I recently completed a transcription editing job for a videoed interview of a female sexual predator. The female interviewer met the prisoner alone in what appeared to be a low security prison’s common area.
The interviewer asked the prisoner if she felt like she deserved to be in prison. “Absolutely,” the prisoner responded.
Interviewer asked the prisoner about her charges. The prisoner said she’d been imprisoned on 15 counts of first-degree rape of a child. But, actually, her offenses included well over 100 counts of child rape.
I stopped the video, horrified. I couldn’t grasp, and didn’t want to grasp, the enormity of her confession. Easily over 100 counts? I cried.
The prisoner said she was raped at seven years old. She didn’t describe any other details of her personal life except that she had four daughters who never lived with her and that she’d physically abused the youngest daughter. She said physical abuse and sexual assault really were the same act of manipulative control.
To fulfill her sexual appetite, she decided to babysit children. She didn’t groom children to be her victims, she groomed their parents. She sought out parents who were distracted, neglectful, especially substance users, and offered them childcare help. Most of her victims were infants and toddlers. The baby’s gender was irrelevant.
She preyed on the most vulnerable children who already struggling for survival.
A Predator’s Tips
Her tips to parents?
- Don’t just let your children go with just anyone.
- If your child doesn’t want to go with someone, don’t make them.
- Be aware. There are always signs.
Praying for her Victims
At the time of the interview, the prisoner had been imprisoned for over two decades. She had a general attitude of remorse. She also admitted that she shouldn’t be released into the general population yet because she still had issues to resolve.
She said she prayed for the children she hurt that their lives might not be totally ruined because of her actions.
An image of the Savior came to mind—He who creates beauty from ashes.
The Savior’s Atonement Compensates for Our Losses
Lehi’s encouragement to Jacob seemed so appropriate.
And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the rudeness of thy brethren. Nevertheless…he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.
The Savior Jesus Christ promises that all who come to Him can find relief from every ailment. Every pain, sorrow, grief, weakness. He promises wholeness to the broken. He promises abundance to those who lack. He promises comfort to the weary. He promises to compensate our loss.
Because Heavenly Father is merciful, a principle of compensation prevails.
That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.
The promise is that eventually all will be made right. That sounds like we have to wait until the next life for everything to be made right. But I believe many things can be made right in this life!
Job’s story is a good example. He lost everything except his wife and his life. But after his experience with God, his life became full and fruitful once again.
The Savior implores the broken, wounded, and weary from grief, sorrow, weakness, and sin to
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Alma taught his people what this looked like.
And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
Pray to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. Acknowledge your sufferings, weakness, grief, sorrows, sins. Ask God to apply the atonement in your life and tell you what you need to do to drop your burdens at the Savior’s feet. The Holy Ghost will whisper answers to your heart. Maybe you won’t have to do anything else but just accept the peace the Savior offers.
In this supplication comes change—sometimes immediate, sometimes over time. But at some point in your future, you will realize that you are changed. And you will know it’s because you cast your burden on Jesus and He carried it for you.
And that is the most beautiful, merciful compensation in a world of free will. Juxtaposed to those who seek control and manipulation, Jesus seeks our peace and well-being and paid the ultimate sacrifice to make that possible in our everyday lives.