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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has struggled at times to distance itself from Mormons who have their own political agendas and try to speak for the Utah-based faith on their pet causes.

Anti-illegal-immigration activists have misrepresented the church's positions — as have anti-gay activists, anti-abortion advocates, even sex-education opponents.

The conservative Utah Eagle Forum has been accused, on occasion, of speaking for the LDS Church without authorization. Now the Eagle Forum knows what it feels like.

Longtime GOP activist and fierce anti-illegal-immigration soldier Ron Mortensen appeared to be speaking for the Eagle Forum when he recently wrote in his online publication, the Salt Lake City Tea Party Examiner: "Beginning in the 1990s the Mormon church and the Utah Eagle Forum started to slowly drift apart as the church allowed KSL-TV to promote moral positions that went against those held by the Utah Eagle Forum and as the church sided with illegal aliens."

He was referring to the LDS Church-owned television station airing programs such as "Will and Grace," "Friends" and "Ellen." Those programs, Mortensen opined, were morally objectionable to the Utah Eagle Forum and most Mormons.

The relationship between the LDS Church and the Eagle Forum was further frayed, Mortensen bemoaned, when the faith supported policies that led to immigration reform in Utah and undocumented immigrants earning guest-worker status.

The final blow was the church's approval of Salt Lake City's anti-discrimination ordinances that protected gays and lesbians from employment and housing discrimination. That endorsement, he argued, helped pave the way for a church-backed statewide anti-discrimination law protecting the LGBT community.

"In November 2009," Mortensen wrote, "the managing director of LDS Public Affairs, Michael Otterson, shocked the Utah Eagle Forum and its ally, the Sutherland Institute, by speaking in support of a proposed Salt Lake City anti-discrimination ordinance designed to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) residents from discrimination."

There's a problem, however, with Mortensen's treatise about the so-called sins of the LDS Church, of which he claims to be a faithful member, and its drifting away from Eagle Forum principles.

"I disagree with everything [Mortensen] wrote," Utah Eagle Forum President Gayle Ruzicka told me in a recent interview. "He never contacted me. He never told me he was going to [claim the Eagle Forum was disappointed in the church]. He's not on our board. He has no official capacity with the Eagle Forum. He has no authority or permission to speak for the Utah Eagle Forum."

Ruzicka went on to say there is "absolutely no distance between myself and the LDS Church" to which she also is a devoted member. "They [the church] haven't fallen away from anything."

Ruzicka said she is "in total agreement" with the Mormon prophet, and she is "totally astounded" that Mortensen would write those things as though he is speaking for the Eagle Forum.

It's not the first time Mortensen, a retired foreign service officer, has shown confusion over positions his church has taken that seem to run afoul of what he has deemed to be morally right.

He wrote in different diatribes against the Legislature's passage of the guest-worker bill in 2011 that those who said the church supported the legislation were misrepresenting the faith's position and, alternatively, that many lawmakers did not want to vote for the bill but LDS officials made them do it.

At the time, pointing out the dueling positions he was having with himself, I called him Sybil, a reference to the famous book about multiple-personality disorders.

Now he thinks he's Gayle Ruzicka.

The confusion lies in the fact that, since the rise of the tea party in 2010, conservative purists, as they see themselves, cannot fathom any deviation from what they perceive as morally right — especially when it comes from institutions they have cited to justify their own positions, like the LDS Church and the Utah Eagle Forum.