By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
Alexandria, Virginia (CNN) – A few hundred Mormons filed into a chapel just outside the Washington Beltway one recent Sunday to hear a somewhat unusual presentation: an Obama administration official recounting his conversion to Mormonism.
“I have never in my life had a more powerful experience than that spiritual moment when the spirit of Christ testified to me that the Book of Mormon is true,” Larry Echo Hawk told the audience, which stretched back through the spacious sanctuary and into a gymnasium in the rear.
Echo Hawk’s tear-stained testimonial stands out for a couple of reasons: The White House normally doesn’t dispatch senior staff to bare their souls, and Mormons hew heavily Republican. It’s not every day a top Democrat speaks from a pulpit owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
And yet the presentation by Echo Hawk, then head of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, is also a perfect symbol of a phenomenon that could culminate in Mitt Romney’s arrival at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next year: The nation’s capital has become a Mormon stronghold, with Latter-day Saints playing a big and growing role in the Washington establishment.
The well-dressed crowd gathered for Echo Hawk’s speech was dotted with examples of inside-the-beltway Mormon power.
In one pew sits a Mormon stake president – a regional Mormon leader – who came to Washington to write speeches for Ronald Reagan and now runs a lobbying firm downtown.
Behind him in the elegant but plain sanctuary – Mormon chapels are designed with an eye toward functionality and economy – is a retired executive secretary of the U.S. Supreme Court.
A few pews further back, the special assistant to the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan sits next to a local Mormon bishop who came to Washington to work for Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and now leads a congressionally chartered foundation.
Mitt Romney, who would be the first Mormon president if elected, is the son of a Cabinet secretary under Richard Nixon.
“In a Republican administration, there will be even more Mormons here,” whispers the bishop, Lewis Larsen, pointing out prominent Washingtonians around the chapel. “Every Republican administration just loads up with them.”
Regardless of which party controls the White House, Mormonism in Washington has been growing for decades.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
When Larsen arrived in Washington in the early ’80s, there were a just handful of Mormon meetinghouses in northern Virginia, where he lives. Today, there are more than 25, each housing three separate congregations, or wards, as they’re known in the LDS Church.
“There’s been an absolute explosion in Mormon growth inside the beltway,” Larsen says before slipping out of the pew to crank the air conditioning for the swelling crowd.
The LDS Church says there are 13,000 active members within a 10-mile radius of Washington, though the area’s Mormon temple serves a much larger population – 148,000 Latter-day Saints, stretching from parts of South Carolina to New Jersey.
Signs of the local Mormon population boom transcend the walls of the temple and meetinghouses.
Crystal City, a Virginia neighborhood just across the Potomac River from Washington, has become so popular with young Mormons that it’s known as “Little Provo,” after the Utah city that’s home to church-owned Brigham Young University.
Congress now counts 15 Mormon members, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. That means the 2% of the country that’s Mormon is slightly overrepresented on Capitol Hill.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, is the highest-placed elected Mormon in Washington.
Even many Latter-day Saints joke about Washington’s “Mormon mafia” – referring to the number of well-placed LDS Church members across town – though they cringe at the thought of being seen as part of some cabal. (Echo Hawk, for his part, left the Obama administration a few weeks after his chapel presentation for a job in the LDS Church hierarchy).
“No one talks about Washington being an Episcopalian stronghold or a Jewish stronghold,” says Richard Bushman, a Mormon scholar at Columbia University. Talk of “Mormon Washington,” he says, “represents a kind of surprise that people who were thought of as provincial have turned up in sophisticated power positions.”
Bushman and other experts note that, despite Mormons’ growing political power, the official church mostly steers clear of politics. It’s hard to point to federal legislation or a White House initiative that bears distinctly Mormon fingerprints, while it’s easy to do the same for other faiths.
For example, the White House’s recent “compromise” on a rule that would have required religious groups to fund contraception for employees was mostly a reaction to pressure from Roman Catholic bishops.
Nonetheless, Mormon success in Washington is a testament to distinctly Mormon values, shedding light into the heart of one of America’s fastest-growing religions.
And though the official church is mostly apolitical, most rank-and-file Mormons have linked arms with the GOP. Romney’s own political evolution mirrors that trend.
Such forces help explain why Mormons’ beltway power is poised to grow even stronger in coming years, whether or not Romney wins the White House.
‘A ton of Mormon contacts’
For many Washington Mormons, religion plays a key role in explaining why they’re here.
Larsen, who sports a brown comb-over and tortoise shell glasses, arrived in Washington in the early 1980s as an intern for Hatch, also a Mormon.
He landed the internship courtesy of Brigham Young University, his alma mater. The Mormon school owns a four-story dorm on Pennsylvania Avenue, not too far from the White House, which houses 120 student interns each year. It’s the school’s largest such program in the nation.
“Part of our church’s tradition is to be connected with civic life, to make our communities better,” says BYU’s Scott Dunaway, who helps place students on Capitol Hill, at the Smithsonian and other Washington institutions. “We don’t believe in being reclusive.”
It’s a perfect characterization of Larsen. He grew up in Provo, in the shadow of BYU, and wanted to prove he could make it outside of Utah.
“Kids growing up in the LDS Church have been told, ‘Go ye out in the world and preach the gospel of Christ - don’t be afraid to be an example,’ ” Larsen said, sitting in the glass-doored conference room of the foundation he runs on K Street.
