Detectives are concerned about the safety of numerous children after a young girl disclosed that an Orem man sexually abused her for months before he was charged with exposing himself to her and her sister.
Clark Elwood Crookston, 70, is a former dentist who has “unlimited” access to several children through his family relations, living in his neighborhood and attending his church congregation, police said last week in a probable cause report.
“The concern is high for any children that are around Clark,” police stated. “None of the parents are keeping them safe and away from Clark.”
Police say Crookston continues to claim his lewdness and sexual abuse is his way of teaching sex education.
Crookston allegedly began exposing himself to a girl and her sister more than five years ago, according to the charges. He also reportedly forced one of the girls to inappropriately touch him in 2014.
The girls’ mother confronted him about the allegations at the time and Crookston told her “it was a teaching moment and he didn’t want the girls to feel ashamed about it.”
“(The mother) told him to not speak with her children about these matters again,” charges state.
Two years later, police say Crookston showed one of the sisters an inappropriate picture. The parents confronted him again and Crookston reportedly agreed again not to talk about sex education with the children.
However, Crookston reportedly continued to expose himself several times to one of the girls and showed her naked pictures of himself and other men in 2019, the charges state.
He was charged in March with two counts of dealing harmful materials to minors, both third-degree felonies; and two counts of lewdness involving a child, both class A misdemeanors.
During initial interviews with detectives, one girl stated Crookston had not touched her or forced her to touch him.
But a few weeks ago, the girl admitted to her mother that Crookston had been sexually abusing her “almost daily” from April to August 2017.
Clark would request to put the children to bed and would lay in bed with the older sister. Then he would reportedly touch the girl inappropriately over and under clothing despite her objections.
“Clark would specifically tell the child to use the blanket to hide what was going on under the blanket from her parents,” police reported. “The child victim stated this occurred almost nightly during those nearly four months.”
Crookston was arrested on Dec. 18 but posted a $100,000 bond two days later, according to court documents.
Five days later, Crookston was charged in 4th District Court with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, all first-degree felonies.
His next court date for all charges is set for Jan. 8.
Detectives suspect and continue investigating whether the same type of abuse occurred with the other girl.
Two adults have also come forward to investigators and stated they were sexually abused by Crookston during the past 30 years, although no further information was available on the police report regarding the allegations.
Crookston graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and had a Utah dentistry license from 2006 to 2010.
But as the weeks, and months, and even a year passed on, Emily Lifferth’s realization that she no longer believed in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remained.
“That is the kind of realization that will turn your entire world upside down,” Lifferth said. “And it did.”
Lifferth’s faith crisis and transition impacted every aspect of her life, including her education. At the time, she attended Brigham Young University in Provo, which is both owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and requires members of the church to remain in the religion in order to continue attending.
She faced an ultimatum — leave BYU, or fake her belief.
Movements for change
Students at the church-owned university have to obtain and maintain an ongoing ecclesiastical endorsement in order to attend. The requirement falls under BYU’s honor code, which bans actions such as premarital sex, the consumption of alcohol and homosexual behavior.
Ecclesiastical endorsements must be renewed every academic year. For Latter-day Saint students, that’s done through their congregation’s bishop. Non-Latter-day Saint students can receive an endorsement through their local ecclesiastical leader, a Latter-day Saint bishop or the nondenominational BYU chaplain.
Ex-Latter-day Saint students cannot get an ecclesiastical endorsement.
Endorsements can be withdrawn at any time, leading to the immediate loss of good honor code standing.
“Students who are not in good Honor Code standing must discontinue enrollment,” the code reads. “Also, they are not eligible for graduation, even if they have otherwise completed all the necessary coursework. Excommunication, disfellowshipment, or disaffiliation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints automatically results in the withdrawal of the student’s ecclesiastical endorsement and the loss of good Honor Code standing.”
The code defines “disaffiliation” as the removal of a student’s name from the church’s official records.
Students can appeal the withdrawing of a statement through their local ecclesiastical leader, or can petition the BYU Dean of Students Office for an exemption.
