‘Mormon Land’: Should an ‘inspired’ but imperfect Constitution be celebrated?

Utah’s LDS leaders say yes but discovered that doing so can spur questions about partisan balance.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Old Glory flies above The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Administration Building in Salt Lake City in 2021. Latter-day Saints believe God had a hand in the Constitution and America's founding.

The Utah Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent a memo last month to the faith’s lay leaders in the Beehive State, urging their congregations to join a September celebration of the U.S. Constitution.

Nothing remarkable about that. Church teachings and culture have long embraced America’s founding and the role its governing document plays. But the missive also endorsed a grassroots group with ties to conservative — some say extremist — causes.

This seemed to run counter to the governing First Presidency’s recently updated commitment to political neutrality and its warning against straight-ticket partisan loyalties.

So what’s happening here? Were these dual directives or dueling directives? Can the church and its members honor the Constitution in some formal way without drifting into partisan polarization?

Discussing those questions and more on this week’s show are two Latter-day Saints with extensive public service backgrounds: Stewart Tuttle, a career diplomat who recently served as chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Panama, and Lew Cramer, who helped found World Trade Center Utah, served as an assistant commerce secretary in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, and works as director general of the U.S. Commercial Service.

Listen here: