Comments about ‘FAIR: Mormon immigration policy considered at conference’

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Published: Sunday, Aug. 14 2011 9:00 p.m. MDT

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Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT

How many of those who complain about the illegal immigrants being worthy of the temple recommend found themselves being 5mph over the speed limit on their way to church yesterday and slowed down? How many signaled all of their turns properly? How many came to a complete stop at very stop sign? How many would support a law that would attach an electronic device to your car to monitor your traffic violations and deport you to Mexico on your third strike? Why is your zeal for the law the strongest when the law punishes somebody else, but not you?
Should you not be thankful that you do not have to go to Mexico to be a missionary anymore? They come to you, they are your next door neighbors. You can teach them the gospel. All you need to do is find some courage to knock on their door and open your mouth. With that you will develop compassion, and understand through the Spirit the position of the Church on immigration.

Provo, UT

If you don't like the way the Church has counseled us on the immigration issue, perhaps you should go start your own: The Church of the White and Delightsome Ark-Steadiers of the Twelfth Article of Faith.

Henderson, NV

I think there are very many people who underestimate just how unjust our immigration laws are. It's easy for you to sit there and say the law is the law, and until it changes you have to obey it. Think about for a second. You come to this country legally. You establish yourself and your family here. Then the needed paperwork for you to stay in what has now become your home gets tied up in bureacratic red tape. Are you supposed to give up everything to go back and live in squalor? You've played by the rules. You've contributed to society, and now you have to go back and live in hut, because bureaucrat doesn't like the way you filled out your paperwork. This is not just. It is not moral. I find it very hard to judge somebody in this situation. The law needs to be changed. It is priority #1. The change should come before we deport one more person.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

I'm going to ask a question of each of you. Think about before you answer them. It has come to you own personal knowledge that you have 10 illegal aliens in your ward/branch. You have the following breakdown of the families of the ward/branch.

60 hispanics
15 African decent
10 Arab decent
5 American Indians
200 Caucasaions from various countries

Now the question can you pick out the illegals in the ward/branch on just the information provided.

If you can't how do you expect the Bishop, the missionaries and even the Stake President to do it. What happens is that many of don't know who they are until it comes time for their deportation. It is then that we learn a lot more about them than we ever knew. It is then we find out it is our loving Bishop or our Home Teacher or just our closest friend. Does it change our minds of these individuals or do we start petitioning to allow them to stay.

When it happens to you or someone you are close to then the rules and laws change.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

In the biography of President Spencer W. Kimball written by his son, Edward, the following is recorded:

For President Kimball to express an opinion boldly and expect compliance was rare, Francis Gibbons (his personal secretary) remembered an incident because it was so unusual. In a joint meeting of the First Presidency and the Twelve considering whether illegal aliens should be baptized, some of the Brethren expressed the view that as law breakers they should not be baptized. After hearing all the views, President Kimball reportedly said, I think they should be baptized. That ended the discussion.

This must of been before 1979 when I served my mission in New York City and undocumented indivdules were being baptized without complaint.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Follow the prophet."

I am astonished by the automatic assumption that these press releases (click "Immigration: Church Issues New Statement" at the end of the article for an example) are the words of the prophet.

Understand: I do not doubt that the prophet does in fact approve all of these press releases.

But once again: why then does President Thomas S. Monson not attach his name, and the name of his office, to them?

You, oldcougar, may regard an INCOGNITO statement, issued by the Public Affairs Department, as the Mind, Will, and Word of God by Revelation if you want. I will not. If it is good enough to be regarded as such, then it is good enough for Thomas S. Monson to attach his name AND the name of his office to it. He has attached his name to NONE of these press releases!

And, no, that is not rationalization, on my part; rather, that is standard convention: if a spokesman in fact speaks for someone, that spokesman invokes that person's name AND the name of that person's office (in this case, "Thomas S. Monson," and, "President" (Prophet), respectively).

"Thou shalt have NO other Gods before me."

Salt Lake City, UT

When a people's allegiance is to the political party rather than the faith, and give more credence to radical politicians and pundits than to the Lord's mouthpiece, it's a sad time to live in.

