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My Take: Romney should take reporters to church more often
Mitt Romney and his family attend church last weekend.
August 21st, 2012
09:20 AM ET

My Take: Romney should take reporters to church more often

Editor's note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Mitt Romney’s team invited reporters to go to church with him last Sunday, and The New York Times is reporting that the upcoming Republican presidential convention will showcase Romney’s faith in an effort to humanize him. So are we finally going to get a Mormon candidate for president?

Romney has been widely criticized for running against his past - against what he did at Bain Capital and as governor of Massachusetts, and against his prior views on abortion and health care. And while he hasn’t flip-flopped on his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he has been loathe even to mention it in public.

In his 2008 “Faith in America” speech, Romney boldly proclaimed his religious heritage. “I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it,” he said. “My faith is the faith of my fathers - I will be true to them and to my beliefs.”

But in recent years he has been hiding that faith under a basket. In fact, in a much anticipated speech to evangelicals at Liberty University in May, he never used the M-word.

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The concern is there is little to be gained (and much to be lost) by emphasizing his Mormonism.

Latter-day Saints founder Joseph Smith was assassinated during his run for president in 1844, and anti-Mormonism has a long and sordid history in American life. Today many on the secular left and the religious right alike are wary of a Mormon president, and according to a recent Gallup Poll roughly one in six Americans say they would not vote for an otherwise qualified Mormon.

For all these reasons, Romney's campaign strategy so far seems to have been two-fold:

1. Whenever possible, avoid talking about Mormonism.

2. When pressed, speak of the importance of religion in general and emphasize the common moral values shared by Mormons and evangelicals.

3. Emphasize the American heritage of religious liberty.

I have been arguing for months that this strategy is not sustainable. What self-respecting debate moderator wouldn’t jump at the chance to ask Romney about how his Mormonism might affect his policies on taxation or food stamps or war with Iran?

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

And is it really plausible to do the two-step around the religion question all the way to November when the candidate in question may well be the most religious candidate in U.S. history - someone who spent two years as a missionary, followed by decades of church service, first as the Mormon equivalent of a Methodist pastor and then as the Mormon equivalent of an Episcopal priest?

It made sense for John Kennedy to draw a sharp line in 1960 between his private Catholic faith and his public life since he came from a Democratic Party that followed Thomas Jefferson arguing for the strict separation of church and state.

But Romney’s GOP has spent a generation attempting to overthrow the Jefferson/Kennedy consensus by bringing religion ever deeper into U.S. public life. So it just doesn't make sense for this Republican nominee to try to cordon off his private faith from his public policies.

CNN Explains: What’s Mormonism?

For all these reasons, I have argued repeatedly that Romney would be well advised to take the initiative - to define his faith in his own terms rather than awkwardly and defensively fielding (or fumbling) questions about it.

Now it seems like a faith offensive may be in the offing, not least at the upcoming convention.

But how to talk about Mormonism without unearthing all the awkward stuff - the history of polygamy and theocracy, the Mormon underwear?

One way, of course, is to try to emphasize the values similarities between evangelicals and Mormons - on questions like abortion and gay rights. But an even more effective way may be simply to invite reporters to church.

Like any religion, Mormonism has changed over time. And today Mormon services don’t look all that different from Methodist worship. In fact, the common theme coming out of much of the reporting about Romney’s church service Sunday seemed to be how unremarkable it was.

In Buzzfeed, reporter McKay Coppins, who also happens to be a Mormon, referred to that service as an example of “the fundamentally un-exotic Mormon experience.”

Admittedly, they serve bread and water rather than bread and wine, but Latter-day Saints worshippers praise Jesus in song as their “Redeemer” and send prayers up to their “Heavenly Father." And when their worship service is over they march off to Sunday school.

For generations, scholars of religion focused their research almost exclusively on Scriptures and belief. In recent years they have shifted their collective focus to religious practice. Perhaps that is the strategy of the Romney campaign, to shift the focus from the eccentricities of the Book of Mormon and the heterodoxy of Mormon beliefs to the ho-hum of hymns sung at 10 a.m. on a New Hampshire Sunday.

If I have the tune right, the message seems to be that Romney is one of us, and his religion is not so different from whatever yours might be.

Will that message resonate?