“Requests for review are rare,” Carri Jenkins, a spokeswoman for BYU, said in an emailed statement. “In a small number of cases exemptions have been granted.”
Jenkins said the continuing ecclesiastical endorsement interviews include a standard set of questions, which include asking a student about their commitment to the honor code. Jenkins said Latter-day Saint students are expected to fulfill church duties, attend church meetings and follow the church’s rules and standards.
Jenkins said Latter-day Saint students can receive support from their ecclesiastical leaders, religion professors, faculty members and other students. She also pointed to BYU’s weekly devotionals, where BYU employees and church leaders address students.
“All students are required to complete the ecclesiastical endorsement process through their ecclesiastical leaders,” Jenkins said. “However, BYU retains the ultimate authority as to which students may be admitted or continue to be enrolled.”
Brad Levin, the director of FreeBYU, an organization seeking change to allow ex-Latter-day Saint students to attend, said the exemption policy exists only on paper.
“We are not aware of any attempts that have been successful,” Levin said.
Levin, a BYU alumnus who experienced a faith crisis and transition during his time as a student, first started thinking about BYU’s policy on expelling ex-Latter-day Saint students in 2006 when his brother stopped believing and wasn’t able to return to school. Levin started writing on the topic in 2011, and FreeBYU was formed in late 2013.
Since then, the organization has submitted complaints about the policy with different organizations and accrediting bodies, including the American Psychological Association, the American Bar Association and the NCAA. Recent efforts have included reaching out to speakers and conferences that plan to go to BYU in order to urge them to take action about the policy.
Levin said it’s an issue of religious freedom, since BYU students who belong to other faiths are allowed to change their beliefs without punishment.
FreeBYU has found that most students who have a faith crisis experience one in their junior or senior years, after they’re already invested in their programs. Leaving, Levin said, isn’t always feasible. Credits don’t always transfer, students lose local support systems and other universities are more expensive than BYU, which is subsidized by the church.
For graduate students, he said the stakes are even higher, since they can’t transfer a thesis to another university.
Restore Honor BYU, a student-led group that led a protest in the spring to urge changes to the university’s honor code, has its eye on updating the ecclesiastical endorsement requirement.
The group is working with administration to provide a path for students who have a faith crisis to have a safe place where their enrollment and scholarships are not threatened, according to Riley Madrian, a spokeswoman for Restore Honor BYU.
“We are all human and we should be able to have that human experience of finding ourselves and come to what we believe in,” Madrian said. “The university shouldn’t get in the way of people discovering who they are and what they believe.”
The group is pursuing different options with administration, including standardizing the requirements needed to get an endorsement in order to eliminate variance between bishops.
“We don’t want to get rid of the ecclesiastical endorsement completely, because it is a religious university and that does play a role in being a BYU student,” Madrian said.
Living in fear
Mason was drawn to BYU because he felt it had the best program that he wanted for the lowest cost.
“At the time, I was very much a believer,” he said.
Mason, whose name has been changed because he fears his standing with the university would be at risk due to his beliefs, entered BYU as a Latter-day Saint.
He began having doubts when he took a philosophy class. Those increased when a friend told him that the church’s standards make people feel unnecessarily guilty and that a caring God wouldn’t expect such difficult things.
“At that point I got the same feeling that I had always assumed to be the Spirit, and I think at that point it kind of all collapsed because I started thinking about things,” Mason said.
That feeling was contradictory to what he’d felt before. Mason was left wondering if the Holy Spirit would tell him two contradictory things, if neither came from the Holy Spirit or if he couldn’t tell where it came from.
Mason, who now identifies as agnostic, began looking at the tradeoffs to leaving BYU. But he said he wasn’t able to find a program that was the quality he wanted, at the cost he wanted, that would have accepted all of his credits and let him be close enough to keep his friendships.
To stay, he fakes his belief. He’ll offer a prayer when he’s asked to and attends church to keep up appearances, but feels frustrated. In religion classes, he’s torn between writing what a professor wants to hear or sharing his real thoughts.
The process makes him feel dishonest and deceitful.
“I don’t like doing that,” Mason said.
He said the bishop he had his first year of school was helpful. The second, not so much.
