Mothers Who Know: Julie B. Beck and Political Prayer

You may have heard that Julie B. Beck, former Relief Society General President, offered the opening prayer at the Trump/Pence rally held in Utah last night.

This is problematic, but not for the reason you might first think:

First off, as the Church reminds us every year: “While the Church affirms its institutional neutrality regarding political parties and candidates, individual members should participate in the political process. The Church also affirms its constitutional right of expression on political and social issues.”

Thus leaders of the church, speaking as leaders of the church are not supposed to weigh in on candidates. Now that gets to the heart of most obvious issue. Julie B. Beck is not a current leader of the church nor was she introduced as representing the church last night.

So telling us “this isn’t that bad because she’s a former RS leader” reminds us all that women in the church, even the highest woman calling, are but auxiliary leaders who serve for 5ish years.  As women who know the history of the church, General Relief Society Presidents used to serve until their death. No longer. Sister Beck is a former auxiliary leader. She can be described easily as an “individual member” choosing to participate in the political process. You just cannot compare her to anyone in the Twelve or First Presidency doing the same because she has been released and they are not.* In the hierarchy of the church, her former position was still lower than a deacon.


It wasn’t that long ago that Julie B. Beck was strongly (she has been described as one of the women who did not use “Primary Voice” in testifying) advocating for women and their role in the church and entire world. She promoted the Daughters in My Kingdom book and asked us to learn from our foremothers.  She described the Relief Society as “a sacred work.”  And she traveled the world speaking about women to women, of many nationalities and cultures.

And now she is endorsing a candidate who is so egregiously,  anti-women, anti-immigrant and straight up racist who wants to trample others in the world to “Make America Great Again.”

As a woman who studied her words, who promoted Daughters in My Kingdom, I am now questioning whether or not she was truly invested in women as a leader. Because she can vote however she wants to, personally thinking that one candidate is above another for whatever reasons, and privately vote. But to publicly promote with a prayer Donald Trump, someone who has done and said unspeakable things about women, as someone who led the”oldest and largest women’s organization in the world” is completely shocking. Does she not see that many of the women that she served would not see this as traitorous? Or, in the least because of the way Trump speaks of and treats women and minorities, make one wonder if the church structure that she promoted/imagined (and somewhat controversial described in her “Mothers Who Know” talk) was one of not equal treatment for all, but one where white males could lead comfortably.

Julie B. Beck publicly praying at the Trump/Pence rally was sad/diasppointing/confusing. As a former leader of the church, she is one who should know better.

*If you check out the just released Fall Dialogue Issue, Gregory Prince, Lester Bush and Brent Rushforth discuss the importance of emeritus status for the Twelve and First Presidency.


  1. cookie queen says:

    Unbelievable. Very good post.

  2. Even though she’s not an LDS leader now and has every right to do this, there’s no denying that her former calling gave her a lot of credibility in the eyes of many Mormons and I’m disappointed she’s using that credibility this way, and not just because I despise Trump’s policies and positions, limited though they may be. She doubt she would have been asked to pray if she hadn’t had the calling.

    I was also disgusted by Bangerter’s explicitly giving himself credibility through his calling as a bishop.

  3. Vote-shaming at its finest.

  4. This gets to the crux of the problem. Contributing to the normalization of Trumpism is a serious moral wrong. It raises legitimate questions about whether Beck should have ever been entrusted with leadership in the first place.

  5. By not staying publicly politically neutral she just handed over what little perceived authority a previous RS president should enjoy. Which leaves me feeling even less powerful as a female member. And for Trump of all people, its insult to injury.

  6. I remember when Sheri Dew gave the opening prayer for George W. Bush at the Republican convention in 2004. I realize that both she and Julie Beck are private citizens but I think you’re absolutely right: this comes across as a tacit LDS endorsement because of callings they have held. It’s their choice, but I think it’s inappropriate

  7. I like to think that I would be just as surprised and uncomfortable if she had prayed at a DNC rally (do they even do that there, the heathens?) but I just don’t think I would be.

    I hope Trump wasn’t feeling like a star that evening.

  8. To me this is a great reminder about the human fallibility of church leaders and not to put my trust in the arm of flesh.

  9. I think that Trump’s overarching rhetoric towards women and minorities complicates the comparison to praying at a Clinton/Kaine rally, but I imagine there would be plenty of Mormons who would feel betrayed for different reasons. Or perhaps more sadly, just discount her and her lingering influence.

  10. I’m not sure I agree that former church officers, even high(er) profile ones like Beck, should be under the same restrictions as current church leaders. I mean, I really don’t know. I’m agnostic. If she’d given the opening prayer at a Hillary event, it would have destroyed her credibility in some people’s eyes, but it might have caused other people to rethink their assumption that all good Mormons vote Republican. If the Mormon vote didn’t appear to be monolithic, stuff like this wouldn’t be such a big deal. You know, except that endorsing Trump is just gross, no matter who you are.

  11. I think it shows a real lack of integrity on her part. What a shame.

  12. It’s completely baffling and disappointing to me that she has done this. Yes, she is a private citizen and can do as she likes and support who she likes. But I have to admit, I have lost a great amount of respect for her. I sort of understand (but don’t agree with) those who feel that they must vote for the Republican candidate at all costs, but at least some have the decency to be slightly ashamed and don’t make loud pronouncements of their decision.

    I truly don’t understand how a conservative and moral woman would proudly declare her support for Trump, let alone a former leader of our Relief Society organization. It’s shocking and deeply disappointing.

  13. Someone in a another place said her husband was quite domineering to the point some might say verbally and emotionally abusive (this is complete secondhand heresay). It made me think of a broader question. Could a person when enmeshed in a very patriarchal system like she is be reflecting the views of the patriarchy closest to her either consciously or unconsciously (in this case a husband). So what we viewed as individual empowerment, which it was for the time she served, after service that visibility and previous non typical visibility becomes disempowering because it was underwritten by patriarchy. I still hold her accountable for this very bad choice in participating in this rally but I wonder how much is her and how much is the patriarchal system. I’m a Mormon woman active in the church but because of my very little social capital I do what I want. I say what I want. I pray when and where I want. I endorses who I want. I vote for who I want. Which this go round is Hillary Clinton.

  14. Bryce Spencer says:

    While she has the right to express her political beliefs, this was probably a less than ideal situation to pray in. Pence isn’t the one running bit what Trump has said about women is frankly appalling and the former president of the Relief Society should know better.

  15. My visceral reaction to a male Trump supporter is to argue. My visceral reaction to a female Trump supporter is to turn her off. I’m well mannered enough to override my viscera, usually. But when Julie Beck offered a prayer at a Trump/Pence rally it retroactively eliminated any moral (or political) capital that she ever had, in my mind.

  16. Wrong. She can do whatever she wants. People can think for themselves. It’s not against the law. The things you say about trump are not true. And Hillary is not who you say she is. Trump may be a vocal womanizer, but our society encourages it and wallows in it. To say he is anti woman is to say society and it’s liberal agenda is anti woman. They objectify women and encourage women to objectify themselves. Through sleazy dress, talk and actions. Hillary is a part of that. To encourage women to disrespect their bodies and it’s amazing purpose and capabilities of being a wife, mother and important role in society is what is anti women. We don’t need men to disrespect women, when we can get women to disrespect themselves. Hillary won’t help women or their situation. She will continue to degrade and demoralize them.

  17. Pretty harsh comments. Show some mercy. I understand the OP, but just consider that we’re all working with imperfect knowledge here, and she’s what she thinks is right. Her political preference is not a reason to doubt her devotion to women. You must know that others disagree with your assessment of DT as a racist/sexist/etc. Assuming she disagrees, then her prayer at a political event is not an issue. You may question her judgment, but that’s different. Just show some mercy.

  18. To Me:

    There is a recording of Trump talking about women in the most disgusting way. That, in and of itself, should be enough that an LDS General Relief Society President knows better than to publicly support him.

  19. Poster “Me” wins the gold medal for mental gymnastics!

  20. Dear President Beck:

    Mothers who know reject outright a man who is a pornography-promoting casino magnate who has boasted that he can sexually assault women by kissing them or grabbing their genitalia without consent because of his status as a star. Mothers who know reject a demagogue who stokes nationalist prejudices by targeting immigrants as scapegoats for perceived societal ills — people who in many cases are fleeing intolerable conditions in their home countries and putting their families first by seeking a better life for their children. Mothers who know don’t even let their children listen to such a morally bankrupt person, much less promote him to their community through offering an opening prayer at a rally supporting his candidacy for the highest office in the land.

    Yours truly,

    A concerned Mormon who wants the Relief Society to stand for something and believes Donald Trump basically represents virtually everything the Relief Society should be standing against.

  21. To Adam: “Pretty harsh comments. . . ” You’re joking, right? I have HEARD what DT said about women?

  22. John F. You need to post that to her facebook page.

  23. I think you have to look at the rationale for some outspoken Mormon women in supporting the Republican nominee for President and recognize it as taking two particularly Mormon stances. I’ve had to examine this because women in my own family who are seen as strong leaders in the Church have caused me to question what makes them blind to Trump’s glaring deficiencies and the potential danger to our democracy that he represents.

    Let’s isolate the fact that Trump is the candidate for a moment and examine these two Mormon stances:

    1. Taking a firm stand for key conservative principles, specifically concerns about abortion, protecting women – the irony of this is not lost here for me at least – and holding back society’s continual degradation (this is code for gay and LGBT rights like marriage).

