I know that Mitt is true.

In testimony meeting this month, a good sister bore testimony of Mitt Romney. She stated that she knew that God had prepared Gordon B. Hinckley to be the prophet is these days. Then she said that she knew that God had also prepared Mitt Romney for this day. She went on to talk briefly about having recently read the Hugh Hewitt book on Romney and how much she liked it (“…and he is not even a member…”).

The best part was watching the bishop squirm. It obviously made him nervous. Of course, it is nothing like the time when a high counselor went on for 30 minute about secret combinations plotting to destroy our national sovereignty and bring about world-wide communism. The bishop was ready to jump him, though all ended peacefully.

I expect that talk about Mitt at church (and in testimony meeting) will become more common. Maybe I lack faith. Do I need to pray and find out for myself whether Mitt is really true?

About Chris Henrichsen

Chris Henrichsen has moved Approaching Justice off of Patheos. Find his latest posts and the new Approaching Justice. Thanks!

  • http://www.newcoolthang.com/ Geoff J

    I choose to believe the various eyewitness accounts I have heard that Mitt exists… I mean could they (you know — they) really cover it up for this line if he wasn’t real???

  • Chris H.

    Geoff,

    I know that he is real. But is he true. Afterall, I have met Orrin Hatch. I am pretty sure that he is not true, though he is real.

  • http://www.kingsxonline.net FHL

    To answer your question: I don’t think it would hurt, particularly if you were pondering whether to vote for him or not.

    I don’t actually know enough about him to know whether I’m aligned with his political views. I do find it encouraging to have “one of our own” running for office. Seems like representation would be a good idea.

    However, I don’t think that sacrament meeting is the place to talk about him. Eh, maybe if he does inspire good in others, it’s not such a bad thing.

  • http://faithpromotingrumor.wordpress.com David J

    I knew it was only a matter of time.

    And why no love for Harry Reid? Oh, because he’s Democrat…

  • http://faithpromotingrumor.wordpress.com Chris H.

    David J,

    Reid is also a Dem who voted against the “marriage” amendment. Most of my students think that this is proof that he is not only untrue but evil. Of course he is always used as evidence by the Church that its member are allowed to have their own opinions. I guess that means that there is space for you and me. …Ok, at least space for me.

    FHL,
    I probably will not pray about Mitt. I have prayed about and reasoned through my philosophical political stance. It is not true, because political positions are political and not “true.” For me, it is unlikely that anyone claiming to be a “Reagan Republican” is going to be a fit for me. I do wish him luck and I would pray for him if he was elected (anyone is a vast improvement at this point).

  • http://www.cvrick.com CV Rick

    It sure makes me wonder about the tax-exempt status of the church when meeting times can be used for open endorsement of political candidates.

  • http://faithpromotingrumor.wordpress.com Chris H.

    CV Rick,

    The open time of testimony meeting is not meant for such things. If individuals express such views, it in no way violates our tax exempt status nor should. Plus she never endorsed him as a candidate. However, I might endorse Obama next month.

  • http://faithpromotingrumor.wordpress.com David J

    I hear you Chris. As soon as somebody “Mitts up” in my ward, I’m getting up there and going Ron Paul on their ass.

    I voted “no” on my state’s marriage amendment too. Homophobia doesn’t need to be made into law.

    anyone is a vast improvement at this point

    Amen and amen!

  • Daniel Peterson

    I hope you’re not serious. If somebody gets up and endorses a political candidate during fast and testimony meeting, jumping up to endorse his or her rivals is scarcely the way to handle such an inappropriate display. It would just compound the problem.

    I trust you’re joking. If not, your own action will be worse, even, than the first.

  • http://www.lavalane.org/ponderit Keryn

    David J–I know Harry Reid is true! (Is that better? After all, I’ve been in the same room as him on more than one occasion, and so as an eyewitness, he sure is true!)

    Now, his politics are a different story for me…

    I shudder at the thought of “Mitt-omonies”–a glancing nod to current events is fine with me, but let’s try to stick to the Savior and Gospel in testimony meetings, mm-kay?

  • Norbert

    My next testimony will include this: ‘Some people have said we ought to close spirit prison. My view is we ought to double spirit prison.’

  • Peter LLC

    Preach on, Brother Norbert!

  • Nick Literski

    I used to hear “testimonies” which included praise for Bush as a “man of God.” Around the time of the invasion of Iraq, an elderly veteran in the ward got up in fast and testimony meeting, and gave a lengthy “testimony” of how right and wise the invasion was. The high point was when he “testified” that were he still a young man, he’d go to Iraq “and kill Saddam Husein–I’d kill him in the name of God!!”

