How should Latter-day Saints Vote?
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Kim BDecember 30, 2020
I didn’t read every comment here so I’m sorry if I am repeating. There is a difference between a value and a policy, and the Church makes a distinction between doctrines and policies. In the article I didn’t see any mention of when a political party opposes a church doctrine - such as the sanctity of life while endorsing abortions. There are others. How do church members reconcile their support for a political party whose actions contradict doctrine?
Jacob R.September 27, 2020
This was a fun piece. The scary part is you see more and more people choosing a biden because he seems nicer, or choosing Anyone but trump rather than truly voting for policies they care about. Economy, Taxes, Immigration, abortion, public education, redistribution of wealth, national security, privacy laws, etc... there are hundreds of areas you can be concerned about. How you order their importance should dictate who you vote for, not someone's smile on camera.
LAMBAugust 30, 2020
Most of the Presidents have done things that as a church we are not in agreement with. For a long time, I have felt I have had to vote for the lesser of two evils rather than for anyone I really respected. That often leads us to vote for party rather than a person. For many. our current President was a break from that since he wasn't a politician. I am amazed at how closely our Come Follow Me BofM lessons are correlating with the way society is today. Our society is very divided and we are easily marketed by false promises, lies, and flattery. Jesus is the Christ and the Savior of the world. He is the way, the truth, and the light. We follow Him and treat others the way we want to be treated. We do good and help others along. We vote our conscience and hope for improvement. At the appropriate time, He will fix this. It is not our burden.
ArbyAugust 27, 2020
I can't believe that people are using the comment section after this article to make a case for either candidate. If that is you, I think you are missing the point. My husband and I are not on the same page when voting a lot of the time, but we still share a deep abiding love for one another. This article can help couples like us. Thank you for this article.
JBAugust 26, 2020
This is a magnificent article. Its too bad that so many comments are entrenched in the "I'm right, you're wrong" attitude. I am a Democrat and sometimes it's really painful to be a Democrat in the Church. I tell people that I am anti-abortion personally, but pro-choice for others. I've had clients who have suffered great pain from decisions they've had to bear because of rape, incest and the possible loss of a mother's life with 5 living children. This is painful beyond measure, both physically and spiritually. We need to have more compassion. There but by the grace of God go I.
GlouAugust 26, 2020
After learning about modern socialist countries in Scandinavia...I am not certain that they are the model America should follow...they are turning more and more to privatization of education, health care and other common practices in the US. It is one of the top ranked free market economies. Prager U has a great educational video, see “Is Denmark Socialist?”
TWhiteAugust 25, 2020
There have been apostles who were Democrats. Even a past member of the first presidency. My husband and I were sealed by one. So yes, you can be a good mormon AND a Democrat. One issue voting is a cop-out. The author got it right when discussing the difference between a value and a policy, and being able to discern between the two. Timely words indeed.
GARAugust 25, 2020
The way I see it, it boils down to one commandment - "Thou shall not kill". I believe abortion on demand is evil and not pleasing to God. One party advocates for that. You can add euthanasia to that. Ultimately, we will all have to stand at the judgement bar of God and deal with it. The choice is ours and only ours.
RGJAugust 25, 2020
Sadly, while I would go for many Democrat policies in regards to education and even some raising of taxes to pay for things all can enjoy, supporting Dems means supporting abortion and advancing ideological ideals that destroy the family unit. I just can’t do it. If you are part of that party, whether you agree personally or not, you are supporting positions that get babies murdered and weaken families and the moral fiber of society. It is totally clear and has been in the party platform for two decades.
