On June 1, 2023, the Church made updates to its “Political Neutrality” topic page on ChurchofJesusChrist.org, including an expansion of the page’s title to “Political Neutrality and Participation.”
The topic page now includes a new introductory paragraph:
“The work of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, strengthening individuals and families, and caring for those in need. The Church does not seek to elect government officials, support or oppose political parties, or, generally, take sides in global conflicts. The Church is neutral in matters of politics within or between the world’s many nations, lands, and peoples. However, as an institution, it reserves the right to address issues it believes have significant moral consequences or that directly affect the mission, teachings, or operations of the Church.”
► You may also like: Read updates to the Church’s political neutrality and participation topic page
That same day, a letter was sent out by the First Presidency to be read in sacrament meetings in the United States regarding political participation, voting, and the political neutrality of the Church.
As in previous First Presidency letters prior to a US election year, the new letter encourages members to vote and participate in civic affairs and reemphasizes the Church’s political neutrality. The letter also advocates that Church members become informed on important issues and candidates, encourages members to vote for candidates demonstrating integrity, compassion, and service to others regardless of party affiliation, and cautions Church members against straight-ticket voting.
“Merely voting a straight ticket or voting based on ‘tradition’ without careful study of the candidates and their positions on important issues is a threat to democracy and inconsistent with revealed standards,” the letter reads.
In case the letter has not been read in your ward yet or if you want to refer back to the verbiage, here’s the entire text of the June 1 letter, as shared by Church News.
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Citizens of the United States have the privilege and duty of electing office holders and influencing public policy. Participation in the political process affects their communities and nation today and in the future. We urge Latter-day Saints to be active citizens by registering, exercising their right to vote, and engaging in civic affairs, always demonstrating Christlike love and civility in political discourse.
We urge you to spend the time needed to become informed about the issues and candidates you will be considering. Some principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties, and members should seek candidates who best embody those principles. Members should also study candidates carefully and vote for those who have demonstrated integrity, compassion, and service to others, regardless of party affiliation. Merely voting a straight ticket or voting based on “tradition” without careful study of candidates and their positions on important issues is a threat to democracy and inconsistent with revealed standards (see Doctrine and Covenants 98:10). Information on candidates is available through the internet, debates, and other sources.
While the Church affirms its institutional neutrality regarding political parties and issues, it may occasionally post information about particular issues that directly affect the mission, teachings, or operations of the Church or that Church leaders believe are essential to preserving democracy or the essential functioning of the United States Constitution.
Political choices and affiliations should not be the subject of any teaching or advocating in Church settings. Leaders ensure that Church meetings focus on our Heavenly Father, our Savior, and the gospel. For more information, see newsroom.ChurchofJesusChrist.org and General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 38.8.30.
The First Presidency