Vice President Mike Pence met Thursday morning with top leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as part of his one-day trip to Utah.
According to the church, President M Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder Ronald A. Rasband, of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Jack N. Gerard of the Seventy met with Pence at his hotel Thursday morning.
“They spoke of the value of faith and religious liberty in America and expressed appreciation for his leadership,” the church said in a statement.
Members of the church’s leadership meet on a regular basis with governmental leaders from around the world.
In December 2017, members of the church’s leadership met with President Donald Trump at the church-owned Welfare Square during a presidential trip to Salt Lake City. Trump met with now-church president Russell M. Nelson, who was then the president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, as well as President Henry B. Eyring, who was serving as first counselor in the church’s first presidency, Bishop Gérald Caussé, of the church’s Presiding Bishopric and Sister Jean B. Bingham, the general president of the Relief Society.
In February 2016, church leadership members Elder D. Todd Christofferson and Rasband met with then-Vice President Joe Biden at Temple Square. Biden was in Utah to visit the Huntsman Cancer Institute and stopped at Temple Square to visit with the church’s leadership who presented him with his family history.
Barack Obama also met with church leadership in September 2015 when he stopped in Utah to speak at Hill Air Force Base on a presidential visit. Obama met with Eyring and Dieter F. Uctdorf, who were both serving in the church’s First Presidency at the time, as well as elders L. Tom Perry and Christofferson.
Trump and Obama were part of a longer list of sitting presidents to visit with the church’s leadership, including Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.
As a worldwide church, members of leadership also meet with governmental leaders outside of the U.S. Just this year, church leaders have met with officials from French Polynesia, Ghana, Kuwait, Micronesia, New Zealand, Tonga and Vietnam, according to a church statement.