Ere You Left Your Room This Morning…

May 14, 2012


Post by Joseph M –

The Priesthood/Relief Society lesson manual (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith) contains a rather instructive quotation.

“Let us pray for the great men and women of the world who need the Lord but do not understand his interest in them. Pray for … our governors, our mayors of cities, the men who have influence in politics in our various communities, that they may do the things that will be better for all of us and make us happier, and please our Heavenly Father. That is our privilege. I say to you that the power of prayer is something that cannot be measured, ” (Lesson 9.)

We read this during our joint Elder’s Quorum/High Priest Group meeting yesterday, and our instructor asked an interesting question: “Is our nation so partisan that we fail to pray for the great leaders, those who have the fate of nation’s in their hands?”  I’ve been thinking about this for the past 30 hours or so, and I’ve pondered the fact that even though I am a supporter of our president, I do not often remember to pray for him; this extends also to local leaders in my state and city.  Thus, this lesson has inspired a course-correction on my part.  Additionally, I am realizing that I should take this counsel into consideration regardless of who wins the election in 2012.

So I’m finding myself pausing to consider what this means for me and for each of us, whether we support President Obama or not.  I think many of us in America are too busy filling our mouths with words of divisiveness and accusation to find time for prayer, much less a prayer that petitions the Lord in behalf of the man we have just maligned.

I received an “anti-Obama” email recently – one of those that have been forwarded around and around (and clearly it had made its way around Mormon circles,) and it was so ugly and partisan that I felt myself getting angry.  (And I am not implying that emails that unfairly demean Mitt Romney aren’t out there as well – I think both sides need to calm this mess down.)  But this particular email was so out there that I felt particularly frustrated with the Christian right for not acting too Christian.

Clearly this idea of praying for our leaders is not conducive to the ugly partisanship that exists in our nation: the name-calling, the declarations that the only goal is to see President Obama “fail,” the racist remarks… none of this is invites an attitude of prayer.

However, I acknowledge that we have real political differences that need to be discussed and debated, but often it goes too far – and I am far from perfect with this myself.  But I am surprised by anyone who would claim that either Obama or Romney are out to destroy our freedom, tear down this nation, or stomp on the constitution.  We started this website with the statement, “we don’t hate Mitt Romney, and we don’t want to character-assassinate him here,” and we continue to maintain that position.  Additionally, I would hope that we could collectively (as Mormons, Christians, or Americans,) calm the waters that are swirling around during this election cycle.

I believe taking the time to remember our national leaders in prayer just might do the job, and ultimately, this may be as much for our benefit as it is for theirs.

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11 Comments on “Ere You Left Your Room This Morning…”

  1. Sharon Garrick Says:

    We need to pray not only for the leaders of our respective countries but for all leaders of all countries. Weather we like it or not we are all part of a world community, what happens in any country affects all of us. We do include the leaders of our country and all world leaders in our family prayers every night

    Almost no one goes in to politics to do harm but to do what they feel is best for the community they represent, they all deserve our prayers for their guidance regardless weather we agree with their stance on issues or not.

  2. Rick Says:

    Yes, I get pretty disheartened when I’m pulling into a parking spot at church for a stake priesthood leadership meeting and notice the car parked next to me prominently displaying a bumper sticker that reads: “Psalm 109:8 – Pray for Obama.” Sickening. It seems to me that true “patriots” would be sincerely praying for their leaders as Pres. Smith taught.

    • NOTSONUTSO Says:

      I’ve seen that too. It’s a shame. I call people like that, “hatriots.” No way can you say you love America when you literally hate the president of the United States. I did not agree with George W. Bush but NOBODY can say I hated him or even disliked him.

  3. Bubba Says:

    I pray for President Obama as well as all of the other leaders of nations who fail to exercise righteous dominion. I pray that President Obama will soften his heart and stop being so decisive. I pray that President Obama will follow the Constitution of the United States. I pray that President Obama will work to build a more righteous nation rather than a divided nation.

    Instead, I find that President Obama exercises unholy dominion; that rather than work across the aisle, he retorted “I Won”. He reminds me of King Noah – who led his people to sin.