RaNae HealyAugust 24, 2020
I read this article with hope, as generally, this Magazine tends to lean Right. However, the comments helped to clarify. Thank goodness I can see we have some critical thinkers out there. The current state of politics is so divisive and chaotic and certainly Trump's administration is the antithesis to what the Church believes. Let's not demonize the Democrats as that is what Trump does. This election is about the cult of Trump, not about whether one is a Republican or a Democrat. Regarding socialism, please understand we already enjoy many socialist programs already. No one is advocating communism. One must read, research, & listen intently as this is the most important election in our lifetime. This time around we are voting for the soul of our nation. "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men. . ." (13th Article of Faith) -Registered Independent
Meghan DeckerAugust 24, 2020
Thank you for a thoughtful and engaging invitation to engage with others in a more respectful way. I've found in the last few days that deciding to be curious rather than certain (in spite of deeply held political opinions) allows me to feel more compassion for others, and relieves me of always needing to be right. I've been praying to discern truth from error, and I'm open to believing that I may not be right in my perspective of which is which.
Larry TippettsAugust 23, 2020
Even if it turns out we are right in what we say, we can be absolutely wrong in how we say it.
Denny MahrAugust 23, 2020
A very thoughtful article. Thank you for taking the time to help members in the church. One application of the ideas presented will help those who struggle with Trump’s bombastic, arrogant, egotistical way of delivering the message. Hopefully some of the points made in this article will help folks to look past Trump’s persona and understand that he’s supporting the very values we espouse— Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Principles of hard work, respecting others’s property, the sanctity of life, the family and our religious liberties. He’s pro-Israel. Contention and chaos is of the devil. The Family, a Proclamation to the World is from Jesus Christ. It’s the fundamental unit of society. Study for yourselves and be prayerful about which party works to build up the family and which one is working actively to destroy it.
DalenAugust 23, 2020
I'm pretty much a one-issue voter. If one candidate is pro-life and the other is pro-abortion, I will always vote for the pro-life candidate.
RoraRayAugust 22, 2020
Thank you for a thoughtful, unbiased article in a publication that I’ve found to be quite politically biased. Interestingly, the ad that popped up when I clicked on the comments was a Trump/Pence ad. Ha! And clearly a number of the commenters missed the point and are pushing a Republican agenda. I’m registered as an independent because I don’t feel that any political party always gets it right, but to those commenters, please educate yourselves on social democracies like those in Scandinavia. They’re actually functioning quite well compared to the US and their’s are the kinds of policies that Democrats are trying to emulate; it’s actually not true Marxism/Communism/Socialism.
LewAugust 22, 2020
I shouldn’t have read the comments. I was all warm and fuzzy and hopeful and then? Then I read that Democrats are okay with killing babies, that they embrace socialism and communism, yada yada. They will vote en-masse for a man who lies and cheats and the proof comes out of his very own mouth. I despair once again.
Wendy B.August 22, 2020
A timely article. I’m sad to see that some of those who commented either didn’t read it or didn’t absorb it. Neither political party owns the corner market on righteousness.
Alice CoveyAugust 22, 2020
I agree that we can debate with civility and should be able to express our opinions without hate or discord on either side BUT our opinions should NOT be expressed at church!
Paul HAugust 22, 2020
Interesting that so many responses to an article about voting and withhollding judgement has so many comments trying to justify how to vote. It reminds me of the sacrament meeting many years ago in a student ward where the assigned topic was the scriptures and not one speaker out of four read or referenced a single scripture. In my view, wehen we tell someone else how to vote we have either eliminated or discounted their agency because we assume we know better than them for whom to cast a vote. Lease let others view this position and then they can agree with it or not. I think the article is general in application and not specifically issue-based. Others apparently felt otherwise.
David S HedrickAugust 22, 2020
Good article, but I would like to add this.... I believe it is Herm that "just doesn't get it". Tony hit the nail on the head. Who is to say a person is "honest and wise" and yet they fight for the "right" to murder 64 million babies while in the womb. I can not find any place in the scriptures or in the Constitution that supports that. Likewise, is a person "honest and wise" that supports Black Lives Matter and Antifa whose goal is to destroy our country and establish Marxism? Black Lives Matter is an appropriate statement as well as ALL Lives Matter. However. . . the BLM movement is evil. Read their stated goals! It was founded by a "trained Marxist", her words, not mine. The Movement wants to "redefine" the institution of marriage!!! If there are church members that believe in unlimited abortion or abortion on demand, Antifa, BLM movement, then we should pray that they might repent! Those stances can NOT be justified by scripture or our Constitution.
