04 June 2006

The Samuel Principle and MPA

The First Presidency (FP) of the LDS Church recently issued a letter in which they "urge our members to express themselves" on the Marriage Protection Amendment "to their elected representatives in the Senate." My feeling about this issue, for quite some time, is that it is not important to me. That is not to say anything about how others view it, just that I have never cast my vote based on this issue.

When I read the FP's letter, I thought I would obediently "express myself" by writing a letter saying, more or less:

"Dear Senator: Whether you vote 'yea' or 'nay' on June 6th will make no difference on whether I vote for you. Rather, I will continue to base my vote on other issues."

As I was preparing my Gospel Doctrine lesson this week (1 Sam 2-3, 8), I had a change of heart. In chapter 8, the children of Israel ask Samuel to appoint them a king. Samuel asks the Lord what to do and he is told that by asking for a king, Israel is rejecting the Lord. Samuel is told to “solemnly protest” choosing a king, but to let Israel make their own decision. Samuel warns of the terrible things that a king will bring, but the people respond by saying, “Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us.”

I saw some parallel in the way the Israel listened to Samuel and how I was listening to the FP. After this study, some thought, and some prayer, I have revised the letter I will write:
"Dear Senator: I hope that you will vote 'yea' on June 6th. This issue is not of singular importance to me, but is likely to influence the way I vote in upcoming elections."

I still feel stronger about other issues than about this one, and those issues will take precedence when I go to the polls. Two candidates being equal on those other issues (which also have moral implications), I will vote for the one that voted 'yea' on June 6th. (I feel that I should note that my "list of issues" is very short.)


Stephen said...

Nicely said.

BrianJ said...

Thanks--that's encouraging.