“So we are on our missions, converting people to Christianity,” he continued. “And coming to Washington, for me and probably for a lot of people, came out of that interest. We see it as our career, but also we’re going out to preach the word of Christ.”
For Larsen, that usually means correcting misinformation about Mormonism or explaining Mormon beliefs and practices – you really don’t drink coffee, ever? – over lunch with co-workers or at business functions, rather than on-the-job proselytizing.
He learned about integrating work and faith from Hatch. He was initially shocked to discover that the senator prays in his office each morning. Larsen and Hatch developed what the bishop calls a “father-son” relationship, with the intern rising up through the ranks to become Hatch’s chief Washington fundraiser.
“We would go on trips, and I’d quiz him on the plane: Why did the church do this? Why didn’t the church do this?” Larsen said. “He was like a tutor to me.”
Now, as the head of a foundation that educates teachers about the U.S. Constitution, the bishop helps other young Mormons with job leads and introductions. Larsen was appointed to the role by Hatch and the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy.
Much of Washington’s Mormon professional network is still anchored by BYU, which operates a handful of big, well-connected alumni groups with major Washington chapters. The most prominent is BYU’s Management Society, a global organization whose biggest chapter is in Washington.
At the chapter’s recent alumni dinner, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was the guest of honor. She has strong ties to the Mormon community and has hired Mormons as top aides. Says Larsen: “Condi’s got a ton of Mormon contacts.”
Patrice Pederson also knows how to work a Rolodex. A lifelong political activist, she moved from Utah to Washington last year and soon tapped into BYU’s local network.
Pederson served as the U.S.-based campaign manager for Yeah Samake, a Mormon running for president in the West African nation of Mali.
Samake traveled frequently to the U.S. to raise money and build political support, so Pederson enlisted the help of BYU’s Management Society and other groups to host events for the candidate.
Both in Washington and across the U.S., many Mormons are watching his candidacy.
“Members of the church on Capital Hill were anxious to introduce the candidate to other members of Congress,” says Pederson, sipping an herbal tea (Mormons eschew black leaf teas) in a strip mall Starbucks near her apartment in Alexandria, Virginia.
“It’s cool to have a member of the church running for president in Africa.”
Beyond making connections, many Washington Mormons say the LDS Church provides an ideal proving ground for careers here.
Unlike most churches, it has no professional clergy; from the bishop to the organist, each role is filled by everyday Mormons, most of whom have other day jobs. As a result, Mormons take church leadership roles at an early age, speaking publicly at Sunday services almost as soon they learn to talk.
“My kids grew up in the church, and we get together for three hours on Sundays, and each member needs to get up and speak,” says U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. “By the time they graduate, they have all these speaking assignments that other teenagers just don’t have.
U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, says Mormonism provides ideal training for aspiring politicians.
“For those who grow up in the Mormon church, they are taught skills that allow them to be successful in a tough city like Washington,” says Chaffetz, who converted to Mormonism shortly after college.
Young Mormons also hone leadership skills by serving missions away from home. The missions last from one and half to two years and happen when Mormons are in their late teens and early 20s and often include intensive foreign language training.
“Young Mormons are more formidable in public settings and international settings than others,” says Terryl Givens, a Mormon scholar at the University of Richmond. “Normally you would have to acquire more age and work experience before you feel comfortable and useful at NGOs and think tanks.”
Chaffetz, whose son is serving a mission in Ghana, says the experience is the perfect preparation for political careers.
“They learn rejection early on,” he says. “If you’re going to be in politics, that’s a pretty good attribute.”
Christina Tomlinson served her mission in nonexotic Fresno, California. But working with the Laotian community there, she acquired the foreign language skills that landed her first internship at the U.S. State Department.
“I look back at that and it’s nothing but divine providence,” Tomlinson says one night at an office building-turned-chapel in Crystal City, after a weekly discussion about Mormon teachings. “I would have never made those choices.”
When she arrived at her foreign service orientation in the late 1990s, Tomlinson was surprised to find that a half-dozen of her State Department colleagues were also Mormon. The thriving LDS community at State even runs its own e-mail list server so Latter-day Saints can find each other wherever in the world they’re stationed.
Like former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, who used the Mandarin language skills acquired through a Mormon mission to Taiwan to help secure his job as President Barack Obama’s previous ambassador to China, Tomlinson leveraged her mission to get ahead at State, where she now serves as special assistant to the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“I’m basically the chief of staff for the president’s representative charged with implementing U.S. foreign policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan,” she e-mailed on a recent plane ride back from the region.
Language skills acquired on a Mormon mission helped Christina Tomlinson get her start at the State Department.
At the point of a bayonet
Like many Mormons, Tomlinson says her professional life is driven by a faith-based patriotism that sounds old-fashioned to modern ears: “I just really wanted to serve my country.”
But that distinctly Mormon patriotism was hard-won. From their very beginning, Mormons had tried to forge a special relationship with Washington. And for decades, they failed.
Joseph Smith, who founded Mormonism in the 1830s, petitioned the U.S. government to protect his fledgling religious community from the violent persecution it was experiencing, even meeting repeatedly with President Martin Van Buren.
But Washington refused, provoking Smith – who Mormons consider their founding prophet – to run for president himself in 1844. He was assassinated by an anti-Mormon mob in Illinois well before Election Day.
In the face of such attacks, Mormons fled west, to the territory that’s now Utah. But they continued to seek ties with Washington, dispatching representatives to the capital to lobby for statehood.
