The two senior leadership bodies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City, issued the following statement on Friday afternoon.
Here is the full statement from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who direct the affairs of the global, 16.5-million member church:
“Principles of government that allow God’s children to maintain human dignity and freedom belong to all mankind (see Doctrine and Covenants 98:5).
“With great concern we observe the political and cultural divisions in the United States and around the world. We condemn violence and lawless behavior, including the recent violence in Washington, D.C., and any suggestion of further violence. While The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is neutral in matters of party politics, we remind our members — whatever their individual political views — to be united in our commitment to the Savior, Jesus Christ, and His teachings. As His followers, we should treat one another and all of God’s children with respect, dignity and love. No political or other affiliation should supersede that covenant and sacred responsibility.
“We urge all people to remember the precious and fragile nature of freedom and peace. As citizens of the United States look ahead to the inauguration of a new president, we urge our members to honor democratic institutions and processes, and to obey, honor and sustain the law (see Articles of Faith 1:12).”
I found it interesting to see the comments on the published account. The comments included those agreeing with the statement and those who claimed that there was no problem or that the statement should have been made at some other time. One theme of the comments was conspiracy theories. One notable comment claimed that "no one in his stake believed any conspiracy theories." I am sure he is wrong. I have found many of my friends and neighbors who are caught up in one conspiracy theory or another.
The General Handbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Section 38.8.45 clearly states the following:
In today’s world, information is easy to access and share. This can be a great blessing for those seeking to be educated and informed. However, many sources of information are unreliable and do not edify. Some sources seek to promote anger, contention, fear, or baseless conspiracy theories (see 3 Nephi 11:30; Mosiah 2:32). Therefore, it is important that Church members be wise as they seek truth.
Members of the Church should seek out and share only credible, reliable, and factual sources of information. They should avoid sources that are speculative or founded on rumor. The guidance of the Holy Ghost, along with careful study, can help members discern between truth and error (see Doctrine and Covenants 11:12; 45:57). In matters of doctrine and Church policy, the authoritative sources are the scriptures, the teachings of the living prophets, and the General Handbook.