    Bishops need to realize that they are in control of the meeting, and that they have a responsibility to politely, but firmly, put a stop to such “testimonies.” Most of them just sit in their chair and squirm, afraid to take action.

  • http://faithpromotingrumor.wordpress.com TT

    Norbert, that is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard.

  • http://faithpromotingrumor.wordpress.com/ Chris H.

    Daniel Peterson,

    OF COURSE, I AM JOKING. I avoid politics at church and particularly in testimony meeting. As a ring-winger in high school, I once got up to challenge a more liberal member of my Maryland ward who had made a political reference (I think she said something about being a proud reader of the Washington Post). I will always remember one of my young mens leaders talking to me later about how the gospel of Jesus Christ endorses neither party nor ideology. I quickly realized that my actions were not only inappropriate for the setting, but also inappropriate for a disciple of Christ. Whenever I am tempted to be partisan or overly ideological at Church, I always feels a strong prompting to hold my tongue. This does not mean that I do not challenge racism, sexism, or attacks on the poor. Thanks for the comment,

    David J,
    Ron Paul may claim to be libertarian but he is conservative on gay issues. He is more isolationist than libertarian in his critique of the Iraq war. Rage on brother.

  • Dave

    Arg… Someone (maybe Bishops?) should remind congregations that testimony meetings are for bearing testimony of Jesus Christ. We actually had a talk in our ward about “rules” for testimonies. You know: Christ centered, to the point, brief, doctrinal; not just stories or faith promoting dreams or animal healings or any of that stuff.

  • http://ldstalk.wordpress.com/ Dando

    Mitt is dead in the water. As soon as Fred Thompson enters the race, the only place Mitt will have support is Utah.

    I suspect that there won’t be too many more testimonies of Mitt Romney by the end of October.

  • Chris H.

    Dando,

    I am not sure if that is the case. We will see. He does have the money and that is a major factor.

  • lxxluthor

    I’m surprised that I haven’t heard any of this yet. I would have thought that BYU would be Mitt crazy right now.

  • Jettboy

    Mormons are more politically astute than might be thought. Those who support him know that if you show your support too openly as a Mormon it could lower his chances. Most are laying low and believe he already has the “Mormon” vote.

  • Jonesy

    Jettboy-

    Very good point. I blog and explain our beliefs all the time, but I purposefully keep my religious status out of it. If someone asked me directly I’d make it clear that I’m Mormon, but I think I have more credibility when I don’t wear it on my sleeve.

    As for “whether Romney’s true,” who knows? I think he is, but I still have my doubts. In any case, his resume suggests to me that he is more likely to make positive improvements for the USA than any other candidate and that’s what I’m looking for.

    Praying about Romney actually sounds like a good idea. However, I think sharing your answer is a bad idea–in or out of church. And Bishops should be explaining “the rules” every couple months now w/the political arena heating up.

  • Jonesy

    Dando-

    I really doubt it. Pulls generally show Thompson hurting Rudy and McCain much more than Romney, especially in NH and Iowa, where Romney’s recently been showing a double-digit lead whether Fred is listed or not. Also, no one knows what Fred will look like under scrutiny yet.

    However, anything could happen. The race is long and Fred appears to have a lot of potential.

  • Chris H.

    Jonesy,

    The point is that people are not true in the way that the gospel might be. He may be telling the truth (though I do not buy his amazing conversion to right wing conservatism) Is he the best candidate? Maybe, though obviously not for me.

    National polls about primaries should be viewed with skeptism. The political scientist in me says that he has a chance but still a small one. We shall see.

    Jettboy,

    A good bit of Mitt’s substantial financial support is coming from Utah and Mormons. Never very subtle. I do not think that Mormons should hide the fact that they like Mitt because he is a Mormon.

  • Liv Moore

    Jonesy-
    I totally agree with you. We are taught to pray about everything in our lives, coupled with learning to make sound judgement. But many of our personal answers will be different than another’s. The answer we get cannot be imposed on anybody else. Sure, someone may ask our opinion, but it needs to be expressed just as that: our OPINION.

    If the Prophet hasn’t come out with whom we should all vote for, I’d like to meet the person arrogant enough to impose that view on everyone else in a Sacrament Testimony Meeting. As we all pray over the various things in our lives, including whom to vote for, let us remember that this is different than praying to support our church leaders. We are not electing a new prophet. I myself, am voting for Mit Romney, but I absolutely do not believe it’s appropriate to be discussing politics at church or church-sponsored activities. It wouldn’t be good for visitors (from a missionary standpoint) and it would be against our Constitution, and the seperation of church and state. No religion should be telling it’s followers whom to vote for, just as no government should be telling it’s citizens which church to go to. It’s just that simple. And so to anyone who feels compelled to bear their testimonies about anything political, please– write it in your journal, where it won’t hurt the church or the candidate you’re sponsoring.

