Regardless of who wins the election, I worry that there will be a lot of anger from the other side. From my perch in China, it looks like Romney might win. If so, are Mormons braced for their own Hurricane Sandy of religious bigotry from angry detractors? I see a lot of people just completely unprepared to display the tolerance that they demand of others and think the idiotic religious snubs will rise to new levels and sweep the remaining levees of tolerance. Are we ready for that?
There is a need for Latter-day Saints on
both all sides of this political battle to reach out more effectively to remind people of what our religion really stands for, regardless of whether we agree with the opinions and policies of one very famous and seemingly powerful Mormon. This need will escalate should Romney win.
I am worried that whoever wins will ultimately represent the Party rather than the people, as Presidents have to do, it seems. That means I expect the winner to pretty much move the nation in the same direction of excessive spending, excessive international meddling, and excessive interference in the lives of Americans, though the exact vehicle used and the speed of travel down that dangerous road may vary, depending on who’s in charge. But a Romney win will make a huge difference for us Mormons, either for good or for bad, depending on how things play out. I hope that he will represent his faith in a positive way and perhaps help others in the world (hello, China!) realize that Mormons aren’t all bad. A disastrous presidency could swing things the other way. Sigh. But the opportunity for good is huge, if good can be obtained.
So what do we do? Prepare for the future (a future of eroding dollars and difficult times, for the burden of debt cannot be evaded). Share the Gospel more boldly, in appropriate ways, and work harder to counter the flood of hostility we’ve already seen and the hurricane-force assaults we may yet see over the next 4 to 8 years. Even in the midst of hostility, there will be increasingly large opportunities to increase awareness and share the Gospel. May we touch hearts and open doors through this process, though it may seem pretty painful at times.
Part of the pain may come from watching good Latter-day Saints abandon their faith in light of the pressures or their own dissatisfaction with what they may see as politics mingled with Mormonism. There are opportunity for all sorts of gaps in our armor to become targets when the darts get flying in full force. Be prepared.