The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints urges its members to be good citizens in the countries where they live. Its twelfth article of faith states: “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”
Latter-day Saints also believe that “no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience.”
Citizenship works best as a partnership where people and governments cooperate to secure the common good.
To be a good citizen also means to contribute to the wellbeing of our communities. In general, Latter-day Saints see themselves as part of a larger society and strive to make it better. Many of them volunteer in the institutions of civil society such as charities, schools, associations and clubs. They often serve the needy in shelters, soup kitchens and hospitals. They aim to study the issues and vote for honest candidates.
Citizenship, therefore, is an active participation in society that calls for engagement, not isolation. The root word civ fills our political language. Civilization, civic, civility, civilian, civil rights — they all point to how we treat one another in building a common enterprise. It’s a matter of culture more than law, duty more than demand.
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