    2. A passive aggressive approach to Jesus’ mandate that we judge not that we be not judged but pushing it further by also believing that not only can people repent and change but that God works through flawed men to accomplish His work.

    If you examine Trump through this lens then what you begin to see is a willingness to accept all kinds of depravity in the individual leader in pursuit of halting the encroachment of legislation and supreme court decisions over the last 20 years that have uprooted what are perceived as critical protections of a righteous society. Predominantly they don’t particularly like Trump but they see him as a means to an end. And that end is halting the liberal driven agenda for free abortion, openly accepted homosexuality and who knows where it all leads from there but all the depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah can’t possibly be far behind. Never mind that what they dislike about Trump are precisely the same character flaws (just magnified) that caused them to reject Bill Clinton and declare that he should be impeached. The difference here is the possibility that Trump will select conservative Justices for the Supreme Court and he won’t go after their religious freedoms. This is also a specious argument but convincing those who believe it otherwise is a truly challenging endeavor.

    If what matters most to you is the morality of society then stopping Hillary is of the utmost importance. The see her as a particular threat as a far Left liberal who is hell bent on reshaping society in ways that will destroy the republic by breaking free all forms of licentious behavior. I am tempted to say that they see Hillary as a deeper threat for her feminist leadership but I don’t think that is fair. C Jane Kendrick raised that comment in her interview on NPR a couple weeks ago when she discussed how Utahns feel threatened by Hillary because she is a strong woman who breaks the hold of the patriarchy but I know too many women who would gladly vote for a woman President but are turned off by what they see as Hillary’s corruptness and grasping nature. Now, in my mind there is a poisoned bias toward Hillary because of how the far right media has portrayed her for decades but most women (AND men) fail to recognize that bias within their perceptions of this election.

    When you recognize these lenses you begin to understand what is driving these women who should be standing up against Trump and why they are standing for him instead. They should know better but their prioritization of what is important is skewed by their own view of what their faith is teaching them.

  24. Donald Trump has appeared on the cover of Playboy and has had cameos in several pornographic movies, introducing girls or simply making an appearance, thereby promoting and endorsing such films. That alone should cause President Beck, a former President of the Church’s auxiliary for women, to oppose him in the strongest terms. That she does not indicates she is putting political party ahead of Church teachings, ahead of the wellbeing and benefit of women, including women in the Church. If Donald Trump is elected and then grabs a Mormon woman’s genitalia without consent, what will President Beck say to that? (Eleven women have publicly accused Trump of doing this to them — victims who made the excruciatingly difficult decision to speak out after the public learned that doing this was his standard operating procedure and he felt like he could get away with it because of his wealth and fame.)

  25. Eponymous, as to your #2, Church members who vote for Trump out of concern for protecting conservative principles show very little application of #2 to gay people or Democrats, i.e. that people can repent and change and that God can work through flawed people.

  26. “And please bless that all those who couldn’t attend this Trump rally will be able to attend the next one. And please bless that all the immodest, liberal women will not throw their ______ at Mr Trump and force him to grab them. And please bless that these refreshments will nourish and strengthen Mr Trump’s stamina. We love Thee Lord and are so very grateful to live in this land which Mr Trump will make great again. In the name of Thy Son, even Jesus Christ, Amen.”

  27. Don't like mixing religion and politics so going anonymous says:

    Speaking as a life-long Republican, I add my voice to the list of those deeply disappointed in this development.

    If it had been emeritus Seventy Elder Robert Oaks saying the prayer, I would have just rolled my eyes, but for someone who represented the women of the church, and did so not only as the head of the Relief Society, but also as a member of the Board of Trustees for the church universities, to lend her name to a candidate with such despicable views and actions toward women?

    As concerned as I am about the future of the Supreme Court, and as concerned as I am about Clinton’s compromised ethics, and as loathe as I am to add to a pile-on, this crossed a line. Once a person has headed an organization of the size and influence of the Relief Society, there is no going back to being a private citizen who can speak without her voice affecting the women of the Church. And to use her voice to support a man who has credible allegations against him of rape, sexual assault, procuring underaged girls for business associates, and who is on the record as insulting and abusing women, including an accusation of marital rape?

    I suggest that President Beck owes the women of the Church, including the large number who are victims of verbal, sexual, and physical abuse, at least an explanation, but possibly also an apology.

  28. Oh John, you’re absolutely right about stance #2 in my list. The principles are not consistently applied to all scenarios. There is a willingness to, as the Savior once declared, “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.”

    They definitely don’t see it that way though. They feel they are straining Trump’s gnats while avoiding the camel that this dangerous liberal predator represents.

    I didn’t even discuss the irrational fear of Muslims and the “other” that many Mormons seem to carry and I avoided that concerning SIster Beck because I want to believe that after serving for several years as the General RS President and traveling the world that she at least has a world wise mindset when it comes to understanding and appreciating other cultures. But for many, the “build a wall” and “fear the Islamic radical terrorists” resonates frighteningly well.

  29. Okay, you are all outraged that Beck “appears” to be supporting trump. Would you be just as outraged if she said a prayer at a Clinton rally? You act like she picked trump because she really likes him. That’s silly thinking considering I don’t know anyone who really likes him. I know a bunch of people who feel physically sick over having to cast a vote for either of them. They are both terrible. We all know that. You aren’t enlightening anyone by saying trump is a jerk who objectifies women. Is that seriously the only thing that puts Clinton above trump in your eyes? Because we all know they are both morally bankrupt. But one of them at least pretends to want to defend our few remaining rights, like freedom of speech, personal protection and religion, To name a few . But you go on ahead with your uppity ‘but none of those things matter if you’ve said inappropriate things” because the media made a BIG deal out of it. And the media turned a blind eye to the Clintons numerous scandals, and the fact that she seems to be immune from any criticism or consequences (which is alarming and scary in itself). Corruption in the highest form. Gaddianton robbers anyone? And the very elect shall be deceived.

  30. Don't like mixing religion and politics so going anonymous says:

    “turned a blind eye to the Clintons numerous scandals, and the fact that she seems to be immune from any criticism or consequences”

    What alternate reality must a person live in to claim that the Clintons are immune form any criticism or consequence? The criticism has been ongoing for decades with no break, and for goodness sake, Bill Clinton was impeached!

  31. Because we all know they are both morally bankrupt.

    No they are not. Hillary Clinton is a fine public servant who is more qualified for the office of the Presidency than any candidate in decades. Please consider that your negative view of her is the result of a decades-long Republican smear campaign against her, enabled by a complicit media because it drove ratings, based on innuendo and conjecture and not facts. Numerous very partisan Republican prosecutors and investigators have been pursuing her for years, including with federal subpoena power, and have not turned up any prosecutable evidence. She is the most vetted candidate in history. The truth about her is that she’s devoted her whole life to public service and has helped many, many people, most of them disadvantaged and children, along the way. Of course she’s ambitious and has promoted herself all along the way — she’s always had her eye on political leadership so that she can positively influence people’s lives.

    Trump, by contrast, has only followed one principle his whole life: self-aggrandizement and increasing his own wealth, including through unethical business practices such as not paying contractors and vendors who worked on his projects.

    But one of them at least pretends to want to defend our few remaining rights, like freedom of speech, personal protection and religion

    This is so ridiculous and merely reflects the propaganda you’ve been reading and believing. Hillary Clinton has a track record of defending these and many other rights. Trump does not. And Hillary Clinton is on record explaining her commitment to continue defending these rights. I guarantee you that we Mormons, as a widely despised religious minority, will fare much better under a Clinton Presidency than under a Trump presidency. He is no friend of minority religions or religious freedom.

  32. “You aren’t enlightening anyone by saying trump is a jerk who objectifies women.”

    First, ALL THE BLEEPING SWEARS. With that out of the way, Trump doesn’t objectify women, he assaults them. But do go on, you are making a wonderfully cogent argument!

  33. Me,

    I think you’re right. This has less to do with moral outrage and more to do with partisan-ism. The only man who’s had more women than Trump is Bill Clinton — well, and Wilt Chamberlain.

    I call B.S. on this one.

  34. This isn’t about Trump saying bad words. This is about the sexual assaults that he was describing — kissing and grabbing women’s genitalia without their consent. That is sexual assault. And Trump casually says this is his M.O., justified because of his wealth and fame.

  35. What the hell is anybody praying at a political rally for?? Bring back the torchlight parades and free whiskey!!

  36. And what further proof do we need of Hillary’s fine public servanthood than the fortune that she and Bill have amassed in the past 40 years of service? I mean, if they hadn’t been true seekers after the public good, they’d have ended up toiling in the trenches with the rest of us–but someone has seen their good works done in secret and rewarded them openly.

  37. it's a series of tubes says:

    The thought police are out in force on this one, I see.

  38. Mark B., move along. You too, “Me”.

  39. LDS by Nature says:

    This is nothing more than a ridiculous political post, just as claiming that praying at a Clinton rally is to show LDS support criminal activities. I expected better.

  40. The Republicans have been cursed with a candidate who actually deserves the kind of criticism that they have used to defame Hillary Clinton for so many years. If I see God’s hand anywhere in this election, it is in that fact.

  41. The thought police are out in force on this one, I see.

    Yeah, I guess the BCC does challenge the status quo from time to time and attracts a lot of flack for its efforts. Or did you mean BCC is the thought police? Nah, the thought makes reason stare.

