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October 13, 2012

15

Can a Christian vote for a Mormon in the U.S. Presidential Election?

by Dave Malnes

In just a few short weeks, millions of Americans will be gathering at the polls to elect our nation’s president. For the first time in history, one of the presidential nominees from a major political party happens to belong to the Mormon Church.  Since many American are unfamiliar with Mormonism, religion is playing a role in the minds of the electorate.  Questions are being asked that are similar to the one’s posed in JFK’s candidacy in 1960. Some key questions being considered are to what authority a Mormon U.S. president must answer to if he is to be faithful in his beliefs and to serve our county?  Can a Christian vote for a Mormon?

Due to the nature of Truth in Love Ministry, we receive requests on how our ministry feels about the upcoming presidential election. Since TILM is a recognized non-profit organization, we cannot endorse nor suggest on how to vote, but we can give our observations towards this historic election.

With any candidate running for an elected office, a concerned voter ought to know the views of the candidates and where they stand on key issues.  Quite often, Mormons will have conservative views as it pertains to public policy.  Living in Idaho, we have voted for Mormons.  They make up roughly 25% of the population in Idaho and have proven to be very good elected officials. The same evaluation can be applied to presidential candidates. We encourage every person to study the policies and platform of each candidate and allow that to be a major influence on their decision.

There are some Christians who are concerned that a faithful Mormon will be required to obey the Living Prophet of the Mormon Church since his words are considered by Mormons to be divinely inspired and take precedence over all LDS Scripture — including the Bible.  Out of fear, some Christians are choosing to sit out the election. Even though this is what Mormons teach, we don’t share the same level of concern for the following reasons: 1) The LDS Church believes the U.S. Constitution is divinely inspired. Current writings from Mormon authorities suggest that the U.S. President is sworn to uphold the constitution and that oath will be given great respect; 2) In our democratic government, there are still many checks and balances. If the U.S. president attempts to carry out anything that is detrimental to our nation or to the office of the presidency, there are strong courses of action that can override previous decisions or actions by the president, and 3) the Mormon Church is very smart and savvy.  We are confident  they will not put a Mormon president into any compromising position that will cause the nation, or their church, to be cast into a bad light.

The thought of having a Mormon U.S. president still gives us cause for some concerns.  The office of the U.S. presidency still carries great weight and influence throughout the world.  With that influence, a Mormon president can provide far greater windows of opportunity for the LDS church to advance its mission activities throughout the world. A Mormon president will also provide even greater credibility to Mormonism.  Mormons consider themselves Christian and believe their church is a Christian denomination.  The teachings of Mormonism do not follow orthodox biblical Christianity in any sense of the term.  So much so, that Mormonism cannot be considered either Christian or even a Christian denomination.  Left unchecked, Mormonism can further its cause in being considered a valid Christian church that was birthed in America.  With its teachings emphasizing works and progression, it resonates with the American Dream of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  Mormons believe they are the one true Church. The election of a Mormon president could continue to sow the seeds for the U.S. to eventually become a Mormon nation with a new ethos that redefines Christian thought and teachings.  This concern resonates with many people out west who are familiar with Mormonism.  Perhaps a Mormon president will shed new light and expose its teachings.

No matter what happens on election day, Christians can take comfort in knowing that we have a Sovereign God who appoints rulers and authorities, who allows all nations to flourish or dissolve, and will guide the results according to his purpose and will.  Whoever is elected, it will be for our good and will be carrying out God’s will and purpose. God has supremacy over all created things.  Sometimes God blesses nations by allowing power, influence and worldly wealth to overflow.  Sometimes God takes away.  Sometimes he listens to the prayers of his people, and sometimes he turns his face away from those who have turned their back on him. God knows what is best for the good of his people.

In the meantime, we exercise our faith by trusting in the promises of God no matter who is elected as U.S. president or any other elected office.  “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.  They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.”  (Psalm 20:7-8) As Americans, we exercise our citizenship by going to the polls and voting, by giving voice to policy, and by praying for our nation.  As Christians, we exercise our citizenship in heaven by giving greater credence to what is most important: God’s election to the heavenly realms, our prayers and concerns for the salvation of all people, and growing in grace and in confidence that all of God’s promises are true.

This article appeared in the Fall 2012 newsletter of Truth in Love Ministry

15 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oct 13 2012

    A Christian is a human, and perhaps an American. As an American citizen of age who is registered to vote, they can vote for whoever they want. It doesn’t put their salvation into questions. Why frame it as if it could?

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    • Dave Malnes
      Oct 15 2012

      You make a good point. The reason is that many Christians are struggling and the attempt is to validate their struggle. I hope the article addresses that as an American citizen, we don’t need to do that.

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  2. Oct 14 2012

    Personally, I vote the same way a lawyer “picks” a jury. I strike out the candidates and vote for the one left standing. There will likely be a day that our choices are between two complete atheists. If we are still a democracy, then I will continue to vote against the one that I am most concerned about.

