“The civic duty of any Latter-day Saint, regardless of where they live, or including any county they may live in, is to be actively involved in the political process — meaning that they study the issues, they determine what the needs are as they see it, that they then use their freedom and their agency to vote according to their own conscience. It’s very important that good people everywhere are involved in this process.”
Elder M. Russell Ballard, 2012
Despite some of the more pro-republican posts that I have posted on this blog in recent weeks, I have been really torn and conflicted about whom to vote for in 2012. A big part of it was the strong love that I felt for Barack Obama back in 2008. I was a pretty big supporter. I campaigned for Obama, carved Obama shaped pumpkins and wrote many opinion pieces in favor of him. Despite some disappointment, my genuine love of Obama left me undecided. Despite, my many disagreements with Obama and the Democratic Party, especially on social issues, I still respect immensely Obama’s intellect and his brilliance.
I have been doing a lot of soul searching and prayer over the decision in Nov. I know that who to vote for is not just a question of platforms and facts, but a spiritual decision that must be done prayerfully. Indeed, the Lord urges us in D&C Section 93.
10 Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.
Because I sincerely believe that Obama is an honest and wise man, it has been a very difficult decision. Indeed, I have been striving to study the issues, determine the needs and decide where my conscience truly stands.
Before I came home from my mission, I had a really interesting conversation with my mission president about revelation. We spoke about the process by which he received revelation on things such as transfer decisions. He said, that often he would think about something with his head and think that one solution was the most logical. This assessment would sometimes be consistent and sometimes contrast with his heart or gut impression. He would weigh both his intellect and his emotions and then he would take it to the lord and pray to him
Likewise, going into the conventions, I really was unsure about my feelings and impressions. Intellectually, I realized that Mitt Romney more and more reflected my political views, but my heart was still with Mr. Obama. Conflicted as to whom to vote for, I prayed to God at the start of the Republican convention last week and especially today as I prepared to watch Obama’s remarks to give me insights as to whom he wants me to vote for.
As I watched the Republican convention, I really felt a connection with the candidates—especially Mitt Romney. Even though he is often described as wooden or uncharismatic, I really could relate to him. Indeed, the declarations of faith and family really reflected the America that I know and love.
In contrast, as I watched the Democratic National Convention the feeling was just different. I can’t describe exactly what it is. Many of the speeches such as Bill Clinton’s remarks or President Obama’s talk were beautiful rhetorically. However, while I once absolutely gushed over Obama’s rhetorical prowess, I was under whelmed.
More than that, I felt the “stupor of thought” that is described in D&C 9
“ 8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
9 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong”
For some reason, as I watched Obama speaking I felt that he was disingenuous. I noticed his remarks carefully crafted to appeal to various demographics. I noticed his appeal to Gays, Hispanics etc and felt their divisive weight. Simply put, his remarks just did not connect with me. I felt an absence of the spirit. As I watched, I knew for certain that I had received an answer to my prayer. I knew in that moment that the Lord did not want me to vote for Barack Obama, but for Mitt Romney.
I do not claim to speak for every voter. I know that my motivation or answer is not persuasive to anyone else, but this is my personal blog and I am writing not to argue or score points, but to express my personal process of conversion and revelation.
Really, when it comes down to it some will argue that our voting decisions should be completely based on objective “facts” and that they should not be spiritual questions for the soul. I denounce this viewpoint. I urge every person that reads this to make their voting decision prayerfully and to follow the prompting of the spirit. Study out the facts, indeed weigh it out in your mind and listen to your emotions with your heart, but then take it to the lord. Your answer may not come as mine did and it may even be the complete opposite answer, but it will be from God and you will know in your heart and mind that it is right.
Tonight, for the first time in the month and a half since I returned from my mission, I felt at complete and total peace with my voting decision for 2012 and know that God is mindful of me and of this country.