Public Affairs

The Utah Compact: Church of Jesus Christ Official Response (Mormons, LDS)

The Christian Post, speaking of the “Utah Compact” regarding immigration policy, states the following in their report of this policy development:

The new immigration laws in Utah reflect a document called the “Utah Compact” – supported by Utah businesses, the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce, civic groups, and the Mormon Church – which calls for immigration policies that care for the family and is compassionate. It also calls for using law enforcement officers to fight crimes rather than illegal immigrants.

Utah’s more progressive immigration laws despite its highly Republican voting base can be explained by the influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and local businesses. Mormons, who make up about 60 percent of the population, are mostly sympathetic to the plight of illegal immigrants having come in contact with many people from different cultures during their mandatory missionary stints. . .

The Church’s statement regarding the Compact is found at the Newsroom and an excerpt provided below.

As a worldwide church dealing with many complex issues across the globe, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints promotes broad, foundational principles that have worldwide application. The Church regards the declaration of the Utah Compact as a responsible approach to the urgent challenge of immigration reform. It is consistent with important principles
for which we stand:

We follow Jesus Christ by loving our neighbors. The Savior taught that the meaning of “neighbor” includes all of God’s children, in all places, at all times.

We recognize an ever-present need to strengthen families. Families are meant to be together. Forced separation of working parents from their children weakens families and damages society.

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Public affairs representative as local blogger/columnist

Public affairs representative as local blogger/columnist

Continuing the theme of integrating gospel sharing habits into our routines, I like what Dana King has done in St. Louis.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch MormonDana King serves as a Church public affairs representative in her hometown of St. Louis, MO. When her local newspaper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, launched a multi-faith religion blog, Dana decided to get involved. She writes about her Mormon faith while her local colleagues write about their Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, and Protestant faiths.

I see several positive aspects:

  • This encourages greater interfaith understanding, with people you might actually see or know in your community.
  • Because the blog is operated by the local newspaper, it already has an audience and is marketed and advertised.
  • As local search improves, what Dana writes is increasingly likely to be found by an investigator in her area.

I haven’t heard of anyone being called to be a blogger, but this is pretty close. Not that Dana was asked to be a blogger, she simply decided to get involved in this good cause “of [her] own free will”.

Importantly, Dana doesn’t presume to speak for the Church; she simply speaks as an adherent to the faith.

What if a public affairs representative in every community encouraged the local newspaper to start a multi-faith religion blog and began writing about the restored gospel?

P.S. Dana King also blogs for Whitney Johnson’s Know Your Neighbor, which has resources for public affairs representatives.

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