Struggling for Sunday

Carina has been our guest before and is still the coolest friend you have.

Nearly every election cycle I have to steel myself to return to church. I sit next to people who purportedly share the same values but want such different outcomes. Let’s be honest, it never feels great to be somewhere when you know you’re surrounded by people who are happy your team lost. Every election I mourn and then I seek hope. I overlook hypocrisies as I hope they will overlook mine. I resolve to love, even if they won’t. Every cycle I come around. I forgive. I seek forgiveness. I find the knot in my heart and I work it out with love.

But this year feels different. This time offers an enormous personal test of my Christianity.

I am struggling.

How can I act with a Christian heart when the hypocrisy is profound and devastating? The overwhelming Christian purpose to help the poor, those less fortunate, the other, and my neighbor feels hollow when these same people continually vote against themselves, vote against each other, and vote on purpose against the least of their brethren. How can I care about them when they will not care about others? How can I do this thing? The failure of empathy, the blessing of racism, bigotry, and assaults on women with our franchise?

Our protestations were ephemeral. We lined up. We decided bigotry, vulgarity, hate, and utter lies were OK as long as it wasn’t her. We decided women aren’t important, more pointedly, women decided women are not that important; the cognitive dissonance on that one is migraine-inducing. The principles we stand on are exposed as rot. We are not loving our neighbor. We are not caring for refugees. We are 61% enabling contention.

This is where the work is: when we go to worship on Sunday, we are not being asked to care for the samaritan, we are being asked to care for the thieves who beat and robbed. This is a brutal ask, one made all the more brutal because they will insist that they didn’t really beat and rob anyone, or certainly didn’t mean to, or it was all just exaggeration for effect, or an imagined higher principle served, but certainly the samaritan should go back where he came from. Meanwhile the samaritan is bleeding at our feet.

I’m tied up in pain. I see the pain in others. What comes next is terrifying. I have been screaming for months, a constant Cassandra, and I am hoarse. I can’t bear to hear a joke, or a snide remark. I can’t bear to know what this will do to our daughters. I can’t bear the excuse of I voted for him but I wasn’t voting for that. Yes, you did. You did. You did. You knew. You didn’t care. You did it on purpose. I can’t sing the song; I am a witness.

Even as I write I know I am the one who will have to change. I am the one who will have to accept. I know these feelings are ungenerous, marked by fury, hurt, and self-righteous pride. They sin differently than I do; I still sin. I must seek forgiveness, hope that it is offered. I will have to turn my head knowing they will keep raising their hands; we will do this 490 times. The atonement covers even this, the church divided, the anguish in pews. How long will Zion be delayed? As long as we let it.

Comments

  1. Amen and amen

  2. “We decided bigotry, vulgarity, hate, and utter lies were OK as long as it wasn’t her. We decided women aren’t important, more pointedly, women decided women are not that important; the cognitive dissonance on that one is migraine-inducing. The principles we stand on are exposed as rot. We are not loving our neighbor. We are not caring for refugees. We are 61% enabling contention.”

    Yes.
    I know many members, including elderly LDS women, listen to am radio–people like
    Rush Limbaugh–religiously. They/he fills their head with lies, fear and numbs them to crude and crassness. As a result, Trump becomes their standard bearer.

    I, too, wonder how/if I can continue my association with the church.
    Apparently it is not teaching us or we are not learning anything about the gospel.

  3. JTH: “I can’t bear the excuse of I voted for him but I wasn’t voting for that. Yes, you did. You did. You did. You knew. You didn’t care. You did it on purpose. I can’t sing the song; I am a witness.”

    Voting for a party rather than a candidate almost makes it worse in my eyes. As Christians, how can that be our excuse? I ache in places that feel so broken. I don’t know how to make this better but I will go to Church today and pray that my heart will feel peace.

  4. Note to commenters: if you read this post and think, “finally an opportunity for me to explain my insights about the election” man you are dead wrong.

  5. Beautifully stated. And true. Every word.

  6. I took today off. I don’t have political allies at church. Not any. The few that were here when I moved in, a few years ago, have all left–moved, or just stopped coming.