“I told this bishop I was uncertain about the church, and they suggested that if I didn’t get sure he would be happy to revoke my ecclesiastical endorsement so I could go elsewhere,” Mason said.
He doesn’t think that’s a way to get students to be open with their religious leaders.
“It seems like it’s a good way to get people to tell you what they believe,” he said.
A desire for honesty
Emily Lifferth’s questions snowballed during her freshman year. She began praying, reading scriptures, reviewing talks from church leaders and sought to find a moment where she’d get confirmation that the church was true. One year later, she still didn’t have that answer.
“I was still hoping it was true and still planning my life with the assumption that it was true, because I didn’t really know how to exist if it wasn’t,” Lifferth said.
Lifferth, who graduated from BYU in April, considered transferring. But after hearing that the process was difficult, and because attending high school in Holland meant she wouldn’t qualify for in-state tuition rates, she felt like she had no other option but to stay.
Staying came with its own mental costs. Lifferth felt like she wasn’t able to open up to others about her faith crisis because everything on campus linked back to the church, including student groups.
“Even if they aren’t religious in nature, they are church dominated, so it didn’t feel like it was somewhere where I could tell the truth,” she said.
She didn’t know what the requirements were to keep her endorsement. She had friends who didn’t attend church and would keep it, while Lifferth had one bishop who would call students in if they missed one meeting a month.
The dynamic between students and bishops, who controlled their educational status through the endorsements, made it difficult to open up.
“If the bishop didn’t hold the ecclesiastical endorsement authority over students, I wonder if students would be more honest with their bishops and stay in the church,” Lifferth said.
Her experience led to social isolation, until she started to talk to others at her off-campus job.
She’s hopeful that BYU’s policy will evolve. She’d like to see the power to grant ecclesiastical endorsements be taken from bishops. That change, she said, would make the relationship between students and bishops healthier.
“It would mean that they could focus on their faith, or lack thereof, without being afraid for their future,” she said.
Choosing to transfer
For others, the costs of staying outweigh those of leaving.
Mckay Jensen started at BYU in 2015 before going on an ecclesiastical mission for the church. He returned, and attended BYU one additional semester before transferring to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
Jensen grew up in Provo, with BYU always nearby.
“I didn’t really want to go there, but then I realized that it was just, it was very cheap, it’s a good school, it was convenient and I mean, I actually really liked it at first,” Jensen said. “It was great and my experience was great.”
He realized he had issues with the church after his first semester.
“When I got back from my mission, at that point I was really, really uncomfortable with things, and I knew that continuing to be a student at BYU, that would be a problem,” Jensen said.
If he stayed, Jensen said it was likely he’d either be kicked out, or would have a meltdown and have to drop out, anyway.
He no longer identifies as a Latter-day Saint and helps with FreeBYU’s efforts. At BYU, he said, he felt trapped.
“What I would really like people to understand about the experience of people like me, it is very difficult,” Jensen said. “It is not something that you choose, and these sort of doubts and issues that people have are very much legitimate, and we are trying to do what’s best.”
Creating a resource
Unsure of who to turn to, BYU students have formed communities to support them through their faith crises.
“It feels like you are living this Mission Impossible, double life,” said Andrew Jacobs, a former student who now attends the U of U.
Jacobs is a co-creator of the BYU Survival Guide website, a resource that provides suggestions for students who are undergoing a faith transition or consider themselves unorthodox Latter-day Saints. The website addresses topics from paying tithing to maintaining appearances, and allows students to anonymously connect with support groups.
Jacobs attended BYU on and off from the summer of 2014 to this year. He was raised in a Latter-day Saint family in California and entered the university fully committed to the religion.
“It was the only school I applied to,” he said.
He became depressed after he and his ex-girlfriend prayed about whether she should go on an ecclesiastical mission and received different answers. Jacobs started questioning why that would happen. He investigated the church’s finances, didn’t find much and started questioning what might be different from what he’d been taught. By December 2017, he realized he no longer believed in the church.
“I was very careful,” Jacobs said. “I didn’t want my roommates to know.”
He reached out to his parents and confessed that he no longer believed.
