As a fellow member of the saints, I wish to write a letter to you in regards to some concerns I have. We are called of God to set a righteous and good example to the world. In many ways over your life, I believe you have succeeded in doing this. I do have a fear, however, that some of your statements divide, rather than unite the saints of God.
Christ has called on us to “be one, and if ye are not one, ye are not mine” (D&C 38:7). Interestingly, this command comes as a warning regarding the evils and secret combinations that are ever growing in the world.
“Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land. I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (vv 29-30).
Recently you have made some claims regarding your fellow saint, Mitt Romney. Now I understand there are political differences. I expect the two of you to be able to speak in regards to such differences. But it seems that some of your recent statements have gone beyond politics and into dividing the saints.
For example, “I think it is much easier to be a good member of the Church and a Democrat than a good member of the Church and a Republican.”
Given that 80% of American Mormons are Republicans, you imply that 80% are not good members of the Church. We have had prophets, apostles, stake presidents and mission presidents who are Republicans. Are you suggesting they were poor/bad members because they were Republicans? Would it not have been better to say, “I think it is much easier for me to be a good member of the Church and a Democrat.” Period. It would have been an honest and non-divisive statement.
Next, you claimed that Mitt Romney had not paid any taxes for 10 years. This suggests that he may have broken the law and should be a felon. Recently, Romney provided a summary of his tax returns over the last 20 years, which shows he did pay all his taxes over that time. When it came time for you to apologize for such a statement, we heard crickets.
My problem with this is, we had 1/2 the American population thinking that a former stake president and a key representative of the Church in Massachusetts, was a criminal. Just how is that supposed to unite the saints, bring good will towards the Church, or help missionaries get into people’s homes? If this is your way of helping bring the Church out of obscurity, then by all means, please stop! We get better press from the Book of Mormon musical.
Having set up a straw man Mitt Romney to knock down, you now call him “sullied” and a bad Mormon. Really? Just who called you to be his bishop and judge in Israel? Has he lost his temple recommend over his felonious actions? Has the Church ever disfellowshipped or excommunicated him? No. Rather, he is a member in good standing, just as you are.
Harry, go ahead and play in the political sandbox, but keep the Church out of it. When you open your mouth up and make such spurious claims, you not only sully your own reputation, but that of the Church. It shows that Mormons can lie with the worst of them, can harshly judge others with the worst of them, and are not Christ-like in their speech.
I still consider you a good member and fellow saint. As long as your bishop and stake president think you are worthy of your temple recommend, so do I. I do not expect any of us to be perfect. However, it is unwise and unbecoming a Saint to make such brash statements as these. I fear you will divide the Church as much as the nation is divided.
Remember, Jesus told the Nephites that contention is the doctrine of Satan. We are to be one even as the Godhead is one. We cannot build Zion if we bear false witness against our fellow saints, and divide the saints one against another. Go ahead and speak out against Mitt’s political ideas, but when it comes to contention and dividing the saints, we should listen to President Uchtdorf, who recently said, “Stop it!”
I hope that God will bless you as Senate Majority Leader that you will be a force for good and righteousness, seeking to unite the nation and not divide it. When Americans think of Senator/Brother Harry Reid, I hope they see a quality servant of the nation, as were Mike Mansfield, Sam Nunn, and many other good Democratic and Christian senators before you.
(for those who agree and would like to add their names to this letter, please do so in the comments).