    I’ll return again next week. It’s my church as much as it is theirs. Even if they all think I’m apostate for caring about Muslims, and undocumented immigrants, and gays. Even as they wear their Confederate Flag pins (in rural Idaho!) and their Trump bumper stickers. I keep reminding myself that not all wards are like this. The church as a whole is not like this.

  7. Per CNN’s exit poll, 61 percent of 1 percent of 120 million voters say they’re Mormons who voted Trump. That’s about 700,000 people, or 5 percent of worldwide Mormons of record. And based on the overall Trump supporter age profile, most of them will be dead in thirty years.

    Look, I’m not trying to play games or make excuses. We can and must ask ourselves hard questions about what just happened. But I do want everyone to remember that Mormons are many things. We are children. We are Canadians, Mexicans, Europeans, Asians, and Latin Americans. We are non-citizen immigrants. We are people who could not or would not vote at all. And nearly all of us did not vote for Trump.

  8. Of course, “nearly all of us did not vote for Trump”. But Utah’s Electoral College votes ended up in the Trump column regardless. What does that say about the Church in general? Nothing good, if you ask me.

  9. I’m at a special Stake Conference (meaning that it’s the third one of the year). I came because I am desperate for comfort and council after this election. I am so miserable listening to a 90 minute commercial for going on splits with the missionaries.

  10. So, the missionaries (and Amy, doing splits just like she’s been asked) knock on the door of someone who just might be searching for something that gives their life a little more meaning, but who happens to be leaning a little left of center politically, and he/she opens the door, finds out who they are and this voice inside the brain says, oh yeah, these are the guys whose church HQ is in Utah, who, if I remember correctly, were all in on that Prop 8 deal in California, and where the state went overwhelmingly to Trump over Clinton in the last Presidential election.

    What will Amy and her missionary companion likely hear next?

    I suppose the tractee may be so intrigued about the opportunity to find out what it is about them that would cause such a lopsided vote in Utah that he/she invites them in, but I’m guessing Amy hears a “no” most of the time. More often than in the recent past? Maybe not. Who knows?

  11. If people are going to stop going to church because members overwhelmingly voted for trump. You mind as well stop being Christian . Christians overwhelmingly voted trump. Christianity must not be working?

  12. That’s about 700,000 people, or 5 percent of worldwide Mormons of record.

    At the end of the day it doesn’t matter, I suppose, since we’ll need to find a way to love each other one way or another, but I’d just like to point out that the Mothership of Mormonism remains Utah by just about any metric you’d care to measure–tithing receipts, activity rates, the place where most general authorities are born and socialized, etc. It’s the spiritual capital of Mormonism, and it went for the president elect. That’s going to leave a mark.

  13. linpjackson says:

    @Tim please know you’re not alone! In your case (rural Idaho), I’m *hoping* your dismay is more a function of geography than gospel observance. I live in New England and my ward members had 1) an election night “party” that turned into a support group when things went sour, and 2) a day-after donut-making event to try to lift our spirits as we commiserated with each other. Not all wards had Clinton supporters in the minority. Come join us out East, you’ll have friends :) Relying on the support of my local spiritual community, despite the deep disappointments we harbor over our Trump-supporting brothers and sisters (Mormon or not), is really helping me get through this. You have allies! XO

  14. linpjackson–thank you. My last three wards (one in Utah, even) were much more politically diverse. My dismay is definitely geographically based.

  15. Antonio Parr says:

    You write: “How can I care about them when they will not care about others? How can I do this thing?”

    I am a convert to Mormonism. I have some sense as to what the world looks like through different colored lenses. My childhood family is not LDS. My colleagues are not LDS. Most of my neighbors are not LDS. Many of my oldest, dearest friends and confidantes are not LDS. Thus, I write from some experience as to how the non-LDS population is faring when it comes to caring about others. With that in mind, as I read your essay I found myself wondering if you are being a bit too critical of Mormons and Mormonism.

    In my experience, Latter-Day Saints can be accused of many things, but a failure to care about others is a shoe that doesn’t fit. Volunteer hour after volunteer hour after volunteer hour is offered to lift up fellow human beings who suffer from physical, emotional, spiritual and financial difficulties. The willingness of Mormons to drop what they are doing to lend a hand is breathtaking and unlike anything that I have ever seen in any community.

