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Mormon Church Tells Its Top Officials To Stay Out Of Politics


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http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/52084513-90/campaigns-candidates-church-full.html.csp

The First Presidency letter said that now, however, “General Authorities and general officers of the Church and their spouses and other ecclesiastical leaders serving full-time should not personally participate in political campaigns, including promoting candidates, fundraising, speaking in behalf of or otherwise endorsing candidates, and making financial contributions.”

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What about Dallin H. Oaks? Isn't he pretty politically involved?

He advocates for the Church and other religions (friend of the court) when directed to by the first presidency.

That is distinct from this admonition to avoid partisan endorsement of political candidates and parties. This restriction is no different than the ones on me as an employee of the Governor's office in Georgia. The reminder is timely during the upcoming election cycle.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Absolutely not, the church advocates for marriage, not parodies of marriage. It will, and must always speak for righteousness sake. We will be asked to advocate for such things as marriage, because marriage is one of the cornerstones of morality as well as society. The issue isn't political, it is moral, as opposed to how we might tax, the amount of taxes, socialism versus capitalism and so on, those things are not cornerstones of morality.

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The First Presidency letter said that "General Authorities and general officers of the Church and their spouses and other ecclesiastical leaders serving full-time should not personally participate in political campaigns, including promoting candidates, fundraising, speaking in behalf of or otherwise endorsing candidates, and making financial contributions."
He also clarified that it applies to "full-time general authorities, general auxiliary leaders [such as presidents of the church Relief Society, Primary or Young Women organizations], mission presidents and temple presidents. The policy is not directed to full-time church employees" in other positions.
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Does this mean the Church will not be encouraging members to participate in political actions such as Prop 8 in California?

No. There is a profound difference between partisan political campaigning, which the Church distances itself from, and standing up for clear moral principles, which the Church has always done. A moral issue does not cease to be a moral issue just because it has found its way onto a ballot paper somewhere.

The importance of this difference is underscored by the lengths that our unprincipled opponents will go to in trying to collapse it.

Regards,

Pahoran

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I don't normally ever disagree with something the Church does, but this has me seriously, I mean extremely seriously concerned.

The Church by this "command" is directly infringing on an individuals free speech and personal convictions.

Being involved in political stuff on ones own PERSONAL time, as long as they are not being immoral, dishonoring the Church, etc., is a right that should not be touched.

I mean, is the Church trying to ban all activity with those who serve full time, to be the same as missionary's who serve full time? I don't think so.

So, a person can't go to a play, watch a movie, watch TV, etc. either? Apparently not. I mean, that's the only time such a restriction as this would be right, fair, and reasonable. But, I'm not seeing that in this new policy.

It even further concerns me that they've applied it to the spouses as well.

I mean, I could sort of understand some of it for the full timer himself, but for the spouse?

What is especially more concerning to me is that they can't "participate in campaigns" and also aren't allowed to make "financial contributions".

I mean, I can kinda understand and maybe be willing to support that the Church doesn't want someone serving full time to be a "public face" for a campaign in any way, but to also limit simple volunteering, and especially saying you can't "donate". That, that I'm sorry, is frankly seriously so very wrong, going against everything the Church and this country stands for. Does the First Presidency really not understand the "evil" that they have just signed into policy? Since when does the Church have any right telling you what you can do with your money??? Since when can the Church tell you what you can do with your time when you are off the job?

I mean, policy's are supposed to be based on principle and doctrine, not on clearly political whim. It's almost as if this is a direct attack on Conservatives, since most leaders are conservatives. It's as if the Church is purposefully trying to stop members from standing for the right in all places, in all things, and at all times according to the dictates of our own conscious. I mean, in normal circumstances, standard missionary rules, etc., I can understand a policy like this, but when you aren't banning everything else, and then to take it as far as banning "volunteering" and "donating", that..... that..... my Lord I was afraid of this happening. I was afraid, that in the days in which the split between good and evil, sides being chosen, that the Church would not stand for the Right, the principles that made America, the Constitution, Conservative values, which match Church values, compared to liberal, socialism, communism and fascist values which are anathema and perversion, Satan's counterfeits to what the Gospel teaches.

I'm truly hurt by this..... When Al Gore had a secret meeting with the leaders, and other little signs here and there, I'm frankly flabbergasted. Don't they understand that today is not like the past, where there were a lot of Conservative Democrats, such as JKF, Zell Miller, etc., times where there could be simple "political" differences, which didn't always relate to doctrine. Today's Democrats, and liberals are yesterdays 60's radicals, communists, etc., values which are completely opposite of the Gospel. Doesn't the Church understand the times we are in??? The Church should be standing for the Right even more, like Benson and others have in the past.

