Utah People's Party

…proclain liberty through out all the land….(Leviticus 25:10)

Candidate Selection Part One

on November 4, 2012

In order to nominate excellent candidates consistently, a party must base its selection process on true principles. As mentioned on the Introduction page, one of those true principles is that a humble person makes a better leader than a prideful person. A humble person is more likely to follow guidance from the Lord because he recognizes that he needs guidance from someone wiser than himself. Pride is a sin in and of itself and it gives rise to other sins. Traditionally, the major parties have expected candidates to appoint themselves to run for the party’s endorsement. When two or more candidates of the same party seek the same public office, the rivals have been expected to compete for the support of the party’s delegates. The delegates have been expected to choose one of the rivals and endorse him. If that were the best way to choose a leader then why has the Lord never used that system to select a prophet or any other officer of his church? The office should seek the man not the man seek the office. A careful examination of ancient scripture shows examples of the office seeking the man not the man seeking the office, with respect to political office as well as religious offices. Saul became the first king of united Israel without volunteering or doing any competing. In those ancient days, the people of Israel had a prophet whose name was Samuel.

And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people. (1 Samuel 9:17)

1 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?
24 And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.(1 Samuel 10:1, 24)

When Saul was king and his performance was not satisfactory, his replacement, David, was chosen without volunteering or doing any competing.

1 And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.

10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these.
11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. (1 Samuel 16:1, 10-13)

In the forgoing examples, the Lord called political leaders through his prophet thousands of years ago. Our Origin and Purposes Page shows that during a period in the 1800s, priesthood leaders called Utah’s political leaders just as in ancient times. Nevertheless, in our own century, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does have a Political Neutrality Policy which says among other things that the Church does not endorse or oppose candidates for public office. This policy removes the presiding officers of the Church from any direct role in the candidate selection process.

The principle is still sound in our own dispensation that the best possible leaders must be called to serve. They will not step forward on their own initiative. In our own century, who has the duty to search diligently for the good, wise and honest? Some of the things taught on the Citizens Page are so relevant to the candidate selection process that they bear repeating here.

We must urge all members as individuals to become involved in public issues within and without political parties. … One of the things that is wrong with politics [is that we] have been staying away from our district meetings where the delegates to conventions are made. When, too late, we see the wrong people on the ticket…. (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1996], 363).

As president Lee teaches us, if we are wise, some of our political involvement will occur many months before each general election, so that we have the best possible candidates to support on election day. It is important to learn, that getting the right candidate into each race is the shared duty of the candidate himself and of his fellow citizens.

We must become involved in civic affairs. As citizens … we cannot do our duty and be idle spectators. It is vital that we follow this counsel from the Lord: “Honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil” (Doctrine and Covenants 98:10) (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 683).

Note that the Lord says here that seeking the good, wise and honest to be our political leaders should happen. Every one else can point out that the Lord did not assign him the duty of doing the seeking any more than he assigned that duty to you or to me, so this duty is equally distributed over all the citizens. What then is the duty of a citizen selected by his peers as their candidate? The same as any citizen selected by his peers to represent them. According to President Harold B. Lee–

The reason why we get into the hands of autocrats in politics is because many of us criticize and stay home and don’t go to our district meetings. And we don’t allow ourselves to become candidates, or representatives to vote for those who will represent us in the nation, or the county, or the state (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, 367).

President Lee here implies that each of us should be a candidate if his peers find him when they or their representatives do the needed search. Furthermore, each of us should serve as a representative if our peers wish us to represent them.

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