The LDS Church issued a strong statement on religious freedom and pluralism Tuesday as debate raged in American presidential politics about Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
The church’s statement did not refer to the presidential candidate, but it drew on two statements by church founder Joseph Smith to reaffirm its longstanding position of support for religious pluralism.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is neutral in regard to party politics and election campaigns,” the statement said. “However, it is not neutral in relation to religious freedom.”
It said the two statements by Joseph Smith are consistent with the church’s position.
In 1843, Smith said: “If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a ‘Mormon,’ I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist or a good man of any denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves. It is a love of liberty which inspires my soul — civil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race.”
To read the full article on Deseret News, click here.