It appears Jon M. Huntsman and Mitt Romney are looking toward running for president of the United States in 2012. Their connection with the “Mormon “faith (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is not an unusual topic that surrounds discussions about their potential candidacy. As such, we imagine this will likely raise some questions, both about Mormonism and politics and about Mormon life and belief in general. We’ve address this topic before, but wanted to do it again, and include a couple more links on the topic.
Michael Otterson wrote a recent post at the Washington Post (in their On Faith feature) about this. He summarizes the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a beautiful and simple way. We recommend his article to our readers.
Here’s a quick summary of his summary of our beliefs:
1. Mormons follow Jesus Christ. …
2. Mormons are friends of the family. …
3.Mormons are big on incorporating their religious beliefs into their day-to-day actions.
Here’s another perspective given the potential political situation from a Church member: What Mormons Believe: Part One.
Also, given the fact that immigration reform is a “hot topic” in the United States, we wanted to share this LDS Newsroom article about the Church’s position on the topic.
Following are some questions we have addressed related to the LDS Church and politics.
Would the Church try to encourage Mormons to vote for a Mormon candidate or dictate to a Mormon governmental leader?
The answer is no.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is politically neutral. You will not find the Church supporting any specific candidate or party, telling Church members whom to choose as they vote, or seeking to “direct or dictate to” a government leader. We as LDS Church members are encouraged to be involved in the political process, be informed about important issues, and make educated decisions about whom to vote for and we are free to choose whom we choose. This policy is universal in all nations where the Church has a presence.
If the Church is politically neutral, why does it get involved in political issues, like gay marriage?
Being politically neutral on partisan politics should not be confused with being politically or socially inactive. It is a constitutional right in the United States to express opinions on social and political issues. The Church sometimes chooses to exercise this right about some public issues that the Church “believes have significant community or moral consequences or that directly affect the interests of the Church.” We have seen this happen with gay marriage or, more recently, on the topic of immigration reform in the United States.
That said, it’s worth noting that even when the Church does share an opinion, Mormon church members will end up expressing a variety of opinions about such social issues such as the ones mentioned.
Which leads us to the next question.
Are all Mormons are politically conservative?
The answer is no. You can see the following post at Mormon Women answering this question. (The short answer is no. There are Mormons all along the political spectrum, from conservative to moderate to liberal. Mormons are actively involved in all the major U.S. political parties. We are reminded by our leaders that “Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties.”)
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For more information from the LDS Newsroom about Mormonism, please see the following links:
The Religious Experience of Mormonism
The Grand Enterprise of Mormonism
Really appreciated this article, written by someone not of our faith. We are certainly not trying to get someone to vote for a Mormon (in fact, many Mormons will likely not vote for a Mormon), but we do appreciate people being able to cut through the clutter and misunderstandings about our faith.
Thank you, Jeremy Lott!
“[W]e need not agree about philosophy, or theology, or even pray together to work together toward necessary social change.”
“..Mormons commonly believe the United States Constitution to be divinely inspired.
“In fact, that may be the most confounding thing about Mormons to critics of a certain cast of mind. Modern Mormons are industrious, sober, generous, and public spirited. They are model American citizens and natural social conservatives, not in spite of their religion but because of it….”