My hesitation is certainly NOT based on the first criteria, because Mormons share my concerns and values when related to the culture in which we live. It’s on the second criteria that I think Mormons fail the test for candidacy. To believe that Mormonism is true, a person has to make a character decision about the man we know as Joseph Smith. Mormons have to assess this man’s character and decide if he was someone who was telling the truth or someone who was, quite frankly, lying. Each and every Mormon has to decide if Joseph is reliable and trustworthy. It’s important for every Mormon to look at all the evidence that is out there related to Joseph and make a decision based on this evidence.
And Joseph clearly has a problem. There is DIRECT, PHYSICAL EVIDENCE that demonstrates he is NOT who he said he was. It’s called the Book of Abraham. Unlike any other faith system on planet earth, there is a piece of physical evidence that presents itself as the “smoking gun” and exposes Joseph. As a detective who was seeking spiritual truth and open to the possibility that Mormonism was true, I concluded that it was false when I discovered this evidence. As a result, I’ve written quite a bit about it HERE and HERE.
I am hesitant to vote for a Mormon (and I certainly would not vote for a Mormon if there is another qualified candidate in the field) based on the fact that Mormons either ignore the evidence of the Book of Abraham or deny the truth about this evidence when they are assessing the character and reliability of Joseph. And we certainly don’t want a president who fails to investigate the truth about people. Why is this so important? Because so many IMPORTANT government positions are NOT elected positions but are instead APPOINTED positions. Some of the most important work done in our government is done by people that have been chosen by the president. Think about it. You and I don’t get to vote for Supreme Court Justices. You and I don’t get to vote for the people who lead these important departments:
Department of the Interior
Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of Education
Department of Agriculture
Department of Health & Human Services
Department of Housing-Urban Development
These are incredibly important jobs done by people who are appointed by our president. If a Mormon can’t even assess the nature of Joseph from the direct physical evidence, how are we supposed to trust him or her to appoint the most important people in our government? How many times has our current president been criticized for his poor choices of appointments? It’s fair to assess the ability a candidate has to make wise choices and judgments about people, and Mormons simply can’t pass this important test.
That’s why I have a true hesitation when it comes to voting for a Mormon candidate. It has nothing to do with the religious details or the values he or she may hold. It has everything to do with the evidence and how a candidate assesses this evidence to decide if something is true. (More on this issue HERE)