Do not share this post. It would make one anonymous Mormon church leader extremely upset.
A man who was carrying a gun in his backpack may face charges after the firearm went off inside a meetinghouse for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah. Fortunately, no one was hurt… but there was one casualty: the feelings of the Church leader who asked people not to tell anybody about the incident on social media.
The gun belonged to a 74-year-old man, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
According to Lt. Brian Taylor, Provo police responded to a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ward house at 345 E. Foothill Drive about 2 p.m. on Sunday. The man “had a .22-caliber revolver in his backpack.” He was in the vestibule at the entrance to the church when “the gun went off and the bullet went through the adjoining wall where young women were meeting.”
Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said the man had left the gun in his backpack “following target shooting the previous day,” adding, “We are confident that the building and its members are safe.”
The man has a concealed carry permit, according to Taylor; the case has been referred to the city attorney’s office for possible charges.
The incident probably wouldn’t have been that big of a deal — after all, no one was struck by a bullet — but it is now because a Church leader put a taboo on talking about it. He instructed people not to share details on social media… so naturally, audio of him saying that ended up on MormonLeaks.
The MormonLeaks website released an audio recording of an unidentified church leader encouraging the teenage girls in the ward, or congregation, not to talk about the incident publicly or post anything on social media.
“We’d rather have you not post, ‘Hey, a gun went off today at church.’ That will hit headline news and even go national,” said the man. “And then we’ve really created a situation that would be hard to control. So I’m asking you nicely to respect that.”
While Hawkins and the police indicated what happened was an accident, the unidentified leader says, “There have been some other threats against other individuals in a different ward” that shares the building, “so there’s a particular level of precaution that the other ward … has taken.”
The irony here is that if the Mormon leader wasn’t trying to be so hush-hush about it, his words likely wouldn’t have ended up online. But perhaps because the Church has a habit of secrecy when it comes to damning information, someone had the instinct to record the audio and share it with a site that was bound to post it.
(Image via LDS Meeting Library)