Politics and Preaching

Reading: Alma 4:16-19

Imagine if the president of the United States called a press conference and announced that after looking at  all of the problems the country faced he decided that the best, most effective thing he could do to help the country was to resign as president and instead travel the country preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.  To most people this scenario seems ridiculous, yet it happened in the Book of Mormon.

Alma, as the new chief judge, was troubled by the problems in the land of the Nephites and so found another honorable man to take over his position as chief judge.  In Alma 4:19 it says:

And this he did that he himself might go forth among his people, or among the people of Nephi, that he might preach the word of God unto them, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty, and that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people, seeing no way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them.

The church is very careful to remain neutral on political issues, and will only take any kind of position when they feel that the issue is moral, which happens very rarely.  This is just my own thinking, but it seems to me that part of the reason they do this is because they realize the same thing that Alma did: that the best way to help people was in reaching out with testimony, not by making laws.

Today it is easy to get wrapped up in the drama and emotion of politics.  Sometimes I feel like there is very little I can do because I am not in a position of power.  Yet, here we learn that as members of the church with the pure gospel we are in a greater position to improve the country than most politicians.  Like Alma of old, we can do more by sharing the gospel than an elected official can do by changing laws.

Today I am going to pray for help to see opportunities to share the gospel, and for the wisdom and courage to do so wisely.

Have you noticed times where the conversion to an ideal was more effective than an enforced rule? Can you think of any hot political issues where people’s positions might be affected by their conversion to the gospel?


1 comment so far

  1. Michaela Stephens on

    “Have you noticed times where the conversion to an ideal was more effective than an enforced rule?”

    Let’s take the example of the honor code at BYU. I believe that most students at BYU are already personally converted to the principles in the honor code before they come to BYU, which is why it is so successful.

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