Let me make it clear, I am a Mormon. I am a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That means I believe in Christ, in God, the Holy Ghost, I don’t smoke, drink, or have sex outside the bonds of marriage. I attend church regularly, associate myself with other members of my faith and live my life the best I can based on my Christ-centered religious beliefs.
A big brouhaha has started about the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney. The first thing you hear out of someone’s mouth is that ‘Isn’t he Mormon?’ closely followed by ‘I don’t think they are Christians, are they?’ His religion is his flash point. The world doesn’t seem to care about the religious beliefs of the other candidates. Mitt Romney has had a successful political career which has garnered him many opportunities to serve the public in many ways. But he has worked hard to keep his political life and his religious life separated. Does his religion define him? Yes, his view points are influenced by his religion. Does that mean he will force the ‘Mormon’ beliefs on the nation? No.
Will he live his religion? Yes. You see, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (for information on beliefs and doctrines visit: http://www.mormon.org ), we are regularly read letters from the pulpit from our leadership asking us to honor the separation of church and state. We are not to use congregation contact lists as political solicitation lists. We are not to use church buildings for political functions or fundraising. We are not to use undue influence within our congregation to influence the voting of our members.
As members, we are told to study the issues and make up our minds based on our beliefs. We are encouraged to be responsible citizens and know the politics so that we might exercise our right to vote responsibly. I know Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and (gasp!) members of the Green Party, all members of the Mormon faith. In other words, Mormons are not sheep. We will not follow anyone blindly regardless of religious affiliation.
As a citizen of this country, I will educate myself on the political platforms of the candidates. On Election Day 2008, I will then cast my votes for the people I feel will serve our country best. Will it be Mitt? I don’t know. I do know that I wish him and all the other candidates the best, and I hope that the electoral machine will not grind them into dust.
My only hope is that EVERYONE will educate themselves and vote responsibly.
(I posted this response on my personal blog in April of 2007)