MormonLeaks in the Age of Transparency

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  • Arcsin Rivos San Antonio, TX
    Feb. 27, 2017 3:43 a.m.

    It has been my experience that many people who get disenchanted with the Gospel and subsequently with the Church have gotten distracted by things that in the eternal scheme of things have little or no value. I am not saying we should not have questions, discuss them, and ask one another and the Lord about them, but whether the Church is transparent about its finances or not has absolutely nothing to do with its leader holding the priesthood keys to direct all saving ordinances.

    The core question (at least here) is, do you believe / have faith that President Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, seer, and revelation, president of the high priesthood, and the only person on the earth with the authority to officiate and authorize all priesthood keys? If we don't believe that then transparency matters much more than when we do believe.

    In a way, the Church not being transparent leaves its members with less to get distracted about, leaving them to focus on the Savior. Thoughts?

  • 2close2call Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 24, 2017 9:59 p.m.

    "Ryan McKnight has now made himself a public figure and is benefiting monetarily from his mission of transparency. Why isn't he being transparent?"

    Not true and clearly Ad hominem. if you have proof otherwise, tell all of us how Ryan is benefiting monetarily! This is the typical reply to all people who in some way criticize or are depicted as attacking the LDS church and it hurts the LDS church to attempt to only attack the messenger and not the issue itself.

  • Gruncle Ralph Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2017 11:14 a.m.

    Ryan McKnight has now made himself a public figure and is benefiting monetarily from his mission of transparency. Why isn't he being transparent? Why hasn't he published his tax/income records? Do we know if he's an ethical person? Does he vote and if so what does his voting history say about him? Has he broken any laws in the past or does he have a criminal record? What do his internet search habits look like?

    Now that he's made himself a public figure shouldn't the public have a right to know these things? Where's his transparency?

    Shouldn't sauce for the goose also be sauce for the gander?

  • Gruncle Ralph Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2017 11:05 a.m.

    If they have broken a non-disclosure agreement or have broken the law to obtain the information to send to us, that is their problem, not mine. If we receive something we think should be part of the public record, we will publish it."


    Isn't it against the law to receive stolen property?

  • Gruncle Ralph Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2017 11:01 a.m.

    haha....that's hilarious! A guy who preaches transparency that won't be transparent himself! OK, we now see he's just another angry ex-mormon with an axe to grind and there's nothing noble in his effort. First he says he won't release who his sources are then he says he doesn't know who they are. Really? Which is it? If you really don't know who they are then why not say that up front? Where's the transparency???

    As for his "noble" mission of transparency:

    "He admits he is a church critic. But as a trained accountant in the age of WikiLeaks, he said broad transparency is his single motivation.

    "We only want transparency," McKnight said. "The end goal is simple; it's transparency from the church.",

    I wonder how much money he's making off of his website. I didn't see that he posted any information on how much he makes. much for transparency. He's a lot like Pres Trump, transparency is good for others but not for himself. It's like liberals and tax increases, "yes I think the Pres should raise taxes, but Oh no, don't raise my taxes, raise the taxes of someone else!"

  • jackie wv west valley, UT
    Feb. 23, 2017 8:33 a.m.

    As a (I hope) "faithful" member of the LDS church, something no one has mentioned as far as "transparency" is that each year the church issues an audit statement as part of general conference. I didn't pay attention either until studying a little accounting and realizing exactly why they stress "independent" and "generally accepted accounting principles (gap). In other words to a believer that is another assurance that tithes and offerings are spent as the Lord would have them spent and if you're not that's not going to matter anyway.

  • KevinSim Springville, UT
    Feb. 22, 2017 2:33 p.m.

    Skeptic posted:

    =It is ironic that so many who consider themselves religious good Mormons who
    =claim to be true and honest followers of Jesus and Joseph Smith are objecting
    =to disclosure and access to knowledge, information and truth. What is it about
    =being aboveboard, honest, transparent and revealing that frightens these

    Skeptic, what exactly is your salary? How much money do you have in your checking account? In your savings account? What's your PIN code for your debit card? What's your Facebook username, and what's your password? Do you have children? If so, what are the names and ages of your children, and what schools do they attend?

