Why I Am Not A Voting A Mormon

The study of the Puritans/Pilgrims led by my friend Todd Leonard a few weeks ago was helpful in cementing in my mind why I cannot vote for a Mormon (or a Muslim, or a Jew, or a Christian Scientist) for president…. Here are my (and only mine) brief thoughts:

 While still on the Arbella, sailing to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop delivered or at least penned his treatise titled, “A Model of Christian Charity.” Without going into too much detail (you can find the entire text here:  (http://religiousfreedom.lib.virginia.edu/sacred/charity.html) I just want to point out that Winthrop was a governor in submission to the Lordship of Christ. So, when at the end of his sermon, says to the colonists that they “shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon (them),” we must remember that this is in the context of how they should carry out living justly, mercifully and humbly (Micah 6:8) in the land. He was quoting Christ and His description of how his disciples should effect the world for the kingdom.

 In other words they would have no light at all if Christ was not their Lord. If the government (of the people) is not in submission to Christ then any light they offer is ultimately a false light and the Church must call them back to repentance and faithfulness. This was how many of our fathers saw their work in building a new world, it was an extention of the eternal city – the Kingdom of God.

 When John F. Kennedy used the phrase “city on a hill” to describe America he moved away from the Gospel and found redemption within the borders of the US. When Ronald Reagan used the phrase even more narrowly, equating the “city” with the Republican platform of governance, the “city” shrank again.

 Here is where I get to the heart of my argument against voting for a Mormon to president. If our president is part of a Christian cult* (large, moral, nice, well dressed and no longer dogmatically racist to be sure, but still a cult), then he is not under the Church’s authority. There are no elders who will give an account for this man’s soul.

 If God lifts up another John Knox who will speak to those in power his audience at the Whitehouse will not be listening, at least not with the ear attuned to a conversation amongst the Trinity. The source of our submission to authority is rooted in the Trinity. As the Son submits to the Father and the Father receives the Kingdom from the hand of the Son and the Spirit is sent in submission to them both, we submit to them and to one another. Now, if you hold that the god of this planet was once a man like us (sinner like us?) and was elevated to rule – solo – the idea of submission has no foundation.

 If a Mormon is elected to be President I will submit to him as my leader.  To paraphrase John Knox to Mary, “If the (country) finds no inconvenience from the government of a (Mormon), that which they approve shall I not further disallow than within my own breast, but shall be as well content to live under (his rule) as Paul was to live under Nero.” Having said that, there is a world of difference between being ruled by someone and actively supporting their ascendency to power. 

 Even if we try to get Luther to say, “I would rather be ruled by a wise Turk than a foolish Christian” I would challenge anyone to defend the idea that Luther would campaign for a Muslim to be his Prince. Even Martin Luther and his Two Kingdom theology would not encourage a Christian to actively support putting a non Christian as the representative head of a people. (This is a bit of an anachronism, since the idea of representative democracy was outside of Luther’s paradigm.)

 Finally, let me say that politics is a tool in the hand of an almighty God; it is not the source of wisdom, health, blessing or salvation. So, I will not despair if our current President is reelected nor will I sit back and declare “it is finished” if Ron Paul (for example) wins in November 2012. No, but I will labor to show that Christ claims supremacy in every area of life and that will include national elections.

——————————–

 *I am using the term cult here to identify an off shoot of Christianity that claims to have discovered some truth the Church has missed about the Triune God revealed in Scripture, yet departs significantly and damningly from the Christian faith. Mormons in this case deny the Trinity, the eternality of God, the corruption of man and many other Christian essentials.

8 responses to “Why I Am Not A Voting A Mormon

  1. It’s unfortunate that you have such a distorted view of what Mormons actually believe. If you base a conclusion on a faulty premise, it isn’t likely that your conclusion will be valid. Case in point: “Now, if you hold that the god of this planet was once a man like us (sinner like us?) and was elevated to rule – solo – the idea of submission has no foundation.”

    Since the “god of this world” is Satan (2 Cor. 4:4) it would hardly be a Mormon view that he once was a man. However, if you hold (as Mormons do) that the Lord Jesus Christ is “the ETERNAL GOD” (Book of Mormon title page), you’d realize that they do not believe He was ever a sinner in any way. Where you got the idea that He “was elevated to rule –solo” is a mystery. I’ve long been fascinated by critics of Mormonism; but this is a new one for me. You’d probably be well served to find out from Mormons what it is they really profess. One passage that comes to mind with respect to your claim that Mormons deny the corruption of man:

    For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 3:19)

    By all means, don’t vote for a Mormon if you think his perspectives would be incompatible with yours–I’m not too thrilled with either Mormon in the race; but you should make sure those perspectives aren’t slanderous reports invented by people who have ulterior motives. False accusations were made against Jesus, Stephen, Paul and Christians in general. The same is true regarding Mormons today.

