Vote for Principles Over Party, Politics and Pocketbook

With the 2008 election not too far away I felt inspired to create a video regarding upholding principles over political parties.  I have also gathered quotes from LDS prophets and other leaders on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMpPPN_ILEo

Now, I am not caring today, for myself, anything at all about a political party tag. So far as I am concerned, I want to know what the man stands for …When I find out these things, when I know who it is who should receive my support, and I care not what his party tag is…Today, our duty transcends party allegiance; our duty today is allegiance to the Constitution as it was given to us by the Lord. (J. Reuben Clark, Jr., CR 10/62:8)

They serve to organize factions…to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of the party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority…Let me… warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirity of party…The alternate domination of one faction over another, shapened by the spirit of revenge…has perperated the most horrid enormities…It [the contention between the parties] serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. (Washington’s Farewell Address)

“We honor these partners [friends outside the Church] because their devotion to correct principles overshadowed their devotion to popularity, party , or personalities.

“We honor our founding fathers of this republic for the same reason. God raised up these patriotic partners to perform their mission, and he called them “wise men.” (see D&C 101:80.) The First Presidency acknowledged that wisdom when they gave us the guideline a few years ago of supporting political candidates “who are truly dedicated to the Constitution in the tradition of our Founding Fathers.” (Deseret News, November 2, 1964.) . . .

“Our wise founders seemed to understand, better than most of us, our own scripture, which states that “it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority . . . they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” (D&C 121:39.)

“To help prevent this, the founders knew that our elected leaders should be bound by certain fixed principles. Said Thomas Jefferson: “In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

“These wise founders, our patriotic partners, seemed to appreciate more than most of us the blessings of the boundaries that the Lord set within the Constitution, for he said, “And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.” (D&C 98:7.)

“In God the founders trusted, and in his Constitution—not in the arm of flesh. “O Lord,” said Nephi, “I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; . . . cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.”” (2 Nephi 4:34.) (“Civic Standards for the Faithful Saints” 59-60)

…each priesthood holder should use his influence in the community to resist the erosion process which is taking place in our political and economic life. He should use the political party of his choice to express his evaluation of important issues. He should see that his party is working to preserve freedom, not destroy it. He should join responsible local groups interested in promoting freedom and free competitive enterprise, in studying political issues, appraising the voting records and proposed programs, and writing to members of Congress, promoting good men in public office, and scrutinizing local, state, and federal agencies to see that the will of the people is being carried out. He should not wait for the Lord’s servants to give instruction for every detail once they have announced the direction in which the priesthood should go. Each member should exercise prayerful judgment and then act. [Ezra Taft Benson – God, Family, Country]

We must be devoted to sound principles in word and deed: principle above party, principle above pocketbook, principle above popularity. [Ezra Taft Benson – God, Family, Country]

“We engage in the election the same as in any other principle; you are to vote for good men, and if you do not do this it is a sin; to vote for wicked men, it would be sin . Choose the good and refuse the evil. Men of false principles have preyed upon us like wolves upon helpless lambs.…. Let every man use his liberties according to the Constitution. Don’t fear man or devil; electioneer with all people, male and female, and exhort them to do the thing that is right. We want a President of the United States, not a party President, but a President of the whole people…and…. Have a President who will maintain every man in his rights .” (Hyrum Smith, 1844, DHC-6:323)

“No political party is justified to continue in existence unless it clearly states the principles which it advocates, the platform upon which its candidates stand, and then with integrity, when and if elected, carry out those principles and live up to that platform. Except that be the case, we as Latter-day Saints should not align ourselves to any party, because we do not have the basis upon which we can make an intelligent decision. We must know what they stand for before we can favor them with our vote.” (Henry D. Moyle, CR-4/52:36)

Joseph Smith was against the party system and said: “In the next canvas we shall be influenced by no party consideration…the partisans in this county who expect to divide the friends of humanity and equal rights will find themselves mistakes — we care not a fig for Whig or Democrat; they are both alike to us; but we shall go for our friends, our tried friends, and that cause of human liberty which is the cause of God. We are aware that ‘divide and conquer’ is the watchword with many, but with us it cannot be done — we love too well — we have suffered too much to be easily duped — we have no cat’s paws amongst us. [Times & Seasons – 3:651]

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3 Responses to “Vote for Principles Over Party, Politics and Pocketbook”

  1. April Says:

    Very interesting blog.

    I would like your feedback on a blog of mine. It is entitled “How conservatives hurt their own cause”, and is located in the top right-hand column.

    stricklandhappenings.blogspot.com

  2. Benjamin Kemer Says:

    What I have to say about politics is this:

    1) People let their own preconceived judgements of politicians and party override attempts to appeal.

    2) People carry a commitment to their political party which could be better committed to the gospel, and sharing it with others.

    1) In the case of #1, I see plenty of this attitude on both sides of the aisle. People seem to forget that all sorts of candidates actually got great accomplishments done as a result of appeal to them regardless of party. Harry S. Truman granted support in our post World War II Europe because Church leaders made hard appeals to him. Ronald Reagan signed Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a National Holiday, as a response to appeal from the King family and numerous other Civil Rights Leaders, and lastly, the White House was willing to follow up to the requests of a few people who wanted to know that the transcript of Obama’s speech wasn’t politically charged, and simply an encouragement applicable to all, they got their sane answer “yes”, and deserve far more honor for actually making the request than the many others who simply tried to avoid or advocate panic over the coming days preceding the speech in school.
    People should think about many of these situations and make the modest, respectable requests to the government leaders rather than throw arguments around such as “disagreeing with our president is racist”, “dissenters are nazis”, or “they are socialists in their healthcare ideas”, such as various media hosts do. They should honestly try writing their own appeals, and find out whether or not your Congressman/Congresswoman, or even the White House, will respond, if you really don’t try this, you are also part of the problem, and seriously need to overcome the blinders of ignorance and prejudice, or simply party politics, and should move on from this, real progress is made because people are willing to work and appeal even with people they don’t fall head over heels for in politics.
    There is no party or individual politician that is God’s politician, there are people who we must excercise our constitutional rights to encourage and consistently express themselves to their politicians, they can listen, if people actually apply plenty of effort to ask them. People should remember the parable of the widow and the unjust judge on this matter.

    2) I seriously have to meet plenty of members of my church, which while political affiliation is fine, mention so much about it, but not all as much about where they stand on gospel principles. Why not share this? We have a hard work in the mission field to accomplish, and honestly member missionary efforts help the Lord more than the politics of the day, from any major party.

  3. Benjamin Says:

    I am disappointed by the inclusion of the Patriot Act in your video. There may be some concern about having phone calls monitored. However, there is also the need to adjust with the conditions of the times. Phones and internet did not exist during the original time of the Constitution, although searches and seizures can be performed in an organized manner. Patriot Act is there to accomplish this. There should be organized rules governing the use of phone calls and internet use in prosecuting crime, so that both the guilty who try to use it as a medium to carry out their horrible plots can be prosecuted, whilst the innocent simultaneously protected, as the right against unwarranted searches and seizures is also important. Not to say that the Patriot Act is perfect, but it does deserve plenty of discussion as to how good/bad it is and how we should modify/replace it, and that can be done somewhere else.

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