The political climate in our country has been very heated for a long time, and recent events show that it’s not going to cool down anytime soon. Church leaders have encouraged members to be actively engaged and informed in their communities and local and national politics. They urge members to vote during crucial political campaigns, and offer counsel to “seek those candidates who best embody [the gospel] principles.” In this time of unrest, are we using the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the basis for our personal political decisions?
We are bombarded with opinions from every side and we must constantly find the balance between standing up for our beliefs and being understanding of differing opinions. How do we do this? How can we be bold politically and still “be in favour with God and man?”
1. Study Christ’s life.
Perhaps it’s time for WWJD bracelets to make a comeback. (I know, I know. Laugh it out.)
But seriously. In these confusing times, what would He do? Christ spent His time teaching those who needed it most. He was very clear that the Lord’s laws and standards are definite and binding. He taught of love, tolerance, and peace. However, He had no problem throwing out the moneychangers from His Father’s house. Christ dared to be bold when it was necessary.
Through studying His actions and the political climate of His time, we can better imitate Christ in our political actions. His example can help us know when to be bold, when to teach, and when to turn the other cheek.
2. Take the time to be informed about political issues
We may feel like some political issues are an “easy choice,” but we must be sure that we are taking the time to truly consider both sides of the argument. The Lord counsels us to “reason together” that we may understand. The Lord cannot draw from an empty well; likewise, He cannot guide us in our political practices if we haven’t taken the time to understand the issues and decisions we need to make.
3. Apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ to your mortal struggles
The Gospel is meant to be a guide for us during our time on Earth. The solutions to our personal struggles that we find through the gospel can also be applied to our political stance. Study the Lord’s feelings on agency, self-sufficiency, caring for the poor, government, paying taxes, education, and finances. Knowing the Lord’s feelings on these issues will help us make political choices that are in line with Him and His will.
4. Let the Holy Spirit guide
It’s okay to take time to consider a personal stance on a political issue. We need to make sure that during that time we are allowing the Spirit to lead us and to educate our decision. We must include the Holy Ghost in our journey because it’s by His power that we can know the truth of all things.
Political choices are absolutely personal. Every person and every family is at a different stage in life with different experiences behind them and different needs ahead of them. Trust that the Lord knows what’s going on in our country. Trust that He knows you, your needs, and most importantly, He knows your heart. Pray for His help and guidance as you make your way through all the political issues we face.
Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you. (Alma 34:27)