Thursday, February 13, 2020

Donald or Jesus?

In a revelation given to Joseph Smith on August 6, 1833, we find the following: “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: 9–10)
On an October 5, 2016, the LDS First Presidency released this official statement: “Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties, and members should seek candidates who best embody those principles.
Given these statements, I can’t help but wonder how so many Latter-day Saints justify in their own minds their support for Donald Trump as president and will doubtless vote for his reelection.
Just for a thought experiment, I’m going to list two sets of opposite character traits. As you read them, I want you to ask yourself which set of qualities describes Jesus and which set describes Donald Trump.
Love                              Animosity
Compassion                Vindictiveness
Selflessness                 Egotism
Honesty                       Dishonesty
Humility                      Arrogance
Chastity                       Infidelity
Benevolence               Spite
Kindness                     Cruelty
Decency                      Crudeness
Loyalty                        Deceitfulness
Serenity                       Anger
Honor                          Corruptness
I think it’s fairly obvious that the first of each pair of qualities describes Jesus. And I think it’s also fairly obvious that the second of each pair quite accurately describes Donald Trump. To argue otherwise, you would have to be living in a cave, or perhaps in the Fox News bubble. So, if these terms accurately describe Trump, why, I ask, do so many Latter-day Saints want this man to be president? Would these people tell their children that they want them to emulate Donald Trump in the way they live their lives and treat other people?
Frankly, I can’t imagine a less Christlike man. This past week, at the national prayer breakfast, Trump directly contradicted Jesus. When Arthur Brooks spoke, he reminded his listeners of Jesus’s commandment to love our enemies. Afterward, Trump openly disagreed with this and then proceeded to attack his perceived “enemies.” And this is the man Evangelicals and Latter-day Saints want as the leader of their country.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again here: I believe many Latter-day Saints today are more Republican than they are Mormon. They would choose their Republican tribe over the principles of their religion. Somehow they don’t understand that support of corruption is the same as complicity in it. We are not blameless when we support candidates who do not “embody those principles” that are “compatible with the gospel.”