Throughout the years, members of the Church have been making their way to Washington, D.C., and leaving their mark on the nation's capital. The D.C. area serves as a catalyst, drawing LDS professionals, students, scholars and politicians, and helping to account for the fact that the highest concentration of members on the Eastern Seaboard resides in this area.
Roger Porter is representative of the best and brightest of these. Porter has served three presidents in the White House over the past decade and a half. He first served as executive secretary on President Gerald Ford's Economic Policy Board. He later returned to Washington from his faculty position at Harvard University in 1981 to join the Reagan White House staff, serving as director of the White House Office of Policy Development and as one of the president's principal economic policy advisers. He returned to his academic post at Harvard in September 1985, but once again came back to the White House at the request of President Bush in January 1989.
In his current assignment as the Assistant to the President for Economic and Domestic Policy, he deals with a broad range of issues each day – from education policy to the environment, from drug policy and crime to health care, from trade policy to international debt.
Politics also boasts its share of Church members. Currently three senators and nine members of the House of Representatives are LDS. Their office staffs often include a large number of Church members, including a rotating group of interns.
Throughout the years, Church members have been involved in many government, business and political positions. And Church members can make significant contributions to the future of the nation.
"I believe that the decade of the 1990s will test our nation's maturity," observed Porter. "We must always remain vigilant in protecting our liberties, but the greatest challenges for us as a people during the coming decade will involve our willingness to invest in the future, to defer immediate gratification. . . .
"Great societies and great nations are those which are progressing," he said. "They are dynamic rather than static societies. There is a spirit of adventure and a willingness to innovate. But they are also societies that are rooted in first principles and that have a moral foundation that provides a sense of direction and purpose."