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Holly Richardson: LDS repent for not voting Trump? That's not what the apostles say

Published March 20, 2017 7:26 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A few days ago, I was called to repentance. I and hundreds of thousands of other Utahns who did not vote for Donald Trump were told we should look in the mirror, humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness.

I cannot speak for the many others who did not vote for Trump in Utah, but for me, I have no regrets. You see, I believe character matters. I believe it matters more than a party label. In fact, there are many things that matter more than a party label: principles, people, my religion, kindness, integrity. They all matter more than a party label.

Multiple bankruptcies, never held political office, five children by three different women, bragging about sexual infidelities and sexual assault? If Trump had kept the "D" behind his name, he would have been excoriated by Republicans.



It has long been a frustration of mine to see the intense party loyalty that causes people to become blind to their own double standard, and it's on both sides. Republicans who hated President Obama's use of a "pen and a phone" are now amazingly silent on the many executive orders being issued by President Trump. Democrats who applauded the change in Senate rules under Harry Reid are now horrified that Republicans are playing by those same rules.

The LDS Church as a body encourages its members to be politically active, to not be afraid to take sides and speak up for what they believe is right. They do not dictate to their members what political party to join, nor do they call them to repentance for the way they vote. As a church, they have repeatedly expressed concern about the lack of civility in our society today, specifically in political discourse.

LDS Apostle Dallin H. Oaks recently delivered a commencement speech to graduates of BYU-Hawaii that he titled "Push Back Against the World." He said to "push back against that part of the world's values and practices that draw us away from the Lord's teachings and our covenant obligations," then went on to describe some of the challenges graduates would face. "We are even challenged by the politics of conflict," he said, "and the uncertainties sponsored by the aggressive new presidential administration in the world's most powerful nation."

He also said "Stand clear from the current atmosphere of hate and … refrain from participating in the contentious communications that are so common today. Don't be part of such communications. As followers of Christ, we know that all of the inhabitants of this earth are children of God. Use that knowledge to push back against the worldly prejudices that preach hate or hostility toward other nations, ethnic groups, or even political parties."

To paraphrase another LDS apostle, Jeffrey R. Holland, I also know that although I may not be my brother's or sister's keeper, I am their sister, and "because I have been given much, I too must give." I believe we are judged individually and as a society by how we treat the "least of these among us."

I hold no malice for those who have different political beliefs than I. In fact, I know that we are far more alike than we are different.

The lobbyist who wants to call non-Trump voters to repentance also said, "The majority have to shut up the minority." Frightening. Ayn Rand, beloved by Republicans, had this to say: "A majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities."

So repent for not voting for Donald Trump? I think not.

Holly Richardson is a former Republican lawmaker who has always believed in principle over party.

 

 

 

 

 

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