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With 'I'm a Mormon' campaign, church counters lily-white image
Ruth Williams passes out bulletins at the Third Ward in Washington, D.C., a diverse Mormon church.
November 2nd, 2011
11:32 AM ET

With 'I'm a Mormon' campaign, church counters lily-white image

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN) - The scene at a Mormon congregation here on a recent Sunday would surprise Americans who think of Mormons as young white missionaries in stiff white shirts, black ties and name tags.

Yes, there are white missionaries handing out bulletins at Washington’s Third Ward - what Mormons call their congregations - but there's also Ruth Williams, an elderly African-American woman, decked out in her Sunday best, doing the same.

White, black, Asian and Hispanic Mormons mingle before the service begins. As it gets under way, an African-American tween plays a video game on his smartphone in one pew as a 30-something white woman across the aisle taps away on her iPad.

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On this Sunday, the Sacrament - what Mormons call the remembrance of the Last Supper and what other Christians call Communion - is said in French, a nod to the area's burgeoning West African population.

It is not a special multicultural celebration Sunday. For this growing Mormon congregation in northeast Washington, it's just another weekend.

“It’s 30% Caucasian, 30% African-American, and the rest is a combination of first-generation immigrants from around the world,” says Bishop Robert Nelson, the lay leader of this congregation.

A diverse group of congregants from the Third Ward listens to a sermon.

Washington's Third Ward is a near mirror image of the diverse neighborhood it serves, jarring with the Mormon Church's image as a faith-based club for upper-class whites.

Explain it to me: What's Mormonism?

And the Mormon Church, officially called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says the ward represents the diverse face of modern Mormonism, a message it has been trying to spread as part of a yearlong nationwide push to counter its lily-white image.

Since January, the LDS Church has spent millions on an "I'm a Mormon" advertising campaign that features television commercials, billboards and bus signs with Mormons from African-American, Asian, Latino and other ethnic backgrounds. Just last month, the campaign entered 11 new major media markets in Texas, Indiana, Nebraska, Washington, Georgia and Arizona, hitting cities like Atlanta, Denver and Phoenix.

(You won't be seeing the ads in Iowa, South Carolina or Florida. With Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, both Mormon, competing in the Republican presidential primaries, the church says it wants to steer clear of politics.)

The Mormon Church even used the ad campaign to launch a shot across the bow of the hit Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon," buying a digital "I'm a Mormon" billboard just down the street from the theater where the show is playing.

The musical satire, co-produced by the creators of the television show "South Park," shows earnest white American Mormon missionaries and their misadventures in proselytization in Africa.

But the billboard shows a very different face of Mormons. There is an African-American couple playing Frisbee on the beach, a Latino grandfather and granddaughter, a goateed motorcycle sculptor.

Opinion: Who says Mormons aren't Christian?

An official church website, Mormon.org, lets those interested in the church search for Mormons from diverse ethnic backgrounds and features videos from the likes of black soul singer Gladys Knight and Brandon Flowers, frontman for the rock band The Killers.

"It's to say, 'We're like you,' " said Kathleen Flake, a religious scholar from Vanderbilt Divinity School. "It's an attempt to combat stereotypes so that absolutely people are more open to see the normalcy of Mormonism."

The LDS Church says its attempt at an image makeover is as much a reflection of demographic reality as it is a PR effort. While young white missionaries may still be Mormonism's public face in the United States, they are no longer fully representative of the Salt Lake City-based church.

“Our doctrine is we’re all sons and daughters of God," says Stephen Allen, managing director of the LDS Church's missionary department. "Skin color or anything else is not a significant issue to us.”

Video: Defining Mormonism

As head of global missions, Allen supervises the 52,000 19- to 25-year-old missionaries knocking on doors around the world.

He's also executive director of the “I’m a Mormon” campaign, which began in nine markets this year.

“In terms of targeting, we’re not specifically targeting or avoiding any particular group," Allen says. "We send our missionaries all over the world to anywhere people will listen.”

As the church’s efforts to win converts has expanded internationally, “following the American flag around the world,” as Flake puts it, the LDS Church has grown more diverse.

