The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) position on illegal migrants is akin to the Catholic viewpoint. Compassion and human dignity are precepts that guide the leadership’s public statements. According to an article written by Peggy Fletcher Stack for the Salt Lake Tribune in January of 2008, the congregation’s conflicting attitudes on illegal immigration is reflected as follows:

Though many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including presidential candidate Mitt Romney, take a hard-line view of any people in the country illegally, others believe kindness fits better with the church's beliefs about treating strangers as if they were Jesus himself. They say a compassionate stance also is less hypocritical for the church, whose early members were almost all immigrants. Today, many of Utah's estimated 100,000 undocumented immigrants likely are LDS. The church remains neutral on immigration legislation, said spokesman Scott Trotter, but it does send missionaries among undocumented immigrants, baptizing many of them without ever asking about their status. It also allows them to go to the temple and on missions.

This article goes on to say, “Mormons who argue that undocumented workers should not be rewarded for breaking the law often cite the church's 12th Article of Faith, which says members believe in obeying the law.”

The article quotes an LDS immigration attorney, Rebecca van Uitert, who counters that argument by writing that “the command to love your neighbor should outweigh the failure to get the right papers.” Needless to say, this is a remarkable statement coming from a person sworn to uphold the law.

Once again one sees another congregation torn by the immigration struggle with the church hierarchy trying to weave its way through a political thicket, while delicately attempting to balance compassion for the dispossessed and respect for the law.

Is it any different with the Baptists?

Continue to The Southern Baptist Convention or return to Immigration: A Noble Notion Gone Bad.