Debate resumes over illegal immigrants' status in LDS Church

Some question granting of temple rights, baptism


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  • vance SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 4, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    Is it compassion to allow entry to millions of people crossing our borders and breaking laws without background checks on their criminal and medical issues. Is it compassionate to allow them entry while those keeping our laws and attempting to enter legally to be with their families and want to become citizens are refused or waiting up to 15 years to be allowed entry. If I and my family of (?) five walked into your house, slept in your beds, ate your food and didn't work, while having you pay our medical costs, would everyone be ok with that? Is anyone doing that? Those demanding this need to adopt these families that are living off our citizens hard work and taxes. With benefits even our citizens do not have. Unbelievable.

  • eyeswideopen
    June 4, 2010 8:37 p.m.

    At what point is obedience to an unjust law immoral? Our thinking has been perverted by our acceptance of incorrect principles. I think we are going to see a division of some of the wheat from the tares with this issue. And all of the anti-illegal-immigration folk have got to educate themselves on the real issue here. If you can see past the diversion that the media and our politicians are throwing at us, you will see that the root of the problem is not illegal immigration, rather it is the welfare state. Put an end to the welfare state and you solve the real problem. Love your neighbor enough to help him fend for himself and not rely on free handouts that weaken his character and take that which he has not earned.

  • Chirs from California
    May 31, 2009 5:25 a.m.

    Dont forget the Church told German memebers during WW2 to obey the laws of their land. If you were called to be a Nazi..you had to be one.

  • CougarKeith
    April 26, 2009 12:06 a.m.

    I want my country to protect our boarders and keep illegles from coming here. Yet the LDS church loves it's members no matter where they are from, AS DO I! However I would not turn in LDS members who are here illegally, if they are caught and returned (Deported) it is the Law which determines their destiny. The LDS Church member should have followed the proper channels to get here in the first place. I empathize with them, yet we believe in following the laws of the land! It is that simple, keep the laws of the land and there is no problems, if you don't and your caught, then you pay the consequences of the law you broke, it's the same with a speeding ticket, or "J" walking, it doesn't matter, if you keep the laws, and don't break the commandments and God's council you will be protected against the consequences of breaking laws or commandments most of the time. There is no problem here, nor conflict of interest. It's that simple.

  • bob
    April 25, 2009 11:38 p.m.

    I dont have a problem with anyone who wants to come to this country but they need to do it the right way. it drives up costs, of health insurance, takes jobs of citizens, creates a black market for immigration fraud as well as provides a huge disservice for those immigrants who cant speak or communicate.How the LDS church can justify how they feel is beyond me. I am a life long member so dont think i am on the anti- mormon band wagon. If the church devoted all the money they are wasting on building malls to enhance their image, they could provide a great deal more good for people who wish to come here.What is that 11 th article of faith again???

  • Just wrong
    Dec. 17, 2008 12:55 p.m.

    My family joined the LDS church in 1833, 3 years after it started. This illegal issue is just one of the many reasons I quit attending the LDS church. Just a hint on the other reasons, Warren Jeffs is a cupcake compared to Joseph Smith.

  • third attempt
    Sept. 19, 2008 10:28 a.m.

    I do not understand "coming onto a person's property uninvited" not being inherently wrong. Surely trespass or illegal entry is both illegal and wrong.

  • Kelsey W
    April 16, 2008 5:03 p.m.

    In answer to the question, who would Jesus deport?
    Probably those who have murdered the 50,000 Americans that
    have been killed by illegals since 9/11, and those that have raped
    and molested children that are illegals, and those that have maimed
    Americans in car accidents while drunk (with no license and after 4 previous
    One of my dearest friends lives apart from her Canadian husband because of immigration LAWS, and another had to go back to Australia with her new baby
    and Australian husband (although they wanted to remain) because they adhere
    to the laws.
    Their crime is that they receive free medical and educational and citizenship benefits that others would love to receive that are keeping the law.
    If you are so concerned about their plight, have them return, do it legally, and in the meantime, give them money and help support them in changing their country.
    We cannot allow everyone to come here because their situation is not as good as ours. There are many Americans who need help, and many others who have done it the right way, the legal way.

    I can't believe the Church doesn't require them to live the law.

  • Anonymous
    March 10, 2008 9:47 p.m.

    Illegal immigrants wish that they could immigrate legally. A legal visa is only for the very rich or those who are not in dire need of a job to feed the family and can wait for an average of ten years for a visa. We wish our countries could support and succor us. We would love to stay in our countries and be close to our families. We risk our lives in the crossing out of desperation and the the fact that we dare to dream for our children. But we bring labor, because we know you need a brake in prices. We strive to do our jobs well, and to be honest in our work. Contrary to belief, we do not have access to welfare or free programs. It is your poor who do that. We immigrants work for what we eat.
    there are some illegals who commit crimes( harm others) but that is the minority. You will notice that criminals come in every color and from every nation. We are here to help, believe it or not. Thank you for your kindness, and the jobs you provide for us. Hasta la vista. You aare good people.

  • AloysiusMiller
    March 5, 2008 6:43 p.m.

    If compassion means not running them out of their houses and chasing them back across the border with sticks then I am all for compassion. We have legal processes for dealing with immigration violations and we can have more such laws.

    But people who claim to be (and are accepted as being) in authority over others need to be very careful about condoning expediency and necessity in relation to the law and the authority of the law. It won't be long before their own authority is questioned.

  • to Meg
    Feb. 28, 2008 9:14 p.m.

    It sounds to me like you are reading into this issue. When the posters here refer to disobedient people, it refers to someone who overtly breaks the law. Any other disobedience would be between the individual, the Lord and perhaps a priesthood leader. In answer to your question Yes every person who clearly, and openly breaks the law is illegal. If your conscience is clear before the Lord, it should be clear before man. Any persecution you feel from others is simply the result of the same kind of misguided prejudice the LDS people have always experienced.

  • Meg Stout
    Feb. 27, 2008 5:05 p.m.

    At this point we are also talking about future laws.

    Individuals in my family have been mistaken for illegal immigrants merely because our skin is not lily white. We have been cursed at and chased after because of it. And yet we descend from Pilgrim stock, patriots and Mormon pioneers on the white side and legal immigrants on the Asian side.

    Are you confident that every "disobedient" person you abuse is in fact illegal?

  • Jeff
    Feb. 23, 2008 4:21 p.m.

    I came across a year old newspaper article from the local paper in which President Hinckley was interviewed. The interview focused on the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smiths birthday and of coarse mentioned polygamy. President Hinckley made a statement during the interview that also appears as a headline in quotes.

    We have very little sympathy for those who disobey the law.

  • Bob
    Feb. 21, 2008 5:10 p.m.

    We know that we can be forgiven of almost every sin if we acknowledge (confess), provide restitution and forsake. Breaking the law is a sin and as we pray and strive to not repeat the same mistake, we can be forgiven for minor things (like speeding). The problem is that when someone crosses the border illegally well its a hard one to provide restitution for and forsake.

    A point about the honesty issue that I read in another post. I actually place the baptismal and Temple Recommend interviews on the same plane. We come right out and have to say that we are honest in the Temple interview but we have to say that we will obey the commandments in the baptismal interview. As far as I understand it, being in this country illegally (OR HIRING ILLEGALS) is being dishonest and the articles of faith qualify as commandments.

  • Karen M.
    Feb. 21, 2008 1:05 a.m.

    Perhaps Al D. should speak for himself about answering temple recommend questions. I don't lie to my bishop and stake president. You cannot be an illegal alien without lying and being dishonest in your dealings with your fellow men.
    The position of the Church in honoring and sustaining the law has been clear since the days of Joseph Smith. It's an Article of Faith. It is, or I thought it was, a no-brainer.
    There are thousands of LEGAL aliens waiting their turn to get in this country, and who have just as much right to feed their families as the illegals. It is time the law honored those who honor the law.

  • Jenny
    Feb. 19, 2008 2:55 p.m.

    Lie are lies and none will get anyone to heaven. Sounds to me as though some worms are about us. For me I will follow what Joseph Smith and the 12 article of faith. No 2 ways about it. Having compassion is good when there are no worm holes or cover-ups.

    Feb. 19, 2008 1:14 p.m.

    Amazing the passion for "the law" with all these members of the Church. Only if they had 1/4 of the passion as anxiously engaged members of the Church. Choose this day who you serve.

  • Sergeant at Law
    Feb. 19, 2008 1:11 p.m.

    There are two types of criminal offenses in the law. Malum in se (sp) and malum prohibitum. The first are those which are inherently wrong while the second are wrong only because they are prohibited by statute. One could make an arguement that there is a difference as far as "obeying the law of the land" between the two. For instance, every time you speed down I-15 (our your favorite local thoroughfare) you are in a state of lawbreaking. Now when you speed on your way to meet with the bishop you are in much the same position as an illegal immigrant. I've seen how people drive here in Utah (myself included) and if that offense were self reported the temples would be very empty indeed.

  • RE: Isc
    Feb. 19, 2008 12:21 p.m.

    "Compassion is important, but there is an orderly and correct way to go about it."

    As one who believes in the supreme importance of compassion and charity, I agree wholeheartedly. I don't think for one minute that the Church is saying "Throw the borders open--no laws matter anymore." Nor would they *ever* say it--the many vehemently shouted OPINIONS on these boards notwithstanding.

    No--read and think carefully. Instead, they're saying "Let's find a lawful solution to the problem of illegal immigration--BUT as we do so, don't forget we're dealing with human beings who deserve compassion and respect. Put aside any vengeful feelings and prejudice and be TRULY just."

