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On call with conservatives, Romney speaks to Mormon beliefs
Mitt Romney spoke to core Mormon beliefs on a Wednesday call with conservatives.
January 26th, 2012
11:23 PM ET

On call with conservatives, Romney speaks to Mormon beliefs

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN

(CNN) – In a recent conference call with conservatives across the country, Mitt Romney expounded upon subjects he usually doesn’t talk much about: Jesus and eternity.

Asked on the call how his faith had shaped his success as a businessman and his political career, the presidential candidate spoke about “a conviction that life is eternal, that your family is your greatest prize, that ultimately what we accomplish in life is of little significance compared to the interests of the savior Jesus Christ and his purposes.”

“It puts everything into perspective and the perspective is that there are things more important than the here and now,” Romney continued on the Wednesday call, which was organized by the Faith and Freedom Coalition and included thousands of participants.

His answer may sound to some like boilerplate Christian thinking, but Romney was expressing core Mormon beliefs in a way he almost never does on the campaign trail.

“I had not heard him speak that openly about his faith in a public setting prior to last night,” said Gary Marx, a former Romney aide who is executive director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, in an interview on Thursday.

Romney almost always deflects questions about his Mormon beliefs. He answered a question about how his religion would affect his presidency at Thursday’s CNN debate by talking about the Founding Fathers’ belief that rights came from God, as opposed to talking about his Mormonism.

Romney campaign spokeswoman man Andrea Saul said it was not unusual for Romney to talk publicly about his faith in public and in news media interviews. "Last campaign, he gave an entire speech on his faith," she said in an e-mail message.

In speaking about his views of eternity on Wednesday, answering a question from a caller based in Atlanta, Romney was echoing Mormon beliefs about the eternal nature of human existence.

“Earth life, as Mormons would put it, is just a tiny moment in eternity because Mormons believe that the spirit exists before there is life and that life is just one short episode in the total journey to becoming more like God,” said Richard Bushman, a Mormon scholar at Columbia University.

“It’s a Mormon way of coping with suffering in this life,” said Bushman, who is Mormon. “You don’t get upset about failures.”

Romney reinforced that sentiment repeatedly in the Wednesday conference call, hosted by conservative activist Ralph Reed, the founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

“What we’re experiencing here is just a moment in time which will soon be replaced by an eternity with our father in heaven,” Romney said.

“Sometimes in daily activities you think about all the implications of what’s happening, based upon how people think of you or what’s going to happen to your financial success,” he continued. “And you stop and think a second, what is the eternal implication of what’s going on here?”

Romney’s remarks about his faith also echoed Mormon teaching on the importance of family, which Mormons believe remains intact after death.

“At the end of the day, when Ann and I are getting ready for bed, we’re talking about the day’s events, we remind ourselves about what matters most to us,” Romney said. “Our family and our relationship with each other and our absolute conviction that Jesus Christ is our savior.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (803 Responses)
  1. Reality

    Mitt, (for your eyer only)

    Please read before your next debate:

    “John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident (the randomness) of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

    The Situation Today
    Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed. “ J. Somerville

    It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe, just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    January 31, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • ......

      for no eyes only hit report abuse on all reality repeated bull crap

      January 31, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    In Christ it is always yes

    January 30, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  3. Darwin>Jesus

    The Placebo Effect is more effective than prayer....cmon people.
    Humans have no ability to comprehend the true "eternal implications" of things....we can't even grasp the geological time scale.
    Atheism is coming and coming to stay....yes, we will all be better for it.

    January 30, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Converts from Mormon
    Can find acceptance in prayer
    Prayer changes things

    January 30, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Nope

      Again...

      Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School and other scientists tested the effect of having three Christian groups pray for particular patients, starting the night before surgery and continuing for two weeks. The volunteers prayed for "a successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications" for specific patients, for whom they were given the first name and first initial of the last name.

      The patients, meanwhile, were split into three groups of about 600 apiece: those who knew they were being prayed for, those who were prayed for but only knew it was a possibility, and those who weren't prayed for but were told it was a possibility.

      The researchers didn't ask patients or their families and friends to alter any plans they had for prayer, saying such a step would have been unethical and impractical. The study looked for any complications within 30 days of the surgery. Results showed no effect of prayer on complication-free recovery. But 59 percent of the patients who knew they were being prayed for developed a complication, versus 52 percent of those who were told it was just a possibility.

      January 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • nope a dope

      prayer works

      January 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Nope

      No it doesn't you've been proven wrong.

