LDS Church has duty to protect missionaries

As the angst continues to swirl within Utah Republican circles over the LDS Church’s increasingly apparent support of the Legislature’s package of immigration bills that includes a guest-worker provision, there is an elephant-in-the-room component that everyone seems to be missing.

The LDS Church has as big a stake in this debate as any institution or association. Therefore, despite those who cry foul over the church’s support of more humanitarian solutions than an Arizona-style enforcement-only law, church officials and lobbyists not only had a right to get involved at the legislative level, it had an obligation to do so.

Approximately 16,000 LDS missionaries currently are serving in Latin America — about 3,600 in Mexico alone. The legislators who criticize the church’s involvement claim that a large percentage of the immigrant Mormon converts living in Utah are here illegally.

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