With Mitt Romney running for president of the United States, the Mormon Church has been getting a lot of National media coverage, some good, and some bad. Some people fear that a Mormon president would force Mormon standards on the nation. Of course that would be impossible. Some people think that a Mormon president would make all of his choices based on beliefs of the Mormon Church. Actually, while the Church encourages members to vote and be active in their communities, the Mormon prophet rarely encourages members to vote in a particular direction.
When the Church encourages its members to take a particular side in politics, it is always on issues of maintaining the family and morality, and not about particular candidates. The Church does not require any political allegiances, and many Mormons belong to the Democratic (and other non-GOP) parties.
Mormon Doctrine sometimes seems to favor certain ideologies over others, but no political party is in direct alignment with Church beliefs. The Mormon Church does stand against homosexual marriage, for the benefit of children and the traditional family-this isn’t because homosexual marriage somehow destroys families that already exist, but because it will destroy the benefits society gets from traditional marriage (by decreasing the incentive to marry heterosexually), like stable families that produce children that are healthy, happy, and productive. The Church believes that in general, abortion is wrong, but the Mormon Church also believes that there are situations in which abortion is the right answer, as in cases of rape, incest, or risk to the mother’s health.
The important thing about Mormon doctrine is that the Church doesn’t control people. Everyone has their own agency, and their own ability to vote how they like, with no consequences from the Church. The Church does not advocate or endorse and political candidates, and the political choices of Mormons are their own business. A large group of people who have the same beliefs can choose to advocate those beliefs differently from each other.
Every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is autonomous in his or her actions. There are consequences to serious sins or crimes (taking away Church privileges or membership), but political leanings do not fall into those categories.
As the Church is getting much recognition (and sometimes insult) because Mormonism has been brought into the limelight, we need to be a good example of what Mormons are like, and what we believe. About Mitt Romney, he certainly isn’t controlled by the Mormon Church either. His presidential candidacy is about his own political leanings, and like any other religious leaders, he can make decisions with a basis in what the country needs outside of his religious beliefs. He will have to, since the Mormon Church rarely gives political advice.