Eection results reveal God is winning

Linda Davidson THE WASHINGTON POST A lifesize cutout of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney oversees volunteers making phone calls to … Continued

Linda Davidson

THE WASHINGTON POST

A lifesize cutout of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney oversees volunteers making phone calls to swing states from a campaign office in Midvale, Utah, on Nov. 5, 2012.

A few days ago, I was lunching with my husband and as we’ve often found ourselves of late, we were discussing the upcoming presidential election. In one sentence, I was expressing my confidence that I felt Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had an equal chance at the office, of which he agreed, and in the next I confessed my unbelief, or perhaps lack of faith, that this could actually happen. Although considered a very close race, it still seemed so farfetched that America would actually vote in a Mormon as president. Again, my husband agreed.

And apparently we were right – kind of — Romney did not win the election. Our gut instincts were spot on and I imagine this Mormon, among Mormons, was not alone in her private skepticism. Yet I can’t get over the fact that 57 million Americans, and rising, did indeed vote for a Mormon – and what that says, to me, not only about this country, but also about my faith.


View Photo Gallery: From Rick Perry’s prayer revival to Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith, religion has played an inspirational and controversial role on the campaign trail.

Although a Romney win, by many indicators felt within reach, it didn’t happen. However, the fact that it almost did – and with very few variables could have – this reality has changed everything for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints (Mormon) – for the good.

We now move forward into an unprecedented season of Mormonism– just like everything else Mormons have experienced throughout the entire election process– the unknown – a place of familiarity. But this time, from this moment on, Mormons in America will never be looked at quite the same.

As members of the LDS Church have taken increased opportunities to discuss their faith because of interest in Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, over time it became increasingly evident that no matter what sensitive issue came our way, be it baptism for the dead, racism, polygamy, Mormon temple worship, gender equality, etc… the chance to share our faith while clarifying Mormon teachings turned out to be a net positive.

It is still true that, as with all faiths, Mormonism will always have both our skeptics and critics — but Americans overall have come to accept Mormons as good people of faith — enough so that more than 57 million people cast their trusted vote on behalf of Romney, a Mormon. That is incredibly significant on so many levels. Most important, I think, is the fact that those voters likely represent a majority of those having strong, conservative moral values — complimentary to people of all religious faiths.

This evidence clearly suggests that Mormonism, now, can and should be considered a mainstream Christian religion, recognized as one to be sought out for opinion in regard to social issues, seen by those of religious faith as moral — and its people better known as those who commonly give charitable service to the betterment of others as an expression of their faith.

For Mormons, as a people, we tend to wear our badge of peculiarity comfortably. We have no interest, other than the hope of a general acceptance of our faith as Christian: to be considered the same as other Christian faiths. We understand that our message that boldly proclaims a restoration of the original Christian Church that Jesus Christ organized when He was upon the earth can be, at first, unsettling – and we’re perfectly all right with such reactions. We want our message to be different enough to compel the curious into allowing us to tell that story.

I now see that the win or loss of Mitt Romney in this presidential election would never have been perceived as anything but a win for the LDS Church, and its members who share the same mission: to increase our ability to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The day before the election, as reported in The Washington Post, Michael Otterson, head of worldwide public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shared that overall his office is relatively pleased with how the church made it through the campaign without being dragged into the middle of politics – remaining politically neutral.

Satisfaction was also expressed of a fairly recent shift they’ve detected with media seemingly more interested in what Mormons do — the emphasis on good works and charity versus what Mormons believe – which is often problematic. The feeling being that one’s religion shapes individuals and tends to affect behavior for the good – a thing Mormonism does very well. “There is a very direct correlation between having a belief and not being passive about it. It should motivate you to do differently,” said Otterson.

