As a disclaimer for the following article, I would like to remind everyone that my opinion does not necessarily reflect that of the College Democrats, Church, or BYU-I. Any disagreements are to be directed at myself.
It all started over the summer when I viewed a message board comprised of BYU-I students. The subject of politics had come up and opinions were flying. I noticed something however that bothered me quite a bit. By the time I got up here for school this semester I had largely forgotten about it, until the issue raised its head again in a class room discussion (carried out over a several day stretch). It is on it that this article is about.
The issue is conformity.
More specifically, at what point do we as Latter-Day Saints exchange our personal views for those conforming to what the Church has said? We as Saints feel very strongly about agency, the right to choose, and about acting on what we feel is right. Some I feel have taken these principles too far though. In the discussions there were some who expressed that they felt that women should have the right to get an abortion anytime the wanted. There were some who felt that gays should be allowed to marry. There were some who felt that communism was the best form of government.
These conversations raise the issue: “While the Church doesn’t require us to vote a certain way, when our opinion on political matters differs from what the Church and its leaders have expressed, should we forsake our way of thinking?”
I say we should.
One of the primary reasons for our being here is to learn to trust in the Lord, and to bring our thoughts, actions, and desires in line with His. He has called Prophets in our day to guide us not just spiritually, but in a very real, physical way. We are expected to forsake false teachings that the world expounds for the truth that scripture and revelation teaches. False teachings are not regulated to matters relating to the proper mode of baptism, or the necessity of authority. They exist in science, medicine, philosophy, psychiatry, sociology, and politics (just to name a few).
When our ideas or the wisdom of the world is in opposition to what the Scriptures say, or what the Prophets (note the plural) have said, it is our obligation as Disciples of Christ to think as he would have us think. When it says, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints favors a constitutional amendment preserving marriage as the lawful union of a man and a woman” what right do we have to say “I think the Church is wrong” and still call ourselves faithful members? We have none, and we stand as hypocrites.
We have an obligation to seek out the Church’s stance on every issue. Where it has taken none we must do our best through prayer and wise judgment. But where it has taken a stance we should stand by it, for no amount of false teachings or false revelation on our part will change the truth. As Elder Maxwell once said, “There didn’t seem to be any problem with conformity the day the