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The Mormon Church and Illegal Immigration

April 1, 2011
By Ronald W. Mortensen

In this Backgrounder, the author, a member of the LDS church, writes that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church) regards Christ as head of the church and considers members to be Christians.

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In this Backgrounder, the author, a member of the LDS church, writes that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church) regards Christ as head of the church and considers members to be Christians. Unlike many religious organizations that clearly and candidly stake out their positions on illegal immigration, however, the LDS Church officially takes no position on this highly divisive issue. This pleases neither those who oppose illegal immigration nor those who support it.

Members who oppose illegal immigration fear that the Church is abandoning its traditional, unwavering support of the rule of law. They also express concern that the Church appears to be biased in favor of illegal immigrants and that it is increasingly taking positions that weaken the rule of law and move the Church closer to a social justice position. At the same time, the proponents of illegal aliens express frustration over the Church’s failure to officially declare its support in favor of illegal immigrants, especially since the Church actively proselytizes among illegal aliens and has a large and growing illegal alien membership.

In order to understand the reason for the LDS Church’s reluctance to clearly articulate its policy on illegal immigration, it is necessary to understand the unique nature of the LDS Church and its evolution from a largely American institution to a worldwide church since its founding on April 6, 1830, in Fayette, N.Y.

 

 


Ronald W. Mortensen, PhD, is a retired career U.S. Foreign Service Officer and member of the LDS Church.

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