First Presidency encourages members to vote

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Leer en español: La Primera Presidencia anima a miembros a que voten

Elder Dallin H. Oaks talked in the Saturday morning session of General Conference, encouraging members to peacefully accept the results of this years election. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints urged Church members to vote in the upcoming election in a letter the First Presidency customarily sends to Church members in the United States during an election season.

“Citizens of the United States have the privilege and duty of electing office holders and influencing public policy,” the letter says. “Participation in the political process affects their communities and nation today and in the future. We urge Latter-day Saints to be active citizens by registering, exercising their right to vote, and engaging in civic affairs.”

While the Church has no stance on who to vote for, it encourages members to seek candidates who embody principles compatible with the gospel. Leaders also encourage members to become educated and informed on current issues and political candidates.

“Along with the options available to you through the Internet, debates, and other sources, the Church occasionally posts information about particular moral issues on which it has taken a position at www.Newsroom.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.,” the letter says.

In General Conference on Oct. 3, President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, gave a talk addressing the importance of loving our enemies.

“In a democratic government we will always have differences over proposed candidates and policies,” President Oaks said in his talk. “However, as followers of Christ we must forgo the anger and hatred with which political choices are debated or denounced in many settings.”

President Oaks also mentioned the 12th Article of Faith, which states, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” He said this does not mean members agree with all that is done to force the law.

“It means that we obey the current law and use peaceful means to change it,” President Oaks said. “It also means that we peacefully accept the results of elections.”

Elder William K. Jackson, General Authority Seventy, also spoke of political unrest in General Conference on Oct. 3. He said, “Many of our world’s problems are a direct result of clashes between those of differing ideas and customs arising from their culture.”

Elder Jackson invited members to live the culture of Christ rather than the culture of the world. “In the culture of Christ, there is perspective—and eternal focus and direction,” he said.

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