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Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Role of The LDS Church in Utah's Politics



The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints just passed a pro-LGBT piece of legislation in Utah. 

Does that sound odd to you? It does to me, but it is essentially true.

For years, there have been those in the Utah legislature who have pushed for statewide legislation that would prevent businesses and landlords from prohibiting homosexuals from working at their business or renting a home from them; they called it a “statewide anti-discrimination” bill.

And for years the legislation failed.

Year after year the bill sponsor would bring the bill forward simply to have it die before it got off the ground, but this year was different. This year the most powerful entity in the state of Utah, the LDS Church, endorsed the legislation.

This year the legislation passed.

Having served in the Utah legislature, I have been asked several times what role the LDS Church really plays when it comes to Utah politics, and until now I have remained largely silent. While in the legislature I was a faithful member of the LDS Church; to speak of things that might bring embarrassment to the church would have been unwise, not to mention political suicide. Today, the issue is very topical with the recent passage of the pro-LGBT legislation, and I feel it is time to break the silence and provide some insight.

Carl with LDS Apostle L. Tom Perry; 2011 at Dulles Airport


A common question from people is whether or not the LDS Church leadership gets whatever they want when it comes to Utah politics, and the answer is a resounding, “Yes; if the LDS Church wants something in Utah politics, they get it.

To be absolutely fair, they rarely want things badly enough to engage openly.  The church is very selective regarding the legislation they engage.  This is due to the fact that because most of Utah’s legislators are LDS members, the majority of legislation already aligns with the LDS Church position without their influence.  During the three terms I served in the Utah House of Representatives, I was only approached twice by the LDS lobbyists for a vote.  

John Taylor and Bill Evans are full-time employees of the LDS Church and their job is to monitor the Utah Government, and to act as the paid lobbyists on behalf of the church. They regularly meet with legislators behind closed doors, (as do other lobbyists, this is nothing nefarious or unusual,) to push the agenda of their employer.

When the LDS lobbyists contact a legislator, the conversation goes like this:

We are here to discuss such-and-such bill. We have received our orders “directly from the top,” and we want you to vote for this bill.

They mention that they received their orders “from the top,” so that the legislator would know unequivocally that the LDS Church’s First Presidency sent them.

The first piece of legislation they contacted me about dealt with alcohol. For better or worse, it is an unarguable fact that legislation regarding alcohol never gets passed without the express consent of the LDS Church. They control all changes to the state alcohol laws.

In 2008, SB 211 was proposed to remove “flavored malt beverages” from grocery stores and place them for sale in state liquor stores only. The day the bill was to be heard in the House of Representatives, I was summoned to the hall, where I was met by the LDS lobbyists. They gave me the “from the top” introduction, and then asked me to support the bill. I told them no. Although not a drinker, I simply could not bring myself to take a profit-producing legal product out of the hands of private business owners and give it to the state to sell. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now.

Keep in mind, that in 2008 I was a faithful Mormon with a current temple recommend, and had only recently been released from my LDS leadership position as an Elders Quorum President. To tell my church leaders “no,” was anathema to how I was raised. As I turned to walk back into the chambers, one of the lobbyists said to me, “Don’t worry, voting against us will not affect your church membership status,” I was relieved.

SB 211 passed.

Learning how powerful the LDS Church was politically, several pro-life legislators and I set up a meeting in my office with the two LDS Church lobbyists. Our intention was to recruit the LDS Church in the battle for the right-to-life.  For weeks we had worked on legislation that would prove to make Utah the leader in the fight against abortion.  We presented our idea and expressed our eagerness to have the LDS church help in the fight to pass a bill that had failed the year before. They turned us down flat, telling us that “the First Presidency has made it clear to them that they will not engage on abortion issues.” 

We asked them why they had come out so strongly on alcohol use, but would not engage in the fight for the life of a baby. And in what can only be described as a brief, unguarded moment, the head lobbyist expressed his confusion as to the apparent misappropriation of priorities, but they stuck to their guns. 

Then came 2011; the year my rose colored glasses regarding the LDS Church got scratched a bit.