    That's not too much to ask. I believe Christ would say the same if He were here. In fact, it's entirely possible He IS saying precisely that through the prophets. Anybody ever considered that?

    We need laws and respect for the laws--but we also need compassion. Both are important in a truly civilized society. And neither can rob the other.

    In other words, it's not a question of whether to APPLY justice OR mercy. It's a question of how to BALANCE justice AND mercy. BOTH ARE IMPORTANT.

  • Peter
    Feb. 19, 2008 12:13 p.m.

    you hit right on the botton! there's something called the North American Union 2005 that is still alive. find it read it!

  • Peter
    Feb. 19, 2008 11:36 a.m.

    Questions not asked! As the "undocumented workers" continue to stream across our borders, our own government wants to track our every movement, every phone call, every e-mail. As our government continues to ask for more of our liberty and freedom in the guise of keeping us safe, tens of thousands cross our borders. Are they loyal to the United States? Are they criminals, terrorists? Are they loyal to the Constitution of the United States(what's left of it)? Are they supportive of keeping their Mexican citizenship (dual citizenship)? Are they supportive of La Raza and MEChA? I have compassion for those truly looking for a better life. Do it legally! By the way undocumented is still illegal.

  • Good Thing
    Feb. 19, 2008 10:05 a.m.

    It is a good thing we aren't punished for the "sins" of our fathers. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed February 2, 1848. Utah, and much of the West, belonged to Mexico until that date in 1848. Clearly that date is after July 24, 1847 when the pioneers entered the valley. My ancestors and many of the poster's ancestors were "trespassing" on foreign soil when they entered the valley and started a better, safer life here. Maybe we should keep that historical fact in mind as we try to work out the illegal immigrant mess.

  • lsc
    Feb. 19, 2008 9:26 a.m.

    As a Latter-Day Saint, and a hispanic, I am stunned at the Church's comment's concerning the illegal immigration problem. I understand compassion, but the rule of law has to be obeyed. As a convert, I wonder, does our Church's article of faith concerning obeying the laws of the land not count? Do we get to pick and choose the laws we obey, or the articles of faith that we believe in? Why does my child, if he or she wants to attend a public college in Utah, have to pay 3 times the tuition as an illegal alien? My children are citizens. This is chaos and as much as my Church believes in order, I am shocked by their stance.
    Compassion is important, but there is an orderly and correct way to go about it.

  • Homer
    Feb. 19, 2008 9:12 a.m.

    I want to live in Buckingham Palace. Don't I have the right to just move in because I too want a "better life?" Doesn't the Queen of England have a Christian duty to let me move in?

  • What a Crock
    Feb. 19, 2008 9:03 a.m.

    What a Crock. This is just another typical example of the church's twisted logic and self-justification. How anyone can continue to believe the nonsense from that comes from the pulpit is beyond me.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 19, 2008 6:02 a.m.

    Shadow, it's simple, controlled legal immigration good, illegal entry bad.

    My forefathers had to wait for 6 years to enter this country, but they did it the right way.

    I an afraid the statement, "There is nothing inherent or wrong about that status", when speaking of lawbreakers, is going to come back on us members of the Church, when we talk about obeying the laws.

  • shadow
    Feb. 18, 2008 8:55 p.m.

    OK OK OK everyone who does not have immigrant blood, speak up.

    kind of quiet eh. Native Americans can now speak.

    But wait, you also came from somewhere else. Lots of theories, I tend toward the scientific side of the migration from Siberia. BUt they all say that people came here from somewhere else.

    We are all immigrants so let's put our little tiny brains to work and figure this out. No one really has the high moral ground: we are all here from another place. Unless you are a worm or something, and if so, I apologize to you.

    The Shadow Knows.

  • re: Carey
    Feb. 18, 2008 7:05 p.m.

    The "visa lottery" program comment (above) was not meant to be facetious. Apparently Casey is unaware that there is an official government program called the Diversity Visa Lottery. It has an unfortunate name, but the truth of the matter is, there are more people willing to enter the United States than its systems and budget can bear. There are many ways one can legally enter and remain in the United States. The minimum requirement to enter legally by way of the Diversity Visa program is to have a high school diploma. The US legally gives thousands of visas to people in hundreds of countries each year. The fact that it doesn't hand them out by the millions is simply logical, common sense order and economics. Of course, other ways to enter and stay legally are via marriage, work visas, family sponsors, etc.

    Isn't anyone aware that the United States is billions of dollars in debt? And yet you want open borders? Jensen and his ilk should be ashamed of peddling such malarkey and spitting in the faces of legal residents and US citizens. Shame on you!

  • Soapbox
    Feb. 18, 2008 4:05 p.m.

    I have been following this discussion quite closely and enjoy seeing the debate and different points of view. Getting back to the issue at hand, it is not about hate, it is not about discrimination, it is not even about members judging each other. It is about a contradiction that exists in the church with current policy on one side and the words of prophets regarding obedience to the law on the other. My understanding is that the church does not see these people as having broken the law and will not officially call them illegal, they are simply undocumented. The perception is that the church does not even acknowledge the law that is being broken which seems awkwardly opposed to scripture. Breaking the law is a sin that can be forgiven (like most others) after a private discussion with a priesthood leader which usually involves confession and forsaking. This is not a members call to make but it would be nice if some formal direction could be handed down to Bishops especially when we are asking members about personal honesty.

  • show them the door
    Feb. 18, 2008 1:39 p.m.

    now that's compassion as they better not step on my land , bought and paid for by the almighty george! I can think of alot of other people to donate my compassion to in this state , who are here legally not some low down law breakers.

  • Barry richfield
    Feb. 18, 2008 12:43 p.m.

    The Church has become more a fraternity than servants of Christ. it is self serving to take care of its own, and ignore those of god's children not their own.

    It is the same even with their own in foreign lands. They even fail to educate their wealth here in USA about the circumstances of their own in foreign lands. Members in wealth do almost absolutely nothing for thier own kind in other lands. Bishops in foreign lands can not in many cases afford to take their own families to church let alone help continue to teach the converts that come in. They do not have funds to give to the poor among them, they can not assit in surgeries , or help with food or school or lost jobs. There are no church activities , the youth can not afford to come to Church. The houses at best are delapitated neding more to be like one of our 2nd hand sheds. If lucky they have 3 meals a day of rice, one fish serves the whole family as flavor. There are no christmases, thanksgivings, easter. There are no birthdays, extended education. no bikes, extra clothes,bands, choirs, toys, movies.

  • Barry richfield
    Feb. 18, 2008 12:35 p.m.

    Compassion is what one does themselves, not instituted or carried out by an organization. Place a small amount of money in an envelope and call it taking care of giving compassion?

    I see few if none of those that want the ledgislators to show compassion, taking any of these illegals into their homes, I do not see the Church with soup kitchens or opening their chapels up to house the homeless. I do not see counsel from the Church for those with the means to sponsor or support good people in the rest of the world. all we talk about is how to sustain those that are illegal.

    Why not match a ward, stake of wealthy members to a ward or stake of a 3rd world country so that member family to member family true compassion can be shown family to family. Most 3rd World have never seen a bike extra clothes, shoes, 3 meals a day, jobs, a house that they can fit in, fuel to cook with. medical bills or surgeries. No bus to school, no free lunch. no way to USA.

    talk of compassion for law breakers, strain over a nait, swallow a camel- help someone worthy.

  • barry richfield
    Feb. 18, 2008 12:20 p.m.

    I have visited the poor of the 3rd world, outside the USA and the natives inside the USA- spent $10,000 in gold and a hundred pounds of silver to the hopi, food , clothing -again all I had, my retirement and savings. I didn't take another man's property.

    Those in the 3rd world deserve better. I bet all those of you taht say have compassion do nothing more than give lip service from your own pockets.

    Certainly you are ignorant as to how and to whom it ought to be given. Why not sponsor under the law those of foreign countries, go or do as I did, send $ to the mission president od any country and have him give the money to poor, I sent $2,000 that paid for supplies of tools for whole villages and bought school supplies for all the children on an island no matter what faith they were.

    Helping them where they are is better, or helping them come legally is best. adinf and abeting illegals who ignore the rule of law for self while their own countrymen wait in line is wrong. There are still those that wait after 15 years to get here.

  • barry richfield
    Feb. 18, 2008 12:17 p.m.

    wife waiting 6 years for legal citizenship.

    I have given compassion to those of foreign countries, I have sent a number to college- members and non-members, helped fix storm torn homes, or help to have houses built, paid for more than 80 surgeries. took wheel chair for young lady ( no legs) to Philippines. and other things to asist. That was my effort and money of course from the blessings of God. it wasn't tax payers money or my neighbors money, nor other church members money.

    Those that wait in line are also hungry, poor, seperated from families. But they enter legally , are screened properly. waited turn. not breaking law or a law unto themselves. They are disease free, have legal documents. Are not allowed to take advantage of any welfare. Have to have legal paper to work.

    If you want to fix immigration then work on it, but do not tell me that compassion is to reward those that steal the rights of those that wait their turn. Amnesty was given a few years ago to these from the countries they came from. They were to seek legal after that. That failed they still want to steal reward.

  • to GI Jack
    Feb. 18, 2008 7:17 a.m.

    You can choose to become a resident of Utah if you like. Your taxes will go up, but if in-state tuition is all you want, you can get it just like any other resident. Oh yeah, except immigrants who may have lived here practically all their lives. We want to block them from resident tuition--because we think their lives are too easy as is and we want to kick them in the stomach in every possible way, apparently. Not that it will help, but it always feels good to hurt someone with less money or power than you, doesn't it?

