Political Neutrality

This US Presidential election year has seen unprecedented voter turnout. President-elect Joe Biden won the popular vote by 5 million. While his wins in so-called battleground states are more narrow, they are still not that narrow.

At this point, no serious person believes that Trump’s lawsuits are going to result in a different election outcome, even Republicans who are humoring the President or who want his support in the Georgie Senate seat runoff or who want to help him fill the RNC coffers through his GoFundMe scam. There has been an utter failure to produce credible evidence of voter fraud or even incompetence and error, certainly not on the scale required to overturn the results in any state.

Foreign leaders have congratulated President-elect Biden on his decisive win. Mitt Romney has. The Pope has. Who hasn’t said a word about it? Republican politicians. Neither has the Church. That’s unusual. The Church congratulated Trump on Nov. 9 of 2016. The Church also congratulated Obama on defeating Mitt Romney on Nov. 6, 2012. Today is November 13. Still crickets.

In a Church that largely voted for Trump (according to this poll, 71% did), continuing this charade that the election is somehow still in question is incredibly damaging. While the prospect of widespread voter fraud is frightening and completely unsubstantiated, worse still is the prospect of a Church membership gullible enough to believe it, spinning wilder and wilder conspiracy theories that continue to cause political rifts to widen. As Mark Twain famously said: “A lie can travel around the world and back again while the truth is lacing up its boots.” The longer this goes on, the more our members are believing the lies they are hearing, particularly those who are moving to the new alternate Republican social media sites that don’t include fact-checking. Acknowledging the President-elect would go a long way with some Church members in getting them to accept the results of the election which will inevitably happen anyway, but not until Trump and his cronies have enacted maximum damage on trust in democracy. While an actual coup is incredibly unlikely, the scorched earth policy they are pursuing is still incredibly damaging to trust, to the health of our nation’s elections, and to the ability of Church members to discern truth.

But aren’t we, after all, politically neutral? Kind of, but less and less all the time.

The Church has a long history during American election cycles of reading a letter of political neutrality to the membership to encourage participation in elections using gospel principles and clarifying the Church’s own neutrality with regard to politics. Over time, the Church’s statement on its neutrality have changed, as have its political actions. My entire lifetime, I remember listening to these statements. The seemingly tiny shifts haven’t always hit my radar at the time, but later I realize that something they used to say is now missing. Here’s a quick run-down of changes that have occured:

The 1999 statement includes three things that eventually disappear:

  • We are told the Church does not “advise its members how to vote.” (changed in 2004 [1], then replaced with an affirmation of the Church’s constitutional right to take a stand on issues, and ultimately a link to these in 2014.)
  • We are also told that “Church facilities are not to be used for political purposes” and that “Church directories or mailing lists should not be used for political purposes.” (Gone in 2008 [2], then replaced by 2014 with a link to see the Church’s stance on political ‘moral issues’).
  • A prohibition on implying the Church endorses candidates. “Political candidates should not imply that their candidacy is endorsed by the Church or its leaders.” (expanded in 2004 [3], abbreviated greatly after that).
  • Members are instructed to “vote for those they believe will act with integrity” and D&C 98:10 is quoted to support this idea: “honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold.” (Dropped in 2016).

Only in 2016 do we see that they have completely dropped the counsel to vote for candidates with integrity who are wise and good. Here we are in 2020, with a departing President making all sorts of outrageous statements that are easily disproven, and we haven’t yet congratulated President-elect Biden.

Is that political neutrality or its opposite?

Discuss.

[1] In 2014, the Church moved from saying it didn’t tell members how to vote (1999) to saying “the Church occasionally posts information about particular moral issues on which it has taken a position at www. MormonNewsroom.org.”

[2] In 2008, when Prop 8 was on the ballot in California, the statement suddenly dropped the part about not using Church facilities, directories or mailing lists for political purposes which are all things that it did in fact do in California.

[3] In 2004, the non-endorsement callout is expanded to parties and platforms and to prevent those in public office from implying they have the Church’s stamp of approval. Also in 2004, though, the Church quit saying they didn’t tell members how to vote and replaced that by saying that they affirm their “constitutional right of expression on political and social issues.” That’s a pretty big about face.

 

Comments

  1. I have never known about the church congratulating a President Elect, so I doubt that the church doing it now or not would change any members behaviors.

  2. It may be worth noting that the counsel to seek honest, wise and good candidates, the prohibition on using church facilities or resources for political purposes, and the statement of general neutrality as to candidates and parties (with the reservation of the right to take a position on issues the church decides are moral issues) are all included in the new handbook. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/general-handbook/38-church-policies-and-guidelines?lang=eng#title_number178

    I don’t remember if this stuff was in the old handbook or if it was just in the yearly statement.

  3. Looks like the same stuff was in the 2010 version of Handbook 2.

  4. It’s important to note that in both 2016 and 2012, the Church only congratulated the President-elect after the challenger had conceded the election. Hillary gave her concession speech on November 9, and Romney gave his concession speech on November 6. Trump, on the other hand, has not conceded.

    To me, that seems like a fair non-partisan standard for an organization to follow.

  5. Observer: We are definitely in unusual circumstances, but since Trump will never concede, I assume that they will congratulate Biden never. To me, that still feels like a partisan choice, but I do understand that there is no precedent for POTUS laying on the floor kicking his feet and pretending he won when he lost.

  6. Or perhaps Biden will be congratulated when the votes are counted in the Electoral College, or when he’s inaugurated. But, as jader3rd said, who really pays attention, except people who are looking to stir up contention.

  7. Aussie Mormon says:

    “Only in 2016 do we see that they have completely dropped the counsel to vote for candidates with integrity who are wise and good”

    From the 2020 election letter
    “Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties, and members should seek candidates who best embody those principles”

    Seems close enough to me.

  8. The church is always trying to balance the need for faith in its leaders with transparency and honesty. Church members are split with 2/3 being conservatives (or libertarians, tea party members, doomsday preppers, etc) and 1/3 liberals or progressives. Extremists on both ends of that spectrum occasionally value their political ideologies as more important than their religious values. I agree there is a trend here, but the church seems to be treading with great caution, hoping not to alienate one end or the other. But I also see trends that seem to point to trying to gain more acceptance from evangelicals, emphasizing common areas of doctrine while downplaying others that are at the core of our deeper theological differences.

  9. JustAThought says:

    The concept of partisanship refers to political parties and loyalties. The truth, however, has no party and, given that so many Mormons choose to ignore reality, the institutional church would be well within its own guidelines and common decency to declare the truth and call righteous Mormons to accept it as well. It’s in no one’s interest to be deliberately deluded or to willfully pursue fantasy simply because it can be done and Trump is providing the example.