On a personal note: if I were to raise one negative coming out from this election, from the perspective of a devout Mormon woman, it would be that, at times, I found myself frustrated with how we were falsely misrepresented throughout this campaign. Far too often during discussions about women’s issues, in hopes of distorting Romney’s views about women relating to gender equality, Mormon women working outside the home, etc., reflective of Mormon policies and doctrines, the voice of the conservative Mormon woman was ignored in preference to seeking out the minority Mormon feminist voice for comment and insights – it being more sensational and potentially detrimental to Romney.

Because of this lack of genuine interest in the majority of Mormon women and what we actually think, I believe this election may very well have left the American public lacking understanding of Mormon women, our views about doctrine and policies — through the eyes of our most prominent women.

In the end, though the final numbers of the election are yet to be determined, clearly this tight race has exposed, like never before, that Americans are nearly equal in opposing many of society’s most-debated social issues. To the many faithful conservatives, Mormons included, this fact sends a powerful message that you have a voice that has not been squelched regardless of what mainstream media would have you believe.

We still live in a country representative of a global hope that often unknowingly places religious morality at the center of our lives. And though a liberal agenda will continue to be paraded by mainstream media, the reality is that there is an equal and opposing advocacy of that which is pleasing to God.

Faith, family and freedom have been on display throughout this election process like never before. Indeed it has always been in our hearts but through modern technology we have been able to literally put it on display worldwide and can, with confidence, continue to do so!

This scenario makes perfect sense from the eternal perspective through which Mormons believe the world is regulated: that there are good forces and negative forces and that ultimately the good will win. Good, or God, will have the ultimate victory — but not without an equal and opposing force intended to forge a people worthy of such a victory.

How comforting such understanding should be, to all people of religious convictions, that God has revealed His Hand — not necessarily through an individual’s victory, but through the world He created and He directs. His plan and how He will bring it about is being made more evident than ever.

As a Mormon, I see great hope in the results of this election. It has brought Mormonism out from relative obscurity, now clearly to be considered a mainstream Christian religion — and in the process have brought together many people of Christian values who have united in a cause that takes precedence over religious denomination – a victory we cannot ignore.

This is His battle and on this one, for those who have eyes to see, God is winning!


View Photo Gallery: “The Mormon story is a quintessentially American tale,” writes On Faith columnist Lisa Miller.

Kathryn Skaggs is a well-known Mormon blogger among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ online community. The Southern California resident and her husband have five children and 10 grandchildren.

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  • SODDI

    Your god does not exist. You believers in gods, whose “faith” is so weak that you cannot CONVINCE others to follow your beliefs, instead backing candidates who would FORCE others by the power of the state to do as you say you believe, lost big time. You will continue to lose. Ther hate-filled rhetoric from you and your candidates over the past four years made you lose, and that corrosion will continue to eat away at your institutions and people until some day soon, when you just wither away and thankfully die.

  • Openletter2004

    If the writer ACTUALLY is following the teachings of Jesus, why is she so intent upon using the stones of government, the stones that Jesus refused to touch, to force other people of other and no religion to follow her religious beliefs??

    Jesus very clearly by his words and deeds commanded his followers to NEVER use force or coercion to get anyone to follow his teaching.

    Examples.
    1. He refused to touch the stones.
    2. He stopped Peter from using the sword.
    3. He rebuked peter for using the sword.
    4. He healed the man Pater had harmed.
    5. He castigated the Pharisees for demanding special treatment within society.
    6. He told his followers they “should pray in their closet in the dead of night so their prayers would only be heard by “god””
    7. Then he went off alone on the side of a mountain in the dead of night to pray.

  • FriendofKeyserSoze

    Mormonism was, is, and will always be classified as a cult, and the main reason that Romney got 57 million votes was because his opponent had black skin. Mormon theology states that having white skin is a sign of God’s approval, and that God punishes the unworthy by condemning them to have non-white skin. In The Book of Mormon, non-whites are called “mud people” and are unfit to go to heaven, although Mormon theology does say that if a dark-skinned person follows all the rules, their skin will become whiter the closer they get to achieving righteousness.

