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Bishop Waddell Defends Church of Jesus Christ’s Finances on 60 Minutes

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Bishop Christopher Waddell, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, sat down with Sharyn Alfonsi for 60 Minutes to discuss the finances of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The interview came in response to “whistleblower” David Nielsen, a former employee of Ensign Peak Advisors who filed a complaint with the IRS in 2019 that alleged the Church was violating tax exemption policies.


 

Following media inquiries, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued the following statement in response to a report by U.S. broadcaster CBS “60 Minutes” news magazine program.

The Church believes in being financially responsible by carefully ensuring it has adequate resources available to fulfill its divinely appointed responsibilities. To Church members who support the work of salvation through living the gospel of Jesus Christ, caring for those in need, inviting all to receive the gospel and uniting families for eternity, we’ll continue to move forward consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ which makes this world a better place.

It’s unfortunate ‘60 Minutes’ sought to elevate a story based on unfounded allegations by a former employee who has a different view on how the Church should manage its resources.

On February 21, 2023, the Church released the following statement as it came to a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its affiliated investment manager, Ensign Peak Advisors, Inc., have settled a matter with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Investment managers who oversee a portfolio of public equities above a certain threshold are required to file Forms 13F with the SEC quarterly. These forms publicly disclose the names of the securities and their values.

Since 2000, Ensign Peak received and relied upon legal counsel regarding how to comply with its reporting obligations while attempting to maintain the privacy of the portfolio. As a result, Ensign Peak established separate companies (LLCs) that each filed Forms 13F instead of a single aggregated filing. Ensign Peak and the Church believe that all securities required to be reported were included in the filings by the separate companies.

In June 2019, the SEC first expressed concern about Ensign Peak’s reporting approach. Ensign Peak adjusted its approach and began filing a single aggregated report. Since that time, 13 quarterly reports have been filed in full accordance with SEC requirements.

This settlement relates to how the forms were filed previously. Ensign Peak and the Church have cooperated with the government over a period of time as we sought resolution.

We affirm our commitment to comply with the law, regret mistakes made, and now consider this matter closed.

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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