‘Mormon Land’: Longtime left-leaning Unitarian pastor reflects on his 34-year ministry in a red state LDS Zion

The Rev. Tom Goldsmith, who will deliver his farewell sermon Sunday, recalls his fight over the Main Street Plaza, his church providing sanctuary to a Honduran immigrant, and congregant Tim DeChristopher’s monkey-wrenching of a federal auction.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Rev. Tom Goldsmith shares a laugh Tuesday, May 11, 2021, during his final staff meeting outside on the lawn at the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City. Goldsmith is retiring after 34 years at the head of the Unitarian Church.

For 34 years, the Rev. Tom Goldsmith of Salt Lake City’s First Unitarian Church has been a prominent presence on Utah’s religious landscape.

At the helm of his left-leaning congregation, Goldsmith championed social justice causes like immigration reform and climate change.

He has shaped his congregation into a refuge for believers who do not feel at home in more conservative faiths, including the LDS Church.

Now he is retiring and will give his final sermon Sunday.

On this week’s show, he reflects on his ministry, including his dispute with Salt Lake City after it sold a chunk of Main Street to the LDS Church, congregant Tim DeChristopher’s monkey-wrenching of an oil and gas lease auction, and his church providing sanctuary to a Honduran immigrant.

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