President Uchtdorf Attends Immigration Meeting at White House

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  • 15 April 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama (center) met with faith leaders in the Oval Office of the White House April 15, 2014, to discuss immigration reform. From left to right, President of Esperanza Luis Cortes, CEO of Christian Community Development Association Noel Castellanos, General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church JoAnne Lyon, Russell Moore of Southern Baptist Convention, Executive Coordinator of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Suzii Paynter, and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency.

Article Highlights

  • President Dieter F. Uchtdorf and 13 other faith leaders met with President Barack Obama in the White House on April 15, 2014, to discuss the topic of immigration.

Washington, D.C.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today reaffirmed its position on immigration as the White House met with religious leaders to discuss immigration reform.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, of the First Presidency of the Church, was among invited leaders from various religious faiths to meet with President Obama and administration officials to give their input on immigration policy.

After the meeting, the Church issued the following statement:

“In 2011 the Church publicly endorsed the principles of the Utah Compact as a responsible approach to dealing with the complex issue of immigration reform.  The foundational principles on which the Church’s position is based are:

♦  We follow Jesus Christ by loving our neighbors. The meaning of “neighbor” includes all of God’s children, in all places, at all times.

♦  We recognize an ever-present need to strengthen families. Families are meant to be together. Forced separation of working parents from their children weakens families and damages society.

♦  We acknowledge that every nation has the right to enforce its laws and secure its borders. All persons subject to a nation’s laws are accountable for their acts in relation to them.

Repeating the Church’s long-standing position on immigration laws, President Uchtdorf said that public officials should create and administer laws that reflect the best of our aspirations as a just and caring society, including not only immigration but securing religious freedom and liberties around the globe.“Such laws will properly balance love for neighbors, family cohesion, and the observance of just and enforceable laws,” he said.  

President Dieter Uchtdorf is himself a German immigrant and US citizen. He was a refugee in World War 2 and has personally experienced the hardship that many immigrants face today.
Today's meeting with the president included the following faith leaders:

♦  Dr. Russell Moore, Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville, TN

♦  JoAnne Lyon, General Superintendent, The Wesleyan Church

♦  Dr. Noel Castellanos, CEO, CCDA, Chicago, IL

♦  Suzii Paynter, Executive Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (Atlanta, GA)

♦  Dieter Uchtdorf, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Salt Lake City, UT

♦  Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell, Windsor Village United Methodist Church, Houston, TX

♦  Rev Geoffrey Black, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ, Cleveland, OH

♦  Luis Cortes, President, Esperanza

President Ucthdorf participated in a similar meeting at the White House in March of 2013.