Comments about ‘Debate resumes over illegal immigrants' status in LDS Church’

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Some question granting of temple rights, baptism

Published: Friday, Feb. 15 2008 12:00 a.m. MST

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Karen D

I agree.

I want my government to protect it's borders and it's people from financial drainage and terrorist threat, but I want my church to love and accept all of God's children equally. I do not see any entanglement between the two.

John Lambert

I think church members need to stop treating people who have fled the oppresion of foriegn lands where the United States has been funding oppresion as sinners.
Remember Elder Uchtdorf's family fled East Germany illegally.
I think we need to advocate a compasionate policy where we not only say in Church that all men are equally God's children but embrace this idea in our politics. Why is it ok for us to live in a rich and prosperous nation and deney our borhters and sisters these blessings. I would say that anti-immigration feelings are anathema to the gospel. They are built on the theory that we have more rights to the blessings we recieve than others of God's children. I reject these ideas and think we should end all restrictions on immigration based on quotas.
It may be true that some people should be kept out because they are dangers to our society. However, always remember that we are not after Jorge Bin Laden. Even here in Metro-Detroit where many of our immigrants are from Iraq other mid-east nations I do not fear immigrants. The most recent wave of Iraqi refugees tend to be Christians fleeing violence in Iraq.


Christ criticized the pharisees who put obedience to law above compassion/ charity for others. We are blessed to live in this great, very rich country. The lesson of the scriptures is to be compassionate to those who are not so blessed. That appears to be the message of the representatives of the various churches referenced in the article. I don't know but I suspect when the final judgment spoken of in the scriptures comes around, the level of a person's compassion for others will be more important than the level of his/her obedience to the immigration law of the land.


What Elder Jensen seems to not know is that trespassing is a crime! If someone comes into my house uninvited you can be sure I'm going to call the police and have them removed from my home. The LDS church doesn't really seem to be serious about its members "obeying the law".


I'm a Mormon who hires illegals for my cleaning business. I do it for the money, but now I can see it as compassionate, too.

Migra man

When LDS illegal aliens use counterfeit S.S. cards and fraudulent ID's to obtain employment, lie to their employers alleging that they are in the country legally and have permission to work, and live a life of duplicity, then as a fellow Church member I have serious problems with these folks being accepted with open arms as though everything is fine and we're supposed to just look the other way. We CAN'T have it both ways and a lot of TOUGH LOVE is needed NOW! Go back home and get your situation straight!

John in FL

Thinking about the changes I have made in my life since my baptism 31 years ago, I see that being "squeaky clean" at the recommend interview has been a positive force in my life. I have been taught that if I disagree with a law, I first of all obey it and then I try to change it. Can it be justified that "the law just isn't fair or right"? I really doubt that "it seemed right at the time" will fly on judgment day. My wife and I have served 2 Spanish missions and we love Latin people. I hate to think about sending people back into a situation where the big worry in a person's life is how to get enough money to feed my family. But does that justify breaking the law? I think our compassion should inspire us to do something more than "do nothing".


comes in the form of helping others help themselves and improve their inherent situation. The perpetual education fund was established so that those in less fortunate circumstances can get an education and improve their lives and the general standard of living in thier home countries. If we allow them to come here and stay here illegally, all we are doing is facilitating sycophancy, which helps neither the sycophant or their home country.


If our elder brother Jesus Christ praised the kind deed of a smaratan to help a Jew who was in need. I See no reason why we shouldnt baptize illegal immigrants who are hard working and responsible and believe the same value as us. Is this question posted only for discussion or trying to divide us in the name of privilege?

Steven Yu Canada


I agree that we must be compassionate in our approach but I also agree that the law must be followed. Therefore, if we arrest illegal immigrants we can treat them compassionately as we deport them. While they are here we can be civil as well as stepping up to help in time of disaster and true need but they must understand that if they are arrested they must accept that they are returning to their home.

Compassion does not mean you have to disregard the law. It does mean that we treat them with respect. The Church is right that it is the government who needs enforce the law and we the people are the force behind the government. Therefore, we have the right and obligation to voice our concerns to the government and demand action be taken on the illegal immigration issue. That stance is within the letter and spirit of the law, but we can do it without rancor and vitriol towards those who are illegally here.


As far as Bizman is concerned, he is breaking the law because his employees are to provide documentation they are here legally and have been granted the legal status to be able to work. I have worked in human resources and know the documents that must be shown.