    Do you still think that there's no reason to be afraid of "being aboveboard, honest, transparent and revealing"?

    Maybe you do; maybe you're perfectly willing to share all the above information with everyone on the Internet. But I think there are a lot of people who would rather that other people not know these things about them.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 22, 2017 9:12 a.m.

    It is ironic that so many who consider themselves religious good Mormons who claim to be true and honest followers of Jesus and Joseph Smith are objecting to disclosure and access to knowledge, information and truth. What is it about being aboveboard, honest, transparent and revealing that frightens these people.

  • David M Metairie, LA
    Feb. 21, 2017 7:19 p.m.

    While I don't know whether these leaks are true or not, it shows the relatively frugal nature of church leaders. We already know Bishops & Stake presidents are lay ministers. How many business executives of similar size corporations make only $116,400 to $120,000? This only reinforces qualifications and experience only show they want serve the Lord and the members they preside over.

    At the same time, this information is not near as important as how we live our lives, raise our children, and treat those around us. Following the prophet helps us do just that.

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Feb. 21, 2017 4:16 p.m.

    Article quote: "Transparency is the declared Siren song of MormonLeaks founder Ryan McKnight, whose team has built a secure website as a platform for those who want to leak documents or videos anonymously from inside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The former Mormon's stated mission has raised robust questions among ethicists, journalists, scholars and others, who say there are good leaks and bad leaks. If McKnight believes transparency is a top, or the only, priority, should he be more transparent?"

    So this man, McKnight, claims he wants "transparency" so "honesty" can reign everywhere the Church touches, yet he does not care where the information he leaks comes from or what the motivations are of those who give him the information to put out on the internet. However, motivation is a huge, huge part of judging things correctly, or in other words, in achieving "honesty", yet this man refuses to give the honesty he claims he so desperately wants to receive.

    That is called "hypocrisy".

    He is rapidly bringing down his own destruction. Yes, really.

  • CMTM Lake Forest, CA
    Feb. 21, 2017 11:35 a.m.

    RE: summarizerer -The Biblical practice of a paid ministry was continued in the N.T.: "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward." (1 Tim 5:17-18)

    Paul wrote that he had the right to ask for support from the Christians. "Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?" (1 Cor 9:5-6)

    "If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?... Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." (1 Cor 9. 11, 14 )

    RE; Transparency, VS edits E.g…,. “It is customary to read the two prayers over the emblems, lest the officer, forgetting the words or changing them, break the spirit of the meeting. For convenience we quote them from Doctrine and Covenants 17:22-23?

  • summarizerer Berryville, VA
    Feb. 21, 2017 10:08 a.m.

    @Middle of the road Mormon

    “Too often we have told our non-LDS friends, co-workers, and neighbors that our leaders are not paid..."

    quoting Dan Peterson..

    "Let’s think about this...

    There are roughly 4000 stakes and districts in the Church, and somewhat more than 30,000 wards and branches. Let’s not even count the counselors. Let’s not count area authority seventies or scoutmasters or high councilors or Relief Society presidents or any of the other unpaid workers in the Church....

    There are currently, by my count, 108 General Authorities. That’s 0.00317647058 of the number of local unit leaders (bishops and stake, district, and branch presidents) in the Church."

    “…it changes ones perception that was previously taught that these men gave up so much to perform their calling.”

    How many people do you hear giving up $500,000 or more for a $120,000 living expense? It sure sounds like you are highly unfamiliar with the leadership of the Church because I would wager at least few of them easily could have made that in the private sector.

  • CMTM Lake Forest, CA
    Feb. 21, 2017 8:33 a.m.