Folks need to watch these videos, and start to remember what this Church is also about, that is all truth and right, not just how many Kingdoms or other general doctrine we have.

The scriptures and the Prophets of God tell that the Priesthood of God will save and preserve the Constitution. If Church leaders are "banning" any efforts for the Priesthood to do this, then what kind of Church are we becoming???

Forgive my direct words, to those who might find some offense. But, I've never had a need to find offense with the Church, and especially say so publicly. But this. This, I'm so devastated, for there is no reason and excuse. They have overstepped. It's just wrong. The road to heck is paved with good intentions. Like I said, I can understand maybe some of this, and even in a particular circumstance, but to go as far as they have, I cannot even comprehend. What's next, banning guns from Church, or banning any lessons on the Constitution, Freedom, etc.?

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I believe the proscription is limited to those whose full time efforts (like general authorities, mission presidents) are to teach the gospel and not necessarily to engage in political debates regarding issues that are not of a moral basis. Nor are they to endorse others.

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I know, I see each limitation and who it applies to. Problem is is it's way to overreaching. I for example can understand "public" related actions to limit that, that would be reasonable. But to limit ALL contact, including telling them they can't donate their own private money's, and to especially apply it to their spouses, it just goes to far.

Further, Full Timers other than Missionary's don't stop living life simply because they serve full time in the Church. Full timers in the Church are still allowed to do a lot of things, they aren't restricted like missionary's. Serving full time in the Church is their job. They still have family's, raise children, and in every normal way have lives outside of the Church. Thus, in order for this to be a righteous and fair policy, they would rightly have to ban ALL other things, like they do with missionary's.

For the life of me, I pray and think every which way possible to see any sort of God given reason for this, and there just isn't any. This is very serious.

This isn't going to destroy my faith, because I know leadership can mess up royally, but these kinds of mess ups are supposed to be limited these days. The Church had supposedly learned it's lesson to stay out of subjects and policy's it has no actual doctrine and revelation on. Again, I can understand restricting "public" actions, since their public actions can be interpreted to be representing the Church, but in the background supportive efforts, and donating being banned. It's almost as if the Church is trying to purposefully make the Church not Conservative anymore. Because when you utilize fascist methods to stifle action and speech, our greatest leaders no longer teach and inform on how things of the world relate to the Gospel of Christ, and then you raise a generation of LDS who are ignorant of the Gospel and Satan's counterfeits in the world, things like socialism, communism, liberalism, etc.

Boy, I haven't railed against the Church for anything since I had left the Church and was anti-religion years ago. But, I know that fallible men aren't the Church, so I'm apparently just going to have to endure this sin within the Church. Yuck! :( I do however would love to be in on the letters that I'm sure the Church has received on this, and am curious the Presidency's reaction and thought processes.

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It makes sense to me.

Church members are sometimes too quick to assume anything that a GA does is the 'true way'. I think also that for those who disagree with the politics of the GAs, it would cause contention and hurt the unity of the church and the GAs ability to perform their callings to be actively supporting a campaign that people in their charge might really be morally against for whatever reason.

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Boy, folks are missing the entire problem.

It's not simply limiting "active", "public", etc. activity's, it's limiting ALL contact and activity, even in the privacy in your own family ones ability to even donate, or to create banners, or pass out pamphlets. Not only that, but it applies to the spouse, which is even more wrong.

Those of you not having a problem with this are only looking and seeing "part" of the issue, the "public" part. That part isn't really unreasonable, I could understand that to a degree, even though really even it isn't ideal. The real problem however is the ban goes WAY beyond that.

I mean think about it, what's next? Is a spouse not allowed to serve in the PTA, is neither able to go to a Football game? Is a leader not allowed to speak in public about anything other than the Church? He can't give a talk at a university, he can't teach a class? I mean, there are hundreds of things Church leaders and their spouses do which could apply the same way that this ban applies. Further, in order for it to be fair, all those other things WOULD have to be restricted. Everything we do has some ideological aspect behind it. Why is the Church getting in the business of "unrighteous dominion"?

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When one becomes a special witness of Christ, one is presumed to do that as a full time job.

The proscription is specific to only certain callings, not all men and women. What is next depends on the Lord and his servants.