“We’re in most of the free world right now,” Allen says. "We have a presence in Russia and Ukraine and the Baltic countries. We have a growing presence in Africa ... Nigeria, Kenya … then we have, Japan, Korea, Taiwan. There are small congregations in India, and the church is growing in those places.”

The church's membership has doubled since 1988, to 14.1 million Mormons worldwide.  Six million Mormons live in the United States. Many of the church's members live in the American West and Northwest, in some of the whitest states in the country.

But like many other churches, there has been explosive growth in the LDS Church in Latin America. There are more than a million Mormons in both Mexico and Brazil. There are nearly a million Mormons in Asia and 300,000 in Africa, according to church statistics.

“This attempt to emphasize diversity and to emphasize a wide range of people who are Mormon does reflect, in a lot of ways, what’s been going on in reality for a while,” says Matthew Bowman, an editor at a Mormon studies journal called Dialogue.

Even in the United States, the perception of who Mormons are has changed.

“We’ve done a lot of research to see what people think of us and what their perception is,” Allen says. “Twenty-five or 30 years ago, if you said, ‘When you think of the word Mormon, what comes to mind?’ the answer would have been Mormon Tabernacle choir, polygamists, racists, the Osmonds [singers Donny and Marie].”

While that's less the case today, Allen says many people still don't know what a Mormon looks like - or don't know that there are Mormons from minority backgrounds.

A spokesman for the church said it doesn't keep statistics on members' race or ethnicity.

But “it’s no longer just a predominantly white church,” Allen says. “In our early history, you know, it was founded in upstate New York in the United States and was very much a white congregation, but today it’s very diverse.”

The complexion of the average Mormon ward reflects the neighborhood where the building resides. “Mormon wards are not self-selecting,” says Richard Bushman, a visiting professor at the School of Religion of Claremont Graduate University. “In Mormon congregations, they are just geographical boundaries, and wherever you live, you go to church.”

There is no church shopping. Congregants can’t go to another ward if they don’t like the music or the doughnuts at the social hour, as in many other faith traditions.

In Washington's Third Ward, two new converts who had recently been baptized were welcomed into the church on a recent Sunday. Both women were young African-Americans. The men who formed a circle around them and prayed over them were all white.

Unlike the ward, the church's global leadership in Salt Lake City is mostly white.

It was not until 1978 that African-Americans could serve in priesthood positions in the church, a prohibition that extended back to Mormon leader Brigham Young in the 1850s.

"When you see in that ad campaign Mormons, including African-Americans, they are trying to  communicate against that stereotype that Mormons are racist, there's no question about this," says Vanderbilt's Flake. "They are trying to say, 'That's not fair. That is not who we are. Even if we were, we are not now.' "

Allen says the "I'm a Mormon" campaign was designed to assist the small army of young Mormon missionaries out knocking on doors.

"Our feeling was anything we could do to help them was really important," he says. "And helping them means softening people’s hearts.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Jon Huntsman • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics • United States

soundoff (2,530 Responses)
  1. RaKa

    CNN has been attacked for the exact same thing – the lily white image. Huffington Post has attacked them as well as the NCAAP. Especially for their 2011 Anchor line up.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  2. truth4u

    Lipstick on a pig? LDS Prophets claim the moon is inhabited!
    A prophet always prophesies the truth – or – they are a false prophet!

    As incredible as it may seem, LDS publications bear testimony that Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, and Brigham Young, second Prophet of the Church, taught the moon was inhabited.

    In an 1892 LDS publication under the heading "THE INHABITANTS OF THE MOON," this interesting information is given by Oliver B. Huntington:

    "Nearly all the great discoveries of men in the last half century have, in one way or another, either directly or indirectly, contributed to prove Joseph Smith to be a Prophet.

    "As far back as 1837, I know that he said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do - that they live generally to near the age of 1000 years.

    "He described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style.

