Friday, February 26, 2016

Government and God

This post isn’t about religious freedom, exactly. I just came across some words from scripture worth sharing as we’re in the midst of choosing future leadership.

I know who to trust—the giver of our rights.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.—Psalm 92:2

We need good leaders, because:

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.—Proverbs 29:2

I’m concerned about where we are in some cycle. I would prefer a reprieve from more tyranny, poverty, and savagery:

For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted.—Book of Mormon, Helaman 5:2

And then there are these basic principles about the role of government, and what kind of leaders to seek:

1 We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.
2 We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.
3 We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same; and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people if a republic….
4 …We do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul.
—Doctrine and Covenants 134:1-4

I’m not quite without hope in the people of America. We need to do all we can to choose leaders who uphold our inspired Constitution, and who will keep their word and act on principle. We have that option in this presidential election. It should be an obvious and easy choice. But it should have been an easy choice four years ago.

I pray there are enough of us truly seeking what is right that God will have mercy on us and deliver us from those—of either party—who seek to impose their will on us. We want, have prayed for, and can choose a leader who will “seek not for power, but to pull it down,” who will “seek not for honor of the world, but for the glory of [our] God, and the freedom and welfare of [our] country” (Book of Mormon, Alma 60:36).

If you haven’t yet gotten the confirming spirit of the Lord telling you in your mind and in your heart whether you are making a wise choice, “lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5), but get God’s will in your heart before you cast your vote. For the sake of all of us.

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