Mitt Romney’s Mormon milestone

View Photo Gallery: “The Mormon story is a quintessentially American tale,” writes On Faith columnist Lisa Miller. I’m feeling almost giddy, … Continued


View Photo Gallery: “The Mormon story is a quintessentially American tale,” writes On Faith columnist Lisa Miller.

I’m feeling almost giddy, like a schoolgirl, that Mitt Romney has secured the Republican presidential nomination. Publicly I’ve kept my preference for political candidates out of my writings and conversations, and have avoided advocacy of any kind. And frankly, I prefer to keep it that way. However I’m going to seemingly make one exception with this milestone for Mormonism, and what Romney’s personal advancement mean to not only individual members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but for the LDS Church in general. Also important, in my opinion, is what this victory says about Americans.

Although I’m politically conservative, when Barack Obama was elected our country’s first black president, I found myself shedding a few tears of joy at such progress. As a Mormon woman, to think that this country could very well elect Mitt Romney, a Mormon, for president — before even a woman would hold that office — well, that’s just astounding.

For so many reasons, as a Mormon blogger, I feel that having Mitt Romney considered a serious candidate during the primary presidential race, has, overall, been positive for our community. Even in the face of much criticism of Mormon beliefs, history, and practices, people are searching to know more about what Mormons actually believe and are much more apt to find credible information, online. Not only have more Mormons taken to blogging and engaging in online discussions about their faith, but the caliber of good reporting by conscientious journalists have significantly improved. One has to believe that such progress is not only a positive for Mormonism, but also a vote of confidence in the good people of this country to not be manipulated by the sensational, and instead do their own honest research.

With the 2012 presidential election candidates now clearly identified, there is no doubt we are entering a final electoral phase like no other in U.S. history. For the conservative Mormon, issues such as abortion, self-reliance, defending traditional marriage and religious freedom, among others, are considered moral issues. Scripturally Mormons feel responsible to seek political candidates who will uphold and defend these Christian values. To a majority of Mormons living in the United States, Mitt Romney is considered a positive representation of, and in harmony with, Mormon teachings relating to these issues — making him a strong consideration when deciding for whom to cast one’s ballot come November.

Going forward over the next few months leading up to the election, and into the very real possibility of having Mitt Romney serve as president of the United States, members of the LDS Church are a bit apprehensive with how their Mormon faith will be perceived by others. Rightfully so. While critics of Romney, alongside of anti-Mormon advocates, will continue to use this opportunity to exploit the sensational and misunderstood aspects of Mormonism, in order to discredit him, Mormons themselves want people to know of their love for Jesus Christ and their families. When it comes down to what Mormons believe and cherish, their faith that teaches them that families can be together forever is what sustains them and motivates them to want to share that message with others. Faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints share a common desire, not to be popular or mainstream, but to teach others about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

I don’t know the Romneys personally but from what I’ve observed they do seem to have a fairly traditional Mormon family that maintains a religious lifestyle similar to my own. As Mitt Romney’s run for president continues to bring ongoing attention to Mormonism it can be a good thing, if people are able to recognize the goodness in how the Romneys live their personal lives as a reflection of their personal Mormon beliefs — as opposed to their politics. The LDS church makes it very clear that they are politically neutral, and therefore would not want people to presume any one individual’s politics are church-sanctioned — even if that person were POTUS, and a Mormon.

Kathryn Skaggs writes on her personal blog, A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman. When she’s not writing she can be found enjoying her nine grandchildren.

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  • bueno40

    The core of LDS theology is “… the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it”. Joseph Smith

    Some people come here and try to perpetuate lies about what we believe. Catholics believe in this different from Protetstants and vice-versa and call each other Christians – I remember a time when they called each other the devil, but that’s fine, they stopped… good thing. How long is it going to take for some of them to stop calling us the devil now? Mormons are not Christians? Come on!!!!