HB116 was an extremely controversial bill dealing with illegal immigration and proposed issuing state worker cards to illegal immigrants. For at least two weeks prior to the final passage of HB116, the two church lobbyists practically lived in the back halls of the state capitol and in the office of house leadership. I was vocally opposed to the legislation, but was still contacted repeatedly by both lobbyists who attempted to change my opposition. The calls became frequent enough from the LDS Lobbyists, that I stopped taking them.

What bothered me most was when my local ecclesiastical leader contacted me and attempted to persuade me to vote for the bill as well. When I asked him, “Who from the Church headquarters had asked you to contact me?” he simply confirmed that he had been asked, but would not say by whom. 

The night HB116 was debated for final passage was insane. There was intensity I had never felt before or after on the house floor. It was the intensity that comes only from political bullying, and it killed me to know that this time the “bully” was my own church.

I was approached by a younger representative who was on the verge of tears. He expressed to me that he had just gotten out of a “PPI meeting” and asked if I had had mine yet.  I knew what he meant and I was sorry for him. 

A legitimate “PPI” or “Personal Priesthood Interview” is conducted within the confines of the LDS Church. It is an ecclesiastical meeting between an LDS leader and a male member under their “authority.” When I was an Elders Quorum President, I held PPI’s with the elders under my charge.  A PPI is used to check on the spiritual welfare of the man being interviewed, and to make sure they are on the “straight and narrow.”  But that is not what this legislator meant…

What he had just experienced was an intense, closed-door meeting with select members of house leadership and the LDS Church lobbyists who made it abundantly clear that when HB116 came up for a vote, he was to support the bill, period.

Sometimes, if the legislator felt strongly enough about the legislation, they would allow him to vote against it, but ONLY after the bill had the necessary votes recorded to ensure passage.  This was the deal this particular representative was under, and both he and I knew it. He was clearly shaken and expressed that he had no idea that his “church would do this kind of thing.” I hurt for him.

House leadership was split on HB116, so when I saw a member of house leadership who I knew was opposed to the bill walk onto the house floor, I went up to him and engaged him in conversation. The following is our word-for-word conversation:

Me: Hey, (name of House leader) how much of what is going on tonight regarding HB116 has to do with the LDS church?

Him: All of it; I hate this.

Me: It’s going to pass isn’t it?

Him: Yes, and in fact if the vote is close, I have to vote for it, I have no choice.”

Me: You had a PPI?

Him: Yep…(walks away).

HB116 passed as the LDS Church lobbyists looked on from the gallery.

I was not in the legislature this year, but the look and feel of the passing of HB116 and the current non-discrimination bill are quite the same. One can only guess how many legislators had “PPI’s” before the vote on the church-endorsed LGBT legislation, but there is no doubt in my mind, that as legislators read this blog, one or more of them will know precisely what I am talking about.

So, what role does the LDS Church really play when it comes to Utah politics? From my experience, it all depends on how badly the church wants a specific piece of legislation passed.  

-Carl               

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

The LDS church wrote in exemptions to every part of the pro-LGBT bill so that it could continue to discriminate as it pleases. This was in no way an anti-discrimination bill, it allowed discrimination to continue from the very people who it should be aimed at. Of course the LDS church promoted it.

Anonymous said...

There is no individual conscience exception in the bill. An individual running a for profit business can not discriminate regardless of that individuals religion. In fact lds owned businesses such as ksl can not discriminate. Churches CAN discriminate when hiring for ecclesiastical purposes. This is a right that would have been granted by the courts anyways so it was best to just include it in the first place.

Gary Gibson said...

Thank you Carl...

This line was the most depressing to me... It says so much.

They turned us down flat, telling us that “the First Presidency has made it clear to them that they will not engage on abortion issues.”

Anonymous said...

Sorry you are just finding out how the Church works. If you want to know how they have covered up and white washed their messy history, go to http://cesletter.com/. you won't believe all the things they have done

Eve said...

This is very disturbing, especially because I had been under the impression as a missionary and a member that the church stays out of politics.

Anonymous said...