“They started telling me that I was being led away by Satan,” Jacobs said.
His plan was to drop out of BYU and transfer to a school in North Carolina. That plan didn’t work out, and by the time he returned to his housing contract at BYU, he no longer qualified to receive in-state tuition rates for Utah’s colleges.
He needed to stay in Utah for another year in order to regain residency, so he decided to use that time to push the limits of what he could say and still retain his endorsement.
Jacobs told his bishop that he wasn’t done with the conversation of whether he believed in the church, and wanted somebody to convince him. His endorsement was renewed.
“At any rate, it comes down to bishop roulette as far as being how open you can be and even whether you can express any doubt at all,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs said professors told him he wasn’t allowed to raise his hand or make comments in class because of his position in the church.
“I felt oppressed by the system, not by people,” Jacobs said. “I think that the people, including professors, are at most times very willing and understanding of faith transitions.”
He left BYU in his junior year in order to go public with the BYU Survival Guide website. With a spectrum of religious experiences at BYU, Jacobs said he wanted to be a resource.
“The survival guide is meant to enable people to live the way that they want, and however that is is fine by me, as long as it is not illegal and doing things that are harming others,” Jacobs said.
During his own time at BYU he joined an underground support group he found on Reddit that enforced tests such as drinking alcohol or coffee in order to get in. The groups say they seek to provide social frameworks for people who have lost them.
“There were several nights I would spend crying in my car ready to drive away, leaving everything behind and not telling anyone where I was going because I didn’t feel like I had anyone to turn to,” Jacobs said.
He now identifies as agnostic/atheist.
Jacobs personally screens people before adding them to any of the groups he oversees. Jacobs said students are hesitant of the groups, and aren’t sure if they’re set up by people fishing for students who no longer believe in the church.
The groups are getting bigger, which is causing problems with finding space for them to meet where students won’t run into friends, classmates or spouses who they might be hiding their crises and transitions from.
Jacobs said he might add to the website in the upcoming months. The most requested topic he’s seen is a guide on dating as an ex-Latter-day Saint at BYU.
Grief has been a companion of Leanne Tressler for much of the past four years.
But, the mother of seven from Pleasant Grove is using her experiences to persuade, commune with and help others. Through her writing on social media posts, which have been shared hundreds of times, Tressler hopes to ensure that others do not experience the pain that she and her children have.
Four years ago, Tressler’s husband died by suicide after 15 years of marriage. Spencer Tressler had been struggling with emotional issues and a combination of medications for a medical complication may have exacerbated these issues, according to Tressler.
At the time of his death, the couple had seven children, ranging in age from four months to 13 years. “Everyone struggled in their own way,” Tressler said. However, her oldest son, Kaden, seemed to have unique struggles because he suddenly felt responsible for the family.
“That’s probably the worst way to have your dad die,” Tressler said. “Kaden was a good boy. He wanted to fix the brokenness that his dad’s death left on the family.”
The weight of Kaden’s grief and feelings of responsibility for 3½ years led, at least in part, to him also dying by suicide on April 20. “The most recent turn in our family’s road has brought us to our knees…yet again,” Tressler wrote in a Facebook post on April 23.
“After Kaden, I have felt more compelled to bring more awareness to the fact that we all wear masks. We all struggle,” Tressler said. On the outside, it seemed that Kaden was happy and doing well, she said.
Tressler wants others to know that we all have struggles. “Reach out to people. We have a duty to our fellowmen. Be more aware of those who are struggling with depression, anxiety or sadness,” she said.
Holidays and the grieving
During the holiday season, those who are grieving can have an especially difficult time. “Everyone grieves for so many different reasons,” she said. Tressler hopes that people understand that it is OK if they do not feel up to going to parties. It is OK to simply take care of self and family.
“The world tends to focus on being cheery and festive. It can pull people down who are grieving. It’s OK to say that we’re not feeling that way this year,” she said.
“What a strange phenomenon it is that times meant to bring joy and excitement can bring depression and loneliness like a train running down the tracks,” Tressler wrote on Dec. 10. “Every year I see the smoke in the distance from the engine, feel the slight vibration on the ground from its massive frame steaming down the rails. I hear the rumbling and rhythm of its cars moving relentlessly closer. I feel it coming.”
