Comments about ‘'Smart Mormons': Writer draws connection between LDS beliefs about agency and modern politics’

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Published: Friday, Jan. 25 2013 1:50 p.m. MST

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Richard Larson
Galt, CA

"Smart Mormons".....
Oh that's rich....


You have to go to the 'Smart Mormons' link to get the essence of what this free lance writer was able to discover on his own.

Dave D
Pocatello, ID

Why would the Deseret News recommend such a partisan piece which applies ad hominem attacks and false analogies. Sure the guy did a decent job of explaining why agency is so important to Latter-day Saints. But he seems to to think that somehow the Republican party is the party for people who care about agency, and that Mormons identify with this party exclusively. His case that Romney lost because of his Mormonism was also very unconvincing. I think most strategists would agree that he lost because he ostracized voting bloc after voting bloc. I was very unimpressed by this piece.

Orem, UT

I was surprised how this writer, allegedly not LDS, was able to sum up a good chunk of Mormon theology in a way that I think the Mormons would consider accurate.

Spud City Idaho
Bonneville, ID

The author is LDS and served a mission. It is deceptive journalism to present what appears to be an unbiased portrayal of Mormons from a non-member, when the author is in fact LDS.

Windsor, CO

This is Mike Jensen, the author of the article in question. In response to Spud City, Idaho, whether or not I am a member of the Mormon church doesn't change what I said in my article. However, I am NOT a member of the Mormon church.


I love the victimization in this article - Obama won because he's black and Romney lost because he's Mormon and political ideology and the behavior of the candidates have nothing to do with it.

How many more articles about this are we going to be subjected to?

Let's at least look at the real reasons Romney lost instead of fishing for red herrings.

layton, UT

RE: Mike Jensen ,”,Mike Huckabee back in 2007 claimed that Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers.” True,
Lucifer…this spirit brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind.” (Gospel Through the ages. Milton Hunter)Versus Christ is God (Mosiah 7:27).
“without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.(1 Tim 3:16).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.(John 1:1)


Fourth try.

I, as an LDS member, disagree with the idea that the "fight/struggle" for free agency continues on earth and provides a legitimate basis for many Republican ideas about limited govt. At a minimum, there seems to be differing statements.
Consider Ezra Taft Benson in 1987:

"The war that began in heaven over this issue is not yet over. The conflict continues on the battlefield of mortality. And one of Lucifer’s primary strategies has been to restrict our agency through the power of earthly governments."

Contrasted by Dallin H. Oaks in 1987:

"First, because free agency is a God-given precondition to the purpose of mortal life, no person or organization can take away our free agency in mortality.

..what can be taken away or reduced by the conditions of mortality is our freedom, the power to act upon our choices. Free agency is absolute..

Freedom may be qualified or taken away (1) by physical laws, including the physical limitations with which we are born, (2) by our own action, and (3) by the action of others, including governments."

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

I see no contradiction between President Benson and Elder Oaks.

President Benson said that Lucifer used government to restrict our ability to exercise agency. Elder Oaks said that we, by our choices and our actions, can forfeit the ability to freely choose. Each choice we make can be limited by previous choices. We are accountable for the use of our agency. God intended that we be accountable, but he left the choice to us.

Until children have matured enough to understand that their actions have consequences, parents "restrict" children. Good parents know when to "let go". Good parents know that most children need to taste some of the "bitter" to appreciate the "sweet".

In today's world, government wants to force us, as Lucifer also desired, to do what government deems good and proper. Government wants the "glory". Government wants the applause. It wants to "save" us from ourselves.

God is our father. He knows how to raise children. He doesn't need any help from government to carry out his plan.

"Mormons" have been taught the "plan of salvation". We understand the scope of "eternity". Many of us base our conduct on that knowledge.



Read Oak's statement again.

He said FREEDOM can be taken away by our own action. AGENCY is absolute.

Prisoners have agency, but not freedom. The Holocaust victims had agency-- though not freedom.


Why am i blocked from submitting only 2 comments?


