Friday, October 5, 2012

It Must be Love

I am Mormon. In case you didn't know. Being Mormon is hard sometimes. Sometimes people don't like me, right off the bat. Sometimes they say bad things about Mormons before they realize I am one, and I get angry and my feelings get hurt about all the misconceptions out there. The older I get, the more it bothers me. I'm not sure why. I guess my patience for close minded people is getting slim these days.

I love my religion. I really truly do. It may seem weird, and strange and restrictive to others. But to me it fits.

Are there people that are part of my religion that I don't love? Yes there certainly are. Unfortunately we are not perfect and we make mistakes. And some Mormons give all of us bad names.

This is an excerpt of an email my Relief Society president sent out. It came from the leaders of our church. Relief society for those who don't know is our women's group at church. For some reason it is assumed that because a Mormon is running for president that anyone who is Mormon has to vote for him. I've run into people that have asked if my church is going to "make" me vote for Romney. First off, my church doesn't make me do anything. No one is holding a gun to my head. But I think most people would be surprised to read the following:

"It is important to note that during the primaries and presidential election that the church and its doctrines will be attacked and displayed in ways that are not flattering to the church or to us as members. We need to be careful not to be defensive, but to be respectful in our responses. Not only might we offend our neighbors, but many of our own members have been offended by members expressing their political views. Our membership in the church and our worship on Sunday should be free from such opinions and conversations and a place where we rest from our worldly labors.

The church encourages all members to engage in the political process as individuals, apart from the church and our callings in the church. But it is important that we follow the counsel of Elder Perry in this endeavor when he told us to be bold in our declaration of Jesus Christ, to be righteous examples, and to speak up about the church.

The Church does not:

1. Endorse, promote or oppose political parties, candidates or platforms.

2. Allow its church buildings, membership lists or other resources to be used for partisan political purposes.

3. Attempt to direct its members as to which candidate or party they should give their votes to. This policy applies whether or not a candidate for office is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

4. Attempt to direct or dictate to a government leader.

The Church does:

1. Expect its members to engage in the political process in an informed and civil manner, respecting the fact that members of the Church come from a variety of
backgrounds and experiences and may have differences of opinion in partisan political matters.

2. Request candidates for office not to imply that their candidacy or platforms are endorsed by the Church.

3. Reserve the right as an institution to address, in a nonpartisan way, issues that it believes have significant community or moral consequences or that directly affect the interests of the church."

I feel like politics brings out the absolute worst in people. I've started a new rule on facebook. If you post 3 biased and argumentative political posts I block you. There isn't a reason why we can't talk politics with respect for each other. If you can't cooperate, I don't want to read what you have to say. It's like a 3 strikes and you are out policy!

I'm not saying who I'm voting for. The truth is I'm not sure at this point. I haven't done my homework and educated myself on the issues yet. To me voting when you know nothing about what/who you are voting for is worse than not voting. But you better believe I'm not voting for someone because my church makes me.

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