    "In my Patriarchal blessing, given by the father of Joseph the Prophet, in Kirtland, 1837, I was told that I should preach the gospel before I was 21 years of age; that I should preach the gospel to the inhabitants upon the islands of the sea, and to the inhabitants of the moon, even the planet you can now behold with your eyes." (The Young Woman's Journal, published by the Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Associations of Zion, 1892, vol. 3, pp. 263-64)

    November 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Ben

      Hearsay?

      November 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Bookworm

      He never said that. First people say it was Joseph Smith who said it. Then they say it was Brigham Young. This is not true.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  3. Thayer

    So crazy people come in all colors. Thanks for the info.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Damian

      I agree. Mormonism is a cult, like Scientology. Until the late 1970's, racial inferiority was official church doctrine and the leaders of the church at one time preached that the only way for blacks to get into heaven was as slaves of whites...This whole "diversity" PR campaign is garbage if you ask me.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  4. dont ask

    People can have religious debates till the end of time....arguing who believes what and why....but no one can prove that what you believe is any better than what someone else believes. Have your religion, but save your debates for arguments you can actually win, like with scientific or mathematical proof...because only those can be proven/disproven. I don't care what your religion is...just keep it to yourself and please, please stop using it as an excuse to treat others differently.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Chris

      Faith is what we need to learn and develope. "Knowing" or "Proof" is not what we are here to develope. We all have our own tesimonies of things. That is ours and ours alone. No person can take that.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Bookworm

      The LDS church respects people who don't want to hear about it. If the missionaries ever come to the door they always ask you. If you decline that is that; they may ask to share a spiritual thought. If you don't want to then they leave. We believe in a person's right to believe whatever he wants to believe, worship or live for.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  5. mary

    I know a few mormon families.. And what i find is the clannish-ness sort of oppressive..
    Outsiders .. Meaning not in their family.. Are treated sort of cool.. Children are a big thing.. And spoiled .. so they don't seem able to leave the fold like others.. Encourage to be tied to "family"..
    Thats just the couple of un related families I know..
    If this is how most are, then it's too much dependency on family and not enough standing on your own, for my taste..

    November 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Beni

      Your assessment is spot-on, Mary!

      November 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Chris

      I am a "Mormon" or rather a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I can see what you are saying and in some cases this is true but we are accually encouraged to get involved in the community and not "Sit at home with the family ALL the time". I am not sure why some of "Us" are like that but being a member my whole life, straying as a teen (to say the least) and turning my life around and going on a two year mission to Canada; I can truly say that MOST are not like that. Most try to get involved. It is just that we believe the fabric of our society begins and ends with Jesus Christ and then the HOME/FAMILY.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  6. Beni

    Their whole campaign is about getting Mitt Romney elected president. What a sneaky way for a tax-exempt organization to campaign for their preferred candidate without violatiing an 501C3 or campaign finance laws. Don't fall for it, people; I grew up in the thick of Mormon country and they are an extremely NON-inclusive group.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Ben

      I'm Mormon, and there are two Mormons running for President and I'm not voting for either of them. I'm voting Ron Paul. I know I'm just one person, but the church is not telling it's members to vote Mormon.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Chris

      I am a Mormon as well and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints never has endorsed Any political candidate. I personally lean toward Cain but alot of time left. We will see.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  7. glyder

    senator calls for diaper welfare.yet another story more important than this crap.every pun intended.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  8. schwarzey

    If they want to show they are contrary to their lily-white image, they ought advertise to Joe Six-Pack, that their members are the ones farming a good amount of the barley for the Anheuser-Busch. Thank you kindly, Mormons!

    November 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  9. Disgusted

    Mormon are evil.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • MIAC

      Read Revelation 22:18

      November 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Engrish

      English is hard.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Ben

      Then read Deuteronomy 4:2. It says the same thing. So half the OT and the whole NT is wrong?

      November 2, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  10. rh

    WHO BLOODY CARES!??!?!

    The fact that religions don't pay taxes but actually advertise disgusts me. That's my tax dollars promoting their religion (because I pay more due to religious exemptions).