    Anyway, back on topic: I feel (which is the only thing that matters in election season, apparently) that a birthright was exchanged for a mess of pottage. Too bad.

  42. john f., thanks for your comments on this thread. It wearies the heart to have to explain why Beck’s prayer at a political rally for a sexual predator is so offensive.

  43. it's a series of tubes says:

    The TL; DR for the OP and most of the comments:

    Woman! No one in good faith could do/say/think what you have done! You’re not a true Scotsman, and you never were.

  44. Strong true blue LDS woman here who totally supports Trump because I strongly believe he is best for the country. Give Sister Beck respect for her own views, for crying out loud.

  45. I really don’t understand that thought police comment, tubes. Pretty annoying actually.

  46. Kris, I for one am showing President Beck respect by taking her views seriously. To support a pornography-promoting casino magnate who brags that his wealth and fame allow him to commit sexual assaults is not something I thought I’d ever see a Mormon Relief Society President doing.

    I thought Mormon Relief Society presidents protected our sons and daughters from people like that.

  47. it's a series of tubes says:

    And I don’t understand this one:

    “Please consider that your negative view of her is the result of a decades-long Republican smear campaign against her, enabled by a complicit media”

    Apparently, the difference between us is that you are annoyed by someone holding a different view from yourself, while I am not.

  48. Loursat said it perfectly: “The Republicans have been cursed with a candidate who actually deserves the kind of criticism that they have used to defame Hillary Clinton for so many years. If I see God’s hand anywhere in this election, it is in that fact.”

  49. We are talking about a former General Relief Society President publicly (I don’t care who she wants to vote for in private) supporting a men that admitted, on tape, that he likes to “grab women by the *&^%$.” NO. That’s not ok.

  50. Lily, not only that he likes to but that he does do it and he believes he can do it because of his wealth and fame.

  51. you are annoyed by someone holding a different view from yourself, while I am not.

    Pretty rich for someone who felt compelled to raise the specter of thought police a few minutes ago.

  52. it's a series of tubes says:

    Peter, I could cite numerous OPs and comments from this site over the last few weeks that take the following position: “I am supporting Hillary, and any other position is immoral / cannot be maintained in good faith.” When room for good-faith disagreement on any issue has been foreclosed by those in power, the thought police are present.

  53. If you think he is a flawed and terrible candidate, but the lesser of two evils, then vote for him privately. No one makes you publicly lend your support. It’s not a civic duty to so visibly lend your credibility to a cause. And there are certainly issues of propriety at play here. Heck, I think about the propriety of political yard signs, and I’m just a lowly BYU professor.

    You have to be pretty enthusiastic for a candidate to be willing to offer the opening prayer at a rally. That’s not a “I’m holding my nose and voting for him” kind of action. There are VERY few public figures I would be willing to do that for. And I would NEVER do that for a campaign supporting a someone who is as horrible as Trump. I wonder how the former Miss Utah who was (allegedly–trying to be fair, though I believe her) assaulted by Trump feels about Beck’s support for her assaulter?

  54. When room for good-faith disagreement on any issue has been foreclosed by those in power, the thought police are present.

    Well, I agree that that is probably what Orwell had in mind, though the fact that the powers that be have taken no steps to censor your contrarian comments over the years suggests to me that BCC is not actually the thought police even if certain birds do flock together. Regardless, accusing BCC of being the thought police seems like a pretty clear expression of annoyance with others who hold differing views.

  55. it's a series of tubes says:

    Regardless, accusing BCC of being the thought police seems like a pretty clear expression of annoyance with others who hold differing views.

    Unsurprisingly, I’d interpret it exactly the opposite: I believe that in politics, perhaps more than in just about any other arena, there are good faith positions taken on a myriad of sides on a myriad of issues. So, I’m not annoyed in the least that others hold different views. That being said, I’m certainly very disappointed (and perhaps, annoyed) that so many on BCC apparently cannot countenance that others may hold their political views (whatever they may be) in good faith.

  56. No one at BCC is saying President Beck doesn’t hold her political views in good faith. And not speaking for anyone else here, I personally am only taking issue with the substance of her views in light of her position — the *only* reason she would be asked to say a prayer at such a rally — and the staggering blind spot for, of all people, a former Relief Society President to endorse such a candidate given the things the Relief Society is supposed to stand for. Pornography and sexual assault, I had always thought, were among the main things the Relief Society opposed.

  57. Great post. Incredulous! Mother’s who know don’t support Trump…

    As someone who votes for both Democrats and Republicans it just kills me to see all these Mormons who just can’t bring themselves to vote for a Democrat. Possibly the most vile presidential nominee ever and because of the cultural attitude of “good Mormons only vote Republican”, they can’t do it.

    Is there a cultural capital issue here? If you vote for a Democrat and that becomes public knowledge do many Mormons feel they will lose standing and respect within the community. Does that loss of cultural standing outweigh the choice of voting for a despicable candidate?

  58. Has tubes ever made a comment at BCC that was a substantive contribution to the discussion and not merely the trolling of an aggrieved, self-proclaimed conservative railing against what s/he perceives to be a liberal group?

  59. very likely, Delux

  60. Where I don’t follow you is where you call political responses to a political act an expression of thought policing; I mean, where’s the good faith in that line of thinking?

    One could just as easily see the (negative) reaction here at the BCC to an emeritus GA’s prayer as an example of what we teach our youth about agency and accountability:

    While you are free to choose your course of action, you are not free to choose the consequences.

    Julie Beck exercised her agency to engage in a political act that raised the hackles of other Mormons who sincerely believe that this act is inconsistent with positions advocated by the General Relief Society President. There may be sanctimonious finger-wagging going on here and there, but thought policing?

  61. Of course, there’s a distinct possibility that Julie Beck is a nasty white supremacist just like her preferred candidate. Were that true, she obviously wouldn’t be the first senior Church official to have that characteristic, and probably wouldn’t be the last.

  62. it's a series of tubes says:

    Peter, point well taken. “Thought policing” is likely too strong a phrase here, and upon reflection, I would have chosen more moderate language.

    Trond, I guess you’ll have to draw your own conclusions on that one.

  63. I’m speechless. I can’t take whatever she has said in the past, as “Gospel”. WWJD?–He sure wouldn’t have been at a Trump rally to pat Donald on the back.

  64. “Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.” Margaret D. Nadauld

    Unless you are Donald Trump, then its ok.

  65. “The Republicans have been cursed with a candidate who actually deserves the kind of criticism that they have used to defame Hillary Clinton for so many years. If I see God’s hand anywhere in this election, it is in that fact.”

    Republicans have also been cursed with a candidate who actually deserves the kind of criticism that Democrats have used to defame past presidential candidates for so many years.

    In my opinion that’s part of the reason why it’s hard to get people to listen. “No we’re reeeaaaally serious this time! This one is reeeaally a wolf! Honest!”

  66. ….”mothers who don’t know a sociopath when they see one right in front of them”.

  67. “Has tubes ever made a comment at BCC that was a substantive contribution to the discussion…”
    Absolutely. That’s not to say, necessarily, that his contribution to this particular discussion is substantive, but his comments often are. Perhaps it’s not just Sister Beck who see this political season bringing out the worst in us. I think most of us are guilty of some level of that, including myself.

  68. Par for the course, IMO. Beck is the perfect spokesperson since she’s accustomed to defending androcentric policies and positions. “Mothers who know” . . . how to get along in a patriarchy. I’m neither surprised or disappointed. This stuff probably doesn’t even raise an eyebrow for her. There are plenty of women in the church who are totally fine with unequal pay & opportunity for women, or who feel that rape victims are “ruining the lives” of the men they accuse, or who see it as perfectly normal for 3 men to show up for a home visit with a woman to be certain she won’t falsely accuse seduce them, or who claim that women who dress immodestly (by their standards) have nefarious motives. I say that based on dozens of things I have heard in my Mormon wards, said by actual women. They’ve internalized the messages they’ve been given far better than I have.

    I was surprised when Beck was the lone voice of reason in the leaked videos regarding YSA attrition in the church. Her views were well informed, global, empathetic, and roundly ignored. My esteem for her rose greatly when I watched that video. Back to normal now.

  69. Having attended relief society for years, I don’t find this very surprising. Perhaps the dogged conservatism of my current ward had made me cynical, but the republican platform is gospel in these parts. I would be very surprised indeed if the vast majority of the brethren don’t support Trump if they’re not on the McMullin train. I suspect that they do not see objectifying and sexually assaulting women as all that important of an issue in the grand scheme of things when gay marriage and religious freedom are at stake. Sister Beck publically declaring her position doesn’t shock me. The relief society is a women’s organization only in the loosest sense–it does not actually advocate for women who are abused or assaulted, at least not since the Okazaki days. It is a patriarchal organization and Beck’s opinions are as I would expect. That’s not to say she’s not sincere and acting on her moral beliefs, just that I don’t expect relief society to have shaped her moral beliefs in such a way as to make Trump seem like an undesirable candidate.

  70. Hawkgrrrl, my sentiments exactly.

  71. She opposes Mitt Romney’s morally courageous stand to publicly call a fraud, a fraud?
    Now, I really have heard it all. I was so proud that it was a Mormon who stood up to call Trump for what he is, a fraud–and now we know even so much more.