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Problem is, is it's not just applicable to those who are "special witnesses of Christ". It's being applied to EVERYONE who in an ecclesiastical manner works full time for the Church.

Anyone below the Apostles, and you are looking at people who have family's, live normal lives in normal communities, etc. etc. They do not only serve full time in the Church like the Apostles do. Even the Apostles have family's, live and serve in communities etc.

Since when did it become wrong to do what others even Apostles have done before? Again, while it's not ideal in my mind, I could actually understand restricting "public" actions, such as speaking, etc. But to restrict every single action, and also apply it to the wife, that just goes to far. What's going to happen, if leaders want to support righteous causes and political leaders, are they then going to have to go through their children or friends, going around the rules in order to live in freedom and support righteousness??? I mean, this is a very bad rule in many ways. It is completely against the spirit of Freedom that the Gospel is to protect, and is actually utilizing satan's counterfeit, that we must destroy freedom and agency in order to "protect" the Church. It's no different than the intrusive Airport searches. Loosing freedom for the sake of safety, when there are actually BETTER ways to create safety at minimal risk, and with little loss of freedom.

There are much better way's the Church could have done this if they were concerned with potential political fallout, without having to infringe entirely on free agency.

I briefly mentioned above in another post, but there is another important issue at play here. If our Ecclesiastical leaders are actually being banned from public or private actions be it political or otherwise, then how in the world is the Church supposed to be a beacon to the world with the Priesthood protecting the foundations of righteousness. When LDS leaders of the past have spoken on political issues, it's been very inspiring, and it's taking the Gospel to the world, not simply through missionary work, but through other means also. I mean, this is a bad precedence. What's the next thing they are going to ban?

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In a world of Twitter and Facebook,private action immediately becomes public action.Perhaps the leaders are aware of forces which will use any action to press for removal of tax exempt status.I certainly share your concerns,ldsfaqs,about restricting the political freedoms of any individual and would avail myself of any avenues to let the leaders know of those concerns. That said,I am not privy to the bigger picture and so am not inclined to see a slippery slope argument .

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What's going to happen, if leaders want to support righteous causes and political leaders, are they then going to have to go through their children or friends, going around the rules in order to live in freedom and support righteousness???

That is good option for them to take.

Better yet, since you are so offended by the instruction from the Church you do this.

Set up a 501c4 (see Citizens United) you could call "Mormons for the Free Expression of the General Authorities and Auxillary Leaders of the LDS Church" not a very good name but we are just brain storming here. Any, this type of "organization" you could become a front for monies of those within the LDS Church whom the Lord has said not to get involved with politics. The good thing about you setting up this type of organization, is YOU NEVER HAVE TO DISCLOSE who donated money to the organization.

So I have just provided you an absolutely legal, supported by a ruling from the United States Supreme Court, for you to help GA and Auxillaries to circumvent the instruct from the Lord...... BTW, you can also have the 501c4 pay you a reasonable salary.

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Today's Democrats, and liberals are yesterdays 60's radicals, communists, etc., values which are completely opposite of the Gospel.

Funny, I am a T.R. holding, former member of a bishopric, a member of good standing and I am a liberal.

Don't you see how you are buying into the hatred BOTH parties puts out about the other party?

'Liberal' is not a dirty word (and neither is 'conservative' for that matter)

Frankly I don't see either party as being particularily close to the gospel, both vary in different areas.

JFK on being a liberal

If by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."
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Set up a 501c4 (see Citizens United) you could call "Mormons for the Free Expression of the General Authorities and Auxillary Leaders of the LDS Church" not a very good name but we are just brain storming here.

Don't think that would the desired effect or enough oomph as if the Church itself were doing it seeing as how the members are divided with some actually in direct opposition to the Church's values and doctrines. The Church didn't come close to losing it's tax-exampt status with Prop 8 or running afoul of the law in that case so it should just do the same thing next time.

Today's Democrats, and liberals are yesterdays 60's radicals, communists, etc., values which are completely opposite of the Gospel.

That is correct. All one has to do is go down the list and compare how they would do things with the doctrines of the Church to see that.

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just so we can be clear:

a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, can not be in good standing while belonging to a non rightwing political party (without of course being dishonest to their self and Preisthood leader).

Rightwing, being solely defined by US Politics, and applicable to all world political affiliations.

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There is "ideology" in all party's..... Ideology of the Left/Liberals is completely anathema to the standards of the Gospel. Liberals being somewhat charitable minded and earth minded doesn't make them somehow conforming to the Gospel. Conservativism is charitable, and takes care of the environment, so there is no reason to be a liberal when nearly everything else with liberalism is completely anathema to Gospel teachings. People like President Benson, the older Romney, Reagan, and many others over the years have expressed why liberalism isn't compatible with the Gospel, right, Christianity, etc.

