To begin with, I have a hard time supporting a person merely based on their religious affiliation. In my mind, that is just as stupid as voting against someone for the same reason. Neither are based on facts. So, here are just a few things I think members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should take into consideration when pondering which political candidate to support this year in the bid for President of the United States.
We will take the prophets as our guide as we do so.
1) Being Mormon does not mean you can be trusted.
As sad as that statement is, we must remember that both Harry Reid and Mitt Romney are Mormons. Give that some thought. Most people support one or the other (some of us neither, but that's a different lesson), yet both are LDS. I can give other examples, but you get the point. Pres. J. Reuben Clark put it this way:
The ravening wolves are amongst us, from our own membership, and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep’s clothing because they wear the habiliments of the priesthood…we should be careful of them.
-- Church News June 15th, 1940 (as quoted on Latter-day Conservative; see #4 on that page)
2) Mitt Romney is a flip-flopper.
Yes, you've heard this one already. So much, in fact, that you can't believe I even mentioned it, right? I agree, but let's give this issue a little more thought than it usually gets. I can support the right of any imperfect human (that's all of us) to change their minds as they learn and grow. That's what the Gospel is all about. It's the number and frequency of changes that concerns me with Romney, and the motives behind them. Some just seem a little too politically convenient in their timing.
The other reason this bothers me, and should bother you, is that several of the issues Romney has flip-flopped on should have been non-issues from the get-go for Latter-Day Saints! Abortion? Taking away the agency of citizens with a Socialist-style mandated healthcare law? The Church has an official stance against abortion, and, even though Mitt's healthcare was legal, it definitely goes against the most fundamental belief in Mormonism - that of free agency. It was Satan's plan to force people to do what he thought was best for them, remember? God allowed us to decide for ourselves, good or bad, and suffer the possible consequences.
According to the laws and aconstitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the brights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;
That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral aagency which I have given unto him, that every man may be baccountable for his own sins in the day of cjudgment.
If you have to continually change your mind on issues, maybe you haven't given them enough thought to begin with. In contrast, some candidates have stood firm on the same issues for decades.
“Are there not, in reality, underlying, universal principles with reference to which all issues must be resolved whether the society be simple or complex in its mechanical organization? It seems to me we could relieve ourselves of most of the bewilderment which so unsettles and distracts us by subjecting each situation to the simple test of right and wrong. Right and wrong as moral principles do not change. They are applicable and reliable determinants whether the situations with which we deal are simple or complicated. There is always a right and wrong to every question which requires our solution.” (Albert E. Bowen, Prophets, Principles and National Survival, P. 21-22)
-- As quoted by Pres. Benson in his talk, The Proper Role of Government.
3) Mitt Romney is NOT going to save the Constitution.
We Mormons have a long-standing tradition of prophecy concerning the United States and its Constitution. We love to quote the bit about the Constitution "hanging by a thread" and the elders of the Church being instrumental in saving it. Recently, I have heard some suggest that perhaps Mitt Romney will be the fulfillment of that prophecy. Pres. Benson says this will not be the case:
I have faith that the Constitution will be saved as prophesied by Joseph Smith. But it will not be saved in Washington. It will be saved by the citizens of this nation who love and cherish freedom. It will be saved by enlightened members of this Church — men and women who will subscribe to and abide the principles of the Constitution.
-- Source (see #4 on that page).In other words, the Constitution will be saved when the lay members - you and I - learn about the Constitution and abide by its principles, including "diligently" supporting candidates who also know and support the Constitution:
Men who are wise, good, and honest, who will uphold the Constitution of the United States in the tradition of the Founding Fathers, must be sought for diligently. This is our hope to restore government to its rightful role.
-- A Witness and a Warning (as posted on Latter-day Conservative)Do you know what "the Constitution... in the tradition of the Founding Fathers" means? To begin with, it means that we interpret the Constitution as the Founders did. None of this newfangled mumbo-jumbo about a "living document," etc. God inspired it as it was written, and inspired the men who wrote it. He even gave it His blessing in the Doctrine and Covenants, and commanded us to support and maintain it.
And for this purpose have I established the aConstitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose.
-- D&C 101: 80
Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the anations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land; may those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the bConstitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever.
-- D&C 109: 54
4) Mitt Romney does NOT know and/or support the Constitution.
Pres. Ezra Taft Benson gave us his wise counsel when he said:
[T]he most important single function of government is to secure the rights and freedoms of individual citizens.
What does this mean? Should our government be given the freedom to kill American citizens who are merely suspected of collusion with our country's enemies? Mitt Romney thinks so:
Does it mean giving the government the ability to track us, put us under surveillance, and otherwise give up our civil liberties in the name of "security?" Mitt Romney thinks so:
Perhaps the Lord put it best (of course He did, He's the Lord!) when He said:
And that alaw of the land which is bconstitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.
Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the aconstitutional law of the land;-- D&C 98:5-6
5) Mitt Romney, Foreign Policy, and Jesus
Not long ago, Mitt Romney was asked about the war in Afghanistan.
“These people have declared war on us. They've killed Americans. We go anywhere they are and we kill them,” he said. “The right thing for Osama bin Laden was the bullet in the -- in the head that he received.”
-- L.A. Times Article, January 16, 2012.
A week ago, a member of the First Presidency said:
Let us, as disciples of Jesus Christ, return good for evil.15 Let us not seek revenge or allow our wrath to overcome us.“For it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink. …“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”16Remember: in the end, it is the merciful who obtain mercy.17As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wherever we may be, let us be known as a people who “have love one to another.”
-- The Merciful Obtain Mercy, Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, April 2012 General Conference.
Now, let me ask: Are these two views compatible?
(NOTE: You can read more about Mitt Romney's foreign policy stances here at LDS Liberty.)
6) "But he's not Obama!"
Well, that depends on how you look at things. If we exclude his race and religion, and consider that he has supported many of the most destructive laws that Obama has passed, then we aren't really that much better off, are we? Both major political parties are controlled from behind the scenes by the same people, and have long sought the exact same ends. Many conservative voters were convinced to support John McCain during the 2008 election. We were coerced into doing so by the so-called conservative talk radio hosts who told us that we had to support him in order to keep Obama from winning. Let me tell you this: you don't win anything by standing against something; you win by standing for something! As we learned then, John McCain was just a shill anyway, and he quickly jumped behind everything Obama did from the start. It turned out that they were just two faces of the same devil.
This "anyone but Obama" attitude reflects the "lesser of two evils" attitude. This is false. You do NOT have to choose any evil at all. Popular or not, you can support a candidate that you feel good about. Period. And, at the end of the day, you can sleep well, knowing that you did the best you could do to assist in the cause of righteousness.
John Adams said: "Always stand on principle, even if you stand alone." The Lord and His prophetic mouthpieces have laid out the correct principles for us, if we care to follow them.
Oh, and one more thing: the Lord will hold you accountable for how you vote. (See the sixth item listed.)
I could continue, but I believe the information I have provided here should make it clear that Mitt Romney is not the man to bring our country back in line with Constitutional principles in the tradition of our Founding Fathers, as the Lord has commanded us to diligently seek.
There are other candidates. Our duty is to pinpoint any that fit the description given to us by the Lord, and give them all the support we are physically able!
Here are the things God has said you should be looking for:
- Will uphold the Constitution of the United States in the tradition of the Founding Fathers
I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the aconstitutional law of the land;
-- D&C 98: 6-7