Compare these two prayers, one at the Republican convention, the other at the Democratic convention


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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

23 thoughts on “Compare these two prayers, one at the Republican convention, the other at the Democratic convention

  1. Wait. That second one was a prayer?

    There is honestly too much to comment on right now.

    The RNC prayer was humble with bowed head and was a supplication, and request for divine assistance.

    The DNC if you can call that a prayer was akin to something to be uttered from a Rameumptom. Declaring to God what they were going to do, and expressing thanks that they were better essentially than others.

    No humility no reverence, no recognition that it is upon Him we that we are dependent for all things.

    In a word the difference was shocking

  2. Were people booing during that second prayer? I don’t have tons of experience with prayers of the denomination(though to be fair I don’t know what one that is) but is it normal to have no one in a state of reverence?

  3. What a diference. It Reminds of Nephi praying from his garden tower and a Zoramite praying from the Rameumptom.

  4. I’m curious why you didn’t also post this prayer from the RNC:
    I’m guessing the answer comes from Simon & Garfunkel: “Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”

    For myself, I think the prayer by brother Johnson was great, as have been very many prayers at other RNC and DNC events. It’s easy to draw a misleading conclusion by cherry picking “our best” and “their worst.” Hopefully we can all exercise better judgement than that, and especially more charity, during this election year.

  5. Just for informational purposes, the Republican who prayed is Nathan Johnson, who according to the Des News is the second counselor in the Kirtland Ohio Stake Presidency where he has served since 2009. The Democrat who prayed is Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale of Ray of Hope Christian Church.

  6. The prayer by Brother Johnson was lovely and very much one of the best of all the moments at the RNC events. The prayer at the DNC was definitely one of the worst moments.

    I agree with Dave K. ” It’s easy to draw a misleading conclusion by cherry picking “our best” and “their worst.” Hopefully we can all exercise better judgement than that, and especially more charity, during this election year.”

    Better judgement and more charity, please!

  7. Dave K and K, thank you for being so self-righteous. I wrote this post knowing that we would get a few commenters of your ilk. The Murmurnacle is filled with the most self-righteous people around, and I knew I could count on a few commenters to confirm that.

    You can take this post however you want. One possible way to take it is: here is how a prayer should be done, and here is how a prayer should not be done *regardless of the political parties involved*. That is how I took it. In my opinion, there is very little to admire in either political party these days. I mean, really, Trump vs. Clinton?!!? Could you ever imagine a more horrific scenario? So, self-righteous commenters, from now on please concentrate on the content of the prayers rather than the political parties. Thanks.

  8. At least the first prayer was good. Everything else during both conventions? Not so much.

    As long as this post truly was NOT to make the RNC look good and the DNC not look good, then I agree with everything Geoff said in his previous comment.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but to me the presidential candidates are the two least appealing candidates for either party at any time in the 38 years of my life. Makes me sad.

  9. Dave K you didn’t post a link to a prayer you only posted a link to video prior to the prayer and reaction to the prayer. And while it seems his prayer was partisan, it further highlights what I Know is Geoff’s stance and attitude in these matters, that we need humility, and a uniting spirit.

    That we should hold ourselves up above another, or seek to enforce our will against others.

    If I’m not wrong Geoff is as much #nevertrump as he is #neverhillary. So this isn’t a matter of he likes one party and doesn’t like the other, in fact I know for certain Geoff isn’t Republican.

    But to contrast the prayers, isn’t about the partisan politics That fielded the people who gave the prayers, but is an example of what we should and shouldn’t be doing in our prayers.

    So chill for a bit and simply discuss what was good and what was bad. Not necessarily where it comes from politically

  10. Dave K went on a couple emotional rants, which have been deleted. If he would like to return to the subject of the post, which is to discuss the content of the prayers, his comments are welcome.

  11. I am incredibly impressed with the fluidity and humility and charity displayed by Bro. Johnson’s prayer. He prayed for our enemies, showing Christ-like love. Whenever I pray in sacrament meeting (meaning a public prayer in front of a relatively large group) I stumble around for the right thing to say. Sometimes the Spirit guides me, but very often I sound kind of repetitive and faltering compared to him. I have listened to that prayer several times now, and it is just awesome.

  12. Geoff, do there exist Youtube links or other sources for the videos?

    I have fazebook blocked at my router and can’t (nor do I want to) view fazebook content.


  13. I think that we should compare these two prayers with care. They come from two different religious traditions. But I would note that in my view, when we mingle political speech and religious speech, we should should be careful. I would personally pray in my “closet” when it comes to political matters. But I think Bro. Johnson did a very acceptable job for the task he was assigned.

    I will now attempt to serve as a bit of a gadfly for our thoughts. Are only Mormon prayers beautiful? Are there elements in the prayers of other denominations that we find either edifying or distasteful? Are these related to spiritual issues or is it a cultural bias? If we truly pray unceasingly, how should that affect our political discourse?

  14. Old Man, just personal experience: I went to Catholic church and the Congregational church many times before joining the LDS church. Meh. I have HUGE respect for the Catholic church and its many, many members, but I don’t like rote prayers in sermons. The Congregational church I went to says the Lord’s prayer during every sermon. Note: members of the congregation did not ever give public prayers any of the times I went to Mass or to the Congregational church.

    Just personal opinion: I like the participatory nature of our services (rather than having one pastor or priest give a sermon every Sunday), and I like the fact that members pray publicly all of the time. I think that was the reason that Bro. Johnson was able to get up and say such an awesome prayer: many years of practice.

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