Mitt Romney mirrors his Mormon church

The press is pawing over Mitt Romney’s religion, and the candidate may just welcome this scrutiny. It marks him as … Continued

The press is pawing over Mitt Romney’s religion, and the candidate may just welcome this scrutiny. It marks him as a man of active faith and diverts attention from an issue that necessarily plagues him: Mitt Romney, flip-flopper.

Critics point shrilly to well over a dozen strong positions he has conveniently changed on issues like health care, minimum wage, and gay rights. In response, Romney pleads learning curve. He’s adapted, he says, to “new information.” In the business world, non-adapters get fired.

Still Mormons themselves, who, a recent Gallop poll says, are the most conservative major religious group in the U.S , have not all been convinced. Fellow Latter-day Saint Glenn Beck, at least, wants it known that it’s not just Obama: “Mitt Romney is a socialist too.” Yet, if Romney’s concessions to changing political environments have upset even some Mormons—they are not uncharacteristic of the church to which he belongs. Mormonism has its own history of political accommodation.

Chip Somodevilla

GETTY IMAGES

CHICAGO, IL – MARCH 19: Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney delivers an economic speech at the International House at the University of Chicago March 19, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.

Almost from its birth, this new movement found itself at the center of political controversy. It was not just religious, but also political furor that drove the burgeoning Mormon commune ever further west. And even in the distant Utah desert, Mormons soon found themselves confronted by an expeditionary force sent by U.S. President Buchanan to remove Brigham Young as territorial governor and put an end to that “relic of barbarism: polygamy.”

Outright war was narrowly averted. Over time the outnumbered, outgunned Mormons gave up resistance and set out, instead, to prove to the nation they were as American as pie and more patriotic than the Post Office.

In 1893, church leaders admonished members to join the established national political parties. Because Republicans vilified them and pushed anti-Mormon legislation, church members overwhelmingly preferred the Democrats. But if Mormons all flocked to one party, non-Mormons in the territory would flock to the other, aggravating us-against-them tensions. So wary leaders jawboned the Mormon faithful to divide up and join both parties, even assigning some to become Republicans.

Both the official church and Mormons generally backed away from certain beliefs they had gone into the wilderness to secure: the theocracy of melding secular government with religious hierarchy, a communal living order very like socialism and not least of all plural marriage. These were bedrock doctrines, touchstones of Mormon orthodoxy that could not, however, be reconciled with the larger American culture, so without repudiating these teachings, Mormons simply gave them up.

Two successive edicts or “manifestos” issued by Mormon prophets forbade further polygamy. By the 1930s, under Mormon Prophet Heber J. Grant, an aging patriarch who had married his three wives when polygamy was still permitted, harsh punishments awaited any mainline Mormon who taught or claimed the church sanctioned any marriage other than that of one man to one woman. In the 1930s, he excommunicated members of the church in Short Creek, Arizona who refused to sign a loyalty pledge to the church and renounce plural marriage. This action provoked a schism and the formal beginning of the Mormon fundamentalist movement. Still today, dissident “fundamentalists” who claim legitimacy in the early teachings of Mormonism practice plural marriage and sometimes live communally. (For an overview, see Armand Mauss, “The Angel and The Beehive, the Mormon Struggle with Assimilation,” Univ. of Illinois Press, 1994.)

Among today’s mainline, church-going Mormons, polygamy is virtually never mentioned. A modern Sunday school manual based on the life and teachings of Joseph Smith, who declared plural marriage essential and who married at least 33 women, is fronted by a short biography that lists a single wedding and a single spouse. There is but a single mention of plural marriage anywhere in the manual’s 586 pages. (A note in the forward states that the topic is closed and not to be addressed.)

Successful institutions adapt, and Mormonism has adapted itself fiercely to ideals imposed from outside. Shortly before his murder, Joseph Smith declared his candidacy for the U.S. presidency. Today’s top-down Mormon hierarchy rarely meddles in national politics, and when it does, tries to avoid doing so openly. It does not endorse candidates and denies any theocratic ambition to control government. Latter-day Saints, whose forbears deeded their property to church communities where all things were held in common, have in the U.S. become Latter-day warriors for free-market capitalism. Instead of bucking the system, Mormon hierarchy has joined the rising and powerful American oligarchy, heading up an empire of church-owned real estate and for-profit businesses. The communitarian admonitions of LDS scripture go mostly unread and unremarked, a curiosity for historians and bloggers. As for marriage, the once militantly polygamous Saints have become monogamous beyond compare.