    He’s behaving like a would be tin pot dictator and encouraging that in any way is destructive to the country.

  10. keepapitchinin says:

    It doesn’t matter much to me whether or not the Church extends some formal congratulations right now, although I think it couldn’t hurt to have one more respectable voice going on the record acknowledging the legitimate election of a new president.

    A formal Church statement, however, is very different from general member chatter. What I *don’t* want to see is assertions that the Church should *not* congratulate Biden, now or at his inauguration or any other time, on the grounds of neutrality. Remember the clamor four years ago, when some objected to sending the Choir to sing at the inauguration, and conservatives piously declared that it was an honor, that we always sang when requested, that the Choir’s appearance was not partisan, yada yada yada. You can’t have it both ways.

  11. Aussie Mormon: Yes, that statement showed up in 2008 as an accompaniment to the counsel to elect those with integrity who are honest, wise and good.
    1999: “Church members should study the issues and candidates carefully and prayerfully and then vote for those they believe will act with integrity and will most nearly carry out their ideas of good government. The Lord counseled the Prophet Joseph Smith in a revelation:
    “Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.” (D&C 98:10.)”
    2004: “Latter-day Saints are under special obligation to seek out and then uphold leaders who will act with integrity and are “wise,” “good,” and “honest” (see D&C 98:10).”
    2008: “Latter-day Saints as citizens are to seek out and then uphold leaders who will act with integrity and are wise, good, and honest. Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties.”
    2014: “Latter-day Saints as citizens are to seek out and then uphold leaders who will act with integrity and are wise, good, and honest.”
    2016: “Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties, and members should seek candidates who best embody those principles.”

    Maybe that doesn’t feel like a departure to you. It sure looks like a watering-down of our principles to me. I realize that these are not statements of doctrinal significance, but they represent one of two things: 1) tacit support for Trump / refusal to imply they are against him, or 2) total cynicism about all politicians (e.g. they felt Hillary was equally dishonest and unethical). If it’s #2, removing the aspirational statement just feels really despairing to me and unwarranted as it would not indict either candidate more. If it’s #1, in trying to appear neutral, they reveal that they are partisan and imply that the ends justify the means, a dangerous view of politics that seems to be becoming much more common.

  12. Not a Cougar says:

    Angela, I’m sorry, but I don’t see the Church’s delay in extending congratulations to Biden as anything more than a prudent decision in the midst of a disputed election that will inevitably result in Biden in the White House (and if they did, it wouldn’t change a darn thing). Trump’s failures to abide by presidential norms have been irritating, but he’s broken no laws by failing to concede, and allegations on the left that Trump is attempting a coup are laughable. Trump couldn’t manage to rig a single election, much less line up the support from political, business, law enforcement, and military leaders needed to actually pull off such a thing (and I’ve lived in a country where such coup attempts happen with some regularity). The Electoral College electors will cast their ballots, Biden will be sworn in, and the boogey monster that Trump was for much of the left will be gone, banished to whatever conservative media outlet will sign him. Then we can get back to the usual business of arguing over healthcare and continuing our endless wars in the Middle East. The saddest thing is that John Mulaney was right in his SNL monologue a couple weeks ago, nothing will really change.

  13. JustAThought says:

    Trump may not be capable of marshaling the support for a coup but he certainly is compromising the country’s ability to carry on a cohesive Covid strategy and, even more importantly, informed foreign and defense policies by standing in the way of the Presidential Daily Briefings that he’s denying to President-Elect Biden.

    God knows, he doesn’t even read them himself so it’s not as though allowing the nation to be prepared would be impinging on his privileges in any way.

    I’m in favor of every acknowledgment of the results of the election that derails Trump’s intransigence and moves the country forward. I would think moral leaders would be proud to use their influence for good and be part of that process or at least quell the divisive dissension.

  14. We have a show in Australia called “Planet America” which is on twice a week. Last night they said 69% of Trump voters still believe he will win. Australian members on facebook are saying Trump will win because God wants him to.
    If 2/3 of members voted Trump, and 2/3 still believe he will win( nearly half the conservative members), and if a certain number believe it is Gods will?
    Does the church have a problem they need to address? And a statement of congratulation to Biden would address it. Do they allow Trump to continue to mislead the members or do step in?

    We will see, but the credibility of the leaders again?

    If the church waits for Trump, or does nothing; more damage is done to Americas democratic system. How do conservative members justify undermining their democracy?

  15. Aussie Mormon says:

    “Australian members on facebook are saying Trump will win because God wants him to.”

    I’m not sure which members you interact with, but all the members I’ve talked with except two, not only dislike Trump, but are very glad he lost (and this includes members in Utah).

    “Does the church have a problem they need to address? And a statement of congratulation to Biden would address it. Do they allow Trump to continue to mislead the members or do step in?”

    Do you suggest the church start dictating to members how to vote? How exactly do you expect them to stop Trump misleading people? Buy Twitter and ban Trump?

  16. In the interest of sounding like a broken record here as I have everywhere else for the last four years, Donald Trump is mentally ill. He suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He cannot accept he lost; he might never be able to because that would make him a loser. Narcissists cannot accept that about themselves. It is a whole degree beyond Hilary Clunton’s endless speeches on why she should have won. That was just an inability to accept the fact she is not a likable person. Hers was hubris, his is mental illness.
    What should the Church or anyone else do about the situation we are in? Humor Donald Trump until after the Electoral College votes. It shortens the time he will have to completely break down mentally. Because that is the real danger. Rage and terror. As someone who was married to a person who suffered from a personality disorder, I can assure you you have no idea what people who have no limits on acceptable behavior can do.

  17. Minor point but the expression ‘the Church’ is used above as if it is an inclusive consenting decision-making body without the sense of who and where such decisions emanate from. Some have authority to speak for the organisation (?), so they should be identified as, for example, ‘Church leaders’. We read above, appropriately, that ‘the Pope’ has offered congratulations, not the Catholic Church. ‘The Church’ is a compact expression but for me as a nominalization it obscures actors and agencies. And finally, how can a Church be politically neutral and its members not?

  18. I think you’re making too much of this. Trump hasn’t conceded and the election has not been certified.

  19. Aussie, Don’t know why you have to be obtuse. What I thought I was saying is that almost half conservative members still believe Trumps lie that he will win the election.
    If the church leadership congratulated Biden on winning, it might help these people accept the reality. At some point, when Biden is inaugerated perhaps, they have to come to terms with reality. And for those who believe God wants Trump to be president, it could be even more difficult, but if the church leaders congratulate Biden, that could help them grasp reality.
    Nothing about telling them how to vote.

