In 1998, Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the First Quorum of the Seventy gave a lengthy interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, in which he explained why the First Presidency of the Church issued a letter to all LDS congregations encouraging members to participate in the functions of government in their communities. Part of the concern that prompted the statement from the First Presidency was that it is not in the Church’s “best interest to be known as a one-party church.” Furthermore, he stated:
I think I could safely say that one of the things that prompted this discussion in the first place was the regret that’s felt about the decline of the Democratic Party [in Utah] and the notion that may prevail in some areas that you can’t be a good Mormon and a good Democrat at the same time. There have been some awfully good men and women who have, I think, been both and are both today. So I think it would be a very healthy thing for the church—particularly the Utah church—if that notion could be obliterated.