Hundreds Of Mormons Object To 'Latter-day Saints For Trump' Rally

Published: Thursday, August 13, 2020 - 1:18pm
Updated: Sunday, September 13, 2020 - 9:53am

More than 200 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have signed a letter denouncing President Donald Trump.

The letter served as a rebuttal following a rally hosted Tuesday in Mesa by a group calling themselves “Latter-day Saints for Trump.” Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Arizona to speak at the event, where he touted the president as a defender of religious freedoms.

According to the letter, the event was “out of bounds for co-opting the Church’s name to give the impression that Donald Trump is supported by the Church as an entity.” The LDS Church has a strict political neutrality policy and was in no way affiliated with the rally.

But the letter wasn’t just an indictment of the rally. It also served as an opportunity for Mormons, as individuals, to draw a contrast between their beliefs and Trump’s actions.

The presidential election in November “is about reclaiming our core values. President Trump is the antithesis of so much the Latter-day Saints community believes,” according to the letter. “Servant leadership, kindness, honesty, acceptance, family, and respect for all are core tenets of who we are and what we stand for.”

Republican Bob Worlsey, a former Arizona state senator, was one of dozens of Mormons who initially signed the letter.

Dozens more have signed on since the letter was published online, he said.

Worsley said Trump’s election, by the admission of his own political advisors, was driven by anger and fear, motivations that run contrary to Worsley’s own worldview.

“What I feel motivated by politically is somebody who is offering us hope and compassion and being united versus this divisive, vitriolic, hateful rhetoric designed to cause fear and anger,” he told KJZZ. “That is not my church. That is not my belief.”

Worsley said he’ll support Democrat Joe Biden, who he described as a centrist Democrat more in line with Worsley’s own ideology than Trump. According to the letter, other Mormons who oppose the president may vote for third-party candidates or choose not to vote for any presidential candidate.

"We are free to choose in our religion what we believe and vote for who we believe in," Worsley said. "It is not supporting Donald Trump."