The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has updated its Thematic page “Political neutrality” on ChurchofJesusChrist.org, the June 1 update includes an expansion of the title to “Political Neutrality and Participation.”
The revision includes a new main paragraph, which reads:
“The work of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, to strengthen individuals and families, and to care for those in need. The Church does not seek to elect government officials, support or oppose political parties, or generally take sides in world conflicts. The Church is neutral in matters of politics within or between the many nations, lands and peoples of the world. However, as an institution, it reserves the right to address issues that it believes have significant moral consequences or that directly affect the mission, teachings, or operations of the Church.
Another new one on the topic page is a paragraph under the subheading “Conclusion,” which reads:
“To navigate the application of these principles of political neutrality and participation in a complex and ever-changing world, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will continue to seek prophetic wisdom and revelation on these questions. »
The topic page always contains bulleted lists of what the Church does and does not do in political matters.
- Do not support, promote or oppose any political parties, candidates or platforms.
- Not permit the use of meeting places, membership lists, or other resources for partisan political purposes – with a newly added link to the General Handbook on the Appropriate Use of Church Buildings and Property.
- Do not advise members on how to vote or direct government officials or party leaders in their duties.
The “to do” list includes more revisions and additional material and now reads in full:
- “Believe and teach that members are to be “submissive to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, obeying, honoring, and upholding the law” (Article of Faith 1:12).
- “Recognizes a universal right to the “free exercise of conscience” and believes that all individuals and institutions should be able to publicly express their views on issues facing society (Doctrine and Covenants 134).
- “Encourage its members to play a role as responsible citizens in their communities, in particular by informing themselves about issues and voting in elections, participating in governance processes and (according to their desire) with a view to accessing elected positions , appointed or volunteers.
- “Expect its members to engage in the political process in an informed and civil manner, respecting that Church members come from varied backgrounds and experiences and may have differences of opinion on partisan political issues. The Church also encourages its members to keep all communications (including on social media) respectful and aligned with Christ-like behavior.
- “Ask candidates for office not to suggest that their candidacy or agenda is supported by the Church.
- “Providing humanitarian assistance around the world, including in areas of international conflict. Although political conflict may be a factor in the need for assistance, the Church generally does not comment on the conflict itself. Rather, the Church seeks to live out the Savior’s two great commandments – to love God and neighbor – by relieving suffering wherever it is found, regardless of race, nationality, tribe, political belief or affiliation. religious affiliation of the persons concerned.
The full updated statement can be viewed at Newsroom.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.