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    • Dave Malnes
      Oct 15 2012

      Thanks for the reply. There are going to be tough decisions to be made on election day.

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  3. Jim Baur
    Oct 17 2012

    A Mormon believes that he is Christian. I am convinced that a Mormon president will support my Christian values and preserve my religious freedoms/rights.

    The Mormon in question has assured the American people that his religion is his source of values, but he will not use his office to promote the Mormon religion.

    The Mormon religion is an offense to the Gospel message. However, this religion will not be forced on the American people.

    On the other hand, I believe the platform of the Democrat party support policies which are an offense to the Gospel message. These platforms are endorsed by the current president and will be promoted, and in some instances forced, upon the American people. The doctrine of offense tells us we must not concede on a matter if it is an offense to the Gospel message. Because of this, I cannot vote for the current president.

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    • Dave Malnes
      Oct 18 2012

      Thanks for your reply, Jim. Tough decisions to make. I appreciate your insights.

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  4. KB
    Oct 17 2012

    I am a Christian and I will be voting for Obama because he has accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior. Romney is a pastor in the Morman Church.

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    • Dave Malnes
      Oct 18 2012

      Thanks for the reply KB. Both men claim to follow Jesus Christ and each has an interpretation on what that specifically means. Because we can’t judge hearts, we can judge job performance and policy positions. That ought to be our determining factor in our decisions.

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  5. Lanikai
    Oct 17 2012

    What concerns me regarding a President Romney is what previous prophets have said. Ezra Taft Benson’s 1980 speech titled “The Fourteen Fundamentals of a Prophet” states that the prophet can receive revelation on any matter – temporal or spiritual and that he can be involved in civic matters. Any issue; public, personal, religious or political is within the purview of the “mouthpiece” of God. This belief in combination with the oaths Romney has sworn in the temple cause me to distrust his ability to lead freely, independantly and unemcumbered from his church and for the church to stay out of the business of the nation. I simply could not vote for him.

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    • Dave Malnes
      Oct 18 2012

      Thank you Lanikai. I’ve considered that as a possibility. However, Mormonism is more about deeds than creeds — they are more about action than historical precedence of what was spoken in the past. Whatever advances the cause of the church is paramount. So, in Romney’s case, even though what you said is true, I don’t think it will apply. The only thing that would concern me is if/when our nation falls under great duress, how will a leader respond? Will it be in the best interest of our nation or a power grab. The latter can be tempting and our world has a long history of power grabs when the opportunity presents itself. Which candidate would you rather have? To be honest, I don’t know.

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      • Lanikai
        Oct 18 2012

        Thanks for your insights Dave; I really appreciate your viewpoint. One of the questions I have is what is the real cause of the LDS church today? If Mormonism is more about deeds than creeds what are they really trying to accomplish? What is the end goal? Do these various statements that their own prophets have said over the years just go away? And just because it is in the past, does that make it not true anymore? I’d like to know if the church really accepts the idea of separation of church and state; leaders in their history didn’t seem to. John F. Kennedy could make an argument that Mitt Romney never can. What are your thoughts?

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      • Dave Malnes
        Oct 19 2012

        Thank. You made some good and valid thoughts. To further your point, I believe the LDS have prophecies that say that a Mormon leader will rise up during a during a time of national duress and that the Mormon Church needs to prepare for that. With that being said, a democracy is always at peril of any political or religious movement — no matter who it might be. Whether it be a theocracy or a socialist, fascist or communism. Freedom is always at risk. With the growing political chasm of extremism we have today, I’m concerned about the future of our country. Just read a great book “God and Government” by Chuck Colson — which is a update of his classic, “Kingdoms in Conflict”. He talks to this point of colliding kingdoms — of God and of the world. So, there is a lot at stake and a lot to consider in voting for president. Though your point is valid, it will not be my determining factor in my decision. And, as it stands now, I still believe a person can evaluate a candidacy on their record, exercise the freedom to vote for what they think is the best candidate, believe in our democracy that still has checks and balances, pray for wisdom, and have confidence that God is ultimately in control and knows what’s best for our country. Thanks again for your thoughtful reply.

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  6. Oct 19 2012

    To summarize, Mormonism is not Christian, but that is not the only (and maybe not the leading) consideration when Christians vote. Christians may vote for candidates who are not Christians, for at issue is not the leadership of a local Christian church or Christian denomination. In the race for president, for example, our goal is not to elect a preacher-in-chief but a commander-in-chief.

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  7. Oct 28 2012

    Mormons believe Lucifer is Jesus’ brother and that there are many gods and you can become one too.

    Watch this Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HSlbuli7HM&feature=g-like

    Would you elect the Devil President if he said the right things?

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    • Dave Malnes
      Oct 28 2012

      Thanks for the comment. The U.S. is still a democracy with checks and balances. Too much hyperbole already in TV ads.

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