As a people who have decided to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, Mormons should seek opportunities to make peace in the political world.
Ernest Benn once said, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble [and] finding it everywhere.” With the political world becoming more and more polarized, it’s easy to take a cynical approach to politics.
However, we have been taught that we have a divinely appointed duty to take part in shaping our government in whatever ways we can. This can mean becoming involved in such activities as voting in elections, serving in local government, and promoting our ideals on social media.
In “Instruments of the Lord’s Peace,” a talk given in general conference, Elder Robert S. Wood warns against the brewing wrath in the world. Some people are more than willing to attack others’ beliefs without thinking of the merit those beliefs might have. There are people today—just like people we read about in the scriptures—who try to stir up anger and contention in the world. “Have we who have taken upon us the name of Christ slipped unknowingly into patterns of slander, evil speaking, and bitter stereotyping?” Elder Woods asks. This contention serves to tear us apart as a people while the purpose of politics and government is to unite us in the service of others despite our differences.
Elder Wood urges us to be peacemakers and to follow the counsels given by the Savior himself. Christ has never commanded us to adopt one political ideology over another, and neither has his church. Christ did, however, speak out for moral issues and has directed us to follow suit. In speaking out, we should remember to follow the two greatest commandments: to love and serve God and to love and serve our fellow man.
Read Elder Robert S. Woods’s complete address, “Instruments of the Lord’s Peace.”
—Bradley Elders, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
Read the Church’s official statement of political neutrality published on Mormon Newsroom.
Read a discussion of our duties as citizens, published in the Gospel Topics section of lds.org.
Read Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s “Faith, Family, and Religious Freedom,” an address given at the J. Reuben Clark Law Society Conference in Washington, D.C., on February 15, 2013.
President Gordon B. Hinckley urges us to fulfill our responsibility toward others; read what he has to say.
Thank you for this article. The quote you included is an impactful one. It is easier to know how to act when you think about it in the context of being a worthy disciple of Christ.