  2. so, when Joseph Smith said this in the King Follett discourse he was lying or mistaken?

    “I will go back to the beginning, before the world was, to show what kind of a being God is. What sort of a being was God in the beginning? Open your ears and hear, all ye ends of the earth; for I am going to prove it to you by the Bible, and to tell you the designs of God in relation to the human race, and why he interferes with the affairs of man.

    God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens. That is the great secret. If the vail was rent to-day, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power, was to make himself visible,–I say, if you were to see him to-day, you would see him like a man in form–like yourselves, in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image, and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked, and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another.”

    Or did another “prophet” correct him?

    al sends

  3. Mr. Allred,
    After reading your blog… I see where you are coming from here. As an Elder in Church of Latter Day Saints you have received much more teaching on the doctrine of your organization than I have to be sure, but is it not true that when you speak of the eternality of God you don’t reference his beginning just that he will continue forever and that we men will be exalted to that same :”eternal” glory?

    al sends

  4. Thanks Mr. Allred,

    Well, I think my points are not far off then. If Joseph Smith was right in his Follet discourse, then God was like us before beginning his eternality and since you admit you don’t know his “beginnings” it is at least possible he was a sinner too; for if we will share in his godhood and populate some future civilization with our celestial wife (or wives as the case may be) then we will be gods who were once sinners. Does this not follow?

    If we are to be elevated to “gods” in the sense that we will procreate another planet or civilization then would LDS doctrine teach that we would share rule over those people with other gods? If not then how does it not follow that Jesus grew up into godhood to rule by himself?

    Perhaps you can point me to some teaching of the LDS organization that refutes the idea that God was a man like us or that we will share in that godhood in such a way as to be procreative of another civilization. I would be interested in reading it.

    Much thanks,

    al sends

  5. I think you misunderstand my position. I think that Joseph Smith’s comments accurately reflect LDS theology; but your conclusions aren’t necessarily consistent with his or my comments. While I think that the fact that we are sinners is absolutely irrelevant given the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ: He paid the full price of my sins. It is as though they never occurred—otherwise He didn’t really remove them, did He?

    The correlation of God having been a sinner cannot be made using Joseph Smith’s “King Follett Discourse” because he points out that God the Father once was a man and dwelt on an earth “the same as Jesus Christ himself did.” Given that assertion, it isn’t possible that the Father was a sinner—otherwise He wouldn’t have lived “the same as Jesus Christ did.” If you have access to the entire discourse rather than a few snippets, I highly recommend reading it. If you don’t have it, I’d be happy to send it to you. Although it suffers from some transcription errors it’s still an excellent resource on what we actually believe.

    While we do believe in theosis and that God will share with us His divine nature—making us Gods—(upper case without the quotes), and that consistent with scripture, we will be like Him when He appears; we don’t claim that we will “procreate another planet.” However, we do believe that we will create worlds just as our Father does; and that we will have children in eternity—just as you will if you believe and obey the gospel of the Son of God.

    Your final comment is a little hard to decipher for me. Did you mean to ask for LDS material that refutes the idea that God was a man like us and refutes that we believe in deification? Since those aren’t our positions I doubt I could find any non-heretical sources for that material. If you meant to say instead “or that we will share in godhood,” I could direct you to a couple of sources—even ones from evangelical perspectives on theosis. You might start with googling for an essay by Robert Rakestraw.

    All the best.

    Alma

  6. Mr. Allred,

    Thanks again for your time.

    I have the whole sermon. Thank you though.

    Just to return to my original point though (why I cannot vote for a Mormon)… We learn submission/sacrifice from the Trinity (an essential of the Christian Faith) and in polytheism and monotheism either or both of these human attributes have no foundation.

    The Mormon God is different than the Christian God in his essence. The Biblical understanding of “eternal” is that God exists outside of time (no beginning or end) as three persons and that he is not a contingent being, depending on the genesis of some other god for His life. The idea that God became God in any sense is not orthodox.

    For a Christisn to support a LDS believer is to give such a man authority over members of the body of Christ, His Church. While, in God’s providence this may happen I do not believe we should seek it out or God forbid support it.

    Al sends

  7. “Brethren who have been on missions, can you see any difference in this people from the time you went away until your return? [Voices: ‘Yes.’] You can see men and women who are sixty or seventy years of age looking young and handsome; but let them apostatize, and they will become gray-haired, wrinkled, and black, just like the Devil.” – Brigham Young, October 7, 1857, Journal of Discourses 5:332. (Brackets in original).

    What are we to think of such a statement by the Mormon prophet? Would not any present day Mormon political candidates need to disavow such a statement?

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