    We've got to get a church of the atheists up fast to take advantage of these tax exemptions. I bet the deficit would go away if we got rid of the religious exemptions.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • john

      dude.. you are angry

      November 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Alisha

      It would be kind of ironic for athiests to have a "church" considering churches were founded by Christians desiring brotherhood with like-minded thinkers and believers in Christ. Call it what it is. A cult in a building...LOL

      November 2, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • CanOnTo

      Well, a church of atheists would be an oxymoron, but we do have something else up in our sleeve... How about a Church of Flying Spaghetti Monster? http://www.venganza.org/

      November 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  11. middleoftheroad

    Read the Changing World of Mormonism and determine for yourself.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  12. Politics Anyone?

    Does anyone else see a political motivation behind these ads? Most likely Mit Romney will be the Republican Presidential Nominee and as such they want to get the "Mormon" issue behind them. No one should vote or not vote for someone because they are a Mormon. However, it would be interesting to see who is paying for these ads and I am betting it is not just the LDS Church. The timing of these ads is a little too convenient.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • rh

      LDS is VERY rich, so there is no reason to think that either they are paying for it (tax exempt) or someone is "donating" money for it. Another lack of separation of church and state.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • MIAC

      LDS Church?

      eeeeeeerrrrr...........

      rearrange the last two letters, my friend.. Revelation 22:18

      Warren jeffs..... 'nuff said

      lewiswfindley@lycos.com

      November 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • ryan

      well, colored people probably don't flock to mormonism beacause their "holy prophet" said in his personal letters that blacks are animals, not people. That's why Joseph Smith opposed the abolition of slavery. Seems like a "holy" man aught to recognize the inherent evils of slave ownership... hmmmmm

      November 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • XenuRulerOfTheUniverse

      It's kind of like the slightly less evil than Satan campaign I'm running for ruler of the Universe. Satan being Herman Caine, because you know, black people are evil.

      "And [God] had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. And thus saith the Lord God; I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities." (2 Nephi 5:21)

      November 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • MIAC

      ryan – I havea color too, white.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Dustin C

      The article specifically states that these ads are not running in politically important states. I think the church is in fact working very hard to avoid politics.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  13. MIAC

    Mormonism is a CULT – as was stated earlier. Revelation 22:18

    Warren Jeffs.... 'nuff said...

    lewiswfindley@lycos.com

    November 2, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Michael

      Warren Jeffs is *not* a Mormon; at least, the religion he practices is something completely separate, distinct, disconnected and, in fact, condemned by the religion represented in the "I'm A Mormon" campaign.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Gomer

      Ignorance. Nuff said.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • jgnewman

      You are misinformed. Mormons are not members of a cult at all. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a wonderful religion and the Mormon people are good and kind.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • MIAC

      jgnewman – the same is spoken of Anton LaVey's Church of satan .

      November 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Thayer

      Hey Michael. Warren Jeff's practices it just like Joseph Smith and Brigham Young did. 40+ wives and you can marry young teens. Old perverts basically.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  14. mbella1224

    @LostinSLC: You live in SLC, where 60% of the population are not Mormon. I lived in Ogden. I also worked in one of the largest companies in the state. I've met and worked with Mormons that never talked about the religion. It is hard when the others do otherwise. I'm speaking from my own experience.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  15. mp

    The premise of the Book of Mormon is that a family of white people came to America from the east and then God cursed the wicked brothers by darkening their skin. And this article is trying to downplay their racism?

    November 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • john

      i dont know anything about this religion. can you point me to that?

      November 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • jsg

      Here's what's so ignorant about that comment, mp. The winding-up scene in the Book of Mormon describes a horrific scene in which the lighter-skinned people end up exterminated due to their pride and wickedness. In fact, the Book of Mormon speaks abundantly about the blessings that would come to Native Americans in the latter days (which we presume is now). These Book of Mormon prophesies may explain in part why so many of native American descent embrace the Church. Yeah, the Book of Mormon is a bit strange to those reading it for the first time, but it really is not as whacked out as those who have not read it (but hate it) would claim. It's actually a remarkably inspiring, and overwhelmingly Christ-centered book.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Thayer

      Not just that but Blacks weren't allowed to be in the church till 1978. They are as racist as a religion can be.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Ben

      JSG, good comment!