  20. Angela should just come out and say it — she wants the church to make a statement that can be used to show to members who are upset by the election or conspiracy theories and conspiracy facts about the election are unfounded. Or something to that extent.

    The fact of the matter is there is a serious question of election integrity in this country. Even if the margin of fraud wasn’t enough to put Biden over the top, there are way too many holes where it’s possible to commit fraud. The so-called protections are just that.

    For the record, Biden will be the president, and I congratulate him for his win, whatever good that does.

  21. Jr.mint;

    Was it the standard grape flavor? Or some other variety. You know, the KoolAid

  22. I’m with Kay on this. You are worried about the wrong thing here. Donald Trump’s mental illness should be the issue. How will it play out over the next two months?

  23. Trump not conceding isn’t a symptom of mental illness, nor is it due to a wish that he will win; it’s a con. On the website to give him donations to continue to fight the election, the small print says that the money is actually going to go towards paying off Trumps debts. If he concedes he’ll no longer be able to play the con, to get people to pay off his debts for him.
    Lindsay Graham and Mitch McConnell are going along because they are hoping that by putting forward this image of being “fighters” it will stir up the base in Georgia to be fighters like them and to vote for Republican Senators. They are afraid that if they appear to just be going along with “the mainstream media” that enough Republican Georgia voters will not be interested/energized enough to show up to vote Republican in January.

  24. Jader3rd, you misunderstand the kind of mental illness Trump suffers from. It is not the kind that makes him too dysfunctional to play a good con game. He is in fact playing a good con game just as you said. He is at the same time displaying symptoms of a personality disorder. One does not preclude the other. He is both playing a con to pay off his debts AND suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, which makes him unable to accept the outcome of the election because then he would have to accept that he can lose=is a loser. Many of the world’s best con men suffered from…..well THEY didn’t suffer, only those around them suffered, but they had a personality disorder of narcissism or psychopathic personality disorder. The two disorders share many symptoms and Trump exhibits those symptoms. The personality disorders do not make a person unable to plan and carry out a con, in fact they make the con artist a better con artist because they can lie with a perfectly clear nonconscience.

  25. The church isn’t politically neutral. True, it doesn’t endorse political candidates or parties. But it has a history of supporting conservative candidates and policies (see Ezra Taft Benson) and every issue it supports is conservative (see gay marriage and medical marijuana). I think in order to credibly claim neutrality it has to actually explicitly acknowledge the role it has played historically in creating a very conservative membership (many of whom think liberals are evil) and explicitly disavow that.

    Instead, we get what we always get with the church when it realizes a position it’s taken has fallen out of favor: an erasing of history for plausible deniability purposes that maybe limits some damage in the future but leaves in place the damage already done.

    Sorry, this is raw for me as I look around in total bewilderment at my Trump-loving, QAnon-believing, Covid-spreading LDS friends and neighbors and realize the serious influence the church has had in getting us to where we are. It’s super depressing.

  26. I think that every time somebody – a homegrown politician, the leader of another country, the Pope – congratulations Biden, it reinforces, supports, and upholds our democratic electoral process, even if just a tiny bit. For that reason, I agree that the Church, or the First Presidency, or whoever it is, should send congratulations.

    And I also agree that our current president is a sick man who can do a whole lot of damage before he leaves office. Was I the only person who was relieved that he didn’t make any speeches for nine whole days, and only broke his silence yesterday? Those nine days felt so peaceful!

  27. Aussie Mormon says:

    Elisa:”But it has a history of supporting conservative candidates and policies”

    Conservative and liberal are relative. The DNC only made support for same-sex marriage part of their platform in 2008, and during Obama’s first election campaign spoke against legalising it.

    Geoff:”Aussie, Don’t know why you have to be obtuse. What I thought I was saying is that almost half conservative members still believe Trumps lie that he will win the election”

    You said “Australian members on facebook are saying Trump will win because God wants him to.”
    I was asking which ones.

  28. Joseph Stanford says:

    This statement by Dallin H. Oaks (October 2020) deserves some credit in this context: “…It also means that we peacefully accept the results of elections. We will not participate in the violence threatened by those disappointed with the outcome. In a democratic society we always have the opportunity and the duty to persist peacefully until the next election.” However, the problem is that some people refuse to acknowledge what the outcome is. Instead, they claim the alternate reality con promoted by Trump in which the election result is what he wants it to be.

  29. Kristine N says:

    Yeah, I think this is key:

    I think that every time somebody – a homegrown politician, the leader of another country, the Pope – congratulations Biden, it reinforces, supports, and upholds our democratic electoral process, even if just a tiny bit. For that reason, I agree that the Church, or the First Presidency, or whoever it is, should send congratulations.

    The church spends a lot of ink on the inpiredness of the consitution and the holiness of democracy (which I’ve always heard is better than anything except the theocracy we expect to exist after Christ returns). I would think, then, that congratulating Biden and by extension supporting the democratic process is a reasonable expectation.

    I doubt many people are really paying attention (especially this year!) but I agree it would be a good signal to send, even if only a few people were aware of it. Though, given the way progressives latched onto Oak’s statements in support of Black lives mattering (though he did shy away from actually supporting BLM) I do think it’s reasonably likely a congratulatory statement from the leadership would go viral. Maybe that’s part of the calculation?

  30. I was married to a man who suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder who also served as CEO of a national company here in the US. You truly have no how terrible this could become. No idea. Please pray for the country and its leaders. President Ballard was inspired to ask that of us. God may need to personally intervene on this one. Maybe we are at that moment when the Constitution hangs by a thread. I do not know. But the next two months are critical.

  31. Angela C – The timeline makes sense.
    2000 i.e. the election in the aftermath of the Clinton impeachment: Letter emphasizes that the moral qualities of our elected leaders matter
    2004, 2008, 2012: Inertia
    2016: An appeal to moral qualities would be too apparently in opposition to the morally corrupt Republican candidate; statement is muted

  32. it's a series of tubes says:

    Francine – Trump will go without incident, just as all the others have gone for 200 years. No one is bigger than the system, which is truly a remarkable thing and a testament to the wisdom that created it.

  33. The Church is in a pickle here. Congratulate Biden and possibly offend the 70% of Mormons who voted for Trump, many of whom believe Trump’s unsupported claims about voter fraud and a stolen election. Alternatively, withhold congratulating Biden and give the impression LDS leaders are Trumpists, who either buy Trump’s factually unsupported claims or else recognize them as a scam on Trump followers (who are very good at being manipulated) but will nevertheless support Trump to further their own (that is, LDS leadership’s own) goals and values. Hard place, meet rock.