It depends. It depends on what Americans know about Mormonism and about their own creeds. However, it also depends on how much they think faith should matter in presidential politics. Ironically, if voters follow the Republican line on that one, Romney might well lose. If they follow Jefferson and Kennedy, he has at least a fighting chance.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church and state • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Opinion • Politics • United States

soundoff (1,105 Responses)
  1. ChurchState

    Bragging rights – the fastest growing religion? I personally have major issues about GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney being a devote member of a religion that has church leaders that do not seem to be concerned about the ethical issues of the Mormon Missionaries and LDS faithful members baptizing minor children into the Latter Day Saints (LDS) faith without the written consent of the child's parent(s). Unethical or religious freedom??? There also seems to be another accepted practice of the Mormon Missionaries and LDS faithful members of baptizing prosepective church members into the LDS faith after only three visits of Book of Mormon and other religious lessons. Don't most well known established religious require the person to live the faith of the religion for about six months before baptizing them. This is done to ensure the new faith is a good match for the prospective convert. Unethical or religious freedom??? What about the practice of baptizing a person that is intoxicated or not of sound mind? Unethical or religious freedom??? What about the LDS practice of Proxy Baptism – baptizing deceased persons of other religions into the LDS faith without the written consent of the family members of the deceased (proxy LDS baptisms have been performed on past Catholic Popes and other top religious figures). Unethical or religious freedom??? It just all seems too questionable to me.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  2. Marcus Walker

    sfcanative

    You are exactly correct. These people who claim to be Mormon also claim to be christian because they love one another. Do not even tax collectors know how to give good gifts? Which if a child ask for bread would give them a stone?
    You who say you are Mormon and stand on the prophets of the book of Mormon, you neither hear the prophets neither do you understand them because their speech is plain and to the point. How else do you meet to find the interpretation of the great and abomitable when the prophet is so plain and makes his boast in the holy spirit that their speech is plain and easy to understand. I say to you you are no Mormon, "busted" and you do not believe the BOM but have become the Catholic yourselves and are a witness to me of the truth written in the BOM seeing out of the true book the bible is formed the Catholic a church abomitable above all other churches who is founded by the devil because of the truth of the bible less he, the devil have no need to form a false church, then out of another book the BOM there rises up another church most abomitable who rejects the words of the prophets and in no wise understand them, another, rise up in the form of the church most abomitable and form open partnership with that church, then you are a witness to me the BOM is true less the devil have ne need to prevert the truth contained in it.
    In conclusion the Mormon church and its leadership that rise up out of the BOM in the image of the Catholic which rise up out of the Bible is a witness unto me the BOM must be true lest Satan have no need to form another church abomitable to form a partnership with the church of Satan follower.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • David

      Is this a joke?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  3. life5678

    Compared to Rev Wright and the "God Dam America" sermon's he spewed out, Mormonism is practically mainstream.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  4. INDEPENDENT

    According to Mormon theology:
    Jesus Christ was not conceived by the Holy Spirit, but a god that was once a man who was given earth as his reward for being good;
    Therefore, they believe in many gods, not ONE.
    Jesus Christ and Satan are brothers;
    Mormon men, if they are good, will be granted their own planet when they die and will repopulate with their spirit wife;
    Might as well vote for Tom Cruise and John Travolta for President/Vice President at least they didn't have a "White Horse Prophecy" of taking over the U.S. Government or a militia like Nauvoo Militia or "Avenging Angels" like the mormons.

    August 27, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Jack

      I doubt you will reply, but, out of curiosity, how do you explain Acts 7: 55 and 56:

      55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
      56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. (New Testament, Acts, Chapter 7)

      Steven saw the heavens open and saw Jesus on the right hand of God. Count them, one, two. We believe that Jesus rose from the dead with a physical body and that he still has that body of flesh and bones today. Do you think he lost it somewhere?

      August 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • life5678

      Just wondering how you feel about Obamanation's church and Rev Wright's sermon's that "God Dam Amerca"?

      August 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  5. Andrea

    So what does it mean to have a Mormon president. Is he going to do more than any other president has done. How are things going to be better

    August 27, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • David

      I think he will be.very much like Ronald Regan.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  6. Inesita

    I don't like this journalist. He always see "the hear on milk"

    August 27, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  7. Jayson C.

