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An Official Statement on Political, Governmental, and Community Affairs

In a letter to General Authorities and local leaders in the United States, the First Presidency encouraged members of the Church to be ``full participants in political, governmental and community affairs.'' The letter, dated Jan. 15, was to be read in sacrament meetings.

The full text of the letter follows:

We wish to reiterate the divine counsel that members ``should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness,'' while using gospel principles as a guide and while cooperating with other like-minded individuals. (D&C 58:27.)

Through such wise participation as citizens, we are then in better compliance with this scripture:

``Governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them.'' (D&C 134:1.)

Therefore, as in the past, we urge members of the Church to be full participants in political, governmental, and community affairs. Members of the Church are under special obligations to seek out and then uphold those leaders who are ``wise,'' ``good,'' and ``honest.'' (See D&C 98:10.)

Thus, we strongly urge men and women to be willing to serve on school boards, city and county councils and commissions, state legislatures, and other high offices of either election or appointment, including involvement in the political party of their choice.

While the Church does not endorse political candidates, platforms, or parties, members are counseled to study the candidates carefully and vote for those individuals they believe will act with integrity and in ways conducive to good communities and good government. Hence, political candidates are asked not to imply that their candidacy is endorsed by the Church or its leaders.

As always, Church facilities may not be used for political purposes, nor Church directories or mailing lists.

Sincerely yours,

The First Presidency

(See Basic Beliefs home page; Doctrines of the Gospel home page; Teachings About Law home page; Politics home page)

1997 LDS Church News and Deseret News Publishing Co.

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