Sad Realities of the 2016 Election Cycle

Sad Realities of the 2016 Election Cycle

While I’ve been outspoken here and there on social media about the state of the 2016 presidential race I haven’t said much here.

That could be either because I’m rendered speechless by all that has transpired or that I’ve really just moved on.

I’ve never thought my vote mattered for much. Usually I felt it a responsibility to vote because I was taught it was my civic duty to do so. I still agree with that. But I know that given where I live and what I think that I represented a voting demographic that holds no sway.

I admit to being one of those voters who chose Ross Perot in 1992, thus contributing to the election of Bill Clinton. I don’t blame myself for Clinton’s election but I see the thinking of how third-party voters like myself had swung the election in his direction.

That presents the voter with a dilemma — do you vote your own conscience or simply for the better outcome, knowing that a vote for a louse might only prevent the election of an even bigger louse?

I’ve decided that even if I lived in a place where my vote mattered I’d still vote my principles.

And that brings us to a discussion of the choices this year.

The Democrats have all been about Hillary Clinton, despite her clear record of corruption and dishonesty. I could never in my wildest dreams cast a vote for her.

The Republicans had as many as 17 running for President and I couldn’t support a single one of them.

In fact, when the Republican Congress voted to repeal Obamacare last fall — and then when it was subsequently vetoed by the President — I was aghast to see that not a single Republican in Congress lifted a finger to even try to overturn the veto. They all wanted to say they voted to repeal it — but when the rubber met the road they didn’t have the guts to see it through. We’ve seen the Republicans lay down like this for more than 20 years now.

So I’ve been even more critical of Republicans that I have of Democrats this cycle. At least Democrats do what they say they’re going to do. Republicans flat out lie.

I’m, for the first time in my voting life, thinking that finally I may have others out there as angry as myself. Maybe, just maybe — I thought, in error — my vote would matter.

And people showing up at the primaries are mad, alright. They seem to be choosing Donald Trump in their angered state.

And with that I’m right back to where I started.

I do not share their enthusiasm for Donald Trump. In fact, I loathe this guy and have for quite a while.

Well, back up.

At first I was pretty amused by Trump’s shenanigans. I liked the fact he was fracturing the Republican party.

I felt if anyone could fuel a third party or perhaps run independently it would be Trump. But the hope was that five or six would jump in the race for November — not the primaries — so that the voters would really have choices and so that the process would be stretched beyond party politics.

It’s not to be. Trump has steamrolled the Republican primaries and he appears positioned to get the nomination.

Establishment types are all over themselves swearing that won’t happen and many are painting a scenario where if Trump does get enough delegates they will snag the nomination from him in a convention fight. Some are even predicting third party runs by others just because they know there is an element of people — meaning ME — who will never vote for the profane, nonsensical, blowhard that is Donald Trump.

It all makes for great television.

But it all leads to a lousy future for the USA. I have nightmares of voting in November with only Clinton and Trump as choices. I won’t do it. I will literally write in a name than accept those two choices.

This isn’t the kind of situation, in my mind, where you hold your nose and accept the stink of one candidate over another.

We know how this ends. I read the Book of Mormon and I see where this is going.

When the riots begin I will not participate in them.

I will continue to be angry. I will continue to cast my vote. I will likely continue to feel my vote doesn’t count.

But I won’t lose my head and I refuse to contribute to the chaos around me.

This is a time to stand for what is right. Make no mistake.

Ordain Women Fails Doctrine Tests

Ordain Women Fails Doctrine Tests

Ordain Women has a new initiative they call “Ready to Witness”. They claim that it focuses on roles women are excluded from that, in their view, are not gender specific due to doctrine but rather because of policy.

For example, they want women to be able to serve as official witnesses in temple sealing ceremonies and baptisms. They want to be able to hold babies during priesthood baby blessings. They also want women to be able to sit with young women during worthiness interviews conducted by male leaders to, “witness and protect them.”

Debra Jenson, Board Chair for Ordain Women, said they chose those four specific examples because they believe most LDS women can relate to at least one instance personally as a time they were kept from participating. She said the four examples are questions of policy rather than doctrine, so they hope that their campaign leads to a change in those policies.

Jenson also shared a personal experience with the issue, saying she wanted to have a woman serve as a witness to her wedding but had to choose a male witness instead.

“There were women in my life who had been with me through this journey and taught me so much about who I was, and had recited the Young Women’s theme, which is ‘We will stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places,’ and these women were not allowed to be the official witnesses at my wedding,’” she said.

The Ready to Witness Campaign urges participants to: “Ask of why, when women were chosen to serve as the first witnesses of the resurrected Christ, these policies are in place to keep women from serving as witnesses to these moments in our church.”

Debra Jenson needs to go back to seminary. These are most certainly “doctrinal” issues.

First of all, you can have all the women you want in a sealing room to witness a temple ceremony. Nobody is denied. The ordinance — which is a Priesthood function — requires two “official” witnesses operating under the Priesthood. They sign the documents related to the ceremony, where they exist. But more importantly they fulfill the role that clearly falls under Priesthood order. On this topic the Lord, more than once, has been very specific: “…none shall be exempted from the justice and the laws of God, that all things may be done in order and in solemnity before him, according to truth and righteousness.” (D&C 107:84)

What that means is when any ordinance is ratified those witnesses — as Priesthood holders — will step forward to give their witness. The issue of gender is irrelevant. What matters is that these things are done “in order” and according to the will of the Lord by those called and set apart for this purpose.

The same is true of baptisms. Baptisms are performed by those who hold the Priesthood. Witnesses in an official capacity serve in this function to make and complete the official record. There might be lots of others in the room — men and women alike — but only two are functioning in this official capacity. That is their role and in most cases their priesthood assignment.

Women are NOT denied the opportunity to witness in any of these cases.

I think it is important to note that in most of these cases many men are “excluded” too — and not because there is anything wrong with them. But there are functions within the Priesthood that belong only to those called to perform them. Patriarchs, for example, give patriarchal blessings. There are individuals specifically called to this purpose. The is the order of the Lord — how he has set it up and it is His Priesthood and His right to organize it as he sees fit in His Church.

Women likewise are NOT denied the opportunity to sit in on personal interviews. As parents that option is always open to us.

Once again, Ordain Women has failed to do their homework and their methods continue to reflect poorly on their gospel understanding. They should be petitioning the Lord on these issues, not launching campaign, disrupting meetings or holding press conferences. These are not the actions of disciples.