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While the Church does not endorse a specific political candidate, they do make a hard stand for/against certain issues.

What I have a hard time understanding is how members in good standing can -- in good conscience -- support candidates for office who have demonstrated or spoken outright in support of policies the Church is against. Do the people who support said candidates even know about those issues or are they ignorant? If they are aware, how is that support justified?

The literal counsel of the letter does not call upon members to vote only for candidates who support the few positions on which the Church has expressed support. Rather, it calls on members "as citizens ... to seek out and then uphold leaders who will act with integrity and are wise, good, and honest."

Leaders who have integrity and are wise, good and honest. Do politicians like that even exist?

According to the LDS Newsroom, it isn't to be read to "all LDS congregations"... it is to be read "to Church congregations throughout the United States".

I only make this distinction because I'm in Canada, and we have an election coming up before the US election. I guess we won't have the letter read to us.

I think it is a difficult distinction because of the issues the Church speaks out on. At the risk of over-simplifying, the Church is: anti-abortion (Republican) and anti-SSM (Republican). It's late so I'm sure I'm missing some issues, but you get my point: the Church comes across to many people as being Republican. On issues where the Church could conceivably take a pro-Democratic Party stand, it is silent or vague (anti-capital punishment, anti-war, pro-stem cell research).

Vito: No candidate represents me perfectly, so I am always voting for someone who will do some things I like and some I don't. At some level, SSM is not as important to me as whether my local school district gets money to build a new elementary school. And yes, I am in "good standing" and "good conscience."

In response to the first comment:

It's easy. Candidates and platforms are made up of lots of policies and positions, and none of these bundles has the logic of the Gospel underlying them. I can't think of a single candidate who isn't LDS (and not even many of them...even if they have nice hair) who doesn't have positions that I think are directly at odds with Church teachings. How do you balance the relative evilness of different positions? What is more contrary to the values of the church, wanting all abortion to be legal or wanting all abortions to be illegal? Is a candidate's position on abortion (some must be legal) more important or his position on immigration (must be compassionate)? Equal education (racism evil) or gay marriage (contrary to the Plan)? Would you rather have the right "moral values" (...a load of rhetorical crap...) if that means having torture, unjust wars with hundreds of thousands murdered, less free speech, economic shenanigans, racism, and the rest of the poop cake (catch the Daily Show on Tuesday?)?

Every platform oand politician is a mixed bag. If you find someone with whom you agree on every issue, you are either looking in the mirror or you don't have a thought of your wn in your head.

During Mitt Romney's campaign earlier this year, he was never mentioned at church. I volunteered to help with the campaign on my own because he was the candidate that I agreed with on the most issues (not because he was LDS like me).

The Church always encourages its members to vote and to be good citizens. The Church never endorses a particular candidate.

Their involvement in the SSM issue is only because it is a moral issue that will greatly effect our society.

I am the Prop 102 coordinator for our area out here and trust me that our volunteers are very careful to separate church from state and respect others views.

Lastly, I would agree that most Mormons are probably Republicans but I do have LDS who are Democrats. However, my Democrat LDS friends still are striving to defend marriage.

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