    .RE: Buddyroe “MormonWikiLeaks. “One of the better known examples of this are confessions made to priests.”
    "The only principle upon which they judge me is by comparing my acts with the foolish traditions of their fathers and nonsensical teachings of hireling priests, whose object and aim were to keep the people in ignorance for the sake of filthy lucre; or as the prophet says, to feed themselves, not the flock." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 315)Yet,

    “ And the bishop, also, shall receive his support, or a just remuneration for all his services in the church. (Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 42:71-73)

  • summarizerer Berryville, VA
    Feb. 21, 2017 8:03 a.m.


    “I do not wish to know what is done with the monies, nor where they are expended. I feel it is none of my business, as it is no longer my money.”

    You’ve stated my feelings on this subject as well.


    “The Church is plenty forthright with the truth; for example, it's availing itself of new technologies to release large tranches of original historical documents, unredacted in high resolution detail, for all the world to see.

    But for Church critics, such actions count for nothing. Having convinced themselves that the Church is at best mismanaged or at worst a dishonest organization, they want to see information that feeds their confirmation bias. If the Church isn't admitting to mismanagement or dishonesty, if the MormonLeaks documents aren't sufficiently embarrassing, then, they say, the Church not being transparent and open. It's impossible to satisfy such people.”

    It is often the case that critics are myopic with their assessments of the Church and have cognitive dissonance that they themselves like to always pin on members.

  • 2close2call Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 20, 2017 11:44 p.m.

    @USAALLTHEWAY! "It really doesn't shake my faith and trust in my leaders, but there is a great sifting happening which will separate the wheat from the tares. Those too weak to stand upright in the midst of the storm will be swept away. As an old friend used to say, "if you can't stand the heat, bid out of the kitchen"

    This comes across as very insulting to the least among us of our brothers and sisters. Why are you assuming that you are the wheat and not one of the tares that is "too weak to stand Upright in the midst of a storm"? Could you be able to get out of bed in the morning if you found out your religious leaders were wrong entirely about their religion and you could not trust them because of their mistakes?

    I believe a perfect God would not give us trials that we were "too weak to stand upright in the midst of the storm" and be "swept away" with, so I disagree with your entire premise!

  • Middle of the road Mormon South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 20, 2017 7:12 p.m.

    Too often we have told our non-LDS friends, co-workers, and neighbors that our leaders are not paid. We often believe these things.

    When it is revealed that they receive reimbursement of up to $120,000 per year for living expenses it changes ones perception that was previously taught that these men gave up so much to perform their calling.

    I don't see any problem with the Church reimbursing money spent for living expenses for those that do the work full time. The problem so many of with it is that so many are led to believe that they are doing more by spending their own money when this is not in fact happening.

    When the Church decides to take a stance on an issue or candidate I have no problem with that, but to pretend to be neutral when in fact you are not - why? So I applaud the Church for some of the more public stances it has taken - even those I find troubling from time to time. At least when they do that, they are being more transparent.

  • MoreMan San Diego, CA
    Feb. 20, 2017 3:21 p.m.

    My Momma taught me that if you did nothing wrong you have nothing to fear. And if you are being deceitful it will always catch up to you. Welcome to the real world.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    Feb. 20, 2017 1:23 p.m.

    My opinion is somewhat flipped from that of Wasatch Rebel. I see way too much classified information in government, way to much secrecy. If you are doing the public's business, it should be public. The church? It is a private organization. It should be entitled to more privacy. Public things are public. Private things are private.
    And, I wonder if there really is a great deluge of leaks in the Trump Administration. Someone revealed that the director of national security had met with a Russian? Is that really information that should not have been revealed as it could endanger national security? From all that I know of the situation, I find no fault with that being "leaked." Let us know what is going on, for it is our government.

    Feb. 20, 2017 1:17 p.m.

    As I have pondered on my comments posted yesterday, I realized that it should come as no surprise that this type of behavior is expected to be prevalent and part of the "norm" that is the reality of the world in which we live.

