Mormon voices in the public square and what to make of them

In all of the media analysis and dissection of the Glenn Beck rally in Washington last weekend, and in particular his membership in the Mormon faith, there has been one conspicuous oversight.

To be sure, Glenn Beck was accompanied by an impressive array of interfaith leaders - Catholics, Jews and evangelicals who, despite theological differences - appeared on the same stage as Beck because his message of restoring honor and returning to faith in God struck such a strong chord with them.

But leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were not officially represented at the Lincoln Memorial event, however. Why not - especially since the Church respects the right of all faiths to raise their voice in the public square?

The Beck rally - as he had predicted and as most of the media has since acknowledged - turned out to be less about politics and more about a return to God. But The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons for short) is extremely wary of compromising its policy of strict party political neutrality. As was stated often during former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's run for the presidency in 2008, the Church neither endorses nor opposes political parties, candidates or platforms. It doesn't allow its church buildings, membership lists or other resources to be used for partisan political purposes. And it doesn't attempt to direct its members to which candidate or party to give their votes, regardless of whether a candidate for office is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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