  • Carey
    Feb. 18, 2008 7:15 a.m.

    They can win the visa lottery! Oops, forgot about that one. Yeah, that will solve everything. Ever think about why they call it a lottery? They can get sponsored by a university or technology company or a hospital--if they have high-level skills, take years to process the paperwork, tests, etc, and the company sponsoring them can certify there is no American citizen who could fill their job description. But really, you can't see that as an option for the majority of people who come here, whose unskilled labor we depend on. Oh, and there's another way--they can marry an American citizen. All put together, none of these methods amount to much and cannot fix the situation. You will note that all these people who say "hey, come here legally or get out" are the first ones to block any possibility of Mexicans coming here legally. Which proves it's a lot more about "I don't like brown people who are poor and don't talk the way I do" than "We believe in honoring and sustaining the law."

  • re: Carey
    Feb. 18, 2008 3:53 a.m.

    What Carey says above is not entirely true. There are several ways by which a citizen of Mexico may immigrate to the United States, including via the diversity lottery visa.

  • LOL!
    Feb. 17, 2008 10:04 p.m.

    NEW WORLD ORDER??? Bush & Fox conspiracy????

    Dude, you are seriously paranoid! Tell me, do Utah mormons still believe California is going to fall into the ocean in sin and apostacy??

    I love reading the Deseret news.....Makes Arkansas look intelligent and progressive!

  • Larry S.
    Feb. 17, 2008 6:28 p.m.

    No one is addressing the real question.... why is this mass exodus from Mexico and other Latin American countries happening at this time?..I'll give you a clue---it has everything to do with prophecy and George Bush's deal with Vicente Fox(Mexico's Prez.)and the New World Order that they ARE establishing..so, the real question is this: Do we support this New World Order movement in the name of "compassion" of illegal immigrants? Are we starting to see the fulfillment of prophecy, that we will lose our freedoms in this chosen land to people that will eventually over-run us, because we have allowed God to be taken out of our country and we no longer worship the God of this land?

  • Carey
    Feb. 17, 2008 4:45 p.m.

    Interesting how many people talk about "the law" as if there were only one law in the US--immigration. Hello out there. Do you know any illegal immigrants? I do. They have respect for "the law" they love their families, they read stories to their kids, they don't steal or murder. They would become legal immigrants if they could. Unfortunately, despite what people think, there is no paperwork they can fill out to become legal, no matter what they do. If you hate illegal immigrants, can't you at least follow Jesus' command to "love thine enemies?"

  • East Coast Mormon
    Feb. 17, 2008 4:31 p.m.

    My comment about Pharisees totally went over your head. Are you telling me you love God? Are you telling me you drive exactly the speed limit and always signal when changing lanes? If not, you don't "obey the law of the land" and thus don't love God? Study up on the Pharisees. If the shoe fits...

  • To East Coast Mormon
    Feb. 17, 2008 3:32 p.m.

    Your quote "Love God and love thy neighbor trumps border crossing paperwork" is profound. My question is how can we love God when we disobey His commandment to obey the law of the land?

  • East Coast Mormon
    Feb. 17, 2008 2:38 p.m.

    Mormons outside of Utah have long been concerned that Utah Mormons are becoming like the Pharisees of Jesus' time-- using phrases like, "We believe in honoring and sustaining the law" as an excuse to persecute illegal aliens in every possible way. But what about the weightier matters of the law? Love? Compassion? Love God and love thy neighbor trumps border-crossing paperwork every time. If people want to leave the Mormon church over the church's pleas to have compassion, let them leave. Their hearts were clearly never in it anyway. But please, stop using my religion to justify your lack of charity and compassion. You are embarrassing all Mormons and offending God.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 17, 2008 2:23 p.m.

    A church leader urges "compassion" and people start ranting and raving and criticizing? Are you people insane? You have two choices, follow your conscience and consider every fellow human being as a child of God of infinite worth, or get yourself so worked up into a froth that all you are is an angry, ignorant repeater of far-right wing lies. Instead of ranting and raving, go read the Bible or Book or Mormon where it says to love your neighbor and not to spit upon the poor for being poor and to welcome the stranger. Hatred is a far greater sin than crossing a border without paperwork. It always has been and always will be.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 17, 2008 4:11 a.m.

    This is totally a non issue. If you have a problem with someone doing Temple work, that has broken the law coming here, or has stolen someones identity, then you need to take it up with your bishop.

  • Jayson
    Feb. 17, 2008 12:12 a.m.

    re: mom,
    Your statement makes the assumption that large numbers of people choose to break the law and quite frankly to be stupid by actually thinking that buying drugs in Mexico with no assurance of their quality. Bardering has nothing to do with being dishonest. Your blanket statement that infers that people only enter Mexico to be dishonest just leads one to believe that somehow you think it isn't possible to go to Mexico for honest reasons even though there are plenty of good, honest reasons to go there that help to strengthen their economy.

    Some of us actually take the being honest in your dealing with your fellow men seriously but when spokesmen for the brethrern start talking about how minor an offense is being committed one has to wonder how seriously the church takes it as well as respecting the laws of the land.

  • Work hard for a BUCK
    Feb. 16, 2008 11:22 p.m.

    I pay taxes and work extremely hard and I am still poor. I want to know where my I taxes are going and not to support LAW BREAKING Illegals! This SOOOOO terribly wrong! I was always taught as a child to live the laws of the land. Somehow I cannot support double standards.

    Sooooo long..... brethren!!!!!!

  • mom
    Feb. 16, 2008 8:49 p.m.

    I have been listening to other people talk about, taking the proper procedures on coming to the US legally. And I agree that your are dishonest if you do not. I also beleive that you cannot hold a temple recommend if you are not living an honest life. However, the Brothren have not taken a strong stand, so it's left up to the inspiration of the Bishop, but not for me to judge.
    Although I have one question.... How many of you that complain about the illegals coming here have been to mexico and bought prescription drugs to bring beack to the US, and paid cheaper prices for medical procedures (extreely popular now. US Dr are even performing surgeries like gastric bipass, cosmentic procedures and other for next to nothing), or barder down the prices of the goods that they purchase which isn't helping their economy. We can't have it both ways. We can't except them to be honest when we enter their country to be dishonest as well.

  • Holy Cow!
    Feb. 16, 2008 8:22 p.m.

    Can you see why we are counseled against "speaking against the Lord's anointed"?

  • Wayne
    Feb. 16, 2008 7:55 p.m.

    It is one thing for the Church to tell us to obey the law. It is another for the Church to keep us out because we break the law. The Church may decide that certain sins are severe enough to put our membership in jeopardy, but it does not take a position on all laws. There are several acts that can jeopardize your standing with the Church (pornography, smoking, etc.) that the government cares less about, and there are other acts where the Church's view matches the law. But the laws of the land and the Church are not the same.

    If I break a law and deny it then my standing in the Church may be called into question because I have been dishonest. But if I break a law (like speeding, or an immigration law), and I take responsibility, plead guilty about it and try to resolve it, the Church does not take a position.

    If an illegal admits to his status the Church will ask him to resolve that status by gaining legal residence or returning home. But throughout that process he will remain in good standing, both here and in his home country.

  • Jeff
    Feb. 16, 2008 3:54 p.m.

    Correct, the church or its members should NOT be enforcers. Whether to be honest or not is a personal decision and much like for any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated there is also a consequence predicated for disobedience. Free agency is a gift from the Lord to all, for better or for worse. It is not for members to judge, however, in the private confines of a Priesthood leaders office, it is his responsibility to judge a persons individual truthfulness when answering the questions in a Baptismal or Temple interview that ask about individual honesty.

  • to bob
    Feb. 16, 2008 3:00 p.m.

    Puhlease! No-one is excommunicated for not paying his taxes! Why do people spread this kind of junk?

  • Sinner
    Feb. 16, 2008 2:47 p.m.

    Hello people! If I get arrested for a DUI, the church doesn't kick me out! Why would people expect the church to kick out those who come here illegally? This is a world-wide religion! Get a grip, those who are thinking of leaving the church. Do you believe in God? check Do you believe the BofM to be true? check... then leave people's salvation to themselves and quit judging! Ugh, this drives me crazy! WE all think we're better than others don't we?

  • JD
    Feb. 16, 2008 1:51 p.m.

    To be consistent it sounds like ANYONE who knows of or strongly suspects and illegal should be an enforcer and phyisically apprehend them...lest they leave their employment and flee before authorities arrive to catch them. This means that if an illegal shows up at a Baptist church or LDS church, whatever, they should be apprehended, expelled, and/or reported. The same goes for any establishment, religious or secular. Schools, hospitals, doctors (no mercy driven emergency health attention) etc. The only way to stop illegals is cut off employment funds. The church should not employ illegals but not allowing them to participate in church related practices? It simply isn't practical. The church shouldn't be enforcers. If a Bishops refuses a temple recommend or offers temporary mercy meals or accepts donations (tithes which would worsen their economic position) doesn't have much of an affect on the illegal problem. All a Bishop could do to solve illegals is to jump out of his chair and wrestle the illegal to the authorities. No illegals would ever show up at church again...but they'd just ward hop and stay here anyway. For the time being, till the government gets a smarter program, just follow the GA's policies.

  • Jeff
    Feb. 16, 2008 1:01 p.m.