    And while there was a time when one could fairly criticize Latter-Day Saints for only caring for their own, that has changed with amazing speed and intensity over the past few years. Local Public Affairs efforts regularly pull Latter-Day Saints out of their comfort zones into the broader community, where, again, Latter-Day Saints volunteer countless hours caring for the least of these in our communities.

    As to election cycles . . .

    Obama won the prior two elections, and one of his unsuccessful opponents was a Latter-Day Saint. I trust/hope that your fellow Latter-Day Saints still shared a pew with you after Obama’s victories, and did not let whatever distress they felt impede their ability to enjoy your company, even though for them his/your victory represented the victory of a political world view that was unappealing to many of them.

    This time, the victory went to the Republicans (admittedly to a candidate that for most of us was uniquely distasteful). History teaches us that if you wait long enough, the pendulum will swing in the other direction. With so many opportunities to touch the lives of others for good, why let politics interfere with your ability to serve and be served by your fellow Latter-Day Saints?

    (P.S. I haven’t participated in this forum for some time, although I follow it and recognize the impressive minds and sincere desires of those who participate. I apologize for sounding critical – I write only for the purpose of presenting a different perspective when it comes to what I perceive to be the very caring hearts (and hands and feet) of Mormons.)

  16. Geoff - Aus says:

    I live in Australia, and the culture that a good mormon is also a republican (even a Trump republican), is here too.
    We have facebook messages about what a good man Trump is from ward, and bishopric members.
    Many members, and appearently the leadership, are first republicans, second mormons, and third, followers of Christ.
    Yes we talk about the Gospel but the vocal members will always default to the republican interpretation. Charity lesson recently, love of christ etc, until someone said they had been in SLC and been confronted by beggars, and not sure what to do, quickly told they are not in need, make a good living, republican version of charity.
    So calculation that only a problem for members in Utah not correct.

  17. I trust/hope that your fellow Latter-Day Saints still shared a pew with you after Obama’s victories

    I would be surprised if it crossed the minds of the president elect’s supporters that they might share a pew with anyone who doesn’t share their views. Not because they are dull, ignorant or unimaginative but because conservative American politics have been mingled with the gospel for so long that some people have a hard time telling the difference, and why would anyone choose to come to church without believing in the gospel?

  18. A concerned member says:

    When a republican wins, the democrats mourn. When a democrat wins, the republicans mourn. Behind closed doors both groups conspire against the nation and is blind to how they actually work. Neither the republican or democrat party is built on the principles found in “Mormonism” nor “Christianity” in general. Neither party cares about the nation. They only care about filling their pockets with the money of those they rule over. Currently as they stand, both parties are pro pre-emptive war, and serve the warfare state (military industrial complex..what used to be “Therefore, renounce war and proclaim peace…” has been turned into “seek diligently to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children” using bombs, drones and machine guns). Both parties are pro-police state/big government (“Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.”..”Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him…”) Heaven forbid that man should have agency to choose. How is it a member who drinks beer (“and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks”) can have his temple recommend taken away, but the countless thousands that support the democrat and republican parties, and indirectly support all the “wars” (including “drug” wars) be given one? What about the countless death, suffering, destruction of families these two ruling parties have brought upon the earth? Do not those who are members of these two parties have blood on their hands? What does “Do you affiliate with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or do you sympathize with the precepts of any such group or individual?” even mean anymore? I’m sorry. When I see republicans and democrats argue about hypocrisy, I often think of the Lord’s words “Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.
    For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit.”.

  19. Herman Mackay says:

    I am our ward G.D. instructor . It’s very hard for me to listen and not yell back, just preach love.

  20. Herman Mackay says:

    I am our ward G.D. instructor . It’s very hard for me to listen and not yell back, just preach love. I am stunned at the level of ignorance in our midst.

  21. “Christianity must not be working?” Well, that’s kinda been the LDS line all along, general historical apostasy and all that. And the bottom line message of the Book of Mormon has always been “it can happen to you, too”.

