Comments about ‘A faith divided: Opinions on illegal immigration vary among Utah's Mormons’

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Published: Sunday, Jan. 2 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

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Stockton, UT

Obey the law. If you wish to come to this nation, come in the front door, LEGALLY. Learn our language, assimilate into our culture, obey our laws, and renounce all foreign loyalties.

And active LDS ought to consider the official counsel of the LDS Church in terms of NOT emigrating to the USA and Utah, but instead improving their lives, communities, and strengthening the church where they live.

Every person who claims some "moral" or "religious" obligation to ignore immigration laws, or to grant amnesty (by whatever name), or actually open our borders and allow unlimited numbers in, has opened the door for religious/moral arguments to be used in every political debate. If you attempt to beat me with what you think God and/or Jesus requires me to do relative to immigration, then my religious views are perfectly appropriate in the political arena in issues like alcohol, the definition of marriage, what is considered indecent conduct in public, and so on.

While my moral and religious views inform my political views, I make certain that I argue and can defend my political views from a secular, rational position.

Cris B.
Sandy, UT

Obeying the law is good. Breaking the law is bad. Not too complicated

Iowa City, IA

Sadly, there are people who make decisions that cause harm to their families. I am concerned for anyone who knowingly makes a choice that may result in separation from their family. Perhaps those people should consider making different choices.

The greatest tragedy caused by illegal immigration is the deteriorating conditions abroad. Suffering abroad will only increase as those who want a better life leave their countrymen instead of working to improve conditions.

Most Truthful and Patriotic
Layton, UT

May I gently propose the root cause of the divide?

On one hand, you have the Church (rightfully urging its members to be charitable towards all).

On the other hand, you have LDS member Glenn Beck ranting against "illegals" and calling them "terrorists" and lawbreakers who are ruining our country.

The solution is obvious:

The LDS Church must stand up against the powerful Mr Beck, who many believe is planning a breakaway, even more conservative fundamental sect.

The danger to your Church, my LDS friends and neighbors, is from wealthy members within.

Stockton, UT

It is entirely compassionate, humane, charitable, and kind to require that those breaking the law stop doing so. To impose no civil or criminal penalty is beyond generous.

Jesus told the woman taken in adultery, "Go. And sin no more."

He did not say, "Go back to your paramour and continue your sinful conduct."

Those who have entered or remain in our nation illegally need to leave. They can apply for legal entry like everyone else. That they may not be granted such permission, or that permission may take some time to obtain is not a moral or other justification to violate our laws.

We may well should change some of our immigration laws. But those changes should be made for the good of our nation and our citizens, first and foremost. And, it will be impossible to make any changes until the government proves to the citizens that the border is secure and that real interior enforcement is taking place.

At least 1 BILLION persons worldwide would come to the USA if they could. We cannot take them all. And there is no reason to favor those who can walk here over others in those we do admit.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Compassion is a worthy virtue but it doesn't trump the law. If we're going to be truly compassionate perhaps we should open our flood gates and allow all the world's hungry and poor to enter.

I would think that in the eyes of the liberals it would be blatant discrimination to only allow the poor and hungry from Mexico to cross our border.

C. Darwin
Sandy, UT

opinions vary,yes, however the opinion of the majority is expected to be supportrd as the rule of law. We are a democratic republic. Therefore, illegal lawbreakers must return to their birth countries and follow the will of the majority of legal American citizens. No more excuses or opinions are necessary.

jim l
West Jordan, UT

Yes, the majority of people here in utah want something done similar to what arizona did. When the effects of illegal immigration start affecting your pocketbook, it begins to become very important.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

At least let us not admit HIV positive individuals, those with tuberculosis and other contagious diseases. Those with postgraduate degrees I would give a green card. Those with felony convictions should be deported. Those serving 2 years in the armed services should also get a green card.

West Chester, OH

Members' opinions may be divided, but the Church's position could be clear! Remember that pesky 12th article of faith. There is a LAW against illegal immigration. Every other country on earth aggressively enforces that law and protects their borders, especially Mexico. The 12th article faith is clear, "illegal" immigrants are illegal and are breaking the law. There is plenty of room for compassionate, legal immigration. Compassion never has a place in encouraging law breaking!

Iowa City, IA

It would be unwise to create an incentive to enter the US without being screened for deadly diseases, criminal histories and/or terrorist ties. This is why our country has established a legal immigration process.

