Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Obey and Honor the Law of the Land

Because of the presidential candidacy of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there have been lots of questions and concerns about the Church's involvement in the political process.

The Church does not endorse any political candidate, nor does it tell its members how to vote.  The Church stands by the doctrine of moral agency: that all men are free to act for themselves according to their conscience and best judgement.  The church urges its members in all nations to be active in their communities and in their respective political processes, when and where it is lawful for them to do so.

Although the Church will not endorse candidates or dictate its members' votes, it has and will make its position clear on moral issues.  For instance the definition of marriage is a vital part of the doctrine of the Church and, more importantly, of Christ.  Indeed, the family unit is the fundamental unit of the Church, the community, the nation, and the world.

Governments are instituted of God for our benefit.  We should be willing to fulfill our responsibilities towards our governments.  Examples of these responsibilities include serving on juries and paying taxes; for without jurors we could not enjoy our right to trial by our peers and without taxes our public roads, buildings, the police, and the firemen would not be available.  These responsibilities help insure our rights and protection.

The proper role of government is to protect the natural rights of man.  We are thus obliged to support our governments and seek to sustain leaders and policies that will protect those rights.  Governments should not dictate religious belief.  Similarly, a church or religious organization should not exercise civil authority.  To allow either of these scenarios would be to try and force men to act in a certain manner regardless of their personal conscience or agency.  Thus the natural rights of man would be subdued or destroyed.  We should seek to uphold the religious freedom that ensures morality without dictating the laws of the land.  Lastly, sedition and rebellion are unbecoming of every citizen whose natural rights are protected by their government.  (see Doctrine and Covenants 134)