    As a true "believer", as many are out there are, we should recognize that the "signs of the times" are all around us. It really doesn't shake my faith and trust in my leaders, but there is a great sifting happening which will separate the wheat from the tares.

    Those too weak to stand upright in the midst of the storm will be swept away. As an old friend used to say, "if you can't stand the heat, bid out of the kitchen".

  • Buddyroe Sherwood, OR
    Feb. 20, 2017 12:42 p.m.

    For context, please understand I am not LDS.

    Just before Christmas I received a Facebook link to Mormon Wiki Leaks, I opened it and was not impressed. Banality is indeed the bulk of their reporting and puerile pretentiousness seems to be their culture. This is evidenced by the photo display of their official T-shirt that reads:

    Elder _________

    One of us is a
    Confirmed homosexual


    Churches of all sorts hold confidential meetings as a necessary order of business. Often individuals avail themselves of counseling trusting that their communications are private. One of the better known examples of this are confessions made to priests.

    LDS order of business may be of interest to outsiders and of course gossipers. Acquiring such information by illegal or unethical means is simply not acceptable, such reports deserve being ignored

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2017 12:16 p.m.

    The point I was trying to make is this: everything is not everybody's business. Politicians can expect to live in a bubble and anything they say to anyone, barring national security, is fair game. But individuals are entitled to some privacy as are organizations. When I was doing public utilities economics I would sign non-disclosure contracts to protect trade secrets. Churches are also entitled to some privacy. Our world today requires consumers of information to be fair and discrete.

  • M_Hawke Golden, CO
    Feb. 20, 2017 12:01 p.m.

    McKnight is not being honest. MormonLeaks is not about "being transparent" or forcing transparency. It is about a bitter man with a chip on his shoulder. That's all. Way to "kick against the pricks."

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2017 11:52 a.m.

    "McKnight oversaw the unauthorized release of 15 videos that showed LDS leaders receiving briefings in private meetings between 2007 and 2012."

    So here's how I dealt with this incident. I listened to the remarks made by the politicians as they are or were public officers, and what they say is my business. The rest I did not listen to, thinking such was none of my business.

  • justinoballantino South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 20, 2017 11:48 a.m.

    Super heavy bias here.

  • JonathanPDX Portland, Oregon
    Feb. 20, 2017 11:25 a.m.

    People believe what they choose to believe. Some see evil in the most benevolent acts of kindness, while others, due to their own weakness, seek to lash out and harm those who would help them.

    We all know that things will continue to grow ever more turbulent as the Savior's return approaches.

    If we speak the truth, avoid commenting out of ignorance, and live according to the gospel and revealed word of God, then we have nothing to fear.

  • KellyWSmith Sparks, NV
    Feb. 20, 2017 10:40 a.m.

    When someone breaks Temple Covenants, Satan takes control of their lives. The rule then for the rest of us is to never trust anything from those who have broken their covenants because Satan is the real force behind what they do. There is no reason to question what they reveal because we know the real intent.

    Its that simple.

    Only those who "are not ashamed that wait for me (the Lord)" will be blessed to inherit the promises given and be spared the wrath of God that will be poured out upon mankind in the last days (2 NE 6:6-18).

  • Peter Cullman Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 20, 2017 9:51 a.m.

    Those who cry foul where no foul exists sadly miss the mark. They mistake the mark of integrity for the mark of disaffection or retribution. While whistleblowers serve as important checks, leaks can be subversively intentional. There are proper channels for the airing of grievances. But if those channels are ineffective or corrupted, is there always a way to get the word out to the proper recipients and remain in integrity?

    This article and its approach is a very welcome departure from the norm. It does not seem to be aimed at the common denominator but at a more intellectually mature audience. I hope it is as a sign of things to come.

    What if the DN was to tackle important issues head-on as independent journalists strive to do? What if the DN was to combine the best attributes of the Ben Swanns, the Joel Skousens, and the James Corbetts, among many others, and rise above the world, the establishment media, in reporting and analyzing issues?

