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For me, as a conservative Mormon guy living in Washington state, the 2012 elections were rough in a number of ways, starting from the top down:

  1. Romney lost the election.  I had spent a year volunteering for his campaign and truly thought he had a good chance of winning.  He nearly pulled it off, but him losing was like me watching the Seahawks lose in Super Bowl 40.  Not fun.
  2. Washington State legalized marijuana.  Not only for medicinal purposes, but also for daily use.
  3. Gay marriage was passed in our state as well.

All of these things hit me like a tidal wave on election night and I had a hard time sleeping as I considered my children and the hearts of people around me in society.  I wondered where we are as a society in putting God first.  Obviously, we’re not where we need to be and it scared me.

As I saw what my friends and family members where writing about on Facebook the next day, I saw quite often comments such as “I’m moving to a different country” or “I like the idea of living like the Amish do” and “Let’s move away from society and have a compound”.  These were written out of frustration and not in complete seriousness (I hope), but it caused me to think.

Do I want to raise kids in this environment?  If not, where and why would we run?

How can I support my new leaders of the country, even though I do not hold the same political views?

What do we do Now?

Other concerned citizens provided great examples of how we should unite as a nation and make the best of the situation.  Also, the scriptures have excellent recommendations too.

2 Examples

My first example is Mitt Romney.  In his  concession speech, he set a very good example of being a gracious person.  He discussed his love for country and the people who had supported him.  He gave some advice and most importantly, he told Obama that he would pray for him.

When he said this, I was very impressed.  This man (Obama) had slandered his (Romney) name up and down and painted him as a beast to the American people for most of 2012.  Obama had attacked Romney as a person, not his policies.  Romney showed what we as citizens should always remember to do and that is pray for our leaders of the country.

The next example I have is a less-known citizen in my state who was running for Congress.  His name is John Koster.  I had supported him in the elections as well.  I’ll quote some of what he said in an email I received from him today:

Like many Americans, I am stunned at the tough night so many on the conservative side had around the country on Tuesday, and that Barack Obama was re-elected as President. Sean Hannity remarked yesterday that he wondered if the “allure and appeal of socialism and redistribution of wealth has taken hold.”

I hope he is wrong.

I am equally stunned that we have legalized marijuana right here in our home state of Washington; and if the slim margin favoring the pro Referendum-74 vote holds up, we will have legalized same-sex marriages as well.

It seems obvious to me that we have swung wildly in the wrong political direction and that we are now at a point where our society WILL suffer the consequences inherent with bad law and liberal representation.

Ben Franklin challenged future generations of Americans when he said “we have given you a Republic if you can keep it”. To heed Franklin’s wise words, it will be important in the coming days that each and every one of us continues to do our part in defending the Republic – as we are likely in for some difficult times!

We must, however, keep the faith and keep our chins up. We must dig down deep and continue the battle for truth wherever possible, working to defend our values and way of life through our community involvement, church outreach, clubs and social gatherings. We must remain in the battle if we intend to win the war.

Hard as it may be at this moment, we must also pray for our leaders at all levels of government as we are commanded in the Holy Scriptures. Pray that they would govern with honesty and integrity; that they would understand and implement justice through constitutional law as endowed by our Creator.

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior…” -1 Timothy 2:1-3

Again, I humbly thank you for your loyal support as well as your continued friendship. It has been an honor to have run for the United States Congress intent on representing people such as you. May God continue to bless this great nation and may we as a people remain worthy of those blessings for many generations to come.

Both of these men are excellent examples of how we as concerned citizens should support our leaders.  I intend to heed their advice and pray for our leaders, even if I do not support all of their views politically.

The Scriptures

As I pondered things on election night, my thoughts were turned to the scriptures.

Although society is not even close to the events that happen in the Book of Mormon, during the prophet Mormon’s life, I thought about him.  His whole society was collapsing and his people were being wiped out.  He was tempted to leave them, but he chose to fight with them and pray for them and he even gave his life along side them, never giving up hope that they would repent and turn towards God.

