News Release

Area Presidency Encourages Church Members to Participate in New Zealand Elections

Invitation to let voices be heard in defense of the sanctity of life

In a letter sent on 18 September 2020, the Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourages members of the Church to vote in the October New Zealand elections and to let their voices be heard in defence of the sanctity of life and in support of treating our bodies as gifts from God. In particular, the Church leaders "invite members to raise their voices in opposition to referendums that would legalise euthanasia and recreational cannabis." A copy of the letter follows:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

New Zealanders will go to the polls this October. Voters will have the opportunity to cast a vote on two moral issues being considered by Parliament as referendums in addition to electing members of Parliament and the nation’s government.

The first deals with euthanasia or assisted dying. The second involves recreational cannabis use.

Euthanasia or Assisted Dying

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in the sanctity of human life. “Euthanasia is defined as deliberately putting to death a person who is suffering from an incurable condition or disease. A person who participates in euthanasia, including helping someone die by suicide, violates the commandments of God.” (General Handbook 38.7.3)

The Church does not believe that allowing a person to die from natural causes by removing a patient from artificial means of life support, as in the case of a long-term illness, falls within the definition of euthanasia.

Recreational Cannabis Use
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that our bodies are gifts from God and that we should treat them with respect and care. The Church opposes the use of recreational marijuana.

Where the law allows for medical cannabis use, the Church cautions that it be used only when “the use is determined to be medically necessary by a licensed physician or another legally approved medical provider.” (General Handbook 38.7.8)

Political Neutrality

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is neutral in matters of party politics. We encourage every member to play a role as responsible citizens in their communities by voting in elections.

We also invite Church members to let their voices be heard in opposition to the referendums that would legalise euthanasia and recreational cannabis.

Sincerely yours,

Ian S. Ardern

K. Brett Nattress

Kazuhiko Yamashita

Pacific Area Presidency

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