  • There You Go Again St George, UT
    Feb. 20, 2017 9:16 a.m.

    It's ok to leak information that helps to destroy belief in your political opponent.

    It's not ok to leak information that helps to destroy belief in your favorite religion.

    C'est la vie.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Feb. 20, 2017 9:09 a.m.

    Funny how those with an ax to grind seem to find ways to grind their ax. These boards are prima facie evidence of this.

  • Michael Shea, MD Yuma, AZ
    Feb. 20, 2017 8:58 a.m.

    Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights recognizes freedom of expression as a right that includes seeking, receiving and imparting information ... through any... media of choice". Article 19 also states that the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary "[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others" or "the protection of national security, public order... health... or morals." Based on John Stuart Mill's "harm principle," freedom of speech and expression are not absolute but may be limited in cases of libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, non-disclosure agreements, the right to privacy, the right to be forgotten, public security, and perjury. ( see Wikipedia).
    It seems people love their rights but abhor responsibilities such as "work of you can" and "keep your mouth shut when you should." I think the time for accountability has arrived.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Feb. 20, 2017 8:19 a.m.

    "Independent Mormon scholar" = someone who blogs on the Internet on their own time, because no one will pay them to do it professionally

  • cdowis Woodstock, GA
    Feb. 20, 2017 7:50 a.m.

    The major problem with leaks is the lack of context. You may say something to your friends or associates which, outside of the context of your personality of previous conversations, may be misunderstood by the outsider. The leaked information needs to be examined in context, but the leaker only gives us the "raw data".

    The second problem is that it trivializes the sacred. Let's say that they leak the budget for the temple films == how much the actors are paid, and other details of the production. As we go to the temple we then start paying attention to the actors, the sets, special effects rather than the message. The leaker has been successful in making a sacred experience into something ordinary.

  • Baxters24321 Denver, CO
    Feb. 20, 2017 5:29 a.m.

    "Transparency" is just a cover for trashy voyeurism, the stealing of private information, and the goal of destroying a person or organisation. I have long suspected sites such as Wikileaks of making half their stuff up or encouraging others to produce fake information for them to publish. The fact that Mormon Leaks has a stated, non neutral goal pretty much destroys its credibility. We might as well believe the National Enquirer's articles, too.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2017 5:22 a.m.

    The Church, being on the earth, has one purpose, among many: to humble the rich and educated. And to help communities be one in caring for each other.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2017 4:57 a.m.

    Is your life building others up or tearing them down? Some people are against institutions. A few are against team work and community and positive momentum. So many hobbies out there from tennis to hiking to swimming, and they all come from the heavens.

  • toosmartforyou Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 19, 2017 11:37 p.m.

    It occurs to me that when one insists upon :"transparency" they have abandoned their "trust" formerly placed in the Church's leadership. That's pretty clear when former members have so much to say who, in THEIR opinion, ought to run the Church, what the doctrine's ought to be, how the funds should be spent, and what is important that The Brethren somehow just don't grasp. Either you affirm your support of those who have been chosen to lead the Kingdom or you don't; pretty simple concept. There isn't any need for ethics revival or introspection if you support the leaders and if you don't it won't matter anyway. The enemies of the Church have always found a way to be a monkey wrench in the works and they always will but the Kingdom rolls forth in spite of their efforts to bring it down. The late Elder Maxwell said he was amazed at "how people could leave the Church but they couldn't leave it alone." This is yet another chapter in the Book of Apostasy that these folks are writing and want to make certain they have a contribution attributed to them.

  • Not Much of a Fan Irvine, CA
    Feb. 19, 2017 11:29 p.m.

    Ernest T. Bass:

    You're right, the Church has hidden these things, like the multiple First Vision accounts, for years - by publishing them in the Ensign for all not to read!

  • JBs Logan, UT
    Feb. 19, 2017 9:49 p.m.

