Party Spirit

November 6, 2006 | 25 comments
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Could there be a Mormon political party? Should there be?

(Note: this post is not about Mormon political beliefs, but rather Mormon political possibilities. Not quite as fun, I know. If you need controversy, visit here to find out how I want all of you to vote. Thank you.)

My first question could be answered historically, if one chooses to approach the issue that way. The People’s Party was the official vehicle for Mormon political power in the Utah Territory from 1870 to the early 1890s. It was a party backed by the LDS Church, with the Deseret News as its mouthpiece, and it commanded the allegiance of practically all Mormons during those two decades, with the result that the Utah Territory was basically a one-party polity for a couple of decades. (The non-Mormon Liberal Party won the occasional local election in places like Toole, but that’s about it.) So yes, plainly there can be a Mormon political party, and a pretty successful one too.

But the conditions which made that political party possible no longer exist in the United States, much less anywhere else. The classic definition of a party is a “faction”–a distinct group that identifies with a defined territory or polity, has various interests regarding or intentions for that polity, and which coordinates various activities for the sake of gaining and holding onto political power so as to promote those interests or intentions within that territory. If a party is unanimous, with the total support of all who dwell within a given space, then it can’t be considered a “party,” as it does not represent a distinct faction within that space. However, while Mormons today are a significant social, cultural, and religious faction in the U.S. and some other countries as well, nowhere does the church appear to actually idenitify itself with any given polity in such a way as to see itself as a potential (or even rightful) wielder of political power. This was the case in the 1870s and 1880s; after running Utah for the first twenty years after its incorporation as an organized U.S. territory in 1850 in pretty much same way the original pioneers had imagined it be run–that is, theocratically, as the State of Deseret–the non-Mormons (and ex-Mormons, particularly the Godebites) in the territory started the Liberal Party, and the church suddenly realized that it would actually need to win some elections to continue on as before. Hence, the People’s Party, the Mormon faction of Utah dedicated to maintaining Mormon control. But there is currently no place on the planet that the church looks at the way it looked at Utah in those days; especially today, as the church continues its transformation into a truly international body, there is little or no interest on the part of most of us Mormons in seeing our church as a political faction within a specific territory or state. So no–maybe there once was a Mormon political party, but there cannot be one today. The First Presidency laid down the law in that regard over a hundred years ago, in a 1903 statement:

[The Church] is solely an ecclesiastical organization. It is separate and distinct from the state. It does not interfere with any earthly government….[It] instructs in things temporal as well as things spiritual….But it does not infringe upon the liberty of the individual or encroach upon the domain of the state….The Church does not dictate a member’s business, his politics, or his personal affairs. It never tells a citizen what occupation he shall follow, whom he shall vote for or with which party he shall affiliate. Sermons, dissertations and arguments by preachers and writers in the Church concerning the Kingdom of God that is to be are not to be understood as relating to the present. If they…convery the idea that the dominion to come is to be exercised now, the claim is incorrect.

One could, of course, be cynical and claim that this statement was of a piece with the church’s long and not always entirely forthright struggle with the U.S. government, and thus should be taken as a statement driven by expediency more than principle. But let’s assume otherwise–let’s assume the leaders of the church really have decided that, for the time being, there is nothing which the church wishes to do that would involve it, as a church, in actual party politics. But does that exhaust the possibilities for a Mormon political party? Obviously not. You could have, for example, a political party that advocates positions which are–among other things–congenial to Mormon concerns, Mormon rights, Mormon interests, and individual Mormons could come to form an important part of the coalition of voters which supports that party. Such a party might become “Mormon” in the sense that there would be a strong presumption that supporting such a party would be incumbent upon Mormons who, as Elder Oaks put it in a sermon of his titled “The Weightier Matters,” feel it important to “use [their] influence to establish public policies that encourage righteous choices on matters [which] God’s servants have defined as serious sins.” (And, presumply, the same would go for those things defined as important virtues as well.) Again, assuming one chooses to read apostolic and First Presidency statements charitably, with an eye towards identifying their unity, one could conclude that while the church feels no need and no desire at this time to seek political power in a given sphere in its own name, it does think Mormon teachings about various political disputes, as elucidated by the prophets, can and should contribute to the formation of public policy through the political process where and when possible. And in the U.S., and most everywhere else where the church has a significant presence, that means working through parties.