    I loved the line from the article that states,
    "Elder Jensen noted that immigration is not only a political issue but a moral and ethical one."
    It never ceases to amase me how educated people can lump the two together so easily. My thought is that Immigration is good, necessary and definately a Governmental issue. On the other hand, illegal immigration (or illegal anything) is a moral and ethical issue.

  • Bobby
    Feb. 16, 2008 11:47 a.m.

    Im contacting the IRS to complain that the LDS church should have it tax exempt status removed because of its meddling the the legislative process. I strongly believe in the separation of church and state and the Mormon church has stepped over the line one too many times

  • The heathen
    Feb. 16, 2008 9:30 a.m.

    these guys cause 5000 deaths a year by murder..that's right up there with the war. Don't play your spiritual strings on my heart..these guys are not welcome period. Other states are already telling these people to come to Utah and pulling up these welcome articles. These people have their own grapevine and look at this as some great victory. I get tired of standing in line at western union just knowing these guys are using some else's id as they can't speak a lick of english. Resonable , humanitarian responsibility entails shipping them back and tightening the regulations that allowed them here as they make a mockery of everything i was taught as a legal citizen. Law enforcement is having a hard enough time with this population, now the flood will come from all directions as the door was just opened some more..pray for your children in school as they are going to be left behind to attend to alot more bigger classes jus to accomadate these people. Just let these people keep comming and putting the strain on the system which was based on integrity which they have over stayed their welcome on. Go Home and help there!

  • Hillary Clinton
    Feb. 16, 2008 9:23 a.m.

    Hillary Clinton: Democrat

    Issue: Inmigration

    Question: What should happen to ilegal inmigrants already in the US?

    Candidate Position: Allow illegal inmigrants to stay in the US and provide a path to citizenship that includes paying fines, learning English, and meeting other conditions.

    Support: Clinton supports"...a fairer process for people seeking to come to America, especially for those whose families have been torn apart: a path to earned citinzenship for thosho are here, working hard, paying taxes, respecting the law, and willing to meet a high bar for becoming a citizen."

    Source: Clinton's Senate office press release, march 8 2006

  • Rogerg
    Feb. 16, 2008 9:10 a.m.

    "Love thy neighbor" What if your neighbor is a witch? "Do not suffer a Witch to live" or lives in the next town? "Kill all that breatheth". I guess if you want to go by the Law's of God you can do what ever you feel is o.k. as long as it is some where is found in the book. If you live in a country which has law's that you don't agree with, you can move or respect their laws.
    Well whats it going to be?

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 16, 2008 8:49 a.m.

    Don't worry, if the 12th Article of Faith, or any other canonized, doctrinal standard becomes politically or economically problematic for the church, the leaders will just have a revelation and change it.

    I prophecy that the 12th Article of Faith will be subtly revised:

    "We believe in being subject to prophets, seers, and revelators of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining only those laws of the land that they agree with and tell us to obey."

    There. That works!

  • Peter
    Feb. 16, 2008 8:23 a.m.

    Comparisons between illegal immigration and speeding or jaywalking or simple tresspassing only reveal the ignorance of the person making the comment, including "Elder" Jensen.

    For a number of reasons, illegal entrance into any country is a serious matter, and a significant crime. But it is also a violation of the laws of God (it violates several of the Ten Commandments, as well as tenets of the LDS faith and worthiness standards). For an official representative of the LDS Church to say what Jensen said is shocking and appalling. It is the harbinger of anarchy and lawlessness, and reveals the contradictions in the Church leadership - preaching we must obey the laws of the land, but then condoning breaking the laws of the land.

    To those who call for mercy and compassion, shall we also give amnesty and "compassion" to all those who commit home invasion robberies? Or hold-up banks at gunpoint? Or embezzle funds from their companies? Or who rape and murder young children (its just minor "tresspassing" on their bodies)?

    Illegal immigration steals from others. It affects legal citizens' livelihoods. It contributes to gang violence, drug trafficking, and violent crime such as aggravated assault and murder.

    Wake up.

  • Black and White
    Feb. 16, 2008 12:03 a.m.

    I see no wiggle room in the Articles of Faith. Twist and turn it all you want, we should honor the law of the land, period. If you are here illegaly, you are not in line with this Article of Faith and, therefore, unworthy to enter into any Temple. I don't see how it can be interpreted any other way, no matter how eloquent and articulate you put it.

  • re: telling the truth
    Feb. 15, 2008 11:58 p.m.

    stealing a million is much worse than stealing a nickel -
    How do you reconcile -love thy neighbor and then condone a mass eviction - that's not love that's hate - we let them in - we offer them services while their here - now you want to kick them out - seems full of hate to me.

  • Jeff
    Feb. 15, 2008 9:56 p.m.

    I love the simple truths of the gospel. One of those simple truths is that we believe in being subject to rulers and magistrates and in honoring and obeying the law. I do not believe it is possible to sit in an interview and profess that we are honest if we know that our presence in this country is in disobedience with the law. As members it is not our role to judge but the Lord inspired men to create a constitution providing a process for developing laws and a system of selecting or electing leaders to judge according to that and other laws of the land. My feeling is that we are dishonoring God through the current church policy.

  • Kent
    Feb. 15, 2008 6:41 p.m.

    I remember sitting on the lawn of the Sao Paulo Temple a quarter century ago and looking up to se the huge Brazilian flag flying overhead. Although I had served a mission in Uruguay and had lived in both Mexico and Spain, I became choked up with emotion on the realization that the Lord's church is a worldwide church. As the Savior commanded, "Go ye unto all the world..."
    Sometimes the world is next door.
    Early Saints ran afoul of the law with illegal plural marriages...but God's law has always trumped man's law. When the pioneers went to the Salt Lake valley they also were 'trespassing' into Mexican territory.
    The question regarding the undocumented is a political one, not a spiritual one. Don't fret it.

  • glenn
    Feb. 15, 2008 6:29 p.m.

    wow, members of the church judging others? unbelievable. Don't worry so much about what illegals are doing, or how the church is handling them. The same as how you wouldn't judge anyone for anything else or how the church handles them. Look within, first take the beam out of thine own eye. Trust me, you are not well spiritually if you are worried about other peoples recommends. Look inward, judge yourself, better yourself, have faith that the Lords church can handle every individual the way the Lord would want them handled. I can't believe there are members of the church who would actually judge another based on immigration status or any other sin. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  • Nomos
    Feb. 15, 2008 5:55 p.m.

    Illegals have no respect for the law nor for decency. That is why THEY are the ones dominating these comments, calling law-abiding citizens "Nazis" and "inhumane" and "not compassionate".

    Those who benefit from crime (and being in our country illegally IS A CRIME), would distort not only the law, but also the Gospel of Jesus Christ in order to justify their illegal and immoral actions.

    If you cannot abide by the laws of this land, then you should have no protection from them; you should not benefit from them; you should not be allowed the freedom of speech that is guaranteed by our First Amendment - because you are Law-Breakers!

    If you want to get religious, fine. Then you and Mr. Jensen (Amen to his priesthood) should read and understand this: "that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same. That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still. (D&C 88:34-35)

  • Helen
    Feb. 15, 2008 5:53 p.m.

    I talk to several today who are questioning the law of the land issue. They are as well contemplating leaving the church. I'm undecided.

  • Tellin the truth
    Feb. 15, 2008 5:50 p.m.

    If I steal a nickel or $1,000,000 bucks, which is worse? They are BOTH stealing. Stealing is a moral crime in the God's eyes. Only the law sees them as misdemenor and felony.

    It's the same principle here. Illegal means illegal.

    You people who use moral relativity are missing something very critical and important.

    Marlin, you can have their pesos, cuz I'm done giving you my tithing dollars. Enjoy your compassion and your new amigos when our country is over run with illegals. Adios estupdido.

    My church left me. I didn't leave it. It used to be black and white, now it's gray all over.

  • Andrew
    Feb. 15, 2008 5:53 p.m.

    Here's the thing: immigration isn't going to go away. It's not going to get easier to enforce. We can sit here and complain about it, or we can try to deal with it as peaceably as possible. As an LDS church member, I figure if the church is making a mistake, they are erring on the side of mercy ("For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged"). The temple recommend worthiness is self-reported - God will be the final judge, and it's not for us to say what He will say. Yes, being here is illegal and those who do live in a constant state of breaking the law. Do we not all live in a constant state of breaking some law - either of man or of God? If you say no, then congratulations, you're perfect. The Church teaches its members to keep the law - in whatever country they are in. The Church does not enforce the law. Does an LDS border patrol agent now have a moral dichotomy? No, he does his job.
    In closing, I can't help but think and wonder about the verse "and the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose..."

  • Ken
    Feb. 15, 2008 5:46 p.m.

    If the temple recommend questions are answered truthfully, an illegal would not qualify for a recommend. Also, it would be in violation of the Articles of Faith.

  • DP
    Feb. 15, 2008 5:38 p.m.

    Is a law really a law if it's not enforced? Jay walking, going 9 mph faster than the speed limit, swearing in public etc. How can you blame Mexicans for coming to our country? Look at our actions - we give them driver's licenses, free health care, we provide government documents in Spanish, we educate their kids for free, we allow them to sue legal citizens in our courts - just to name a few. Sure they came "illegally," but we knew what was happening. We could have stopped them if we felt it was a real need.

    Post 9/11 is makes more sense than ever to secure the border and prevent future boarder crossings - but trying to send people back to Mexico is ridiculous. Our laws say crossing the boarder is illegal, but our actions encourage it. Out of one side of our mouth we say "it's illegal" but out of the other side our actions say come and we'll take care of you. How can you punish Mexican's for their actions - our actions have condoned their behavior all along.
    Good for you PJ.

