Photo, from left to right: Boyd Matheson of Utah, Steve Yates of Idaho, Jesse Law of Nevada, Gayle Ruzicka of Utah, Alan Clemmons of South Carolina and Rick Cochran of Vermont.
For the second time, LDS member Rick Cochran has had the opportunity to be elected to the National Platform Committee of the Republican National Convention. He was one of six Mormons who participated in this unusual process.
What makes participation in this process so unique is that it is an openly debated with National coverage over the two long days of open debate. Additionally, there was public input of over 155,000 comments from around the country. Cochran said that he felt it was important to memorialize the six LDS member participants who have volunteered two weeks of their own time and have paid out of their own pockets the travel expense for the honor to represent a democratic process in which they believe.
Cochran said, “We are often counseled about the doctrine of religious freedom and the importance exercising our voting rights. I personally have seen apathy in and out of the Church and have felt impressed to stand-up for what I believe. I have encouraged others whether Democrat, Republican or independent to get involved.
We need to heed our modern-day counsel, for example Elder Oaks said that “religious persons should insist on their constitutional right and duty to exercise their religion, to vote their consciences on public issues, and to participate in elections and in debates. . . . These are the rights of all citizens and they are also the rights of religious leaders and religious organizations. In this circumstance, it is imperative that those of us who believe in God and in the reality of right and wrong unite more effectively to protect our religious freedom to preach and practice our faith in God and the principles of right and wrong He has established.”