    Some so called “Christians” come here and jumb from this and that doctrine they don’t accept in the Mormon Church to “prove” it is not Christians and it breaks my heart. Why are we the 4th religion in America regardless of these lies? Because when people sincerely go see what we learn in Sunday School and Seminary and Institutes of Religion, they learn that their religious leaders had a major flaw: they lied to them about us. Some people have no religion actually and get their testimonies of the Christianity of the LDS church from God without being poluted by corrupt religious leaders.

    In my opinion it is jealousy that guides the ignorance. We say there should be only one church, like the Catholic church used to believe before it decided to accept the churches that used to call it the great and aboninable church. Today it not only embraces them, it turns around and accepts baptism from all of them but the LDS church. Funny thing. The Protestants who believed that church was the church of the devil now join them to say that we are the devil and will not say a pip about the Pope, the statues people kneel to, and everything they thought un-Christian about that faith. You can call it tolerance. I say it only proves that they only thing some people agree with when it comes to Christianity is to call other people no

  • gsmontaguefamily

    It really doesn’t matter to me that Mitt Romney is Mormon. What matters to me is that he is honest. We need an honest President and we need Americans to keep being good so that we can return to greatness. America has been exceptional in so many good ways. We need to keep America great and preserve this last stand of freedom for our grandchildren. Her past is not perfect, but there has been so much good come out of the USA because of the goodness of the character of her people. I believe we still have that. I think we just need to stand firm in the face of people that want to change us into something we are not and were never meant to be, a nanny state. We believe in being honest, Mr Romney. I will hold you to that. I hope I’m not the only one.
    Pres. Obama has not been honest and neither has the media in reporting on him. Jay Carney knowing more than one Hillary Rosen? Enough said…

  • EL Frame

    Like Kathryn, my family appreciates those who are respectful of the faiths of others. As a Missionary oriented people, we learn and honor the differiences of others. Thank you to our fellow Americans who do the same.

  • cristofero1

    I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I believe in Jesus. I worship him and try to be more like him. He is the center of my faith. It is even named after him. The reason I want to be called a Christian is not so that people will think I believe all the same things as other Christians, it is so that people will know I believe in Christ.

  • philbryson

    I think it helpful to assure people that Mitt Romney is a stable, mature personality with a brilliant mind. Southern conservatives were not cheated, they were just outvoted. There is a reason why he got so many votes in spite of being a Mormon.
    Romney is not a puppet of his church, but he has gained a great deal by having learned leadership through church and missionary service. He has learned to care for people because he understood that doing so was an injunction of his personal savior. He has been in touch and remained in touch with people through his church service as a bishop and stake president. He has taught LDS people to love and serve their neighbors. It’s for this reason that he refused to take a paycheck as the director of the project to save the Salt Lake Olympics and again as the governor of Massachusetts. This is the reason his tax returns indicate that he has given away almost as much as he has paid in taxes, and his gifts are not just for his church. Romney has a love for people that politicians and Mormon haters will never understand, because they choose not to. He has taught people that every person you meet is your brother or sister, children of the same God. Romney can be tough when he sees it to be appropriate, but his natural inclination is to be giving, forgiving and truly interested in the well-being of all.
    As a final note: people talk and talk about Romney’s being out of touch, spinning his wife’s ownership of two Cadillacs into elitist behavior. Hey folks, would a truly rich person today pick a Cadillac when there are BMWs, Mercedes, and many other foreign makes that would be a bit more elitist? Maybe Mitt was trying to tell us that he’s not above buying American! But like the Mormon haters, many just refuse to get it.

  • wdwrightii

    Mitt Romney will make a great President.

  • Watchful1

    Just a thought to our fellow citizens who believe that the federal government ought to control various things:

    Whether we have a president or a king, regardless of whether they are good or evil, someone will eventually inherit the power that we give to that office. Just a thought for the thoughtful.

