Top officials in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declined to comment on Wednesday’s assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump, a siege that included a banner copying the “Title of Liberty” used by the Book of Mormon’s Captain Moroni.
But the Utah-based faith did point to a sermon at its October General Conference by Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor to President Russell M. Nelson, in which he stated that the church would oppose any post-election unrest.
“We peacefully accept the results of elections. We will not participate in the violence threatened by those disappointed with the outcome,” said Oaks, a former Utah Supreme Court justice and next in line to assume the church’s reins. “In a democratic society, we always have the opportunity and the duty to persist peacefully until the next election.”
Rob Taber, national director of Latter-day Saints for Biden/Harris, issued a strong rebuke to the pro-Trump rioters in nation’s capital.
“For the last decade, we have watched Donald Trump use baseless accusations to undermine the legitimacy of the United States government and to accrue power to himself,” Taber said in a news release. “...Now, rather than confront reality, he has encouraged his supporters to attack the United States Senate and House of Representatives.”
The statement calls out what Taber says are the “fruits” of Trump’s policies on display in the melee: “the Confederate battle flag being waved inside the U.S. Capitol today, something that never happened during the U.S. Civil War.”
Former Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and co-chair of Latter-day Saints for Trump, said, “Without any pause, caveat, or equivocation, I condemn the riots taking place at the U.S. Capitol.”
“Enough is enough,” he added. “Our institutions are undergoing a stress test that they can only survive if our elected officials show unity in this critical moment. We are a nation of laws, not individuals — and the foremost responsibility of every member of Congress is to uphold our Constitution and the integrity of the democratic process.”