Commentary: President Trump, meet the Mormons

We believe that the meek, not the Me First, will inherit the earth.

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

An Open Letter to President Trump from Mormon Women for Ethical Government

Dear Mr. President,

We welcome you to our beautiful state. We know what it’s like to not be welcome, and so we make a special effort to show kindness and hospitality to all our guests.

You probably do not know much about Mormons, so let us take a minute to introduce ourselves to you.

We are, above all, followers of Jesus Christ, and we take seriously and literally his commandment to care for the poor, the sick, the needy, the children and the widows.

We are peacemakers. We believe in kindness and charity, in decency and compassion, in light and goodness.

We believe in truth, and know that God can help us distinguish truth from fiction.

We believe that we are all God’s children — every single one of us, regardless of skin color, creed, nationality, religion, race, gender, ability, economic status. And we believe that every human being deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. We believe that God created us all and asked just two simple things of us — to love Him and to love each other. In fact, our church has said that ”the bedrock moral issue for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is how we treat each other as children of God.”

Most of us are descendants of immigrants, and we honor the culture and sacred spaces of those of us who were not — our Native American sisters and brothers.

We believe in families. We cherish our families above all else and believe that the family unit is both sacred and eternal. We believe not only that “families can be together forever,” but that families should be together now. In fact, our church has taken a rare public stand on this issue in relation to immigration reform, stating that ”families are meant to be together. Forced separation of working parents from their children weakens families and damages society.”

We were once refugees — driven out of Missouri by an extermination order in 1838 and taken in and cared for by the good people of Quincy, Illinois, and so our hearts are with all refugees. Our church feels so strongly about this issue that it issued a formal statement in January of this year: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is concerned about the temporal and spiritual welfare of all of God’s children across the earth, with special concern for those who are fleeing physical violence, war and religious persecution.”

We are a world-wide church and have members on every continent, whom we consider our sisters and brothers in the gospel. Many of our members have lived and served as missionaries all over the world. Therefore, sentiments like “America First!” ring hollow and run counter to our doctrine that “the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare.” (D&C 104:17)

We reject fear-mongering, for “God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim 1:7)

We believe in modesty of thought and action and see humility as a great virtue — one that is mentioned often by Jesus Christ. We believe that the meek, not the Me First, will inherit the earth.

We believe in the sacredness of the human body and in marital fidelity.

Our doctrine is one of perfect gender equality, and we categorically reject as evil the objectification of women.

We denounce gambling, avarice, violence, and corruption of every kind.

We believe that we are stewards of the earth and will be held accountable for the way our greed and gluttony have ravaged this planet.

We have tremendous love and gratitude for our country and the principles and laws upon which it was founded. We are civically engaged and passionate about protecting liberty. But our loyalty is not to individual leaders or political parties. Our devotion is to God, and we take seriously the charge to place no other gods before Him.

One of the core articles of our faith proclaims that we have a responsibility to obey, honor and sustain the law. We believe that requires each of us to be engaged, diligent, proactive and persistent in ensuring that the laws and policies and leaders of our country are worthy of our honor. Where they are not, we will work with all the energy we possess to change them.

Welcome, again, to Utah. May your stay be enjoyable and enlightening.

With sincerity,

Mormon Women for Ethical Government

Sharlee Mullins Glenn is an independent scholar, an author, an accidental activist, and a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops. She is the founder and president of Mormon Women for Ethical Government. Diana Bate Hardy is a graduate of Brigham Young University Law School and has recently taken a break from civil litigation to focus on raising her young daughter. She is the Director of Learning for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. Melissa Dalton-Bradford is an author, humanitarian, public speaker, international consultant, activist, wife, and mother of four. She is also a co-founder of Mormon Women for Ethical Government. Linda Hoffman Kimball is an author and artist, Editor-in-Chief of Segullah, and a former member of the Chicago Metro History Education Center. She is also a co-founder of Mormon Women for Ethical Government.

Mormon Women for Ethical Government (MWEG) is a nonpartisan grassroots organization of over 5,000 women dedicated to the ideals of decency, honor, accountability, transparency and justice in governing. Mormon Women for Ethical Government is a private organization and is not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We do, however, fully sustain, honor and support the church’s doctrines and leaders.