Tressler wrote about the “train cars” of loss looking different to different people, different experiences and circumstances. But, whatever it is, others can help. “Show up on their platform. Don’t even need to speak. Just stand with them, shoulder to shoulder in an act of human solidarity to honor their meeting with the conductor,” she wrote.
Stay. Stay. Stay. Stay. Stay. Stay. Stay. Stay.
“Don’t deprive the world of your light. Keep it here,” Tressler wrote on Sept. 15. The word “stay” is weaved throughout her writing, letting the readers know that is what they should do. “He shouldn’t have died. My husband, his dad, shouldn’t have died. If you are thinking about suicide, call someone…today, right now.”
Tressler said that when people are having suicidal thoughts, they often think that their families will be better off without them. “I want people to see the effects, to watch how it affected my children. This is not something people get over. We’re not better off without them,” she said.
“My plea to parents is to not do this to your kids. Try all you can, as many therapists, as many vacations, whatever you can. You will alter your kids’ lives forever,” she said. “It affects their whole perception of themselves and their world. There are a lot of resources out there to keep you alive.”
“The pain you feel will be passed on. It does not leave with you. As the pain Spencer was hoping to leave behind was passed to Kaden, the pain that Kaden succumbed to is now passed on to Nate,” Tressler wrote on July 31, about her younger son, age 9.
Tressler said her posts are both therapeutic and challenging. “These are lessons that I’ve paid astronomical prices to learn,” she said. Also, she knows that they are helping others because of the messages that people send her. “It’s hard to put it out there. But after Kaden died, I knew that I wanted to spare others.”
The words of a grieving mother are being shared and read in the hopes that less people will have cause to grieve. “He was there…and then he was gone. He was warm and loud and hilarious and kind…and then it was quiet. He was my boy in the room across the hall…then he wasn’t. He was my boy who always said I love you before hanging up...and then the calls stopped.”
After a promising defensive start when it forced a 3-and-out, things appeared to turn into a complete disaster for the BYU football team against Hawaii in Tuesday’s SoFi Hawaii Bowl:
The Cougar offense gained only a half yard on its first possession and had to punt.
The Rainbow Warriors easily marched down the field for a touchdown.
BYU sophomore quarterback Zach Wilson threw a pass slightly behind senior wide receiver Aleva Hifo, who had it slip through his hands and result in a Hawaii interception.
Two plays later, the Rainbow Warriors scored another touchdown to go up 14-0.
Even though the Cougars answered with a TD, Hawaii’s high-powered passing game continued to effortlessly slice up the BYU defense and scored again.
Early in the second quarter, the Cougars trailed 21-7 and the home team appeared to have all the momentum — but there was still a lot of football to be played.
BYU never stopped battling, clawing its way back into the game with determined performances on offense, defense and special teams until the Cougars actually moved in front with a Jake Oldroyd 20-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
But that proved to be not enough as missed opportunities by BYU gave the Rainbow Warriors a chance to rally and Hawaii took advantage, scoring the go-ahead touchdown with 1:17 left in the game to secure the 38-34 win.
BYU had enough time to march back down the field but Wilson tried to force a pass into junior tight end Matt Bushman and had it picked off to end the game.
It was a bizarre contest that saw Hawaii dominate the first half, posting 31 points on the scoreboard and gaining more than 300 yards through the air.
But everything switched in the second half as the BYU defense suddenly started playing much more effectively and remarkably kept the Rainbow Warriors scoreless until the final minutes (although that required Hawaii to miss a field goal).
The Cougar offense had moments of brilliance but also moments that had to be disappointingly and infuriatingly familiar for BYU fans.
The Cougars got first-half touchdowns from sophomore running back Lopini Katoa (a 1-yard run), Wilson (a 1-yard run) and senior wide receiver Micah Simon (an 11-yard run) as well as a field goal from sophomore kicker Jake Oldroyd to only trail by seven points at the break.
