The Voice of the People – Alma 2:6-8

5 And it came to pass that the people assembled themselves together throughout all the land, every man according to his mind, whether it were for or against Amlici, in separate bodies, having much dispute and wonderful contentions one with another.
6 And thus they did assemble themselves together to cast in their voices concerning the matter; and they were laid before the judges.
7 And it came to pass that the voice of the people came against Amlici, that he was not made king over the people.
8 Now this did cause much joy in the hearts of those who were against him; but Amlici did stir up those who were in his favor to anger against those who were not in his favor.

(Alma 2:6-8)
The twelfth article of faith declares that we believe in “obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” We may disagree with some of the laws which have been enacted by our government officials. We may believe that they are morally wrong. When this is the case, we can and should advocate for change through established channels. But under ordinary circumstances, unless the law is doing egregious harm, we must prioritize our civic duty and our loyalty to our fellow-citizens above our indignation, and show respect for the law until it can be changed.
In Alma 2, Mormon describes a political movement which threatened the newly established freedom of the Nephites. Only five years into their new system of government by judges, a group of people proposed a return to the monarchy and nominated Amlici to serve as their king. If they had been successful, not only would the people have lost many of their freedoms, but the church would have been in danger, since Amlici had vowed “to destroy the church of God” (Alma 2:4).
In response, members of the church and others who loved freedom engaged fully in the political process, campaigning actively against the proposal and casting their votes. When they won, they were relieved. But Amlici and his people had no intention of obeying “the voice of the people,” and they immediately started a war which resulted in significant bloodshed.
Dallin H. Oaks has taught that we should make our voices heard in defense of true principles. But “when our positions do not prevail, we should accept unfavorable results graciously and practice civility with our adversaries” (“Loving Others and Living with Differences,” General Conference, October 2014).
Today I will be respectful of “the voice of the people.” I will champion good causes and attempt to persuade others to support them. But when my voice is in the minority, I will practice civility.

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