How the Church Approaches Abuse

During His earthly ministry, Jesus Christ was asked by His disciples who He considered to be greatest in the kingdom of heaven. He responded by inviting a child to come to Him, and said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven... Whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.”

The Savior then warned His disciples: “Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (see Matthew 18:1-6)

These are powerful words from the Savior, who is also known as the Prince of Peace. As followers of Jesus Christ, we condemn, in the strongest terms, offending (harming) or abusing children. Child abuse is despicable and heinous. It is not just a social malady and a criminal act; it is absolutely forbidden by the commandments of God. Protecting and nurturing children was a priority for Jesus Christ in His life (see Matthew 18:1-6; 3 Nephi 17:11-23), and it is a priority in His Church today. No child should have to endure abuse. Even one case is one too many.


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