  72. Tim, I’ll second that. Now, back to the one-sided finger wagging.

  73. Trond: Yes, really.

    As far as what “the brethren” believe, I’m sure they have diverse opinions on the matter. But I’ve been pretty disappointed with how readily many LDS people of General Authority age have given up their standards and supported Trump. I wouldn’t be surprised if several of the 12 vote for Trump.

  74. Honestly, I’m more shocked that church members aren’t outraged by Trump openly criticizing Reagan in the third debate (and won over by Hillary defending Reagan). I mean, really, what weird world is it in which the Democrat is defending Reagan from the “Republican”? I thought Reagan was sacrosanct in the GOP. Skanks on parade in a beauty pageant and working women trying to make business deals with Trump were probably asking for it, right?

    As to Clinton’s actions (Bill, that is) being some kind of justification for Trump’s, if Bill Clinton were running in 2016, assault charges would create the same issue for him. Consensual infidelity, which was raised during his election, did cause him problems. But he was running pre-internet. Things escalate quickly now, and Bill’s not a candidate now. Holding Hillary accountable for her husband’s behavior is, IMO, unfair to another of his victims.

  75. hawkgrrrl,

    Many of us conservative church members will be showing our outrage by not voting for Mr. Trump.

  76. You can’t blame patriarchy when Romney and so many LDS men (and women) have come out to say they cannot support Trump. The Deseret News called for him to step down. I hold a temple recommend as valid as Beck’s and my views are not hers. Trump people are an odd bunch who are swayed by negativity and fear. That is as not the Gospel.

  77. Tim– And maybe a few of them voted for Lucifer over Christ long ago too. No, they know God holds them to the highest accountability. OK ,if they vote for Trump, it’s because they’re trying to strong arm Christ into coming NOW. (And Beck is no GA.)

  78. To echo a previous comment: I don’t see how you can call the Relief Society a women’s organization. It is organized and overseen exclusively by men. It is just staffed by women.

  79. Amen John F. for your ‘Mothers who know’ letter.

    I felt physically sick reading about her role at the rally. Please, let’s not pretend for one second that this isn’t a clear dog whistle to Mormons.

    We can split hairs about whether she crossed a line, but rising above the letter of the law and looking at the spirit of the law, it’s difficult to see anything but rebellion or disregard in her actions. I constantly worry about being a stumbling block for my fellow saints. It appears she didn’t consider how lending her reputation (which came from her church position) to support a misogynistic, pornographic, sexual abuser would negatively affect the others’ perception of the church or their testimonies – testimonies of abused persons, of Muslims and Muslim-Mormon families, of Hispanic/Latino people in North America (a huge LDS demographic) and many others.

    (In all fairness, she hasn’t demonstrated a capacity to be reflective about her voice or actions. Her ‘mothers who know’ talk and subsequent rebuttals clearly show that.)

    She may have highfalutin’ ideas about why she and others support Trump (which I completely disagree with), but the fact that she charged ahead like a bull in a china shop and ignored the inflammatory climate in the country as well as the feelings and testimonies of others is at the moment, unforgivable. She needs to apologize. That ‘damned if I care who I step on, I’m holding up God’s flag’ attitude is not that of a servant leader. Her repeated clashes with the saints in this vein help me to see why I and unprecedented numbers of women have been struggled in the RS when she led it, and struggled with the patriarchy who placed her there and kept her there though displays of utter disregard for the women she was supposed to be serving.

  80. Jack–And I respect that, whoever you vote for. I don’t object to Trump on political grounds (he has none). I object to him as a feminist.

    If he was an actual conservative but had not assaulted women, I wouldn’t object to someone voting for him because they are conservative. I do think less of politicians who are holding their nose to vote for him, particularly in an election that illustrate what happens when women finally gain access to power.

    Getting away with sexually assaulting women because you are rich is the ultimate symbol of how patriarchy makes women powerless, and we are mind-blowingly having this conversation in the first election in which a woman holds one of the major party’s nominations. We are already decades behind peer nations in this breaking of the glass ceiling. The symbolism of supporting Trump is not lost on many evangelical women, who are also objecting, and they are arguably even more oppressed and powerless in their patriarchal churches than Mormon women are in ours.

  81. Maybe she didn’t like serving with Silvia H. Allred, her El Salvadoran first counselor, so now she is supporting the building of a wall and tightening immigration to keep people like Silvia and her family out.

    I am just joking, but seriously, how can Julie look at people like Silvia or the countless LDS hispanic/latino/a persons in the eye and continue supporting Trump?

  82. Leaders learn to serve and love those whom they serve. They learn humility. So I don’t fault Beck or any of us for being called to lead, serve and stay in there as long as it takes. God will give us every chance to improve but it’s our choice. I have to bow out. now. The absurdity of GA’s possibly voting for Trump is just too much. I can’t continue seriously discussing.

  83. Rachel Rounds says:

    Trump sincerely apologized for what he had been caught saying. When a person owns up to his faults and turns away from them, we are supposed to accept it. He is improving, and we NEED him. NOBODY ELSE is going to clear the corruption out of Washington and preserve our religious freedoms. We MUST elect him.

  84. It is perhaps a sad commentary on my age that it seems that nothing surprises me any longer. Sister Beck has the same right as I do, to support the candidate of her choice, but one would be naive not to think that the reason she was asked to give the opening prayer was due to her name recognition. I do not agree with her political choice, nor am I swayed by it.

  85. You may not be able to see the bigger picture here… but apparently Sister Beck does. Try looking at it this way. Trump is the only candidate that has a possibility of winning that supports conservative principles, religious freedom, appoint conservative Supreme Court justices etc. These things will have a lasting effect on not only your life, but the lives of your children and grandchildren. It’s much bigger than just not liking a candidates personlity.

    As to your claims that he is racist, hates immigrants, is sexist etc. I completely disagree. I could go through each claim you made and refute them with facts and evidence but I don’t really have the energy. Long story short though, those are your opinions. And opinions are not necessarily fact. You have a right to feel that way. But not everybody else agrees with you.

    Sister Beck has been known to encourage women to stand up, and fight for what they believe in. I think it’s so courageous of her to stand up and participate in the rally of who she believes could help our country. She obviously understands that we don’t have a monopoly over God as LDS churc memebers and that God can work through ANYONE. Even Donald Trump.

  86. “As to your claims that he is racist, hates immigrants, is sexist etc. I completely disagree. I could go through each claim you made and refute them with facts and evidence but I don’t really have the energy. Long story short though, those are your opinions.”

    Please, please refute them. These are not opinions.

  87. I find it perplexing that trump supporters say he apologized, so it’s no longer relevant, but don’t lend Hillary the same courtesy. The irony is suffocating.

    My goodness, I am shocked to see so many bcc readers falling on their trump swords. I can’t believe you lurk here- this is a pretty unorthodox blog.

  88. Alicia Staples says:

    I seriously can’t believe I’m reading this right now including the comments. She prayed at the rally. It appears that most of you have determined and taken over God’s job–that of judging a woman. Your speculation, assumptions, arrogance makes my mouth drop. She has every right to pray. Every right to choose any candidate. She’s not shaming you. She’s a prayerful, careful woman who loves the Lord. I trust her to make all choices within her life. She felt guided to accept the invitation. just as you judged her, I’m judging you. But I recognize it honestly. You’re observations are scary to me because that behavior and attitude are at the core part of the problems within our church. Did you even ponder or pray about her action. Did you wonder why she chose to? Or did you immediately jump to write an elegant self-righteous editorial or comment.

  89. JEHillcrest says:

    My comment slightly changes the subject; I apologize if this hijacks the thread. Sister Beck is a former general auxiliary president of the church. I’m curious what approaches BCC readers have seen local authorities, i.e., stake presidents and bishops take, when it comes to public expressions of political support for various candidates/policy positions.

    For example, my stake’s entire stake presidency is registered Republican. StakePres NEVER voices political opinions because he recognizes ~40-60% of stake members don’t share the same political views. 1st counselor proffers politically charged comments on FB daily.

    A close friend is currently serving as a bishop in the same stake. Even though the church sent out a letter regarding a Colorado assisted suicide ballot proposition and provided yard signs to members who wanted them, the bishop didn’t even put up a yard sign in spite of the fact that his personal position is consistent with the Church’s. When I asked him why, bishop said he didn’t want to give any ward members cause to stumble or doubt their faith because of leaders’ political persuasions.

    What have you seen? Although obviously local church leaders are encouraged to vote, is there wisdom in a bishop or SP restricting their political expression to avoid any potential fallout among church members who hold contrary positions?

  90. “Did you wonder why she chose to?”

    It’s sort of obvious, Alicia: because she supports the candidate.

  91. Anonforthis says:

    I have a lot less respect for my bishop because of his widely-shared political opinions, which he not only shares privately and on Facebook, but which also dominate almost all of our fifth-Sunday combined RS/PH meetings.

    Wiser leaders are more careful about sharing their political opinions and don’t confuse their opinions with the gospel.

  92. I think she made a mistake, I can see why her actions would be hurtful to many people. But she is mortal after all. I still love her, and appreciate they immense good she did in her calling as General Relief Society President.

  93. Clark Goble says:

    While I’ve been NeverTrump since last fall, I think many don’t quite appreciate how difficult a decision this is for many people. Especially in Utah which basically had almost no say in who got nominated. You have the two most disliked people ever to run for President running simultaneously. Whether you agree with everything the press says about Clinton or not, a lot of people do and [i]that’s[/i] what they’re using to decide. I have zero respect for politicians, especially those in leadership, who’ve tried to have it both ways. I think Democrats will be running attack ads for anyone who supported Trump for decades to come – much like Republicans for a generation tried to damn all Democrats with connection to Kennedy and Carter. A lot of Republicans will find their lack of courage will come back to haunt them.

