Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Praying and Elections

Should we be praying to help us decide who to vote for?

It’s an interesting question. I mean, on the one hand, it’s a pretty important decision, and like all important decisions, I pray about it.

On the other hand, if we were all praying about it to the same God, doesn’t it make sense that He would give us all the same answer? Maybe that’s why Utah is practically a one-party state, right?

But I don’t think God works that way. Until He sends his Son in all His Glory to rule, we have to have earthly governments. Those governments are established by humans and managed by humans, flawed as we are.

In addition to that, God give us our freedom and our choice. We can decide who will lead us. In Alma 10: 19, it says, “…Yea, well did he say that if the time should come that the voice of this people should choose iniquity, that is, if the time should come that this people should fall into transgression, they would be ripe for destruction.”

We do believe in being subject to kings, rulers, magistrates, bla bla bla. We live in a nation where we get to choose them. We have to choose them. So, how do we decide. We all live in different circumstances and different backgrounds. We have different challenges. We need different kinds of help. Government means different things to different people.

I don’t think we should ask God who to vote for.

Here’s what I imagine God wants us to do (I could very well be wrong): I think he wants us to look at our lives, and the lives of those around us. I think he wants us to pray to clarify the political issues and rhetoric that are spinning around us. We should pray to better understand what’s going on. We should exercise our own will to study what the candidates and parties are saying and doing. We should pray to be able to discern the truth as we’re doing that.

And then we should choose to vote for the candidates that best represent the clarified view from our own perspectives.

Mark Hansen


  1. Sowing Seeds9/16/08, 8:05 PM

    HMMM! Interesting spin.. I guess I agree and disagree. I know, wishy, washy, but wait! I believe that God does want us to pray for guidance on all decisions, including who to vote for. Even though he gives us the mind and free will to decide, we should pray that he gives us clarity to see what the candidates are really saying to the world. We should not "lean unto our own understanding" but in all things seek his wisdom and guidance. I guess maybe I am agreeing with you, but saying we shouldn't ask him who to vote for is a slippery slope that I am not comfortable supporting. Too many folks in society would take this as an open invitation to support that God is not omnipotent and see "even Christian's have doubts".

    Great blog entry to spark conversation and thought! I guess that is the point!

  2. Who ultimatley places the leaders of government in their position?
    The answer is God. Romans 13:1

    God is also soverign over all things. This includes who goes to hell and who goes to heaven. Romans 9

    His will is providential and comletely fail proof, after all He is God. Why then do you assume otherwise?

  3. I disagree with your post wholeheartedly. "Pray Always" is the admonition.

    I think in politics though, people have a harder time hearing the Spirit due to preconceptions... :-) And who knows, sometimes the answer is "Whatever" but you don't give the Lord the OPTION of giving an answer if you don't ask.

  4. I don't typically comment on blogs, but your post and one of the responses hit a nerve.

    Let me start off by saying that I agree with your assessment completely. I believe that the Lord expects/requires that we put forth the effort to figure things out on our own. I think Oliver Cowdery's experience translating the Bible (see D&C 9) is validation of that. The whole "study it out in your mind and then ask me" paradigm.

    I have to say, though, that it was the comments by prodigal that really set me off. I'm afraid his viewpoint completely negates the whole concept of agency, which I believe to be the single greatest advantage we as humans have.

    While I admire his faith, and admit that, at times, it would be nice to be able to place all responsibility on God, I'm afraid that attitude is a slippery slope that leads to nowhere good. I suppose one obvious counterargument to his initial question would be any one of a number of despots/tyrants/dictators that have in the past, or currently oppress the people they rule over.

    I grant that the Lord is very interested in the well being of his children, and will, at times, intervene. He generally does so, at least in governments, through the actions of righteous individuals or groups, that have studied the issues, evaluated them in the light of revealed truths, and acted accordingly.

    Whew! I feel better already!

  5. "While I admire his faith, and admit that, at times, it would be nice to be able to place all responsibility on God, I'm afraid that attitude is a slippery slope that leads to nowhere good."


    I understand where you are coming from. Please don't misunderstand me. I think that people should indeed take responsability for their actions and the effects thereafter. However, me must believe what the scriptures say (that is the bible). God uses a means to complete His end. This is why we vote. This is why we take care of our bodies. Isn't God in control of the time we depart from earth?

    The ruling of tyrants has indeed been ordained by God. The reasons God allows such activity varies. But to truly understand this you must grasp the problem of evil and it's purpose in the plan of God. I would advise you to read the story of Joseph starting in Genisis 32. This story will provide you a great example of the soverignty of God and how God uses the evil of men for the purposes of good.

    Also, how can you reconcile the forementioned scriptures with your viewpoint? Specifically Romans 13:1.

  6. By the way,

    I am not a mormon, if you couldn't tell already, and therefore I will not attest to the validity of your point as stated in your comment regarding the reference to the doctrines and covenants.



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