Ed GayhartAugust 22, 2020
When it goes from a difference of opinion to open rebellion against a free government - what would Captain Moroni do?
Ronald Polsley Manchu BravoAugust 22, 2020
As a child your father tells you, don't ever hit anybody. Later on is life you encounter a guy hitting an old woman trying to steal her purse. Which law do you follow? GOD HATES EVIL Stealing is Evil, taking that which does not belong to you is stealing. All of God's commandments involve stealing. e.g., stealing Life, stealing Honor.
GEOFF -AUSAugust 21, 2020
Most of the commenters get the point of the article. A couple of ideas seem strange to me. Perhaps someone might explain. Theodore is convinced that Democrat = marxist. What are they proposing that would indicate this? Do Canada, Australia, already have these, and have not become communists? JanetAugust 21, 2020 I can’t support any candidate who believes killing unborn children is acceptable. You might want to consider that under Republican presidents the number of abortions do not reduce, but they do reduce markedly under Democrats. The number of abortions have halved, and all under Democrats. Does that make you question? These are the 2 ideas above, that are sold by the right to convince people they should vote for a President who is the opposite of the13th article of faith And the opposite of Christ. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men;
Neal ChristensenAugust 21, 2020
First of all, the party and candidates that espouse socialism are basically saying they will eliminate your personal agency...Satan promised to do that. A second and last, but not the only point. I cannot understand how a believing Latter Day Saint can support a party that advocates and allows unrestricted abortion, up to and including live birth abortion.
Jim CarlsruhAugust 21, 2020
Great article. It reminds me to swallow my desire to express my opinions, history lessons or attempts to sway others. Yes, be less prideful. I enjoy diversity of political opinions but need to listen and love. Thanks Kim.
Joyce Hathaway BairdAugust 21, 2020
A timely and thought provoking article. It helps to clear up some of my questions about what is going on now and as I prepare to vote in Nov. Thank you.
Larry NielsenAugust 21, 2020
Thank you for writing and sharing this.
Herm OlsenAugust 21, 2020
Excellent article. Tony still doesn’t get it. I think the only specific guidance we are given is in voting for women and men who are honest and wise. Pretty good touchstones - especially in this election.
D ChildAugust 21, 2020
Prophets and the scripture have taught clearly against Marxism, Socialism, and Communism, and the taking of innocent life, all have been embraced and are part of the today's Democrat parties platform. O Be Wise, What Can I Say More? – Jacob 6:12
Sue HAugust 21, 2020
While I understand the good intentions of this article, I feel it misses the mark. We are in the last days, we are at war with evil. This is not a time for singing Kumbyah. We need warriors, we need to turn tables as our Savior did when faced with evil practices. When a political party has a spoken agenda of immorality, I.e. destroy the family, destroy the individual, kill the unborn up to full birth, devalue men, legalize sex work, push pedophilia into the mainstream, sexualize children, transgender children without parental consent, remove agency, reward crime, and so on...there’s no justification as a member of the church for that party’s support. You say church leaders remain neutral on politics. I say no they do not. We have been taught over and over than all these evils are wrong and cannot be justified in any way. Wake up! This is a war against evil and evil is the platform of the Democratic Party in 2020. How to vote this year is an easy choice.
Toni StephensAugust 21, 2020
I appreciate your articulate presentation on this subject. The comment are good, too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. As we know, the Church is always neutral in political matters. Whenever I hear “members of the church should vote——“ I am uncomfortable. While we need to study the issues and prayerfully decide what we think is right, I think when we share with others, we should encourage our friends as friends not as “members of the church.” We should leave the church out of PUBLIC discourse. The only person who has the responsibility to tell members of the church what they should do is our dear prophet. We should not try to speak in his place. I don’t mean this rudely. I am thrilled that people are involved whichever side they are on. Voting is a great American privilege.
