Mormonism, Christianity, and Me – Part 2
Should a Christian vote for a Mormon for President of the United States?
When I was 17 my dad was transferred and my family relocated from Fort Smith to Salt Lake City, Utah. Yep, culture-shock is a good term to use. For this kid who grew up as a part of the “majority” in the Bible Belt, it was no small adjustment to being a minority in the capital of Mormonism.
It was my senior year in high school. I would only live in Utah for one year before leaving to attend college at Oklahoma Baptist University. My family would go on to live in Utah for many more years. I can tell you from experience that Mormons are some of the very best people you can ever meet. To my knowledge we were the only non-Mormon family on our street. I remember the week we moved into our new home and Dad and I were on the roof of the house trying to fix our water-cooler (air conditioning in the West). All of a sudden our neighbor, Alan, appeared on the ladder and gave us all the knowledge and tools we needed to get the thing running. And then there were our neighbors on the other side, Bill and Kathy. They would become very dear friends of my parents and even attend my ordination service some years later.
I made many friends at Brighton High School my senior year. Mormon friends. Yes, we talked a lot of theology and no, they did not convert me and I did not convert them. But they were my friends and as a re-located senior in high school, I was grateful for their friendship.
Mormons do not share my Christian theology but they do share my Christian morals and values.
So what about that vote we will all cast next year for President? Should a Christian vote for a Mormon?
I remember during the last election cycle that Christian groups made a big deal about NOT voting for a Mormon for President. Mitt Romney was running then, too, if you’ll recall. “We just can’t have such a thing!” I remember agreeing. A Mormon president would shine a big huge spotlight on the Mormon church that the church would use to try and propagate its image to the American public. It could also serve as an asset to convert people to the Mormonism.
But then the Republicans ended up offering John McCain as their nominee, a man who professes no faith. And then we ended up electing Barack Obama who on the one hand calls himself a Christian but then entertains a menagerie of belief systems.
The reality of politics in America is that we will most likely always be faced with a pair of candidates, neither of which is a true follower in Jesus Christ. So we must steward our vote carefully. We must pray, and think, and examine, and measure the candidates next to our Christian morals, values, and principles. And when all the measuring is done, the voting lever may very well come down on a Mormon.