Meanwhile missionary proselytizing has carried Mormonism to the “four corners of the Earth,” bringing new political challenges requiring different local accommodations. Influenced by an explosion of non-white converts in Brazil and the Civil Rights movement in the U.S., many Mormons celebrated when in 1976 the Mormon prophet announced a revelation reversing a long-standing policy denying the priesthood to black members. Other Mormons were shocked, some appalled, but most calmed down and went back to being rank-and-file Mormons. If God wanted to change his mind, why fault Him for opportune timing?

Even Mormonism’s growing conservatism can be seen as market adaptation. Liberal Protestantism is on the wane. The hot growth arena, both in the U.S. and abroad, is Christian conservatism where Mormons vie with proselytizing Pentecostals and evangelicals for market share.


View Photo Gallery: Scenes of religious faith meeting politics in the 2012 campaign.

If institutional Mormonism has developed a religious politics, it is a policy agenda of aggressive accommodation to cultural and political realities, leaving the church freer to pursue its own distinct ends. “Whosever compel thee to go with him a mile,” says Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, “go with him twain.” The veiled allusion is to Israel’s Roman occupiers. And the point is that kicking against powerful inevitabilities is not useful.

So when Mitt Romney is compelled by reigning party ideologues to go with them a mile and seems anxious, in fact, to go two or even three, this falls well within the obliging traditions of his religion. Gay friendly pronouncements made perfect political sense in Massachusetts, but –like government-financed health care or the polygamy Romney’s forbearers practiced –they are political toxin for Republicans around the country today.

The question hovers, however, whether Romney’s adaptive survival instinct, the same one that has helped the LDS church thrive, will finally assuage GOP voters who yearn for a pure, party-line candidate.

Jesus also said, “No man can serve two masters.”

Neal Chandler is Mormon, a Mormon watcher and frequent writer on Mormon culture. He is a retired Director of the Creative Writing Program at Cleveland State University and was from 1999 to 2004 co-editor of “Dialogue,” a Journal of Mormon Thought.

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  • lambertjohnp

    The claim that the 1978 revelation was an example of “God changing his mind” does not register to believing Latter-day Saints.

    It is hard to speak on this subject while not knowing the reasons for the previous policy. However a reading of Latter-day Saints srcipture, especially the Doctrine and Covenants, reveals a consistent message that God does not judge people on outward appearance and that all are alike unto God.

    It was not the 1978 revelation, but the pre-1978 policy that were out of line with Latter-day Saint doctrine.

  • lambertjohnp

    The claim that Mormonism represents an “agressive accomadation” to “cultural and political realities” just does not work. If it was true the Church and its members would not be mocked so much, especially in East Coast elitist culture.

    The Church has stood fast to the total prohibition of alchohol, tobacco, coffee and tea as well as illicit use of drugs in the face of the changes in the use of these. This has been viewed as a commandment in the Church since 1834, and has been interpreted with the current rules since 1930.

    With Temple attendance still limited to only Mormons in good standing with the Church, missionaries still sent to proclaim the Church the only “True and Living Church Upon the face of the whole earth” and an uncompromising declaration that any sexual relations other than between a man and a woman legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife is a violation of God’s law, Mormons are hardly compromising in a society where 80% of the population views pre-marital sex as OK, and even that figure is misleadingly low since there are many who claim they find pre-marital sex wrong but figure if people are actually engaged than their having sexual relations is OK.

    The fact that the LDS Church was willing to step up and be the largest organizer of the Yes on 8 forces in California, as well as a similar movement the same year in Arizona shows that the claims of accomadationism are overblown.

  • lambertjohnp

    The LDS Church has actually pursued an apolitical course that puts it out of flow with both Liberal and Conservative Protestants.

    In some ways this reflects the fact that it is a unified worldwide Church to a greater extent than the Catholic Church, and definantly much more than most Protestant Churchs.

    However Mormon political history is much more complexed and nuanced than Chandler implies. The claim that a belief in “theocracy” was central to early Mormonism is missing the point. A belief in unity of purpose and full brotherhood has been a consistent goal of Mormonism from its foundation, the methods used to achieve this goal have changed over time.