    They would be doing both the membership and the country a favor if they just did the right thing (and let the consequences follow). Acknowledge Biden’s electoral victory and congratulate the President-Elect. Just do it. Even China has congratulated Biden at this point!

  34. Jack Hughes says:

    It’s a bit of a paradox that the institutional Church claims to be politically neutral year after year, yet the membership of the Church is one of the most dependably Republican voting blocs in the country. What’s especially disturbing about this most recent election is that LDS voters still went hard for Trump, suggesting that institutional/party loyalty is more important a value to many members of our church than personal character and integrity (precisely what the Church “neutrality” statements have been warning us about for years). The members clearly aren’t listening to the Church leaders, but neither are the leaders listening to the members.

  35. “ Members are instructed to “vote for those they believe will act with integrity” and D&C 98:10 is quoted to support this idea: “honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold.” (Dropped in 2016).
    Only in 2016 do we see that they have completely dropped the counsel to vote for candidates with integrity who are wise and good. ”

    For me this is the saddest part of the whole piece. Why drop the injunction to vote for integrity and wisdom, precisely in a year when those characteristics are obviously lacking in Trump. Was it a calculation that if this were read from the pulpit too many would be pricked in their hearts to not vote for Trump? What does that say about the church?(Breaks my heart).

  36. Perma Banned says:

    We should note of course, that this website makes no pretense to being politically neutral. In fact the entire premise of this website is to promote left-leaning politics in the church.

  37. Perms Banned: I suppose the net balance it provides is a good thing.

  38. To: it’s a series of tubes. Donald Trump is the first US president of whom I am aware who suffers from a mental illness that causes him to misunderstand or misinterpret reality. The trouble with the way we currently define mental illness to include anxiety and depression with bipolar and borderline is that they ignore that in the first case one is suffering while still in touch with reality and in the second case one may not be.
    I do not know how much actual experience you have had with the more serious disorders but in my case I had about 30 years. The last contact I had with my former husband was to inform him I had not hidden the way he treated me from others. His response to that statement was to visit a strip club then tell his current wife and daughter about it. It was one of the last memories his still young daughter has of him prior to his death, his defending his actions to her. That was not long after he took his family to visit the people he converted on his mission.
    And his daughter got off lucky. Other people I know had their borderline spouse murder the children. Why? Because the new boyfriend said he was not interested in marrying someone with children. So the only possible response was to eliminate the children. The ONLY possible way they could respond.
    Borderlines are infamous for holding guns to their head or that of a family member and threatening to kill in front of the other family members, even their small children. And done repeatedly, while then marching off to church on Sunday and telling lies about their spouse to the bishop or priest. I have witnessed this myself. When I did not respond in the way he thought I should, he began having sex with others and calling me at work to tell me about it. The Church’s response to all this: excommunicate, then see how fast they could get him rebaptized and sealed to the woman he got pregnant while married to me. Then let’s call him to serve in a bishopric so we can prove repentance and the Atonement really do wipe the slate clean! Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s require him to tell his second wife about the prostitutes he paid for sex, but tell him he did not need to inform me, even though we were still married when it happened and when the bishop was informed. If I still sound angry with the idiotic responses from priesthood leaders, perhaps you might understand why.
    Donald Trump is currently exacting his revenge on everyone in government who crossed him by firing them. Someone must be to blame for his loss, something other than his own behavior. You do not know how bad this can get unless you have studied or lived this. These people have no bottom limit on their behaviors. Truly none. Even if they were born in the covenant, raised in the Church, married in the temple, and a missionaey as my former husband was. No limits whatsoever. The illness causes cells to die in the emotional control center of the brain, leaving it sometimes half the normal size. Donald Trump is dangerous right now and will be so until he leaves office. Think the leader of North Korea, another mentally ill leader firing off missiles or having his brother murdered. Think Adolf Hitler ordering the Germans to destroy everything as the Allies advanced because what could Germany be without him. Why would the Germans even want to live? Our system is good, but it is not unbreakable.
    And mental illness needs to be recognized for what it is. Many psychiatrists signed a statement to the nation before the 2016 election warning us that Donald Trump exhibited all the signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which is not treatable. The population ignored it. As they ignored every news story where he exhibited symptoms publicly to the world no matter how egregious because he was their president and we and Mitt Romney and Jeff Flake and John McCain were traitors for not supporting his craziness.

  39. I had to break it to you folks, but this thing ain’t over. There are lots of problems being uncovered and now we see that Michigan apparently will not be certifying their votes.

    I still highly doubt they’ll be able to show enough to change things by the deadline, but I bet $$ that within the next 3-6 months we’ll see lots of legitimate evidence that would have changed the election. I could be wrong, but we’ll see.

    And I don’t know whether Trump has a mental illness, but I do know that a lot of people have been manipulated into believing things about Trump for which the evidence is weak or contradictory. Just one example. “Fine people on both sides.” He was not talking about white supremacists, etc. He explicitly said he was not talking about them, and that’s on video.

  40. I do not think we have been manipulated into believing much of anything about Donald Trump doing or saying evil things. Wasn’t it Trump himself who bragged about having sex with married women? Didn’t Mr. Trump start his campaign by calling immigrants rapists? Perhaps that infamous picture of him mocking the disabled man was faked? Or perhaps his debate comment four years ago defending the size of his genitals?
    Please explain to me how any of this qualifies as normal? And how we have been deceived.

  41. Making fun of a handicapped person? People have looked at multiple public addresses by Trump and he made those same gestures to lots of other people, non-handicapped. It just so happened that this one was.

    Trump moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and was roundly attacked. “He just started WWIII!!!” You’re probably not even aware that 3 years later a Mid-East peace agreement was signed at the White House. A lot of people aren’t aware of it because media outlets such as the Washington Post reported it with a headline like this: “Trump exposes people to virus at White House event.” A White House vent. If it had been Obama you think that’s how the headline would have read?

    North Korea’s dictator was threatening to nuke everybody and people cringed in fear that Trump was going to blow that situation up. Didn’t happen.

    I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 because he’s so unpresidential and seemed reckless. I figured his recklessness would get us into unnecessary wars and wreck the economy. Turned out he was the first president in a while who did not get us into a new war.

    Trump had black unemployment at historic lows, but your media sources won’t tell you that.
    Trump had a very strong economy just before the virus hit.

    Trump picked up more minority votes than any Republic presidential candidate had in years.
    But, but, but he talked about his genitals.

    The guy is flawed and should learn to keep his mouth shut and stop tweeting. But he accomplished real things in office, which are completely ignored by a media that wishes the public to believe that Trump is the second coming of Hitler.

    I recognize these are not popular things to say here, but frankly my dear . . . .