  • Norbert

    Is ghat any weirder than bearing testimony of Steve Covey? I’ve heard that plenty, and read it on the nacle.

  • Chris H.

    Norbert,

    I think that bearing testimony about Covey is more spooky.

    Liv,

    I am pretty sure that bearing your testimony of Mitt at church in Rexburg will not hurt Mitt or the Church.

  • Chris H.

    I do not think that it is a horrible thing if people make political comments at Church. The hope of such comments keeps me awake. For the most part they are funny (hence this post).
    Liv,
    It does not violate the Constitution or the idea of seperation of Church and state for people to make such comments. As a liberal, I feel strongly about the seperation of church and state. Yet, this does not mean that we can in no way talk about politics (I might feel this way because as a political science professor I think of little else). The church endorsing a candidate would be another matter. It is more accurate to say that the church is non-partisan. They are surely political.

  • http://bycommonconsent.com Kristine

    Yeah, the Covey thing is yucky. I once heard someone in RS reference “the scripture about sharpening the saw.”

  • http://www.newcoolthang.com/ Geoff J

    Alright Norbert, who in the ‘nacle has born testimony about the “truth” of Mr. Covey (the person)? Where would I find such comments?

  • Liv Moore

    Chris H.

    Yes, I agree with you on our church being political….even more than that, patriotic. But when we are in a meeting of worship, if we cannot keep things Christ-centered during the Sacrament Meeting, how can we expect to make Christ-centered decisions the rest of the week, particularly in our politics?

    Using a sacred meeting such as a testimony meeting for political platitude, is distasteful… and that’s coming from someone whom is EXTREMELY into politics as well. I’m not interested in being right, here– we obviously have different opinions. But personally, I’m tired of our Sacrament Meetings being desecrated into travel logs, “friend-imonies,” updates of personal information…and yes, political opinions. If you’re so into politics and want to share your opinion, join a group. As for me, I have friends, neighbors, and colleages that I discuss my opinions with…. I just choose not to bring those up during Sacrament Meeting. Would it be wrong to bear testimony of this country? Or the importance of voting on election day, etc? Absolutely Not!! Quite the contrary! Now obviously, the prophet intervenes (such as in abortion, pornography) when church and state intertwine. But when it comes to opinions, testimony meeting is not the place to share.

    And as for it not hurting the church or mit Romney’s candidacy, I beg to differ! Suppose a democrat investigator of the church chooses to visit our church one Sunday and there happens to be one member who decides to bear their testimony about Mitt Romney? or visa versa– a Republican visitor and a member chooses to bear their testimony about Harry Reid. That visitor might ask; What do politics have to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Perhaps I’m not going to be welcomed here?…No doubt we are encouraged to be active voters, patriotic, law-abiding citizens with strong opinions. But let those opinions be voiced in a more traditional setting. We can talk about politics anytime. But only once a month do we have the chance to JOIN with our brothers and sisters in the gospel and talk about what unites us all; the SAvior. So lets take advantage of it, please. And if you don’t feel you can fill 5 minutes up of testimony bearing time up with your feelings of Christ, I would ask if you’re spending too much time in the political arena and not enough time in the Scriptures.

    I know I’ll be chastised greatly for this comment; I’m not stupid. I’m also not arrogant. I’m not assuming my testimony’s greater than yours; every testimony is personal. I’m just trying to put into perspective what a testimony meeting is for, and it’s definitely NOT a political platitude….

  • Chris H.

    Liv,

    I meant that such things would not hurt in my ward where all are Mormons. I live in Rexburg, Idaho. Again, I am just having fun with this.

    I agree with you that these things are inappropriate. However as a very liberal person, I have chosen to laugh at most instances. I could get offended on a regular basis, but instead I chuckle (or walk out, as I did with the mention High Council speaker). See my response to Daniel Peterson above. I agree with you about the purpose of testimony and sacrament meeting.

    BTW, I am pretty sure that the prophet has not spoken about abortion as a political or legal issue. Porn likewise. Gay Marriage is a different story.

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments!

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  • Liv Moore

    Chris H.

    I understand your sentiments entirely; I’m assuming you meant that we should all have a sense of humor about what’s said and not get bent out of shape over comments we may not agree with. I agree whole-heartedly. I am also delighted when a humorous remark is made that is appropriate and witty.