Cedar Hills, UT

One can be compassionate (feel compassion)toward the illegals and still send them home. I feel for them, I'm sorry their home country is not like the USA, but I do not support them coming here illegally.

Richard Saunders
Provo, UT

Those of you LDS who keep harping about "obeying the law" should remember that being an illegal immigrant does not prevent someone from being baptized or serving an LDS mission. If it does not prevent you from serving a mission, it can't be the greivous sin, at least according to the Brethren, that some of you make it out to be. Let us worry about ourselves a little more, and not cast stones at our brothers and sisters, for they are our brothers and sisters.

Provo, UT

I'm so tired of people responding so simplistically to this complex issue by smugly saying "Obey the law. Enough said." Because what we're talking about here is CRAFTING the law, and CREATING laws that are fair and just. It's not just about enforcement, because if the law we're enforcing is itself out of touch with reality, self-righteous citations of the 13th Article of Faith serve only to justify selfish and hateful attitudes.

I like the way Elder Marlin K. Jensen put it: it doesn't do much good to simply say "obey the law" when the law itself is already broken.

Orem, UT

Yes, we should all obey the law, but clearly the law if flawed. Immigrants are needed here in the US; if they weren't, they couldn't get jobs and they wouldn't come here. We should start to realize that immigrants are a resource, a valuable resource, almost a necessary resource, in our present-day economy. So lets change the laws. Let's live by what made this country great: Give me your tired, your poor,"Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Harrisville, UT

Always amusing to watch people manipulate religious tenets to justify stuff.

The law defines violation of immigration law as on par with rolling a stop sign, speeding, etc. It's truly shocking to see the penalties that so many of you demand be exacted upon illegal immigrants who've done absolutely nothing wrong other than commit an infraction of that degree.

The penalty needs to be commensurate with the infraction. Deporting a father, whose wife and children are familiar only with the U.S., seems like a bizarre and perverted application of justice.

Sandy, UT

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

How are we sustaining the law if we are allowing illegal immigration? Sandstrom does get it.

If we can overlook illegal immigration then we can over look everything else right? Having help two people legally immigrate to the USA I am aware of how difficult and expensive it can be. I am empathetic to those who do not have the resources to do it legally. But ignoring the laws of this land are not the fix. Fix the law, don't ignore it.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Richard Saunders:

Just because church leaders turn a blind eye doesn't mean it's OK or that the baptism is valid. It may be recognized in this life however it will not be recognized in the next.

As for going on a mission, you are wrong. The church cannot send somebody outside the country that is here illegally. The church can't even send somebody they know is illegal to serve a mission as that itself is illegal.

Why don't you find out how many people you can find that can't get a temple recommend because they are a month behind in their child support payments? Then go and confront your bishop/stake president and make your same argument.

Murray, UT

There is nothing to debate here at all. The 12th article is either something we believe in or we don't. The Church handbook also clearly states that members should stay in the own countries and if they do immigrate they should do so LEGALLY following all the relevant laws. There is no equivocation on this at all. Illegal immigrants break the law by crossing the border, they usually steal an ID (from kids), they lie about their status, steal a job from an American,incur hospital bills they don't pay, and send their kids to schools that we all pay for.
The net effect of all this is nothing short of the wholesale looting of the state and national treasuries. What little they pay in taxes (if they even do) is the equivalent of stealing a dollar and paying back a penny. How can anyone argue that this isn't a clear cut issue? If we did the same to Mexico and sent 20 million Americans down there the church would certainly come out against that wouldn't they? Stand for your principles please or quit preaching them.

Brer Rabbit
Spanish Fork, UT

LDS Church members are about the same as non-Mormons concerning illegal immigration. 3 out of 4 Mormons oppose illegal immigration, but fear that it makes them look like they oppose the LDS Church if they make their feelings known. That is about the same ratio as non-LDS that really don't care what the LDS Church thinks. So, Mormons are hesitant to speak up publicly.

Many members of the LDS Church are confused concerning the "Official LDS Church Position," which is a position of "neutrality." The members get confused when they see the Church enabling illegal immigrants in Utah.

Many Church members see the Church providing support and enabling illegal immigration as a violation of the 12th Article of Faith, "...honoring and sustaining the law..." Many see this as hypocrisy which cause them to struggle with their faith.

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