      January 30, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  5. Iqbal Khan

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f0sBA61L0Y&w=640&h=390]

    January 29, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  6. Iqbal Khan

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s_IUwwGq-A&w=640&h=390]

    January 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  7. One one

    My god and religion are real and true
    YOUR religion is just a witches’ brew
    NO ! MY god and religion are real and true
    YOURS is just a witches’ brew.
    NO ! MY god and religion are real and true
    YOURS is just a witches’ brew.
    NO ! MY god and religion are real and true
    YOURS is just a witches’ brew.

    Repeat forever.

    January 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  8. Jerod Killick

    Religion has no place in politics! We cannot elect anyone that will rule the country with a bible, or Book of Mormon for that matter. http://www.jerodkillick.com

    January 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • budhenson

      Basic beliefs from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the "Mormons"):

      11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

      12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

      And the next few verses taken from the "Doctrines and Covenants" which specifies church government and beliefs.

      Doctrine and Covenants 134:9
      9 We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.

      Doctrine and Covenants 134:7
      7 We believe that rulers, states, and governments have a right, and are bound to enact laws for the protection of all citizens in the free exercise of their religious belief; but we do not believe that they have a right in justice to deprive citizens of this privilege, or proscribe them in their opinions, so long as a regard and reverence are shown to the laws and such religious opinions do not justify sedition nor conspiracy.

      Doctrine and Covenants 134:10
      10 We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct, according to the rules and regulations of such societies; provided that such dealings be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world’s goods, or to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, or to inflict any physical punishment upon them. They can only excommunicate them from their society, and withdraw from them their fellowship.

      There – that's pretty mainstream, isn't it?

      Joseph Smith once said that he would be as quick to defend the rights of a Baptist, Catholic, Jew of Mohammadian (Islamist) as he would a "Mormon" because anyone who would deny the rights of one of them would also do so to a Mormon.

      January 29, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  9. myklds

    Two reasons why government officials are corrupt:

    1.) Because they are in the capacity and position to do it.
    2.) They think that no one will know what they do and they have the capablity to hide it from (other) people.

    God fear would make a man of faith to think a thousand time and will ultimately stop him from being corrupt and from doing other vain things of the world.

    Because you can hide an elephant inside a freezer from man's eye but you could never hide even a quark-size object in a haystack from the eyes of God.

    Romney's honesty in paying ti.thes and offerings significantly symbolizes his Obedience, Great faith and fear to God.

    Those characteristics and attributes combined with experience and skills in public service and politics, would definitely make him a great American President.

    January 29, 2012 at 4:12 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Then why does a gor fearing person cheat on his wife and then cheat on the new wife.

      Does this moral compass and family values person think he can hide from. An all-knowing all-seeing god?

      How do you spell hypocrite? Gingrich, that's how.

      January 29, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Ugggh, sorry about the typos.

      January 29, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • myklds

      Apparently, Gingrich has not been God fearing as he claimed to be.

      No need toapologise with your typo, it wouldn't spare anyone from the intended pun.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • momoya

      Your argument is wrong, as evidenced by all the "god-fearing" politicians who hide things and start wars. All the presidents that have been in office and most politicians period claim to christian or faithful god believers, and just look at all the bad things they have done.

      January 30, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Knowing God is the beginning of wisdom
    Lead us God in your ways
    Prayer changes things

    January 28, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Nope

      Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School and other scientists tested the effect of having three Christian groups pray for particular patients, starting the night before surgery and continuing for two weeks. The volunteers prayed for "a successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications" for specific patients, for whom they were given the first name and first initial of the last name.

      The patients, meanwhile, were split into three groups of about 600 apiece: those who knew they were being prayed for, those who were prayed for but only knew it was a possibility, and those who weren't prayed for but were told it was a possibility.

      The researchers didn't ask patients or their families and friends to alter any plans they had for prayer, saying such a step would have been unethical and impractical. The study looked for any complications within 30 days of the surgery. Results showed no effect of prayer on complication-free recovery. But 59 percent of the patients who knew they were being prayed for developed a complication, versus 52 percent of those who were told it was just a possibility.

      January 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • nope a dope

      this has been discredited and proven false but ole nope-a- dope does love the attention

      January 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Nope

      "this has been discredited and proven false but ole nope-a- dope does love the attention"

      No it hasn't but you keep lying about it.

      January 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  11. Reality

    Mitt,

    One more time since the message is not getting through–

    Please read before your next debate:

    “John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident (the randomness) of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

    The Situation Today
    Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed. “ J. Somerville

    It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe, just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

    January 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • ......