    I just urge you to remember that while you may be based out of Rexburg, your blog’s capabilities are endless. And as a disciple of Christ, please remember that the church is a world-wide church. And “Rexburg” ideas cloaked as “mormon” ideas may not always permeate with the rest of the church, even in America, let alone the rest of the world. In our Stake alone, there are wonderful members of the Stake Presidency, many in bishoprics, etc., whom are Democrats.

    In any event, I wasn’t going to comment again until I noticed your “BTW” section…. which deeply disturbed me. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but I don’t think so. I’m going to do some studying on LDS.org and get back to you on that.

    Take Care

  • SmallAxe

    Hey Chris, while we have your attention, who are you voting for?

  • http://faithpromotingrumor.wordpress.com Chris H.

    SmallAxe,

    I am not sure if your are being sarcastic or not. I will answer anyways. Obama is my guy in the primaries. However, with all signs pointing to a Hillary nomination, I fully expect to be voting for her whether Mitt is on the ballot or not.

  • http://faithpromotingrumor.wordpress.com Chris H.

    Liv,

    As an east coast city boy (Maryland), who lives in Idaho, with Dutch relatives still living in the Netherlands–I am fully aware that we live in a worldwide church. I blog for fun. I am pretty sure that my musings do little more than comfort the Mormon left and anger the right on occasion (check out the other postings under politics and political philosophy). Again, thanks.

  • SmallAxe

    Chris,

    I was actually going to put “I’m being serious in asking this…”, but that seemed too “serious”. Why Obama? I really don’t keep up on politics BTW, so I’m not baiting you anywhere, just curious to hear a poly sci professor’s opinion.

  • rbc

    I wonder why people pray about such silly things like which candidate to vote for. Do you think God really cares if Mitt or Hillary or Fred Thompson or Ron Paul is the next president? I don’t, and I think he has much more important things to worry about. After all, do you think Harry Reid and Mitt Romney are going to get the same answer to a silly prayer about whom to vote for? They will end up canceling each other’s vote, with “divine sanction” allegedly.

    True story: In the early 1990s I worked as a staff assistant to Senater Judiciary Committee. I overlapped with the Clarence Thomas hearings. After the hearings and Justice Thomas’ confirmation, the committee was still bombarded with mail about the hearings. One day we received two letters from two members of the church. Both claimed to have fasted and prayed about Clarence Thomas and, predictably, both claimed to have received an answer. Of course, they each received different answers: one said God confirmed to him that Thomas did not belong on the Supreme Court and the other said God wanted Thomas on the Supreme Court. One of these faithful members wanted to prove his spiritual bona fides and included his temple recommend. As the only LDS staffer in the office, I was asked what to do with the recommend. I just stuck it in a franked envelope and sent it back to the guy. Then he could return to the temple for more inspiration about important things like the tax code and cabinet officers.

  • http://faithpromotingrumor.wordpress.com Chris H.

    Smallaxe,
    Obama gets me excited. I have not gotten excited about a pol since Bill Bradley in 2000. I agree with most of the Dems, but Obama seem to be able to project a positive vision. I also like that he is Illinois guy with limited DC experience. Reminds me of the great one–Abraham Lincoln.

    Rbc,
    I tend to agree. Of course we pray about Cheerios being good for us at my house. Do we not pray about stupid things most of the time. Maybe that is just me. I love the temple rec story. I hope the guy still has one. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.newcoolthang.com/ Geoff J

    Rbc: I wonder why people pray about such silly things like which candidate to vote for.

    Hmmmm… I take it you aren’t joking…

    If God will answer people’s prayers about where to find lost keys and other mundane question do you really think he wouldn’t give advice on votes?

  • rationalpsychic

    Hello. I’m not an LDS member. Most of the discussion on here I like. It’s at least kept below the level of a snarl. However, I can’t get over the idea of people believing in God picking a modern leader. I have no idea what to say about the Israelites, but I know that Congressional business is not recorded in ancient Hebrew and pretending that we are so important smacks of more pride than is good for us.

    I’d also ask you to think about the current President Bush. Did God really tell him to create, or at least amplify, so much strife in the Middle East? How many Iraqis have died in our ill-informed attempt to set them on the path to “freedom and democracy”? I shudder to think of a God who would ask human beings to be his agent in such activities. By the way, when he meets with the Pope, or LDS leaders, who decides which message from God will be followed during that meeting? That would be a discussion I’d love to hear.

  • Liv Moore

    Thank You, Geoff J. I agree whole-heartedly. Who draws the line over what we are aloud to pray for? Is it God, or is it humans?

    After all, the United States has an enormous effect on the world. Doesn’t the Lord care about His children, whether they are in Iraq, Syria, Mexico, and/or the United States of America. Then why wouldn’t he care about the wars we’re in, the immegration bill, etc.?