      November 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Chris

      Not true Thayer
      Check your facts, they were not allowed to hold the Priesthood yet. BIG Difference.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  16. klIdaho

    Somewhere here Christine commented that the LDS discriminates against others who are not Mormons. This is true. If your children are not Mormon, other Mormon children are not allowed to play with them. My neighbor's child was told by other Mormon children that, "You're so nice, too bad you're not Mormon, we can't play with and you will go to hell when you die". Nice stuff.
    From working at a University here in Idaho, my husband knows that if a Mormon gets into an administrative position they will only hire other Mormons – qualifications by others don't count.
    If a person decides the LDS faith is nutty and wants out, the church will do EVERYTHING to keep you and might let you go if you are determined. If you leave the church you will then be dead to the rest of your family. If you have a spouse or children, you will never see them again.
    I can site at least 3 other crazy, cult-like things this church does but time is short.

    I know that there are plenty of the church's employees working this site as hard a possible (like Ashley and Logan and as many others who can think of user names as fast as possible) to try and change the image of the LDS church... It really
    doesn't work guys – take a break, and I know you can't refute what I've said without twisting it or lying.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • XenuRulerOfTheUniverse

      My eye is on you, you sharp and crafty truthy person you!

      November 2, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • DirtyBob

      I was hired by a Mormon and am nowhere near being a Mormon. They aren't nearly as fanatical as you make them out to be. Do they believe some crazy stuff? Yes. Is most the stuff you say true? No.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Jason

      I'm sorry for the experience your children have had with other Mormon children. I am a Latter-day Saint. My wife and I have four beautiful children. They have many friends who are not LDS. Most of my co-workers also are not LDS. I am in a position of authority at work. I really don't care if they are LDS or not as long as they are competent in their job. I do not agree with the generalizations you have made but am sorry for negative experiences you may have had.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Jeremy Jensen

      Mormons play with plenty of non-Mormon kids growing up. Most of my friends weren't Mormon. There are a few jerks that don't, especially in Eastern Idaho and Utah, but they are a minority, and they don't have the blessing of the church in doing so. On the contrary.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Gomer

      That's terrible. Except Mormons don't believe in hell, so your statement can't be accurate.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Pat in IL

      I know a man who moved to AZ after graduating from college. He worked for a while, getting nowhere, until he saw the writing on the wall, became Mormon, then started getting promotions, etc. there re. Lot of stories like this.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Faith

      My sister and brother don't go to church. I have never condemned them and love them with all my heart. I grew up in Missouri and was a sole Mormon in my school. I probably felt the same way you might feel or your kids feel. Apologies that the actions of a few affect your entire perception of the LDS church in general.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Gomer

      I just read the rest of your post. Originally stopped with the "go to hell" falsehood. Your entire post is complete nonsense. You are making this stuff up. How sad for you.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Pat in IL

      Also, to be fair....back in the 50's, I was a Presbyterian, growing up in a Catholic neighborhood, and the Catholic kids couldn't't play with us or invite us to their birthday parties. I don't know if that has changed by now, but hope so.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • hephastia

      That wasn't my experience. When I asked to be excommunicated, the bishop asked if I were certain, then it was taken care of. No muss, no fuss. And I am from sourtheast Idaho, which at the time was a very Mormon region.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Ben

      I'm Mormon. I never had one Mormon friend at school. They were all Catholic. Was I missing something that they taught me at church?

      November 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Miss Castellano

      I would first off like to apologize for the behavior you have seen and heard regarding members of the LDS church. We are taught by Christ in the New Testament that the second most important commandment is to "love they neighbor as thyself." The LDS church members you gave examples of do not understand how to treat people . This is a reflection of them as people, not of what our Church stands for. The LDS church is centered around Christ. If you open up the book of Mormon it clearly says on the first page that this is another testament of Christ. It is a companion to the bible, written in the same language and manner, but it a record of a different people. What you said those people do and have done is not Christlike, and it not a good representation of the good people of the Mormon faith. You might want to step back and realize how the truth of a situation can be twisted, especially when feelings are unintentionally hurt.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Chris

