This has generated over 2400 comments on the Tribune's website. Do you think he will be released? What will happen? Do you agree w/him? What are your feelings with religious leaders using the pulpit to spew their political views?
An LDS stake president in Sandy did something in a speech earlier this month that other Mormon leaders have done many times: He warned that evil is corrupting the world.
Then President Matthew DeVisser did something few LDS leaders ever do over the pulpit: He rattled off a number of Republican talking points, lamenting that voters last year chose “socialism over capitalism, entitlements over free enterprise, redistribution and regulation over self-reliance.”
DeVisser, who oversees a number of LDS congregations in the south valley, never referred to President Barack Obama or his Mormon opponent, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, in his speech Feb. 3 to the Hidden Valley Stake Conference but did say 2012 would “prove to be one of the more significant years in our lifetime.”
He cited evidence of the nation’s declining values, including an effort to raise taxes during “the worst economic times since the Great Depression,” some states legalizing same-sex marriage, government-funded abortions and the frenzy leading up to the “fiscal cliff.”
“The U.N. ambassador,” he added, “was instructed by the White House to cover up what happened in Libya, attempting to minimize the deaths of four Americans who were murdered.”
In the speech, DeVisser — who did not return calls seeking comment for this story — said he did not intend to be controversial or political, but was directed in his thinking by the “Holy Ghost.”
He later emailed a copy of the speech to a Mormon in his stake and, within days, it was being forwarded, posted and linked online. Soon it had gone viral on the Internet, appearing on more than 200 websites, blogs and Facebook pages, generating heated debates between believers on the political left and right.