BYU then came out in the second half and, thanks to a career-long 52-yard punt return by Hifo that gave the Cougars the ball inside the Hawaii 10-yard line, tied the game on a 2-yard TD run by Wilson.
With the BYU defense elevating its play and the Cougar offense moving the ball, the closeness of the game at the end came down to a couple of haunting failures to finish in the red zone.
On the first, Wilson scrambled toward the goal line from five yards out and launched into the air.
He extended the ball, attempting to break the plane, while he was hit by a pair of Rainbow Warrior defenders. The ball popped free and Hawaii recovered in the end zone.
The officials ruled on the field that the play was a fumble and although some of the replays appeared to indicate Wilson might have gotten across the line before losing the ball, there inexplicably was no camera on the goal line itself so the reviews were inconclusive and the play stood as called.
BYU again stopped Hawaii and moved inside the Rainbow Warrior 10-yard line with some big runs by sophomore running back Tyler Allgeier. The Cougars got stuffed on two straight runs and were forced to settle for a 20-yard field goal from Oldroyd.
Oldroyd had another chance to extend the lead but his 41-yard attempt appeared to go over the top of the post and was ruled no good.
Still, even with those miscues, BYU had the ball facing a third-and-2 with just over two minutes left in the game and Hawaii out of timeouts. A conversion would have given the Cougars the win, since the Rainbow Warriors couldn’t stop the clock.
Instead of relying on the offensive line (which had made some good plays but also had gotten pushed back in key moments in the red zone), BYU elected to try a bubble screen pass to Simon that appeared doomed from the start.
Whether Simon could’ve turned it into a first-down proved to be irrelevant since Wilson threw the ball at his feet. The incomplete pass forced the Cougars to punt and give the ball back to Hawaii.
Hawaii needed just four plays to get in the end zone as Rainbow Warrior junior quarterback Cole McDonald hit freshman wide receiver Nick Mardner for a 38-yard gain and then hooked up again for a 24-yard touchdown.
In some ways it was a fitting — if frustrating — conclusion to a BYU season that had eight games decided by 10 points or fewer (four wins, four losses).
Almost seven months after Jeremy Sorensen was shot and killed outside his apartment in Provo, his birth parents living in Texas wish they had more answers to what happened.
“I don’t get it,” said his father Broderick Mitchell. “I want to know why you killed my son. I want to know what was your purpose? What was your reason?”
On June 3, investigators reported Sorensen was physically fighting an 18-year-old woman in the driveway of his apartment near 500 N. 200 East.
He was reportedly “stomping” on the woman’s head and hitting her when a 22-year-old neighbor drove up and attempted to stop the fight, according to police reports.
The neighbor pulled out a handgun and the woman ran behind him. Police determined Sorensen advanced toward them and ignored several verbal warnings until the neighbor shot him twice.
First responders administered first aid but Sorensen, 26, was pronounced dead after being transported to the Utah Valley Hospital.
In December, after reviewing the evidence, reports, and interviews surrounding the death, the Utah County Attorney’s Office decided not to file criminal charges against the neighbor who fired the shots.
“We do not believe that the facts and relevant law support filing any criminal charges in this matter,” said Utah County Attorney David Leavitt in a press release.
The Daily Herald has elected to not to identify the neighbor as charges were not filed.
Sorensen’s mother, Latisha Fontenot Proctor, said she was brokenhearted when she read about the decision online.
“It’s messed up,” she said during an emotional phone call. “I don’t know all that happened, just someone got out and shot my child.”
Celebrating the holidays has been difficult after losing her son, Proctor added. Although Sorensen spent time in foster care and was adopted by a Utah County family as a child, he had a positive relationship with his birth parents.
“Everything was good,” Mitchell said. “He came to the house, he came to chill with me and we were OK.”
He added he had a lot of questions when he heard about the shooting since he always knew Sorensen as a chill, passive person who was not easily provoked.
He also continues to wonder what would have happened if the neighbor had simply shot into the air or if the situation had been a black person shooting a white person.
“I’m not at peace with it. I don’t feel like that was right. He didn’t have the right to determine Jeremy’s life,” Mitchell said. “To me, I didn’t feel it was a legitimate decision.”