I really hate it when people take something perfectly normal and paint it as dastardly. So what, the LDS church has TWO lobbyists, TWO! Oh my goodness, call the authorities. They have stepped in in matters of humanity. They support anti-discrimination laws and fixing the immigration problems our nation has through compromise. Wow...they are acting just as the founding fathers expected, compromise. I wonder if this man has a problem with the power the NRA wields, or is it just organizations that contradict his own ideas that are awful. We are not Baptists, and we do not live in the bible belt. The church has made its standing on abortion very clear. It doesn't feel the need to intervene any further on a matte that has been protected and defined by the SUPREME COURT. Very frustrating. Extreme conservatives are severely lacking in common sense and very hypocritical.

Roy Hayward said...

Sorry guys, but this sounds like a bunch of sour grapes to me. I am sure that the Church pretty much gets what they want in Utah politics. First, this is Utah, so I don't believe that anyone is waking up and just discovering that its covered with Mormons. Second, I'm also pretty sure that most LDS legislators have no issue or conflict with supporting the laws that are even tacitly endorsed by the Church.

But the final issue I have with this whole line of discussion is that Harry Reid is still a member in good standing. If it were true that memberships were threatened for politics, I don't think Harry would still be one.

Anonymous said...

Carl,

I spent a lot of time at the Capitol this session, and my main concern was the anti-discrimination bill. It was my first time being really heavily involved with anything concerning the Legislature. It was, to say the least, an eye-opening experience.

I am a Baptist pastor in Ogden, and my concern with the issue had more to do with the public sanction of a sexual orientation that God forbids. Once homosexuality is legitimized in our law code, we have officially thrown off the law of God, embracing the consensus views of sexuality. We are now stuck with whatever consensus in the future views as a legitimate sexual orientation, As such, I believe that the LDS church surrendered the most important point on this issue, and I said so over and over at the Capitol - even sending an op-ed piece to the Deseret News (which they refused to publish).

I made that argument with a number of legislators personally, and they agreed with me. But when the bill was changed to SB296, it clearly became about the LDS church, and for the most part, legislators would listen to me, agree with me privately, but then vote for it anyway.

The most revealing conversation came prior to the Senate Committee hearing. That morning, one member of the committee came into the cafeteria and discussed the bill with two of us. We both explained our view of the bill. He looked at me and said, "Pastor, I agree with everything you are saying, but I am going to vote for this bill."

Here is a candid observation of the Legislators regarding SB296. There were of course those who have always supported an anti-discrimination bill, and there were those who stood on principle and would not be bullied into supporting it (like Alvin Jackson, Allen Christensen, Scott Jenkins, Margaret Dayton, etc.). I would divide the rest of the Legislators into two camps: those who have always wanted to support gay rights, and thanks to the stance the LDS church took felt released to do so. They were all too glad for the opportunity. I would put Todd Weiler at the head of that group. And then there were those who voted for the bill, but had the furtive look of someone caught walking out of an adult book store when they did.

Of course, one Senator made a bold statement on the Senate floor - Mark Madsen made it clear that he hated being forced by his church to vote for the bill before he voted for it. I would put him in a class by himself.

I worked very closely with the Utah Eagle Forum throughout the issue. I testified against the bill in both the Senate Committee and in the House Committee. I would guess that there were not as many of what you called "PPI" meetings this time. Things happened too fast, and they used the Press Conference to "prime the pump" this time, preparing the Legislators to accept the final bill when it came. When they had the final bill, they held a second Press Conference, and the message was very clear. I don't believe they needed to rely on the church lobbyists nearly as much - if at all.

I will, however, be asking a few of those I worked with whether that happened.

Thank you for giving such a candid account of happenings on the hill. I learned a lot and a lot made sense from what you have said here. Next year, of course, will be an even worse bill - calling for public accommodations for the LGBT.

Dave Mallinak
Berean Baptist Church
Ogden, Utah
pmallinak@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your article, Carl. This just makes my stomach roil and makes me physically sick! As I've suspected for a long time - there's some dirty, filthy, stinking rot within Zion (and those who pretend to be God's representatives. I'm so disgusted!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. I wish more former and current elected officials would have the courage in Utah to speak out on this issue. I think most former Mormons and non Mormons in the state are well aware of this but I am certain most faithful have no idea this goes on.
I believe we need to end the concept of church and non-profits being tax exempt. The LDS church isn't the only faith the exercise influence over politics, though I think its the only one that controls an entire state.