Congress refused to grant it. Instead, Uncle Sam disincorporated the LDS Church and sent the U.S. Army to police Mormon territory.
In the eyes of Washington, Latter-day Saints were flouting federal law by practicing polygamy. The feds saw the LDS Church as an undemocratic rival government that threatened Washington’s power.
Joseph Smith, Mormonism’s founding prophet, ran for president in 1844 but was killed before Election Day.
Mormons would eventually ban polygamy, paving the way for Utah statehood in 1896. But Congress nonetheless refused to seat the new state’s Mormon senator, who also served as a top church official.
For four years, the U.S. Senate held hearings to grill U.S. Sen. Reed Smoot and other church leaders, alleging that Mormons continued to practice polygamy despite promises to the contrary.
“The political trial was as much a galvanizing cultural moment as was Watergate,” says Kathleen Flake, a scholar of Mormonism at Vanderbilt University in Tenneessee.
When Smoot was eventually seated – after the LDS Church took further steps to stamp out polygamy – he managed to become a Washington powerbroker. He would chair the Senate Finance Committee and act as a presidential adviser.
“He was Mr. Republican,” says Flake. “For a while there, he was the Republican Party.”
Smoot’s unflagging pursuit of legitimacy in Washington, despite the city’s bias against him and his faith, symbolizes what many call a uniquely Mormon appreciation for American civic life. It helps explain the Mormon fascination with Washington to this day.
It may seen counterintuitive, but Mormons’ early exposure to persecution at the hands of other Americans – aided, Mormons say, by the U.S. government – wound up strengthening their patriotic streak.
In the face of attacks, Mormons clung to the U.S. Constitution and its unprecedented guarantee of religious freedom. They distinguished between the document and those charged with implementing it.
Mormon scripture goes so far as to describe the U.S. Constitution as divinely inspired, establishing a unique environment in which Mormonism could emerge.
“Mormons are superpatriots,” says Columbia University’s Bushman. “Joseph Smith said that if the government was doing its job as laid out in the Constitution, it would protect Mormons from their enemies.”
Mormons began to shed their Utah-only siege mentality and fanned out in the early part of the 20th century. Their patriotic streak, which translated into military enlistments and applications for government jobs, led many to Washington.
That wave included J. Willard Marriott, the hotel chain founder, who launched his business career by opening an A&W root beer stand here. He would go on to forge the kind of deep political connections that would help make Willard “Mitt” Romney his namesake.
Washington’s Mormon community got another boost in the 1950s when President Dwight Eisenhower appointed a top church official, Ezra Taft Benson, as his agriculture secretary.
“Mormons took it as a sign of maybe, just maybe, we’re being accepted,” says Flake. “It signified a cultural acceptance of Mormonism. People thought Mormons believed weird things, but also that they were self-reliant, moral and good neighbors.”
As Mormons became more accepted, they became more upwardly mobile, landing in parts of the country that could sustain careers in commerce, academia and government - another reason Washington was a big draw.
By the time there were enough Mormons in the eastern U.S. to justify the construction of the first Mormon temple east of the Mississippi River, the church chose a site just outside Washington.
The temple opened in 1974, shortly after another high-profile Mormon – George Romney, Mitt’s father – left his post as Richard Nixon’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
“The Washington temple served as a symbol of the triumphant return of Mormonism to the east,” says Givens, the University of Richmond professor. “Mormons left from the point of a bayonet in the 1800s and the temple is this gigantic symbol that says ‘We’re back – and we’re back in the nation’s capital.’ ”
The Mormon temple outside Washington was the first such temple built east of the Mississippi River.
Unlike Mormon meetinghouses, where members meet for Sunday worship, temples are grander buildings reserved for certain rites, such as proxy baptisms for the dead.
To this day, the first monument many Washington visitors see isn’t a federal landmark. It’s the massive Mormon temple, its Georgian marble towers and gold-leafed spires looming above the trees on the Washington Beltway like an otherworldly castle.
The temple houses a J. Willard Marriott-financed mural of Jesus Christ’s second coming, which features a picture of the Washington temple itself in the background.
“Are you implying that the millennium will begin in Washington?” a temple visitor once asked Marriott, referring to Jesus’ return.
Replied Marriott: “What better place is there?”
Good at organizing
These days, the Mormon impulse toward Washington is often as much political as patriotic.
Patrice Pederson - the campaign manager for the Mormon running for president in Mali - made her first foray into politics at 15, hopping the bus from her home in the suburbs of Salt Lake City into town to intern with a Republican candidate for the U.S. House.
“I remember that when Bill Clinton was elected, I wore all black to school that day,” says Pederson, who was in junior high at the time. “I was mourning the death of liberty.”
When then-Vice President Al Gore visited Utah, Pederson protested his speech with a homemade poster that said “Blood, Guts & Gore – Healthcare’94.” (She can’t recall the poster’s exact meaning).
Pederson’s activism as a “total hardcore right-winger” continued into her 20s. She put off college at BYU to start a “pro-family” advocacy group aimed at lobbying foreign governments and the United Nations. The work brought her to Washington so frequently that she decided to relocate last year: “I had more friends here than in Utah.”
Pederson’s path to D.C. speaks to the growing Mormon/Republican alliance since the 1960s, driven largely by the emergence of social issues such as abortion and gay marriage and the rise of the Christian Right.