    For a better understanding of the history of the church Mitt Romney belongs to and what God he serves (John 7:17), I invite you to visit the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' website for tose who are unfamiliar with the church http://www.mormon.org

    August 27, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  8. AvdBerg

    For a better understanding of the history of the church Mitt Romney belongs to and what spirit he serves (Luke 9:55), we invite you to read the following articles listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    Church and what it means

    Mormon Church – Cult and Spiritual Harlot

    Barack Obama – President of the United States of America

    Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You?

    All of the other pages and articles explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:35 am |
    • alan

      if someone looks for information I figure they would go to the horses mouth. when I want to know something about the catholics I ask a catholic. if I want to know something about Jerusalem I'm not going to go to an Iranian website to look it up. if I want to know the definition of a word in english I'm not going to a french dictionary. so please before you want people to try to make something out of your farts please do your actual research from someone who knows what they are talking about.

      August 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  9. jlf9999

    Can we put this Momronism-racism trash talking to an end? It is not so. One of the fastest growing areas of the LDS Church is in black Africa. Neither do Mormons think Catholicism or any other religious tradition is Satanic other than Satanism and its off-shoots. What is taught is from that BOM passage about an evil church refers to worldliness as the Satan's "church". Everyone else who believes in a God and practices the principles of his or her religion to the best of his ability is part of the Church of the Lamb of God. Traditional Christian, Jew, Muslim, Native American, Pentacostla or Catholic or whatever, it does not matter. Each has elements of truth.

    Mormonism teaches that Christ's original church – with its authority – was lost but that has Christ restored it. But there has always been a fragment of God's only religion on the earth. It never went away in its entirety. It was manipulated, profaned and changed over the centuries so as to leave out some of the most significant parts but it was never totally wiped out. It is those pieces that are found in nearly all religious traditions today. That is why they can be sad to be part of the Church of the Lamb of God.

    August 26, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Pure hinduism, absurdity, hindu pagan Mormon ism is based on hindu corrupted Torah, not on teachings of son of blessed Mary, but he rejected it all the time and commanded his follower's not to follow it, called Greek Torah, labeled as old testament to hind, fool humanity. One has to be a hindu, ignorant to justify hinduism, illegality of hindu Pharisee, criminal goons to live by it or be a hindu Magi, criminal trickster to promote it in name son of blessed Mary's .

      August 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  10. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism labeled as Christianity is an off shoot of hinduism, denial of truth absolute by hinduism, corruption of truth absolute by hindu Pharisee's, criminal self centered and promoted with sword by hindu criminal king's and their hindu pagan Magi' fortune teller Prophets to make humanity their gentile, slave, A hinduism, crime against humanity and truth absolute.
    Nazi racist ideology has its roots in hindu, pagan Egypt, ancestral home land of Saxons, meaning tied to or forged with essence, meanings god's, subcontinent never was part of hindu denial of truth absolute but hinduism, racism was imposed by force by hindu's, criminals of Egypt and Persia on nomadic population of subcontinent by declaring themselves to be god's, while native's of Europe were slaughtered to extinction by hindu Gaul's, criminal self centered after they were defeated as hindu, deniers of truth abolute Pharaoh's by the king's of Sudan. Letter X, Hinduism, forgery of word, tied to or forged with. hindu criminal sign of swastika is formed by joining of upright hindu criminal Pharaoh's pyramid and up side down on same axis, invisible pyramid of his hindu pagan Priest, crossing point of both pyramid's creates Swastika above burial chamber of hindu, pagan, self centered Pharaoh. Envisioned by hindu, pagan Zoroaster, preached by hindu, criminal Plato and displayed in Physical form by hindu sanatan, filthy goon Pythagoras. Presence of hinduism, racism is less than 3000 thousand years old in sub continent , not as hindu's, deniers of truth absolute hind, lie of 6000 years in their Hinduism, absurdity. hindu filthy sign of hinduism, pagan ism labeled as Star of David by hindu Jew's, pagan secular s has nothing to do with Israelite but top view of meeting of two hindu, fabricated pyramid to illustrate god hood of two hindu, criminal person's.
    Word Jew is based on Latin word Yahood, Je or Ja, Ye, or Ya, meaning from heart and mind base word for Yes in English, HOOD, habit or habitat, meaning, self centered or a secular, denier of truth absolute, such as King, or Pig, in disregard to truth absolute and Judaism, One who takes a wow to be in violation of truth by his intent, considering himself to be the God, the truth absolute, same as in hindu, denier of truth absolute, word hindu is based on Latin word hindrance, negativity, HAN, great, Hun, to be in greatness and hin, to be negative to both of them, hindu, a noun in negativity, hinduism, way of negativity, as in word Jew, a self centered or a criminal, otherwise known as a goon, a shaman. Judaism is not a religion but in opposition, defiance to truth absolute in self center ism.
    In divine language word hinduism, absurdity called religion does not exist, borne out of hindu Judaism, filthy secularism defiance of truth absolute of Persia and Egyptian hindu pagan origin , hindu Jew's criminal secular s pretending to be Hebrew, but Theen Allah, way of truth absolute, source for peace, Shalom among humanity, Quran quantifies it and Hidat explains the La, limit's absolute to reach peace Islam in life. hinduism, corruption of truth absolute labeled a bible has nothing to do with truth absolute but justification of hindu Mithra ism, filthy savior ism, foundation of hindu filthy hinduism,. racism.
    World can never have peace in presence of hinduism, denial of truth absolute, humanity need to work together for elimination of hindu's, criminals and their hinduism, illegality.