  • Elder Jensen
    Feb. 15, 2008 5:32 p.m.

    Elder Jensen was not speaking on his own errand. He was speaking at the call of President Monson.

    "Jensen, speaking at a forum at Westminster College, emphasized that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hasn't taken a position on any particular legislation. He did say, however, that he was speaking on behalf of the LDS Church's governing First Presidency."

    Nice attempt at disavowing someone on the Lord's errand

  • Homeless status
    Feb. 15, 2008 5:30 p.m.

    If I civil trespass in front of a LDS temple, will the church use their own security guards to remove me or call just call the cops!!!!

  • Unalienable rights
    Feb. 15, 2008 5:26 p.m.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Isn't that what the Illegal Immigrants are seeking?

    We can enforce immigration laws or make laws that give order to the chaos and allow persons to pursue their unalienable rights.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 15, 2008 5:16 p.m.

    Looks like illegals have taken over this site. Have fun talking about nothing!

  • Kevin
    Feb. 15, 2008 5:00 p.m.

    To Kate,

    Why isn't the Baptismal interview (and worthiness) just as important and significant as the Temple recommend? Your double standard is baseless. Worthiness to be baptized is the same as worthiness to enter the Temple. Look into it and you will see that I am right.

  • Lancer
    Feb. 15, 2008 4:56 p.m.

    Sounds to me like many are ready to leave the Church over a pint of cream.

  • OH Yeah!
    Feb. 15, 2008 4:45 p.m.

    Now I can play the game and stay for ever !

  • Hey Dave
    Feb. 15, 2008 4:36 p.m.

    Immigration laws is very complicated and it takes a specially trained person to enforce it properly. One thing that is clear: Illegal immigration is not a mere misdemeanor. Even a first time offender can be placed in jail for up to 6 months before being deported. Someone who re-enters the country illegally after being previously deported has committed a FELONY.

    An illegal immigrant who lies about their status when they fill out the I-9 employment paperwork commits perjury when they swear they are eligible to work in this country. If they use a stolen identity at the same time, it's a felony.

    If the entire basis of ones life is based on deception and trying to evade law enforcement, how can someone truly live the gospel and uphold the basic tenets and articles of faith? I suppose people could hold out hope that another amnesty might be forthcoming, but does that solve the fundamental personal honesty problem with these individuals?

    It's my understanding that the church excommunicates members convicted for felonies. If that sentence is later pardoned by a governor/president, does the church automatically re-instate membership, or would they prefer a complete repentance process?

  • re: Just a thought/Dave
    Feb. 15, 2008 4:38 p.m.

    If we have not done any of these things you listed to break the law, does our opinion that immigration laws need to be enforced have any more value or weight? Probably not to you so your comment is pointless.

    Give me a break! What a cop out of a statement.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 15, 2008 4:17 p.m.


  • Dave
    Feb. 15, 2008 3:27 p.m.

    Would you deny baptism to a person for speeding? At this point, being illegally here is a misdemeanor and not a felony. If the laws change and government requirements change, the LDS Church will comply with what is asked. Right now, the problem is being debated. The acceptance or rejection of illegals has yet to be determined. Up until the recent light shed upon the problem, it was winked at. Don't be so hasty to jump on any church or organization that did not create the situation, but is merely trying to help people in the best way possible.

  • GI Jack
    Feb. 15, 2008 2:38 p.m.

    File a lawsuit against Utah for violation of your equal rights.

  • Just a thought
    Feb. 15, 2008 1:55 p.m.

    How many of you people who say you believe in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law who are using this as a reson to take a stand against undocumented or illegal aliens having full privileges in the church are truly always honest in your obedience to the law? Do you ever speed or break other driving rules? Do you ever park illegally? Do you ever litter? Have you ever taken anything from a hotel room?

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  • BornAmerican
    Feb. 15, 2008 1:45 p.m.

    I can only hope you're right,in which case, a clarification of position should be forthcoming very shortly,and a muzzle (figuratively) placed on Jensens snout at once. What isn't clear in the article,to me anyway, is whether Jensens pronouncements are his own or if he felt confidant in speaking for the GA's. Your point is noted and well taken.

  • To: The beginning of the end
    Feb. 15, 2008 1:25 p.m.

    "What becomes interesting is that if we start making exceptions for breaking one law, such illegal trespassing, why wouldn't we make exceptions for others. It would allow us to open us the temples to everyone."

    Opening up the temples to everyone?

    WOW -- What a concept?!?!?!

  • GI Jack
    Feb. 15, 2008 1:29 p.m.

    My question is this.....why are illegal immigrants given resident tuition, but I as a military member cannot have it? I am stationed here, as a resident of another state and I have to pay out of state tuition for my kids. I have an issue with the double-standard.

  • Remember
    Feb. 15, 2008 1:22 p.m.

    Jensen seems to be one who just runs off at the mouth. I doubt that he speaks for the church in most respects. I'm not sure that's his calling. However, if it is, maybe a better setting apart blessing is in order, and maybe a little more authority to speak on what the Lord thinks, and not on what the church thinks.

    Basically this:

    IF the First Presidency can't say it for themselves, why are we Supposing that Jensen Has some Kind of Authority Here.

    I don't see him set apart or called as a member of the twelve or the first presidency.

  • Kate
    Feb. 15, 2008 1:21 p.m.

    I am LDS and I see nothing wrong in baptizing an illegal immigrant, although I do not condone their illegal status. However, entering the temple is another matter entirely. The interview for a temple recommend asks if the person is honest in all their dealings. Obviously an illegal immigrant could not truthfully answer yes to that question, and they should not qualify for a temple recommend. This is something that needs to be taken seriously by the church, otherwise they need to be equally lax on the other criteria, such as being a full tithe payer, or keeping the Word of Wisdom, which would make a mockery of temple attendance. Anyone hiring illegal immigrants also comes under the umbrella of not being honest and they too should not qualify for a temple recommend.

  • bob2
    Feb. 15, 2008 1:21 p.m.

    No matter how "global" the Mormon Church is the United States of America is still a soverign nation!

  • The beginning of the end
    Feb. 15, 2008 1:04 p.m.

    It doesn't seem like allowing baptims should be a problem since this is supposely only a first step on the road to "exaltation." These would be the kind of acts that a good Samaritan would provide. On the other hand, I've always thought that those people that hold temple recommends are those that are only willing to live by the very highest of spiritual principles. I don't even hold one myself since I'm not currently a full tithe payer. What becomes interesting is that if we start making exceptions for breaking one law, such illegal trespassing, why wouldn't we make exceptions for others. It would allow us to open us the temples to everyone.

  • hman
    Feb. 15, 2008 12:59 p.m.

    How many of us forget that our ancestors broke laws to practice polygamy? Church leaders chose to follow the tenets of their faith instead of the princicples of the 12th A of Faith. This is not a black and white issue. The vast majority of illegals come here with good intentions- to work hard and provide a better life for their children, the same reason our ancestors came to this country and this valley. If you were in their situation would you come here for a better life, or continue dwelling in the cycle of poverty, and no opportunity? Would you want a better life for your children, and do anything moral to obtain? Is it better to commit a civil trespass, and provide for your progeny or let your kids suffer and go hungry? What would our ancestors do? What did they do? They broke the law. Was Brigham Young not a great prophet who also broke the law?

    We secure the borders, deport all the illegal criminals we can, and help in the graceful and compassionate assimulation of those who are already here.

    What would Jesus do?

  • Extending the analogy
    Feb. 15, 2008 12:50 p.m.

    Since Elder Jensen equates illegal immigration to civil trespass, let's take the analogy a little further. Suppose while the Jensen family were away on a church assignment, some homeless people took up residence in Elder Jensen's back yard--built a little shack there, moved in their family and friends, ran an electric line from his house (not to mention cable and maybe telephone) and maybe "borrowed" some of his food storage items.

    When Elder Jensen returned, would he compassionately allow them to remain there, using his resources? Maybe, but out of respect for the safety and comfort, and financial security, of his family, it's likely that he would work with appropriate police authorities, homeless advocates, and other resources to compassionately remove them from his property and help them get a start elsewhere.

    Maybe the compassionate part that we should be considering is how to help illegal immigrants to get on their feet--once they're BACK IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY. And it seems that the Church has quite a few resources to do that, and is doing that now.

    But I am puzzled why the Church appears to be encouraging the homeless to take up residence in our backyard.

  • bob
    Feb. 15, 2008 12:56 p.m.

    I know a man who was excommunicated from the church for not paying taxes. That's a federal law that seems unfair. So it is with illegal immigration. The Church should not look the other way on this. Pingree's attitude that people should stay in their own country but since they're here we should embrace them is assnine. Uchtdorfs fleeing East Germany is not the same as mexicans coming to the US illegally.

  • Gavroche
    Feb. 15, 2008 12:48 p.m.

    I was intrigued by the following statement by one of the posters above: "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 wondered why it sounded familiar, and then I remembered: This was Jean Valjean's dilemma in Les Miserables. Stealing bread to feed his sister's children was illegal - but letting them starve was morally wrong. So, he stole. Inspector Javert could only see the first part - breaking the law. I think that Javert would find many kindred spirits in the discussion on illegal immigration. Truly, our illegal immigration problem is one of "Les Miserables".

  • Clarification needed
    Feb. 15, 2008 12:36 p.m.

    "Remember Elder Uchtdorf's family fled East Germany illegally."