One might look at the 96 years separating the First Presidency’s statement and Elder Oaks’s 1999 sermon in light of broader political and religious trends. Say the church, for most of the past century, has accepted the mainline Protestant, philosophically liberal, 20th-century mainstream American opinion that churches, as corporate bodies, have fairly limited interests; their teachings, whatever their value or vehemence in terms of public policy, ought to be expressed only by individual members who organize themselves outside the church itself. For some, this has always seemed like a wholly natural and appropriate decision, one which follows the principle of separation of church and state. I suspect, however, that part of the reason why this idea was so widely accepted in first place was because most of American denominations did not feel the surrounding polity to be threatening the dominance (or at least influence) of their teachings in any truly deep way, the way the church had thought the Liberal Party would threaten Mormons in the Utah Territory. As long as America’s Christian civic religion remained strong, then there was little reason for churches to act collectively in regards to particular issues. In recent decades, however, this opinion has broken down somewhat, and with perhaps good reason; there is arguably more moral conflict in the public square in the U.S. today than anytime since the Civil War, and consequently many churches have reversed their willingness to eshew the party spirit. (It should be noted that this idea never really did fully penetrate American Catholic parishes and African-American churches anyway.) This breakdown is a plausible explanation of many contemporary events, in Utah as well as elsewhere. The reversal hasn’t been total (though some would say we’re coming close to that); in all likelihood, the diverse and cosmopolitan (and coalitional) character of much contemporary American life will prevent any religious body from desiring true party independence. Still, we’ve already seen the church expanding the possible interpretations of Elder Oaks’s remarks in the direction of more “partisan” action in connection with campaigns over same-sex marriage; perhaps, with Mitt Romney possibly on his way to the Republican nomination for president, should we Mormons note the trends, reconstruct a distinctly Mormon political and participatory voice, and thereby re-embrace the party spirit as well?

In a series of important essays (“Beyond Politics,” “In the Party But Not of the Party,” “The Uses and Abuses of Patriotism”), Hugh Nibley argued no. Politics, he noted, is a matter of dialogue, the “free discussion of people running their own common affairs.” In a truly righteous society, one moves beyond politics–not because discussion is at an end, but because discussion becomes a matter of understanding God’s will rather than agreeing or disagreeing with it. So long as we are not being ruled by God directly in our polities, then we are stuck with the limited and ultimately limiting world of human dialogue, a world which Nibley is convinced always eventually breaks down. So, we should play the political game for as long as necessary, but we should never confuse God’s will with that game; there are enormous category differences between them. And it seems that Nibley saw parties as a cause of just such confusion:

There is…virtue in politics even at the human level. The energy, the dedication, courage, loyalty, selflessness, zeal and industry, the intelligence that have gone into the political actions of men are immense, and the excitement, color, dash and humor bring out some of the best in human nature. But…there are various levels at which the political dialogue takes place…differing as widely as a chess match from a slugging contest. Let us by all means retain the drive and dedication of politics, but do we still need the placards and the bands, the serpentine parades, funny hats, confetti, squabbling committees, canned speeches, shopworn cliches, patriotic exhibitionism, Madison Avenue slogans, to say nothing of the bitter invective, the poisonous rhetoric, the dirty tricks and shady deals, payoffs, betrayals, the blighted loyalties, the scheming young men on the make, the Gadianton loyalty, the manipulated ovations and contrived confusion of the last hurrah? The furiously mounting infusion of green stuff into the political carnival of our day is enough to show that the spontaneity is not there, and even if some of it may remain, those running the show know very well from tried and true statistics that all the sort of this is to be got with money–lots and lots of money–and with nothing else.

There is very little I can disagree with in this statement. It is true that American political elections are often trivial, driven by professional interests and media spin, dependent upon pumping up the hysteria of voters on behalf of illusionary narratives, filled with sharp tricks and sharper words, dominated by powerful insiders, mostly disconnected from typical voters and far removed from any actual policy discussion. The influence of money on every step of the campaign process is huge, antidemocratic, and profoundly corrupting. (One of Nibley’s few political heroes was Senator William Proxmire, the progressive Democrat from Wisconsin who, towards the end of his political career, rejected campaign contributions and became a passionate advocate of campaign finance reform.) Yet, to the extent that Nibley is attacking the party spirit here, I have to disagree with him. Nibley’s contempt for political machinations–a contempt which is echoed in the aforementioned mainstream liberal opinion regarding the mixing of churches and politics–has its roots in St. Augustine: the City of God cannot and must not be identified with any given City of Man, and the building of a virtuous, Christian life is best when unsullied by the attraction of worldly power, wealth, or influence, even when seen as aiding righteous causes. It’s a good argument, and an influential one; indeed, the Augustinian tradition, via the Protestant Reformation and the Puritans and their subsequent Congregational legacy, ended up giving shape to a distinctly religious argument in favor of strict separation for much of the first century and a half of American history. Nonetheless, the argument founders on the conviction (a conviction that Nibley shares) that the achievements of politics are always, “at best negative.” But that simply isn’t so.