    All that said though, most people do an awful lot of denial and an awful lot of projection when voting for President. Democrats are doing that too with Hilary who will almost certainly win. I suspect by this time next year many will be wishing they’d had a real choice beyond Bernie and that D leadership hadn’t more or less anointed Clinton as nominee.

  94. Perhaps this is less about politics and more about the unintended negative consequences of a religious public figure, in this case, Julie Beck, participating in an event that may cause many within her religious community to question her judgment and character. In my mind, this is an issue about the way Julie Beck’s current actions can cause a large segment of followers to ask who she really was when in her official capacity as GRS president, and–certainly a larger problem in my mind–by extension apply the same question to the current RS leader or any church leader at the general level. When not in your official capacity…who are you, really? In this way, Beck’s actions undermine trust in current auxiliary leaders and those who call them to serve. She has a moral obligation to uphold the virtues of her past calling despite not currently occupying the position.

  95. Clark Goble says:

    Trump is the only candidate that has a possibility of winning that supports conservative principles, religious freedom, appoint conservative Supreme Court justices etc.

    I’ll not distract from the OP but I’ll just say that if anyone really thinks Trump is a conservative they would be in for a big surprise in the off chance he won.

  96. Isn’t it possible that she was simply asked to give the prayer and she said yes? I’m not sure that means she endorses Trump or would even vote for him. Declining to give a prayer when asked, especially at an event for someone so incredibly in NEED of prayer, would seem churlish to me. “Love the sinner” and all that.

  97. “Isn’t it possible that she was simply asked to give the prayer and she said yes?”

    No. That is not how these things happen.

  98. “I like to think that I would be just as surprised and uncomfortable if she had prayed at a DNC rally (do they even do that there, the heathens?)…”

    I may be such a heathen, as I have been to several county and state democratic conventions (never national). At each one a prayer was offered by a local religious leader, each time from a different denomination. In some cases, the prayer-speaker said a few words before praying. I never felt that such a prayer was an ecclesiastic endorsement for the party or platform. In one case, the prayer-speaker specifically mentioned (prior to saying the prayer) some hesitation about accepting the invitation to pray, as he felt he should be non-partisan. If memory serves, he had even contacted the local Republican party to offer to also give a prayer at their convention.

    Giving a prayer at a rally for a candidate seems different to me. First off a rally for a specific candidate is much more targeted at a specific person, and less about general moral values. I also have no doubt that Beck supports Trump, and I share most of the same feelings mentioned in the OP about that position. I am certain she would have declined an invitation from Clinton. In that sense, giving the prayer is tantamount to giving an endorsement. She is, of course, free to give such an endorsement, just as I am free to think less of her for it.

  99. Aussie Mormon says:

    Does anyone have a video or a transcript of what her actual prayer said? Because although it’s a Trump/Pence ticket, it was a Pence event, and I’d like to know whether she gave any hint as to whether she is pro-Trump, pro-Pence, pro-Republican, anti-Clinton, anti-Kaine, or anti-Democrat`.

    But let’s face it. Any women voicing an opinion on the two main candidates this year can’t win either way. If they support trump they get abused for supporting someone who has done dodgy things with women. If they support Clinton they get accused of supporting her just because she’s female.

  100. Good grief. She said a prayer for crying out loud. I wonder if Ammon got this much flack for serving King Lamoni whom I sure was much worse than Trump.

  101. Preposterous. King Lamoni had much more respect for women and he loved people from Latin America.

  102. P. Bendtsen says:

    From abroad it looks like that to be “Church broke” you also have to be “Rep. broke” when something like this happens.

  103. “Any women voicing an opinion on the two main candidates this year can’t win either way. If they support trump they get abused for supporting someone who has done dodgy things with women. If they support Clinton they get accused of supporting her just because she’s female.” Women can win if we finally have a woman president like so many other nations before us. We can win if our elected officials for the first time in history start caring about women’s issues, paving the way for others to begin to care about those issues. If someone wants to give me the stink eye for being a feminist, so be it. I’ll take my equal pay and reproductive rights as a fair trade for randos looking askance at me.

  104. Jeff Spector says:

    It would be the Trump part that bothered me the most. She comes from a political family, is currently not serving in a Church Leadership role. This represents nothing to the Church itself, the same as if any of you did the same thing.

    Cut some slack. I’m certainly not impressed if she was there supporting Trump, but you have many Church members who are. As wrong as we may believe it is…

  105. Did she say she supports him? If she supports him it’s a mistake in my view, but so would be supporting Hillary (for different but no less severe reasons).

    If you’re invited to pray at an event, should you refuse to pray if you consider the people at the event wrong?

    If we politicize the time and place of our prayers are we becoming more like God or more like the people of the rameumptom?

    My instinct is to decline to pray at a rally for homosexuals, for instance, but on reflection that seems extreme. Should my prayer to God at a rally be viewed as endorsement of that rally? Or an endorsement of prayer?

    In Sis. Beck’s situation, I’d like to think after evaluating the situation, I’d realize praying is better than not. I’d pray for those in attendance to be wise and for the Lord to bless our nation and soften hearts around the world, including in our approach to political debate.

    Did she pray for a Trump win or pray for a Christ-like people? Is the latter ever wrong regardless of where you are?

    In either case, 30-40℅ of Utah will vote for Trump for a variety of reasons, some of them wrong, some of them misguided, and some of them with a small pragmatic hope that their vote is not for a man but for an institution.

    While I disagree with voting for Trump, ultimately a choice to vote for a deplorable Democrat running as a Republican who will bring other marginal Republicans into power with him does have more moral weight than for instance a Latter-day Saints vote to preserve unfettered and even easier subsidized access to abortion in the name of personal liberty.

  106. Not upset at all the Julie B Beck choose to offer a prayer at a political rally… sick and disgusted that she did it for Trump though (and would have been just as disgusted if she had done it for HIlary).

  107. Ok, calling b.s. On all the comments here saying that a prayer is just a prayer. Steve Evans is right, that’s not how it works. Sure, go ahead and pray- pray your hearts out for our country, but praying AT HIS RALLY is an endorsement of the candidate, literally and symbolically. Even if you deny it is a literal endorsement, (which is illogical), you can’t deny that this is a tremendous symbolic endorsement, a dog whistle for Mormons. Reprehensible!!!

    Also, even though she isn’t currently a GA, she is still reaping many financial and emeretus perks as a former GA. She received stipends, and may even now be sitting on high-paid boards as a quid-pro-quo for serving. She may still have a church fleet car. Don’t forget her cash cow name at Deseret book, when she decides to publish anything with a pretty picture on the cover and gold lettering. Her children can go to BYU on scholarship and w/o passing regular admission criteria. She and her family receive VIP tickets to Gen Conf, and I’m sure she is still included in RS special task forces or assignments. Additionally, do you know where she received elecution training to speak in large crowds? From the church as a GA. Image consulting (hair, makeup, clothing)? From the church. Her polish came from the church, and potentially the clothes she wore that day. To say that being emeritus completely divorces her from church financial ties is laughable. The line drawn from the church to this political debacle is uncomfortably short. As a member, I am livid this was permitted, livid she did this, and livid that the church hasn’t released a neutrality statement about it.

  108. Good for Sister Beck! Like many of us mormons, she knows the difference between imperfect and evil, she knows the difference between crass and corrupt, and she knows what is truly at stake if Hillary wins this election. We stand as Never Hillary voters and will help an imperfect candidate as we keep him in our prayers that he continues to be softened as he works for our nation, as we are already witnessing. God Bless Donald Trump and Mike Pence for fighting for and loving this nation.

  109. SHenneman says:

    Too bad for Sister Beck! Unlike many of us mormons, she doesn’t understand the difference between sociopathic and practically self-interested, she doesn’t understand the difference between crassness and sexual assault, and she doesn’t know what is truly at stake if Trump wins this election. We stand as Never Trump voters and will not help him as he unrepentantly refuses to change any of his words or behavior, as we witness every time he opens his mouth. God Bless Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine for fighting for and loving this nation.

  110. Liz: Sexually assaulting women IS evil.

  111. She is, of course, free to give such an endorsement, just as I am free to think less of her for it.

    Bingo, Rockwell.

  112. Liz Carter, why don’t you help Hillary Clinton as an imperfect candidate as you keep her in your prayers that she continues to be softened as she works for the nation?

    That logic simply doesn’t work. If Trump is just an imperfect candidate and praying for him can cure that, why doesn’t that apply to Hillary Clinton? I suggest it’s not because of anything real about Secretary Clinton but rather because you believe the decades-long smear campaign that Republicans have disingenuously been waging against her (i.e. bearing false witness) based not on facts but on innuendo, conjecture, and cynically playing off of hardcore Republicans’ superstitious beliefs that Democrats are evil.

  113. it's a series of tubes says:

    John, a question for you: do you believe the FBI reopened their investigation of Hillary today as a result of a Republican smear campaign, or because the new evidence in the FBI’s possession merits additional consideration?

  114. The latter. What’s your point? Equally compelling evidence exists suggesting Jason Chaffetz violated confidentiality requirements against disclosing top secret information.