  22. Kristine N says:

    I’m in Australia, too. My ward has a bunch of old people in it who remind me every week that we are called on to help the poor and afflicted, to mourn with those to who mourn, and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. My GD teacher reinforces almost every week that the message of the pride cycle in the BOM is that we need to care for the poor. These people, who I love, still support the ban on gay marriage, and are still convinced those who leave the church are doing so “so they can feel good about sinning,” but they’ve accepted the trans woman who is struggling with drug abuse. It’s a complicated place to be, and I love it. We can build Zion in our congregations, and it only takes a few voices to start preaching True Religion. We can change minds and hearts. We can remind people that Jesus’ message was one of love.

  23. “hard for me to listen”, “not yell back”, “just preach love”, “stunned at the level of ignorance”

    One of these things is not like the other. I hear this same rhetoric from both sides.

    The worst thing we can do is destroy congregations over this. We should be better than anyone else at loving each other despite our differences (except for the Samaritans. They blow!) Your Mormon friends and neighbors are still kind and loving and striving for the same salvation you are. Spend more time with them and less time with CNN or Fox.

  24. Geoff - Aus says:

    I should add that in Australia, to be a Trump supporter is a fairly extreme position. Before the election neither of the main political partiers had a good word to say about him, and very few of the public. So Mormons who support Trump here are very extreme politically.

    Who do we think the Gospel can appeal to if the Church is associated with extreme politics and unsavory Trump?

    I went to a family gathering instead of church, and although most of my extended family are conservative voters (by Australian standards) they just shook their heads at mention of Trump. Crazy extreme.

  25. It’d actually be interesting to see how a trump-clinton election would fair over here with our compulsory voting.

    The Liberal party (That’s a bit L liberal for you Americans. Our Liberal party is conservative. Go figure.) is no where near as bad as Trump , and we’ve been having pretty close to 50/50 split between the parties which are more left, and the parties which are more right in our elections for some time now. I’d be very interested to see how things would have turned out if all eligible americans had voted rather than ending up in a situation like this: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive/phd110916s.gif

    Of course, we actually have functional third parties, and our prime minister has a single vote just like all the other ministers, so they are less able to cause serious harm, and we can also kick the whole government out in one swoop if they become dysfunctional. Maybe the USA should go back to being a British Colony.

  26. Another Australian lamenting that geographically-based political opinion plays such a big part in our worship – and yet, choosing my neighbour based on my preferences (linked to the truths of the gospel as I believe them to be) doesn’t feel very Christlike.

    Carina, I love you. Thank you. I know we need to care for the thieves. They are probably hurting, too. I just want us to also love and care for the Samaritan. When we are in the business of turning people away, how long until I am next?

  27. “Obama won the prior two elections, and one of his unsuccessful opponents was a Latter-Day Saint. I trust/hope that your fellow Latter-Day Saints still shared a pew with you after Obama’s victories, and did not let whatever distress they felt impede their ability to enjoy your company, ”

    It isn’t the fact that a Republican won and a Democrat–Hillary–lost. Absolutely
    not. Obama is far and away an entirely different person than Trump. If it was Romney or most of the other Republican primary candidates I would’ve been disappointed, not dismayed, not deeply concerned for the future of our country (and our world). Trump is in an entirely different category.

    I’ve lived on the east and west coasts. Our east coast ward was predominately Republican. The west coast ward I live in now is extremely conservative but another west coast ward I lived in resembled my east coast ward–predominately, but not exclusively, Republican.

  28. I’m speaking as a former Republican who left the party in direct response to the Trump nomination. In my opinion he is a threat to our democracy, and I think his win is a disaster. Nevertheless, I can’t agree with this attitude of blame and contempt and criticism toward fellow church members. It’s our baptismal covenant to love and support one another in the gospel. It is not our place to decide that other people’s differing political views means that they are not living the gospel. Our job is to be humble enough to realize we might be the ones in the wrong, and treat God’s children with love whether they’re black, white, gay, straight, or even if they’re Trump voters.