    However, he entered West Germany legally!!! That is the important point. The Mexicans who violate our borders are here illegally, and that is what is important.

    "Why is it ok for us to live in a rich and prosperous nation and deney (sic) our borhters (sic)and sisters these blessings."

    So based on your criteria should we allow the population of the whole third world to enter the United States??? Should US citizens be allowed to vote on such a proposal, or should we dispense with our representative political system and adopt your proposed theocracy???

  • Texas Resident
    Feb. 15, 2008 12:30 p.m.

    The government either needs to enforce its laws or change them to something that they will enforce. Why should a church try to hold its members to a standard that the government ignores? I feel strongly that citizens of a county should not be left to decide which laws need to be followed and which laws can be ignored.

    I have empathy for all of the people that want to come here to improve their lives. Many of them are good and hard working people. But our society maintains order through its laws.

    When I moved to Texas from a very expensive city, my auto insurance doubled. Why? Because the uninsured motorist line item went up so much. It is sad to know that everyone around me EXPECTS to get hit by an illegal at some point.

    Government enforcement is a key. Welcome people from other countries, but allow for immigration in the law, enforce what is on the books, and do not encourage people to break the law by rewarding them for coming here the wrong way.

  • To Spanky
    Feb. 15, 2008 12:25 p.m.

    You can't go to Mexico and basically take the country for all it's worth?

    Just what the heck do you think Americans have been doing in Mexico, Central America and South America for centuries? Think, United Fruit Company. Or Panama -- a country carved out of Columbia when Columbia wouldn't give us the land necessary to build a canal.

    Or, in the alternative, if we don't want to do it in Mexico -- we just turn that part of Mexico into the US (i.e., Texas and California)!

    Irony again reigns over reason in the immigration debate!!

  • slightly miffed
    Feb. 15, 2008 12:24 p.m.

    Well, I can see their point to some extent. However, I really have a hard time with .... if you live in zion you do it this way, if you live in the mission field you do it this way......

    I'm not sure I've met a latter day saint who is always honest in his dealings with his fellow man. Heber C. Kimball is the one who initiated the temple recommend, not any other source. It has been passed on by tradition ever since.

    In other words, its a "policy of the church" but certainly not Doctrine in any manner whatsoever.
    What the church has for policy and for doctrine are quite often Two different animals.

  • Captain Obvious
    Feb. 15, 2008 12:17 p.m.

    Its about QUANTITY not QUALITY people!

  • Right or Wrong.
    Feb. 15, 2008 12:15 p.m.

    Baptism brings the contrite "in the fold" and "on the path." However, temple privileges are for those who have demonstrated desire, committment, and sacrifice for the gospel. Under those definitions, it is conceivable that illegals who so desire and demostrate should get both. However, honesty is one specifically asked requirement for temple privileges. Moderating one requirement would seem logically to moderate all requirements. So it would seem that the Brethern would need to explain clearly what constitues honesty, moral cleanliness, a full tithe, etc...
    But then again, should 1930 and 1940 German LDS members have participated in Jewish persecution? (rhetorical) It was the law for them.
    One 'illegal' youth lived with 3 families in our ward. We all liked him very much. When it came time to serve a mission. He knew that he had to go back with little to no chance to return to the USA. He did. Personally I was very impressed.

  • Two sense worth
    Feb. 15, 2008 12:13 p.m.

    I suppose LDS businessmen who hire illegal aliens can now justify doing so with impunity, even though they are breaking the law. Are these lawbreakers to be treated with compassion?

  • hypocrite
    Feb. 15, 2008 12:09 p.m.

    Have you ever sped? Have you ever changed lanes without signaling? Did you forget that you are supposed to pay "use taxes" on untaxed stuff you ordered over the Internet or bought in another state? Ever "California stop" at a stop sign? Then YOU are a dishonest lawbreaker, too. Maybe you should remove the mote from your own eye by turning in your recommend before calling for immigrants to be denied baptism or temple privileges. That isn't your call to make.

    Many immigrants are more righteous than you or me when it comes to the "weightier matters" of the law.

    And the Church never said it's OK to break the law. They simply said let's make sure we are being compassionate in the way we deal with the issue and in the laws we make, and that the Church isn't the enforcer of immigration policies.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with coming to the US without permission. It is only wrong because the lawmakers made a law saying it is illegal. There's nothing wrong with asking the lawmakers to be compassionate in the laws they decide to make that make things "wrong" that would otherwise not be.

  • daddygeee
    Feb. 15, 2008 12:10 p.m.

    I find this to be one of the most perplexing problems facing the Church and its members, legal & illegal. While serving as a missionary in L.A. 37 years ago we were allowed to teach and baptize worthy individuals though they were in the US illegally. Then, in 1973 about January, we were counseled to stop baptizing those who did not have their papers but we could continue to teach them and we encouraged them to be involved in the L.A. Spanish Branch. We taught a delightful fellow from Nicaragua named Carlos who, at our invitation continued to read the Book of Mormon in spite of deep resistance from his immediate family who were very devout Adventists. We left Carlos with the Book of Mormon and challenged him to read it. That Sunday as I was gathering people from the foyer to begin our Sunday School meeting (long before the block) Carlos entered the doors of the Wilshire Building and shook my right hand; his left hand was shaking the Book of Mormon at me and with tears in his eyes he said "Este libro es verdadero"! "Puedan bautizarme?" I had to tell him that I could not.

  • ChickasawMan
    Feb. 15, 2008 12:10 p.m.

    I agree with JMHO. We love our Brothers & Sisters but if the borders are not secure & the magnet that draws illegals here not removed, we will have Mexico in America, not my choice for a free land.

  • Rule of Law
    Feb. 15, 2008 11:57 a.m.

    Illegal immigrants, as the name implies, are doing something "ILLEGAL" - they are violating the laws of the nation. And just as with anyone who violates the laws of the nation in which they live, they are NOT "being honest in [their] dealings with their fellowman".

    Moreover, they are "supporting, affiliating with, or agreeing with groups or individuals whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," which officially teaches that we are to be "subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law" (Pearl of Great Price, Article of Faith 12).

    Therefore, being an illegal immigrant disqualifies them from Temple worthiness, and any Church authority who knowingly grants temple recommends to illegal immigrants is violating Church doctrine as well as acting as an accessory to a criminal act.

    These statements by these Church authorities are repugnant to anyone who believes in the rule of law and the Constitution of this great nation. They should be chastized and released from these official positions as representatives of the Church.

  • Clarity
    Feb. 15, 2008 11:44 a.m.

    Elder Jensen's comments were his own as he repeatedly said. He comes from a good democrat background that cares about the average person and tries to treat everyone with compassion regardless of circumstances. The church has no policy on this issue and is not required to ask about immigration status for baptism, however, that is a result of government legislation that is very confusing and erratically enforced. Other countries have strict immigration policies, like Italy and the LDS missionaries there are not able to baptize illegals because that countries laws do not allow it. If you have a beef with the church's position in the US, then you should push for stronger, clearer laws regulating immigration. There is never a need to be insulting as to race or country of origin to anyone however and that is what I took most from Elder Jensen's comments.

  • Bill
    Feb. 15, 2008 11:37 a.m.

    I agree with Elder Jensen's temperate remarks, despite the fact that I was in an automobile accident caused by an uninsured, unlicensed, illegal alien young woman. Just as we cannot lump all illegals into the status of being gangland murderers or drunk drivers, we cannot lump all of them into the status of being good, hard-working people simply trying to provide for their families.

    The Church's position isn't the problem. The problem is a FEDERAL (not state) government that won't step up and enforce the borders while increasing legal immigration and guest-worker arrangements.

  • Spanky
    Feb. 15, 2008 11:32 a.m.

    I can't go to Mexico take a job from a Mexican national, get free health care, protest, stay forever, or even own land there. But illegal Mexicans can come into my country and do all of those things with no consequences. There seems to be something basically wrong with that. Because someone works in the service industry, or construction trades, does not mean that they don't have a right to a living wage. Illegal immigrants are keeping wages artificially low in those sectors, and it's big business, and politicians who are in the pocket of big business, who allow it.

  • John Lambert
    Feb. 15, 2008 11:29 a.m.

    So Ann Chovie is advocating for the seperation of families. Maybe that is the best way to do it now, but there is nothing wrong with favoring a change in the laws. I think we should restructure the laws to allow families to be together.

  • John
    Feb. 15, 2008 11:30 a.m.

    As a member of the Church I see now that I may disobey laws. Them leadership is supporting lawlessness.

  • Stewart
    Feb. 15, 2008 11:28 a.m.

    A lot of weird logic in this article. "While reiterating the LDS Church is politically neutral, Elder Jensen noted that immigration is not only a political issue but a moral and ethical one." First of all the Church is not being politically neutral and has taken the same political stand as in previous years. This not a moral or ethical issue, it is a taxpayer, cheap labor, and a law and order issue. The Utah Legislature has every right to protect its citizens and taxpayers from the harm caused by illegal immigration.

    I suppose that that having a fraudulent ID in your pocket and saying that you are honest with your fellowman makes sense?

    Finally, it is a sovereignty issue. Does the Church interfere with other nations' sovereignty issues? Do they go to other states and attempt to interfere with legislatures trying to protect their citizens and taxpayers? No! only in Utah would they attempt such behavior. Compassion is fine, but compassion isn't going to stop the problem. We can have compassion for criminals of all types, but that doesn't mean that we should look the other way and allow the behavior to continue.

  • How funny critics are...
    Feb. 15, 2008 11:22 a.m.