Anonymous said...

I know several members of the legislature and ALL have complained about the churches interference in politics. While I believe this has always gone on in one form or another, I very much look forward to Monson no longer being president of the church since he is SO brazen in his role in politics!

Anonymous said...

In response to Pastor Mallinak:
"Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and unto God what is God's." Matthew 20:21
Paraphrasing slightly, but you get the gist.
The state laws, however LDS-controlled they may be, are not God's laws and do not restrict you from performing your duties as a pastor. If you must make allowances for LBGT people in public, do so, since you are following the law of the land there. You do not, however, have to accept these people unconditionally.You may refuse them service in your church, not give them blessings, and deny them anything to do with God. That would be giving both the state and God their due.
If a man is a homosexual, the onus is on him to correct his behavior, not Christians. While it is lamentable that he would act in a way that is not Biblically acceptable, it is not the Church's job to fix that man. It is between the man and God.
Being a pastor of a church, I would think that you would know these things, Mr Mallinak. Your response to this article is decidedly unchristian, and I think it would do you some good to read Christ's words on how you should treat those that sin (thinking specifically of Mary Magdalene) and let God deal with those who live in ways that displease Him.

Knotcher said...

Well, the fact that anyone follows the insanity that is the LDS is sad. Why believe in a fairy tale imagined by a known con-artist?

RudiZink said...

Thanks to a former LDS affiiiated Utah State Representative, we now get the unvarnished Truth, Bravo. Mister Wimmer!

Anonymous said...

I noticed that this is the only source for this article. I'm just wondering is there a way to see if Carl was the real author of this. ( just before I post it on my facebook I want it to have legitimacy)

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the church's involvement in politics is very similar to how it was back in the day. This is the story of Frank Cannon who discovered the church's methods of "lobbying" for what they want only it's a bit more heavy handed and undermining that what is described in the above little blog post. http://www.sacred-texts.com/mor/upu/index.htm

Anonymous said...

Its interesting how gulable people are. I thought it would be difficult to insult people's intelligence. My intelligence is insulated with this article. What are you oeople smoking? ?? To believe half truths. The world is a better place because of the LDS church. What else matters

Carl & Sherry Wimmer said...

To anonymous who asked if Carl is the real author of the article: This is Carl and Sherry's (me) blog and are the only two with access. This is the original article, please feel free to share it.

blackrulon said...

Faithful members are taught that anything the LDS church supports is what all members should support. This involves business decisions and policies and political positions. It was interesting to note that the LDS church spoke on liquor laws(reoving the Zion curtain) as being a moral issue but took no stand on clean air or water legisation or Healty Utah legislation.

Anonymous said...

"Its interesting how gulable people are. I thought it would be difficult to insult people's intelligence. My intelligence is insulated with this article. What are you oeople smoking? ?? To believe half truths."

On Facebook, in the "Utah Republicans - Unofficial Group", several other people with first hand knowledge backed up Wimmer's claims.

Anonymous said...

Well written article. My only request for people reading it is to take everything with a grain of salt. This is one account, to which I am sure there is another out there with an opposing story. It seem silly to base an entire view of the "LDS political system" on a single blog post. I'm sure the church has almost complete control, that shouldnt be a surprise to anyone that lives in Utah.

As far as the "from the top" comment. This is one account from someone who I am sure wrote this post with good intentions. Just make sure you understand both sides of the story.

Chris said...

"The world is a better place because of the LDS church."

I wouldn't doubt every devout follower of a corrupt organization said the exact same thing about their organization.

Anonymous said...

I think the IRS should collect all the back taxes of this vile cult they call a religion.

Anonymous said...

"While serving in the Utah State Senate, I prepared religious freedom legislation with the intent to protect religion and individual religious conscience, absent non-discrimination protections. The public was never made aware of my religious freedom legislation for one reason alone: Elder Oaks personally asked me not to advance it. He felt that if I introduced my legislation, it would disrupt efforts to discover common ground for each party to obtain rights without trampling on the rights of the other. Solely, because of his request, I “protected” my legislation from public access and withheld it for two successive legislative sessions from being introduced in the Senate." -Stuart Reid, Deseret News, Tuesday, Feb. 3 2015

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865620999/Support-deserved-for-promoting-religious-non-discrimination-rights.html

Anonymous said...