    Even Polygamy, and definantly the interconnected ideas of political particiapation, the Gathering and communal living can be seen as having to do with the inherently difficult to merge goals of stregthening members of the Church and spreading the gospel.

    Chandler’s history of Mormonsim fails because it does not mention temples. Through the 1890s the central goal was to gather the Mormons all in one place so they could join their strength together and build temples. There were other goals, but in the 1890s Wilford Woodruff fully articulated the theology of the temple as the central place.

    Joseph F. Smith in the 1910s with the building of temples in Hawaii and Alberta (both dedicated by Heber J. Grant) started the move to spread the temples around the world.

    Although the Church stopped officially calling for the gathering in the 1890s, it was not until the 1950s that it could fully discorage European Latter-day Saints from going to the United States, since before that date there were still no temples in Europe.

  • lambertjohnp

    In like manner there have been many changes of Mormon political participation over time. In the 1830s and 1840s the Mormons overwhelmingly voted for the Democrats.

    After going to Utah they sought an end to political strife and latter the Peoples Party. In 1893 it was realized that an end to the outside oppresive government officials would not come without joining the national parties.

    This is the only phase that Chandler has well covered. The next phase was early statehood, starteing with the political manifesto that made it so general authorities could only run for office if their doing so was approved by the 1st presidency.

    The Church still involved itself heavily in Utah politics and did so in a way to keep the number of those of other faiths with politcal office in Utah high.

    It was not until at least the mid-1930s that the Church fully disengaged from direct political questions as an institution. In the future it would endorse bill and propositions, but not candidates or party platforms.

    This did not mean that Church leaders became apolitical. A few would still give talks with strong political messages at least well into the 1960s. However there was a blance of the parties in the messages they gave.

    The alignment of the Church with the religious right is not the result of any calculated plan. It is a result of actual views on the issues at hand. The Church opposes abortion in most instances, opposes disestablishment of man/woman marriage, and opposes the legalization of gambling. Its position on immigration policy is the same as that of the Catholic Church, although its reasons for coming to that policy are slightly different, and it is less vocal about its postion on the matter.

    In the last 15 years the Church has strived to move Church members away from being too mono-partisan. Marlin K. Jensen, one of the 70, gave a speech in which he affirmed that people can be good Mormons and Democrats, in part because a Mormon who was a Republican congressman from Uta

  • LDS_Revelations

    “It is hard to speak on this subject while not knowing the reasons for the previous policy. ”

    LDS and the Church now like to say that none really knows why the ban was in place but truth be told there are tons of statements from LDS leadership explaining why.

    Brigham Young said tons on the matter.

    The 1949/51 First Presidency Statement is pretty clear (and official) on the matter as well.

    “The First Presidency Statement on the Negro Question

    August 17, 1949

    The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: “Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to.”

    President Wilford Woodruff made the following statement: “The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have.”

    The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that

  • LDS_Revelations

    “the LDS Church was willing to step up and be the largest organizer of the Yes on 8 forces in California”

    Actually I think the Church’s moves since the backlash over Prop 8 suggest that it will eventually retreat on this front as well.

    Since 2008 the Church has taken a far more hands off approach to gay marriage votes in othere states. In Salt Lake City in 2009/2010 the Church spoke out in favor of gay rights legislation after delining to comment on State bills up for a vote in 2008. The bills passed. BYU has softened the language in it’s honor code regarding homosexuality. And the Church altered some the wording of Boyd K Packers 2010 conference talk to reflect a slightly more enlightened view of homossexuality.

    Are these huge changes? Not really. But then wheels of change grind slowly in the LDS Church. I suspect one day— maybe long after I’m dead— the Brethren will up and get a revelation that will dramatically change how Mormons view homosexuality.

    Truthfully if you asked me 30 years ago I never would have imagined they would have done as much as they already have.

  • grinunbarrett

    This is the most uninformed article I’ve read in a long time. It would seem to me that the author is more concerned in seeing Mitt Romney defeated in his effort to win GOP Nomination than to inform the public. The first thing he needs to do is read the meaning of the word polygamy based on the true meaning of that word The Church of Jesus Christ has never practiced polygamy. In the early history of the church they did practice plural marriage. The practice of the Law of Consecration is not nor never was anything like the socialist or communist forms of government. Those governments take from the people and give first to the rich or the elite who rule in those governments and then the poor but what the poor is given is very limited in the amount they receive. With the law of consecration it is the people thru the church that give and then receive all they need for their living donating their surplus to the poor. You paint a distorted picture of the saints which is sad in this person’s opinion.

