes. Which then means that all of the tender mercies attributed to God (like finding lost car keys) really have nothing to do with God because he doesn't intervene in such things. Some people don't like that form of 'distant' God, but it does make it more palatable to accept humans being human and making mistakes without god intervening, like in this story of this abusive bishop.

It isn't always just the trivial things that are problematic. A stake conference speaker might speak about miraculous intervention in a car accident (I wouldn't call that trivial), but there are families listening who lost loved ones in car accidents that God didn't intervene in. Or miraculous healings (real, known and confirmed ones), but there are times when God doesn't heal people whom people are desperately praying for and administering to. I wouldn't call that trivial, either. The real question (unanswerable, really) is why God intervened here but not there. 

Like I said, I think it's the hardest problem. I think the best that can be done is to acknowledge head on that it is a problem; that the problem exists, and that the explanations are probably not going to be satisfactory to people who's shelves broke over it. And then to testify of known and experienced instances (hopefully not car keys, snow cones, or avoided traffic tickets) where God unmistakably intervened. The unanswerable question of why here but not there, while not hunky dory, is a better question than "does God intervene at all? Is He really even there?", which is where people can end up. 

As far as file leader discernment, I personally have experienced God telling me unmistakably that specific things are wrong with specific people, and that I need to directly address it --- and it was from God; I had no way of consciously or subconsciously knowing. It was direct revelation. So, I don't have shaken faith about the possibility of miraculous intervention. But, this doesn't happen all the time or on demand --- or even always when it's needed. That's the difficult question. Why here and now, but not there and then? This is even harder when there is something horrific that it seems God should have intervened with or made His will known. 

Did you ever see the Richard Dutcher movie "Brigham City?" I really liked it (I know many who didn't). The serial killer at the end gloats that one of his victims "was praying pretty hard there at the end, too" before he did terrible things to her. While I think that most people intellectually understand that God doesn't automatically and instantly intervene, and that "the problem of evil" exists and has a purpose, it's hard when it directly and personally impacts us --- or when the non-intervention is for something really horrible. 

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19 minutes ago, rongo said:

 

It isn't always just the trivial things that are problematic. A stake conference speaker might speak about miraculous intervention in a car accident (I wouldn't call that trivial), but there are families listening who lost loved ones in car accidents that God didn't intervene in. Or miraculous healings (real, known and confirmed ones), but there are times when God doesn't heal people whom people are desperately praying for and administering to. I wouldn't call that trivial, either. The real question (unanswerable, really) is why God intervened here but not there. 

Like I said, I think it's the hardest problem. I think the best that can be done is to acknowledge head on that it is a problem; that the problem exists, and that the explanations are probably not going to be satisfactory to people who's shelves broke over it. And then to testify of known and experienced instances (hopefully not car keys, snow cones, or avoided traffic tickets) where God unmistakably intervened. The unanswerable question of why here but not there, while not hunky dory, is a better question than "does God intervene at all? Is He really even there?", which is where people can end up. 

As far as file leader discernment, I personally have experienced God telling me unmistakably that specific things are wrong with specific people, and that I need to directly address it --- and it was from God; I had no way of consciously or subconsciously knowing. It was direct revelation. So, I don't have shaken faith about the possibility of miraculous intervention. But, this doesn't happen all the time or on demand --- or even always when it's needed. That's the difficult question. Why here and now, but not there and then? This is even harder when there is something horrific that it seems God should have intervened with or made His will known. 

Did you ever see the Richard Dutcher movie "Brigham City?" I really liked it (I know many who didn't). The serial killer at the end gloats that one of his victims "was praying pretty hard there at the end, too" before he did terrible things to her. While I think that most people intellectually understand that God doesn't automatically and instantly intervene, and that "the problem of evil" exists and has a purpose, it's hard when it directly and personally impacts us --- or when the non-intervention is for something really horrible. 

Excellent comments.

But that's part of the problem. I may truly believe God unmistakably intervened by saving me from a ticket or the accident or the lack of snow cones, but when I share that story with others and they wonder why God didn't save their mother from the drunk driver, or their infant from cancer, I have to think my testimony of unmistakable intervention will either A- not be believed and actually damage faith because it doesn't match other people's experience where God didn't intervene even though the pleaded with him to intervene  B- make God look like a capricious jerk or  C- make them question their worthiness or God's love for them.

Personally, I find the non-helicopter-God model to be much easier to reconcile

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4 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Which makes me wonder where the discernment was when the leaders chose him for bishop.

Uncertain.

Perhaps no discernment was given. I don't believe that God unfailingly provides discernment to every leader at all times always, nor do I believe that there is any scriptural or doctrinal expectation that He should.

Another possibility would be that discernment was given but ultimately ended up being ignored. I have certainly done this before, and I doubt I am the only one.

And, since we are talking about possibilities, I'm going to go ahead and risk the down votes and also mention it is conceivably possible that discernment was given and was not in error. Now, given that there are two separate individuals involved here, I'm doubtful the guy is actually innocent, but admittedly I hardly know anything about the case or anyone involved, so it's theoretically within the realm of the possible still.

 

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