On the other side of things, many religious traditionalists, social conservatives, civic republicans and other communitarians often embrace the positive and moral possibilities of politics, but assume that parties are incompatible with such: once you have a society large and pluralistic enough that a homogenous general will or town meeting or priesthood quorum cannot legitimately speak for everyone–in short, once you have factions–then the common good is lost, the compatability of statecraft and soulcraft is ended, and one best just retreat to one’s own little platoon and work to save what you can there. (Nibley, with his apocalyptic and sometimes almost anarchic mentality, seems to agree with a lot of this as well.) This is a Zion-or-bust-type attitude: once the vision (or polity) is lost, then there’s no point in collectively trying to fight for it. There is, obviously, some truth to this attitude: by the early 20th century, the church could no longer claim that Utah was solely their own place (assuming they ever could) and fight for it accordingly. But things are not that simple. A pluralistic, elitist, or Weberian model of politics will tell you that democratic contests are all about power and administration, nothing more or less; but other models will tell you that democratic contests are expressive, and deal with the construction and movement of ideas. The coalitions that parties build, understood in this way, make and refine identities and communities, with their own common goods. Lincoln’s Republican Party (with its numerous Protestant abolitionist supporters), and FDR’s Democratic Party (with its heavy reliance on ethnic Catholics), were surely far from pure-hearted, unanimous, innocent affairs, but they did aim to positively shape the nature of American political life, and they were successful in that. The meaning of being Protestant or being Catholic in America changed because of these successful partisan endeavors, and conversely these religious groups changed America, and in a very public, civic way. So the party spirit is not, I would say, fundamentally incompatible with the maintenance of one’s own beliefs, teachings, and identity; on the contrary, assuming one is willing to connect and reconnect as necessary to the emerging dimensions and characteristics of the polity one is inevitably a part of, I would say that it can be perfectly concomitant, even beneficial, to them.

This does not mean that I’d like to see the People’s Party resurrected tomorrow. For one thing, Mormonism is profoundly different from what it was 130 years ago; we are far less millennial, far more accommodating of modern democracy and capitalism, and we pay far more individual attention to the Book of Mormon. (That last may not seem particularly political, but as I have argued before, our emphasis on having a personal “relationship” with the Book of Mormon greatly affects the sort of political theology which a party made up of and representing Mormons might hold on to as a background presumption.) For another thing, I think we still have a lot of thinking to do towards figuring out what Mormon concerns, Mormon rights, and Mormon interests really are. (Is Mitt Romney “politically” Mormon? Do we even know how to ask that question?) And, of course, we’re an international church with common lines of authority, like the Roman Catholic church; this lack of true congregationalism means that any political and partisan engagement as Mormons would have to be managed in such a way as to allow–and not unnecessarily supercede or interfere with–any similar engagements abroad. There would be plenty of complications here in the U.S. alone; while we have a federal system that allows for some relatively diverse polities to emerge, basically we would have to deal with changing Mormon political presumptions which emerged during the Utah/Deseret era into some with much more specifically American orientations, and that might be hard enough.

So no, I don’t think that we ought to start running our own candidates. But I do wonder for how much longer it will make sense for the church to aspire to nonpartisan neutrality, and to fail to build connections between its many obvious and already-embraced political commitments. Not only would the avoidance of such coalitional, movement-building thinking appear to continue to buy into a liberal model that, in other areas, the church is increasingly comfortable rejecting; it would also run counter to the sort of religious and secular clashes that are likely to be endemic to American and global politics in the coming decades (if not longer). Moreover, it is simply a stunted view of politics, one which indirectly accepts common definition of religious partisanship as always dangerous or least irresponsible, without actually exploring what a simultaneously sectarian yet civic force for religion might realistically look like and mean in practice. Scholars like Fred Gedicks have argued that avoiding the party spirit has been central to LDS growth, but even he acknowledges that it is debatable “whether a large, worldwide, and potentially powerful LDS church will continue to pursue strategies that subordinate its autonomy to the exigencies of politics and law” in the coming century. I admit to being a party person, a believer in building movements and coalitions, a fan of building identity and community through engaging (and thus changing, and being changed by) one’s polity, someone who even gets into the placards and funny hats on occasion. There’s much our church could do towards refining its own party spirit, and thereby improving others’ spirit as well, should it so choose. After all, it’s not like the precedent isn’t there.