  • peaceman2

    Originally i wondered why my Church was involved in prop 08 at all, but, after seeing the backlash, I started studying the issues, and I’m so thankful they were and are involved in preserving traditional marriage. I wish I would have been called upon to donate time or money to prop 08, oh well….can’t always be involved or a have a voice for good I guess… as far as the rest, all the other changes were scriptural as far as I know. Homosexual acts have never been condoned in scripture. So, you might be waiting a very long time.

  • peaceman2

    I enjoyed the comments below, but I’m wondering why he didn’t discuss any of the major changes. Polygamy, priesthood, etc, those were all scriptural changes, but when Peter changed circumcision that was a big change, the Bible says it is “eternal” and Jesus apparently never said anything about it when He was on earth, but the apostles met, debated, contended, disagreed, etc, then Peter stood. And, the gospel going to us gentiles, that was really big, too. There may have been some pressure but….

  • peaceman2

    I enjoyed the comments below, and I noticed that he forgot to discuss some of the really big changes. Maybe it’s a simple oversight? Most of the changes he mentions were scriptural changes (priesthood to go to “all” in Abraham, polygamy only good sometimes in BofMormon etc) but circumcision was an “eternal” covenant. Jesus apparently never said anything about that or taking the gospel to other races etc. There were probably some outside pressures, and definitely some cultural changes, and apostles met, argued, disagreed, etc. Finally Peter stood and the world changed.

  • peaceman2

    I enjoyed the comments below, and I noticed that he forgot to discuss some of the really big changes. Maybe it’s a simple oversight? Most of the changes he mentions were scriptural changes (priesthood to go to “all” in Abraham, polygamy only good sometimes in BofMormon etc) but circumcision was an “eternal” covenant. Jesus apparently never said anything about that or taking the gospel to other races etc. There were probably some outside pressures, and definitely some cultural changes, and apostles met, argued, disagreed, etc. Finally Peter stood and the world changed.

  • peaceman2

    sorry, it posted that 3 times, said network issue or something…?

  • ccnl1

    Romney believes that the horn-blowing angel Moroni appeared to the con artist Joe Smith. Not good for someone who wants to be president of any group !!!

    Obama “mouths” that he is Christian i.e. believes in gay Gabriel and war-mongering Michael the Archangel and Satan. BO’s support of abortion/choice however vitiates has Christianity as he is the leader of the Immoral Majority who are now the largest voting bloc in the country. Immoral Majority you ask??

    The 78 million voting “mothers and fathers” of aborted womb babies !!! (2012 -1973 Rowe vs. Wade = 39.

    39 x 2 million = 78 million. Abortion rate in the USA as per the CDC is one million/yr.

    And the presidential popular vote in 2008? 69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for “pro-life” JM. The population of the Immoral Majority in 2008? ~ 70 million !!!!!!

  • Secular1

    Peaceman2 all the changes you mention actually shows that the so called scripture is malleable and is changed to accommodate the SECULAR Zeitgeist. the fact that most Mormons do not, today argue for polygamy (except for a marginal splinter groups) shows that under social, political, financial pressures they change. this actually also shows that the scripture was not handed down by the sky daddy.

    Take for instance, as you mentioned the apostles having argued about the continuation of the circumcision. Peter prevailed and everyone sooner or later fell in step. That was primarily motivated by the new cult to gather converts to swell their ranks. There is no objective reason for the sky daddy to have changed his mind regarding the circumcision. It was simply that Peter prevailed over the traditionalists. There was nothing sacred about it. Just as there was nothing sacred about circumcision in teh first place.

    Every progress in every religion was brought about by secular thought. Secularists were the harbingers of the progress we see to this day. This has been the history of progress. I would not necessarily assume the position that every secular change is necessarily progress, by definition. That said, it behooves the religionists to expunge divine retribution form their vocabulary, upon every progressive or otherwise changes promoted by us. We do not mind the opposition, as much as the vile that accompanies teh opposition.