  42. Mike, the election may not technically be over, but mathematically, it is. Trump has no realistic path to switching the results in at least three states.
    I do believe Donald Trump is mentally ill. Mitt Romney, in his speech four years ago, probably used the most polite term when he called Trump tempermentally unsuited for the office.
    I too was married to what is termed a high functioning man who suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder. People with this can be very successful at work, since they spend all their time seeking approval from the most important person in any setting mirroring back to them their words, gestures and actions. It is currently believed that this approval helps generate sufficient serotonin to keep them from totally disintegrating mentally. They truly possess no stable personality or beliefs. When at church, it is the bishop or the elders’ quorum president for a man or the Relief Society president for a woman whose opinion must govern your marriage. In my husband’s case, we returned from church one Sunday when we were newly married to have him announce to me that we must immediately have a child because all the other men were talking about their children and he did not like being left out. Fortunately, I did not buy into the doctrine being widely pushed at that time that men should preside by making the family decisions and their wives follow those decisions. And that was being preached, most particularly in the temple. I paid a high price spiritually and socially for my failure to comply. And my husband never mentioned children again until a new bishop brought them up years later.
    But my husband paid a higher price than I did for the false teachings about the roles of men and women. Because I was not viewed as an equal partner, priesthood leaders were quick to give my husband advice without any attempt to invite my input in my own marriage. The results were disastrous. In the end, this advice pushed my marriage into divorce and my husband into a total breakdown spiritually and mentally. When confronted with results of their actions, the leaders refused to take responsibilty. Something that has quite turned me off to any talks about inspired priesthood leadership. Wasn’t it Alma who told his son the people would not believe his words because of his son’s action? I feel the same. In my case, I view some of our our leaders as spiritual cowards who want to speak without actually taking responsibilty for their words. In the end, what exactly can they give me to make up for the destruction of my eternal family? Are they offering to cancel their family sealings in an eye for an eye fashion or just give another talk about the ability of Christ to make everything right? Unless Christ can actually reverse time so that none of the terrible things happened, this does not work for me. The consequences of their policies and talks are eternal for him and for me even if those policies have since been changed.
    To Donald Trump, this need to generate serotonin was most visible through his endless campaign rallies and his insistence his inaugural crowds were bigger than Obama’s. These illnesses have been described as “having no emotional skin”. All slights are endlessly painful and must be disproved or retaliated against. Thus, John McCain, a war hero, must be cast as not a hero because he was captured. Mitt Romney must be labeled not a good Mormon. An ugly picture of Ted Cruz’s wife must be shared. An unasked question about “the size of Trump’s hands” must be answered in the most inappropriate time and place, a presidential debate broadcast to the world.
    Obama said recently that Trump’s actions are not normal. He is correct. They are outward indicators of a severely miswired brain.
    Donald Trump gave us endless indications of what was wrong with him prior to the 2016 election. The electorate deceived themselves into believing he would act more presidential once the primary was won. Well, once the election was won. No, he was just cleaning the swamp. It would be later that his responses would be moderated. One excuse followed another for his offenses. Each one ignored the past excuse as if it had never existed.
    The truth is that Trump is incapable of changing his problems. He is not at fault. The people who voted for him and excused him must take the blame. Those who voted for him need to ask themselves why they turned a blind eye and why the cared so little about his words and deeds. If bragging about your ability to molest women sexually without fear was not enough to stop you from voting for someone, what would be enough?

  43. Like it or not, the left in this country–cultural and political–is primarily responsible for a President Trump. It appears that a large segment of our population was sick of what was going on and wanted someone who was willing to give them all the middle finger. I was as shocked as anybody that he won. But 4 years later I saw that who he is accomplished much more than anybody thought he could. And he exposed a deceitful media.

    My hope is that this country will get to a point where a moderate president would be acceptable by most of the country (and I don’t care whether it’s a Democrat or Republican), and that such person would be as presidential as we could ever expect. But the cake we got in 2016 came with certain ingredients that were just part of the package. I had hoped that this would be a wakeup call to the left, but it’s pretty clear that instead of some introspection on how we got here, their hatred for conservatives only grew deeper.

  44. Mike, unemployment was at historic lows because the deficit was at historic highs. We are not paying our country’s bills. Even with all the new employment, we were getting less tax revenue after the tax law changes that caused the high employment numbers than we got before everyone got work. We are spending the future into slavery to China to pay the interest on the national debt. And that is as reckless as it gets.The only way to clean this up is massive tax hikes or massive inflation to devalue the amount we owe. And of course the liberal media covered the stories of the high employment numbers. Where do you think I read it?
    North Korea’s leader went back to threatening the world as soon as Trump went home. Trump’s visit, widely covered by all the liberal media I watch, gave Trump full points for his unorthodox approach. It just did not actually change anything because their leader is even more seriously mentally ill than ours. Trump tried a new approach. It did not work because the man who had to change is not sane.
    I could see many reasons to vote for Trump. When valid reasons are presented, I listen and agree. But I cannot tolerate the defense I hear from my friends about what a wonderful man Trump is. He is not. He molested women. He lies constantly. He fights with everyone and insults people until it is impossible to get things done. Jeff Flake chose to leave Congress. Mitt Romney voted to impeach a president of his own party. John McCain rise from his deathbed to save Obamacare. Three conservatives who would not back Trump’s excesses. We could have done so much more with a sane man.
    And he did not get accomplished his most widely claimed promises. The wall remains largely unbuilt. Obamacare is still the law. We still fight in the Middle East. Things Trump promised to change immediately if elected.
    We could truly use some scientific, evidence based education in our schools about mental health and illness, what is currently treatable and what are the symptoms. Then perhaps people would recognize and vote for wise men and women, not those who promised to rescue them, but exhibited signs of instability.

  45. Mike Trump has never been a conservative. He is a populist. The true conservatives have refused to back him.

  46. The Trump presidency was a reflection that the blue collar workers were being ignored. Hillary’s comments about coal miners showed contempt for the very people who she expected to vote Democratic, as had her comment about baking cookies when Bill was first running. And the way Obama’s last months in office turned into a debate about trans gender bathroom rights showed that a very liberal part of the Democratic Party had captured the debate. Trump’s genius was to verbalize the concerns of many Americans. That they should have a voice in social change involving LGBTQ rights, not just bow to court decisions. That religious rights mattered. That manufacturing jobs were ceasing to exist or provide a wage sufficient to raise a family. That America had to provide jobs for American, not illegal immigrants. That the coastal elites, rich in education and opportunity, were not the only ones with a stake in the country.
    Unfortunately, Donald Trump himself is a victim of his faults and the promise that mattered most to me, about the return of manufacturing jobs to America, failed to materialize. A businessman used to ordering subordinates about lacked the skills necessary to negotiate and lead.
    Let us support the Biden presidency and try to restore civil discourse and compromise to the debate.