      Hit report abuse on all reality repeat garbage

      January 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  12. Mormons Are Christian

    Mormons’ theology is based on New Testament Christianity, not Fourth Century Creeds. For example, the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) views on Baptism, Lay Ministry, the Trinity, Theosis, Grace vs. Works, the Divinity of Jesus Christ comport more closely with Early Christianity than any other denomination. And Mormons’ teenagers have been judged to “top the charts” in Christian Characteristics by a UNC-Chapel Hill study. Read about it here:

    http://MormonsAreChristian.blogspot.com

    According to a 2012 Pew Forum poll of members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) 98 percent said they believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and 97 percent say their church is a Christian religion. Mormons have a better understanding of Christianity than any other denomination, according to a 2010 Pew Forum poll:

    http://www.pewforum.org/Other-Beliefs-and-Practices/U-S-Religious-Knowledge-Survey.aspx

    11 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (including several presidents) were non-Trinitarian Christians. Those who now insist on their narrow Trinitarian and salvation-only- by-grace definition of Christianity for candidates for public office are doing our Republic an injustice.

    January 28, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • AvdBerg

      The past already has and the future will confirm that they follow after a false Christ in which there is no salvation (Matthew 24:24). Mitt Romney and the members of the Church do not know what spirit they are of (Luke 9:55) and unless they repent and turn from darkness to light and from Satan (whose spirit they are of) they will remain spiritually blind (Acts 26:18).

      Please read 2 Cor. 11:13-15.

      http://WWW.AWORLDDECEIVED.CA

      January 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • just sayin

      Mormons are a lot of things ,they appear no better or worse than anyone else. One thing a Mormon is not is a Christian. Mormons are not Christians

      January 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      I did not know that Christians,

      1) believed they would become a god of their own planet,
      2) believed that god resided near a place in the universe called Kolob,
      3) posthumously baptized people,
      4) believed that the garden of Eden was in Missouri,
      5) that native Americans are Jews?,
      6) that Polynesians are Jews,
      7) wear magic undergarments to protect them from the outside world

      January 29, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • Tb3Nrg

      This isn't the place to change minds, but I wonder what proof AvdBerg, just sayin, and ElmerGantry have. They prove that those that don’t understand something fear it and condemn it. Who’s to say Mormons are or are not Christian? Men? That makes doesn’t any sense. Your rants prove 2 things. First the above mentioned fact about fear, and second the more true a church or faith is, the more people will try to knock it down. I dare anyone to find active Mormon say that all other churches are wrong.

      AvdBerg – thanks for putting together a few scriptures that can be applied to anything or anyone.

      just sayin – your right that Mormons they “appear no better or worse than anyone else”, but who are you to judge them as non-christian? Are you Christ?

      ElmerGantry – the only points you make that are accurate are 3 and 4, you might want to do a little research on everything else, sorry but no one not even Mormons believe your points. As for points 2 and 3: 2)how else are those that died without baptism supposed to go to heaven? If you’re a Christian, you know how important it is, but some never have that opportunity. Would you condemn these people just because they never had a chance to be baptized? 3) So what? Many believe it to be in all sorts of places around the world. Regardless of where it is, it doesn’t make of whether or not I make the right decisions to be “saved”.

      Good luck

      January 29, 2012 at 5:11 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      @Tb3Nrg

      1 and 2 are true. Go to the official LDS website and look in their Doctrine and Covenents!

      5. Is also true. It is the basis of the book of Mormon. According to the book of Mormon, western people originated from Jews who travelled west from the middle east and settled in the western hemisphere. The Mormons believe inspite of genetic, archaeologic, and linguistic evidence.

      6. Is also true. Go visit the Polynesian Cultural center in Hawaii ( which is run by the Mormon Church) and you will see thet have a map showing emigration from south America to Hawaii. Again, counter to genetic, archaeologic, and linguistic evidence.

      Thanks but no thanks for you apologistic response.

      January 29, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      @Tb3Nrg

      Are you still denying that 5 is true?

      Then go to the HILL CÜMORAH pageant staged by the Mormons every year in Palmyra NY.

      The whole pageant is based on a tribe of Jews traveling west to North America by boat. This is fundamental in Mormon belief and is completely counter to genetic, archeological, and linguistic evidence.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  13. AvdBerg

    The above article claims that Jesus Christ is the savior of the GOP candidate Mitt Romney. This is a false claim as Mitt Romney and the followers of his church follow after an image of a false god and a false Christ in which there is no salvation (Matthew 24:24).

