May 23 2009

Leslie Switzer, Toronto, Canada – I must follow my own sense of integrity

Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of man kind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own … The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional ‘do-gooder,’ who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others—with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.”(The Proper Role of Government, Ezra T. Benson)

I spent 30 years in a church which taught me that nothing was more sacred than my agency – my right to choose how I would live my life. I was taught that it was Satan’s plan to force people to live a righteous life.

The LDS Church also promised me that it would never get involved in political matters, and we were always only encouraged to get out and vote according to our own conscience. They lied.

They can certainly lead by example, and teach their own members how they should live. But the law states that there should be a separation between Church and State. It is wrong for any religion to impose their views on the rest of society.

The 11th Article of Faith reads:

“We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

They certainly have no problems claiming the first part of this Article of Faith, but they seem to have a major problem with believing in the second part of it. Do they truly allow all men that same privilege? It doesn’t look like it to me.

The degree to which the LDS Church became involved in this political campaign both shocked and appalled me. My integrity and my conscience will no longer allow me to support this organization, so I have sent in my formal resignation.

I have since learned just how involved the Church was in fighting the civil rights of women, blacks, and even mixed-race marriages in the past. And now they fight the rights of gays and lesbians as well.

I will no longer be associated with this bigoted organization. Jesus sought out and loved those who were rejected by society. The LDS Church shuns them. It simply cannot be God’s true church, and I will not accept it, or the Mormon god as such.

It feels wonderful to be free of the box that I once lived in. I didn’t even realize that I was in a box, until I left. I am finally at peace.

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