This week, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will seek to allay fears that his Mormon faith is a negative attribute. I assume he will do well.
However, I saw several news reports leading to his address that included unsolicited advice for the former Massachusetts governor. One was particularly bad.
A Republican strategist on CNN recommended that Romney tell the nation that he belongs to a “large, mainstream Christian” denomination.
Surely Romney and his close advisers are smarter than that. The road to the White House is not paved with attempts to convince the more conservative evangelicals that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints squares with widely held descriptions of orthodox Christianity.
Better advice would have been to talk about commitments to fairness, honesty and generosity common to his faith and that of most Americans.
But this political “expert” spouting bad advice got me to thinking about how much stuff we all have to sort through in life.
When the computer age was developing in the 1980s, I commented in a small group about how we would soon be learning new skills and reviving our old typing fingers. A retired educator quickly assured me that only a few experts would actually use computers on a daily basis for the benefit of us all.
Learning computers would be a waste of time for most of us, he explained. I wonder how many desktops or laptops he has owned since offering that great insight.
One of the important disciplines in life is discerning, with God’s help, what advice to heed and what to ignore.
There are perhaps more advice-givers in the realm of religious faith and practice than any other arena. Maybe Jesus sensed that when he urged his followers to be wise as serpents while being gentle as doves.

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