Church leaders, with unquestionable religious authority, ask (tell) Utah legislators how to vote. The difference between them and a regular lobbyist is that they claim to speak for God...and the LDS legislators are faced with the decision to follow their conscience, or "God's true messengers."

The other difference between the church lobbyist and a regular lobbyist is that the regular lobbyist acknowledges what they are doing (or at least they don't deny it). The church acts as if this manipulation of votes doesn't happen. I wish they would just admit it.

Anonymous said...

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865620999/Support-deserved-for-promoting-religious-non-discrimination-rights.html

Anonymous said...

I can see how many members of the LDS church wouldn't see a problem with this. I suppose they would argue that the church DOES speak for God, and therefore why wouldn't we want legislators doing what the church wants?

But what if they were Muslim lobbyists with a largely Muslim legislature? Or Wiccan lobbyists pushing a Wiccan agenda in a Wiccan run government? I don't think any government should be influenced so heavily by any organization claiming to speak for divinity.

Warner Woodworth said...

Carl, we know you’re upset. But you don’t understand Mormonism, and certainly couldn’t take the Church’s more rational & spiritual path while in the state legislature. As I recall you tried making the UT Legislature an Eagle Forum sacrament, but didn't succeed when you were in the House. Your understanding of church influence over the years is misguided. Some may be sorry you made lots of promises, but couldn’t get the political jobs you craved. However, just for the record, your readers should know there a lot more right-wingers who have left the LDS Church than liberals. It's been the case for decades. You’re just one of many. Thankfully our church leaders are guiding our members better than extremists, whether it’s over immigration or LGBT laws that conform to the U.S. Constitution.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in Utah all my life as a non-member and I've known this forever. Are you all just discovering that the First Presidency runs this state and the Legislature is just for show?

Anonymous said...

You live anywhere in the United States and you see a very lively and disparate culture that is pretty much the norm for the U.S. where people pretty much live how they like with reason. But if you live in Utah, you live in a bizarro world where the cities shut down and roll up their sidewalks every night. Whole cities turn into ghost towns on Sunday because the church forbids business. Everywhere you look its like Beaver Cleaverville/ stepford wives/ invasion of the body snatchers where even the mohawked punks with spikes and wallet chains show up all cleaned up and in a suit ready for church every Sunday. Everyone has the same cracked-glaze rictus grin and plastic handshake. I llived there for work related reasons for a couple of years and I have literally never been more disturbed or frightened than when I lived there.

blackrulon said...

This was a timely and informative post. While many non-LDS and inactive/jack mormons have know and spoke about this for years we were dismissed and ridiculed for "spreading that nonsense". Now however due to the internet and many social media platforms the truth is slowly coming out. the LDS church does many fine and noble things but they also seek to control the message and limit what is allowed to be spread. The LDS church is as much as anything a right wing corporation with a desire to make money and suppress dissenting opinions.

Anonymous said...

We need to realize that there is bias in everything. I have seen some people write things like; ...finally we have the truth... Come on! While I firmly believe there is truth here, there is certainly a negative taint to the overall feel of this post. I am one of those blind followers though and don't mind God influencing politics. It is so ridiculous that people can somehow say they separate politics from religion. Impossible! We are a sum of our actions and beliefs. I am glad that churches will not be forced to conform and also glad that everyone will be treated fairly in our communities. No matter how much some of you obviously hate the LDS church, that hate will go against you and not the church or it's members. Love is the way. Softened hearts make better choices. Love to you all and God bless Utah!

Dallan
godallango@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I personally feel this article plays like a person who is carrying an agenda and is painting a "close your left eye and look through this keyhole" kind of picture. Weird that we all started out as innocent children and then somewhere down the road..KABLAM! Some of us see shadows everywhere.

AT said...

Sounds interesting. I'd like to hear from more people with similar experiences. To be honest the story almost reads like the confessions of an Illuminati insider.

Anonymous said...