    Let me guess. You believe that if one or two of the emails that passed through her private server had a top secret/confidential security rating, she is a criminal and unfit for the presidency. Nevermind Colin Powell’s use of a personal, unsecured email address for some of this kind of business, an aol account or something — he’s not a criminal because it wasn’t on a private server, just the server of a giant telecom.

    But 33,000 emails are lost or unaccounted for! Nevermind 22 million deleted emails from the Bush administration, including boatloads that dealt with Cheney’s conflicts of interest because of Halliburton. Nevermind Romney’s complete data erase of his administration’s files (including emails) when he left office.

    It is possible the FBI will find an email or two that was designated top secret but nevertheless was held on Secretary Clinton’s private server. Even if that happened, I still think she is an exponentially better candidate for President of the United States than Donald Trump. There’s not even any question at all about that.

  115. it's a series of tubes says:

    John, I also think the latter. As to the remainder of my beliefs, your guess is wildly off base. I asked because you’ve made many posts with the “smear campaign” language, and I wanted to understand how far that extended, in your view.

  116. (And if the FBI, after reopening because they need to look at some newly found emails, decides there’s no justification for recommending prosecution, will you say the FBI is corrupt and in the pocket of Bill Clinton via Loretta Lynch or will you simply conclude the FBI found nothing actionable and Hillary Clinton really is clean?)

  117. Lily @ 9:25 – “Liz: Sexually assaulting women IS evil.”

    Yes, but are you directing that statement at the potential next President or at the potential next “First Lad”?

    It’s mysterious how the credibility we give accusations correlates so nicely with the political party of the accused. Quite a pleasant coincidence that every accuser who might derail our preferred party from winning is of course clearly lying.

  118. I couldn’t care less about two equally flawed political candidates or who prays. What I find appalling is the assumption that a Mormon woman should be forever tied to a brief stint in an undervalued position. If her husband dies should she also dress in black and be bound to that relationship for the rest of her life? How very ironic that those who give lip service to equality in the church are the first to deride a woman who becomes as well known as her office because she has the wrong politics. Meanwhile how many of her critics can name 10 former RS General Board members. And we wonder why women can’t break through the patriarchy.

  119. it's a series of tubes says:

    (And if the FBI, after reopening because they need to look at some newly found emails, decides there’s no justification for recommending prosecution, will you say the FBI is corrupt and in the pocket of Bill Clinton via Loretta Lynch or will you simply conclude the FBI found nothing actionable and Hillary Clinton really is clean?)

    John – great question. My answer is: neither. Many shades of gray lie in between.

    Some color: I am an attorney practicing in this space (in fact, next week I am giving a presentation with the DOJ on certain technical aspects of these data security and classified information control issues). Keep in mind that the relevant statute requires INTENT. Certain other people recently found guilty of mishandling classified information were foolish enough to clearly document their intent (i.e., “I know I shouldn’t be giving you these classified documents, but I am going to anyway!”), making prosecution straightforward.

    So, absent a clear statement as to intent by Mrs. Clinton (“I set up this private server specifically so I could pass classified information through it!”) or discovery of evidence so damning that intent must be inferred (like an email from Hillary to with the subject line: ‘Here are the nuclear codes I promised you’), I don’t think the FBI will prosecute.

  120. Nice try, JNR, but no. This is not about using Julie Beck to keep women down. Any general authority is “forever tied” to the calling in the same way she is. As a former general president of the Relief Society, she still has a higher public profile than most men who are now actively serving as general authorities. That just comes with the calling. She knows it, and she has to deal with the consequences she wants to involve herself in politics.

    And the two candidates are not “equally flawed.” The only people I ever hear trying to push that idea are Trump apologists. It’s a lie that salves the conscience of the Trump voter.

  121. Clark Goble says:

    I confess that while I question Sis Beck’s judgment I have a hard time seeing any non-lifetime GA somehow being tied to that their whole life in terms of politics. That seems a ridiculous thing to demand, regardless of political views. Further I think that while the brethren keep a low political profile we all recognize that behind the scenes they are involved. Not just Republicans but back when there was a Democrat, he (Pres. Faust) worked with Democrats even after he was an apostle. Heck Pres. Benson was Secretary of Agriculture for Eisenhower while an Apostle.

    Compared to that Sis Beck’s actions after being released are pretty minor. You may disagree with her political views. But it seems unfair to say she has to be neutral after being released.

  122. VIP tickets to Gen Conf – FTW!

  123. Central Standard says:

    Trump is a sexual predator Period

  124. Loursat, I’m not voting for Trump. If having basic respect for those who might makes me a Trump apologist, whatever. It still has nothing to do with requiring a woman to give away the rest of her life because she gave a few years of service to a church. And the idea that GAs are no different than an auxiliary RS President is exactly the kind of thinking that keeps women down.

  125. I have a hard time seeing any non-lifetime GA somehow being tied to that their whole life in terms of politics. That seems a ridiculous thing to demand, regardless of political views.

    Except that the only reason anyone cares about a former GA is the fact that at some point s/he was a GA. Maybe there would be less whiplash if Julie B. Beck had been notorious for her political support of men with questionable morals before becoming a GA, but it’s a tall order to demand that the public bracket a public figure’s past when that was responsible for the cachet that continues to be salient in the present.

  126. I’d be forgiving of her if I thought there was any reason under the sun she was asked to pray at this rally other than her title as former Gen RS Pres. But let’s be real here. Her former calling and the fame / social credit it gives her in Utah was why she was asked to do this.

  127. She was invited to do this because of her position of credibility within the LDS ranks, plain & simple. She wasn’t invited because of her lofty calling of motherhood. Let’s get real.

    I don’t agree with her politics or her willingness to be Trump’s puppet (Trumpet?), but I am not surprised by her actions. Benson was part of the John Birch society, for crying out loud! We’ve had plenty of crackpots at the top. She won’t be lonely at the tin foil hat store.

  128. JNR and Clark Goble,
    I actually think Julie Beck’s actions have done more to segregate women GAs from male GAs than anything else. Aside from President Benson’s political position (over 55 years ago!) male GAs don’t do this. This certainly doesn’t happen today. When they do (cough cough Elder Christofferson) they have apologize and PR has to clean up after them. If women want more voice and responsibility in the church hierarchy, they should DEMONSTRATE that they are responsible, reflective and aware. That means not risking the tax-exempt reputation (notice that I said reputation, not status) and not putting pointless stumbling blocks in front of members. It shows she wasn’t aware of current looming tax law debates, threatening church coffers. It shows that she was deaf to over 80% of LDS tithing payers who like me, feel that candidate is truly evil. She was inconsiderate of the entire hispanic/latino LDS population (including, I’m baffled, her husband and her first counselor) who have been racially targeted. Women have enough problems to overcome in breaking through the LDS patriarchy, without problems we create for ourselves. Arrrgghhh!

  129. It’s not ridiculous to ask emeritus GA women to act as emeritus GA men, and in the very least, continue to act responsibly. Emeritus GAs like Beck KNOW that they continue to receive perks because of their glorified last name, including business deals, book sales, etc. so it’s NOT too much to ask them to continue watching out for the church’s reputation as figure-heads. Hey, feast on the results, pay the price. I don’t see any of them leaving the Mormon corridor and slipping into anonymity somewhere on the East coast. Perhaps then it might be different. But, are they doing that? NO! They stay in Utah and continue to be Utah elites, VIPs, “A” list names. If they claim the status, they should claim the responsibility. Don’t do stupid things like this.

  130. Are you kidding me? says:

    Trump is anti-immigration? He is anti-ILLEGAL immigration. There hasn’t been a presidential candidate in my lifetime that has cared as much about the security and well-being of our country and it’s (legal) citizens. Jeez, people! Since both candidates are reprehensible, how about voting the issues!! Perhaps, that’s what Sister Beck was doing?

  131. The anti-Mortimer says:

    If women want more voice and responsibility in the church hierarchy, they should DEMONSTRATE that they are responsible, reflective and aware.

    WHOA! In one sentence you have asserted the unfitness of ALL women based on ONE WOMAN’s action?!

    What’s next? “If millions of blacks want full citizenship in the US, they need to stop black-on-black crime in Chicago.” Oh, wait, that one’s already a thing. “If millions of American Muslims want freedom of religion, they need to halt terrorism in the Middle East and Asia.” Oh, darn, that’s already a thing, too. I guess you really can’t go any lower after all.

    How despicable to suppose that Mormon women don’t merit a greater voice and responsibility in the church unless somehow we can guarantee that we all, without exception, will meet your manly standards of behavior.

  132. Correction, Trump’s immigration policy is laughable and racist. Build a wall? Oh yes, he also wants to impose an unconstitutional religious test on immigrants. People are succumbing to deep seeded fears of cultures they don’t understand, fears being strategically stoked. Instead, be empowered! Turn away from fear and act with optimism and intelligence. We extensively vet immigrants, that’s already happening. Read about history, about the extermination order, about Manzanar, L$&(?-love-a-duck, watch the Karate Kid for goodness sake!!! You’ll see that knee-jerk discrimininatory policies or fear-based decrees aimed at a people or religion prove NOT to be effective or constitutional.

    We cannot guarantee that every person – native-born or not, will act perfectly. Every one has their agency. Everyone is accountable to the same laws. Timothy McVeigh, the unibomber, Florida night club bomber, Sandy hook, Trolley Square shooting, Cokeville, etc. – these were all native-born terrorists. The problems we are facing are not coming from one particular religion or ethnicity. We have to look at lone wolves, bullying, common-sense gun laws, and mental illness.