  47. it's a series of tubes says:

    Nancy, Pam, I’m truly sorry for the horrible things you have been through. I honestly can’t imagine them. But I stand by my opinion that Trump will go without incident, and the inspired system we have will live on.

  48. Mike, I too was married to a successful mentally ill man. They are capable of great accomplishments. My ex-husband left his widow millions earned as a prominent business leader.. And an STD and damaged children. There are a string of ex-wives who are being treated for PTSD. He racked up a couple of excommunications from the LDS faith. I am not sure what his coworkers believe about the Restoration, but the repeated missionary experiences mixed with stories of how great his wine cellar was must mark a new low in LDS funerals. I am glad they left out stories of his sexual exploits, which were widely known and repeated to his children after his death. Following his death, his company, who could no longer ignore his actions now that people were publicly repeating the stories, rewrote the company history to remove any mention of him, their founding CEO. Someone so honored by the senior people just weeks before, was completely erased from all company literature. I believe Donald Trump will be treated the same by the Republicans. No matter what his accomplishments, the craziness will outweigh it after he leaves and those who witnessed it up close speak up. Perhaps the LDS leaders are not willing to dive into this mud hole right now.

  49. Bob,
    I still maintain that we wouldn’t have arrived at the point where the country elected someone as odd are Trump if the left hadn’t gone so far out of control. What we need in this country is some good old fashioned moderation and a willingness to do what’s right for all people, not the extremists. I would have voted for a Democrat if they’d nominated someone decent. But a man with dementia and a penchant for inappropriate touching, nd a woman who couldn’t even garner one vote in the Democrat primary don’t cut it for me, both of whom are willing to go far left where some in their party want them to go.

    Biden claims it’s time to unify when he has refused to denounce all the violence the left has inflicted on this country in riots, looting, burning, shooting, etc., and his people are wanting to create communist-type lists of all those who supported Trump. Which is it? Healing or continue dividing? I pray that in 4 years we can get decent people to run for that office, and that the country will vote for decent, competent people.

  50. Thank you it’s a series of tubes. I hope your belief proves true. The system is there. So is the long tradition of a peaceful power transfer. Unfortunately, if I am correct, President Trump’s narcissitic tendencies will not let him see himself as a loser. And I have witnessed too much terror and rage practiced by the severely mentally ill and watched people spend decades trying to overcome the damage they do to have much faith that sanity will prevail.Even if Trump leaves peacefully, I think he will not give up his tales of a stolen election.
    And my experience with Church leaders, men I once held in such esteem, and still consider quite intelligent, does not give me hope that if they did not recognize mental illness, that the average person ever will.

  51. Nancy, are you hoping he comports himself like Clinton in giving up “tales of a stolen election”?

  52. This has just been my observation so might be completely off-base, but I have noticed that Church leaders only seem to want to acknowledge the existence of mental illnesses that can be successfully treated. Narcissism is not one of those. So many statements in the past denying the possibility of conditions that twist one’s mind and remove free agency as being contrary to God’s plan and therefore do not exist. I think it has caused a major roadblock to the mentally ill in the church getting the help that is available. And of course, the leaders’ unwillingness to listen to the sisters and to take their concerns into consideration. It would have helped so much if my request for a sealing cancellation had been granted. I might have healed. Instead, my crazy ex-husband used that as a means to stay in touch to try to manipulate and harm me. But no one would listen. The priesthood leaders just knew best and who was I to question their inspiration?
    And, of course, when the former spouse is no longer a member, his ex-wives will not be informed, even if he takes their minor children every week. I do not think they would treat the men with such disrespect. And you would hope, they would consider the safety of the children, but no. That would be too much to ask of them.

  53. Mike, I feel Hillary Clinton’s unwillingness to give up her tales of a stolen election was hubris. She did concede within a normal timeframe. And I agree, she went on far too long giving interviews explaining why she should have won and why the people who really mattered, the educated elites, all voted for her. Hurt pride and a sense of entitlement to be the country’s first female president. But Democratic leaders finally got her silenced by telling her she was hurting the party’s chances in the next election.
    I believe Donald Trump will be different. He has no loyalty to the Republican Party. He only cares about himself, his daughter Ivanka and sometimes his wife. I wish we had some drug to cure wounds to a narcissist. But we do not. The characterization of having no emotional skin is apt. They bleed excessively from every negative comment. And they lash out viciously. Thus, Donald Trump defending the size of his genitals years after someone started the joke about the size of his hands. At an extremely inappropriate time and place when the subject was not even being discussed. I watched that on television that night. The newsman had no idea what to even say to address what Trump had just said. There truly was no appropriate comment to be made.
    Losing the presidency is a huge Narcissistic wound. And Donald Trump has a Twitter feed even if the media pull away. He will have a terrible time letting this go. One can only hope the Republican Party will succeed in reshaping itself around different leaders. And that the Republican mainstream will come to their senses.

  54. Nancy, I don’t doubt Trump will struggle to let go. But as I alluded to earlier, I believe in the months to come there will be more evidence to come (yes, I used the word “more”) showing how votes were counted, votes were switched, dead people voted, votes weren’t counted, etc. That will likely extend things for years to come. Not only for Trump, but it’s impact will be felt throughout politics/culture.

  55. Mike, as someone who worked as an election worker twice, it is harder than you think to switch a large enough number of votes to affect the outcome. It is not impossible. We had someone get a provisional ballot into our election box because we were short poll workers at that precinct. But that was one ballot in one precinct and we realized it right after it happened. The major problem I witnessed in southern California that we did not experience when I worked in northern Califirnia was that the people who signed up to work the polls did not show up on election day. If you have enough poll workers, procedures protect you. If not, fraud is a possibility simply because you do not have enough people to watch everywhere you need them to.
    I realize mail in ballots can be cast by relatives of those recently deceased. I realize they could be tampered with. This election posed special problems because of covid. In person voting would not have been possible at either place where I had worked previously. One was a rest home where our biggest concern was elderly people with dementia wandering off down the halls, ballot in hand for any staff worker to take and mark. Several times I had to stop people leaving the room with their unmarked ballots I am sure they were not allowed to use that space this year. But even if they had, in neither polling place was there enough space to socially distance. Voting booths stood side by side. Election workers sat side by side checking names and addresses and marking people off the list as they voted. Lines stretched down the hall and out the sidewalk during busy periods, when people were standing close together. And the poll workers were overwhelmingly older and at greatest risk from covid. I cannot imagine how this could have worked this year without mail in voting. If people are truly interested in every vote being counted, they need to serve as a poll worker. I worked from 5 am until 10 pm the year I managed a precinct. Longest workday I ever spent. The janitor forgot to unlock the elevator to the second floor and we had to drag all the booths down the stairs right before 6 am so those who could not climb the stairs could vote. Then move them back up once he arrived to unlock the elevator. The voting machine broke down twice and people had to put their ballots into the box without having them pass through the machine. And one of the poll workers announced at 6 pm she had to leave to catch her bus home. But we soldiered on, the last precinct to deliver our ballots and every form signed and witnessed by two people. Romney conceded on the news as we drove to our drop off point meaning the votes I delivered did not actually affect the outcome. The people I worked with were superb. Many had worked on multiple elections and knew the procedures inside out.
    Again, if this matters, people need to be poll workers, not election observers. That is where the protections of a fair election rest. But the people I know who are complaining the loudest would never consider working a 17 hour day. Not their job. Let the peons do it.

