Rookie Mormon

How does the Mormon church justify baptizing illegal immigrants?

The LDS church has an "Article of Faith" which states that we believe in "obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." How, then, can we claim to be faithful Christians and baptize illegal immigrants?

According to the Deseret News (source), The LDS church has no official policy on illegal immigration, and it does not ask bishops or other church leaders to check on members' immigration status.

Here are some interesting quotes from that article:

"The church's view of someone in undocumented status is akin, in a way, to a civil trespass," said Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the Seventy, relating it to coming onto someone's property uninvited. "There is nothing inherent or wrong about that status."


"The church does not see itself as an enforcement agency," Mark Tuttle, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said Thursday, repeating earlier church statements.


The church, Elder Pingree said, does everything it can to encourage its members to stay in their home countries to strengthen local stakes and wards. "But once they're here, we want to make them feel like part of the community, a valued part of the community," he said.

So, it may still seem strange that the Church distances itself from disciplining its members for illegal trespassing. But I think it's important to understand that individual members still must determine their own compliance with the law, and illegal immigration cases are not easy to dismiss in a black and white manner.