Thursday, July 31, 2014

LDS Church urges Utah members to participate in caucuses

By Tad Walch, Deseret News

Published: Fri, Feb. 21 8:05 p.m. MST

 The LDS Church's First Presidency again this year is strongly encouraging Latter-day Saints in Utah to attend neighborhood caucus meetings.

The LDS Church's First Presidency again this year is strongly encouraging Latter-day Saints in Utah to attend neighborhood caucus meetings.

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church's First Presidency again this year is strongly encouraging Latter-day Saints in Utah to attend neighborhood caucus meetings.

In a letter issued to all Utah congregations and posted on the church's website Friday afternoon, the First Presidency also asked local church leaders to not schedule church meetings on Tuesday, March 18, the date of neighborhood caucus meetings for the Utah Democratic Party, or on Thursday, March 20, when the state Republican Party will hold its local caucuses.

Church leaders made the same request two years ago, and attendance at the caucus meetings surged.

In Utah, neighborhood or precinct caucus meetings are used to select delegates to county and state conventions for both parties. Delegates vote at the conventions to determine who their party's nominees will be or who will advance to their party's primaries.

"We encourage our members to participate as an exercise of their civic responsibility and privileges," the First Presidency said in the letter, which is to be read in Utah congregations this weekend.

The letter reaffirms the political neutrality of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"The church once again affirms its political neutrality. Platforms and philosophies consistent with gospel principles may be found in most political parties. We remind leaders and members that church facilities and meetings are not to be used for political purposes or discussions."

Email: twalch@deseretnews.com

Recommended
1. toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT,
Feb. 21, 2014

This will do more to get people to the meetings than anything political "persons of influence" in either party could accomplish.

2. stuff
Provo, UT,
Feb. 21, 2014

Caucuses allow citizens to be more closely involved than just going to a poll and casting a vote. Stick with the current political system!

3. Mike
Orem, UT,
Feb. 22, 2014

Have fun if you happen to enjoy crowds, long waits, and so forth. I've got higher priorities to spend time on (i.e. spend time with my wife and children) than spend 2-3 hours on this again.

Especially after the last time I went to one of these meetings. It went way longer than the invitation stated (invitation said 2 hours; the meeting lasted three and a half hours), was run so inefficiently my teenagers could have done a better job, and we ended up voting several times manually (not electronically) for the same positions again and again. I was in such disbelief amid my festering frustration and aggravation I left early.

I will come back to a caucus in this state when I am satisfied this state government and its citizens are serious about running efficient caucus meetings.

4. ShaunMcC
La Verkin, UT,
Feb. 22, 2014

Or if you want to make a real difference, attend the Constitution Party Caucus in your area. Most of them are being held on Thursday the 27th of March so as not to conflict with the Rs and Ds. We support the caucus system believing it to be the best way to involve those who are interested and willing to inform themselves and get involved in the process of selecting our representatives. Killing the caucuses will only make it easier for the central committees and those with lots of money to make those selections without any input whatsoever from your local neighbors and friends.

5. Hutterite
American Fork, UT,
Feb. 22, 2014

If this is what it takes to get more people to the meetings than any political person of influence might be able to, it really provides some insight into really runs the place.