Therefore, Bizman, you are breaking the law and should be subject to the current laws and fines that are appropriate. If you are Mormon, you cannot say that you are dealing truthfully in all that you do because you know your are breaking the law.

Joseph from Oklahoma

Fortunately, sometimes we as members of the Lord's church must take a stand on right vs. wrong. Many instances from the scriptures confirm this fact. Sometimes this choice puts the Lord's people at odds with the local law. Pres. Joseph Smith and Pres. John Taylor come to mind in relatively recent times. So does Abraham and Moses from the Old Testament. Peter, Paul, John and the rest of Christ's original 12 come to mind. All of these prophets gave their lives in defense of what's right. The blessings of having a living prophet is very evident in this case. As Moses advised ancient Isreal, "Look and Live!"


I understand that many of the illegals come to our country because they want to start a better life. But to come to any country without going through the proper and legal process is not a productive way of starting a better life. I am a member also and take my temple vows and interview with my Bishop and Stake President very serious. Obeying the law and not commiting any illegal act is part of living in accordance with our Father In Heaven and the church. Those that want to join our church that are illegal should be guided and counciled through caring and compassion so they understand they should do what is right. I do have compassion for those. We are all Gods childern and we love and welcome others.

to JWK

Bizman is being sarcastic. It's obvious. Therefore, your answer is less of a higher-ground reprimand and more of point for laughter. Sorry dude. You got punked.

Mayhem Mike

I'm a devout Mormon, but cannot fathom how the Church can logically say "we believe in honoring. . .the law," but not THIS law of immigration. Compassion is irrelevant is determining if one will "honor (i.e., obey) the law."


Rationalization is such a sweet thing when it we can use it to justify our positions. Illegal live here illegally and dishonestly. They're duplicitous lives affect my life without any choice of mine to be compassionate. As a former ex-communicated member who struggled to get back into the church and who is now a member of a bishopric, I have a real problem with members picking and choosing which commandments they deem important or not. If a person is living dishonestly, breaking the law, and getting advantage to the detriment of others, they should not (in my opinion) have access to a temple recommend. That should be reserved for those who are striving for righteousness in all things. What ever happened to the Absolute Truths that President Kimball used to so eloquently speak of?

prefer illegal and law abiding

I do not live in Utah. In our state, most of the publicized crimes we hear about (rape, DUI, burglary, assault etc.) are committed by LEGAL immigrants. I guess they figure since they are legal, they can get away with this kind of behavior. Illegals live below the radar, trying to stay out of the authority's notice. Those we know are kind, helpful, law abiding, very hard working and take care of their families. They rarely if ever seek medical treatment for fear of being discovered. The one doctor I know who treats them, charges them on a sliding scale according to their income. If EVERYONE in America were charged this way, there would not be all this offended cry about illegals obtaining free services. There are plenty of Legal Americans, who do not pay anything for services either. All should pay according to their ability to pay.
I commend the LDS Church for putting compassion at the top of the list.

RE: Mike

As a former attorney and legal expert, Elder Jensen LIKENED illegal immigration to CIVIL trespass. In other words, (1) it was an analogy, and (2) civil trespass is different from criminal trespass. I imagine he was using this analogy to compare the moral effect.

Ann Chovie

This doesn't seem complicated to me. The worthiness questions at baptism and for recommends place the accountability squarely on the individual, where it belongs. I agree the church's mission doesn't include the enforcement of governmental laws. If someone lies to their bishop and gets away with it they will eventually answer for it. I know a family where the husband, an illiegal alien, joined the church and got married. The couple decided to do it right so he went back to his homeland and they were separated for the two years it took to gain legal status and come back. Tough but I agree with them that it was the right way to handle the situation.


Acts 10:28 >>

New American Standard Bible (1995)
And he said to them, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean."

Why do Christians have such a hard time reconsiling what they feel is socially convenient with the teachings of Christ? Because they know in their hearts that God has not placed a huge mission field in our back yards without a higher purpose and degree of accountability for the souls we affect with our words and actions.

God doesn't want us to live in chaos, and thus has given us laws and government. But he also expects much of us with our blessed nation - not the least of which is that we judge men by the content of their hearst... the same way we are judged by Him.

So it is not a huge dilemma that we should ammend our hearts and laws to fulfill our purpose and role as a "Judeo-Christian" nation.

If you're not a missionary, then you're a mission field.

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