SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints condemned "lawless behavior" and the violence of rioters who broke into the U.S. Capitol in a statement Friday.
Church leaders said they are concerned about political and cultural divisions in the United States and urged members to set aside partisan differences and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.
"We should treat one another and all of God's children with respect, dignity, and love," the statement said. "No political or other affiliation should supersede that covenant and sacred responsibility."
It added: "We condemn violence and lawless behavior, including the recent violence in Washington, D.C. and any suggestion of further violence."
The statement comes ahead of planned protests by Trump supporters at state capitols around the U.S. including at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City, just blocks away from church headquarters.
Church leaders remain politically neutral, declining to publicly back candidates of one political party, but they urged members at a church conference in October to peacefully accept election results no matter the outcome.
"We urge all people to remember the precious and fragile nature of freedom and peace," church leaders said in the statement. "As citizens of the United States look ahead to the Inauguration of a new President, we urge our members to honor democratic institutions and processes, and to obey, honor, and sustain the law."