“In the 1950s and ’60s, Utah became Republican,” says Bushman. “It’s partly about being anti-communist, but it’s also a response to the 1960s and the decay of old-fashioned moral virtues. It’s an anti-1960s movement, and the Republicans seemed to be the party of old-fashioned virtues.”
Pederson’s roommate, Kodie Ruzicka, grew up squarely in that movement, with her mom heading the Utah chapter of Eagle Forum, a conservative Christian group founded by rightwing icon Phyllis Schlafly.
In the 1970s, when the Catholic Schlafly led a successful grassroots campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment, which would have made gender-based discrimination unconstitutional, she enlisted the help of Mormons.
To its opponents, including the LDS Church, the ERA was the work of radical feminists who wanted to upend traditional gender roles.
Much of Schlafly’s organizing was among evangelicals, and “given the sometimes hostile evangelical line on Mormons, [Schlafly’s] Mormon outreach was kind of revolutionary,” says Ruzicka, who now works at the Justice Department. “But we’re good at organizing, and we have a lot of useful structures for it, so that was useful to her.”
Today, Mormons head Eagle Forum chapters across the West, including California, Arizona and Nevada, as well as Utah.
Bridge-building between Mormons and the conservative movement helps explain the Reagan administration’s push to hire many Mormons into the White House - which further cemented the alliance. That bond continues to lure Mormons to D.C.
Ruzicka, for one, continued in the political footsteps of her mother, arriving in Washington in her mid-20s to lead a nonprofit that promotes safe haven laws, which allow young mothers to legally abandon young children at fire stations.
Beyond hot-button social issues, U.S. Rep. Chaffetz says the Mormon faith engenders support for limited government.
“The church is very adamant about personal responsibility, and for people to voluntarily participate in service,” the Utah Republican says. “There’s this feeling that service is not something that should be mandated by government.”
The LDS Church, for its part, insists it is politically neutral and that it avoids pressuring Mormon elected officials to tow a church line. “The church’s mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not to elect politicians,” the church’s website says.
Mormon experts say the church’s support for a relatively strict separation of church and state is born of the U.S. government’s refusal to help Mormons in the face of early persecution.
And after being accused of setting up a rival government around the turn of the last century, the church is loath to be seen giving marching orders to LDS politicians.
The church did, however, play a leading role in passing Prop 8, California’s gay marriage ban, in 2008. Church officials called it a moral cause, not a political one.
Plenty of critics disagree. But neither Mormon bishops nor church officials are known to lead the kind of church-based legislative lobbying efforts that Catholic bishops or evangelical leaders do.
Mitt Romney himself embodies the reluctance of Mormon politicians to connect their religion and their public policy positions, in contrast to politicians of other faiths.
That reluctance also appears to be born of anxiety over Americans’ lingering questions and doubts about Mormonism. When Pew asked Americans last year what word they associated with the Mormon faith, the most common response was “cult.”
In recent weeks, Romney’s newfound position as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has produced a mix of excitement and worry among Mormons. That’s especially true in Washington, where politically savvy Latter-day Saints send out frequent e-mail round-ups of Mormon media coverage to their LDS networks.
“A lot of us know it’s ultimately a good thing, but it’s hard to feel like it’s a good thing because so much of the publicity is about things you wouldn’t talk about in polite company, like my underwear,” says Pederson, referring to the enduring fascination with Mormon undergarments.
Like many conservatives, Pederson is suspicious of Romney.
“I don’t like his waffling, to put it gently, on life and family issues,” she says. “But if it comes down to Romney versus Obama, hand me the pom-poms. I’ll be president of the Romney-Is-the-Best-We-Can-Come-Up-With-for-President Club.”
For now, Pederson is working with the National Right to Life Committee’s political action committee to raise money for the Romney effort, even as she makes up her mind about how actively she wants to promote his candidacy.
Some of her calculus is about weighing political reality against her conservative idealism. And some of it is about her next professional move. It’s a very Washington place to be.
– Video by CNN photojournalist Jeremy Moorhead
holly in ca–you are not a christian–you worship the christ of the book of mormon–your prophet was a liar and a murder from the beginning
Good grief, your ignorance is such a nuisance. Go do some real research, meet a few Mormons, and get your facts straight.
holly–the fact is the book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ is not the word of God–cursed is your christ and your prophet joeseph smith.
If you combine all the definitions of a "true christian," nobody fits, even Jesus.
And the New Testament is not the word of God to Jewish people.
Folk keep writing sequels that aren't as good as the original.
Peter my gut feeling is that you are not a Christian.
Holly in CA can claim to be a Christian, believe in the Book of Mormon, talk to Jesus, Santa Claus, and the tooth fairy every night before going to bed. Who are you to judge? Peter, the man who casts the first stone? Go for it, poke your eye out.
If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
For the official line about Mormons go to
For the personal testimonials from ex Mormons about mormonism go to
For insight as to mormon dogma and science, recently written by a Mormon official to a Mormon Elder, go to
Discover modern science is truly false and the world is only 6000 years old, as official Mormon doctrine.
Do you want the president of the United States to believe that science is false?
The person in charge of US nuclear weapons? I DO NOT!!!
I attended BYU (Mormon University) and was taught in my science classes, taught by Mormon professors, that the earth was billions of years old. In the translation of the Bible, a day means a period of time. How much time? We simply do not know. There are diverse opinions about this throughout the Christian community, as well as the scientific community I might add.
Thanks for responding Holly in CA.
Reading the internal memo to Elder Holland, the official LDS line is 6000 years.
