– Richard Stallings | Sunday, October 19, 2014 –
Every election season, a nasty rumor seems to sweep southeast Idaho.
It is whispered, among the Saints, that Mormons should not vote for Democrats. Even though our Church authorities have emphatically stated before each election — and will likely do so again this year — that the Church does not endorse candidates or parties, this destructive rumor persists.
Somewhere between Salt Lake and communities in southeast Idaho the official position of the church is lost, or ignored, resulting in damage to our two-party system and our electoral process.
The church does not get involved in partisan politics for many reasons. If the church engaged in partisan politics it would damage the church in the eyes of the government and would do great harm to the church’s public image.
If we became a Republican or Democratic church we would lose the tax-exempt status granted by both federal and state governments costing millions of dollars. Our missionary efforts would be hurt as liberal or conservative contacts would question our intent and some countries would wonder if our goals were religious or political.
The Constitution is inspired. We, as members of the church, believe the Lord “raised up” wise men who founded this nation and our Articles of Faith teach that we should uphold and sustain our government. For that government to work best, we need the two-party system.
The rumor that Mormons should only vote Republican hurts our constitutionally-inspired system and our ability as members of the church to participate in it. The church needs good men and women in both parties so whichever party has the majority the LDS people will have access to our political system.