At what point do political activities cause a church to lose its tax exempt status. Someone said "big deal, only 2 lobbyists." But political advocacy, as well as telling people how to vote from the pulpit violates the separation of church and state that enables churches to maintain their tax status.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Emily Parker said...

I grew up in SLC in a strongly LDS family and community. Beginning in my early childhood, I found myself disgusted with the workings and contradictory teachings of the church. I am all for religious freedom, but one thing I cannot stand is the LDS churches complete lack of respect for others who choose to live differently from them, especially given their history. This is true for many religious organizations, including Catholicism. I moved to SF on my 18th Birthday and started the unopressed life I had always dreamed of. This article is terribly disheartening and so are many of the comments. Churches should not employee lobbyists or instruct members on how to vote. Think for yourselves! Separation of Church and State. Live and let live, love and let love.

Anonymous said...

I'm conflicted with MY church and maybe I am a kindred spirit with Carl. I was a so-called "tea party organizer" back in 2011 when the "Utah Compact" was formulated and then force-fed on the public and the Utah Legislature. In fact, this "Compact" was collaboration of MY church (the LDS Church) and the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce. I was lobbied heavily by the Church. It was the first time I became aware that MY church would actually support illegal acts if it benefited the members/finances/reputation of the church. Remember, the Utah Compact was simply a public relations effort intended to change the public narrative from "what do we do about all these people who have entered the U.S. "illegally", broken the law and (in many cases) stolen U.S.citizen's identities?" to a newly concocted narrative, a public debate that pitted "legal or general immigration" versus this new straw man alternative of "inhumanity and bigotry" against those who simply want a better life.

I was disillusioned that MY church manipulated the public dialog in that way. It came into focus, later, when I learned that a huge chunk of the those illegal immigrants were members of the LDS church, some in positions of leadership.

To be clear, it was a wake-up call to me that my church wasn't always, absolutely honest and straightforward in their approach to the rule of law.

For the first time in my life, when I asked myself "What would Jesus do?... My church ended up on the wrong side.

Anonymous said...

Who can list the legislators who have been excommunicated for their vote.

I stand up for what I believe in meetings with church leaders and have never been disciplined.

Cold sins are my biggest peeve living in Utah as a church member. I speak my mind regularly on this matter. I am libertarian in my religious interpretations and always try to err on the side of love and liberty. Christ set a great example for us of how to do this.

Perhaps no politician has ever been trapped or forced to vote againt there conscience by the church, but have done so out of their own self imposed constraints.

Anonymous said...

It sounds to me like someone in the church has offended you ( we don't go to church for the people, we go to church because the gospel is TRUE) And going to the top is going to the prophet but he speaks thru our Heavenly Father) It's too bad that you have lost your faith in in the gospel and are trying to find ways to make yourself feel better thru politics. Remember again that going to the top of the church (or the head of the church) is going to our Heavenly Father speaking to the prophet.

Marilyn Miller said...

I studied women who are among those without ultimate power who made it into high school principalships. I heard the stories of discrimination and advanced power relative to the LDS structure and it's influence in the workplace. Thank you Carl. I read about you as a legislator. I had feeling about your power which now I realize was advanced or stopped by the LDS church. Any negatives have been deleted by your confession. Thanks to you our understanding is so much clearer. Bravo. My new friend.

Tricia Erickson said...

You have no freedom of thought in the Mormon Church. When the leaders give their decrees, Mormons feel that they have to obey because it would be likened to going against the false prophet. When are the members of this horrifically controlling and blasphemous church to the true and living God going to wake up? You have no freedom of thought in the Mormon Church. You must only obey. … all the way to hell.

sooma said...

How interesting it is that the 'former Utah State House legislator' who posted this story failed to reveal his identity. Why? Because he's still afraid that the Mormon church's leaders will get angry, and ostracize or excommunicate him. Maybe that would be a good thing, because all of this Mormon church bullying must be exposed, and those responsible named. Oscar McConkie, one of the Mormon church's lawyers from Kirton & McConkie, in Salt Lake City. When acting as a political operative Oscar McConkie exploits President Kennedy's spit-shine credits, to get what he wants. This is true even though Oscar McConkie no longer is a Democrat. Such low-brow behavior of Mormon church leaders, like that of Oscar McConkie, needs to be exposed and the perpetrators named because there's a lot of it that goes on. Bullies, are how the Mormon church's leaders can be described, nothing short of intimidating bullies.

