Sunday, August 19, 2012

Facepalm moments

One aspect of the LDS Church that I love is how much we are encouraged to be an active part of our communities.

Every two years at general election time, the First Presidency releases a statement asking members to vote. In Utah, the seriousness of the biennial caucuses are reinforced when the church, which believes when a meeting is held an angel gets its wings, cancels all of its meeting on the nights of both the Democratic and Republican caucuses. Really, the Brethren are begging us -- go inform yourself and vote already.

And, with the notable exception of Proposition 8 and a few other things, political leanings remain a matter of personal conscience. Using teaching, speaking or leadership positions to pass on political opinion is strictly verboten.

But hey, those are just guidelines, right?

So today I'm in sacrament meeting, the most important meeting of our religion, one in which we worship and ponder and consider the meaning of Jesus Christ and the Atonement. The speaker quoted Marion G. Romney, who once was a counselor in the First Presidency of the LDS Church. For anyone who is not aware, all three of those men go by the title of president.

Yes, he quoted President Romney.

Next comment, said over the pulpit where only doctrine and testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ should be shared, the speaker said, "Wow, President Romney has a nice ring to it."

Had my political leanings been more in tune with his, I might not have been as bothered as I was. The problem, though, wasn't his opinion on the matter. I mean, it's not like it's a surprise that a Mormon in the most conservative city in the United States would back the Mormon presidential candidate representing the conservative party. So while I disagree with him, what he said wasn't the issue.

The issue was that he said it. This is church, for crying out loud. This is where I go to spiritually edified and to find greater strength and spiritual wisdom. This is a safe place where I should not feel judged. Anywhere else at all -- that's where I go to argue about politics.

Church, though, church should be a place where one's outcast status is checked at the door.


  1. Today, our bishop read the part of the handbook in Relief Society and Priesthood that talks about this to remind us all to not interject political opinion in church settings and then at the end added the comment that "They tell you to look at which party stands for family values and that shouldn't be difficult to tell who to vote for if you look at that." I was fuming.