    Maybe the problem with the world today is that not enough people ARE praying about what to vote for on the important issues, and relying on the philosophies of men?

    If we are reading the scriptures daily and praying always, we can expect to have the Spirit of Discernment which can guide our actions. This will keep us grounded as we study things out in an intelligent way. And then it’s not a match of “whose more spiritual..” It’s an honest debate about the issues… and trying to find an actual solution. And even better, a solution we can rest our consciences on.

    Imagine that.

  • Liv Moore

    Chris H.

    This is in response to your comment (#31) Although the church abstains from getting involved in politics in general, and from supporting any one candidate, there are certain moral issues which special interest goups have succeeded in making political as well. Things like abortion, pornography, and gay marriage… which the church (long before they were political issues) made a stand against.

    Although it’s extremely rare, I remember in our State about 8 years ago, we (in the church) were urged to fight against the age limit being lowered for those seeking to obtain pornography legally.

    We were also urged over the pulpit from a letter from the First Presidency to fight against the legalization of drugs such as pot.

    Perhaps I’m confused by whether you think abortion and pornography are approved of by the church (or if the church is somehow ambivalent towards them), or whether you believe in their speaking out politically against them?

    In any case, why would we align ourselves with anyone whom our moral beliefs don’t stack up with? During temple reccommend interviews, while we are not asked in specifics, we are counseled not to sympathize for or support any ideals or causes for which the church has come out against.

    And if you’re curious, and want more info on these moral issues, go to LDS.ORG. Here’s a summary of what it says there below:

    “Abortion
    Human life is a sacred gift from God. Elective abortion for personal or social convenience is contrary to the will and the commandments of God. Church members who submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for such abortions may lose their membership in the Church.

    In today’s society, abortion has become a common practice, defended by deceptive arguments. Latter-day prophets have denounced abortion, referring to the Lord’s declaration, “Thou shalt not . . . kill, nor do anything like unto it” (D&C 59:6). Their counsel on the matter is clear: Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must not submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for an abortion. Church members who encourage an abortion in any way may be subject to Church discipline.

    Church leaders have said that some exceptional circumstances may justify an abortion, such as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth. But even these circumstances do not automatically justify an abortion. Those who face such circumstances should consider abortion only after consulting with their local Church leaders and receiving a confirmation through earnest prayer.

    When a child is conceived out of wedlock, the best option is for the mother and father of the child to marry and work toward establishing an eternal family relationship. If a successful marriage is unlikely, they should place the child for adoption, preferably through LDS Family Services (see “Adoption”).

    Pornography
    Pornography is any material depicting or describing the human body or sexual conduct in a way that arouses sexual feelings. It is distributed through many media, including magazines, books, television, movies, music, and the Internet. It is as harmful to the spirit as tobacco, alcohol, and drugs are to the body. Using pornographic material in any way is a violation of a commandment of God: “Thou shalt not . . . commit adultery . . . nor do anything like unto it” (D&C 59:6). It can lead to other serious sins. Members of the Church should avoid pornography in any form and should oppose its production, distribution, and use.”

    Pornography is tragically addictive. Like other addictions, it leads people to experiment and to seek more powerful stimulations. Those who experiment with it and allow themselves to remain caught in its trap will find that it will destroy them, degrading their minds, hearts, and spirits. It will rob them of self-respect and of their sense of the beauties of life. It will tear them down and lead them to evil thoughts and possibly evil actions. It will cause terrible damage to their family relationships.

    Because of the addictive nature of pornography and the harm it can cause to body and spirit, servants of God have repeatedly warned us to shun it. Those who are caught in the trap of pornography should stop immediately and seek help. Through repentance, those who have been addicted can receive forgiveness and find hope in the gospel. Bishops and branch presidents can provide counsel on how to overcome this problem. The Atonement of Jesus Christ can provide the needed healing as people prayerfully seek the Lord’s help.

    Homosexuality
    “We believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. We believe that marriage may be eternal through exercise of the power of the everlasting priesthood in the house of the Lord. “People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians. My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are. “We want to help these people, to strengthen them, to assist them with their problems and to help them with their difficulties. But we cannot stand idle if they indulge in immoral activity, if they try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called same-sex marriage situation. To permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose, the rearing of families” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 1998, 71).

