Monday, November 10, 2008

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

I have been thinking a lot about the idea of separation of church and state, so to speak. But I cannot justify separating my beliefs from the way I vote - it would be unconscionable. My intention is not to offend anyone with opposing views - and I'm tired of the double standard of "you have to respect my opinion, but I don't have to respect yours." This is why I don't understand the recent misguided protests against the LDS church. The church does not get involved in politics - but it's members do. Because we are citizens of the United States of America. Where people have the right to vote however they choose. The right to choose is a huge part of my religious beliefs. And I choose to not be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

From an address delivered at Brigham Young University, 10 October 1978 by Neal A. Maxwell, “A More Determined Discipleship.”
"Discipleship includes good citizenship. In this connection, if you are a careful student of the statements of the modern prophets, you will have noticed that with rare exceptions—especially when the First Presidency has spoken out—the concerns expressed have been over moral issues, not issues between political parties. The declarations are about principles, not people; and causes, not candidates. . . .

"Make no mistake about it . . . in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. (See 1 Kgs. 18:21.)

"President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had 'never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life' (in Conference Report, Apr. 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short . . . not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ! . . .

"Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. . . . This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions. Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened. . . .

"Our founding fathers did not wish to have a state church established nor to have a particular religion favored by government. They wanted religion to be free to make its own way. But neither did they intend to have irreligion made into a favored state church. . . .

"Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel.

"There will also be times . . . when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself. . . ."


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