SALT LAKE CITY – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is asking its members to refrain from using artificial intelligence technology when writing their sacrament talks in a letter released to local leaders Saturday morning. The letter comes following an increase in the popularity of breakthrough AI technology from OpenAI and their platform ChatGPT.
“This new, cutting-edge technology is very powerful, but like all technology, should be used with great care,” Brother Chuck Babbage, director of Church Meeting Procedures wrote. “Effective immediately, we are inviting members to refrain from using this new technology to write sacrament talks, conduct firesides, seminary lessons, and even general conference talks. It is counterproductive to the personal growth of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” In the release, the church director specifically mentioned ChatGPT as well as Bard, and Bing.
ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence application that can receive commands and produce fully-written content within seconds – including sacrament talks. When instructed to write a sacrament talk on humor and include quotes from J. Golden Kimball, it produced a 373 word talk in a matter of 17 seconds. The platform was launched in November 2022 and has seen significant interest from the public to make themselves sound smarter than they actually are.
Ward leaders began growing suspicious of the technology being used when members were asked to give a sacrament talk on Saturday evening, and a wonderfully presented talk with minimal time-wasting stories was given just 12-hours later. “We know we didn’t give much notice, but c’mon.” said a member of a local Bishopric who wished to remain anonymous due to fear of retribution. “We have seen a significant decrease in random jokes and lengthy stories recently, the red light button pushing has decreased nearly 60%. That was our first sign that something was going on. It just wasn’t adding up,”
After a brief investigation, senior church leaders discovered that members of this particular ward had been using ChatGPT for sacrament talks, relief society lessons, and even spiritual thoughts that were being sent out to members in ward bulletins – catching even the bishopric red-handed. No formal disciplinary actions were conducted after these findings.
“We believe this new technology can be beneficial in certain areas, but it can inhibit spiritual growth if relied upon for certain church activities.” the letter released from the church read. “It is our hope that members will develop their own spiritual growth by diving into scriptures, studying general conference talks, and receiving revelation from the Holy Ghost to prepare for sacred church meetings.”
The church concluded by saying that all artificial intelligence websites will be blocked on church meetinghouse Wi-fi.
*ChatGPT was used to assist in writing this article.