Utah’s self-defense laws justify the use of deadly force if a person “reasonably believes that force or a threat of force is necessary to defend the individual or another individual against the imminent use of unlawful force.”
A police warrant stated the woman met with Sorensen to purchase marijuana and had obtained marijuana from him in the past. She reportedly suffered a concussion and other substantial injuries from the fight.
Aileen Clyde, a Springville native who served in the general presidency of the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between 1990 and 1997, died on Tuesday at age 93, according to Wheeler Mortuary of Springville.
The former Latter-day Saint leader received widespread recognition and praise for her message of philanthropy and advocacy of women in the church and in Utah. The University of Utah named the Aileen H. Clyde 20th Century Women’s Legacy Archive after her, which aims to “collect and preserve life history interviews of women who represent social and cultural change,” according to the archive’s website.
Sharlee Mullins Glenn, a former adjunct faculty at Brigham Young University and founder of Mormon Women for Ethical Government, remembers meeting Clyde for the first time about three years ago. She described the woman she looked up to as a young mother as being bright, compassionate and having a sharp sense of humor.
“She was just delightful,” Glenn said.
At the organization’s conference at BYU in 2018, Mormon Women for Ethical Government honored Clyde as the year’s “Woman of Valor” for her contributions to the community and social justice efforts.
“She probably did as much for women in Utah as anyone who has lived in the past several decades,” said Glenn.
During a 1994 General Conference talk, Clyde spoke about the roles that charity and service play in being a woman in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“The Relief Society organization offers women opportunities that can augment their personal endeavors to develop and exercise charity,” Clyde said. “Through our cooperative efforts, Relief Society members can help one another feel supported and loved, particularly in times of need and crisis.”
In addition to serving in the Relief Society, Clyde chaired the Utah Task Force on Gender and Justice, her biography on the Aileen H. Clyde 20th Century Women’s Legacy Archive website states. Additionally, she spent 12 years on the Utah State Board of Regents and chaired Envision Utah’s Coalition for Utah’s Future.
Kathleen Flake, a professor of Mormon studies at the University of Virginia who knew Clyde personally, said Clyde was a powerful figure who served as a role model for women of the Latter-day Saints faith.
“She was a bridge between her generation and the three generations that followed,” Flake said.
Up until the moment she passed, Clyde would read newspapers, keep up on current events and engage “in the happenings of the world,” said Glenn, adding that Clyde was always excited to see women of her faith “stepping up.”
“We certainly owe her tremendous appreciation and gratitude,” Glenn said.
LOGAN — A Cache Valley man allegedly broke into and vandalized the Logan temple on Christmas Eve because he was upset that he couldn’t see his children and that “no LDS girl would date him,” police say.
Peter Ambrose, 34, was arrested Tuesday morning after police found him locked in a room in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple in Logan, located at 175 N. 300 East. He is being held in the Cache County Jail on one count of burglary, a third-degree felony, and criminal mischief, a second-degree felony.
At 3:32 a.m. Tuesday, Logan police received a call that a break-in had occurred at the temple and that glass was broken out of the east doors to the building’s annex. When police arrived, they found damage on all three floors of the temple, according to a news release from police.
Multiple paintings were damaged and pulled from the wall, a fire extinguisher had been set off and a few doors had also been damaged, police said.
LDS church spokeswoman Irene Caso said in a statement that an ax had been used during the break-in.
Detectives collected evidence and cleared the scene at 8 a.m., but returned to the scene at 8:30 a.m. after temple officials reported that they believed the suspect was locked in a room in the temple.
Police found Ambrose in the room and took him into custody and he was then interviewed.
“Ambrose cooperated with detectives and stated he was upset because it was Christmas and he couldn’t see his children and no LDS girls would date him,” police said in the release.
In 2016, Ambrose was found guilty of one count of misdemeanor criminal mischief for an incident that also occurred at the Logan temple, according to online court records.
Charges have not yet been filed against Ambrose. He is being held without bail.
The temple is currently closed for the Christmas holiday, Caso said.
“The damage will be addressed, and normal temple operations will resume on Thursday,” she added.