  • SODDI

    Mormon leaders have commanded Mormons to vote for Romney.

  • EJPrizza

    Bollocks.

  • SODDI

    Nah, it’s true. Those Mormons take orders from the top. Look at Otterson’s peripatetic columns here in the WaPo. Straight Mormon party line.

    Mormons are fanatic cultists and they obey orders.

  • grindael

    Brigham Young hated Buchanan. This is what they said about him as recorded by Wilford Woodruff (the 4th Mormon Prophet),

    Brigham Young: The US are fools to Come upon this people & so are those men who are bringing great quantities of Goods unto us this season. If the United States send out troops to fight us this season we shall whip them out. Then they will send out reinforcements. Then [p.72] we shall have the Lamanites [American Indians – c.f. Mountain Meadows Massacre] with us & the more the United states send out the wors[e] off they will be for they will perish with Famine.

    I do not think any thing about guns or powder for if the United States begin war with us I intend they shall furnish [us] with arms and aminition. All we want if they do undertake [it] is the Lord will lead them or let them go into a snare and ther folly will be manifest.

    G. A. Smith said if we defeat them you may look for 100,000 men. Presidet Young said it would be so much the worse for them. But I do not believe that He will get a great force here for if they are defeated this year the people will be down upon Bucannon. But I should not wonder if we heard he was dead soon. Wells said this was Buchanan own measure some time ago. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 5, p. 71-72, August 2, 1857)

    The Mormons “prophesied” the downfall of the United States, and had dreams of Brigham Young as President:

    Well, I have no feelings in me against any one—not against brother Marsh; but I feel to bless him with the blessings of God, with the blessings of the earth, from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet; for this is my calling, and I do not feel to curse. But as for our enemies, they have cursed themselves with all the curses they can bear; and the cursings that are on them they never can get off, neither can those who sustain them. The Church and kingdom to which we belong will become the kingdom of our God and his Christ, and brother Brigham Young will become President of the United States.

    [Voi

  • grindael

    The above comment was made by Heber C. Kimball, “apostle” and counselor to Young. Wilford Woodruff wrote in 1847,

    “While in the Temple at Nauvoo we voted to cut off the gentiles who had rejected the gospel & killed the prophets & it was recorded on earth & is recorded in heaven that [the] Nation will go down quickly.”(WWJ, Vol. 3, p. 260,)

    And, In his year end summary for 1857, Woodruff writes,

    “Eighteen hundred and fifty Seven has past and gone to return no more forever. It has borne its report to heaven of all men and Nations. It has been an important year to Zion and the world. 1857 will be the year on histories page which will be dated the Commencement of the downfall of the United States For it is during this year that they have entered the field as the open Enemies & persecuters of the saints of the Most High god and have sent an Armey of 2,500 men 1,000 miles for the purpose of laying a foundation for the destruction of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints called Mormons who have setled in the great Bason of North America Called Utah Territory of the State of Deserett. Here is esstablished the kingdom of God as Daniel saw it by vision, and the people of the United States are Determined to destroy the kingdom of God from off the Earth. For these things the Judgments of God will now begin to rest more fully upon that Nation and will be increased upon them year by year untill they are broaken up and wasted away from under Heaven and Cease to become a Nation. And this Calamity will begin to Come spedily upon them. And they will be visited with thunder, lightning, storm, whirl winds Earthquakes floods, pestilence plagues, war and Devouring fire and the wicked will slay the wicked untill the Nation is wasted away and broaken up.” (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 5, p. 145,)

    Woodruff considered himself a “prophetic historian”

    This is the last day of 1861 which has past and gone and borne its report to heaven of the deeds of all Nations and men. This year has brou

  • grindael

    Mitt’s own ancestor, “apostle” Parley P. Pratt made this prophecy about America,

    “Now, Mr. Sunderland, you have something definite and tangible, the time, the manner, the means, the names, the dates; and I WILL STATE AS A PROPHECY, that THERE WILL NOT BE AN UNBELIEVING GENTILE upon this continent 50 YEARS HENCE; and if they are not greatly scourged, and in a great measure overthrown, WITHIN FIVE OR TEN YEARS FROM THIS DATE, THEN THE BOOK OF MORMON WILL HAVE PROVED ITSELF FALSE.