  29. Lyle Mortimer says:

    When I was in the military years ago, I used to have long conversations with a fellow soldier about politics. He had been a community organizer, organizing demonstrations and disruptions. Our disagreements were many. We came to the conclusion, however, that we did in fact have the same values. We both wanted better paying jobs, better housing, more resources for the poor and underprivileged which included, of course, better health care. Why did we have any disagreements, then, politically. It was because we disagreed on which avenues to take to achieve those goals. Perhaps this insight will help you in coming to terms with the ideologies of your neighbors, whom you love.

  30. Carina, thanks. And I appreciate your insight about the work we need to do on our own sins too.

  31. I am the organist in our ward. While sitting at the organ in preparation for the opening hymn, “Sweet Is the Peace the Gospel Brings”, I read through the extra verses. And then I made the congregation sing all 6 (although they missed the 4th because they’d closed their hymnals already.) I was sleepless about this election following the outcome this week, but I am taking GREAT COMFORT in the words to this hymn. May it also give others who are struggling a way forward. Posting pertinent verses.
    1. Sweet is the peace the gospel brings
    To seeking minds and true.
    With light refulgent on its wings,
    It clears the human view.

    3. Faithless tradition flees its pow’r,
    And unbelief gives way.
    The gloomy clouds, which used to low’r,
    Submit to reason’s sway.

    5. Ere long the tempter’s power will cease,
    And sin no more annoy,
    No wrangling sects disturb our peace,
    Or mar our heartfelt joy.

    7. In patience, then, let us possess
    Our souls till he appear.
    On to our mark of calling press;
    Redemption draweth near.

  32. From my somewhat detached perspective as a Latter-day Saint in Italy—even if I realize that Trump’s election will send big ripples to the EU as well, we’ll see in what terms (financial, political, military…)—I am following with great interest the debate pre- and post-US election among my fellow LDS brothers and sisters and among the general public as well. I am trying to understand. I am seeing too much divisiveness, everywhere, and the religion of politics is too often thrusting deadly wedges in the body of Christ. This ought not to be, in my opinion.

    Here in Italy, as you may know, we’re making comparisons to Berlusconi and to his somewhat unsavory personal conduct (towards women, especially), but I must admit that Trump seems a Berlusconi on steroids. Richer, crasser, extreme-r in any way possible. As much as I did not understand how so many fellow Italian LDS voted for him and sustained him in the past—just because he seemed to be oh-so-pro traditional family and economically savvy, unlike those pro-abortion and pro-civil unions leftists—I do not get how is it possible to vote for Trump if you hold dear at least some of Christianity’s tenets (unless you give priority to other things, like promises of renewed financial prosperity for all, promises to bring the US again in the spotlight as the greatest-brightest-strongest nation on Earth…). I must add that I would not understand, either, a vote for Hillary Clinton. I do not understand how is it possible to accept, as a practicing Christian, a choice between one evil and another evil.

    It doesn’t matter if it is big evil or small evil. We’re not supposed to compromise by placing faithfulness to a party (or to patriotic promises, or to whatever) to loyalty to the principles and doctrines and practices of the Gospel of Christ. Inasmuch as no one forced anyone to vote for Trump or Clinton, why did so many think they had no other choice (whatever it was, McMullin or not) than voting for ‘a lesser evil’? We’re not supposed to choose evil, ever! If that means I cast my vote for another candidate who has no chances to win, so be it. At least I won’t have actively voted for one evil or the other. I would be in peace with myself knowing that I did the right thing. We’re not supposed to do the right thing only if and when it brings results, even desired results (like seeing my candidate win). We’re supposed to the right thing because it is the right thing. Period. Trump or Clinton would have won anyway, but not with ‘my’ vote or active assent!

    I mean: if someone gives me the choice to drink whisky or vodka at a party (but there is tap water in the kitchen), would I feel like I’m ‘forced’ to choose between this two alternatives (I don’t know which would be the lesser evil, in this case…) and maybe choose whisky just because tap water or any other healthy alternative (not drinking anything, even) wouldn’t be cool?

    I also realize what a tragedy it was for many to see them rise to final battle, rather than finding two more viable candidates! It’s a big indictment of both major parties, in my opinion. If I could vote, I would have considered both Trump and Clinton as unacceptable choices (for differing reasons, but still), while it seems that Trump is being cast as the Devil himself juxtaposed to Hillary the Saintly Christian.