  • Brittman1

    Two words, Ms. Skaggs: Proposition 8. After that hate-filled campaign your religion ceded any claim to the moral hgh ground. I don’t care about your dogma: It’s your wealthy, ruthless right-wing political machine i fear.

  • toomuchgovernment

    Class envy, class envy dude. You have drunk the Obama koolaid and listened to Mr Divider of not only the races, but the classes. I hope Obama fails miserably. That means we-the-people win.

  • leaand2

    You are not the people, the majority of Americans are the people and they have spoken. The majority of Americans are we-the-people.

  • toomuchgovernment

    what a joke this post is…wow…now, back to mommy’s basement troll….

  • rwb1

    “Yet I can’t get over the fact that 57 million Americans, and rising, did indeed vote for a Mormon – and what that says, to me, not only about this country, but also about my faith.”

    False equivalence is a logical fallacy which describes a situation where there is a logical and apparent equivalence, but when in fact there is none.

    Voting for the Mormon was incidental for many if not most.

  • setaf

    Ms. Slaggs, Excellent article and I commend you for it. Yes, I see several detractors, but you will have those in this world of ours. Great job and much appreciated.

  • setaf

    Hate filled? yes, we do have some instances of that though probably no more than the other side, you exhibit it yourself. Again, no room for a agreeable disagreement. We all die, I just hope that when I do, I am not as hate filled as you.

  • setaf

    Not sure what this means. What “force” are you referring to?

  • setaf

    “Friend”, you are an example of why this country’s educational system is so broken.

  • Brynn Tannehill

    Interesting. Mrs. Skaggs equates Mormonism with Godliness, and the fact that this election people voted for a Mormon as a sign the nation is becoming more “ok” with the Mormon church, its beliefs, and ideals. However, pro-marriage equality votes won a 4-0 victory in Washington, Minnesota, Maine, and Maryland, giving pro-marriage equality supporters their first four wins at the ballot box.

    Romney’s vote tally shouldn’t be seen as acceptance, or a turn towards “Godliness”, but more as a referendum on a slow economic recovery. When measured in terms of values, the American public seems to be sharing less and less with the Mormon faith and it’s anti-LGBT agenda.

  • setaf

    Maybe substitute “values’ for beliefs?

  • setaf

    Unfortunately, there is and was some hate involved. However, I think most of the damage and threats etc. came from those who keep asking for acceptance of diversity, except for those who disagree with them. What I fear are those who preach that diversity, but leave “no” room for those who have different views. Look in the mirror someday. Interesting that in almost all cases, the courts have done the ramming through of “Gay Marriage”., which is a term that is an oxymoron in itself.

  • setaf

    On the other hand, without a lot more information you could say those states went for Obama by large margins and were considered to go for him. A larger liberal population/vote turnout would probably indicate a vote also for those issues.

  • biograph_1985

    “What I fear are those who preach that diversity, but leave “no” room for those who have different views.” You can’t demand that the call for diversity included those who are waging war against diversity and civil rights.

  • wideblacksky

    Agreed. for the most part people voted for Romney in spite of the fact he is a Mormon.

  • CannedAm

    The election results do not reflect the country’s acceptance of Mormonism as mainstream. What Romney was was not “christian” enough, but white enough. What the results reflect is that 48% of those who bothered to vote trusted a lying, flip-flopping, opportunistic tax-dodging bankster over a brown skinned man simply because the liar was white.

  • Centsorsense

    I think that since Romney was a Republican he was shielded from many religious criticisms. The Democrats tend to shy away from anything akin to persecuting a person based on religion.
    If Romney had been a Democrat, his religious beliefs would have been eviscerated.
    I do believe that the fact that unusual religious beliefs wasn’t major voting issue shows progress. However, it is a shame that the first Mormon candidate was fighting against the progressives who helped make that opportunity possible.