    • NOTSONUTSO Says:

      OK, you are wrong on so many levels. I have to wonder if you are a Fox News viewer. “Righteous dominion???” Seriously? You pray the president will “soften his heart?” Are you trolling or are these legitimate beliefs? HOW has Pres. Obama divided the nation? His stance on gay marriage? At least he is honest & does not say one thing only to deny it the very next day like Mitt Romney.Pres. Obama has not “divided’ the nation as you claim. I am fed up with people claiming Pres. Obama does not follow the constitution. He is a constitutional lawyer for crying out loud. I notice noone, you included, ever gives any examples. “Unholy dominion?” “Leading people to sin?” AARRGGHH, I don’t even know how to respond to such igorance & lies. People like you with such fixed (& bizarre) beliefs are impossible to reach as I have found that you are not a “fan” of FACTS..

  4. Stacy Says:

    Thanks for posting this, Joseph. I too get disheartened by the vitriol, and this is something we all need to remember, no matter our political leaning.

  5. emcconkie Says:

    Well done, Joseph. I relate with you and many other faithful Latter-day Saints. I am a Democrat largely due to my faith. I have worked for 3 Utah governors (all Republicans of course) and have, for the most part, been respected despite my political differences. These state executive leaders are good and great men and women. Civility is disappearing and we all should examine ourselves as counseled in the scriptures and strongly urged by our living prophets. I am a strong supporter of Pres. Obama, me and my family prayer for him. (I have found it necessary to pray even harder for Republicans!). God bless!

  6. Jewel Says:

    This appears to be Joseph M. for Obama not Mormons for Obama. Most posts are from one person & hardly share the opinion of most Mormons that I know. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not support any political party or candidate …. it would be nice if a few members had the same respect for the Church that the Church shows for their member’s right of choice. I am Mormon and I support Mitt Romney but being Mormon has nothing to do with my politics. I pray for all the leaders of the world even though I disagree with.

  7. Sharon Garrick Says:

    Jewel, I don’t understand how you can say that we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints are not respecting the church, I for one believe that everyone of us has the right of choice, be it for Romney or Obama. I happen to be one “Mormon” that chooses to back Obama. I can assure you there are far more people that have identified as Mormons out there that have chosen to back Obama besides Joseph M.
    Many-many people have let it be known that hey are Mormons and they are backing Romney, does that mean that they are also disrespecting the church? No, I don’t think so, since we all have free agency and the right to choose.
    None of us are speaking for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints on an official bases only for ourselves regardless of the candidate we choose to back.
    You are right the church does not back any candidate or political party,and that is as it should be but the church does encourage it’s members to be politicaly active and that is what we are doing. My membership in the church goes back through my ancestors to the very beginning of which I am very grateful and there has always been differences in our family as to what party or candidate that we each have backed and no one ever said that we were not respecting the church for our choices.

    • Kathy Mayeda Says:

      I’m Kathy M. (no relation to Joseph M.) and I’m voting for President Obama. I’m a Mormon.

  8. Convert for Obama Says:

    I pray for our president, Barack Obama, and those serving with him (including brother Harry Reid – who holds the priesthood), that they would make the right decisions for our nation and the world at large; that they would be guided by the Spirit in righteousness. I specially like to pray for our president and all the leaders of the world while I am at the temple.

    I converted to the church 10 years ago, and I specifically asked about the political views of the church. I was told that the church doesn’t endorse any political party and that we are encouraged to participate in the political process. I was also told, back then, that the church was roughly divided 50/50 between both parties (an assertion I now question), and that made me feel better about my decision to be baptized. These days I find myself constantly on the defensive with most members of the ward I attend, and sometimes wonder how much longer I will be able to stay active. What these brothers and sisters don’t realize is that, by constantly attacking progressives, they are limiting the church’s potential growth; if I knew 10 years ago what I know now, I probably would not have joined the church.
    I keep praying for my tolerance to be increased and my testimony to strengthen, so I will not become inactive. But it’s very hard to sit through a sacrament meeting when the person speaking is expressing their ‘extreme right’ views; during those times I wonder what’s the difference between belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or any other ‘right wing’ christian church. I know people who would make great LDS members, but they would never join a church who identifies with the republican party. So, it doesn’t matter if the church leaders say that the church doesn’t endorse any political party; in reality, most members are republicans and they express their opinions freely at church, alienating those of us who disagree.

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