    From what I have heard on the Internet in social media posts and conversations, though, it seems like a Clinton presidency would have been “an enormous personal test of [someone else’s Christianity]”, and a struggle for them, too. Many would have cried ‘hypocrisy’ if Clinton had won the majority of Utah’s votes, too. It would have been considered a threat (of a different kind than Trump’s, but still a threat) to overwhelming Christian purposes; a different kind of sin-choosing “with our franchise”; a different kind of not loving or not caring for some other groups of people or Gospel principles that HRC does not embody or that she actively fights, instead. Many Church members, in Utah, in the US and in some other parts of the worlds, would have felt betrayed and shocked all the same. I feel that empathy, patience, understanding, and a renewed commitment to putting God and Christ and the Gospel first—not politics, not religion masquerading as politics, not politics masquerading as religion—in our individual and family and Ward/Branch life.

    I find Carina’s call to forgiveness and her focus on Zion very poignant; her suffering very real, even from my somewhat ‘detached’ position as a non-american Latter-day Saint.

    That is why I find the exhortation to forgive, and (may I add) Michael Austin’s post “Mystic Chords and Better Angels: Building Zion When We Disagree” so necessary, so good, so true, so timely for all of us, especially for me as I struggle to understand what is happening and what all of this is doing among us, whether American Mormons or rest-of-the-world Mormons.

  33. The statistics are so depressing. Utah Mormons voted overwhelmingly for Trump. The two counties, Salt Lake and Summit, where more non-LDS voters live, voted overwhelmingly for Clinton. The shocker for me was that McMullin came in third. But what Utah Republicans will have to live with is the fact that they voted for a man who campaigned as a fascist. He has already reshaped the GOP in his image. You need to ask yourselves whether or not you want to be part of such a party. It is no longer the party you belonged to 10 years ago. It has been spinning toward fascism for some time now, and now it has fully arrived. You think Paul Ryan with his pseudo-intellectual but vacuous conservative policy proposals can rein in Trump? Dream on. You will need to make a decision, and soon. Are you going to support a man not just with bad morals but with no morals, who has unleashed a wave of disgusting beliefs that until now were bubbling beneath the surface of the GOP? Are you going to continue listening to propaganda like the Germans of the 1930s, failing to see what is right before your eyes? Turn off Rush. Turn off Fox News. Turn off Hannity. Become informed. Ask yourself just what part of your Mormon belief system Donald Trump represents. Personally, I can’t think of one single thing.

  34. The only thing I can really take away from any of this is how little most people have internalized others’ suffering. This is literally the meaning of the Second Commandment.

    My faithful Utah LDS family, full of temple marriages and missions, is also ridden with multi-generational sexual assault, rape, and domestic violence. And yet my parents, witness to all this grief, knowingly voted for a sexual predator.

    What does it feel like to be taken seriously?

  35. Lyle Mortimer: That insight has kept me hopeful through many election cycles, both where the votes went my way and where they went against. This is something very different. Trump is very different. I am very much struggling to believe that Trump supporters share my values.

  36. Geoff - Aus says:

    In my ward in Australia we have a group who equate being a member with support for the republican party, and as far to the right as possible in Aus politics. It is not a question of me respecting them, it’s a question of whether I will be driven out by them.
    Since Trumps election we have had a facebook message saying “Trump is a good man” and another saying he is “chosen by God” with messages of agreement from a member of the Bishopric.
    I would ask how many of the 10 commandments you can break and still be a good man, how many women can you molest etc. But we are just keeping our head down.

  37. I wish someone could help me understand how either position or candidate is without fault. Yet everyone seems to prattle on as though their position is the only correct position. As was told in a general conference talk not long ago, “compared to the Saviour, there isn’t really that much difference between any of you”
    How about just focusing on loving each other, and loving the Lord, and stop fault finding. I really get sick of hearing the criticism. To what end? Did anybody ever change your mind about your political position?

  38. I am a Utah Mormon and didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton. I found them both disgusting. Not necessarily equally disgusting, but disgusting nonetheless. Having said that, I find all the whining about Clinton losing a bit annoying.

