It never fails to amaze me how political (partisan and otherwise) chatter lights up the blogs during election season. This year, with the intense focus of a “Mormon moment,” it has seemed louder and more incessant. But within the diverse (and sometimes divisive) discussion, one finds fascinating ideas and even beautiful expressions of political freedom. Here are a few:
Let's start off with a testimony of sorts. In “Elections and Being a Mormon,” this blogger declares “I believe that God was the one behind setting up this amazing country of ours. I believe that our rights as American citizens gives us the right to chose who we believe would be best for this country.” Beautiful.
And this blogger describes how “my patriarchal blessing encourages me specifically to exercise my franchise and vote. It seemed an odd thing to include in a patriarchal blessing when I heard it, as I pretty much thought the blessing would confine itself to quite spiritual things. As I’ve considered my blessing since, I realize it has a mix of temporal and spiritual counsel, and I’ve tried to be true to that part that urges me to vote.” Wow. Additionally, I noticed that Sunday’s over-the-pulpit counsel regarding Election Day centered on exercising the right to vote.
I loved virtually going back in time for a history lesson on "Vice Presidential Candiate Solomon Copeland." Never heard of him? He was Joseph Smith's second choice for vice president. The Amateur Mormon Historian explains: "By the time Joseph was considering Solomon for the VP position, the church leader who knew him best, David Patten, had since died. But Wilford Woodruff knew him too. So it was he who, on March 8, 1844, was asked by Joseph Smith to write a letter to Colonel Copeland requesting that he come and visit the Prophet in Nauvoo, with the possibility of joining the presidential ticket. Woodruff completed the letter and showed it to Joseph Smith almost two weeks later on the 20th. No specific answer is recorded, but we can assume the answer was not a positive one, since attention is soon directed toward Sidney Rigdon instead, who accepted the nomination." Fascinating tidbit and apropos for this Election Day theme.
Finally, a post titled “My decision” just has to be about Election Day, right? Wrong. Puppies. Click in for a delightful read that has nothing to do with politics.
Now I’ve elected to include a few more great posts from the Bloggernacle:
Power pick: I’d be remiss not to point to the well-made “political neutrality” video from LDS Public Affairs that is a creative cartoon explanation of how the church approaches politics. It’d be fun to watch with your kids. Plus, for a bit more discussion on politics, check out Elder Quentin L. Cook’s answer to “Are Mormon Politicians Directed by Church Leadership?” And considering he’s in one of the highest echelons of church leadership, well, then, there you have it.
Techie tip: I wanted to spotlight an all-encompassing voter information website even though there are many state versions (just web search “voter information guide” and “your state name”) and was pleased to see that it was Google to the rescue. Google has put together a tool that allows you to put in your address, see your polling place and ballot summary as well as links to other election tools including trends, news, insights, results and more. It’s so handy. Click in to check it out, then click off and go vote.
Elder Cook on political neutrality
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve explains that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day has a long record of not interfering with public officials.
Emily Warburton Jensen loves searching through the LDS blog world for developments and testimonies that best capture the ever-evolving LDS online experience. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org