McKenna Denson (left) is pictured at the Provo Missionary Training Center in 1984. Image courtesy of Jessica Lowder, with permission by McKenna Denson.
While McKenna Denson was was training as a Mormon missionary in the MTC in Provo, Utah in 1984, she says the MTC president, Joseph Bishop, raped her in a basement room.
Last year, she confronted Bishop in person and recorded their conversation, where he can be heard admitting to sexual misconduct with multiple women throughout his time as a high-ranking church leader.
Bishop denies the rape allegation, but a Brigham Young University police report shows that he told officers that while he served as president of the MTC, he asked a young sister missionary to expose her breasts to him in a basement room.
On this episode of Mosaic, the #MeToo movement comes to Mormonism.
In this first entry in a special series on #MormonMeToo, we’ll look at how the Mormon concept of obedience helps shed light on this complex, difficult story.
On today’s episode:
“Do You Know Who I Am?” (00:00-28:40) — A sister missionary confronts her MTC president on tape, she obtains a confession, and the tape gets out.
“In Her Words” (28:40-54:43) — McKenna Denson describes her decision to confront Joseph Bishop and what she experienced during the meeting.
“Dossier” (54:43-01:29:37) — We meet Denson’s biological daughter Jessica Lowder, who was brought into this story after she was named on a dossier compiled by a lawyer for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in an apparent attempt to undermine Denson’s credibility.