      Well stated Miss Castellano
      As a member and former Missionary. I know that Jesus Christ lives, he is the only begotten in the flesh. He was crucified for MY sins of which I am completely incapably of repaying. All I can do is try my best and he makes up the rest. I love him and worship him. I hope with all my flaws that I may one day meet him on bended knee. I need to do better in my life and represent my Faith better. I am not just babbling I truly feel this. I have not always live my faith, I was the worse of the worse as a teen, I did it all. I was down to my last straw one night. Sitting agaist the wall at a rave party in Russell, Mississippi so depressed and empty. I went home and began reading the Book of Mormon (not sure why cause that WAS NOT ME). I got to the Book of Enos and his story changed my life. I felt something that swept over me and I began crying. Not sad but I felt that this Jesus Christ loved me. I know the book is true but others have to find out for themselves. Read James 3:5 " If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveith to all men liberally and upbraidith not". This is my testimony. I own it and no person can take it from me.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • nj

      What you have reported is sorrowful. It is true that it happens that young impressionable children may misunderstand that they cannot play with other children because they are not of our faith. Certainly you must know that It goes both ways, as other faiths have communicated the same toward the Mormons and each other as well. It is human error. It is NOT what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints teaches or believes as its official doctrine or principles of practice. We teach that ALL people on the face of this planet are the children of God, regardless of their culture, country of origin, or color of skin. We teach that God LOVES ALL OF US. We teach that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that through faith on His name and by the grace of His Atoning Sacrifice in the Garden of Gethsemane, we can return to our Heavenly Father. We teach that Christ came to this earth in the meridian of time. He lived then and He lives now, having been resurrected on the Third Day following His crucifixion, as testified of throughout the history of mankind beginning with Adam, down to the present day. He will come again. This is the foundation upon which all else that we teach, believe and strive to practice is built. I invite you to come unto this Living Christ, for what I speak of is true.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Bookworm

      I'm LDS. I converted from another Christian faith. I was treated differently for backsliding. I have a family member that became less active (the only other member) I never shunned her. My point....all religions have some people who do the same.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  17. AH

    II think it was unfortunate that the campaign organizers chose not to capitalize the word 'mormon' on these ads, because on the top of a speeding taxi it reads "I'm a moron." Just saying.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  18. cara11

    I think we can see what kind of people Mormons are just by their posts. Most of the non mormon posts are hatefull and ignorant. The posts by Mormons havn't been in any way derogatory or hatefull. Mormons are not perfect, but at least they try to be.

    November 2, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Tom

      You honestly think that you can stereotype mormons all together and say mormon this and mormon that? And then stereotype all non-mormons together and say non-mormons this and non-mormons that? Get an education.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • cara11

      I said MOST of the non mormon or should I say anti mormon POSTS are ignorant, not every single mormon or non mormon. You talk of being educated and not stereotyping. Maybe you should direct your comments to everyone on this board. Not many seem very educated about the LDS faith and sure love to stereotype when it comes the the LDS faith.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Tom

      You said "we can see what kind of people Mormons are just by their posts" not "we can see what king of people MOST Mormons are".

      /end of fighting stereotypers

      November 2, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  19. Jon O

    I wonder if they mention that it was only in... I think it was the 1970's... that the Mormons let non-whites be ordained?

    November 2, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Gomer

      Not accurate, but thanks for playing.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • John

      As if this is soooo much later than blacks were allowed to do anything else.

      November 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  20. Former Mormon

    The problem with their religion is that all Mormons (like Romney) swear an oath in the temple to give everything they are and own to the church to build up the kingdom of God on Earth. That is almost word for word what we swear to do. Is there a potential conflict of interests with a Mormon in the White House then?

    November 2, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Ben

      I'm Mormon and will not vote Romney or Huntsman. I'm voting Ron Paul!

      November 2, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Miss Castellano

      I hope you still can respect other's beliefs and not disclose things that the LDS churchs believes to be sacred. I do not believe that Romney making this covenant would have to do anything with this political agenda. The church is not concerned with politics it is focused on spreading the truth of it's doctrine.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.