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Question about Code of Conduct

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:41 pm
by rbeede
The Code of Conduct says "Direct quotes from any official documents that the Church has not made public (such as Handbook 1 or official letters), although you may provide references to chapter, page or section numbers."

Is there an example of official letters that are not public? I couldn't think of any off the top of my head.

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:57 pm
by allenjpl
rbeede wrote:The Code of Conduct says "Direct quotes from any official documents that the Church has not made public (such as Handbook 1 or official letters), although you may provide references to chapter, page or section numbers."

Is there an example of official letters that are not public? I couldn't think of any off the top of my head.


I think several letters in the Official Communications Library would qualify. Although they are frequently read in sacrament meeting, copies of the letters aren't available to the general public, or members outside of specific leadership positions.

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:06 pm
by russellhltn
My understanding of "made public" is that you can find the letter on an official church website that's open to the public.

Simply reading a letter over the pulpit doesn't necessarily make it public.

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:00 pm
by aebrown
rbeede wrote:Is there an example of official letters that are not public? I couldn't think of any off the top of my head.


There are lots of letters that are in the Official Communication Library that are not public -- a relatively small minority of the letters stored there are ever made public.

RussellHltn wrote:My understanding of "made public" is that you can find the letter on an official church website that's open to the public.

Simply reading a letter over the pulpit doesn't necessarily make it public.


In my opinion, any letter read over the pulpit is indeed public. After all, our meetings are open to the public, so anyone could have heard that letter -- that fits the definition of "public" by most reasonable definitions. But most letters read over the pulpit are published somewhere anyway (Church News, Deseret News, LDS Newsroom, FamilySearch.org, LDS.org, etc.), so that distinction probably doesn't matter much.

Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:44 pm
by russellhltn
aebrown wrote:In my opinion, any letter read over the pulpit is indeed public. After all, our meetings are open to the public, so anyone could have heard that letter -- that fits the definition of "public" by most reasonable definitions. But most letters read over the pulpit are published somewhere anyway (Church News, Deseret News, LDS Newsroom, FamilySearch.org, LDS.org, etc.), so that distinction probably doesn't matter much.


Let's hope we don't have a situation where someone is quoting a letter read over the pulpit but we can't find publicly on-line from a church source.

Of course if it does happen, we'll do our usual huddle in the moderator section to decide.

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:38 am
by kisaac
rbeede wrote:Is there an example of official letters that are not public? I couldn't think of any off the top of my head.


I would use as an example of letters made public - those letters archived at the Church News First Presidency letter archive, found here:
www.ldschurchnews.com/letters/

as opposed to those found in the Leadership section "official communications Library" found at www.lds.org/letters/ which has limited access rights.

I'd feel free to quote from anything found in the first, and not quote, but maybe acknowledge the existence of documents only found in the second. It's interesting, however, that some obviously public letters, instructed to be read over the pulpit, are not archived at the church news site. The recent letter about the Utah Caucus nights are an example. They may show up in the official communications library, but I can't access it, so I don't know.

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:02 am
by aebrown
kisaac wrote:I would use as an example of letters made public - those letters archived at the Church News First Presidency letter archive, found here:
www.ldschurchnews.com/letters/

as opposed to those found in the Leadership section "official communications Library" found at www.lds.org/letters/ which has limited access rights.

I'd feel free to quote from anything found in the first, and not quote, but maybe acknowledge the existence of documents only found in the second. It's interesting, however, that some obviously public letters, instructed to be read over the pulpit, are not archived at the church news site. The recent letter about the Utah Caucus nights are an example. They may show up in the official communications library, but I can't access it, so I don't know.


The caucus letter was quoted in the Church News here, but for some reason it wasn't put in the archive. So that one definitely is "public."