It was bound to happen — put a Mormon in the presidential race and people would start saying eye-opening stuff. At first it came from people outside our faith: members of other faiths who misunderstood us, politicians trying to win a majority vote and celebrities who were outspoken against Prop 8. But now the most surprising things are coming from our own faith. More and more strange things are said at the pulpit and we as members stray further away from the doctrine of the church into more speculation. So we really can’t blame reporters for getting their hands on the crazy things we say.
One thing I learned on my mission is that it is OK to not know the answer to everything. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we don’t have to explain God’s reasoning for doing something and we shouldn’t try — it only gets us into trouble. I am not just referring to the most recent instance involving a BYU professor. I am talking about how the Washington Post regularly publishes new articles about something to do with the Mormon church. In almost every article someone mouths off their own opinion that brings more negative attention. In addition, we keep throwing ourselves into a negative spotlight by performing baptisms for the dead — a sacred ordinance that is intended to be done for our own ancestors — for dead celebrities, holocaust victims and Gandhi.
We really need to get our acts together. Whether we are voting for Romney or not this is a great opportunity to do missionary work by preaching pure doctrine in the way we demonstrate our faith, by the way we conduct our lives and not so much what we say. But when it does come to speaking, leave it to the people who know what they are talking about instead of embarrassing ourselves by arguing against anti-Mormons, or posting YouTube videos with your own opinion on politics and church doctrine.