"Of course, mortals must still resolve many questions concerning what restrictions or consequences should be placed upon choices. But those questions come under the heading of freedom, not agency. Many do not understand that important fact. For example, when I was serving here at BYU, I heard many arguments on BYU's Honor Code or dress and grooming standards that went like this: "It is wrong for BYU to take away my free agency by forcing me to keep certain rules in order to be admitted or permitted to continue as a student." If that silly reasoning were valid, then the Lord, who gave us our agency, took it away when he gave the Ten Commandments. We are responsible to use our agency in a world of choices. It will not do to pretend that our agency has been taken away when we are not free to exercise it without unwelcome consequences."
("Weightier Matters" by Dallin H. Oaks Feb. 1999)


layton, UT

RE: God intended for humans to be free to make our own choices. True,we have free-will to choose to put mustard on a hot dog or fly a kite, but God must elect one to salvation.

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.(Romans 8:29-30 NIV)

John 6:44–45: "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.... Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me."[ESV]
John 6:65: No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father."[ESV]

Martin Luther to affirm free will is to compromise grace, then tells Erasmus, Lazarus had been dead and buried but Jesus says, Lazarus come out(John 11:43). Lazarus does not say ,I have free agency and I’m not doing it.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

"...In today's world, government wants to force us, as Lucifer also desired, to do what government deems good and proper. Government wants the "glory". Government wants the applause. It wants to "save" us from ourselves...".

As long as it's RNC led government...

It's all good...

Salt Lake City, UT

"People of real intelligence realize that the opposite was probably true: if he had been white, his vote total would have been 20 percent lower. The African-American voting bloc combined with enough whites suffering from liberal guilt guaranteed a higher vote total for Obama."

Obama only got a few points more of the African-American vote than Kerry did. Baldwin's statement is obviously wrong, but turning around and making the opposite claim is just as silly. As for Romney being hindered significantly by his faith... Obama did better against non-mormon McCain than he did against Romney. At the end of the day the vast majority of voters cared about the issues, not race or religion.


This is so far over the edge...geez. Talk about whine. Maybe Mitt lost because he wasn't credible. Maybe people thought he appeared to be an arrogant bully with a strong sense of entitlement. Maybe people sensed he didn't have the class they wanted to see in our nations top executive. Mitt was the first loser in ages to boycott the inauguration; like it or not, many see that as a spoiled rich guy home pouting. Maybe he lost because he couldn't carry ANY "classic" minority voting blocs. African American's didn't like him, Hispanics didn't like him, Jews didn't like him...women didn't like him. The 47% remarks showed his true colors...as did the fact that he then tried to distance himself from those remarks saying it was wrong...until after the election when he tripled down. Mitt just came off as a guy you can't trust; THAT is why he lost.

J Thompson

There are many who pretend to understand agency, accountability and force who deny how one affects the other. Some claim that the government's heavy boot on our necks is somehow equivalent to Christ's invitation to follow in his footsteps. Some think that coercion for the "public good" is acceptable. Some confuse agency with free agency. We are never free from our choices. If we, under the guise of government, force others to do our will, then we are responsible for the consequences of their actions. Christ made it possible for us to live and he makes it possible for us to live forever, but he does not force us to obey him. We are invited to obey.

If we choose to live Christ's laws, we become candidates of his kingdom. He will never force us to obey his laws. We use our agency to choose to obey. Government cannot vouch for us in God's kingdom. God does not employ government workers to run his church.

Sacramento, CA

I read the article referred to. Romney lost because, for one, enough Americans didn't feel lucky that he gifted us with the opportunity to choose him. He suffered from comparisons with his dad, who was transparent about his finances, and willing to say what he really believed rather than what was expedient. He fell in with the tea party and took positions that told women he didn't trust them to know their own needs, undocumented residents that he disliked them, LGBT people that they were second-class citizens, and let poor people know he flat couldn't care less since he didn't like them anyway. He seemed not to care about delving into the things he would need to know background information on, and worst of all, it was hard to know whether he would be accessible to anyone, or if we would receive the kind of information as a country we needed if he won. No one cared about his religion, or Obama's race, and those who may have considered those things a dealbreaker would not have voted for anyone in their respective parties anyway.

SLC gal
Salt Lake City, UT

I could have told you all this sans the statistics. Sad but true fact is everybody is so busy screaming "racist" every time someone looks at the president funny, that he is getting away with things a president with a different skin type would never be able to pull off.


@ SLCGal: Care to provide some specifics? And what proof do you have that he is "getting away with it" because of his skin color (a very racist comment by the way) and not because people like and support what he is doing?

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