Policies and Announcements

    “Policies and Announcements,” Ensign, Mar. 1994, 80

    Policies and Announcements

    The following is from the Church Bulletin, 1993-2:

    Caution Concerning Self-Awareness Groups

    There is increasing concern regarding Church members’ involvement in groups that purport to increase self-awareness, raise self-esteem, and enhance individual agency. Many of these groups advocate concepts and use methods that can be harmful. Some falsely claim Church endorsement, actively recruit Church members, charge exorbitant fees, and encourage long-term commitments. Some intermingle worldly concepts with gospel principles in ways that can undermine spirituality and faith. Although participants may experience temporary emotional relief or exhilaration, old problems often return, leading to added disappointment and despair.

    Church leaders and members should not become involved in self-awareness groups or any other groups that imitate sacred rites or ceremonies. Similarly, members should avoid groups that meet late into the night or encourage open confession or disclosure of personal information normally discussed only in confidential settings.

    Church leaders are not to pay for, encourage participation in, or promote such groups or practices. Also, Church facilities are not to be used for these types of activities. Local leaders should counsel those desiring self-improvement to anchor themselves in gospel principles and to adopt wholesome practices that strengthen one’s abilities to cope with challenges. Members are invited to consult with their bishops or stake presidents when seeking appropriate sources of counseling.

    Income Taxes

    Church members in any nation are obligated by the twelfth article of faith to obey the tax laws of that nation (see also D&C 134:5). If a member disapproves of tax laws, he may attempt to have them changed by legislation or constitutional amendment, or, if he has a well-founded legal objection, he may challenge them in the courts.

    A member who refuses to file a tax return, to pay required income taxes, or to comply with a final judgment in a tax case is in direct conflict with the law and with the teachings of the Church. Such a member may be ineligible for a temple recommend and should not be called to a position of principal responsibility in the Church. A member who is convicted of willfully violating tax laws should be the subject of Church discipline to the extent warranted by the circumstances.