A recent article by the Associated Press (AP) features a couple of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints criticizing Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for his stance on illegal immigration.
The article “Latino Mormons speaking out against Romney,” which have been reproduced with almost no variation by several news outlets, states that a “growing number of vocal Hispanic Mormons say they intend to use Mormon teachings as a reason to convince others not to vote for Romney.”
Celia Recinos member of the Los Angeles sixth ward in California said, in response to those Latino Mormons who oppose Romney that, “the candidate stand is in accordance to Church teachings that as members of the church we must obey and respect the laws of the country. Recinos added that “although many Latino Mormons do not completely agree with his platform on illegal immigration, they will still vote for him because his economic policies will benefit, not only Hispanics but for all the people in the country.
“Recinos, who is a junior at California State University Dominguez Hills, also said “there is a range of other issues that are at stake in our country in this election, and focusing only in immigration will only help the incumbent be re-elected and we should not allow that to happen. Recinos believes Romney will be a great president.
This is not atypical among LDS members. Church officials encourage all members to participate in the political process, but the Church never endorses a candidate or political party. As result there are Mormons that belong and run for office in both major parties en America. The perfect examples are pre candidate Mitt Romney running for the Republican Party’s nomination and Harry Reid, the senate majority leader who belongs to the Democratic Party (both Mormons)
The Church has a policy of Political Neutrality, but individual members are free to join any party they want and support or oppose any candidate they want. A letter by the First Presidency, the governing body of the Church, states that “principles compatible with the gospel may be found in the platforms of the various political parties.”