Are Mormons using "ward lists" for political purposes? Church reponds

- SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints following the rules when it comes to using membership lists?

A recent online article published by suggests they are not.

The article says church members have begun leveraging their evangelizing networks through smartphone apps, but perhaps also to help draw support for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

The church offers a free application for registered members called "LDS Tools," which allows users to gather phone numbers and addresses of their congregations and stakes.

The article suggests that Romney backers are using the app and online lists for political purposes.

Church rules forbid the use of LDS resources for political, business or non church-related purposes.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also maintains it neutrality with regard to political affiliation and parties.

A posting on the church's Newsroom Blog titled "Getting it Right" praised CNN and Mashable for pointing out the restrictions on member list data for church business only.

In the article, Nevada Mormon Dave Isbell is quoted during an interview with CNN, saying that the apps are being used despite official church policy.

The article said that LDS Tools is available for free in the iTunes App Store, and offers full directories of church members including that of stake and district presidencies, along with event calendar listings and a “birthday list.”

In the article, Isbell adds, “I’m sure the campaigns and the church are saying ‘you can’t do that,’ but people will fall on their sword for Mitt Romney and some people will justify the means.”

While the article suggests Romney supporters might be likely to use the lists in violation of church policy, it is entirely possible for anyone, regardless of their political affiliation to abuse the lists.

The article also highlighted the church's use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as a successful means to proselyte and spread spiritual messages.

To read the full article, click here.

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