Since Elder Holland headed BYU before becoming a Mormon apostle, now running all of LDS, berhaps he can best explain the facts that you present.
I am not a Mormon, it will take a high level Mormon of official authority to explain this anomaly.
If LDS believes 6000 years, they are not alone, Jehovah Witnesses and some Pentecostals believe this also.
But I do not want them in charge of US nuclear weapons either.
If LDS wants to flip flop, depending on what part of LDS is doing the talking, they are going to get caught.
It would appear the crux of the issue is whether the Book of Mormon is true, the infallible teachings coming directly from GOD, thru Joseph Smith the first Mormon Prophet who found and read the golden plates as assisted by angel Moroni.
Good luck on your faith in your religion. Seems like there may be a inherent problem in the belief system.
It looks like EchoHawk has decided that his American Indian ancestors were from the "Lost Ten" triibes of Israel, as Mormons claim.
If you can believe that, you can believe in anything, including the Tooth Fairy.
mom of 4–let me be very clear–you worship the jesus christ wirtten and preached by joeseph smith who wrote the book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ.. CURSED is your christ,your prophet joseph smith and his god
you are not a christian or part of christedom–i voted for santorum and will sit out the gen election
I hope you all will read the Book of Mormon someday before you judge. It is the history of the Aztecs, Incas, Mayans and other ancient people on the American continent. No uneducated farmboy could make this up. I also hope that maybe you will stop the hate, even if you don't agree with Mormon beliefs.
leslie wilson–there is still time for you to reject the claims of the cursed prophet of yours-cursed is your jesus christ and his prophet forever and ever
Let me be very clear, Mormons worship the Jesus Christ of the New Testament, the same Jesus Christ who died on the cross and was resurrected, the same Jesus who was born in Bethlehem, the same Jesus born of Mary, the same Jesus who performed miracles amongst the Jews, the same Jesus who offered salvation to mankind.
Visit http://www.Mormon.org to find out more about Jesus Christ.
mom of four–let me be clear–mormons worship the jesus christ of the book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ written and preached by joeseph smith in the 1800s. Cursed is the christ of the book of mormon. Cursed is his prophet.
Mormons are cursed even to the 7th generation
Peter, your hatred toward another Christian religion astounds me. Christ did not teach such hatred. Quite the contrary..."Love your enemies" is what Jesus taught.
"i ... will sit out the gen election"
@ Mom of 4—
The issue is that LDS theology— and specifically the LDS view of Jesus— will likely never be accepted by mainstream Christians. They get that you 'worship' the same being but they just think you don't understand who God really is. You just disagree on the specifics.
Dont support the mormon cult! Dont sell out your faith supporting a cultist! Magical underwaer ROFLLLL,Planet kolob ROFLLLLLLLLLLLLL
stop the hate. love one another.
MORMONS ARE A SICKO CULT!!!! TOTAL SCAM AND GARBAGE RELIGION<DONT BE FOOLED THEY WILL LIE TO YOU AND SAY THEY ARE SWEET CHRISTIANS WHEN THEY ANRE CULTISTS THAT ARE EVIL
I am a Mormon. I am married with 4 children, volunteer for the PTA, work part-time, serve in my church and in my community. I am a homeowner and a tax payer. My children play lots of instruments, sports, and are involved in student council through their schools. We donate regularly to the local food bank. I don't know what your issue is with Mormons but I am a Mormon and I resent your bigoted remarks regarding me and my family.
mom of 4-you have every right to worship the evil and cursed christ of joeseph smith and his false god-we are just trying to help you break the chains of darkness and slavery of the mind–the fact is the book of mormon,another testament of jesus christ is not the word of God-you can't prove your false god no matter how many good works you do or that you are a good mom. mormons are cursed to even the 7th generation
One thing I love about Mormons is their sense of humor. This comment actually makes me, and probably any Mormon, giggle. They are so un-threatening.
@Peter...Let me be very clear, Mormons worship Jesus Christ as their Savior and Redeemer. We do not worship Joseph Smith or any other prophet. Please refer to the facts on http://www.Mormon.org before giving out more false information.
"They are so un-threatening."
What an odd thing to say...
Lesle Wilson: "They are un-threatening". What does that mean? Do you mean Catholics or Baptists or Jews or Hindus or Buddhist are threatening? Have you met people of any other religion and how are they threatening to you? Threatening as in "physical", " moral" or what?
There is no doubt in my mind that the Mormon religion is a cult religion.Mormons are an evil cult that brainwashes its members.How can anyone worship the teachings of a fraud Joesoph Smith,a con artist,a rapist,a molester,a theif,a polyigimist.How can so many people Rever a man so vile and dishonest? This tells me alot about the people worshiping him.What I am saying is just comon sence,how can you not see how messed up this cult is unless your brainwashed and being controlled.Sorry but Mormons are a vile religion and vile cult,that worships a vile man and vile god.You mormons should be ashamed you are being coned so easily and are twisting the christian faith.
Jesus said..."every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" Matthew 12:36
For the truth about Mormons go to http://www.Mormon.org
Never go to a Mormon websight,they will lie and pretend they are good christians,when they are lying through their teeth,they dont want the normal person to see how messed upp they are.Of course they will deny the charges of being a cult,or deny the violence toward children and women.I suggest to look on a non morman sight,there are plenty nad go to you tube they have many ex mormans that tell the truth about how sick the mormons are,or search mormon magic underwear on you tube ,a reporter has a great story shoing the twisted religion.I will not vote for Romney,I hope the gop can get a good christian candidate one day not a cultist.Until then I refuse to vote.
holly–it will been better if joeseph smith have never been born on that day
For Holly in CA and others, please don't go on giving the website mormon.org. Everyone here knows how to search for any information online. If you type "info on mormon" on google, that is first site, it prints and so, Mormons must be paying well for google search to come out top in the search.
