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Return to Sender

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Joseph Smith - Getty Images


Dear Mr. Manafort,

     The Editorial Board of the Deseret Herald-Sentinel wishes to express its thanks for your surprise visit to our offices today, and we ask that you convey our thanks to Mr. Reince Priebus as well. We realize that your stop in Salt Lake City was not strictly "on the way" from Green Bay, Wisconsin to Portland, Maine, even on Trump Force One, and it makes your stop here all the more gracious.   I give you our assurance once again that we will not make an endorsement until the end of October, and your candidate and party will get a fair hearing.

      We must caution you that our paper does not represent the view of or speak for all people of the Mormon persuasion (sic).  Nonetheless, through our relationship with the Church of Latter Day Saints, we can say that some of the members are uncomfortable with the views expressed by your candidate. They are equally disappointed with your party's failure to renounce those utterances of intolerance toward Muslims or the plans of profiling and excluding them.

      The LDS stands apart from Protestant Christianity in many ways, and its faithful often have experienced discrimination for that reason. You were probably not aware until we mentioned that the second largest community of our global religion resides in Mexico or, as historian Max Perry Mueller has pointed out, there are now "more nonwhite Mormons than white ones."

       We acknowledge the message conveyed that your candidate loves Mormons and that Mormons are terrific. However, it will take something more substantial to establish good-will with the Church leaders. Alas, the overnight delivery of a full set of Trump Select Gourmet Coffees was well-intentioned but misguided.

         Your concern is well-founded that Utah, Arizona, Wyoming and Idaho may not go Republican this year, as they have traditionally done.  The falling poll numbers there are something less than a vote of confidence among the significant LDS populations.

          However, the offer of day-passes to the Trump Provo Spa and Resort does not set things straight.  Has your candidate no idea of the damage done by calling Mormonism a loser religion or his intimating the threat of eminent domain to create a Trump Tabernacle?  These indignities cannot be "walked back" as you say. The offer to create a line of Trump Temple Garments "gratis" is unseemly and undesired.

          We fear that the candidate's suggested appearance in Salt Lake City will do more harm than good, and a "show Baptism" is the wrong approach entirely. We recognize the attempt to identify with the church by mentioning the candidate's three wives.  However, polygamy is no longer recognized as a tenet of Mormonism.  Furthermore, our genealogists have advised us that the candidate was not married to the three concurrently, or at least not entirely so.

          We believe it is the best course for your party's prospects this fall to run an honest and respectful campaign for the next three and a half months and hope for the best. If you feel the impulse to make a special appeal, we recommend that you approach the Seventh Day Adventists.

Most sincerely,

Rafter Smoot, Chairman
DHS Editorial Board

© The Revolted Colonies 2016

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