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25 Responses to Party Spirit

  1. Dan on November 6, 2006 at 4:31 pm

    Russell,

    So yes, plainly there can be a Mormon political party, and a pretty successful one too.

    Your analysis of historical aspects of a purely Mormon party is pretty good, however, I’m rather surprised that you didn’t mention anything at all about Mormons voting as a political blog in Missouri and Illinios. Weren’t the non-Mormons in both Missouri and Illinios weary about Mormons precisely because Mormons voted as a block, and would therefore have great power in both states?

    While a Mormon party may have worked in a homogenous state like Utah of the 1890s, it certainly cannot work in a situation like we have today, where the church is very diverse, with political views all over the spectrum around the world.

    I think we should keep politics and religion separate. It keeps our religion from being tainted by corrupt politics (a reduntant phrase).

  2. Costanza on November 6, 2006 at 5:51 pm

    I think the good Rev. Haggard has recently pointed out that, in the marriage of religion and politics, the latter might not be the only contaminating party.

  3. Kingsley on November 6, 2006 at 6:06 pm

    Costanza how dare you imply that homosexuality is some sort of contamination.

  4. Bruce on November 6, 2006 at 7:17 pm

    Mormons voting as a political blog

    …Perish the thought!

  5. Costanza on November 6, 2006 at 7:48 pm

    I was actually implying that adultery and the use of illegal drugs were the contaminating factors. The fact that he committed adultery with a male prostitute is incidental.

  6. Aluwid on November 6, 2006 at 8:42 pm

    Kingsley, I don’t believe that the moral outrage is appropriate given the forum and subject. We’re talking about a *Mormon* political party. Regardless of your personal beliefs, homosexuality is considered sexual immoral behavior according to Mormon doctrine. Not on the same level as adultery but both actions could rightfully be considered “some sort of contamination” if you are referring to a Mormon political party.

    Note that for many there is a vast difference between “homosexuals” and “homosexuality”.

  7. roland on November 7, 2006 at 1:25 am

    When Joseph Smith ran for U.S. President – what political party was he? Or did he run as an independent?

  8. Jim F. on November 7, 2006 at 2:25 am

    I take it that Kingsley has been absent or nearly so for so long that many do not remember or may not even know to assume that what he says is said with wit, unless he gives you good reason to assume otherwise.

  9. MLU on November 7, 2006 at 2:26 am

    Suppose such a party existed and it came to power.

    Then priesthood authority would be yoked to the state’s power. Bad move.

  10. RayB on November 7, 2006 at 8:40 am

    Gosh, isn\’t the Republican Party the Mormon political party? Have I been misled all these years?

  11. Russell Arben Fox on November 7, 2006 at 8:46 am

    “Suppose such a party existed and it came to power. Then priesthood authority would be yoked to the state’s power. Bad move.”

    MLU, I think you are misunderstanding what I argued for in this post. (As have others, which is probably understandable, given that it’s a long post and that perhaps made my point less than clear.) I said that I doubted that the church could ever again look at any given place–like, say, the U.S.–and think of itself as a faction that could legitimately compete with others for power within that place. (Even under a radically rejuvinated since of federalism in America, I doubt even a rather circumscribed State of Deseret would be possible.) However, I wouldn’t at all mind the church coming to see itself as expressing interests that could contribute to a coalition or movement, and through that build a real faction or party that could compete for power.

    As for your example, well….suppose that a Roman Catholic party existed, and it came to power. Then the College of Cardinals would be yoked to the state’s power. Bad move, right? Except, oops–that’s what might be called the German state of Bavaria, currently being led by its Catholic party, the Christian Social Union, which also happens to be a major player in the nation’s ruling government coalition. Does that mean Germany is a theocracy, now? Perhaps Jonathan can tell us…

  12. Russell Arben Fox on November 7, 2006 at 8:57 am

    Roland, when Smith ran for president in 1844 he didn’t have a party base behind him. He rejected both the Whigs and the Democrats, but aside from pumping up the Council of Fifty and making use of some of the priesthood quorums in Nauvoo to make the rounds and talk up his candidacy, he didn’t try to develop an organization; it was a pretty independent and individualistic enterprise. Party thinking wasn’t something he specialized in at that point of his life, when his basic operating mode flipped back and forth between exuberant and apocalyptic.

