This Des News profile does a very good job summarizing the life of Sen. Harry Reid, who passed away today at 82.
To summarize: Sen. Reid was a good family man, a quiet but faithful supporter of the Church and an awful politician.
This is the man who never apologized about lying about Mitt Romney’s taxes and even bragged about it. But at the same time I would like to point out that Church officials were always appreciative of Sen. Reid’s work to promote the work of the Gospel behind the scenes:
Ralph Hardy Jr., a lawyer and past chairman of the church’s public affairs advisory committee in Washington, D.C., said in 2017 that Reid’s leadership roles in Congress and his commitment to the church made him a natural person to turn to. He called Reid’s efforts on Latter-day Saint issues extraordinary.
“In my personal experience, Sen. Reid has extended himself and been willing to help and roll up his sleeves and get us introduced to the right people and speak well for us,” said Hardy, who served as an area authority and stake president.
If there is one lesson we can learn from Sen. Reid’s life, it is that good men who get involved in politics often end up very dirty. But yet we latter-day Saints are encouraged to get involved in political affairs. It is one of the many balancing acts we carry out as imperfect human beings on this Earth.
On M*, we have long been critical of Sen. Reid’s ugly politics, while also recognizing he was a faithful member of the Church. Here are some of the posts we have written over the years:
NOTE: I have never believed there is any value in saying only nice things about politicians who pass away. Harry Reid decided of own free will and choice to go into politics and to become a leader of the Democrats in the Senate. It is fair, and I would say expected, that we would review his political career, which in the case of Sen. Reid was mostly an embarrassment to Church members. But I want to make it completely clear that I do not pretend to judge Sen. Reid’s worthiness to stand before God — I have neither the authority nor the interest in doing so. By most accounts Sen. Reid was a loyal Church member who was a good family man, regularly went to the temple and supported the Brethren. At the end of the day, that is much more important than his politics.