Utah newspapers have been reporting that the LDS Church is subtly campaigning for a “more compassionate” stance towards illegal immigrants (for example, http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695253342,00.html). Now, this could present a problem for me as I am strongly opposed to illegal immigration. My understanding of the legal, social, and economic issues involved convinces me that it is a harmful trend.
If I perceive that the Church is doing something that contradicts my own opinions, I could suffer cognitive dissonance: the mental stress caused by diametrically opposed ideas coexisting in a mind. What should I do? Easy. If there’s a conflict between the Church and my political principles, the Church wins. I’m wrong and I need to change.
Why are my researched and reasoned views of this issue automatically moot? Go back to the basics of belief: the Church is true. The Father and the Son appeared to Joseph Smith, and that means the Church is directed by living prophets today. And if those prophets say to embrace illegals, then I’ll drive down to the border and pick up a few myself.
The word of the Church is the word of the Lord: “whether by mine own voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38).
Besides, I admit I’ve privately wondered how some good liberal Church members must deal with having some of their political positions refuted by doctrine. If it’s time for this conservative to eat crow in order to keep his priorities straight, so be it.
Rejecting a Church that we know to be true, because of any personal issue: that’s the real cognitive dissonance.