  • tegtom

    Christians should be defined by their behavior as followers of Jesus Christ, and their beliefs in His Gospel as presented in the New Testament:
    In the Good Samaritan, the Sermon on the Mount, the Atonement, the Divinity of the Savior, His Gospel and His Resurrection.
    On all these counts members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) are Christians, hands down!

  • Carol

    There seems to be some fear out there that Mitt Romney would be required to do the bidding of the leaders of the Mormon church. And what would that bidding be? Be honest in your dealings with your fellow man. Be loyal to your wife and family. Serve in your community. Live a healthy lifestyle. Respect the rights and beliefs of others. Uphold the Constitution of the United States. I have no fear that Mitt Romney has any “hidden agenda” or will be required by his church to do anything other than be a great and moral leader; something that our country is greatly in need of.

  • DrLikes

    Mitt Romney is going to be an amazing president. I also have thought about the information that people can come across when looking for the truth about Mormons. Lds.org has really impressed me recently. They have a very interactive website that is updated constantly. Anyone who wants to know about us Mormons should really check it out.

  • Joel

    This does not come from the church leaders; it comes from a website called mormonvoices.com which states:

    “MormonVoices is an independent organization that is supportive of, but not controlled by or affiliated with, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”

    And where in that letter does it tell us exactly what we should say? It only suggests to give a positive response.

  • anothergirl

    Absolutely. If something you cared deeply about was being attacked daily, wouldn’t you try to get your voice heard? And these people are volunteers, no one is forcing them to do this.

  • XVIIHailSkins

    Does it strike anyone as odd that God’s immaculate and unimpeachable church requires a PR department?

  • Tornogal

    Anothergirl,

    Can you give examples of “attack”?

  • Joel

    XVIIHailSkins
    “Does it strike anyone as odd that God’s immaculate and unimpeachable church requires a PR department?”

    Nope. Not if we have to practice our faith in this world.

  • XVIIHailSkins

    The one that he created? Interesting.

  • Abby

    There does seem to be an awful lot going around about ‘the Mormons’, but one of the most famous examples of them seems to prove once again that they are good, kind Christian people. I know plenty of Mormons who are wonderful people. I would be happy to have a leader who believed and lived such good Christian values. I believe that a country will be well off for the leader having such a strong foundation of high moral standards and Christian faith.

  • tony

    Doesn’t every corporation have a PR department? The Mormons wouldn’t need one if the public would treat them with the respect that they deserve.

  • XVIIHailSkins

    Most corporations do not claim to be the worldly officials of the creator of the universe (you would think that if the mormon’s got it right, god might have made their emissaries a bit more convincing), although in many other ways this would be a valid comparison.

    Understand this clearly, your beliefs will never deserve respect, because no belief ‘deserves’ respect in the sense that you mean. Your ideas will never be immune to the court of public opinion, ideas don’t work that way. If you don’t appreciate your ideas being ridiculed, perhaps you should espouse some ideas that aren’t so abjectly ridiculous.

  • bueno40

    You are such a liar. They are not church leaders. They are independet people concerned about offensive people like you that who have nothing to do but some and say false things about LDS doctrine. Shame on you.

  • bueno40

    As for PR… sure God needs PR. With people like you spreading false things about His church lucky for you He does not do like He did in the Old Testament and strike you with fire from heaven. Be nice and let God’s PR do its work. Thanks for posting the call from Mormon Voices. This way more LDS people will have a chance to go to those links and post positive comments.

  • ktcjohn

    The email you posted is not from “Church leaders” as you erroneously assert. It is from FAIR which is unaffiliated with the Church. But I find nothing wrong with a private organization wanting to inform fellow Mormons of the articles that are being written about them and their Church. Our responsive comments about the truthfulness or untruthfulness of assertions about our beliefs and practices will provide readers with a more reliable source of information. In other words, I know what I believe better than someone else not of my faith believes that I believe. “Drowning out the critics with numbers” is your spin. What you are really saying is that you prefer not to be contradicted with the truth.

