When asked about the anonymous letter circulating about Ballard, the OUR spokesperson did not dispute its contents.
Law enforcement officials and investigative journalists have been looking into various accusations against Ballard and OUR for several years. In 2020, the Davis County Attorney’s Office opened a criminal investigation into Ballard and OUR. The criminal investigation “began with questions about money,” according to FOX 13 News, and “centered around potential charges of communications fraud and witness tampering.” Journalists who have tried to obtain the legal records say OUR is attempting to block access.
Church Officials Condemn Tim Ballard’s Actions
In related news, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially condemned Ballard—something he initially refused to believe. Ballard had become friends with President M. Russell Ballard, the acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Although the two men aren’t related, Tim Ballard used the connection in an “unauthorized” way for his own “personal advantage” and for “activity regarded as morally unacceptable,” according to the church. It didn’t elaborate on that activity.
After Tim Ballard “betrayed their friendship” that way, President Ballard “withdrew his association” from him, the church said. The statement, sent by the church’s director of media relations, indicated The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has “never endorsed, supported, or represented OUR, Tim Ballard, or any projects associated with them.”
Tim Ballard denied using President Ballard’s name, saying, “I’ve never treaded on his name to ask for anything. I’ve never had any business dealings with him. He’s like a grandfather to me.” Through his new organization, he released a statement saying, “I am a faithful Member in good standing in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I believe in Jesus Christ, the Holy Scriptures, and I believe in our faith with my whole heart. That will never change.”
The church has removed articles about Tim Ballard from its official website. In a 2015 article published by the church, Ballard explained that he founded OUR because of his faith in Jesus and because anti-trafficking work is “so important to the Lord.”
According to documents obtained by VICE News, Ballard “is fully convinced that he is supposed to be the ‘Mormon Messiah and lead people back to the church.’” In addition, the documents indicate Ballard received “psychic readings…to get intel” from the prophet Nephi.
ChurchLeaders reached out to a “Sound of Freedom” representative for comment and will update this article in the event of a reply.