  • tombukowski

    If someone doesn’t like the President, what other choice was available? None, so they voted for Mitt. Of course if he was an athiest, would they have voted for him? This was hardly a referendum on Mormanism. Bit of a stretch.

  • setaf

    8th ID, I was wondering if that was you. Actually you might be surprised. Anyway, I will not reply as I can see you have some issues that I feel are overwhelming your sense of decency. I would suggest that someday if you able to overcome them, you might find you have more friends than you think.

  • setaf

    Wow, I guess a good deal of us who voted for Romney haven’t got to worry about explaining why we did. All anyone has to do is ask you and you know the thoughts of millions of people. Sorry, I don’t really mean to be sarcastic, but obviously you haven’t done a lot of thinking, just listening to everything you are spoon fed and then repeating it ad nauseum. Oh, by the way why aren’t you accusing him of being a felon and a murderer too? “Race” just seems to be your only fall back, after all why would people have ANY other reason to vote against Obama?

  • XVIIHailSkins

    “…be it baptism for the dead, racism, polygamy, Mormon temple worship, gender equality, etc… the chance to share our faith while clarifying Mormon teachings turned out to be a net positive.”

    The term ‘cognitive dissonance’ would scarcely have a definition if it weren’t for people who are capable of writing a sentence like this with a straight face. Ever wonder why God’s one, true, holy, unassailable church on planet earth has been so hard pressed to defend itself against charges of racism, gender discrimination, anti-intellectualism, etc? Ever wonder if the modern LDS church looks more like the brainchild of a convicted 19th century

  • XVIIHailSkins

    Pardon me*
    … (contd) 19th century huckster or the brainchild of the omnipotent and omniscient creator of the universe? Which do you think is more likely? Reasonable people did not vote for Romney because he was either unwilling or unable to address this question.

  • XVIIHailSkins

    The next time a fiscal conservative running for president admits that hurricanes are not punishment for gay marriage he will have automatically gained serious consideration for my vote. As things stand, the options available to reasonable, conservative-minded people are simply insulting.

  • setaf

    Well, no I have never wondered about it . It seems the same church Christ set up originally. Yes, I know, people with “superior intellect” will sometimes cast it off as a crock, but so hasn’t it always been. We were put here on the earth with free agency to decide for ourselves. Not that I expect you to understand, but coming from 35 years of being a member, I see more than you’ll ever realize how much good this church does, both for all people as well as for individuals. Of course it takes an open mind willing to listen to the Spirit. Sorry there, but I know in my heart as well as mind that I made the right decision those many years ago.

  • InformDecisions

    Sorry forgot to spell check that last post. That’s what I get for multi-tasking.

  • InformDecisions

    HAHA. Sorry setaf I just posted something above at you. You don’t have to respond because I realized once I read the above comment that you ARE a biggot. Wow, umm look… damn. I don’t know how to put this, but being gay does not mean you are not entitled to the same rights as other. Really setaf. Ramming through of gay marriage. They voted on it dude. Maryland and New York now support it. What is your problem with minorities?

  • InformDecisions

    @setaf : There you go again. “superior intellect”? I have seen how much good the church does, sure. But it does a whole lot of bad too. Why not do good things because they are the logical and moral thing to do, versus doing it under the eyes of a vengeful god? I am just saying, there will never be a time where everyone believes in the same god in the same way. That is why Europeans came to America right? To escape religious persecution? So why don’t we all agree to leave god out of it, like the Constitution says, and just talk about it using cool calm reasonable logic? I just wanted to say I respect your beliefs and your right to believe what you want. But, that does not mean I will not question it. Maybe you should do some more of that. You know, questioning. It is not a bad thing. I can see you have never “wondered about it”, and I think that is why you believe what you do.

