I’ve been hearing some chatter that the LDS Church is planning on issuing another statement or holding a press conference regarding HB116 (Utah’s highly flawed guest worker/amnesty bill).
The rumor is that the statement or press conference will be designed to influence LDS Republican delegates to defeat any resolutions calling for the repeal of HB 116. If rumor proves true in this case, the LDS Church will further define itself on the issue and virtually cast all doubt away on its current and past legislative support for HB116. This also indicates that LDS Public Affairs is lying to callers when stating that the church lobbyists took no position on the bill during the session (despite assertions from legislators to the contrary).
Such a move also changes over 150 years of LDS Church tradition of “obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” which was, ironically, recently reiterated by Apostle Jeffrey Holland (in the Middle East, no less). This will, additionally, change the church’s tradition of ardently supporting the US Constitution given the bill’s acknowledged unconstitutional nature (see “Legislative Review Note” at end).
If the rumor is correct and member delegates feel threatened enough to change their votes, the LDS Church would effectively run the Utah Republican party. This would have national implications as Hunstman and Romney would then, legitimately, face questions about their religion’s influence on their policies (just as Kennedy faced such regarding Papal influence).
UPDATE: This assumes that delegates with a conflict (oppose HB116 but feel threatened that they must follow the LDS Church and switch votes) do not resign their position. If, however, conflicted delegates determine they can not honestly fulfill their representative duties and resign, it will alleviate their situation but the LDS Church will still have influenced the party and it will not prevent Huntsman and Romney facing serious questions on church influence.
UPDATE (6/11): The chatter was correct. See: Latest LDS Church Public Affairs Illegal Immigration Statement: A Non-Message