    Ryan McKnight said that his motivation for releasing documents was to provide transparency. He might actually believe that and that is how he sleeps at night. His justification that the responsibility of accepting ill-gotten documents is on those providing them tells a different story. He is getting publicity, the illusion of power over the LDS church, and that he is doing something noble. I'm certain, as an admitted critic, he desires to do damage. But he won't do damage, and there is nothing noble in what he is doing.

    Feb. 19, 2017 9:48 p.m.

    Any intelligent person needs to ask themselves what purpose is served by exposing someone's personal, private and confidential information to a public that should have no interest in such matters to be held up to ridicule and derision. Disgruntled former employees of a business or other organization always have an axe to grind or a personal agenda to "get even" or "make them pay" for their grievances. I refer to the shootings which happen in schools, churches, workplaces etc.
    A former employee who worked at Old Tucson, a wonderful historical section of the city, set a fire and destroyed over half of the site. He was fired from his job and he was angry. There isn't much difference because both are malicious acts. I fear that we, as a nation, have lost much in the way of civility.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Feb. 19, 2017 6:58 p.m.

    Several years ago (before becoming LDS), I left the Unitarian Church, mainly because of their liberal-left wing political advocacy and open support of violent radical student groups. It never occurred to me to expose their inner affairs and dealings, or to publicly leak their finances. Rather, I just went my way and left them alone.

  • AndrewJackson New Harmony, UT
    Feb. 19, 2017 6:29 p.m.

    So where does this all end? Given the quotes on freedom, 1st, 4th etc. Does that mean all is fair game, turn-around is fair play when the democrats return to the White House? Can we now leak the names of those who inform the press or go after the private lives of those that foment these practices themselves (Ryan)? Can we find video images of you and your lovers? Arguments with your spouse etc.? What private things can we find on you that would be fun to expose? You can buy anything in this world for money. Be careful what you wish for, for it may also be used against you too. O' what a slippery slope we are going down.

  • TMR Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 19, 2017 5:29 p.m.

    A well written article. We are in the middle of a tech-information revolution and it is difficult to assess the outcome. But as we muddle through it, these sorts of contemplative articles help us through the thinking process.

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 19, 2017 5:11 p.m.

    >>If the church were more forthright with the truth, there would be no need for transparency.

    The Church is plenty forthright with the truth; for example, it's availing itself of new technologies to release large tranches of original historical documents, unredacted in high resolution detail, for all the world to see.

    But for Church critics, such actions count for nothing. Having convinced themselves that the Church is at best mismanaged or at worst a dishonest organization, they want to see information that feeds their confirmation bias. If the Church isn't admitting to mismanagement or dishonesty, if the MormonLeaks documents aren't sufficiently embarrassing, then, they say, the Church not being transparent and open. It's impossible to satisfy such people.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2017 4:54 p.m.

    My comment centers on the Church maintaining security regarding finances. When I make a donation, I relinquish all rights to the monies. I freely give the amount I wish to give with no strings attached.

    I do not wish to know what is done with the monies, nor where they are expended. I feel it is none of my business, asit is no longer my money.

    Those who express interest in knowing where and how their donations are expended may be under the impression that the Church is some form of democracy where the members have some standing in the financial direction of the budget. I am under the impression it is a kingdom willingly entered and authority comes from the top down. Therefore control over the budget is not my business nor my worry.

  • Chancey Sandy, UT
    Feb. 19, 2017 3:36 p.m.

    Perhaps we've all lost the ability to understand basic english words. Does anyone doubt what "on line" means. When you put something something on the line, it's apt to be seen like red unions on a windy day. I guess I'm profoundly impressed that LDS Church leaders would leave very successful private lives, take a cut in pay and have to put up with these things. What great sacrifices. It's an honor to be lead by such men.

  • windsor City, Ut
    Feb. 19, 2017 3:14 p.m.

    I feel sad (and irritated) that with the number of good honest faithful LDS who need a job --that there are those employed by the Church who are abusing their positions and the good luck they have to have employment with the Church (where it was assumed they would exhibit integrity and fidelity.)