    There has been so much ink spilt on the empathy we as saints should have for those being discriminated against due to religious preference. We should know better and extend the golden rule.

    So yes, we’ll vote on the issues, immigration being one of them. #imwithher

    I would have thought that these insights might have meant something to Julie, especially since she comes from pioneer stock and is theoretically supportive of the religious liberty initiative in the church right now. I’m so dissappoonted in Julie now.

  133. Beck Supporter says:

    I cannot believe all the negative comments coming from members of the Church. No one is without sin, even among church members. The Constitution is a divinely inspired document that gives us freedoms we have enjoyed in the past. Compared to Clinton, Trump will at least slow the degradation and erosion of our liberty and traditional American values through the nomination of conservative Supreme Court justices. Trump does have an ego problem and some other issues, but no one is perfect. As I see it, he is the only person in position to prevent Clinton from becoming president. We do need someone who will enforce legal immigration laws that are already in place. I don’t have a problem with Sister Beck’s prayer. I respect her right to support the candidate she feels will best help our nation I believe she was called to be a former RS President and appreciate her inspired messages. As for Pres. Benson, I love him and sustain him as a former prophet of God and have received a witness by the power of the Holy Ghost of his divine authority. The War in Heaven continues here on earth…your free agency and our freedom of religion is at stake. Vote wisely and study the issues. You might just find that Sis. Beck’s support of Trump may help us to preserve our free agency just a bit longer. Clinton is pure evil in my opinion.

  134. Don't like mixing religion and politics says:

    Very quickly since it’s a busy Saturday… First, although I expressed concerns upstream, I wish to distance myself from Mortimer’s remarks. Over the top.

    In reply to Beck Supporter. You cannot believe the negative comments from members of the Church? When people use their religious positions to participate in political speech, they open themselves to political feedback. This is not Utah in the 1850s.

    “Trump will at least slow the degradation and erosion of our liberty and traditional American values through the nomination of conservative Supreme Court justices”

    I do not understand that argument. There is no reason to believe that he is conservative or that if elected, he will follow through and appoint the people on his list. There is little proof that he understands the basic principles of conservative politics, or that he is a man of his word. In fact there are many clues that he is not conservative, does not understand the Constitution, and does not keep his word.

    “Sis. Beck’s support of Trump may help us to preserve our free agency just a bit longer.”

    You’re seriously suggesting that voting for a candidate who is actively trying to undermine the world’s confidence in the legitimacy of the American vote supports the principle of free agency? What about his coded calls to assassinate his opponent? Or his non-coded call to jail her for something for which she has been cleared by multiple investigations? Banana republic tactics.

    My ancestors signed the Mayflower Compact. They signed the Rhode Island Charter. They served in every major war from the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam War, and some of them paid the ultimate sacrifice for our liberty. My ancestors suffered and died for their right to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and practice their religion according to the dictate of their own conscience. I am deeply ashamed that the Republican Party, which I have belonged to since I first registered to vote, has nominated a man for president who seeks to undermine all the liberties for which my ancestors fought and died.

  135. Don't like mixing religion and politics says:

    (Edit: that should say Portsmouth Compact rather than Rhode Island Charter. The king later signed the charter offering the settlers that remarkable experiment in the separation of church and state.)

  136. Curious to know what you think “liberty” means and what the “traditional American values” are which are supposedly being eroded and that you think Trump wil “slow”. Which of his “sure, no one is perfect” virtues do you think is stalwartly standing for goodness and the American way? Sexual assault? Acting in pornographic films and decades-long Playboy behavior? Adultery? Collusion and open support of a foreign power- Putin nonetheless-tampering with our election and democracy in his favor? Platform components ripped from white supremist organizations? Draft-dodging? Inciting violence at rallies? Verbal degradation of women? Laughable ignorance of key issues? Unprecidented quantities of blatantly false statements? “I know you are, but what am I?” debate skills? A billion lost dollars from bad business? Lack of transparency in not sharing his tax filings? Trails of corruption and dishonest business dealings? Insulting gold-star parents?

    Perhaps you think that his quote this week “We should just cancel the election and give it to Trump,” isnt corrosive to our sacred democracy. Perhaps you think “liberty” means forgoing our electoral process and crowning an ego-driven dictator who has advocated for religious discrimination policies?

    Ah yes, the Supreme Court justices. You’ve heard Hillary will bias the court. Merrick Garland is as straight of a constitutional arrow and public servant as they come, but why is he being stalled? Power. Pure greed and power. You see, there are many righteous judges in our country today, men and women who have dedicated lifetimes studying our constitution and laws, who strive for neutrality and objectivity, who are not dyed red or blue, but red, white and blue. Do you think for one second that Trump is suddenly going to put his unprecidented egoism, selfishness and cronyism aside to select such humble and neutral public servants? Fascinating. Absolutely fascinating. Friend, you are highly deluded. Yet Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Orin Hatch, and Sean Hannity told you that those gosh-dern-liberals would never reach across the isle, never support a constitutionally-focused moderate like Garland. Oh wait…Obama did!!! He didn’t just choose any moderate, he chose the very candidate they cited as a perfect choice- Garland himself!!!! After you stop scratching your head in bewilderment, we’ll continue.

    Sure, go ahead and give Trump, an aggressive misogynistic, racist, deluded, megalomaniac, the nuclear codes because you believe democrats won’t put forward reasonable candidates despite the glaring evidence. Support the candidate that all major newspapers, the CIA,FBI and Pentagon have unprecedentedly and emphatically warned us not to place in office. Facepalm.

    I can understand holding to the republican way, but go support McMullen or go fix the mess the Republican Party has become and come back in 4 years. Don’t stand with such an obviously corrupt megalomaniac. Stand where you feel you personally must, but you don’t have the right to speak for God and neither does Julie. Therefore, don’t blaspheme the name of God or this church in prayer to forward your personal political preferences.

  137. Anti-Mortimer,
    I am truly flattered. “Anti” in old English means “a type or form of”. In BoM times, when people wanted to emulate Nephi and Lehi they called themselves “anti-Nephi-Lehites”. I’m flattered you wanted to similarly be like me and pattern yourself after me. I am truly humbled. If I can give you one piece of advice as one of my followers, don’t vote for Trump.

    Ok, seriously now. I need to clarify a few things. Despite my online name, I’m a purple-umbrella-carrying-women’s rights-advocating-SISTER. I whole-heartedly want capable LDS women to have more voice and authority in the church. Your point is well-taken, generalizing all women is problematic. I’ll re-phrase. I’m dissapoibted that Julie B, as a former RS President and person with access and some influence over the brethren demonstrated irresponsible behavior as a leader. Although all women shouldn’t be stereotyped by one woman’s behavior, the fact that someone who held the highest female LDS position made such an egregious error unfortunately damages the case many have been making to entrust these specific female church leaders with greater church-wide responsibility and for local female leaders to similarly be more central to their congregation’s direction. Because there are only essentially nine female LDS leaders (3 presidents) compared with hundreds of men, they stick out. I’m just as upset as you are that women struggle to be included in LDS decision-making processes, but realize that our current female leaders need to demonstrate they are trustworthy. Trust is key to LDS elite. You have to be trusted in smaller things in order to be trusted with greater things. That trust has been damaged, and although it isn’t fair to label all women based on the actions of one, it unfortunately does matter, especially because we don’t have a larger core. Yes, LDS women deserve greater voice and responsibility, despite this unfortunate debacle from a notable and representative insider.

  138. Mortimer–well said.

    Donald Trump– is a self-admited sexual harrasser and abuser. That any LDS member–let alone a woman–would be supporting him is beyond all comprehension. Julie Beck could’ve declined, stating due to church policies and her high profile status she prefers not to participate but she didn’t. But in not declining she has damaged her brand and credibility among some LDS women.

    I also wonder what damage Trump has done to his own brand during this campaign.

  139. One can interpret the anti-woman thing any way they want. Does he lack moral scruples? his locker-room vocabulary and demeanor might indicate that. Of course that doesn’t mean he’s anti-woman, it just means hos moral brakes are slipping, which is also accepted and encouraged in our screwed up anti-moral society. As far as being anti-immigrant and a straight up racist. Obviously someone is reading or listening to WAY too much Media and Liberal left information and exaggeration…..All the Trump incidents that are being cited as Racist or Anti-Immigrant are taken from sound-bites with a much bigger body of information that would easily prove that they were to the contrary and only as remedies to a real problem that we should all be concerned about. With the current administration of unending Entitlements, open borders, higher taxes, outsourcing and fewer jobs, more regulations on everything…all by our current administration….what has it brought us? Less Freedom, Less Respect for Citizenship and Constitutional rights, Higher senses of entitlement, More Violence, and YES…the highest degree of Terrorism that we have ever experienced with no end in sight. What is the name of this HUGE failure? “OBAMA-CLINTON” which is also synonymous with “ISIS”

  140. John, that you can claim “‘Obama-Clinton’ is synonymous with ‘ISIS'” in the same post as an attempt to call out “others” for being too influenced by media is astounding. That you can’t see it only makes your case less convincing. Indeed, it also serves as evidence of how logically bankrupt many of the claims of those who support Trump actually are. You’ve done yourself and your cause a disservice.

