LDS Church urges members to oppose ballot issues in 4 Western states; social media weighs in

Salt Lake Temple. Photo courtesy: Intellectual Reserve, Inc

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 15, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has mailed a letter to congregations in four Western states asking members and leaders to vote against two ballot issues.

● One letter asks LDS Church members and leaders in Arizona, California and Nevada to vote against legalizing recreational marijuana use in those states.

● The other letter asks church members and leaders in Colorado to vote against assisted suicide, which would require a physician-prescribed medication, and would be available to terminally ill patients with less than six months to live.

The letters, which were confirmed authentic by LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins, were both dated Oct. 12 and sent from the Office of the First Presidency.

Both letters are generating considerable support and opposition on social media.

The full text of each letter follows:

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Recreational marijuana

Lawmakers and voters in several states, including Arizona, California, and Nevada, are considering legalizing the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.

Drug abuse in the United States is at epidemic proportions, and the dangers of marijuana to public health and safety are well documented. Recent studies have shed light particularly on the risks that marijuana use poses to brain development in youth. The accessibility of recreational marijuana in the home is also a danger to children.

we urge Church members to let their voices be heard in opposition to the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Sincerely, (signed by) Thomas S. Monson, Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Assisted suicide

Lawmakers and voters in some states, including Colorado, are seeking to legalize physician-assisted suicide. The Church maintains a firm belief in the sanctity of human life and opposes deliberately taking the life of a peson even when the person may be suffering from an incurable condition or disease (see Handbook 2: Administering the Church (2010), 21.3.3). Life is a sacred gift and should be cherished even in difficult circumstances.

Physician-assisted suicide is permitted by law in some countries and a few states in the United States. Experience suggests that such legalization can endanger the vulnerable, erode trust in the medical profession, and cheapens human life and dignity. Moreover, the decision to end one’s life carries a lasting impact far beyond the person whose life is ending.

While the Church opposes physician-assisted suicide, members should not feel obligated to extend mortal life through means that are unreasonable. Decisions in such cases are best made by family members after receiving wise and competent medical advice and seeking divine guidance though fasting and prayer (see Handbook 2: Administering the Church (2010 21.3.8).

 We urge Church members to let their voices be heard in opposition to measures that would legalize physician-assisted suicide.

Sincerely, (signed by) Thomas S. Monson, Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf

* * *

Reactions on social media were mixed, and included the following posts on the Facebook page of KSL television, which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Below are seven consecutive comments:

• “Hey, bug off. It’s a personal decision.”

• “If you are aren’t an active member of the church, don’t worry about it. If you are an active member, it all goes back to these men being true Prophet’s and inspired by God. (Which they are). Part of following and sustaining them is trusting in their counsel even if you may not understand it all.”

• “If you want to try and influence legislation and laws THEN YOU NEED TO PAY TAXES! You can’t be tax exempt and still try and influence law and government.”

• “The church is simply giving direction to its congregation. That is all. They are not forcing anyone to do anything. Killing yourself is suicide, even if you are terminal. Therefore the church is against it. Why are people shocked over it? Are people going to bash the church because they are against abortion and gay marriage? Probably….but they follow the word of God…”

• “Well,…since the prophet and his counselors said it then it must be from God… please. This is so wrong on many levels. Now, in order to be considered a “good latter day saint” masses of people will feel obligated to go in opposition to what is actually right and vote in favor of a couple of old men’s political views. A lot of power there. I am appalled that they would even go there.”

• “I’m LDS and I strongly disagree with our leaders advising members about politics. If a member of the media asks the church its stance on a certain issue, sure, release a statement. But advising members on how to vote? No. I firmly believe in the division of church and State. And sadly, many people will vote a certain way simply because “the Prophet said to” rather than studying the issues and forming their own opinions.”

• “The church needs to keep their elders or whatever out if politics for everyone’s sake they are the worst ppl out of all the churches always trying to literally push their beliefs on everyone they come in contact with!”


  1. The Colorado promoters of assisted suicide are guilty of false advertising. Their bills do not deliver as promised. If they are really supporting individual choices and rights they would provide an ordinary witness to the self administration of the lethal dose. Without a witness they are promoting forced euthanasia. I learned after caring for my wife’s last 18 months of declining autonomy. I learned that you can work on 4 hours sleep. I am focused on how this Prop 106 is written, it’s omissions and how it could be administered to my wife.
    Colorado Prop 106 provides no ordinary witness to the “self-administration of poison”.
    Even as the promoters have inundated us with their chant that the lethal dose “must be self-administered” and mentioned it 9 times in their 11 page Prop 106 they do not provide an ordinary witness to the act. That omission effectively eviscerates all of the so called safeguards. The difference between having a witness to “self administration” and no witness is that one honors individual rights and the other is non voluntary euthanasia. A promoter was once asked “why don’t you just legalize euthanasia?” He said “the public is not ready to accept euthanasia.”
    The process seems to be full of requirements on the front end up until the script is written. Then an heir can pick up the script and administer it without oversight. Know that only 2% of the doctors have attended these events in other states.
    Even the front end “requirements” have fatal flaws. A predatory heir may be a witness to the initial request along with a staff member of the facility. Does that sound like good public policy?
    The rest of the family is not required to be contacted. And everyone involved gets instant immunity. The death certificate is falsified by this law which makes it impossible to prosecute a murder when the death certificate states the underlying illness is the cause of death. There really is no transparent reason not to post poison as the cause.
    This bill Final #145 Article 48 provides that a predatory heir can facilitate the signup process, murder the individual and receive immunity all before the rest of the family is notified. This is neither reasonable nor prudent public policy. This is dangerous public policy that puts the entire population (all ages) at risk of exploitation by the medical-industrial-complex, organ traffickers and predatory heirs.
    I encourage people to read the Oregon model bill before taking a, or expounding on their position. We will agree no matter our starting position that this Prop 106 does not deliver.
    This bill is not the one.
    Respectfully submitted,
    Bradley Williams
    MTaas dot org

  2. In other breaking news, Secularists and Govt officials would like to see the books of the LDS church opened to see if they really are as charitable as they claim. Tax exemptions are a privilege that can be taken away, nowhere in the Constitution are they considered a right.

  3. The LDS church gives a lot. Being some one who prints checks, I see how much in just one ward we give and help. Times that by all the wards in every country. It amounts to a lot of help. It goes to more than just members and active members. That does not count for all that is given in time of disaster.

  4. Let’s try this one,

    Amendment I
    CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  5. Mainstream media lacks the eternal perspective of things as they are.

    In several occasions, mainstream media promotes a counterfeit plan that appears to bring about happiness, yet, it brings about mockery of the body and soul; can you imagine mainstream media’s reporting on the day they are to report their programming and broadcasting to Our Creator?

    By doing what is right, you promote long and lasting positive outcomes.

    By doing what is popular, you promote long and lasting consequences.

    As stewards of these lands, it matters to receive wise counsel, pray about it, and act upon our answer.

    We are accountable for what we do. This is the time to sustain what’s right through our gift of casting a vote.


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