  13. Adam Greenwood on November 7, 2006 at 9:44 am

    Nuts and bolts problems:

    You’d either have to have a para-party, sort of a Christian Coalition type thing.
    Or else you’d need a lot more states to switch to the NY rule where candidates can run for more than one party and their votes from each party are aggregated.

  14. Steve Park on November 7, 2006 at 10:43 am

    Excellent post. Regarding your last paragraph, I believe the church will continue aspiring to political neutrality as long as the IRS says they have to. Once that goes away, I believe the church will officially become Republican and liberal Democrat Mormons will leave the church in droves.

  15. JKC on November 7, 2006 at 2:47 pm

    RAF, I think I agree with you on this, but there are so many unanswered questions.

    You said something to the effect of a political party that supported mormon interests, etc, would be a mormon party. (Too) Many mormons think that that’s exactly what the GOP does. Obviously there’s serious problems with that, but even assuming that the GOP (or any other national party, for that matter) did actually support mormon interests all the time, that alone would not make it a mormon party because a national party would still be representing so many other interests at the same time. Maybe if we had more of a plurality party system it could be more conceivable, but even then…

    Another problem is defining what are mormon interests? Would this be in doctrinal terms, theological terms, or purely political terms? If mormon interests were all doctrinally based, then they would have to come from the first presidency. I can’t see our “follow the prophet” paradigm as consistent with the representation and debate that are inherently part of the political process. Politics in America are based (at least in theory) on a bottom-up paradigm. Priesthood authority is a top-down paradigm. If mormon interests were defined in purely political terms, them I don’t see that party as being mormon, really, since its defining characteristics would be cultural and regional. I guess I’m talking about the difference between mormonism and wasatch front culture.

    I think MLU might be on to something. I understand your response, that Germany’s catholic party doesn’t necessarily mean that Germany is a theocracy, and I think you’re right. But my concern with preisthood power linked to state power is not that it would create a theocracy, but that it would corrupt the church. I think it would undermine the credibility of the brethren; it would be easy to confuse political opinions of leaders with doctrinal explications. Mormons already had a hard enough time separating President Bensons ecclesiastical activities with his endorsement of the John Birch Society, for example. A church party, or a more politically vocal first presidency, would re-create that kind of situation.

    I think the apostasy is relevant. I could be wrong, but I’ve always seen a link between the gradual recognition of Christianity culminating with Constantine and the Holy Roman Empire and the loss of priesthood authority. It took the rest of Christianity 15 centuries, much of it wasted in bloodshed, to learn this one lesson, I’m glad that it only took us 70 years to figure it out.

    But I’m not saying you’re wrong, these are just some of the unanswered questions. On palpable benefit of a more politically vocal first presidency would be that mormon politicians (mostly GOP, but also Dems) could no longer create the impression that they speak for the church.

  16. Sidney Rigdon on November 7, 2006 at 3:33 pm

    #11. Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon founded the Mormon Reform Party in 1843. It was the only political party of the time that demanded freedom, equal rights, and education for blacks, going even farther than the Abolitionist Party of the day. Joseph Smith suggested Congress sell Federal public lands in order to purchase, free, educate, and give equal rights to former slaves.
    (See Messages of The First Presidency 1:191-2)

    In February, 1844, Smith announced his candidacy for President of the United States, with Sidney Rigdon as his vice-presidential running mate.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Smith,_Jr.#Life_in_Nauvoo.2C_Illinois

    May 17, 1844 Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith was nominated as a United States presidential candidate for the National Reform Party at the Illinois state convention.
    (See History of the Church 6:386-97.

