As elections near, it's important for Latter-day Saints to remember that the Church is not neutral when it comes to its stance on members' involvement in politics and their local communities. No matter a member's country or political affiliation, the Church encourages them to "play a role as responsible citizens in their communities," become "informed about issues" and world events, and "vot[e] in elections" when they are given the opportunity.
However, when it comes to candidates and political parties, the LDS Church remains neutral. "The Church’s mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not to elect politicians," Mormon Newsroom states.
But what about individual Church leaders endorsing candidates?
According to a recent poll published on utahpolicy.com, the vast majority of Latter-Day Saints in Utah think that Church leaders should not endorse political candidates.
While Church leaders have taken moral stands on political or public issues in the past, historically they have not endorsed specific candidates.
Some have wondered if the heated presidential race this year would warrant a different response. However, this new poll of 614 adults reveals that most do not think leaders should endorse candidates.
Among the active Mormons who participated, 92 percent said they didn't want to see Church leaders endorse a candidate, whereas only 4 percent said they would want to see that and another 4 percent were undecided.
Of the Republicans polled, 6 percent wanted to see Church leaders endorse specific candidates and 86 percent did not. Among Democrats, 2 percent wanted to see Church leaders endorse specific candidates and 95 percent did not. And for political independents, 3 percent wanted to see Church leaders endorse specific candidates and 90 percent did not.
What are your thoughts?