I also looked up scriptures in the Bible and there are numerous scriptures that talk about our role as citizens is to support our leaders of the nation, yet continue to lead moral lives and be a “light on the hill” as Jesus says.

Conclusion

While it is tempting to through up our hands when we see our society choosing paths that are not consistent to what we believe to be true, the scriptures and others around us give us good examples of what our roles truly are.  I believe that we should do all we can to raise our children up in truth and we need to do all we can to keep ourselves in line with the Lord.  At that point, we can then be used as an instrument in God’s hand to provide light and guidance to those around us.

 

I read a recent study called “Why Marriage Matters” that listed 30 key findings supporting the institution of marriage.  Since my parents were divorced when I was young, I can personally relate to many of the key findings.  In fact, I noticed that many of the findings outlined in this study such as mental and psychological distress, delinquent behavior, etc. were ones I experienced personally and wrote about in a recently published book: “Discovering Light: 12 Steps to Overcoming Anxiety and Depression without Medication“.

I’ll outline 10 of the findings that I was either surprised about, or personally experienced.

Ten Findings Supporting the Institution of Marriage

  1. Parental marriage is associated with a sharply lower risk of infant mortality
  2. Marriage is associated with reduced rates of alcohol and substance abuse for both adults and teens.
  3. Children whose parents divorce have higher rates of psychological distress and mental illness.
  4. Cohabitation is associated with higher levels of psychological problems among children
  5. Family breakdown appears to increase significantly the risk of suicide.
  6. Boys raised in non-intact families are more likely to engage in delinquent and criminal behavior
  7. Marriage is a virtually universal human institution.
  8. Divorce and unmarried childbearing increase poverty for both children and mothers, and cohabitation is less likely to alleviate poverty than is marriage.
  9. Married men earn more money than do single men with similar education and job histories.
  10. Married people, especially married men, have longer life expectancies than do otherwise similar singles.

While I’m not saying everyone needs to go running out there and get married to solve the world’s problems, I do believe that if a man and a women have a loving relationship that it is most beneficial for society if they get married rather than live with each other, which we see very often today.

What are your thoughts on these findings?

A former LDS prophet and president of the church, George Albert Smith, stated the following:

We might learn a lesson from the ant. He harvests his supplies when they are available and stores them up against the day when it would not be possible to obtain them. The result is that his larder is usually well stocked. The grasshopper, a much larger insect, does not operate that way. He does not lay up anything in store for hard times, but depends upon providence to provide him what he needs, and the result is that most grasshoppers starve to death.

I fear that some human beings are like the grasshopper and do not take advantage of the opportunities that are theirs in a reasonable way. If they would take a lesson from the ant, they would lay up the food that they need and always have some on hand.

Smith is obviously discussing the need for preparing ourselves temporally against life’s challenges and there are scriptures that support doing this.  As we discussed the need to store things up and prepare for a rainy day in Elders Quorum (Men’s Group), some of the ways we should prepare included:

  • Eliminating debt
  • Having food and water storage
  • Savings account and also money on hand
  • Investments
  • Insurance
  • First Aid education
  • A way to protect or defend family
  • Having a Will
  • Self Reliance such as knowing how to repair, raise a garden, etc.

These are all good, but I can see where people could interpret scripture to mean that we should be grasshoppers instead of ants.  For example, Jesus teaches in both the Book of Mormon and Bible to “take no thought for your life what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body what ye shall put on…” (the Book of Mormon shows clearly that He is talking to the apostles and not disciples in general.  However, the Bible isn’t as clear about singling out the apostles). 

According to that scripture, it would seem that Jesus is admonishing us to not worry about worldly things and all we really need to worry about is following Him and He will provide us with what we need.

I can see a benefit of both.  For practical reasons, it is good to prepare for the future.  However, I can see why people think doing so is a lack of faith since the scriptures seem to show a case for doing it either way.

What are your thoughts?  Are you a grasshopper or ant, and why?

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