Cedar Hills, UT

re:Speak English - USA

Right on. Great comments. There seems to be some murky, fuzzy , language being used regarding illegal immigration and I continue to be confused by it. Certainly there is great pressure from the Mexican govt. on the LDS church to make allowance for illegal immigration or suffer the consequences with temple building and missionary work in Mexico. Truth be told, I think it is this pressure that is at the root of the Church's soft and confusing stance on illegal immigration. There comes a point however where you simply have to do what is right and let the consequences follow. What is right is deporting all illegals immediately regardless of their story AND THEN encouraging them to return the right way and EARN a green card. In other words, uphold the laws of the United States and at the same time offer a hand of friendship to any and all Hispanic LDS members who want to come to here and do so in a lawful way.What are we LDS members saying if we tell our Hispanic LDS brothers and sisters that we will break the law for them because we love them???

Watch Dog
Provo, UT

My concern is that given the fact that we have, in this country, the right to change the law to suit ourselves, we seem to still want to ignore them, when we are not satisfied with them, instead of attempting to change them.

The other thing that concerns me is that we start everyone in the gospel by telling them that the scriptures support and define the church. I don't think we have any business suggesting that there are exceptions.

I would submit that our church leadership can do but a few things:

1. Create new scripture, through revelation, presumably.

2. Modify scripture, through updating, putting a different understanding, etc.

3. They could even delete scripture, it they chose to do so.

In regard to this issue, they have done none of the above, and none of the above options include simply ignoring the 12th AofF, or most of the `34th Section.

When we approach a new convert, we say, here is our scripture, this is what we believe, and this describes the way we live. How many would not call us to task, if they recognized how we behave in this instance?

Cowboy Joe
Encampment, WY

Remember politicians on both sides of the aisle give us the philosophies of men mingled with scriptures. The lds church has spoken and to say other wise is apostatizing from the church. Aren't these the same members who bashed the members of the church who spoke out against Prop 8?

Hypocrisy runs deep with many lds faithful. I believe they were called pharisees and sadducees in the New Testament.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

Latter-day Saints assessing this issue need to be objective and consider personal motives and feelings. Filtering through information and determining the real situation is not easy and may not be totally possible. It is important to realize objectivity can be clouded by personal prejudices. Elder Richard G. Scott gave counsel that is helpful in considering such an emotionally laden topic: The inspiring influence of the Holy Spirit can be overcome or masked by strong emotions, such as anger, hate, passion, fear, or pride. When such influences are present, it is like trying to savor the delicate flavor of a grape while eating a jalapeño pepper. Both flavors are present, but one completely overpowers the other. In like manner, strong emotions overcome the delicate promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Those who take "the Holy Spirit for their guide" will not be deceived.

Newport Beach, CA

Previous fears about European immigration may or may not have been "irrational." Certainly the Great Wave of pre-1921 immigration didn't wreck the country. On the other hand, there was a 40-year near-moratorium on immigration, during which those immigrants -- many of them low-skilled, with often drastically different cultural assumptions than Americans -- were assimilated.

Left-liberals argue strenuously that modern, Mexican-dominated immigration patterns are just the same as Great Wave immigration patterns. Sure, there are some similarities. There are similarities in everything. But -- for curiosity's sake -- could they try and think of some differences, as well?

For one thing, Great Wave immigrants were assimilated (with the help of the aforementioned pause in mass immigration) into an America that still had civilizational self-confidence. Modern Howard Zinn-fed left-liberalism propagandizes for a narrative of traditional American culture into which no decent person should aspire to assimilate.

Just as Californians migrating to Utah tend to make Utah more like the California the Californians left, so Mexicans migrating to the United States can't help but make the United States more like the Mexico the immigrants were impelled to leave. That's not a good thing.

w bountiful, ut

@ Esquire

Yes indeed there are inconsistencies. I was taking issue with your implied position that it is aceptable to pick and choose the laws that we need to obey. You exploded my response to suggest civil disobedience and conscience based adherence trumps the 12th AOF which is the cited genesis of these postings.

I did not imply that moral inconsistencies didn't exist or have merit in this discussion. I do challenge the "pick and choose" obedience position. Your choosing to go 85 mph in a 55 zone does endanger me (example only).

As for the BOM reference, it was merely an observation that our current immigration difficulty may have another basis, if you accept the BOM as your ethical compass.

And lastly, you used Hitler's Germany as an example of blindly following governmental law. I contend that the example is inaptly rendered in the case of the issue discussed here. The US isn't taking over the region. Quite the opposite, the US is allegedly defending its own borders. 180* different.

