Love thy Persecuted Neighbor

The following is adapted from a Sacrament Meeting talk given by the author, Amy Howell Oglesby:

My assigned topic today is the 12th Article of Faith: “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law”.

On the subject of religious freedom, Elder D. Todd Christofferson has said, “A robust religious freedom is the freedom to live one’s religion or belief in a legal, political, and social environment that is tolerant, respectful, and accommodating of diverse beliefs”.

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Gun Violence, Our Public Health Crisis

Like any good millennial, I recently decided to butt into a Facebook debate about gun control. In the wake of the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, a friend shared a popular video from last year of President Obama assuring a town hall questioner that “I’m not trying to disarm you.” Another friend commented with the usual second amendment talking points: “but good guys with guns,” “laws don’t stop criminals,” and “are we going to regulate anything that could be used in violence/suicide?” 

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The State of Health Care in Utah

Two years ago my state representative Greg Hughes held a town hall meeting where he promised his constituents Utah's poor would have better health care access under a Republican president. We now have a Republican president. Speaker Hughes has found that he can't get his special waiver for a capped Medicaid expansion because the person who needs authorize it resigned, the day after meeting with him.

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Standing Up to Donald Trump

In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy from Wisconsin rose from relative obscurity when he shocked the country with the claim that many State Department workers were colluding and aiding the Communist Party.  McCarthy’s communist accusations continued to gain momentum until the nationally televised Army–McCarthy hearings in early 1954. During that hearing, McCarthy charged that an aide of Army Counsel Joseph Welch’s had ties to a Communist organization. In full view of the American public, Welch defended his aide, countering McCarthy's voluble assertions with a stern response that ultimately ended McCarthy's career: "Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness…Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?"

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Review: Choosing the Right

I was serving as Ward Mission Leader in North Carolina during the 2012 election. The members of my ward were some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Kind, charitable, loving. But it didn’t take many months of Obama vs. Romney campaigning until I came to a somewhat surprising realization: I began to hope the missionaries would not bring politically liberal investigators to church meetings until after election day.

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Did America Elect a King, Rather than a President?

The Boy-Man Who Would Be King, or, The Bawdy Politic

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Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News

Recent GOP attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare) have caused a lot of angst in the medical community. Nearly every major physician, patient, and healthcare advocacy group has come out in strong opposition to the current Senate bill, or Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). The American Medical Association (AMA), in a rare moment of courage, has taken the lead with their Patients Before Politics campaign.


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God Bless America....and Everyone Else

God Bless America…and Everyone Else
by Crystal Young-Otterstrom


The following is a talk I gave last Sunday in my ward in Salt Lake City, Utah. I thought our readers on Mormon Press might enjoy giving it a read. What follows has a few edits that are different from what I read in church.

When [my bishopric member] asked my husband and I to speak a couple of weeks ago on the topic of patriotism/America is a choice land/4th of July, etc., I laughed and replied, “Are you sure you want us to talk about that subject? You might not like what we have to say on the topic.” But [my bishopric member] is a good person and he said that he would love to hear what we have to say on this topic. So here we go.

Typically among American Mormons, this talk goes something like this: “America is a choice land, the greatest land, a land that only certain special, righteous people are led to in order to create a land of freedom for its inhabitants. When they didn’t live righteously, they got destroyed. God led the Jaredites here, they got destroyed. God led the Nephites and their cousins the Lamanites here; the Lamanites were left standing and the Nephites got destroyed. God led Christopher Columbus who brought Europeans here, some of whom became the inspired founding fathers.* These inspired founding fathers led a rebellion against England, wrote the Constitution, made America the greatest and most blessed country in the world, a country based on religious freedom that allowed Joseph Smith to restore the Mormon faith, and if this country doesn’t get back to being righteous and moral, we’re going to get destroyed just like the Jaredites and Nephites.”

* Even though the majority of our founding fathers were deists which is basically enlightenment for agnostic or atheist, but hey, agnostic and atheist people have as much of a right to inspiration as do believers!

Well, this won’t be a surprise to anyone in this ward who knows me well, but my talk isn’t going to be that talk.


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Utah Democratic Party Candidates respond to LDS Dems

The LDS Dems Caucus in Utah sent questions to all the current candidates for Utah Democratic Party leadership positions. 

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Excuse Me While I Destroy Your Agency

With Donald Trump as President, political discussions are heating up on Facebook, in living rooms, and in ward foyers around the country. As someone who has had a fair number of these discussions myself, and as someone who falls solidly on the left side of the political spectrum, one of the arguments I hear most often from my fellow Mormons suggests that I’m in favor of Satan’s plan.

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