    August 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • fosterspirit

      Well, you've been well indoctrinated into something. I'll give you that.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  11. Bo Noddy

    Someone needs a clue.

    August 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  12. Abinadi

    19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round. (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi, Chapter 10)

    August 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Use and abuse of Hebrew teachings by hindu Magi's, criminal tricksters, pretending to be what they never are, Prophets, from book of hindu Mithra ism, savior ism, renamed as Christianity, Greek Torah, labeled as Old testament, reject of son of blessed Mary, on his name.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  13. Peteyroo

    You may be interested to know:

    AD is written before the year while BC is written after the year; therefore, AD 2012 is the year we live in while 2012 BC is 4,024 years ago.

    August 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  14. Mike

    Religion is for the weak minded. Where did seperation of State and Church go. With all the people coming out of the woodwork we will have a Taliban in US pretty soon . What about "Good because I want to be no superstion required " 🙂

    August 26, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • Jonah

      80 And for this purpose have I established the Consti tution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood. (Doctrine and Covenants, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 101)

      Foolish Mike, The only reason you have any freedom is because this country was established by Christians who are incredibly tolerant of other people. If it had been established by any other group, the rest of us would be toast!

      August 26, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Bonah, Christians are NOT tolerant of others. Where'd you get that idea?

      August 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Jonah

      This is a Christian nation and you just spoke freely. I rest my case.

      August 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jonah, you're a wackaloon. This is a secular nation. It wasn't founded on Christian principles but on ethical ones that are common to many civilizations. Its laws are not based on religious beliefs.

      Get an education.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The government of the United States was created by men more influenced by the principles of the enlightenment than by religion. These wise men understood that when religion is given power over government freedom is non-existent. Had the United States been created as a christian nation, there would be no "United." Acceptance of all beliefs (even no belief) has allowed this nation of many cultures to stand as a strong whole.

      Theocracy has no place in the modern world. Just look to the middle east for your examples of what happens when religion becomes law.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      America was not founded on hindu Mithra ism, racist savior ism, labeled as Christianity by hindu Jew's, filthy self centered, secular s but on truth absolute human equality Enshrined in Hebrew teachings and Islam.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Empty!

      hmmm.....hey Mike, how about we call it the Republican Taliban Party? That is as conservative as you can get!

      August 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • life5678

      to Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son – Sorry but you're the one in need of an education, pilgrims settled the new land to escape religious persecution. They were the only ones willing to take the risks associated with living here, and they paid the price dearly. Without them, there would be no USA. So it was not only founded on Christian principles, it was founded BECAUSE of Christian principles.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  15. GOP Word Association

    WORD = GOP Association
    Old People = Glob of cells that we don't care about. Let them die.
    Sick People = Glob of cells that we don't care about. Let them die.
    Poor People = Glob of cells that we don't care about. Let them die.
    Female People = Glob of cells that we don't care about. Let them die.
    Non-white People = Glob of cells that we don't care about. Let them die.
    Non-christian People = Glob of cells that we don't care about. Let them die.
    Unemployed People = Glob of cells that we don't care about. Let them die.
    Gay People = Glob of cells that we don't care about. Let them die.
    Glob of cells in a womb = Something we PRETEND to care about just to get votes.

