This year's Presidential election has been a bit of a circus at times or most of the time no matter what side of the issues you might be on or who you did or will vote for. I thought I'd throw my two cents into the ring and share a few thoughts that I have been pondering during this process. Don't worry I will not tell you who to vote for. That decision was given to you on the day this great nation was born, the right to choose, but actually it started a lot longer before then at the beginning of time or even before time began, but today I'll just try to tackle some of my thoughts about the "now."
This year's candidates have been hard to swallow. I keep thinking, is this the best that the United States has to offer us as one to hold the highest political office in the United States of America? As I have tuned into talk radio, watched debates online and even attended my first political rally, I find it difficult to filter through the daily information that is presented on all sides. To put it mildly, it is a daunting task. This is my husband's first Presidential election since he became a citizen a few years ago. He too is trying to find his way through the chaos.
Here are a few of my thoughts that I wanted to share with you, as I, like you, try to exercise my right to vote.
First off, can I just say that it it is very hard to decipher truth and error. Candidates, media and anyone else that can type and post a thought really can say whatever they want. How is someone to know who is speaking the truth and who isn't, especially when they are probably both mixing truth with lies, intentionally or not. As I have prayed about this election and who to vote for, a particular scripture has come to my mind repetitively, "Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:20)" If that is the inspiration that is supposed to guide my voting decision, well sometimes I feel that I can't vote at all, yet we are encouraged to use our agency and individual right as citizens of this great country to vote.
One night after hearing that scripture in my head, I was getting ready to go to sleep and another thought came to me. This election might be similar to what Joseph Smith, first President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, felt when trying to choose a church to join. He didn't know who was speaking the truth, if any, and he wanted to know which of all of the many churches he should join. It was in James 1:5-6 that he received counsel that would soon bring about the restoration of the gospel. It says, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." This lead him to a grove of trees where he petitioned God to find his answer. Read more about Joseph Smith's First Vision.
It dawned on me that I have had some similar feelings of confusion. Who should I join with my support for office? Does it really matter if I vote, I am only one of millions that will make the decision or do I really have a voice at all? The impression came to me to ask God. Although, I have been praying continuously over this election, I must exert more faith and continue to ask God to reveal the truth to me for someone such as I definitely lacks the wisdom to know of myself who to vote for.
And then another day while studying the scriptures, a thought came to me about a scripture that talks about being "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine…" It is found in Ephesians 4. That seems to be what has been happening during this election season with all of the commentary, remarks, wikileaks, etc. The people shift from one idea to another based on what is being said instead of sticking to true principles, governing themselves with those same principles and strengthening others to stand for true principles.
I love this great country that was founded on true principles by our founding fathers that were inspired to create one nation under God. There are not many things that move me more on a consistent basis than does the pledge of allegiance. It doesn't matter if I am asked to stand for the pledge and repeat it at a scout meeting, flag raising ceremony, school or other event, tears immediately fill my eyes as I am continually reminded of this great nation and how it was inspired by a loving God above.
In the end, I feel like the lesson learned over and over is to ask in faith, doubting nothing and to always pray to a loving Father in Heaven in all of my decisions so that I might be filled with truth even when the world around seems to grow further and further away from it. I also feel that we must get back to truth and righteous principles to make wise decisions as we continue to defend our rights and liberties as an individual, community and nation.
May we each take a moment to kneel down as a nation "under God" and petition our God on high as we receive our own inspiration during the final wind-up scene of this Presidential election season and continue to pray for ourselves, our neighbors and our nation. I love this song by Nashville Tribute Band called "Pray for Me and I'll Pray for Me."
The First Presidency of the church said last month regarding this year's election, "Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties, and members should seek candidates who best embody those principles." (Letter Encouraging Political Participation) Here is a short video explaining one of those principles, religious freedom and how we can continue to maintain this vital freedom for ourselves and our nation.
Early voting ballot signing. (haha so official) And I finally found my answer… have you?