I have been surprised at the reaction of some BYU students and church members when it was recently announced that Vice President Dick Cheney would be giving a Commencement Address.
Some students and members against the address say that having Cheney give it violates the LDS Church's long standing policy of political nuetrality. Having Cheney speak shows the Church supports his views and policies.
On the flip-side, some supporting the address have pointed the finger at non-supporters declaring that they are challenging Church leaders and apostatizing. Since the First Presidency of the Church must be aware of Cheney speaking, their approval is comparable to modern-day revelation.
The Church released a statement in response to the controversy. In regards to political nuertrality the statement said:
"Whatever the personal views of individual students or other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the invitation is seen by the university's board of trustees as one extended to someone holding the high office of vice president of the United States rather than to a partisan political figure."
The 12th Article of Faith states:
12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
Some may disagree with this approach to government - to obey, honor and sustain. However, this has been the Church's long standing policy alongside of political nuetrailty. Having Cheney give the address is in harmony with political nuetraility and the 12th Article of Faith.