  56. For anyone who has never witnessed borderline up close, rent the film Gone Girl. It is an unfortunately accurate portrayal of a person suffering psychotic borderline. It is not a Hollywood exaggeration. Or get a good biography of Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana. Both suffered from it.

  57. Lindsay Lohan is another sufferer from borderline. Her inability to stick with a sexual orientation is one symptom. Also the suicide gestures and the addictions. I had two divorced friends who married the nicest people you ever met who suffered from borderline. Both marriages ended after two months. They told absolute horror stories. Of course, these people did not compare to our own ward’s most severely mentally ill woman. She has been married 13 times and does not recognize all her former husbands. But she is a successful real estate saleswoman and former Reluef Society president whose first husband and children have a restraining order against her.

  58. I think the church leaders are taking the wisest path this year. Wait until the Electoral College votes. No point in offending anyone for a political issue.
    And just my opinion. I do not believe Trump will concede. Ever. Not In him.

  59. I am sorry that we cannot treat the Trump presidency with anything resembling normal discourse. But I understand on a visceral level. I dated a man with what I came to know was borderline personality disorder, although I did not realize it then. When he threatened to hit me, I told him I would kill him if he did. Who could ever imagine having such a conversation with a return missionary serving as president of the single’s committee. But a conversation decades later with his former wife made me realize that threat of mine may have saved her and her children from actual physical harm. Fortunately, narcissists usually have better emotional control than borderlines. So maybe this presidency will end better than we imagine.
    And maybe we can come up with better treatments for mental illness. Something that helps these sufferers. As one expressed it so well, ” My life has been a living hell.” And so was the life of everyone he touched.
    Yes, I saw Gone Girl. Chilling. Accurate.

  60. Back to the original post. I believe church leaders are pursuing the wisest course here. People’s feelings are running high. I want to restore peace in our relationships. Silence is golden at this time.

  61. I remain hopeful we can experience an incident free transfer of power. Covid will stop all celebrations. The inauguration will need to be small and short for safety sake. Probably just televised with no crowds. At least Trump will be able to correctly claim the larger crowd size.

  62. When I worked as a poll worker, the voters were extremely gracious. Many thanked me for my service. Yet when I offered them the forms to sign up for the next election, each demurred. Seems a verbal expression of gratitude was as far as they were willing to extend themselves. I agree with the assessment that understaffed polling places are a bigger threat to election security than any other threat. Like Dr. Fauci said, ” How do you get other people to care…”
    The Church leaders will do the right thing on this at the best time. I have faith in that.

  63. Mike I agree that our media was extremely biased during the last four years, both the pro and anti Trump factions. May I offer you another explanation. When I was fighting the lies and manipulations of my husband’s illness, I alternated between becomimg frozen with despair and lashing out in total rage. Nothing worked. I had no defense against the lies, which I discovered later he had been telling to others about me even before we married. I still do not know how to fight them, so I post publicly so I can reestablish the truth at least in some part of my world.
    ABC reporter Sam Donaldson once stated about Bill Clinton that he was the most dishonest man he had ever met. Does that sound to you like a press biased against the Republicans? Diane Sawyer followed Richard Nixon to California after he resigned. Hardly the act of someone who hated the Republicans.
    But this presidency was different. Trump started selling the story of fake news very early on. Every lie he was called on was dismissed as fake news. The Democrats stupidly accused him of collusion with the Russians, something any intelligent person could see he would not have done. But no one is going to accuse the Democrats of high intelligence. Then Trump had a real fake news incident. So we were polarized and in fighting camps in this country early in his presidency. Nancy Pelosi did not help things by stupid gestures such as tearing up the president’s speech. That made her look disrespectful of the office of the presidency. Fox News refused to cover the anti-Trump facts. CNN and MSNBC minimized the pro-Trump stories. And six months before the elections, both parties began releasing stories that the election would be stolen. So they could say, “Didn’t we tell you?”
    The trouble about people fighting others with personality disorders is that the mentally ill can be charming when in public, convincing in their deceits. I remember my new bishop expressing what a nice man my ex-husband seemed when the bishop received his letter when I attempted to obtain a sealing cancellation. I was too emotionally exhausted to correct him. Plus I knew I would not be believed. Just as Princess Diana convinced the world that her marital problems stemmed from Charles’ affair with Camilla and not from her swallowing the entire bottle of pills the psychiatrist gave her and following it by an entire bottle of liquor, then announcing after her stomach was pumped that she would never take medicine again because she loved her son too much. Or her throwing herself down the stairs when she was pregnant. Or screaming at the top of the stairs whenever Charles left for work. Accusing the nanny of sleeping with Charles. Threatening him with physical violence so often the staff removed all sharp objects from the rooms. Giving her famous interview talking about how ” there were three in her marriage.” But it was the Queen and royal family who were booed at her funeral. It was the press who were accused of hounding her to her death when she was secretly feeding them the stories they wrote. People with personality disorders do not usually have affairs when you are married to them. They bring the person home, have sex in your bedroom, then bring them into the kitchen to introduce them to you. They leave the house after a disagreement, hire a prostitute, then phone all night to tell you about it. They plant drugs when you leave on a business trip, then call the authorities to have you arrested at the airport. Have a one night stand with whoever is sitting next to them on the plane then calmly repeat to you what happened, explaining they could not disappoint this person who obviously expected sex from them. And show up at church on Sunday, agreeing with everything the bishop says.
    By the time you escape, you are emotionally exhausted, unable to coherently express yourself. And you know anything you say will be twisted and used to discredit you. In the LDS faith, if you are female, you know you will not be believed. Your bishops will always take your husband’s side. Always.
    This is what Trump’s verbal abuse and lies have accomplished. The press fought back, just as Ted Cruz tried to and Mitt Romney and John McCain and Jeff Flake. Read the comments on Romney’s facebook page. Rino. Traitor our our president. Demands he leave the party. Over 100,000 of them the day he congratulated Biden on his win. Watch for the billboards on I-15 in Utah County attacking him. I even watched a friend whose family proudly served on Romney’s campaign turn on him because he had become a liability to the party and a fool.
    Our sins as a people have caught up with us. We are paying the price of our infighting and inability to cooperate. Our searching for someone to save us from the consequences of our behavior. We no longer recognize truth or even care if it is truth. Only if our side wins. Isn’t the the last stage of the war in the Book of Mormon? Congratulations, we have arrived.