  • rbc

    re: 40

    I wasn’t joking. Was Bill Clinton’s election blessed by God, or perhaps not enough LDS members really prayed about whom to vote for so it wasn’t. Was GWB’s election an answer to prayer? I highly doubt that either was a direct answer to prayer. There are some things we can just figure out for ourselves and selecting a President is one of them. If voting for President is something to pray about, then shouldn’t we all just wait to see whom President Hinckley will vote for. After all, when it comes to divine guidance, he is the lodestar for all of us. Of course, we don’t and we shouldn’t. And, why stop at the Presidency, pray about your local property tax rates, whether to build a new jail or school in your community, whether or not to add a new playground to the local park, what road needs repaving, what missile system to build, what fighter aircraft to build, what base the new fighter aircraft should be located and so on.

    Some things we can figure out for ourselves and then deal with the consequences. Voting for President is, imo, one of them.

    How do you think God will answer the prayers of LDS Democrats and LDS Repubs? The same?

    If you want to pray about which candidate to vote for, be my guest. If it makes you feel like a more informed voter, then by all means ask God. With all of the spiritual misery His children have gotten themselves into, I really don’t think He’s so interested. IMO, he has much, much more important, eternal things to worry about and deal with than who will be the next President of the US. Of this I bear testimony.

    RE: 11 That is a genuinely funny line.

  • http://www.blognitivedissonance.com danithew

    I know that Mitt lives.

    (hehe)

  • Chris H.

    Liv,

    I know that the church opposes abortion, porn, and gay marriage. The church has never said that we should seek to ban abortion. Porn is evil. I attend priesthood session at conference and hear plenty about it. Does the church say that porn should be outlawed? I do not see that. I am also all for limiting access to pornography, particularly in protecting children from it. The church has taken a political position on gay marriage. I acknowledged that earlier.

    “In any case, why would we align ourselves with anyone whom our moral beliefs don’t stack up with? During temple reccommend interviews, while we are not asked in specifics, we are counseled not to sympathize for or support any ideals or causes for which the church has come out against.” I have an active temple rec in good conscience. What are you getting at?

    rbc,

    I agree. I probably does not hurt to do so, but we surely should not act as though our political behavior is the result of special revelation.

  • Nick Literski

    What Liv is “getting at” is pretty clear. She doesn’t think that someone who votes for a democratic candidate is “worthy” of a temple recommend. She believes that being a democrat is “associating with or sympathizing with those who’s teachings are counter to those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Curiously, Liv doesn’t express any concern about aspects of the republican platform which are “counter to” the teachings of the LDS church.

    Apparently Harry Reid is “unworthy” of a temple recommend in Liv’s eyes, while the various LDS members who have assisted the Bush administration in justifying torture, secret prisons, and a whole assortment of atrocities are the kind of “worthy” and “faithful” members she hopes to share her temple experiences with.

    Ask your bishop or stake president about that question sometime, Liv. You’ll find that it’s intended to refer to Mormon fundamentalist groups, not political parties.

  • smallaxe

    Liv,

    I think Chris is saying that there is a difference between a moral position and political position. The church has many moral statements about porn etc., but according to Chris no such political statements. One is a moral call to action, the other is a call to somehow involve ourselves in a specific political action.

  • Chris H.

    Nick,

    I do not think that is what Liv is saying. I will let her speak for herself. (I am assuming that Liv is a she, though I could be wrong on that). So far out discussion has been thoughtful and civil.

    Smallaxe,

    You are correct. This does not mean that we should not take those political or legal positions. I am just concerned when we put words in the Church’s mouth.

  • http://www.newcoolthang.com/ Geoff J

    Rbc: I wasn’t joking. Was Bill Clinton’s election blessed by God, or perhaps not enough LDS members really prayed about whom to vote for so it wasn’t. Was GWB’s election an answer to prayer?

    Actually, your questions are totally irrelevant to the issue I was addressing. The question was whether it was appropriate for you and I to ask God for any guidance in who we vote for. My response was that it is totally appropriate to individually seek God’s opinion on the subject. That assumes he has an opinion and I that is a very safe assumption. However, LDS doctrine holds that God lets us choose for ourselves and won’t interfere with our free will here so his preference alone won’t change election results. Therefore, whether we should individually pray for advice on voting and who ends up winning elections are two totally separate issues.

    Also, whether he will actually tell us his opinion when we ask or not is a good question… (I’ve never bothered to ask on this subject before honestly. I just am defending the notion that we could do so and he could give individuals his opinion on the matter.)

  • http://www.newcoolthang.com/ Geoff J

    IMO, he has much, much more important, eternal things to worry about and deal with than who will be the next President of the US. Of this I bear testimony.

