Thursday, April 02, 2009

LDS Church and the missionary effort

An interesting piece from Arizona on the LDS missionary effort in the illegal alien community:

"Latinos overwhelmingly are raised Catholic, but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is aggressively reaching out to them by touting the religion's heavy focus on family and community, pillars of the Mormon faith that are also at the center of Hispanic culture.
As a result, Latinos are joining the Mormon Church at a greater rate than members of any ethnic group, even Anglos, church leaders say. " . . .

"Some state lawmakers, on the other hand, are trying to drive illegal immigrants out of Arizona.
(Sen. Russell ) Pearce said his immigration legislation, including the state's 15-month-old employer-sanctions law, is rooted in the Mormon
Church's 13 Articles of Faith.
"We believe in laws and the sustaining and obeying of the laws of the land," Pearce said.
At the same time, Pearce said he is sympathetic toward illegal immigrants.
"I tell you, most of these are good people," he said. "But you are still taking jobs from Americans, suppressing wages and breaking the law. We can't tolerate that."
Still, he doesn't believe Mormons are undermining his efforts by reaching out to Latinos.
"They are not providing sanctuary policies for them, unlike some folks who hide behind their religious status and are (promoting) sanctuary policies. This church simply doesn't ask (about immigration status)."
Some Mormons, though, think the Pearce-led crackdown hurts immigrant families, including the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants, and goes against the Mormon faith's emphasis on families and compassion.
Pearce's role in the immigration legislation has fueled perceptions that the Mormon Church is behind the crackdown.
Wilford Andersen, a member of church's Southwest governing body, said Pearce does not speak for the church.
"Just like any church, there are people with different opinions," Andersen said. "People have the right to disagree on political issues and the right to consider issues carefully and come to their own conclusions, and we respect that, as do other churches."
The church has not taken a position on immigration, Andersen said.
"But we feel it is our responsibility to minister to all of God's children, regardless of (immigration) status," he said.
Immigration has touched off a "quiet revolution" within the Mormon Church, said Garcia, the Brigham Young professor.
The church sees Latinos as the best opportunity for growth because of their numbers and openness to new faiths, but there is resistance from Mormons who tend to be conservative Republicans, he said."

A plethora of comments have been made on the online article.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wilford Andersen, a member of church's Southwest governing body, said Pearce does not speak for the church.

No - KSL and The Deseret News editorial board do, and we we know what they all say. Is there common pro-amnesty stand supposed to be a coincidence?

In addition, the only Church figure to come out publicly on the issue (I figure who it was) came out essentially for amnesty. The Alliance for Unity is also pretty much for amnesty, and that group includes an apostle, Elder Ballard.

The Church is being coy, but it's not doing a very good job of hiding its views. The LDS Church leadership is very tight with its wealthiest members - Earl Holding, Ellis Ivory, Ira Fulton, Richard Peery, the Marriotts - and they tend to operate businesses (real estate, hotels) that particularly benefit from mass immigration, legal or illegal.

The church sees Latinos as the best opportunity for growth because of their numbers

Indeed. Net conversions in developed countries are near zero. Mestizos are one of the few groups joining anymore, and the Church would rather they do that in the USA, where their tihing payments will be significantly higher and where the Church's public profile in its home country will grow larger.

I am a lapsed Mormon who has never had strong feelings against the Church until I realized how strongly they have fallen behind the amnesty movement. They are willing to destroy this country if it will help their membership rolls to grow. That they would deliberately advocate breaking the law should worry any sincere member.