Robert Parslow said...

I usually do not comment on these blogs as I know people are always blasting anyone or anything. But I had to comment. I may have missed it closer to the top but I have to remind some that if we go back to the original intent of the constitution on the Separation of Church & State. The founding Fathers intended that: (paraphrasing here in layman's terms) The State cannot have any say in how the Church is ran But the Church can have a say in how the State is ran. I do not believe that we should be bullied into how to vote, we are to vote our conscience and rightfully so. We need to remember who is ultimately in control. GOD.

Anonymous said...

So Carl, how is this different from the king of either the nation of Israel or Judah being visited by the prophet of God (aside from questioning the validity of the status of the prophet being called of God)?

Anonymous said...

Can’t anyone see what is going on here? The church leadership is being commandeered by the “tares” that have infiltrated and ingratiated themselves in it! Don’t “follow the prophet” unconditionally but “follow the prophet” conditionally—on the condition that the Spirit confirms the words of the prophet and apostles in one’s own heart. The leadership is being strong-armed into taking positions they ordinarily wouldn’t take of their own volition. They are speaking under duress until the Lord intervenes. This is all prophesied so hang in there and be a little more discerning and understanding and do not fault the brethren; a cleansing is coming and I think it will start with the Public Affairs Dept. of the Church.

Anonymous said...

The LDS church has the right to have lobbyists on the hill. They also have the right to lobby for or against any laws that they deem their church members may or may not like. As I see it, the lobbyists are there protecting the views that "most" of their members believe. Why is this wrong? It is only wrong to Carl Wimmer because he just can't leave well enough alone. He left the church; then leave. Why come back and try to destroy the church for those that still believe?

Anonymous said...

Two lobbyists? Not too much pressure, I'd say.

Anonymous said...

They have the right to LOBBY not to bully, strong arm or use their church powers to persuade. It's nice to hear when people won't and don't cower to them.

Anonymous said...

Well having lived in Georgia I can tell you that that state is ran by Evangelical Christians. To their credit, they don't even try to hide it. To say that a state follows the agenda of a church where most people are of that same church isn't surprising. It's how our government is supposed to work. Just like I had to adapt in Georgia to laws that the majority of evangelical people wanted so you should expect to have to adapt to Mormon laws in Utah. Take a minute and study government then maybe you'll understand.

Anonymous said...

I am going to say the same thing I say to guys at work, If you don't like "Mormons" Then your living in the wrong state! The LDS church is Gods only true church on the earth, and President Monson his the Lords mouthpiece in the latter days. I know this to be true, not because man has told me but because the spirit confirms it me over and over again. I truly feel sorry for all of you people that are full of hate and that have left the church and close your hearts to the spirit. May god be with you all.

Anonymous said...

Carl how could I get in touch with you on this matter. Even though this horrible bill SB 296 has been passed it won't be law until May 11th. I would like to talk to you about fighting this law or at least educating the public on its negative affects. Do you have an email address I could contact you at.

Anonymous said...

It isn't only in Utah that the LDS church skates all over the line between its 'official' neutrality in politcs & its behind the scenes very direct involvement in all things political. Technicalities & semantics play a big role in their strategy. "Right-thinking" members are being contacted by their local church leaders and "encouraged" to join social media sites in order to promote "freedom & liberty" & "church values," with a right-wing political slant. That, in reality, is the same thing as an official calling, although it evades that accusation because of the words used. Priesthood leaders have been instructed to select certain types of members - ultra-conservative, obedient, unquestioning, & literate - to post specific types of political content under the outward disguise of personal opinion. The church can maintain its official, though transparent, facade of neutrality (we encourage all members to be involved politically in whichever party or issues they choose, while the church itself remains neutral, & firmly committed to the separation of church & state - and taxes), while blatantly orchestrating a church choir of sorts to swarm into social media sites many of those members never would have touched with a ten foot pole without church permission & encouragement, specifically to be the political voice of the church itself. I really don't like 'the end justifies the means' strategy when it involves being sneaky & misleading to the general public. IMO, this is not ethical. It attempts to evade & cheat on the official church stand of political neutrality (I know moral issues in politics are an official exception. This is not that kind of situation). It is a strategy we condemn when opponents resort to using it. Ward would never advise The Beave of stooping to trickery like this. This is not an open, honest, straightforward method of promoting gospel principles. Aligning with one secular political party single-mindedly, as if its platform is all the good stuff & as if all things the least bit liberal are of the devil is NUTS. Issues are complex & so is the political process.

