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Abuse in any form is not tolerated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon Church). Abuse is the deliberate mistreatment of any other person, more specifically of a spouse and children. Abuse can be physical, emotional, and sexual, and directly contradicts the purposes of God’s plan.
God designed an eternal plan for us that gives us the power to make choices. When one abuses another, one is essentially trying to control and take away the choice of another person. This is unacceptable by both The Church of Jesus Christ and Western society. Sexual abuse of adults (spouses, for instance) would include forcing them to engage in unwanted sexual activity. Sexual abuse of children is compelling them to do any sexual activity at all by any person in a position of trust or authority. Non-sexual forms of abuse can take many forms, including verbal abuse. Demeaning family members is considered abuse by The Church of Jesus Christ.
Those guilty of abuse are counseled to meet with their ecclesiastical leaders (the bishop for members of The Church of Jesus Christ), and depending on the violation, may need to seek professional help and make restitution with the law. While sins of abuse are very serious in the gospel of Jesus Christ, forgiveness is still possible through deep and meaningful repentance.
Victims of abuse are also encouraged to meet with local ecclesiastical leaders and seek professional counseling. While abuse certainly leaves deep wounds, peace and healing can be found through the grace of Jesus Christ. Through the power of Christ’s atonement. individuals can find hope and compensation for the wrongs inflicted on them. Jesus died not only for the mistakes that we make, but also suffered for those affected by the sins of others. He is the ultimate Healer and perfectly understands the pain endured by those who suffer the effects of abuse. Victims of abuse should seek the healing powers of Jesus Christ as well as seek out the professional help available in modern psychiatric medicine if necessary.
For more on what The Church of Jesus Christ has to say about abuse, please read this talk by Elder Richard G. Scott, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “To Heal the Shattering Consequences of Abuse.”