The Deuce
Livermore, CA

The article makes some very good points and is logically written by a person who knows the law and has the experience. I am still wondering how a person who has illegally entered into this country (breaking the law) is able to secure a temple recommend and serve in a position of leadership within the LDS Church. These things do not seem to go together from what I know of the LDS faith. If a person cannot be truthful about answering questions whether or not they are honest in their dealings with others and also cannot answer correctly about sustaining the law, what does that say about the need for a temple recommend? It seems to me that everything else is based upon how you answer these questions. There was an issue over the past few months of a couple of branch presidents in Utah who ran into problems with ICE. How did the LDS Church respond to this, knowing that these individuals were breaking the law. As a person on the outside looking in, this brings up alot of questions. Any comments?

Let's be real
Salt Lake City, UT

Obviously I was not there when Joseph Smith penned the Articles of Faith. So I do not specifically know what he meant with the 12th article. Here is what it means to me: 1. We are subject to kings, rulers etc. 2. Kings, rulers etc are expected to be honest, integrous, to serve their people. 3. Kings, rulers rarely are totally or sometimes never are honest, integrous, in serving the people. Eventually nearly all will serve a few and always themselves. 4. I do not think for even one minute that Joseph Smith meant that we blindly and whole-heartedly sustain kings, rulers etc who are evil. 5. He was alive and surely knew about our constitution that outlines what happens to evil people. 6. We have elections and other methods that evil people can be tossed out if we hold the line. 7. Illegal immigration falls into not sustaining the law, therefore not following the 12th Article of Faith. 8. I think that we as Mormons are not looking to embrace illegal immigration but rather the legal and jusifiable law. 9. If you are here illegal, I do not see how you can say that you are Mormon.

Idaho Coug
Meridian, Idaho

Cowboy Joe said - "Aren't these the same members who bashed the members of the church who spoke out against Prop 8?"

So true!

And Patriot said - "Truth be told, I think it is this pressure that is at the root of the Church's soft and confusing stance on illegal immigration."

Umm, I don't know how many times people have criticized others in these comment sections for believing the changes in polygamy and blacks/Priesthood were due to political or outside pressures. It would be interesting Patriot to know if you feel the Church gave into pressure regarding those changes as well?

Do others see the incredible irony here where some of the more liberal/prone to doubt posters are having to remind the die-hards to follow the Prophet?

Bill in Nebraska - I haven't always agreed with you but I must say you seem to be someone who makes sure his views are in line with the Church on all things. You have had to knock heads with the doubters on some issues and now it looks like you will have to do the same with the supposed die-hards.

Maybe we are ALL really cafeteria Mormons!

Santa Clara, UT

The simple solution is LEGAL immigration. No one has a problem with that and no laws are broken. Simple! Viva Legal Immigration.

Fred Vader
Oklahoma City, OK

As I mentioned earlier, I do think the temple questions have relevance on whether or not someone should be given a temple recommend, especially the question regarding honesty. That being said, as another poster mentioned, it is a question/answer session, not an interrogation. If the individual answers that they are being honest, then the Bishop/Stake President will likely take them at their word. Just curious as to how they deal with it if the individual says "yes" but the Bishop/Stake President does know they are here illegally. Has the church decided this is not dishonest, or are we justifying the sin to save the sinner?

On baptism, I agree with Spencer W. Kimball. They should be allowed to be baptized. Baptism is for all of us sinners. But, usually the church doesn't allow baptism where they know the sinner will continue to sin (i.e. unwed couples living together).

Apparently violating a country's immigration laws is not considered a sin by the church. Which is ok with me, but maybe that is how the church should phrase it, and be a little more honest in the approach, if that is indeed the case.

South Jordan, UT

I appreciate the fact that the church allows branch presidents and missionaries to serve within the United States even though the church knows they aren't here legally. It's pretty obvious that the church is, in effect, stating that legal status isn't nearly as important as any number of other things, and that it's no barrier in serving God, even in an official capacity. It's unfortunate that many members of the church place their politics over their religion when condemning those who aren't here legally.

Orem, UT

It seems to me that the following is a common interpretation of the 12th article of faith:

"We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law; and we demand that all others be equally observant or submit to our justice."

As opposed to this:

"We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law; and if others fail to do so (including ourselves from time to time), we will nevertheless show charity and mercy toward them."

The first interpretation is worthy of John Calvin, the man who thought that as soon as a person is born into this world, it's already too late to save him. Such an outlook is intolerant, inconsiderate, jealous, rigid and totalitarian. Ah yes, it is a straight gate and a narrow path, is it not? Let all who stray suffer the consequences.

The second interpretation is, I submit to you, actually Christian.

Let us not allow our scriptures to interfere with our Christianity.

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