"Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.
"And I give unto you a commandement, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God" (D&C 98:10-11).
As I have considered the nearing election, this admonition from the Lord has been helpful. It bestows a responsibility upon each of us to discern honest men from liars, good men from bad, and wise men from foolish.
Earlier today I read part of a letter from George Washington to Alexander Hamilton. It was written a year prior to his acceptance of the presidency:
"Every personal consideration conspires to rivet me (if I may use the expression) to retirement. At my time of life, and under my circumstances, nothing in this world can ever draw me from it, unless it be a conviction that the partiality of my countrymen had made my services absolutely necessary, joined to a fear that my refusal might induce a belief that I preferred the conservation of my own reputation and private ease, to the good of my country. After all, if I should conceive myself in a manner constrained to accept, I call heaven to witness, that this very act would be the greatest sacrifice of my personal feelings and wishes that ever I have been called to make. It would be to forego repose and domestick enjoyment for trouble, perhaps publick obloquy; for I should consider myself as entering upon an unexplored field, enveloped on every side with clouds and darkness" (Bancroft, The Life of George Washington, vol. 2, p. 81, quoted in Awakening to our Awful Situation.).
Following his election Washington recorded in his journal:
"About ten o'clock, I bade farewell to Mount Vernon, to private life, and to domestick felicity; and with a mind oppressed with more anxious and painful sensations than I have words to express, set out for New York, with the best dispositions to render service to my country in obedience to its call..." (Ibid, p. 82.).
Our current two major presidential candidates appear different than Washington. There is almost a clawing to get on top. The candidates both utilize slander as a tool; tearing down to get ahead. Then again, there is a lot to attack. Who can blame them?
These are terrible times. Now more than any time in our history we are "enveloped on every side with clouds and darkness." Though we might soon lose control, the Lord never has. Whoever ends up in office, our only hope for a better life is to come unto Christ.