September 2001: LDS Policies and Announcements
The First Presidency sent the following letter, dated 11 May 2001, to General Authorities; Area Authority Seventies; stake, mission, and district presidents; and bishops and branch presidents, to be read in sacrament meeting.
It has come to our attention that some commercial enterprises promising heightened self-esteem, improved family relationships, increased spirituality and the like by participating in their programs are implying Church endorsement. Such claims are untrue and unfounded. The Church has not endorsed any such enterprise. Neither should the Church’s failure to formally challenge any such enterprise coming to its attention be construed as a tacit endorsement or stamp of approval.
We repeat the counsel set forth in the Church Handbook of Instructions, page 157:
“Church members should not participate in groups that:
“1. Challenge religious and moral values or advocate unwarranted confrontation with spouse or family members as a means of reaching one’s potential.
“2. Imitate sacred rites or ceremonies.
“3. Foster physical contact among participants.
“4. Meet late into the evening or in the early-morning hours.
“5. Encourage open confession or disclosure of personal information normally discussed only in confidential settings.
“6. Cause a husband and wife to be paired with other parties.”
We strongly counsel against affiliation with any such group and warn against believing any claim of Church approval, tacit or otherwise, by any private organization offering “experiential” or “empowerment” training.