I’m like a lot of Americans. I need to feel good about a candidate for office before I can vote for them. And it’s breaking my heart, while bringing my blood to a boil, to see the candidates for the two major parties stand up on stage and verbally duke it out. One media outlet described the most recent circus as a “scorched earth” debate. I have to agree! But let’s be honest, the whole presidential election process this time has felt different.
I was excited when it first started, and as the final two were chosen I was stunned. Now it just feels tainted and dirty. And I’m sure it is only going to get worse. What happened to candidates we could feel good about? Now I feel like we are choosing between two bad people, and trying to choose the one who will hurt our nation least. We are trying to choose the one without throwing up in our mouths. I’m truly worried about our nation.
In a recent talk Elder M. Russell Ballard gave in a regional conference, he said that if America doesn’t repent, the calamities that the scriptures foretold will come. You can watch his whole talk if you like. It’s compelling. With his comment in mind, and watching the election process unfold in gory detail, I have to point out that I feel our nation is in trouble. If those who are held up to be the best of the best, by people in power, are so despicable then I have to ask why are these people in power? Are we witnessing the effects of secret combinations like the scriptures warn about? Yes, I think so.
One scripture verse has been coming to me over and over again recently. It’s in Helaman 5:2
For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted.
That sure sounds like what is going on today. So what can we do about it? I’ve been thinking long and hard about that very thing. In the election between Obama and Romney I really liked Romney. I not only voted for him, but I even fasted that he would win. When he didn’t, I was so upset that I prayed for comfort. And the Lord told me that this was the way things were meant to turn out. So I have to trust that the Lord is still in charge, just as He was in that election. Which leads me to my point. These are the last days. As Russel M Nelson said recently
“These are the latter days, so none of us should be surprised when we see prophecy fulfilled. A host of prophets, including Isaiah, Paul, Nephi, and Mormon, foresaw that perilous times would come,1 that in our day the whole world would be in commotion…
As conflicts between nations escalate, as cowardly terrorists prey on the innocent, and as corruption in everything from business to government becomes increasingly commonplace, what can help us? What can help each of us with our personal struggles and with the rigorous challenge of living in these latter days?”
Good question. Since these are the last days, and the Lord is in charge, we are going to witness more events that will hurt our hearts. The challenge for us will be to stay close to the Lord so He can guide us. I can’t tell you how to vote in the election. I can’t even tell you right now what decision I will make in that voting booth. But I can tell you that these events have made me realize it’s getting real. And the best ways we can protect ourselves and our families are the things we have been taught at church for years.
We must pray daily. I try to say a personal prayer in the morning and at night. Our family says Grace before we eat our meals. And I love getting to witness my little boy’s night time prayers. These are all times to gain strength, share our concerns with the Lord, and be reminded that we are not alone. I find that when I turn more over to God, I feel greater peace. And I can see His reasoning for the things that happen. For example, I still don’t like Obama. But I can see why he needed to be president for some of the things that have been happening.
We should read our scriptures. When I was in school, my Bible study teacher used to say to us. “If you want to talk to God, pray. And if you want God to talk to you, read the scriptures.” She was right! I can’t tell you how often I will open the scriptures and read something I have read before, but this time it’s totally different in meaning. Either I have increased in understanding, or my life has opened my eyes to another meaning for the scripture. And it’s absolutely proof to me that God is communicating with me.
We need to be temple worthy. If you don’t know what you need to do, here is a link to the older version of the temple recommend questions. I just renewed mine, and I can tell you that these are pretty much still the same. http://www.lds-mormon.com/veilworker/recommend.shtml Being worthy to enter the Lord’s house makes us better able to hear His voice. He communicates with us all the time! But we are often distracted, and may miss the message. But if our hearts are tuned to Him, and our souls are clean, we will hear Him when He speaks to us. And that’s a huge comfort to me.
We need to draw closer as families. We are encouraged to have Family Home Evening, a weekly night where we do things as a family. We had our family night tonight, and watched a movie together. It was fun to share some time with my busy husband and sweet son. We get stronger as a family just spending time together.
You may think my solutions are too simple. But I’ve found it’s the simple things that work the best for every situation. There will come a time for action. But that will be so specific and individual that I could never tell you what you will need to do in this article. If you draw near to God, He will be able to tell you. And it will be a wonderful outcome. Because He is in charge. And even though the presidential election is one big hot mess, it’s going to be ok. We will get through this. That’s my new mantra whenever I see those two get on stage.
About Patty Sampson
Patty thrives on all things creative. You’ll often find her in the garden pretending she is a suburban farmer. She loves meeting new people, and is devoted to her friends and family. In her heart she is a Midwesterner even though life has moved her all over the country. She believes in “blooming where you’re planted” and has found purpose in every place she has been. She has a deep and abiding love for the Savior and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And she loves editing LDS Blogs because it is a constant spiritual uplift. Not many people can say their job builds their witness of the Savior.