    And furthermore, as Mr. La Roy Sunderland has lied concerning the truth of Heaven, the fullness of the Gospel, and has blasphemed against the word of God, except he speedily repent, and acknowledge his lying and wickedness, and obey the message of eternal truth, which God has sent for the salvation of his people. GOD WILL SMITE HIM DUMB, that he can no longer speak great swelling words against the Lord; and A TREMBLING WILL SEIZE HIS NERVES, THAT HE SHALL NOT BE ABLE TO WRITE; and Zion’s Watchman SHALL CEASE TO BE PUBLISHED ABROAD, and its lies shall no longer deceive the public; and HE WILL WANDER A VAGABOND ON THE EARTH, until SUDDEN DESTRUCTION SHALL OVERTAKE HIM; and if Mr. La Roy Sunderland enquires, when shall these things be? I reply, it is nigh thee—EVEN AT THY DOORS; and I SAY THIS IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. Amen.”

    He then adds, so as to be perfectly clear:

    “I hope Mr. Sunderland, will no more complain of the jargon of the Mormon Prophets being unintelligible or indefinite.” ~Parley P. Pratt, MORMONISM UNVEILED, Zion’s Watchman Unmasked, AND ITS EDITOR MR. L. R. SUNDERLAND, EXPOSED: TRUTH VINDICATED: THE DEVIL MAD, AND PRIESTCRAFT IN DANGER! BY P. P. PRATT, NEW YORK, Printed for the Publisher, 1838, page 15-16)

    What is ironic is that Mitt Romney is trying to become President of an America that his own Church “prophets” prophesied would be destroyed before he was born. This is, of course the America that Mormon “Prophets” never foresaw, because what they foresaw NEVER HAPPENED

  • fogo30d

    I’m a Mormon and I’m not voting for Romney. And no on in my church has or will “command” or even suggest that I do.

  • kimden85

    SODDI – Wrong. I am a Latter-day Saint and will not be voting for Romney either. Sorry to bust your conspiracy bubble or that we are all mindless freaks who can not think for ourselves.

    Boy, you do get around with your senseless electronic chatter regarding the Mormons. This is like the 3rd place I have found you on the web this morning. Mission accomplished as to showing the world we are “wrong”?

  • kimden85

    SODDI – Wrong. I am a Latter-day Saint and will not be voting for Romney either. Sorry to bust your conspiracy bubble or that we are all mindless freaks who can not think for ourselves.

    Boy, you do get around with your senseless electronic chatter regarding the Mormons. This is like the 3rd place I have found you on the web this morning. Mission accomplished as to showing the world we are “wrong”?

  • ccnl1

    Romney believes that the horn-blowing, angel Moroni appeared to the con artist Joe Smith. Not good for someone who wants to be president of any group !!!

  • Janeway2

    By all mean don’t vote for Romney because he is a “mormon” so says the Washington Post. We are the last group that one can lie about, twist their words, make fun of, generally spew hate speech and it is considered OK. Now you are holding Romney accountable for everything everybody said or did in the last 180 years? You are a newspaper not a propaganda machine for the President. Romney will be the President in 2013. Get your presses ready. Romney 2012

  • dougtheavenger

    Genetic research by Ugo Perego failed to find a single descendent of Joseph Smith through any woman other than Emma Smith. Several supposed candidates were eliminated. This and the fact that Emma always claimed Joseph was fathful to her places the preponderance of evidence on the side of Smith being a monogamist. The fact that this research is not mentioned in this artical indicated poor scholarship.

  • dougtheavenger

    “Buchanon’s Folly” was the name that Americans in general gave this embarrassing expedition against Mormon’s in Utah. One military supply wagon train was captured without a shot being fired. Buchanon was humiliated and Brigham Young remained the governor of Utah territory. Young was there to see Abraham Lincoln become president who quietly dropped the anti-Mormon policies of the Republican Party.

  • dougtheavenger

    Was Buchanon the first Gay president? A lifelong bachelor, he was once engaged but his fiance broke it off supposedly out of jelousy. Although rumors of other women abounded, there is little hard evidence to support this. The fable that Buchanon was heartboken by the death of his fiance is belied by the fact that he largely ignored her when they were engaged.

  • SODDI

    This isn’t Utah. I’m allowed to say what I want.