    May all your weeds be wildflowers, love.

    informDecisions

  • InformDecisions

    @SODDI
    Oh man that is sooo good. I too take solace in the fact that the world is headed in the right direction, thank science. But, who will I cower in embarrasment from when my uncle is no longer there to rant about the evil of blacks over (ironically) christmas dinner. Oh thats right, he is dead. Hahaha, man that guy sucked.

  • psmithphd

    I agree with the author.. She has states our case well. As a male Mormon, I would like to reinforce the truth that women are equal to men, daughters of God, and that our Church provides every important opportunity for them to fulfill the righteous desires of their hearts.

    Phillip C. Smith

  • GOD IS WINNING

    YES, BELIEVERS, GOD IS WINNING OBAMA WIN AND THE STRUCTURE OF A NON CLERICAL CONFORMATION FOR THE NATION CONTINUES. AND YOUR MORMON BISHOP, JUST LIE EVERY TIME, AND ANY OCASION, NOW WE CAN SEE THE WHITE SKIN OF THE cHAMALEON, BUT WAIT HE HAVE MORE TRIKS, TOMORROW HE WILL BE GOD… IN A NEW SKIN

  • MIKEMCD

    I find it incredible that the author decides that “God is winning” on the basis of whether a Mormon came close to being elected! Here’s an infinitely BETTER yardstick of whether “God is winning”: Obama is only the second President that this nation has EVER had who endorses both homosexuality and abortion— two things that are totally contrary to scripture. “All Scripture is given BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim. 3:16). Obviously, God is “NOT winning” when it comes to Presidential voting! (And if you are angry at my pointing out what the Holy Bible teaches, then take that up with God!)

  • Pharmercist

    I wonder just which “God” this author is speaking of that is winning. Since the Mormons do not believe in one creator God, as Christian do, their talk cannot be compared to what a Christian might say. The definitions are not at all the same. What does it mean to a Mormon that Jesus is their savior? Ask your Mormon friend and find out what they truly believe. Mitt Romney did not become president because of two factors – the Republican party does not represent the Hispanic community well enough and he is a Mormon!

  • Bob Mayfield

    It means that Jesus is our Savior. What does it mean to you?

  • johnsomeone

    “And though a liberal agenda will continue to be paraded by mainstream media, the reality is that there is an equal and opposing advocacy of that which is pleasing to God.”
    So God votes republican, eh? Gotcha. Wonderful. Religion is just wonderful.

  • Richard Cannon

    Christians believe that God the Father is an eternal, all powerful spiritual being; there is only one God. He spoke creation into existence. Mormons believe that heavenly father was once a spiritual intelligence who progressed to becoming a god by first being born as a spirit child of another older god and goddess, then received a human physical body by being born by a real flesh and blood mom and dad, lived a righteous mormon life, died and was resurrected, and through following the teachings of Mormonism achieved godhood along with his goddess wives. The potential for any righteous Mormon to repeat this process has historically been taught by their living prophets. Additionally, Mormons believe that matter is eternal, and creation involved God organizing existing matter.

    The mainstream Christian belief is that Jesus is the Son of God, fully divine and fully human and the saviour of humanity. Because of this, Christians commonly refer to Jesus as Christ or Messiah. Jesus’ ministry, sacrificial death, and subsequent resurrection, are often referred to as the Gospel message (“good news”). In short, the Gospel is news of God the Father’s eternal victory over evil, and the promise of salvation and eternal life for all people, through divine grace. Salvation can’t be earned it is gift of God received through a living faith (relationship, new birth) in Jesus Christ. A living or real faith is expressed in obedience to God, repentance and service to others.

    The LDS plan of salvation is a plan that God created to save, redeem, and exalt humankind. During a pre-mortal existence, Heavenly Father presented the this plan to His children: Human beings would be born on Earth. There they would receive a physical body necessary to exaltation and a fullness of joy. On earth, they would be tested through trials of their faith, and be subject to mortality. A “veil” would be set in place to obscure humankind’s memory of its divine origins, thus allowing for “walking by faith” and for

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