In the wake of yesterday's election it would be wise to reflect on these wise words from our first President, George Washington.
“I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”
Whether your party won or lost last night is really irrelevant. Our leaders have been chosen, and now it is requisite that we all get to work. Our nation faces some of the most challenging problems in it's history, and we all need to get to work on solving them.
The only way we can ever solve the mighty challenges that stand before us is by working together humbly. So Let's get to it. As Joseph Smith wisely counseled the Quorum of the 12 apostles “round up your shoulders, and bear off this ... [nation] before heaven and earth, and before God, angels and men”
The time has come for all of us to work to solve the problems we see in the world around us. We can't afford to stand around and wait for others to solve them. Start small, but start. Our leaders can't do it without us. So please go change some small part of your world today, I'll do the same, and together we'll move the world towards a brighter tomorrow.