    August 25, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
  16. nottolate

    "My Take: Romney should take reporters to church more often"

    Why? It's a false church and a cult. How many people have to tell you that before you get it through your thick skull? Another clueless reporter on matters of religion.

    August 25, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • PFFT

      notto,

      Someone who cannot even spell his own screen name right has no business declaring correctness in anything...

      August 25, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Jay

      What is this all about? War on Religion? Let's see we have "War on Women" and what else are Democrats going to pull out of the hat, and of course i's all from CNN...who loves to sir up hate. There is no wonder why CNN supports Obama they both love to divide the people. I don't hear them tearing down Harry Reid. Oh yes, Harry Reid is a Mormon too., but people give him a pass. Religion has no place in politics. There is only one true religion and that is the religion of love.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • JoeS

      If I become a President since I am a Mormon I will tell the whole world that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true Church.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
  17. Jay Cornelsen

    MARCUS
    Calm down, while Ryan is a practicing Catholic, he is not THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. Yes this organization has been around for close to 2000 years and it has been through a lot of changes, mostly for the better. But your Church has gone through a lot of changes too in its short history, again hopefully for the better. So you think your church perfect... Under Constantine, who later declared himself a SUN GOD, in 320 AD the ROMAN Catholic Church created a Romanized Jesus and ripped away his Jewishness and His Jewish approach to worship and relationship with God the Father. Your church has MORMONIZED Jesus and retained this Roman Jesus and celebratory forms. NEITHER of you keep the true Sabbath declared and lived by Jesus. His real biblical name is Yeshua or bringer of SALVATION and no angel, if indeed MORONI was one, would call him Jesus or Christ for that matter. Christ simply means anointed one. Many pagan gods were called Christus or anointed ones in those days. Jesus kept the PASSOVER, PENTECOST, FEAST OF TRUMPETS, FEAST OF BOOTHS, indeed all the Feasts and Celebrations of Israel . So did his followers in the New Testament till the day they died and millions of his followers into the third and fourth centuries until the Roman-Polilitical-Military-Religious establishment made them illegal punishable by banishment or death. Truth is if Yeshua or any New Testament saint could time travel to the USA today none of them would attend either church. They would considert them both much too paganized. But I still trust Romney a lot, lot more than OBAMA who is neither a born again Christian or MUSLIM.

    August 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  18. Johnny

    It's sad to read all the negative views, the anger and confusion. I am so grateful to have had an open mind when the I was introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ .My family and I have experienced many blessings serving others and know the church is true- it is comforting to know why we are here and where we are going. Hopefully some reporters will want to find out more– GO MITT!!

    August 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Jay

      Thank you, Johnny. You have a good heart, and do not harshly judge others. CNN is making a huge issue of Romney's religion . Everything is about re-electing Obama, but they do not think their viewers are noticing. Their anchors are so full of hate for Romney, and now they are going after his religion. How sad.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Yes, just everyone knows that conservatives and evangelicals had nothing to do with perpetuating the myth of Obama's religion.
      ( eye roll )

      August 25, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  19. Marcus Walker

    Romney should be kicked out of the Mormon church and the leaders of the Mormon faith should distence the Mormon faith far away from Mitt Romney. I absolutly cannot believe he would pick a Catholic for a running mate.
    Why should I have such an opinion of Mr. Romney and his faith? It is because I believe the Book of Mormon to be inspired and the prophets who wrote it were inspired by the Holy Spirit to say exactly what is said in written form in the BOM.
    When reading the book of Mormon you will soon come across 1Nephi 13 where the book plainly identifies a single church as the church of Satan and says it was founded by Satan. There is no church that fits the description other than the Catholic church. I asked the Mormon missionaries was it the Catholic church being refered to in the book and they said yes.
    This is just the tip of the iceberg. In the index of the BOM there is a heading "Great and abomitable church" and another heading "church of the Devil". Just below that is a heading that reads "churches, false" (see also church great and abomitable, church of the devil, denominations, doctrine false, priestcrafts, priest,false prophets, false traditions). All these are churches of Satan and are established as the churches of Satan to anyone who believes the BOM to be inspired, and especially to a man that calls himself a Mormon. How can he then pick a running mate who is a follower of Satan? Mitt knows what his faith says and he stands by it by openly saying he is a Mormon.
    What a hypocrite. I am beside myself with amazement. I do not know what to do so I sat down to try and tell the American people Mitt Romney does not know what he stands for. OH MY Lord! I have never seen such a hypocrite. I have never witnessed such a lack of backbone. He makes me want to throw up my lunch OMG!