I will have to admit their is something wrong with the Mormon religion.I have herd so many stories how they have sisterwives and control them through brainwashing and beatings,I have herd about the crimes against children and the kids being forced into pre arranged marriages and molested.I have herd and seen that Mormons will never admit their crimes because they are scared of arrest and rightfully so.The mormon cult will never own up to ther treachery because they of fear of prosecution and arrest,never believe them when they claim they are harmless and sweet as pie because they have made countless crimes toward their women and kids.They all need to go to jail for the crimes against god,families,women,children,Say no to the cult!!
Im sorry butI cannot say anything nice about Mormons,they are a weirdo cult and should be treated as such.Magical undies lol just that ruins all credibility in my book.Christians have the cross,not magical underwear lol.
Do you mind the ecclesiastical robes worn by ministers of many faiths? LDS "underwear" is an expression of faith not unlike ministers' outer robes.
I don't know why people are worried about Mormon underwear. It's not magic. Would you also persecute jews for their traditional clothing? Your comments are mean-spirited. Why don't you be kind?
Utah is not my back yard, I live in the South, and I haven't seen any exclusivity or snobbery from Mormons. I'm sorry that something bad happened to your or your family in Utah. If it is true, then I am very, very sorry. I hope you will forgive these humans someday and stop the hate. We all need to love one another because we are literally brothers and sisters. I am not a stepford wife, and I am not a polygamist. Polygamy is against the law. I have a college education and have been working for corporate America for 3 decades. Anyone who knows me would laugh if someone accused me of being brainwashed.
Do the habits worn by nuns or the caps worn by rabbis cause them to lose all credibility too? What ignorance!!
Mormons are a bunch of sicko cultists.They believe their god comes from and lives on PLANET KOLOB,they believe in MORMON MAGICAL UNDERWEAR THAT PROTECTS THEM FROM EVIL,they believe in theBOOK OF MORMON,they revere THE WOMAN BEATER MOLESTER JOESOPH SMITH.The mormons pervert the teachings of the bible and make a mockery of christianity.Romney and his mormon cultists need to all go back to PLANET KOLOB WITH THEIR SKIDMARKED UNDERWEAR AND NEVER COME BACK! Mormons have no place in the oval office,they have no right to call themselves christians when they preach and believe this nonsence and worshoip MOLESTERS AND WIFEBEATERS AND POLYIGMISTS. YOU ARE A SICK TWISTED BUNCH INDEED!
such hatred. why are you interested in other people's underwear?
Again, shocked at such hatred, as I am to see protestors outside Mormon churches and temples. I have never stood outside a church and protested. Freedom... If you don't want to be a Mormon, don't be one, but don't persecute them. It's un-American. Mormons wear modest underwear for the purpose of encouraging modest dress. Dressing modestly can be a protection by itself. Apparently you or someone you love was hurt by some Mormon, or perhaps (as most persecutors are) you were once a member. I invite you to come to our church and you will be welcomed with open arms and receive lve and support from new friends. All are welcome. There is no Mormon Kool Aid, no magic, no voodoo spells, no weird cult activity. Just followers of Christ and his basic commandment "Love One Another." Please stop the hate.
Oh give me a fvcking break, Lesla!!! You know full well the sort of discrimination that goes on in Utah against those who aren't Mormon.. You kick non-mormons out of jobs they are good at; you refuse to let your children play with non-mormons, and you discriminate in every possible against those who aren't of your faith..
Heal your own backyard, first, before you go judging others on message boards for mere words on a screen.. You disgusting hypocrite.
SAY NO TO THE SKIDMARKED UNDERWEAR CULT! SAY NO TO GOD LIVING ON PLANET KOLOB,SAY NO TO THE MOLESTER JOESOPH SMITH. i WILL NOT VOTE THIS ELECTION BECAUSE I WILL NOT VOTE FOR A CRAZY CULTIST THAT BELIEVES IN THIS WACKJOB RELIGION.yOU ARE NOT CHRISTIANS YOU ARE A CULT FULL OF MOLESTERS AND WOMANBEATERS.
I can say from my own personal experience as well as other I know (in Utah) can confirm how dishonest Mormons are to those NOT of their faith. They go out of their way to express it in their towns and blocks. They shun and dispise non Mormons. You want to see how Mormons really act and true colors...live in SLC for a year. They never should have gave them their state and should have slaughtered the whole lot of them.
Only difference between the KKK and Mormons is one wears whote underwear vs a white hood
Great job on this article. Loved it.
Despite the negative comments littering this site, Mormons are making incredible contributions to society in the fields of politics, business, science, etc. Thanks to Dan Gilgoff for highlighting some of these contributions.
