[Cross Posted from Sixteen Small Stones]
One of the important aspects of the LDS doctrine of personal revelation is that the Holy Spirit can and does sometimes instruct individuals to act contrary to our own reason and understanding.
So here is a little supposal:
Think of a presidential candidate that you do not support. Now put the candidate’s name into the appropriate places in the following passage:
And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should support [a specific candidate] for President; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I supported a [candidate of that ideology/party/record]. And I shrunk and would that I might not support [her/him].
And the Spirit said unto me again: Behold it is the Lord’s desire that [that candidate] be President of the United States…
We spend a lot of time debating and defending our political beliefs, and comparing political candidates to our ideals. But what if, regardless of political party, or ideology, or record, or aptitude, or personality, or anything else we might use to judge our candidates, the Lord for His own reasons wants you to support a candidate different than the one you would choose?
It seems likely that most of the time He will leave it up to our best judgement. But we should also be open to the possibility that He will prompt us contrary to our reasoning. We should make sure that we consult with the Lord in prayer about who we should support in our political decisions and not rely solely on our own understanding and political philosophies.
So, continuing with the supposal:
Once the Lord has communicated his desire, how do you go about supporting the candidate? You can’t say that you honestly agree with the candidate’s positions.
You could say that he is the best person for the job, but since you don’t know the reason why the Lord wants him in office, you don’t know that for sure. Maybe she is not the best person, but the Lord wants her in office for some other reason. All you know is that for some unknown reason, God has told you to support the election of this person.
You do not have the authority or stewardship to tell others that they should vote for the candidate because you have received a revelation that the Lord wants that candidate to be president.
And you’ve spent the last few years establishing your bonafides in a political position contrary to that of the candidate. Now you will look like a flip-flopper, or even worse, incoherent.
So what do you do?