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."