Because of the importance of the coming election and the choices which will be made, it has been suggested that next we participate in a day of prayer and thanksgiving on the weekend of November 1st and 2nd. Since there will be many who will be casting their votes early, it seems appropriate to say something today about prayerfully exercising our responsibilities as citizens.
The following letter was issued by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on September 11, 2008, to be read to Church congregations throughout the United States:
Political Participation, Voting, and the Political Neutrality of the Church
As citizens we have the privilege and duty of electing office holders and influencing public policy. Participation in the political process affects our communities and nation today and in the future.
Latter-day Saints as citizens are to seek out and then uphold leaders who will act with integrity and are wise, good, and honest. Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties.
Therefore, in this election year, we urge you to register to vote, to study the issues and candidates carefully and prayerfully, and then to vote for and actively support those you believe will most nearly carry out your ideas of good government.
The Church affirms its neutrality regarding political parties, platforms, and candidates. The Church also affirms its constitutional right of expression on political and social issues.
Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
The First Presidency
Not only can we pray for divine guidance and wisdom as we go to the polls, but we can thank God for the privilege of living in the United States and ask God to bless our nation. We can pray that our fellow countrymen will understand the principles of the constitution and make choices that will best preserve our liberty.
The Doctrine and Covenants gives us a standard by which we can evaluate candidates and ballot measures:
And that law of the land which is constitutional supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you . . . in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land; And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil. I, the Lord God, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free. Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn. Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil. (D&C 98:5-10)