Ryan KatusAugust 21, 2020
Nice article. Unfortunately, there are many members of the Church who have decided the opposing party is of the Devil and will not give an inch on any policy. In my job I deal with various people throughout the country. Many of them do not belong to any faith but we have some conversations on many topics. One friend now says he wants nothing to do with Christianity since many religious leaders and followers say the President is a Christian. He figures if that is the type of morals and values that are taught by the faith, he'll avoid it. I think that the Church has enough vocal members that whether it officially endorses a specific party, it has become tied to one. That will impact its efforts in future. I see the current government mirroring Helaman 6. I also think we're going to live to see the Lamanites retaking all of their lands.
Julie DunfordAugust 21, 2020
Such an important article! I am circulating this as much as possible. Much needed information, if we are to achieve unity!
maxAugust 21, 2020
I was very disturbed by this behavior as well. we are all following Christ and trying to use a worldly thing like politics as a wedge to drive between Jesus Christ and his followers seemed very foolish to me as well as being a cause of great contention.
Pam BlairAugust 21, 2020
If my friendship with a person hangs on whether we agree politically, or any other view, I might suggest that this is NOT real friendship. Continue to LOVE one another and ignore the things we disagree on - simple? The Savior loves each of us - a good thing to remember.
JanetAugust 21, 2020
I can’t support any candidate who believes killing unborn children is acceptable.
Sasha KwapinskiAugust 21, 2020
This article is absolutely spot on! One additional factor to keep in mind is that the majority of church members now live outside the United States, spread throughout dozens of different countries, each with their own political spectrums (spectra?) and sets of issues. This issue hits home with me. Some decades ago (before becoming LDS), I left my previous religious denomination mainly because of their over-politicization and pushing political agendas at me. I happen to be a life-long active Republican, but I recognize that a political party is exactly that -it is a political group, not a religious denomination. I do not impose any partisan agenda on being a Latter- day Saint, nor to I impose any theology or denominational affiliation on being a Republican.
Romney BiddulphAugust 21, 2020
Judge candidates and parties by the Title of Liberty: "In memory of our God, our religion and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children" Any candidate who allows us freedom of thought (agency) should have our vote.
Richard D LeahmanAugust 21, 2020
A Great Article - deserving of my THANK YOU !
Carol AnnAugust 21, 2020
Thank you, Theodore Brandley! Your comment mirrors my feelings completely. Very well stated! This IS the most important election of our lifetime! I pray that people will vote to sustain the Constitution of the United States. Socialism-Marxism has never worked anywhere in the world. (see Venezuela) Our President has stated, "I will never allow socialism to rule our beloved country." Now, it is up to us to support that as voters on November 3rd!
Kathryn SomersAugust 21, 2020
I think section 38.4.34 of the Church Handbook of Instructions clear instruction how members of the church should vote, and those instructions have nothing to do with specific candidates or parties.It would be good for every member to read and follow the counsel in that section. If anyone were to ask me who I was voting for, I would quote the following from the handbook: “In accordance with the laws of their respective governments, members are encouraged to register to vote, to study issues and candidates carefully, and to vote for individuals whom they believe will act with integrity and sound judgment. Latter-day Saints have a special obligation to seek out, vote for, and uphold leaders who are honest, good, and wise (see Doctrine and Covenants 98:10).“
TryTryAgainAugust 21, 2020
2 Timothy 3:1-4 Does your candidate possess the "qualities" that Paul warned us about? If so, why would you want this person as our leader?
LindaAugust 21, 2020
Thanks for writing this, as I really needed it!