Either the book of mormon is the word of God or it is not-The book fo mormon,another testament of jesus christ written by the cursed man joesep smith in the 1800s is NOT THE WORD OF GOD–The christ that he wrote and preached about is cursed as the false mormon god. Mormons,scientologists,muslims indeed are in politics,science, moral people, families ect ect-Doesn't make their god true. Cursed is joeseph smith and his jesus christ.. I voted for santorum and will be sitting out the gen elction. Some mormons say i am a bigoted person. It is true i am bigoted agianst the joseph smith god believers–Mormons have a mental illness and are brainwashed–they must reject the false god of mormonism
They contribue what? Magical underwear,the book of mormon,the location of god on planet Kolob? They contribute polyigemy violence toward women and children.The mormons are a vile cult that should be treated as such.
WOW Mormons are really messed up from what I have Read, the articla does confirm how they are not christians to me,and they are a cult. Count me our Romney no dose of Joesoph Smith for me!
If you support Santorum then you are a bigot all around. Also, who are you to say what is the Word of God? One man's truth is another man's lie....the bible is defined by one's perspective...not fact.
Of course I can tell you that Mormons for the most part or one of the most dishonest and shady people to people NOT Mormon. I trust a Mormon about as far as I can drop a t ur d. While I don't care for Obama...I distrust Mormons even more.
They contribue what? Magical underwear,the book of mormon,the location of god on planet Kolob? They contribute polyigemy violence toward women and children.The mormons are a vile cult that should be treated as such.
As apposed to your magic items and chants/prayer? Yes they are a vile cult like the Christians cult.
NEWS ALERT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!->>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Putting the kibosh to all religions:
ONLY FOR NEWCOMERS
• There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.
• There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.
Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.
• There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.
• There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.
• There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.
• Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.
• Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.
A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.
"The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.
Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "
Sitting at the end of a long corridor in a large building in Salt Lake City is the mormon "War Room". This is where the mormon "church" is monitoring what is being said about the their "church" (cult!) on blogs like this during the ROMNEY campaign. Read their comments. They ALL sound alike, trying to get you to go to their mormon website. (DONT drink THAT Kool Aid!)
They craft the message to portray mormons in a positive light. This is where the "I'm a Mormon" TV ad campaign was shot/edited. Like any cult, they closely control any aspect about public messages regarding the mormon church. Now just watch how a litany of mormoons will deny this. But they have waited a long long time for this. They want this presidency badly. Then they control the White House and with Harry Reid they control the Senate. Mormons will have co-opted 2 of 3 of our elected branches of government. Sprinkle in some mormoon Supreme Court justices and you have a mormon TAKEOVER OF THE US GOVERNMENT!.
Google: The White Horse Prophecy. Understand what the evil mormonians are REALLY up to!
Very interesting article. Thank you!
Oops, I didn't mean to reply to you biologixco. Sorry. I meant the CNN article is very interesting.
Wow, I've never seen so much hatred in one place. I wonder what prompted it. I guess it's the modern equivalent of tar and feathers.
That is so ridiculous. Mormons aren't evil. You don't have to like Mormons or join the LDs church but only an idiot would look at them and ignore all of the humanitarian aid and other good that the church does. Morons are good people just like millions of others who are not LDS are also good people.
Mormons deserve nothing but to be treated like the weirdo cultists they are.We definately dont want them in Gov.just immagine them making it standard issue in the military or in congress to wear their Mormon magical Underwearlol.Sorry mormons you can spin it all you want saying you dont believe the underwear thing ,but its a proven fact you do,and you do think the underwear protects you from evil,therefore magical,has powers lol.All of you mormons need to go back to your planedt kolob with your SKIDMARKED UNDIES,maybey your god or Joesoph Smith will wash them for you lol. Rofll I still cant stop laughing at the magical underwear how crazy of a cult can ya get lol. No religion thinks their undies have divine power,out of all the things you call holy and sacred underwear rofll cmon lol thats just messed up.Maybe its not power you folk get but its overpowering stink from the skidmarks mwahahahhahaaaaaa
Mormons are a cult religion.They destroy the bibles teachings.They worship false gods,mormons cannot be trusted for so many reasons. If they are willing to worship a con artist,molester,then they obviously lack good judgment. I hope the mormons wake up and realise they are being coned and brainwashed and to come to a real church to learn about christ,god,heaven.
Load the Dog atop the car!
Planet Kolob ain't too far~~~
Poor little Pooch up top the roof?
THAT"S why mormons are so aloof!
LIke my wittle Romney spoof?
Just say NO to Romney2012~!
is anyone else astonished at the hatred from this individual? We're talking about a religion whose main belief is that we're here on earth to love and help each other. Have you ever seen the humanitarian work they do all over the world? What did Mormons ever do to you?
Don't drink the mormoon Kool-Aid!
Go to EXmormon.org for an UNbiased opinion about mormonism and the damage it causes to our American families and our country.
Yes, and also visit:
Congratulations to Mr. Gilgoff for his unbiased article on "The Strength of the Mormons in the D.C. area. This article portrays the strength of the L.D.S. Church members because of their moral standards and work ethic; hopefully their high standards will rub off on some of our elected politicians. John
Moral standards like POLYGAMY?
If the LDS hadn't been run out of New York, Ohio, Illinois AND Missouri and the Utah Territory almost attacked,
the mormons would still be practicing polygamy TODAY. They had to be forced into dropping it. And the FLDS, which is an offshoot of the LDS still practices polygamy today.
How is it surprising? Obviously, the writer has never driven around the Beltway.
Have any of you been paying attention to the news? Looks like our libtard leader is having open relations with RIcky Martin. Keep gays out of the white house and out of our Christian nation!
Mary, if you want religious rule, I hear Iran is lovely this time of year. They'd love you, as women hold a special place in their hearts, and it's right under their heels. You don't like it here, feel free to move out. We'll help you pack.