  141. The most interesting part of this election, for me at least, will be seeing in which pile the “reddest of red states”, Utah, has their electoral votes end up in. If they go to Trump, we’ll be able to look as Sister Beck’s voice as just one in a multitude. Or should I say, “Legion”?

  142. I love your comments here, Mortimer, and I admire your stamina! -Ziff

  143. I am so adroitly amused by the complexly gilded responses here, so may I be brief?

    First, Trump holds no anti-immigrant policy–never has and never will. His is a stance against illegal immigration. When there are teenage legally documented, green card carrying foreigners in our country and they cannot attend high school because of financial burdens, somehow the illegal immigrants who enter our country get free housing, free food, free health care, and free education. Tell me how that is fair?

    Secomd, Trump’s Muslim vetting has nothing to do with Muslim Americans. Trump’s plan is to devise a way to properly screen (or “vet”) incoming Muslims immigrants to find out if they are followers of Sharia Law (note: most Muslims are not), which encourages the killing of non-believers. In the case of Muslim Americans, they would not be subject to any of this questioning because they are already full-fledged US citizens. Vetting is important when accepting prospective immigrants into the country because they may not want to renounce Sharia Law and other facets of Radical Islamic Terrorism. Otherwise, the radical Muslims, who believe it is a righteous act before Allah (or God) to exterminate anyone who does not practice their religion, will enter our country freely. Many Muslim Americans understand Trump’s position and agree with him fully (Sources: ; ).

  144. @Mortimer: Do not bother replying to me as I am not returning here any time soon. I can already see you have drunk freely from the poisoned prose of the colluded media and now parrot the selfsame words as they do. “Misogynistic, racist, deluded, megalomaniac” and other doozies happen to be very words that The Huffington Post coined in their fast and furious campaign against Trump. They happen to be funded heavily by the wicked power-broker George Soros and anyone well-read and in the know in politics know he has been manipulating the world’s political and economic map, especially as of late (Source: ). The media, who interestingly enough gave 96% of their campaign donations to Hillary’s campaign, has been colluding with her campaign persistently so it is obvious they are fabricating lies and crafting hit pieces against Trump (Source: )

  145. Trump The Hedgehog has imbibed the imbicilic responses of Trump to a threatening woman (Mortimer): ignore Trump’s inordinate, offensive, and impudent actions towards women and then implore them not to initiate a response. Trump’s contemptible treatment of women is primarily the complaint in the context of this OP, but Trump the Hedgehog, cannot cogently respond to such contemptuous acts.

  146. Well, this has been fun! This thread has shown that there are saints with many diverse political opinions. The church’s official position is NEUTRAL for good reasons. If this thread has taught us anything, it’s that these differences unfortunately are troubling and deep. Throwing in church or church-like endorsements causes problems. Julie B should have known that.

    We should be concerned about being charitable and following gospel principles, above all, being charitable. I weep hearing Trump the Hedgehog and some other Americans say things like ” …somehow illegal immigrants who enter our country get free housing, free food, free healthcare and free education. Tell me how that is fair?”

    The accuracy of that statement is woefully lacking, but I’ll entertain that fear for a moment.
    Fair? It’s completely fair. Are we all not dependent on God, who is the source of all our substance, for our daily breath, the fruits of the earth and above all our undeserved grace? How can we deny our brother some comparatively insignificant charity? Let’s put aside this completely unfounded “lazy freeloading immigrants” myth as a horrible and inaccurate stereotype. Most immigrants, documented or not, work harder than you and I to survive and get a toe-hold. Now let’s reconsider our role. We are called to be charitable to the hungry, the poor, the sick, the needy. God also tells us that judgement is his, not ours. Therefore our calling is simple- we are here to bless and help- to reflect the charity that was so unfairly given to us. If we have even a little material goods to share-what an opportunity! When saw we a stranger? A poor way faring man of grief, and the least of these, you have done it unto me…

    Dear Trump the Hedgehog, or shall I say “Jean Valjean”, it only hurts you to harbor a tit-for-tat attitude toward your brothers and sisters from other cultures. Give bountifully in order to receive the most. And free education? Wonderful! What an opportunity to help the next generation grow up with skill and a similar desire to help!

    Maybe instead of griping about how much a burden another student is, we could cut some of the opulence that contributes to the unreasonable and crippling cost of higher education like multi-billion dollar entertainment (sports) programs, wine and cheese endowment soirées, administrators that earn more than the POTUS, and over-the-top campus rec centers with things like indoor sky-diving wind tunnels built to attract immature 18 year olds. Perhaps affordable education focusing on student development could be the focus instead of party places? We could do so much more with so many more bright young people who are heartsick to make a difference in the world. Point being, many of our problems arise from factors we create and can solve, not the poor and needy.

    What makes me weep is that so many saints, even a former President of the RS is siding with a group that is stoking fear-mongering, blame, and irritation of the poor.

    Charity ever Faileth.

    * ps before someone posts about the difference between freeloading and provident living – church-sponsored welfare that focuses on developing the person to be self-sufficient…I know I know. Great! We have a good model. Go ahead and use it. Start by giving away the loaf of bread and not distaining the person who needs it.

    pss Even though there are sadly examples of charity failing, I received a jolt of hope from Kevin Barney’s post on this blog highlighting the JRCS’s noble work. God’s speed JRCS saints!!!!

  147. Well, this Hedgehog is sorely disappointed! Doesn’t look good from this side of the Atlantic.
    john f, love your letter by comment 27/10 11.12am, and Mortimer, yes!

  148. Mortimer and Brian, so condescending and rude to Trump Hedgehog. Don’t you get it that charity starts at home? You are the reason evangelicals think Utah is nuts. Guys, that sort of talk is common in the city and Hollywood. Doesn’t mean they are serious about it. You guys must be fun at parties.

  149. The levels of xenophobia from otherwise decent American people, in this comment thread and in my news feeds at large, are both alarming and depressing. Mortimer, your comments have done much to settle my alarm here, and help me hope that with people speaking up as you have, we can somehow still move forward. I admire your energy.

  150. Truman, I can understand your concern. But then you say “I” am the reason evangelicals think Utah is nuts? I’m not sure what you think is going on with evangelicals, but I’m quite certain it has nothing to do with me. I’m not from Utah and don’t live there. Thanks for the charity.

  151. Proving my point with your last snide and sarcastic remark. :) Triggered. Hehe.

  152. Truman, you, like Sister Beck, appear to miss a “bigger picture.” This OP is about a woman in a position of (associated) power being asked to support a man who brags about assaulting women. She does so. This OP points out the danger of the contradictions. I clearly criticized someone who calls out a woman. You say I’m not being charitable but then proceed to make attempt to “cut me down to size” with a said, uncharitable remark as well some unfounded attack linking me to evangelical hatred of Mormons. I clearly call out the irony of such a statement. The thing you’re missing is that I’m being overt. You claim a moral high-ground while wallowing the (same) mud. We understand the playground batter. We’ve seen it with Trump countless times. But let’s not pretend somehow my sarcasm proves some point you make while not “proving” the same point about yourself. This is the problem the OP addresses. People like you and Sis. Beck seem to not realize the contradictions of their actions/statements.

  153. Yep. Totally not triggered. NOT. ;P

  154. BlueRidgeMormon says:

    Had no idea that Beck prayed at the Trump/Pence rally. It’s fascinating.

    To me, the point of the OP is simply this: decorum. If you’re a prominent former leader, although you *technically* still have the right to express yourself as a private citizen, it’s usually in the best interest of decorum to stay a bit above the fray. Simply because it can be controversial.

    The long parade of comments simply illustrate the point. Right?

    Bonus points to Tubes for the “no true Scotsman” reference.

  155. This article is stupid! “As a woman who studied her words, who promoted Daughters in My Kingdom, I am now questioning whether or not she was truly invested in women as a leader.” If her praying at a convention makes you question, I think there is more to your story and life that you may want to investigate on your own.

  156. Hasn’t this thread died yet? Someone should fire the silver bullet and put it out of its misery.

  157. anon nona says:

    Wow. You people who boast about how tolerant you are……are very intolerant.

    I keep reading Trump is racist, bigoted, hates women, etc but no one ever gives an outright example.

    Yeah, 11 years ago Trump said some things that many, many males and females say daily. It is unfortunate that both genders speak this way. There are audio and video of many politicians throughout the years who have said worse things than Trump.

    So Trump says mean things, but Clinton is given a pass for her actions, corruption, hatred for every day Americans, support for abortion up to full term, lies, etc.

    Those that support Clinton crimes and immoral behavior and lack of ethics are the ones who do mental gymnastics.
    And to claim the media is smearing Clinton is laughable and a typical Communist tactict to transfer and project. John F. does an excellent job of projecting onto Trump what Clinton is. How can you people be Communists and claim to be Christian?
    It has been obvious for years the media has protected the far left and particularly Clinton in this election. The Wikileaks emails prove the media protects Clinton.

    Please give specific examples of what Clinton has personally done for children, gays, minorities, list her specific accomplishments.

  158. Jan Maughan says:

    Shame on you for judging her! What kind of member of the church are you?

  159. The regular kind?

  160. Well, Well…look how her fellow members judge her. And here I thought members of the LDS religion believed in the words of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I guess members of your church judge people just like everyone else. So you would rather she vote for Clinton who believes in abortion?

  161. r: yes, just like everyone else. And yes, I’d much rather she vote for Clinton, without hesitation or pause. Absolutely. Slam dunk. No question. 100%.

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