Sunday, October 28, 2012

Elections and being a Mormon

 As I went to the polls this past week to cast my vote for president of this great country that I live in, I was struck by how many people said such horrible things about my religion due to the fact that Mitt Romney is a Mormon.  In my head the 2 should never come up.  I feel as though religion and politics should be completely different and not related at all.  That being said, I feel like being spiritual is at the very core of what this country was built on, but a man's religion should not determine if he will make a good president.

I was raised in a home with a father who is a democrat, and a mother who is a republican.  My parents taught me as I grew up that when I became of age to vote, that I should vote for the PERSON, not the PARTY.  When I turned the legal age to vote in this country, I registered as a democrat.  I still consider myself a democrat 10 years later, but that doesn't determine whom I vote for.  I vote for the person that I believe will be the best person to run this country.

These past few weeks as I have watched the debates, as many of you have, I have been more in favor of President Obama.  I have gotten a lot of grief here in Utah because "How in the world would you not vote for Mitt Romney?  He's a Mormon."  It actually blows my mind that someone would say this to me.  I have never believed that religion is a part of politics, so why now would I ever vote for a religion over a man?  The Mormon church is not going to be running the country if Mitt Romney wins, Mitt Romney will be running our country, and I don't believe he is better for the job than Pres. Obama.  I don't understand how people can question my opinion here in Utah.

I grew up knowing that I was raised in a very Republican state. I know that the majority of my state is right winged, and I also realize that my democratic vote will not really matter in this state because of how they control the polling throughout this country.  The majority wins, and in Utah; the majority is ALWAYS republican.  So even though people know that, I have been blown away that would still give me grief.

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.  Who would be best for us, as an individual.  Mitt Romney is not the best for ME, in MY opinion.  You are more than welcome to disagree with me, but you will not see me slam down your opinion or call you crazy for voting for a republican.  I believe we all were given equal rights for a reason, and I choose to vote for the person that I believe in the most, not the party, and definitely NOT the religion.

I am a part of a group here in Utah called the "LDS (Latter Day Saints) Democrats".  It is a group of "Mormons" that are democrats.  I have learned to love these people, and I know they are good people.  They are Mormon, they are democrat, and they are voting for President Obama; and they are equally loved by their Father in Heaven, just as much as any republican is.

As you come to vote this election day, please don't vote for the party or the religion.  If you believe Mitt Romney is the best for job as President of the United States, then please VOTE FOR HIM.  But if you are voting for him due to the fact that he is Mormon, you need to look at your values and morals, and know that just because he's Mormon doesn't mean he's the best.  The same goes for President Obama.  Just because he has been the President for 4 years, doesn't mean he's the best option.  You need to vote for the man who will do the best job for YOU as an individual, and not because he's a "Mormon" or is "Black".  You need to vote for the best leader of the free world that we are privileged enough to live in.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Never leave your Religion at the door

I had a neat opportunity since moving to Salt Lake, and specifically this last Sunday.  I reside in the Salt Lake City 1st ward.  This ward was created by Brigham Young in 1849.  It was the 1st ward ever.  I also live in the house that Gordon B. Hinkley was raised in.  The amazing thing about all this, is yesterday for the 1st time the 1st presidency of our church made a decision to adjust the wards in the Sugarhouse branch.  In 1930 this branch had over 15,000 members of the church.  Today we have a little over 3800 members.  For ever 12 people that live in the boundaries of our ward there is 1 member of the church.  My ward that I have been going to is one of the smallest wards I have ever been in, and I live in Utah; you know, Mormonville.  :)  

Yesterday at the meeting I sat by a woman who grew up with Gordon B. Hinkley. She told me about him as a child, and how even as the President of the church he would come back to that ward and share his testimony.  He would go and visit the elderly women that he knew, and of course his wife who grew up across the street was always there as well.  It was amazing to hear these stories.

As I sat in that meeting and learned that my branch of 7 wards was going to be cut down to 4 wards to make bigger wards, I was floored.  Now instead of 1 in 12 it will be 1 in 6.  I was touched by the things these men said, by the tenderness they had while sharing this news to women and men who have lived in this area since the 30's and 40's.  It was amazing to me that President Monson himself wrote a personal letter to this stake letting them know that this change was his decision and that is was the will of the Lord.  

I watched the ladies cry, and hug each other, and then I listened as so many of them stood and shared their testimony with me.  The lives that these women have lived blew my mind.  They were here when the church was brand new and just being formed, and they have stayed righteous Latter Day Saint Christians their entire lives.  

I was touched by the spirit of that meeting.  I was touched by the love this branch had for one another, and I was touched by the love the bishops, and stake president had for their congregations.

Through this experience I learned an amazing thing.  I am the minority where I live now.  For the 1st time in my life I am on the outside looking in, and it's vital that I live my religion every day.  These women taught me yesterday, that you need to live your religion 100% of the time no matter where you are.  I'm grateful for their love, their amazing examples, and for the opportunity I had to listen to these amazing women of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.