Your Christian nation, in Republistan.
A place where you get paid to kick gays.
Oh wow, using FAUX news as your source for political information is like watching Hogan's Heroes to learn about the Holocaust.
Does it feel good to be such a hateful bigot Mary?
Mary could be one of those Log Cabin closet Republicans.
Down with the states opposed to gay marriage as exercising their states rights.
Rabid against states who allow gay marriage as anti god.
Willing to tear up 230 years of states reciprocity laws.
Whine a lot, blame any problem on Obama, seek more tax cuts for the wealthy, and promote a fascism agenda labeling it as Christian way of life.
Hey Mary, what is Glenn Beck telling you to think today?
You and soapy32 see to have a lot to talk about.
Any Rush news?
GET AN EARLY START ON COOKING, SATANISTS AND ATHEISTS.
Few 100% true Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things:
† Atheism is a religion that makes you stupid, ignorant & blind.
† Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
† Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet Atheists)
† Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
† Atheists causes problem in our religious society.
† Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
† Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
† Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Hitler (Denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders.
† No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
† Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
† Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
† Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
† Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
† Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency.
† Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
† Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
† All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
† The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
† Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism!
**Only 2-3% of the U.S. are Atheists/Agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**
† † Our Prayers goes to Atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator † †
ATHEISTS ARE ALL EVIL IN THE EYES OF JESUS AND WILL BURN. SETTING YOURSELVES ON FIRE IS JUST AN EARLY START. GOOD RIDDANCE.
Prayer works. Proven. Prayer heals. Hospitals maim. Buddhists are evil as satanist and they will pay with their souls in God's judgment and will taste his wrath for all of eternity. They have rejected the Lord and deserve what happens in the afterlife. The fires of hell will boil there flesh and I will watch from Heaven with a smile because I will feel no pain and I will never cry in Heaven. You atheists torture Christians and you mock us. You will be mocked as you grind your teeth so hard that they break from the agony you will reap for your sins in this life. It is written for all of eternity. You will be denied entry into Heaven and will never see the streets of gold that have been prepared for the righteous. You don't deserve to see them and I'm thankful that I do and I will.
Demons are going to feast on your charred flesh in HELL and if you repent, then Jesus may save you. But atheists are the worst of the worst because they say the worst things about Jesus. They deserve to burn in the hottest fires hotter than the fires hitler is burning in.
WWJD is a good little parrot, incapable of any actual independent thought on its own. The same drivel over and over again. I wonder if WWJD knows there are other books out there to read? I think he's illiterate, and was shown how to copy and paste. He only knows what his moles'ting priest tells him.
easy become Mormon
I am getting an early start on cooking – I have a pork roast about to go into the crock pot now with bay leaves, cracked pepper, cream of mushroom soup and teriyaki sauce. Mmmmm!
What time should I arrive for dinner, AGuest?
The GF gets home at 6, so dinner is any time thereafter.
Atheism is a religion that makes you stupid, ignorant & blind. -LIE
Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated. -LIE
Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet Atheists) -LIE
Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle. -LIE
Atheists causes problem in our religious society. -LIE
Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith. -LIE
Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise. -LIE
Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Hitler (Denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders. -LIE
No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider' -LIE
Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime. -LIE
Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet. -LIE
Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people. -LIE
Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved. -LIE
Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency. -LIE
Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history. -LIE
Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists. -LIE
All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals. -LIE
The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20) -LIE
Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism! -LIE
It just goes to show that Christians can’t even follow one of the basic Ten Commandments by posting all these lies. What a hypocrite
"Prayer works. Proven. Prayer heals."
Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.
An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.
The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!
Mormons will burn in hell,they are an evil cult and pervert the teaching of the bible!!! They will pay for this when they go meet their maker,no not on planet Kolob either lol.
I cannot support Romney because he is a cult Bishop.This is really scary folks,do we want a man with missle launch codes to have these weird imbalanced beliefs?Mormons have a bad rap because they have hurt so many people.Mormons are a cult and if even !0% of the stories I have seen on TV or read were true then thats enough for me to say Mormons are a cult and christians should never be tricked into believing them.I dont want Obama in office but I will never support a cult or sell out my faith voting for a cult period!
So your cult is better than their cult, eh?
i am not referring to FALSE MOST HATb>EFUL SNAKE CULT WORSb>HIPPING REPTILE MORb>MON TEMPLE high holy priest joseph smith FATHER OF LIES MASb>TER OF SODOM brought SOUTH AMERICAN SNAKE GOD COATLICUE WHORE OF BABb>LYON MOTHER OF VIPERS to salt lake city utah usa where in secret temple modeled after temple in jungle of peru documents detailing chambers dedicated to orgies and virgin decapitation both of boy and girl EVEN 2 YEAR OLD BABY
It would be 100 times easier to believe the book of Mormon is true than that angry diatribe.
Not for stake president Philips, I think he is done believing the Book of Mormon.
How about you Bill? No problems with BoM?
I have never seen so much hatred in one place. It reminds me of the Nazis, who believed that certain cross-sections of society should be tortured and eliminated. What are we coming to, when our nation is not tolerant of freedom of worship? If you don't like Mormons, then no one is forcing you to be one. Go worship how, where or what you may without harassment.
that is completely false, I won't even go into most of it but if you knew anything about temples, you would now that every single person who goes in comes out so I there's no sacrificing going on of virgins, children or anyone.
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.