Anonymous said...

What is this about: "If you don't like "Mormons" Then your living in the wrong state! The LDS church is Gods only true church on the earth, and President Monson his the Lords mouthpiece in the latter days." The LDS church stands in support of the US Constitution, and that document does not allow for one religion to control what goes on in an entire state. The church sought & accepted the terms of statehood. That doesn't allow for a church to pressure or threaten elected officials through a PPI meeting. A person can firmly believe that the LDS church is God's true church, but still take issue with SOME of the actions of SOMEof its leaders, lobbyists, or anyone who acts outside the legal boundaries of the US Constitution, & state laws & regulations. All members are supposed to support those laws, not just say they do, then let "our side" fudge on them whenever it's handy.

Anonymous said...

Many of these comments are just down-right sad. There is a reason why we keep church-and-state separate. Here's a short video clip that explains it quite wonderfully. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PFvdqmkoVo

Jeanmarie Todd said...

Terrific post, and laughably horrible comments. It's a bit depressing to think they are probably representative of so many Utahns.

Anonymous said...

@Warner Woodworth

>you don’t understand Mormonism

Top freaking kek

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why the LDS Church would have such a strong interest in passing a bill that gives state worker cards to illegal immigrants? That seems like a weird battle to pick.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it really sucks that the church wanted you to improve the lives of less fortunate people. You don't seem to care about helping others out- why did you become a legislator in the first place? To make sure that people that aren't like you continue to be discriminated against and live in squalor?

"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Anonymous said...

Well it makes perfect sense. Working illegals who belong to or join the Mormon Church will pay 10% of the gross of their income to the church. The Mormon hierarchy is all about money and getting their 10%. It's a false and blasphemous religion from the pit of Hell. The false prophets a apostles at the head of the church will NOT reveal where the money goes that they steal from it's members under the guise of "tithing". They are all in on the scheme of filling their own pockets with multi millions of dollars that they extract from the "members". They get by with it by telling the members that they use it to build more churches....however, the churches just bring in more members at 10% of their gross income - it's a win/win for these thugs / thieves.

owyhee cowboy said...

I am late in reading article, but thanks for having the courage.
Counterfeit Son of a bitches anyway!

Anonymous said...

Church's are not to be involved in politics,, at least that's what God said,, do you know God mormans?? I know it don't matter because you trust the devil and believe you will be gods someday,,, you people are NUTS!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Carl! This is where the small minds of men get them in trouble with God. All I see is this scripture being fulfilled by you and your followers or sympathizers; "O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish. But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God."

The last statement of this scripture clearly talks about the High Authorities of the church. They are learned men and they are clearly doing their best to follow God! While the rest of the scripture talks about the rest who dare think they know more than those called to receive revelation for the whole world! I do believe God will ask us to do incredibly hard things that our minds cannot comprehend. "Believe in God; believe that he is...believe he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend." None the less you are free to choose, free to think, free to feel, most importantly free to ask God if what you're experiencing comes from Him or not. And don't forget that there is opposition in all things! Which side are you opposing? Let God do the Judging of the Leaders! You're not getting any brownie points with God for posting this blog! And you're coming across as very ignorant although you intended to come across as intelligent by supposedly baring Truth! You're brave to not fear God!

Carl & Sherry Wimmer said...

Anonymous,

Romans 10:1-4King James Version (KJV)

10 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

--Sherry

Anonymous said...

Just got back from another visit to Utah...being from the East coast the idea of a cult controlling the government is bizzarro. Temple square is the oddest place ever. It's just sad.

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