    For a better understanding of the history of the Mormon Church we invite you to read the article ‘Mormon Church ~ Cult and Spiritual Harlot’ listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    The article not only explains the history of the Church and the Book of Mormons but also explains what spirit it serves (Luke 9:55). It is based on Biblical truths.

    The Bible is not only the Word of God, it is God (John 1:1) and it is the discerner of every thought and intent of the heart (Hebrews 5:12).

    The Bible tells us that it is a deep hidden mystery (Mark 4:11). It was written for the believers who are able to understand every word including the parables (Matthew 13:11), as the Bible is spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14). The Bible was not written for the unbelievers (atheist, members of the religious and gay community, etc) and in their sinful state they are alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them (Eph. 4:18).

    To further explain the Mystery of God we have added the article ‘The Natural Body vs the Spiritual Body to our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    Two thousand years ago the Apostle Paul recorded in 1 Cor. 15:44 that there is a natural body and a spiritual body and in our article we explain and describe the meaning of it. The understanding of the new article will provide you with the key that will unlock all the mysteries of the kingdom of God (Mark 4:11).

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain the deep hidden mysteries of God and how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    The Word of God is God (John1:1), it is truth and there is no lie in it (Hebrews 6:18).

    Seek, and ye shall find (Matthew 7:7).

    January 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Mormons Are Christian

      You have forgotten about the "mysteries" which were expunged from the Christian canon in the Third and Fourth Centuries. Read about the "mysteries" which have been restored by the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS):

      http://NewTestamentTempleRitual.blogspot.com

      These mysteries have since been corroborated by the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hamadi Library.

      January 28, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • just wondering

      How can there be Christian mysteries in the Dead Sea Scrolls? The scrolls date to the 1st or 2nd century B.C., 100 to 200 years before the birth of Christ and contained no New Testament writings.

      January 28, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Tb3Nrg

      Wow a lot of hate for a Christian website. My favorite part was “Their policy of recruiting and proselytizing young people to become missionaries, with promises of a low-cost education and a good career, is for the sole purpose of adding new members who are willing to add to the coffers of the church.” Admittedly, I went to France on a mission; but no one offered me a low cost education or career. In fact I don’t know anyone who got that offer. Without arguing too much because I can’t convince you of anything. Why worry about other religions when you should focus on your life first then helping others second. Rather than demeaning others to make yourself look better. A couple quick points of Joseph Smith, he was not under arrest when he was in jail just before he was killed. It was hoped that he would be more protected there. Of the four people that were there, at least 2 had guns for self-protection. Doesn’t sound like a normal prison to me. Out of desperation Joseph did jump from his second story room window and was shot before hitting the ground. Not a very escape proof prison if he was under arrest. Up to the moment he died he never doubted or reneged what he saw or taught. Regardless of what you believe, that is a definition of a martyr. If you really want to know what the church is about, talk to member instead of talking to those how obviously don’t like the church. You might as will ask a divorced wife if her ex-husband was a good man, yeah, that works. Good luck with your understanding.

      January 29, 2012 at 5:52 am |
    • wander all throughtout your life

      "How can there be Christian mysteries in the Dead Sea Scrolls? The scrolls date to the 1st or 2nd century B.C., 100 to 200 years before the birth of Christ and contained no New Testament writings."

      @Just wondering

      Go to Mirriam Webster on line or grab that dusty dictionary from the top of that much dustier table and look for the word "prophecy". It might help you with your concern.

      January 29, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      @Tb3Nrg

      Ahhhh, Joseph Smith was arrested and convicted of the con known as "money digging" aka "glass looking" by the Justice of the Peace in Bainbridge NY.

      January 29, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • just wondering

      Caught as a Mormon fraud, there was no Websters in the Dead Sea Scrolls either were there? Mormon mysteries my ass

      January 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Webster'Scroll

      You might have "just wondering" if you're a human or not, TROLL!

      January 30, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • wonderingdolt

      Yeah...it's either be trolling or just plain idiot.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:30 am |
  14. lastofall

    Unfortunately the candidate is misinformed or as we would refer to it, falsely taught about many things concerning the Truth according to the true and living God.

    January 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  15. Leucadia Bob

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E3eY94Gu0k&w=640&h=390]

    January 28, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    The bows of the warriors are broken
    But those who stumbled are armed with strength
    Prayer changes things

    January 28, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  17. Atheist #1

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ucVDpmFz-E&w=640&h=390]

    January 28, 2012 at 1:45 am |
  18. Atheist #1

    http://gawker.com/5879888/yes-the-romneys-converted-mitts-dead-atheist-father+in+law-to-mormonism

    January 28, 2012 at 1:11 am |
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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.