SALT LAKE CITY — Two days after decrying racism and calling for peace and compassion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offered a stronger statement condemning white supremacist attitudes, saying they "are morally wrong and sinful."
“It has been called to our attention that there are some among the various pro-white and white supremacy communities who assert that the church is neutral toward or in support of their views. Nothing could be further from the truth," Tuesday's church statement begins.
"In the New Testament, Jesus said, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' (Matthew 22:37-39) The Book of Mormon teaches 'all are alike unto God' (2 Nephi 26:33).
"White supremacist attitudes are morally wrong and sinful, and we condemn them. Church members who promote or pursue a 'white culture' or white supremacy agenda are not in harmony with the teachings of the church.”
Sunday's original statement from the LDS Church followed Saturday's rally in Virginia that resulted in deadly violence.
The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City also issued a statement on Monday condemning racism.
"The Diocese of Salt Lake City is deeply troubled by the events in Charlottesville and the mentality that leads to such actions. White supremacy and racism in all its forms denies the dignity and sanctity of life. We urge all people of good will to recognize that race and ethnicity are part of who we are, but do no render any individual or group superior to another.
"We must strive to love one another as Christ loves us; to love all of our neighbors as ourselves, and to put that love into concrete action against violence, hatred and injustice."