OFFICIAL STATEMENT: “The Church, as a religious organization, does not have the investigative tools available to law enforcement agencies. Nor can the Church substitute for the courts in adjudicating legal claims. The Church has great faith in the judicial system to determine the truth of these claims.” –from an Official Church Statement, released 20 March 2018. [source]
COMMENTARY: As despicable as are the church’s attempts to exonerate itself at the expense of the victims—and yes, there are multiple victims in this case—let’s ignore that, if we can, for a moment, and focus on questions of doctrine here. The church is saying that only the police and the courts are able to determine if a man violated the position of trust in his ecclesiastical roles. Spencer Kimball, the President of the Church who called him to serve as the President of the Missionary Training Center did not have the discernment to know his nature? The leaders of his ward and stake, when given an accusation of his actions, did not receive the spiritual guidance to prompt them to take any action? Russell Nelson, the current President of the Church, even after being presented a tape recording of the man admitting to improprieties, is either unable or unwilling to ask God for advice on this case? Seems to me that if your religion gives you the ability to know the truth only of things that happened thousands of years ago or that will happen in heaven after our deaths, but has no ability to determine the truth regarding the quotidian and admittedly boring details of our current life—which might just prove useful in, I dunno, keeping the church leadership free of sexual predators—maybe your religion isn’t quite as useful as you’re trying to make it out to be. But what do I know? I’m just another apostate.