NewsLocal News


Tim Ballard responds to condemnation from his own church

Posted at 7:07 PM, Sep 16, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) is breaking his silence after being condemned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

While on a tour in Boston, Ballard addressed a crowd of supporters and encouraged them to send his recorded statements to the media.

“It’s not true, nothing you hear is true,” Ballard begins in the video.

At times, he was passionate – shouting at cameras.

At times, he lowered his voice and teared up.

“This is breaking down my family like you can’t believe,” Tim Ballard said.

WATCH: Full video of Tim Ballard responding to LDS Church statement

VIDEO: Tim Ballard responds to Church's 'morally unacceptable' statement

The Church released a statement to FOX 13 News and other media on Friday, referring to Tim Ballard’s behavior as “morally unacceptable.”

The statement was in response to documents obtained by VICE News, detailing a criminal investigation into Tim Ballard and his nonprofit; “Tim is fully convinced that he is supposed to be the ‘Mormon Messiah and lead people back to the church.’”

The records reportedly state Tim Ballard received “psychic readings” and communication from the prophet Nephi “to get intel.”

The Church also stated Tim Ballard betrayed his friendship with President M Russell Ballard, the acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Despite sharing the same last name, the two are not related.

“I’ve never used Elder Ballard’s name. Ever! 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,” Tim Ballard said.

“I don’t believe the Church did this,” he said in the video. “I truly don’t. Can you imagine that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints would publicly condemn one of its members?”

FOX 13 Investigates: Operation Underground Railroad spent years downplaying criminal investigation 

Apparently, the answer is: Yes, they would.

The Church’s statement was sent by Doug Anderson from his official email address.

Anderson has been Director of Media Relations for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for nearly 15 years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Tim Ballard said he was in disbelief, particularly because his bishop and stake president “knew nothing about” the condemnation.

“I pray to God the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints wasn’t part of this,” Ballard said. “I don’t know yet. I don’t know."

Ever since Senator Mitt Romney announced he would be giving up his seat, rumors have been circulating about Tim Ballard running for Congress.

“It was leaked to the press that I was going to run for US Senate,” Ballard explained. “Do you think that’s a coincidence?”

The rumors started with a tweet from Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, stating he would be endorsing a “patriot” and “warrior” in the “coming days.”

Reyes and Tim Ballard are known to be close friends who have promoted O.U.R. together.

According to the clip sent to FOX 13 News, Tim Ballard did not specifically address any details surrounding the criminal investigation.