Harry Reid, His Politics, and His Standing in the Mormon Church
By Ken K. Gourdin
There is, unfortunately, a strain of thought among certain members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that Senator Harry Reid (D – Nev.) cannot/should not be considered a faithful member of the Church because of his political leanings, actions he has taken as majority leader, et cetera. (And what makes it worse is that apparently, this time the pronouncement came from an LDS bishop (lay pastor) in Los Angeles.) See here for the story in The Salt Lake Tribune, last accessed November 7, 2014: http://www.sltrib.com/lifestyle/faith/1797370-155/church-mormon-lds-political-reid-democratic.
This strain of thought persists, notwithstanding the fact that the Church routinely issues a letter each election season reminding members that principles consistent with the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ can be found in all political parties. (This bishop is seriously misguided, and I say that as someone who leans in a rather conservative direction; I’m tempted to use stronger language to describe him, such as a word that begins with “i” and ends with “diot,” but . . . I will forbear.) Not a few of the Brethren in the highest leadership councils of the Church of Jesus Christ have been, and are, Democrats: President James E. Faust, formerly of the Church’s governing First Presidency; and former Church Historian Elder Marlin K. Jensen come immediately to mind, and they’re far from alone. (In fact, see Elder Jensen’s call for more political diversity here, last accessed November 7, 2014: http://www.ldsliving.com/story/61176-lds-official-calls-for-more-political-diversity/print.
Candidly, I think Harry Reid has been, in many ways, President Obama’s lackey and flunky, providing President Obama political cover by sparing him the unpleasant prospect of being seen as obstructionist for vetoing legislation that passed through both houses of Congress. Rather, Senator Reid has declared numerous measures passed by the House as “dead on arrival” in the Senate. Perhaps all of these measures were truly abominable legislation, but, if so, one wonders why Senator Reid seemingly was so afraid to allow the Senate to vote on them: surely, a majority of Senators know abominable legislation when they see it, and would not be afraid to act accordingly.
That said, here’s the comment I posted at SLTrib.com about the article:
While I’m afraid I would be tempted to disagree with most every word that comes out of Harry Reid’s mouth with respect to politics or policy, his standing in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is between him, his Heavenly Father, his Savior, and his leaders. If the latter three have concluded he’s in good standing, who am I to disagree? As for any disagreements we might have politically or policy-wise, I’m reminded of the old saying that if two people are of exactly the same opinion on absolutely everything, one of them is unnecessary. As strongly as I might hold the opinions I hold, don’t have enough hubris to say that Brother Reid is unnecessary simply because we disagree. And I would hope we could disagree, without being disagreeable.
And, while I didn’t add this sentiment to my comment because I would have been flamed for it mercilessly, the Trib’s comment Board being the cesspool/fire swamp that it often is, however strongly we might cling to our respective political and policy positions, to quote an old song, Harry Reid ain’t heavy; he’s my brother, and I love him. And the ideal government isn’t one that’s run by Republicans, nor is it one that’s run by Democrats. The ideal government will be the one that’s run by God Himself.