As to the world, most world politics are similar to U.S. politics, with the same classifications. There are in some areas some minor differences, for example, a couple of places, conservatives are actually more leftist then they are conservative, so it depends. But, leftism in all it's variants, socialism, communism, fascism is not and never has been on Gods side, it's satan's counterfeits.

By the way, as to faithful mormons who are liberal. They are simply some of the elect that have been deceived.

Nearly every platform of liberalism is the opposite of the Gospel. Abortion, Homosexuality, removing God from the public square, empowering of the state rather than the individual, giving a man a fish only without teaching him how to fish and doing so by taking fish from others by force, telling you what you can and can't eat or what light bulbs you can and can't use compared to freedom of choice, and so much more. There are books an articles out there which show how liberalism is satan's perversion, opposite of the Gospel of Christ. Google them if you want to know more.

As to "buying into hatred".... In all things there is good and evil, powers of darkness and light. We are to know and understand which is which, and be pro light and against the darkness.

The party's are no longer our Grand-dads party's..... Sides have been chosen, one side standing for freedom and righteousness, and the other standing for enslavement and evil. This is the truth and reality. The party's are not the "same", any more than Anti-mormons and LDS Scholars are the "same". There is good and there is evil ideology's and actions, and there are identifiable sides.

You will be banned from the board if you continue to bash a political party on this board.

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There is "ideology" in all party's..... Ideology of the Left/Liberals is completely anathema to the standards of the Gospel.

What is the Ideology of the Left? Second question, are you Obiwan or Selek?

Nearly every platform of liberalism is the opposite of the Gospel. Abortion, Homosexuality, removing God from the public square, empowering of the state rather than the individual,

The LDS Church supports abortion. (See current Official LDS Church statement(s) on abortion)

The LDS Church supports not discriminating based on sexual orientation. (See Church Supports Nondiscrimination Ordinances, which means the LDS Church supports homosexuals)

The LDS Church supports freedom of conscience when it comes to worship or not worshiping. (See Articles of Faith)

The LDS Church does not support forced religion, or forcibly subjecting a person to religion. (See Doctrine and Covenants)

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ldsfaqs stated:

Nearly every platform of liberalism is the opposite of the Gospel. Abortion, Homosexuality, removing God from the public square, empowering of the state rather than the individual,

Frankensense replies:

The LDS Church supports abortion. (See current Official LDS Church statement(s) on abortion)

Not in the sense the left supports it, it isn't a birth control method, it isn't for unwanted pregnancies,

With that understanding and reverence for life, we deplore the loss of life associated with warfare. The data are appalling. In World War I, more than 8 million military fatalities occurred. In World War II, more than 22 million servicemen and women died.‍ Together, these two wars, covering portions of 14 years, cost the lives of at least 30 million soldiers worldwide. That figure does not include the millions of civilian casualties.These data, however, are dwarfed by the toll of another war that claims more casualties annually than did World War I and World War II combined. Worldwide reports indicate that more than 40 million abortions are performed per year.This war called abortion‍ is a war on the defenseless and the voiceless. It is a war on the unborn. This war is being waged globally. Ironically, civilized societies that have generally placed safeguards on human life have now passed laws that sanction this practice.

Russel M Nelson

The LDS Church supports not discriminating based on sexual orientation. (See Church Supports Nondiscrimination Ordinances, which means the LDS Church supports homosexuals)

It does not support the homosexual lifestyle. It supports an understanding of people with a proclivity to sin, not an endorsement of the acts themselves.

The LDS Church supports freedom of conscience when it comes to worship or not worshiping. (See Articles of Faith)

You confuse freedom of religion with restrictions against religion.

I see how you confuse the words because you do not understand the context of the words. Remarkable.

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Not in the sense the left supports it, it isn't a birth control method, it isn't for unwanted pregnancies,

So now you are the appointed spoke person for EVERY single member of a political party that is "left" of the United States Republican party? Is there no person left of the United States Republican party that agrees with the position of the LDS Church on abortion? Are there people on the right of and within the Republican party who do not agree with the position of the LDS Church on abortion?

What you are saying Jeff, is that no member of the LDS Church, to included GA and others of the Lords Annoited, who may happen to be Democrats support the position of the LDS concerning abortion.

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