    It's very funny to me when the LDS church makes a decision like this and all the cynics and critics of the church officially take it upon themselves to put in their own opinion. The church is led by incredibly intelligent and inspired men who unlike politicians don't lie or put out false statements so they can get elected into office. They usually have far more education and experience in dozens of matters than does anybody that tries to profess what the church does wrong.

    Feb. 15, 2008 11:22 a.m.


  • Steve
    Feb. 15, 2008 11:27 a.m.

    Bishops work through the spirit also, but some may not be as in tune as others. I'm not a bishop, but if I lied to the bishop about being worthy to enter the temple and the bishop doesn't pick up on it, it's not the fault of the bishop. The liar will be the one who will pay the ultimate penalty. If a bishop knows first hand that the member is illegal in this country and has a fake pass to be here, it shouldn't bar the member from membership, but should bar him from the temple. In this circumstance, I believe the bishop should pay the price also. All are invited to the temple, but there needs to be a very strong commitment and the correct standard of living. If the honesty question is being overlooked by a known illegal, the the question then needs to be disregarded, because it is a waste of time. For this reason, I'm glad I'm not a bishop yet. But despite it all, i love the church.

  • Rational Oregonian
    Feb. 15, 2008 11:16 a.m.

    Most illegals do not make enough to pay income tax. They still pay property tax (they have to pay rent, right?). They still pay sales tax. Most are uninsured. The tax and premium issues are largely myths.
    What is their crime? Trying to feed their families. If I were injured and my 13 year old son decided the best way to get help for me was to put me in a car and drive me to the hospital, should he be excommunicated for breaking the law? No? Okay, maybe disfellowshipped then?
    It is easy to judge when you haven't had to make the tough decision. Remember we are all sinners. There are only a few sins that immediately disqualify you for baptism or a temple recommend.
    Note Church policy, however on missionaries. An illegal alien cannot be recommended as a missionary. Interesting.

  • It's between God and the person
    Feb. 15, 2008 11:22 a.m.

    Leave law enforcement to the authorities. Leave personal worthiness to the individual. We all know who we're ultimately accountable to. It's up to each person to do the right thing. The church just needs to "teach gospel principles and let them govern themselves."

  • RE; all you who have it easy
    Feb. 15, 2008 11:16 a.m.

    It is easy to tell them to go home and obey the laws. It is easy to tell them the are bad people stealing your hard earned money. The illegal immigrants work twice as hard as you. I think all of you would run across the border if your family was starving to death. I am not a Mormon but family is important to me and I thought that was a major part of the Mormon belief. I put my families well being ahead of anything. All of you who have so much hate for the Hispanic people should be ashamed to call yourself Christians. If they can not go to your temple for being illegal you should not be allowed in your temple for being hate filled people.

  • Decendent of Illegal Immigrants
    Feb. 15, 2008 10:53 a.m.

    I am a decendent of illegal immigrants. My earlist ancestor arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621.

    Now we know how the native americans felt!

  • Re: A Few Points
    Feb. 15, 2008 10:52 a.m.

    A Few Points | 10:22 a.m. Feb. 15, 2008
    1. For years the Church knowingly broke the law regarding Polygamy and even formed its own militia in defense of that. This is no longer Brigham Young's wild-west kingdom but don't be surprised that certain spiritual matters may seem to trump the law particularly controversial one's like immigration.

    Not a bad entry over all but the comment above should be ammended if we are to be accurate.

    1. For years members of the Church knowingly broke the law regarding Polygamy by continuing marriages already conscecrated after the law changed. During the time that polygamy was practiced in midwestern states it was not against the law in the U.S., while they were in Utah and still practicing with approval of the Church they were not a state and therefore not bound by the U.S. laws. Checking historical facts will show that the Church banning polygamy was a requirement before they could receive statehood, so therefore the Church was not breaking the law, even though some members did.

    BTW - the militia was not formed because of polygamy but rather to protect us from persecution and extermination orders unlawfully enacted.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 15, 2008 10:57 a.m.

    illegals should do the right thing if they want to be baptized. go home strengthen the church elsewhere. come back when you have papers. its not hard.

    do the right things. if you want to be 100 percent free from sin obey the laws of your country,we will show compassion for you regardless. but please make it easier on everybody go and do things right.

    its like the family who needs assistance year after year. life is hard we will help but please fix your situation.

  • Geez,
    Feb. 15, 2008 10:56 a.m.

    The church doesn't care about their immigration status, they're just potential converts. Since when has the church limited who it would baptize? Think of them as numbers, not illegals. Just numbers to be added to the big book in the sky, I mean the church office building. Numbers, numbers, just numbers. My Dad's a mission president in South America, please don't tell me I don't know about the "numbers"...

  • Former Mormon and -LDS employee
    Feb. 15, 2008 10:57 a.m.

    Mr. Jensen: The LDS church speaks out of both sides of its mouth. I could not handle the duplicity any longer, and this is one of the main reasons I left the LDS church.

    It goes something like this:

    We believe in...obeying, honoring and sustaining the law EXCEPT if we are Mexican and can pay tithing down the road, or at least add to the membership numbers on the rolls. All other nationalities should file paperwork and wait in line for years.

    Yes, bishop, I'm honest in all my dealings (even though I jumped the border to get to the United States, refuse to file paperwork and pay files fees--so I'm stealing from the government, but that doesn't count, does it? Oh yeah, and I steal SSNs and write false information on my I-9s so I can work a reputable job and make better money. I don't pay income taxes, but even if I did, it would be money I don't warrant because I'm not legally allowed to be here.

    Gee, thanks for my shiny new recommend, bishop! Awesome. Now I can become bishop one day and deny someone else a recommend for drinking a beer.

  • Betsy T
    Feb. 15, 2008 10:48 a.m.

    Before standing in judgement, why not try putting yourself in the shoes of illegal immigrants? Imagine living in a home without even the most basic of necessities, no money for food or clothing. And imagine having children to take care of on top of this. If you saw your children suffering, and you knew of a way to end that suffering, who among us would not take that path? The vast majority of these immigrants are hard-working and they take the jobs no one else here even wants. I completely agree that the system needs to change, but please don't forget that these are people in serious need or they would not be here. It is not our place to judge. It is our place to help.

  • Curtis
    Feb. 15, 2008 10:46 a.m.

    I would question whether or not my faith were Christian if it took an official stand against illegal immigration. As christians we are instructed to obey the law. However, early christians disobeyed Roman law by not offering sacrifices to Roman gods and these people were real saints. What if a law is immoral? If you refuse to sacrifice your first-born child, even if it were a state law, can you get a temple recommend? And when you go to get said temple recommend, does your Bishop ask you if you've gotton away with speeding or J-walking recently? Does he make you go to the DMV and turn yourself in? I'm not mormon, but I'm guessing not. And to the reader who said that as members of "God's Church" you must differentiate between what is "right" and "wrong" as if being here illegally inorder to give your family a better life is akin to murder or rape, I must agree with you on one point. What is wrong? It is wrong to enjoy a prosperous, happy lifestyle while preventing others from doing so. I think Jesus would agree. I commend the Mormon church for taking a Christian stand in this matter.

  • 2 Nephi 1:6
    Feb. 15, 2008 10:41 a.m.

    The church is only being consistent to its scriptures regarding immigration:
    6 Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.

  • Former INS Officer
    Feb. 15, 2008 10:45 a.m.

    President Marion G. Romney said that Latter-day Saints need to be willing to live the laws of the government in which they live. Those that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to beak the laws of the land. As a former law enforcement officer, I had the unique opportunity to observe that breaking the laws of the land usually also involves breaking Gods laws. It seems especially hard to be honest when breaking the law.

  • clarity is always important
    Feb. 15, 2008 10:40 a.m.

    Any clerk in the church would point out that we don't ask for drivers license, SS cards, birth certificates, etc for proof of citizenship or even who they really are when they get baptized. The MLS doesn't have a field for citizenship either. This is a responsibility of each individual to be honest. If a member of the bishopric or stake presidency becomes aware of someone's illegal status then we are talking about a situation that I think the church needs to take a stance on. Counseling them on the law and potentially denying them a recommend until they are law abiding in this regard is definetely something they should consider. But to be clear it currently is not a requirement of the church to specifically ask about "legal status" and if all the other questions do not prompt the member to answer in a way contrary to the standard then the interviewer has no choice but to approve them (IMHO they should deny the opportunity to be interviewed IF they are aware of an illegal status). Many states allow for "undocumented people" to have licenses why should priveleges in a church be different?

  • MikeMan
    Feb. 15, 2008 10:37 a.m.

    Illegal immigrants are not criminals. They are not trespassers. Nobody gets thrown in jail because they have crossed a border, except in communist or paranoid countries. Illegal immigrants have not followed the outlined rules to become "documented." They are here without permission. There will always be the discussion about their contribution or damage. If people are able to get from one country to another with little effort - or insufficient opposition, then it would be important to shore-up the borders. Priority of status should not happen just because someone has breached the borders. A line is a line. Perhaps we should not over react to the "illegal" tag. Maybe we should be more balanced in our approach. Since punishment has never been a part of this program, then we shouldn't start now. Since citizenship offers benefits, along with the obligations, then rewarding "undocumented" people should be avoided.

  • Chris
    Feb. 15, 2008 10:35 a.m.

    I struggled with this while serving in a Spanish branch. I still don't know how someone is able to say they are honest when they break the law for financial gain, but I finally concluded that was between them and the Lord.