    But they will get their comeuppance some day.

    Joseph Smith: " 'Fret not thyself because of evildoers'. God will see to it."

  • JBs Logan, UT
    Feb. 19, 2017 2:55 p.m.

    Ryan McKnight stated that he won't publish personal information. I don't believe him. I've seen too many times when someone starts something like this, soon it isn't enough.

  • TheGnostic Elk River, MN
    Feb. 19, 2017 2:37 p.m.

    I find it troubling that the LDS Church operates in secrecy. I get having "sacred" things they'd like for only some to see (e.g., the temple ceremony). However, finances should be in the open. I understand, for example, in the guidelines they give to mission presidents, they have a different definition of tithing than they have for the general membership. Those kinds of things, they should be disclosed.

  • Red Corvette St George, UT
    Feb. 19, 2017 1:40 p.m.

    If the church were more forthright with the truth, there would be no need for transparency.

    Feb. 19, 2017 1:10 p.m.

    From the article: "I'm not sure the president completely understands that the First Amendment was created specifically to engineer leaks....It was banking on the idea that people would be motivated to hold political authority in check."
    There is more to this story than the 1st Amendment. What about the 4th and the right to privacy? Or the 5th? Doesn't the use of an individual's personal rights to privacy indirectly use one's words or records to convict--at least in the public eye?
    We must also consider the "fish bowl" argument. Those who obtain substantive public notoriety give up much of their right to privacy--life in a fishbowl, for all to observe.
    Surely there's a balance somewhere--certain areas where the public's right to know has no business intruding.
    Axes to grind, gossip, kingdom building--by leakers and targets alike--are a few of the behaviors that need some form of governance. Given the current unreliability of some of our courts, not much hope for satisfaction there. Think Charles Dicken's "Bleak House."
    Seems like we could use a little old fashioned "mind your own business" now and again.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 19, 2017 1:09 p.m.

    I enjoyed the story but found it difficult to take counsel from "journalists and scholars," as though they could teach us anything about sources and verification.

    Reporters can deceive us simply by the way they tell the story. We've seen a great deal of that in recent years.

    Typical stories today quote unnamed sources.

    At the extreme, remember the Pulitzer Prize given to Janet Cooke for the "story" published by the Washington Post?

    As for scholars, they have not cornered the market on truth. Journalists can choose from a variety of "experts" to quote...depending on their story. Scholars also take sides.

    New media provides an opportunity to tell things that no one wanted to publish. I had the personal experience years ago of trying to expose the false information being told by an incumbent during a reelection campaign. He was misrepresenting his record and no media outlet wanted to publish it, or even ask the candidate to explain himself.

    Today we have a way to get the info out there, though you can't make people read it or believe it.

    So, we are left at square one; gather info and decide for ourselves what is true.

  • Tim Flaherty Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 19, 2017 12:55 p.m.

    I agree with many of the comments here. This excellent article was way more than the typical "information dump" laced with an obvious bias or an ax to grind. It was thoughtful, extremely well-written, and encouraged honest consideration of both sides of the argument. One nugget worthy of thought, made salient in the article, is what some might call the cowardice of many whistle blowers (i.e. Ryan McKnight) who claim "transparency" as their motivation for leaking, but who refuse to be transparent themselves. What's good for the goose apparently isn't for the gander.

  • Allen South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 19, 2017 11:52 a.m.

    I've been trying to think what I would do if I had a website that made public information that organizations were trying to keep private. Organizations own this information, and I respect their ownership of the information. In the publishing of such information, I am attempting to transfer ownership of the information from the organization to the general public. Do I have the right to do this?

    All organizations have goals that are publicly disseminated. Those organizations may keep private certain information that is in opposition to those goals. I would ask myself, why are organizations keeping certain information private? Is society being helped if that information is made public?