  • LoyalReader

    I’m throwing the BS flag on your post. You stated : “… mormons have been instructed to make these comments by their leaders.”

    I went to the web page of Mormon Voices and found the following statement prominently displayed:

    “Mormon Voices is an independent organization that is supportive of, but not controlled by or affiliated with, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

    If you going to make inflammatory accusations, you ought to at least do your homework.

  • TLUnrine1

    Mormon Propaganda, learning from Goebbels.

  • TLUnrine1

    Disclaimers – not an official publication, doesn’t speak for the church. Seems like no one, not even the prophet speaks officially for the Mormons, if you believe Mormons.

    The government uses plausible deniability all the time. Mormons use it also in their cult. That doesn’t mean all these websites aren’t orchestrated by Salt Lake leaders of the cult.

    The louder one cries “I didn’t fart” the stronger the smell is around them.

  • jsmith4

    There sure is some paranoia about Mormons here. I am an ex-Mormon with lots of criticisms of the church, but “Mormons are people too,” they are not Nazis or zombies.
    It surely makes sense for Mormons to participate in public forums where they are being described and defined.

  • joeyjr

    ktcjohn-
    Oh please. To say that FAIR is not affiliated with the church is just down-right deceitful. But that’s okay, we’re all getting used to the word “deceit” when it comes to any claims by the LDS. Just tell the truth, please.

  • dvilt

    MormonVoices is an independent organization that is supportive of, but not controlled by or affiliated with, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. CultEnthusiast, you are deceitful when you say “the mormons have been instructed to make these comments by their LEADERS.” You infer to readers that “MormonVoices” is an official part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which it is not. You are the one whose statements can’t be trusted because you are deceitful and hateful.

  • Lance Peters

    LOL @ Dvilt, you say that CultEntusiast can’t be trusted? LOLOLOL

    He’s not a Mormon, its the Mormons who are the liars, this CultEnthuaist guy is just posting what he’s read online. I was the one who leaked that email to beign with. I know what you Mormons are up to. I know that MormonsVolces is part of FAIR and that FARMs and FAIR are in bed together and that FARMs is funded by BYU and outside investors and that one of FARMS foudners was fired over the weekend where he revelaed in a leaked email that he was PAID to defend the church to shoddy Mormon Apologetics reserarch. You are the liar, you lie so much that you actually beleive your lies. I don’t even know what to call that… oh wait, that’s what cults do. Got it, I figured it out..

    You little Mormon liar, disgusting, unreal, just unreal.

  • dvilt

    @ Lance Peters and CultEnthsiast. Wow! It would be hard to find more hate filled people than you anywhere. I’m a bit overwhelmed by your hatered of Mormons. One truth stands out from your insane writings–that you say you do not believe in a God. You appear to be most miserable and unhappy because of your disbelief in God.

  • fkratzor1

    that’s a stretch

  • sloagm

    @Lance: That is quite the daisy chain you have formed. So, to be clear: MormonVoices is affiliated with FAIR which is affiliated with FARMS which is affiliated with the Maxwell Institute at BYU which is affiliated with the LDS church, ergo it is the church leaders telling members what they must do, and it was also church leaders that told someone at BYU to tell someone at the Maxwell Institute to tell someone at FARMs to fire someone at FARMs, which is affiliated with FAIR, which is affiliated with MormonVoices…

    …yes you are right. I belong to a cult.

  • fkratzor1

    I don’t know who is responsible for mormonstories on youtube, but they are very well done, and offer a lot of insight.

  • netzach

    @Lance: Lessee if I got this straight – CultEnthusiast presents himself as an apologist, in order to receive e-mails encouraging Mormons to leave positive comments about the Church, and you think DVilt is the “liar?”

    “… is just posting what he’s read online …”

    Therein lies the problem. Most of the people posting online can’t seem to get it right even when they’re trying. Which, from my perspective, ain’t very often.