Character and the oath of office

Jeff Lindsay’s post in Mormanity yesterday brought up an issue from a former presidential election that was oft repeated at the time. It was refreshing to read it again. It has to do with character. Isn’t that ultimately why we vote from who we do in the presidential election? I think I have made it clear who I am voting for in this election. My choice is based on character.

After quoting D&C 98:6-10 Jeff said, “As a nation, our respect for personal integrity and moral character seems to be at a low. Scoundrels can be our celebrities, our leaders, and our heroes, and those who are uncomfortable with that are often put down for being judgmental and intolerant.” Indeed, some celebrities are worse than scoundrels, yet they are lifted up.

“Ultimately, it was the moral character – in spite of many flaws – among our Founding Fathers that propelled them to risk their lives and their fortunes for the freedom of this land. It is the moral character of wise leaders that we need more than ever in business, in politics, in religion, and our own families and lives.” Ain’t it the truth, Jeff, ain’t it the truth!

In my scripture reading this morning I went back to the earliest chapters of the Book of Mormon and read once again how Zoram became a member of Lehi’s family when they left Jerusalem. Nephi swore to him with an oath that he need not fear and that if he would make an oath with them to go with them that he would be a free man from that day forward.

I have always found it amazing what Nephi wrote concerning the conclusion of this exchange of oaths. He said, “And it came to pass that when Zoram had made an oath unto us, our fears did cease concerning him.” What a different world this would be if men took their oaths seriously and kept them with exactness and honor. The President of the US takes an oath, doesn’t he?

What do you think? Does taking an oath of office have anything to do with moral character?

2 thoughts on “Character and the oath of office”

  1. I think that it should, but like many people, I’m skeptical that it does anymore. Your point about Nephi and Zoram is spot on. A handshake was all that was needed for both parties to feel comfortable with each other. I guess that as I ponder this subject, what I need to make sure of is that I am honest in my dealings with all that I come in contact with. It’s got to start somewhere, so it might as well be me. Nice post.

  2. Tim Malone, MCSE

    Thanks Dan. I’ve been to your blog once or twice and have enjoyed the scriptural commentary there. I notice that several bloggers like you, me and Jeff use their blogs to enhance their scripture study. For me, it helps me to make sure I study daily because I want to find something worthwhile to write about. Oh, by the way, I liked your FeedJIT widget so I got one myself. Cool!

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