  17. shannon on November 7, 2006 at 4:02 pm

    Okay, I know this isn’t specifically related to the topic being discussed (which is way over my head right now) but I’m hoping that whoever’s in charge will allow it . . .
    I spent 3 hours one night last week trying to inform myself enough about the candidates I would be voting for today so that I wouldn’t feel like I was just voting for the ones whose names I recognized. Before the last presidential election, I remember finding a great website that gave very objective, important info about the congressional candidates. But nothing like this exists for the local candidates here in NC – as far as I can tell. Okay, I don’t read the newspaper and get most of my news from one news magazine and occasionally online, so I probably could do better keeping up with the political world. I really value my right to vote – which is why I dragged my three kids (ages 5 and under) to two different precincts (we moved but never got our voter cards updated) in pouring down rain today to make sure I could at least vote for the candidates I felt informed about. I got lots of looks of annoyance from the mainly senior citizen crowd because of my rowdy bunch. But when the kind and patient polling official who helped me said as I was leaving, “You deserve a medal”, I thought, “Are you kidding? This is no sacrifice. It’s the least I can do.” REALLY – when I’m done feeding and clothing toddlers, I want to help give the public the information they need to make informed voting a little easier.

  18. Seth R. on November 7, 2006 at 4:40 pm

    Why stop there?

    Should Mormons take a page out of Brigham Young’s book and have another go at that independent nation of Deseret thing?

  19. jjohnsen on November 7, 2006 at 5:06 pm

    “I said that I doubted that the church could ever again look at any given place–like, say, the U.S.–and think of itself as a faction that could legitimately compete with others for power within that place. ”
    I agree. Other than a few Western states, could the Mormon party really hold enough political sway to be taken seriously? Sure the Bretheren could tell people in UT,AZ, CA, etc how to vote, and the majority would, but nationwide it wouldn’t make a blip on the radar. I don’t see it being much different than it is now.

    The second problem is the Prophet would have to sit down with Christ before each election and ask him how Wyoming should vote on prop 3, or whether there should be a boring amendment added to the Utah constitution. Politics would be a full time job for GBH, running the church and bringing sould to Christ would have to become secondary.

    And what do you do when the inevitable scandel happens? When God’s politician is caught taking bribes from Abromoff or goes to jail for slapping his mistress around?

    Politics isn’t a clean business, and I don’t believe any politicians, even LDS politicians, can come away clean (although a 60 Minutes interview with an LDS Congressmen from AZ last week gave me some hope).

  20. jjohnsen on November 7, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    “Should Mormons take a page out of Brigham Young’s book and have another go at that independent nation of Deseret thing? ”

    No.

  21. Jim F on November 7, 2006 at 11:59 pm

    jjohnson: The second problem is the Prophet would have to sit down with Christ before each election and ask him [. . .] whether there should be a boring amendment added to the Utah constitution.

    Isn’t it an article of the Utah constitution that a boring or even pointless amendment will appear on at least 2 out of 3 state-wide ballots? It certainly seems there is.

    As for that independent nation of Deseret thing: if we seceded, would we still get to keep our portion of federal taxes that come to Utah and the relevant portions of Arizona, Nevada, and Idaho? If not, I’m agin it.

  22. queuno on November 8, 2006 at 1:44 am

    18 –

    Only if the Utahns don’t make the rest of us move there. Can we have a virtual nation? Maybe like a reservation?

    Or, perhaps, that’s what stakes are – virtual nations?

  23. MLU on November 10, 2006 at 7:02 am

    Yes, my concern was with corrupting priesthood authority.

    The desire to improve others linked with force–the state–leads to trouble. Persuasion, patience, long-suffering and love unfeigned comes to seem terribly inefficient.

  24. Locke on November 14, 2006 at 2:58 am

    Well that church has radically shifted on the way they handle the political world in the last twenty years especially. There is a correlation I believe between the increasing problems that church members are facing i.e. higher excommunication rates, inactivity rates, addiction, and depression and our current neutrality on most political issues. I believe modern revelation has stated the necessity of seperation as the world will dislike us more and more. This is a tactic of \”laying low\” until the savior comes. So can there be? No.Will there be? No. Should there be? No?

  25. Kruiser on November 28, 2006 at 6:15 pm

    RAF – Is this a call to action? Just think what it implies; an actual grassroots movement among LatterDaySaints. The first time since . . . ? I envision small groups in local areas that will not have to start out as political but could develop political sensibilities over time. In fact, they should be able to do what they want. Do not worry politics will come. This is what I call LDS EMPOWERMENT. Think of us all facing each other as equals. I mean, people within our own Stakes etc. All I have to do is run out and talk to my LDS neighbors who read this blog – except I do not know any who do. Minor obstacles. I really am in tune with what you are saying. I am a party person like yourself and think that something is long overdue in this area. Let you and I be the first two blades of grass for the effort. Do not let this post die. Keep going with it.