Tony A. ReillyAugust 21, 2020
I appreciate this article. I believe that we should not judge others for how they vote just as I would not care to be judged by how I vote. Having said that, I think that is important to elect good men and women who are Constitutionalists meaning those who would protect our freedoms and rights under the Constitution and not take them away. Socialism and Communism seek to control and remove our freedoms and rights allowing most or all control to be in the hands of the government. So, in my opinion anyone who supports bills, laws, principles and regulations that remove the God-given rights of the people should be opposed be they a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Socialist or Communist of any other political persuasion. I am also for the candidates who wish to make government smaller,reduce my taxes, and are of good moral character. If it is obvious that candidates are ok with the rampant chaos in Portland and Seattle and other U.S. cities and think that it the way to change our country then I believe those candidates are not worthy of anyone's votes because they are against the rule of law in the Constitution and will obviously lead to Anarchy and eventually no government and then a dictatorial government. Under the Constitution we are given the right to "peaceably assemble" not "violently assemble" such as we have seen lately. Therefore candidates I will vote for will be conservative will high moral values who support and defend the Constitution in every way. Thanks for letting me add this comment.
Marilyn JacobsAugust 21, 2020
Thank you for this article. When I read the title, I was on guard, thinking someone was going to tell me they had the answer to all of the world's problems and knew who to vote for. Instead, I was thrilled to read an article of true value to me personally. The article stated several key elements of pure Christ like traits I am seeking in my life. I'm especially grateful to be reminded of humility and the value of every human being.
Theodore BrandleyAugust 21, 2020
This is all good advice to follow good principles. However, for those who may not be aware, Marxism is the antithesis of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Marxism is professed anti-Christ. According to Karl Marx, existing society, including religion and families, must be destroyed, and then his followers can “stride through the wreckage and create a new society.” Couple this with the fact that Marxists have totally permeated the Democrat Party. This is not a theory nor an opinion, this is plain fact. November 3 is the most important election in American history since the Civil War.
SaraAugust 21, 2020
I've been struggling with this issue for sometime. You gave great information and motivation to do the right thing among so much uncertainty! These latter days certainly are not easy, but using scripture, prayer, knowledge and direction from the prophet and the influence of the Holy Ghost does help me understand my discipleship and responsibility as a child of God. Thank you for this timely article. I think we are playing into Satan's hands when we act in the negative...proud... "my way is right and the only way" attitude.
SteveAugust 21, 2020
Kim, I appreciate your reminder to treat each other kindly. In the next to last paragraph when you said we should not "dehumanize our enemies," maybe you meant not "dehumanize those who disagree with us." Overall, though, a wonderful reminder to us all.
Wendy WoodAugust 21, 2020
Thank you so much for this! I have become increasingly alarmed at the divisions in our country and our world, and the hateful language that accompanies those divisions. We are generally not being fully thoughtful and reasonable. I occasionally find myself thinking, "Oh, that can't be true because __________ said it." I am striving very hard to overcome that tendency. I am afraid for our country and for the unity of the church members.
Ronald BarnesAugust 21, 2020
I must admit that I often feel that way, but I would never say so. I don't claim to be right, I just claim to have my opinions and I try to respect the opinions of others.
Leilani CookAugust 21, 2020
Perfectly timed article for our daughter who is struggling with being verbally abused by one with differing opinions. Thank you so much for this insight. Beautifully stated. Just awesome!
John TrevorAugust 21, 2020
What a thought-provoking article. Maybe it can be summarized by the statement "We should try to constantly increase a sincere heartfelt love, for all our brothers and sisters"
Rob GAugust 21, 2020
Thank you for this wonderful piece, I approve, and anyone that comes to a different conclusion than mine...is a beloved child of Heavenly Parents with a limitless potential to become like Them through the grace and love of Jesus Christ. I used to be (and I still slip on occasion) exactly like the people described in this article. My pride really came into play on certain moral issues for one big reason. I know, because I follow the living prophets of God who receive guidance and direction from Him, that I am "right". However, I was not acting right nor treating people right when I chose to regard those that disagree as fundamentally evil.
CHARLES DEFRANCHIAugust 21, 2020
Exhaustive message that hits the nail on the head. It would have been good to have it when America was preparing to go to war in Iraq and our international membership was divided over whether to go or not. I was even labeled as an Apostate by some of this magazine's readers for suggesting that this war was not justified...
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