  64. Off topic but related. My mental illness trial was with the false accusations of an employer who was bipolar. She tried to have me arrested.. I am still struggling to re-establish myself in my career. Since then I have encountered several who lacked the knowledge or resources to protect themselves from false charges filed by a former spouse that they molested their children or who were forced to plead guilty to hate crime charges following a false charge from a gay person. This even when the witnesses testified the gay person started the altercation. Joseph, we now understand what happened with Potipher’s wife.

  65. Trump will fight until the day he dies to prove he did not lose. The Church needs to stay out if this battle. Too many Trump supporters to offend.
    And yes, I too believe he is a narcissist. Why ever did we elect him? Romney was right. Totally unsuited for the office of president. A scar upon our history.

  66. I watched a woman in my ward use the same lies and manipulations that those who suffer from personality disorders use so effectively to actually drive a man from our ward. She even convinced the bishop of our singles ward to specifically exclude him from our reunion party’s invitation list. I am ashamed to admit I did not speak up to stop her lies. I was present at the events she described and witnessed how her version of events was modified to make her seem the victim when in reality she was the perpetrator. I did speak up to stop her from destroying a friend’s reputation. But I am uncertain of how successful I was at stopping others from believing her. She is a master manipulator. Charming, feminine and soft spoken. Men seldom question her version of events. Even her girlfriends, who have witnessed her lies repeatedly, are sucked into her stories. She knows that whoever gets their story out first is the one who is believed. May God help us to recognize truth and error.
    And no, the Church leaders need to refrain from comment on this one. Trump carefully set the stage months ago that this election would be stolen from him. No convincing his supporters now.

  67. Why is not offending the offensive a goal? The church should stand for truth not be bullied by the delusional and the hostile. The truth is that Trump lost the election. Biden won it. And Trump is destructive in his assault on our democratic process. How is silence in the face of the erosion of our society a virtue or a desirable behavior?

    The church had no problems speaking up and manipulating to harass people who were born gay and even to persecute their innocent children. It hounded many young gay Saints to suicide. Now it chooses silence that prolongs the level of disruption in the country?

  68. Is this a piece about the Church’s changing standards on political neutrality or a call to congratulate Biden? I would rather they adopt a policy of waiting to congratulate candidates until the votes are certified. Avoids pissible claims if the final results end up different from the projected ones.
    I believe the changing standards of neutrality represent the need leaders feel they have to guide members on issues they feel have moral implications, such as Califirnia’s Prop 8. They realize they probably will need to speak up more often as ideas that were once not questioned are open to debate. I am glad they have publicly modified their statements. Perhaps they now consider the unlikey possibility of finding wise candidates so dropped the request out of a sense of irony.
    Yes, Trump is most likely a true narcissist. Impossible to change or to treat. One of the plagues of the last days But at least we did not get Kim Jong Un as our president. Biden would have nerve gas painted on his door handles by now if that were the case. I can mute Trump once he leaves the White House. I more deeply resent those pro polygamy statements I still occasionally hear from the pulpit. I still cannot wrap my head around God supporting that, even temporarily. Is anyone else bothered by D&C 132’s characterization of women as property to be given and owned by men instead of living, thinking and feeling souls wanting to shape their own eternal lives? How can those words represent truth?

  69. Amy, I too would like to hear from others about their feelings about D&C 132. Not the polygamy part because that has been well discussed already. The way is which women are described as belonging to men. Anyone willing to start a new thread and discussion. I might very well be unaware of ideas that would change my mind about that D&C section. This group could provide me answers I most desperately need right now.

  70. I know this isn’t the separate threat, but I’d be curious about perspectives on how the current church is “living” D&C 132 today

  71. The church leadership congratulated Obama and Trump by the 9th of November, before all states were declared. It is more important this time to have someone respected by Trump supporters tell them to support the new president, rather than continue in their delusion.
    Pres Nelson could do it Friday as part of his uplifting message, and include that the virus is real, and masks, etc good defence, contradicting another Trump lie.

  72. Amy, the final result is in. Trusted people are processing the re-count. It’s the “pissable claims” from the loser that seems to be the problem. Love a good Freudian slip….

  73. Crackin the whip says:

    So what do we congratulate Joementia for? Ushering in open borders rioting and looting and having China at our doorstep?

  74. Crackin’. Biden hasn’t done anything yet, and my expectations are set pretty low. But I think what we have to look forward to is a president that although it may take longer to make his point, what he says and does will be based on reality, truth, science, and not based solely on his self interest and image.

  75. We shall see. Let’s hope he’s able to get us back to a strong economy, historic lows in black unemployment, not get us into any new wars, facilitate new peace deals in the Mid-East, high level of energy independence, etc. Kinda like 45 did. But if he’s not able to accomplish those things, at least he won’t be tweeting all the time. That will surely be a nice change.

  76. What Biden will not do is bring a white supremacist, like Steve Bannon, into his cabinet. He will not have Russians in the oval office for laughs and photos while he kicks the American press out and invites Russian media to take those photos instead. Biden will not meet with our press to demand their loyalty to him. Nor will he with the FBI. He will be normal and court our allies , not dictators. He will not pull us out of NATO nor embolden Putin anymore. It’s foolish to vote for the candidate Putin wants.

  77. Steve Bannon, child-sniffing, I guess we can call it draw.

    I’m a little surprised you didn’t mention the white supremacists are “fine people” myth.

  78. Seriously, you have to have your head deep in the sand to believe Biden will ever be President. It’s far more likely that he will either be serving time, or banished to a country with no extradition agreement with the US. The election was stolen, and there is massive proof.
    I am grateful our leaders haven’t congratulated Biden —- that would have proven shameful.

  79. Aussie Mormon says:

    Since the Trump campaign seems to be so unwilling to provide the proof, maybe you can do it Belinda.

  80. Jeanette R says:

    So far, as of December 2, 2020, the courts are ruling against the idea of voter fraud having any effect on this election outcome. Let us pray for the protection of our democracy. Craziness everywhere.

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