    Personally the hardest part about serving in the branch was that I wanted to help these people find better jobs, but I was unwilling to ask anyone to break the law to give them jobs, or even to employ them myself with odd jobs when they were out of work.

    As to whether or not the policy of the church is correct, I can't say. Its not my stewardship, and I'm having enough trouble looking after my own to be too critical of someone else's handling of theirs. I suspect that if I had been setting policy I would have opted for close questioning in interviews and fairly rigid enforcement. But I have also seen a few people progress after baptism who probably wouldn't have done anything outside of the church, and who I probably would have excluded. The couple I'm thinking of are now planning to return home once they get their affairs in order.

  • Re: Stealing Future
    Feb. 15, 2008 10:27 a.m.

    Stealing our future, stealing our resources: 1) Education; why are we teaching english as a second language? 2) Health care; why do I have to pay such high premiums? 3) Taxes; who gets paid under the table? & 4) Culture; When was the last time you when a day and heard english only?

    I work in the construction trades and love it. Although, I do not like seeing my wage fall. The construction & service industries will survive w/o illegals because there are people like me that are willing to get their hands dirty.

  • JMHO
    Feb. 15, 2008 10:18 a.m.

    As a law enforcement officer of 20 years, I never had a problem reconciling compassion for my fellow man with upholding the law. The law must be supported and sustained first and foremost, and there is help available for those who choose to change their circumstances and submit to the law. What bothers me is that the church wants no role in enforcing immigration since it is a government issue (which is as it should be), but then claims the right to suggest a soft approach on immigration law directed specifically to our lawmakers on the grounds that it is a moral issue. Moral issues can loosely be attributed to just about any legal topic, so where does one draw the line? JMHO, but I think we are riding a slippery slope when religious leaders of any denomination address government representatives on behalf of a church with the intent of influencing policy, no matter how subtle.

  • A Few Points
    Feb. 15, 2008 10:22 a.m.

    1. For years the Church knowingly broke the law regarding Polygamy and even formed its own militia in defense of that. This is no longer Brigham Young's wild-west kingdom but don't be surprised that certain spiritual matters may seem to trump the law particularly controversial one's like immigration.

    2. The "SLC Church" can actually be a rather liberal/compassionate Church on many issues. Immigration is one in which the thinking from SLC appears to lean very left. Even other social issues are more left leaning than the typical evangelical rehtoric. But the "Local Ward Church" tends to lean much more conservative and judgemental and rigid. In other words, the general membership often is much less compassionate and liberal than I think our SLC leaders tend to be. Perhaps it is because our general authorities have reached the point of true compassion and love while members still mire around in the muck of wanting to sign off on everyone else's temple recommends.

    3. I think the Mitt Romney who ran for MA Governor was actually very much in line with compassionate but value based SLC leadership thinking. Too bad he felt he had to move to the judgemental evangelical George Bush right.

  • Liverpool - England
    Feb. 15, 2008 9:56 a.m.

    I read the deseret news each day to be part of the community in Utah, I would like to live and work in Salt Lake but I can't. I would if it was legal so my view is how can someone who lies to there bishop can attend the temple.

    The church does need to change it's policy

  • Stealing Your Child's Future
    Feb. 15, 2008 9:51 a.m.

    If your child's future is landscaping, housekeeping, and work in the service industry, tell your kid to get some more education and then he'd have a future.

  • Arationalguy
    Feb. 15, 2008 9:48 a.m.

    To deprive Mexico the prosperity of having all these hard working people who left shows a lack of compassion for our neighbors south of the border. Wouldn't we show greater compassion by encouraging them to return home and help make Mexico blossom?

    Anything less seems quite selfish and short sighted of us.

  • Feed up
    Feb. 15, 2008 9:40 a.m.

    The line "'This isn't the church's issue,' he said (Elder Pingree)'This is a government's issue'"
    What kind of logic is this? How about rape, murder, and molesting? Okay that is the extreme, but stealing isn't. They are stealing my children's future. Church issue or government issue?

  • Johnny Utah #9
    Feb. 15, 2008 9:37 a.m.

    I'm sorry to say but, Elder Jensen is wrong. Trespassing is trespassing, whether it's civil or criminal. What is the action that should be taken with trespassers? They should be removed from the area in which they are trespassing and placed back in their place of origin. That is VERY compassionate and humane if you ask me. Try to be an immigrant from Guatemala and trespass into Mexico via the southern border, you'll most likely be shot and killed on the spot. If they want to attend church fine but I don't think they should be baptized here or given temple recommends because they are living a life of lies and deceit (not very "Christlike"). If they want to go to temple, there's a nice one in Mexico City they can attend.

  • Al D.
    Feb. 15, 2008 9:30 a.m.

    How many temples would be needed if every LDS member was completely honest in how they answered temple recommend questions? Before we point out the visible faults in others, lets take a moment to reflect on our own short comings in being obedient and disciples of Christ.

  • The Raven
    Feb. 15, 2008 9:25 a.m.

    To live and work in this country illegally you have to lie and be deceitful. You have to lie to your employer and use a fraudulent/stolen SS#. And the LDS Church is okay with this? I'm puzzled by these Church leaders who are saying I have to live the commandments and not lie, cheat, or steal. But, if you are an illegal alien then it's okay. Illegal aliens can do whatever they want and they'll be welcomed with open arms. Outrageous!

  • Mr. Jensen
    Feb. 15, 2008 9:16 a.m.

    I doubt Mr. Jensen has much contact with typical illegal immigrants. No doubt there are salt-of-the-earth, church-going families. But does he also consider the gang members? Does he read the news and see the disproportionate crime rates committed by this group? Has he been in two accidents w/ uninsured, illegal immigrants who gave false information (as I have)? Does he live in Rose Park, Glendale or Ogden? I doubt it. It seems that Mr. Jensen, no matter how well intentioned, is out of touch with the practicalities driving this legislation.

  • carl in idaho
    Feb. 15, 2008 9:09 a.m.

    I home teach a lady who is a lead prosecuting attorney for our county. She stated on Monday that at least 70% of our violent crime (across our entire state)is committed by hispanics, most of whom are here illegally. We all pay a huge price for those who come here illegally. And every one of the adults who crosses our borders knows that they are breaking our laws to do it. I wonder what the church would counsel an LDS border agent? Don't stop them because this is really more of a civil issue and its just not right for us to keep them from crossing? Of course the church is not an enforcement agent, but its members right now are left scratching their heads trying to find consistency in this policy. Perhaps it would be easier if we suspended the 12th article of faith and the temple question that deals with honesty. True we have all done things that are wrong. But we repent of those things and move on. The illegals are here in a constant state of wrongness.

  • ME
    Feb. 15, 2008 8:53 a.m.

    I guess I'd better go talk to my Bishop because last time I went to the temple I was late and was speeding, which is breaking the law. But isn't that okay because I was just trying to do the Lords work?

  • lifer
    Feb. 15, 2008 8:46 a.m.

    Who Would Jesus Deport?

  • Re: Concerned
    Feb. 15, 2008 8:48 a.m.

    I can appreciate your fervent desire to obey the law, but have you ever considered if a particular law is moral in itself? Just because it exists in the books does not mean it is beyond reproach. This country's immigration laws _are_ atrocious. They are the broken remains of a corpse of law that hurts everyone much more than it helps anyone.

    We desperately need a comprehensive reform that recognizes not only the economic necessity of orderly immigration, but also the human dignity of those that the current "system" has failed as well.

    I guess, in the final analysis, when you distill your comments we come to this simple question: would you have been the one to bump Rosa Parks from her seat? (She was breaking the law after all.) Sad to say, it sounds like you would have.

  • Joe
    Feb. 15, 2008 8:39 a.m.

    As much as I get angered at the undocumented that has hit and run my car twice this year, and as frustrated as they make me, I agree with the church. This is a world wide church without borders. Let them be baptized, they go home and help continue to establish the kingdom in their own lands.

    I am very much against illegal immigration, but I think the church should take a neutral on this. Good thing we are lead by a living prophet!

  • Beth
    Feb. 15, 2008 8:33 a.m.

    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.

  • Ann Chovie
    Feb. 15, 2008 8:14 a.m.

    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.

  • RE: Mike
    Feb. 15, 2008 8:08 a.m.

    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.

  • prefer illegal and law abiding
    Feb. 15, 2008 7:59 a.m.

    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.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 15, 2008 7:55 a.m.

    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?

  • Mayhem Mike
    Feb. 15, 2008 7:53 a.m.

    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."

  • to JWK
    Feb. 15, 2008 7:40 a.m.

    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.

  • Concerned
    Feb. 15, 2008 7:08 a.m.

    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.

  • Joseph from Oklahoma
    Feb. 15, 2008 6:59 a.m.

    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!"

  • JWK
    Feb. 15, 2008 6:50 a.m.

    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.

  • JWK
    Feb. 15, 2008 6:50 a.m.

    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.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 15, 2008 6:41 a.m.

    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

  • compassion
    Feb. 15, 2008 6:38 a.m.

    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.

  • John in FL
    Feb. 15, 2008 6:04 a.m.

    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".

  • Migra man
    Feb. 15, 2008 5:47 a.m.

    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!

  • Bizman
    Feb. 15, 2008 2:05 a.m.

    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.

  • Mike
    Feb. 15, 2008 1:56 a.m.

    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".

  • CJem
    Feb. 15, 2008 1:23 a.m.

    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.

  • John Lambert
    Feb. 15, 2008 1:24 a.m.

    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.

  • Karen D
    Feb. 15, 2008 12:41 a.m.

    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.