(Warning: this post will present many different viewpoints on a complex issue.)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints clearly wants its members to have charity for refugees.
Go to lds.org. Put in the word “refugees” in a search. 87 stories came up emphasizing the importance of Christ-like love and support for refugees.
Take a look here.
In my stake in Colorado, the stake presidency has emphasized creating welcome baskets for any refugees in our area. The Church has put out two statements in the last 13 months asking members to have charity for refugees.
And then there is this video from Elder Uchtdorf:
I think it is impossible to watch this video and not feel heartbreak for refugees.
Now having said all this, I have seen a very large number of normally reasonable people go over the edge on Trump’s refugee ban. Way too many people are reacting with hysteria, scorn and hatred. Don’t get me wrong: you can oppose the steps taken by Trump. You can march and hold peaceful protests. But it is a sure sign you are being motivated by the wrong forces if you respond with outrage and anger.
Meanwhile, there are some things to consider.
Let me summarize a few important points.
1)This is NOT a Muslim ban. The largest Muslim countries (Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Nigeria) are untouched by the Trump executive order.
2)Trump is still allowing 50,000 refugees in per year, which is about the average amount admitted in the last 16 years. Is 50,000 the right number? I have no idea. But how many refugees *should* be admitted? There are literally millions of refugees who would want to come. Do you know the exact number that should be admitted?
3)Did you know that the seven countries affected by the ban — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen — were actually selected by the Obama administration in 2015 for visa waivers because the countries were of special concern because of terrorism. Were you outraged in 2015 when the Obama administration did this, or is your outrage only selectively and hypocritically aimed at Trump?
4)Even with the seven countries involved, there are exception to the ban and exceptions for special cases.
5)Is it possible to treat refugees with charity while still encouraging them to stay near their homelands? Should we support refugee camps in Turkey or Lebanon or Jordan or Saudi Arabia where the culture shock for refugees is not as extreme?
One last point. If you study the history of the Church, one thing that becomes clear is that the Gospel often spreads through immigrants and refugees. Elder Uchtdorf was a refugee. The person who started the Church in South Korea was converted while visiting the United States. Many of the people in China who hear about the Church do so while visiting the United States or Hong Kong or Europe. They are quietly bringing Books of Mormon back to China. Nobody knows how many people in China have been converted.
Is it possible that the Gospel may come to Syria because a Syrian refugee traveled to Europe or the U.S. and was converted? I think it is very possible.
So, as I say, the Church wants us to have charity and to treat refugees with kindness and Christ-like love. But I also think the Savior would ask us to respond to U.S. politics without outrage. Outrage brings contention, and contention is of the devil.