We have learned in just the past several decades that it is the cover-up that will get you in as much if not more trouble than the thing you are trying to cover-up!

I’ve heard stories of spouses saying that the lying about an affair was worse than the actual affair.

Nixon was only the weeks away from impeachment when he resigned. He did not participate in the break-in at the Watergate hotel, and in fact did not even know it was going to happen. But when it went wrong, and he found out some of his aids were behind it, the cover-up began. There was audio recordings of Nixon conspiring to cover up the crime.

Bill Clinton was not impeached because he was having sex with an intern in the Oval Office. He was impeached for perjury before a grand jury and obstruction of justice. One could argue that the impeachment would not have happened if Clinton had been truthful and admitted to the sex. It was not against the law to commit adulty, as JFK proved over and over. [1]

I think this is human nature to cover-up a wrong doing or an embarrassment from out past. I see that in my toddler grandkids. They will lie (cover-up) a misdeed without a second thought!

Should we hold our church leaders to a higher standard than my four year old twin granddaughters? There are plenty of documented cases of the church covering up something from its past. Mostly it is embarrassing history. Hiding things in the First Presidency vault, like the 1932 version of the First Vision, which was actually cut out of the original document, or the seer stone which I wrote about here.

So lets look at this from a another view. Is it moral for an organization to hide or cover-up facts about itself that would hurt that organization? Lets limit this to things the organization did that were lawful, not breaking any law, but might cause embarrassment. I think this organization does not have a duty to trumpet these embarrassing things. But is it moral to mislead through omission about these embarrassing facts? What about outright lying to keep them covered up? I think this crosses the line where the cover-up (outright lying) is worse than the embarrassment (Joseph stuck his head in a hat with a rock to translate the Book of Mormon).

Does spending tithing money on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so that when somebody types “Seer Stone” into Google, the first full page is faith promoting web site, and the “anti” web pages are on the second page constitute a cover-up, or just smart business?

What are your thoughts? How much duty does an organization have in revealing embarrassing history? Does it change if this organization is a church? Is it moral to make this history hard to find because it is not faith promoting?

[1] remember this was years before the “me too” movement, where a supervisor/subordinate sexual relationship could be considered wrong, even if was consensual because of the power dynamics. And it doesn’t get more powerful than POTUS and an twenty something intern!