    Like where that lost set of keys ended up, right? (g)

  • Liv Moore

    Chris,

    Please forgive me for being unclear. I was never assuming you are “unworthy.” Quite the contrary. I will admit, Chris, I was unsure by your response whether you meant the church had no political stand on abortion and/or pornography or simply, no stand at all. The clips from LDS.org was just me following up with you. I’m sorry if it insulted you. I’m not going to assume you want an apology from me, but I feel I should issue one just the same, because I think you deserve it. And to clarify one more thing: I don’t speak for the church and I’m the first one to admit that.

    I am a first time “blogger” so perhaps I misunderstood the rules– am I aloud to express my opinion? Or clarify using actual facts?

    Nick,

    Nowhere in my comment did I suggest that Democrats are not temple worthy. I have NO idea where you got that. Never at any point did I declare ANYone not temple worthy, especially because I have NO RIGHT to. And if anyone thought that I implied it, I absolutely did not. There are people on both sides of the political fence whom are doing wonderful things– and not so wonderful things. NO political party, in my mind, holds the crown of virtue here in America.

    Nick and Chris:

    In bringing up the temple recommend question,I was simply posing the question of whether or not our values/morals should be aligned with our political views…after all, there is that old scripture stating, “no man can serve two masters.” I didn’t mean to cross over that sacred temple line. And I certainly didn’t intend to use the gospel for my own purposes… at all.

    My point is this: Fifty years ago the gay marriage issue never would have been on the ballot. I am interested in what moral issue may be on the ballot in another 50 years? Will it be the legalization of something even more horendous, such as petifilia, etc.? Obviously, that’s extreme, but where do we draw the line between moral and political issues? I’m tired of special interest groups trying to make moral issues political ones…and succeeding. And I feel that it’s important to keep our political selves on the same page as our moral selves, that’s all. It had NOTHING to do with one political party in particular.

    In my opinion, people should be more concerned with praying to find solutions, and actively participating in creating them, than finding ways to seperate themselves into a political party.

    I believe people need to stop concentrating on which CANDIDATE to vote for until they know where they themselves stand on the issues, and have actually THOUGHT and yes, PRAYED about finding the solutions to problems. (And whether God wants to answer us is up to Him…not up to us.) But in my (admittedly limited) experience, God helps those who help themselves. And he gives us answers to our prayers that are personal. But we cannot receive revelation for someone else– see the Clarence Thomas scenerio above. We can pray for and expect to receive answers to things that are personal. And my vote is personal.

    And I have a problem with the mindset of another person telling me what i can and cannot pray for. I believe God will give us answers as He chooses… but I won’t assume to speak for Him. He can speak for Himself– through His prophet. And our Prophets repeatedly tell us to “Pray Always.”

    I feel that in some ways we are all faced with the dilemna of Joseph Smith, if we replace “which church we should join” to which “Political party” we should join. There is no “right” one. That’s why I said that “God is in the details” and we should probably be more concerned with the individual issues than anything else.

    That’s just my opinion, though. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m right. But I certainly respect yours if you disagree with me. Got it?

  • rbc

    I’m not the least bit interested in what people pray about, be it keys, presidential candidates or what television show will renewed. Believe me, I pray over what are probably silly things in my own life. (When my teenage kids are playing their resepctive sports, I constantly pray they will play good and even drive in the winning run, make the winning basket etc; however, I suspect these silent prayers uttered from the stands fall on deaf ears and that’s okay by me.)

    However, imo, asking God for guidance in deciding which candidate to vote for is, with all due respect, a waste of God’s time. (Assuming time is even relevant for God’s purposes.) Since it probably doesn’t matter to God who wins and who doesn’t, why bother him with such trivialities? We don’t have to commanded in all things, unless we want to become unwise and slothful. Where to draw the line is an individual decision. For me, one line is voting for President of the United States. We should use our best judgment and respect others who may disagree with out political viewpoint. They are, after all, only our own views, not God’s.

    Back to the topic of this blog entry, I expect to be completely entertained in testimony meetings over the next year and a half or so as I will probably be regaled with “powerful”, “fervent”, perhaps even emotional, testimonies about Mitt, Senator Reid, the evils of Hillary and God’s will come November 2008. It will make for some comical “testimonies” and I look forward to the entertainment. I really hope my good Bishop won’t intervene and stop some of these zealots before they finish their spritual jeremiads for or against their deeply held political views. I also hope my fellow ward members don’t disapoint. At a minimum, these testimonies will provide great object lessons for Family Home Evening about what not to do in a testimony meeting and what is and what is not a testimony, among other things.

    I say these things in the name of-well you know the rest.

  • http://faithpromotingrumor.wordpress.com Chris H.