    In my opinion, transparency is not a sufficient reason for leaked information. The information has to relate in some way to the goals of the organization, and I think that that relationship must be made public when the leaked information is made public. I realize that some individuals posting private information may do so to provide transparency, and that they leave to others justification of the leaking. That is fine. We just have different opinions about this matter.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 19, 2017 11:46 a.m.

    You can't claim a "transparency" until you open the books to see every penny coming in and every penny going out. That's what it all comes down to is the money.
    As for other forms of transparency, that didn't happen until the real history became readily available online and in publications. There was a large scale cover-up until their hand was forced by outside entities.

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 19, 2017 10:59 a.m.

    I look forward to the Mormon Leaks leaks.

  • JkeithC Richland, WA
    Feb. 19, 2017 10:56 a.m.

    It does make me a little sad to think that someone even though they have left the church simply wants to harm and embarrass. What could be the motivation of releasing president eyring personal financial information other than to embarrass him. I am sad that a person feels like that is the proper thing to do.

  • Michael Shea, MD Yuma, AZ
    Feb. 19, 2017 10:42 a.m.

    "Leaking" information with the intent of esposing criminal acts or comspiracies is one thing, but to publish false information in order to embarrass or defame someone is libel. At best, organizations like MormonLeaks do not serve any useful purpose and at worst they push the envelope of libel, in my opinion, because there is no conspiracy or criminal behavior to expose and their organizers know it. Their purpose is to embarrass or defame and it is usually driven by vengefulness over some perceived wrong. Thankfully, most of the American public seems smart enough to put that sort of leaked information where it belongs: in the trash.

  • Wasatch Rebel Kearns, Utah
    Feb. 19, 2017 10:41 a.m.

    It should be noted that leaks from U.S. governmental agencies have a much greater potential to be harmful to the well-being of its citizens, than a leak of LDS information has to be detrimental to members. It isn't an equal playing field--one verges on espionage, undermining a nation. The other reveals the inner workings of a religious organization.

  • fm La Verkin, UT
    Feb. 19, 2017 6:17 a.m.

    "Transparency for thee, but not for me".

    What happens when someone leaks information that you submit to WikiLeaks or MormonLeaks? Is their responsibility of trust any greater than yours?

    The same goes for posting interesting or astounding things on social media. Is the source of that information really accurate?

  • Ray Winn Stansbury Park, UT
    Feb. 19, 2017 5:18 a.m.

    Good article; thanks for publishing it. I halfway expected an impassioned defense of the LDS Church's need for privacy (owing to its ownership of this newspaper), but the writing was impartial and open, with an exploration of both sides of the issue.

  • byugraduate Las Vegas, NV
    Feb. 18, 2017 11:32 p.m.

    Good article that shows both sides of the issue. Transparency would be really nice.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Feb. 18, 2017 10:10 p.m.

    Even in the age of the internet, voyeurism is still voyeurism. As the old saying goes, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

  • Wyoming Jake Casper, WY
    Feb. 18, 2017 10:04 p.m.

    If church financial records, including tithes and offerings, were made public perhaps even the records of significant contributors would need to be disclosed. That might be embarrassing to certain people.

    Total truthfulness of mankind might mean there are no secrets whatsoever even if many private ideas would hurt many people. How would people react if they knew exactly other peoples opinion of them?

  • snatick Sandy, UT
    Feb. 18, 2017 9:55 p.m.

    Interesting, well written, well considered article. I enjoy reading articles like this. And so often I see poorly written articles that are disorganized and lacking cohesiveness. But this was informative, thought-provoking, and just very well put together. Kudos. And thank you.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 18, 2017 9:23 p.m.

    " Should news outlets or leaks websites be egging them on, as the New York Times now does?"
    Seriously? After a summer of Wikileaks which were, even then, strongly suspected as coming from a hostile foreign government. Knowing, as any bad high school student would, that they were available only because they would, to some extent, harm one of the campaigns in our last election.
    And the times wasn't the only paper to publish them, were they?
    "I LOVE Wikileaks" - Donald Trump.