  39. To mirror back to you your words:
    If you voted for Clinton, did you vote for her covering up her husband’s sexual assaults of other women? You did. You did. You knew. You didn’t care.
    Did you care when she defended late term abortion? I consider that murder. You knew. You didn’t care.
    You did not care about the out of work coal miners. You did not care about the women who have been sexually assaulted and do not want trans gender women with men’s bodies in their showers or restrooms.
    Do we really need to draw up lists of who each side did not care about?
    To judge as you are doing is to assume you can see into others’ hearts and weigh the various value judgementa people made as they cast their votes. That is arrogant indeed. It is why God commands us to stop. He reserves judgement because only He has all the information.
    Zion will come when we care more about each other and about God’s will than we do about our own way.
    People had many reasons for voting the way they did. Let us start with an assumption of good will on each side. Then let us continue forward expecting good actions and refusing to sanction bad ones. Donald Trump can be treated the same way as any other president. Fight his bad ideas and support his good ones.
    As for Church, keep bringing up the life of Christ. Each of us follow Him imperfectly, but we can be called to do better. We can be led to do better when we see true charity in others. And if you really aspire to reach godhood, where someday you will have children, some of whom will be like Hitler, when exactly did you think you would get experience holding fast to who you should be if not now?

  40. The atonement does not cover this. Jesus explicitly said so. That was the entire point of the “good Samaritan” story, and of the passage where he tells people that he will reject them for turning aside the poor and needy. And when he accuses people of the sin of Sodom, which the prophet Isaiah explicitly said was that they did not care for the poor.

    People have already died from despair over this. Children have stayed up all night crying. 61 percent of all US Mormon voters had better hope that Jesus won’t be the one judging them, because if he is he explicitly said they’re all going to hell.

  41. So the infinite atonement isn’t actually infinite? And when Jesus claimed he descended below all things, he meant all things but this?

  42. Geoff, you are allowed to Facebook back that you believe Trump is a bad man, then list why. It is okay to challenge the members of the bishopric. Really sustaining someone means you give honest feedback, including reproving with sharpness.
    A simple “I disagree. Good men do not brag about having sex with other men’s wives. Good men do not cheat on their wives. Good men do not brag about grabbing some pussy. Good men do not mock the disabled. Good men do not incite violence. Don’t you agree or is there something you find acceptable about these behaviors?” should be enough.

  43. Katie: Let us start with an assumption of good will on each side. Then let us continue forward expecting good actions and refusing to sanction bad ones.

    Ok. I’ll try.

    Katie: Donald Trump can be treated the same way as any other president.

    This is where I can’t go. Donald Trump is not just “any other president.” His words and deeds are not simply good and bad ideas. I refuse to normalize his campaign, his election, or his decisions so far in the transition.

    I get that Trump supporters who don’t really like Trump and don’t support everything he has said and done want to act as if Trump is just a run-of-the-mill politician (or human being). I don’t believe he is. I get that those same Trump supporters want to focus on their good intentions instead of the impact of their vote. Intentions mean little when the impact is so severe for so many. Yes, I can believe in your good intentions. I just don’t see your good impact. (“By their fruits…” and all that.)

  44. I’m all for assuming good intent as soon as Donald Trump displays any.

  45. Steve, the request to assume good will was in regard to other voters, especially those we attend church with. This was the subject of the original post, not the good will of the candidates. I saw no good will in either of them. I feel both would have worked to normalize despicable policies and take away our freedoms, just different freedoms for each. We have a new president, as both Obama and Clinton have reminded us. The country has been at war with each other for over a year. We need to lower the temperature of the rhetoric and get on with our lives. We as Latter Day Saints have Zion to build. We cannot do that with contention in our congregations and families. We cannot do that if we lose sight of our goal. That does not mean we have to lie down and let Trump or Clinton control our agenda. Zion is not Democratic or Republican. It follows God’s laws. Let us spend more time in the scriptures and in the temple preparing ourselves. Let us remember what the Book of Mormon teaches us: Do not return railing for railing. Become firmer and firmer in our humility. We know we live in the last days. We have a place of peace and safety to prepare, for ourselves, our families and our brothers and sisters, both LDS and non. We have the good news to share and the dead to redeem. Do not lose sight of the goal.

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