Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remind its leadership to steer clear of politics
June 29th, 2011
03:39 PM ET

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remind its leadership to steer clear of politics

By Padmananda Rama, CNN

(CNN)– The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is reminding its leaders to stay away from endorsing political candidates or offering political statements.

In a letter dated June 16. LDS President Thomas S. Monson provided LDS members with "further clarification of the church's position on political neutrality."

The letter comes at the early stages of the 2012 presidential campaign in which two Republican contenders - former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman - both have strong affiliations with the Mormon church.

"General officers of the Church and their spouses and other ecclesiastical leaders serving full-time should not personally participate in political campaigns," read an excerpt from the letter posted on the LDS official website. The statement goes on to explain this applies to fundraising, financial contributions and endorsements.

Church leaders see the letter as a reiteration of a long-standing policy.

"We've had the political neutrality statement on the website for a number of years, so this is merely a further restatement of policy and practice," LDS spokesman Dale Jones told CNN.

Many religious faiths advise leaders to stay away from political endorsements. Political activity from the pulpit could jeopardize a faith's tax exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service.

The LDS policy also distances itself from the decisions of elected representatives. "Elected officials who are Latter-day Saints make their own decisions and may not necessarily be in agreement with one another or even with a publicly stated church position," the policy explains.

One example is Huntsman, who while governor of Utah signed a law introducing civil unions for gay couples. The church formally opposes same-sex unions.

In the U.S. Senate there are two powerful senators who are Mormons but sit on either side of the aisle. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Sen. Orin Hatch, R-Utah, are both members of the church.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Jon Huntsman • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics • United States • Utah

soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. cna schools

    certainly like your web-site but you have to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very troublesome to tell the reality nevertheless I will certainly come again again.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:27 am |
  2. aydusa


    December 9, 2011 at 5:22 am |
  3. Sammy

    Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Coptics, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, members of the Church of Christ, and many other Christians do not believe in once saved always saved, and salvation by grace alone. Therefore, the majority of Christians are not Evangelical or even Protestant. Evangelicals in the United States need to stop pretending that they represent all Christians.

    July 14, 2011 at 1:50 am |
  4. James Black


    July 5, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Gary Krause

      Mormon's have the strongest family values that I have seen in modern times. They believe in duty to God and duty to country, so most all Mormon's have gone abroad on two year missions and then afterward also served in the military. They often start their families while in the military and still have time to do service to the church!

      Gary Krause
      Cherry Hill Pennsylvania

      July 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Gary Krause

      Mormon's believe in duty to God and duty to country. They have the strongest family values that I have seen in modern times and most all Mormon's have gone abroad on two year missions afterwhich they also serve in the military. They often start their families while in the military and still have time to do service to the church!

      Gary Krause
      Cherry Hill Pennsylvania

      July 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  5. Kathryn

    I was with the LDS church but that all changed. I needed some help with my son with a serious problem, but no one even answered me. When I lost my sister to cancer and then my mother (two months later) no one did a thing to help me try and get through that difficult time. They are really friendly to you when they want money! They forget you when you need help! I no longer consider myself a church member.

    July 5, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Sammy

      I have been in wards where Mormons care, and in wards where they do not care. I am very sorry that you had a bad experience. If you can afford it, and it is possible, you might want to try another ward. It worked for me.

      July 14, 2011 at 1:53 am |
  6. New Mormon

    I cannot believe the ignorance I am reading. The article just reminds the LDS members not to get into politics because they are corrupt. The church and their followers are Christian, they believe in the attonment of Jesus Christ. They do not follow satan in ANY way and we follow the Bible as well as the Book of Mormon, which has nothing about following satan or anything against the will of God. Please do your research before bashing a religion you know nothing about, who's followers are better people over-all than you bashers. May God Bless his true followers. Amen.

    July 5, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  7. rob

    This bigoted hate organization should have sent out this reminder before entering politics in the Prop. 8 campaign. Why is this cult not forced to pay taxes when it clearly engages in political activity?

    July 3, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Sammy

      Churches can get involved in issues. They are not suppose to get involved in endorsing candidates or political parties. I believe the LDS church got in trouble in proposition 8 over some disclosure isssues, not for being involved in the issue itself. I tell you what Rob. When all unions, corporations, schools, pacs, and other enities are not allowed to get involved in political issues, I will agree with you about churches not being involved.

      July 14, 2011 at 1:59 am |
  8. WonderSpring

    Mormons can get saved only by trusting in the atoning death of the Divine Savior Jesus on the cross for the remission of sins, not in their good works, for humanity's good works cannot redeem a single soul. Read Ephesians chapter 2. Read the Bible yourself, Mormons. Stop being brainwashed by the false, un-Christian doctrines.

    July 3, 2011 at 8:03 am |
    • wondering

      I am sorry that someone may not have been the best example of what we are taught. I was always taught that Faith (just believing) without works (doing good) was dead. One verse of a song we sing alway sticks in my head, (I am writing from memory so it may not be exact, but I am sure you can google it..."Have I done any good in the world today? have I helped anyone in need? Have I cheered up the sad, ,and made someone feel glad? If not I have failed indeed. Was someone burdens made lighter today, because I was willing to care, did the sick and the weary, get helped on their way, when they needed my help was I there? Then wake up and do something more, than dream of your mansions on high, doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure a service of duty and love."

      I better get moving, I have more volunteer indexing to do!

      July 3, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Mark247

      Mormons do believe in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the only way to receive remission of sins. You should go to one of their services and we should stop all the division among Christ followers.

      July 3, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Odessa

      Mormonism doesn't believe the Divinity of Jesus Christ which is essential in His atoning work. Mormonism disagrees with the Bible teachings in many ways. For example, just read Psalm 90:2, Isaiah 43:10, 44:6-8, I John 4:1, Deuteronomy 13:1-5 including the surrounding context. These are just handfuls among many false doctrines of Mormonism.

      July 4, 2011 at 2:32 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.