As part of an ongoing effort to protect children and youth, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has launched an online training course for all adults who interact with children and youth in their Church assignments.
The training, which is initially being launched in North America (with other areas to follow) is to be done as new leaders receive assignments to serve children and youth. Each leader will log in with his or her Church account so completion of training can be recorded. Local leaders are notified if the training is not completed. The training can be accessed at ProtectingChildren.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
“We take Jesus Christ’s teachings about children and youth very seriously,” said Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary general president. “He welcomed them into His presence and gave stern warnings against abusing, bullying or hurting them in any way. Jesus said of children, ‘Of such is the kingdom of God’ [Mark 10:14]. His deep concern for children and youth must continue to be our deep concern.”
In a notice sent to Church leadership in the United States and Canada, the Church asks that all Latter-day Saints with the following congregational assignments complete the training:
Stake and district presidencies, bishoprics and branch presidencies High councilors Stake, district, ward, and branch Primary, Young Women, Young Men and Sunday School and Relief Society presidencies; elders quorum presidencies Secretaries, teachers, advisers, camp leaders, activity day leaders, music leaders, pianists and others serving in positions in the Primary, Young Women and Young Men organizations Teachers of youth Sunday School and seminary classes
Latter-day Saint leaders registered in Scouting should also complete the required Boy Scouts of America’s Youth Protection training through the remainder of 2019, after which the Church will no longer be participating in BSA.
In addition to those working with children and youth, parents and others are encouraged to complete the training.
The training is designed to increase awareness, highlight policies and identify best practices for supervising and interacting with children and youth. It also helps leaders know how to prevent and respond to abuse. Leaders and specialists from child protection organizations, family therapists and other professionals participated in the creation and evaluation of the new training.
“Jesus blessed and prayed for children ‘one by one,'” Brother Stephen W. Owen, Young Men general president, said, quoting a Book of Mormon passage. “We, too, must do all in our power to bless and protect each child entrusted to our care. This online training is one important way we can help ensure our children have the loving parents and devoted leaders they deserve and need.”
Latter-day Saints asked to serve in any of the previously listed positions are to complete the training after being appointed to their assignments.
A list of members who need to complete the training will be updated regularly in the Leader and Clerk Resources section of ChurchofJesusChrist.org. Local leaders should ensure that members access and complete the training.