Put your shoulder to the wheel

Those who are reading this are, to a certain degree, dissatisfied with things the way they are. Being a Mormon Democrat is not for the faint of heart; no one who is guilty of thinking “all is well in Zion” is a member of this club. While we are grateful to be Americans, grateful for our testimonies of the Savior and the restored Gospel, and (I think especially as Democrats) conscious of how all these blessings come from our Heavenly Father, we believe things can be better. A short list of our frustrations includes the following:

Why do many of our fellow Latter-day Saints seem blind to many of the injustices in today’s America?

How can a people who read the Book of Mormon every day think that a political philosophy that worships wealth, idolizes rich people, demonizes poor people and whose religious base consists of fundamentalists who deny Mormons are Christian somehow reflects their values? How can these same people read King Benjamin and complain about ‘welfare moms’ taking their pittance away from us ‘hard working people’ while ignoring the vastly larger sums the rich and powerful are pilfering to line their already fat pockets?

How can the one predominantly Mormon state in the nation, whose people supposedly value families and children so much, consistently be rock-bottom in support for public education?

How can the descendants of the loyal followers of Brigham Young not be outraged at the environmental mess we have made of Brother Brigham’s Zion?

I could go on, but you get the point. Yeah, we’re frustrated.

It’s time we do something besides sit around the table and complain to each other. An election is coming up, and it’s time to put our shoulders to the wheel and get to work. The LDS Dems have experienced explosive growth the last few years, and we’re all excited about that, but this is more than a social club. Pick a few Democratic candidates that share your values. They don’t have to be Latter-day Saints. Donate to their campaigns. Volunteer to walk with them in your neighborhoods. If your health doesn’t permit that, make phone calls. Hold a house party and get a roomful of people together to meet your candidates.

Most importantly, speak up. I was getting my recommend signed several months ago by a wonderful councilor in our stake presidency. We got to talking afterwards and he asked about my plans for running for the Utah Legislature. After learning I was running as a Democrat, he leaned in and whispered (even though we were alone): “My son and I have been discussing this for a year now, and we’ve decided we’re Democrats!”

My response was simple: My good friend, stop whispering!


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