    Liv,

    I have really enjoyed our discussion. I do not get offended and there is not need for apology. You are obviously alowwed to express you opinion. Wouldn’t this excercise be boring if not. I also appreciate your research and you were correct on many points. However, by commenting on a post (mine no less) you also assume that others will comment back. I already disagreed with Nick above about his response to you. When I asked “What are you getting at?” I merely wanted clarification. I often punch out responses between classes at school or between dirty diapers at home. I expect that we are serious but at the same time do not take each other (and myself) too seriously. I mix religion and politics all the time. Just yesterday I showed one of my class a video about Hugh Nibley where he used the scriptures to bash the rich, plead for the protection of the environment, and paint war as universally evil. I love it. I let the great old guy do my dirty work. However, I always emphasize to my students that just because Nibley uses the scriptures, we are still free to disagree with him. I cannot imagine why one would :), but it is okay to do so. The gospel is true. The gospel is great. It also allows for us as the end of the day to first and foremost be brothers and sisters in the community of Christ. Cool huh? Check back again soon and keep on blogging. Your voice is a valuable one. I cannot say that about everyone.

  • http://coltakashi.livejournal.com Raymond Takashi Swenson

    I don’t recall ever hearing an advisory from the First Presidency at election time telling us to ask God who we should vote for! NO article in the Ensign to that effect, no press release or letter to be read over the pulpit by Bishops!

    I have to think that this is a manifestation of Joseph Smith’s statement, “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.” It seems like our participation in democratic government is very much a test of our ability to “bring to pass much righteousness” by thinking and acting for ourselves.

    One reason for this is clearly that, with nominating processes, and primary elections, and the random nature of who has funds for campaigning, the two choices we are offered by the main parties in the final election may neither one be the best candidates. Or they may both be good, on different issues. Or one may be personally good but incompetent, while the other may be a competent leader but personally messed up. We pray FOR them once they are in office, but not necessarily for them or about them before.

    To be frank, I don’t recall a lot of LDS enthusiasm for Orrin Hatch back in 2000 when he ran for president. No groundswell of LDS support and contributions. Obviously Romney has personal qualities that are more inspiring than his Mormonness alone.

    The lady who testified of Romney is committing the sin of confusing everything she thinks of as inspired and from God. That is a problem of pride. While God said he raised up the men who created the United States and its Constitution, he did not say that any of them were perfect, although some like Washington, and Adams and Franklin were irreplaceable. Few modern American political leaders seem to be that irreplaceable.

    On the other hand, as a personal matter, I generally like Romney. The guy is clearly not in it for the money–he has more than he needs. He is also smart and articulate, something that the Republicans and Democrats have both been lacking for a while. He actually has experience tackling new challenges and analyzing the heck out of them and comiong up with original solutions.

    I don’t like McCain because his campaign finance law is a violation of the First Amendment, restricting my free speech. Giuliani would be fine as Secretary of Defense, or Attorney General, but I don’t want him making domestic policy. Fred Thompson should stay in TV.

    So I won’t pray about Romney, but I think I might just pray for him, because I think America could use someone with his qualities. The D&C says we should seek honest, good and wise people for our leaders. That sounds simple, but those criteria weed out a lot of people. I think Romney actually fits them.

    Hillary Clinton? I have seen too many whiny and self-centered people who think they are doping me a favor by ruling me through my 57 years to want to see one of them with the power of the White House.

    Barack Obama? Nice speaker, but stuck with being dictated to by the party machine behind him. I doubt he has enough of an independent base loyal to him rather than the party to allow him to actually do anything original or out of the doctrine of the left. Maybe in 8 more years, after he serves as governor of Illinois.

  • Chris H.

    “The lady who testified of Romney is committing the sin of confusing everything she thinks of as inspired and from God.”

    Committing sin? It was funny. Chill out.

    As for you assesment of the candidates you may be correct.

    However, if Romney is being honest now, was he lying when he claimed to be a moderate in MA. I like that he is a good Mormon. I will never vote for a Reagan Republican. If that is what he now claims to be, then I will not be voting for him. A George Romney Republican would be good for our country. Yet, that would not be politically expedient.

    I will see if I feel the same way in 27 years.

  • http://www.bycommonconsent.com Aaron Brown

    I prayed to know if Mitt Romney was God’s preferred candidate one time. God answered my prayer. Then he told me that if I told anyone else what He said, He would strike me dead. He also told me that he gets asked this question a lot, and just for kicks and giggles, He answers it differently half the time. A real hoot God is, I tell ya! Anyway, I am happy to know that I am among the 50% of questioners that He answered correctly, as opposed to the other half, who He’s just joshing. Of course, He tells the other half that he’s not jerking them around either, but that just makes His antics all that funnier!


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