    August 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • old golfer

      You probably should read the book, NO MAN KNOWS MY HISTORY written by Fawn Brodie. There is also another great book you might enjoy, THE GOD MAKERS. God gave man reason. Man gave man religion.

      August 24, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Jay

      I feel so sorry for you. I do believe the bible teaches all people not to judge. "Judge ye not, for ye shall be judged."
      I believe that Jesus Christ came to this earth to teach us how to live and to love others.
      Your statement tells me that you missed the point of being a Christian.

      August 25, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Barcus, you're so full of crap you stink!

      August 26, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • hillplus

      BUSTED!! You are no Mormon. You do not believe the Book of Mormon to be scripture. You are trying to be contentious to make Mormons look bad. Fail on your part.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • jlf9999

      You do not sound like a Mormon. The church does not teach what you claim. If you were LDS I suggest you were absent the many times when this topic has been discussed and taught. For those who do not know, this passage in the BOM refers to worldliness as the Satan's "church". Everyone else who believes in a God and practices the principles of his or her religion ot the best of his ability is part of the Church of the Lamb of God. Traditional Christian, Jew, Muslim, Native American, Pentacostla or Catholic or whatever, it does not matter. Each has elements of truth.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • sfcanative

      The simple fact remains, Mormonism claims their founding prophet was told by God not to join any of the churches in Upstate New York in 1820 because they were "all wrong". A direct quote from the official LDS website:

      "No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)–and which I should join."

      "I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: 'they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.'"

      Sounds like a flat-out rejection of all religions but Mormonism to me!

      August 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Marcus Walker

      This is taken from 1 Nephi 13. It is plain about the formation of a church most abomitable. I don't see how you can possibly find some other interpretation.
      He is talking about the bible and the church that rose up to prevert the bible not as you say worldlyness.

      [21] And the angel said unto me: Knowest thou the meaning of the book?

      [22] And I said unto him: I know not.

      [23] And he said: Behold it proceedeth out of the mouth of a Jew. And I, Nephi, beheld it; and he said unto me: The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets; and it is a record like unto the engravings which are upon the plates of brass, save there are not so many; nevertheless, they contain the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; wherefore, they are of great worth unto the Gentiles.

      [24] And the angel of the Lord said unto me: Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God.

      [25] Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God.

      [26] And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of a great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.

      [27] And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men.

      [28] Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.

      [29] And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles, yea, even across the many waters which thou hast seen with the Gentiles which have gone forth out of captivity, thou seest - because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God - because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them.

      [30] Nevertheless, thou beholdest that the Gentiles who have gone forth out of captivity, and have been lifted up by the power of God above all other nations, upon the face of the land which is choice above all other lands, which is the land that the Lord God hath covenanted with thy father that his seed should have for the land of their inheritance; wherefore, thou seest that the Lord God will not suffer that the Gentiles will utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed, which are among thy brethren.

      [31] Neither will he suffer that the Gentiles shall destroy the seed of thy brethren.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Marcus Walker

      There you go now do not judge what I say but I let the prophet speak for they are his words but his words and the word of the Lord are the same. If there be a troublemaker then blame me not and if there be an error then judge not what I say because I say what the prophet says and you can not understand neither.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Marcus Walker

      Alma 5
      [39] And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? Behold, I say unto you, that the devil is your shepherd, and ye are of his fold; and now, who can deny this? Behold, I say unto you, whosoever denieth this is a liar and a child of the devil.

      Do you think Mit Romney believes this? I do not and if he does believe it then he is a hypocrite of the highest order.
      He claims to be of the Mormon faith. He could say he has no faith at all and I would not expect him to be an enemy of the devil but since he claims he is a believer then which believer saying he is a follower of the truth does not also say he is the enemy of the liar and preverter of the truth.
      There is no way to justify Mit Romney saying he is a Mormon and then picking a Catholic for a running mate without openly being a hypocrite of the Highest order.
      He claims to be a leader in the Mormon church for crying out loud.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Marcus Walker

      jlf9999

      You do not sound like a Mormon. The church does not teach what you claim. If you were LDS I suggest you were absent the many times when this topic has been discussed and taught. For those who do not know, this passage in the BOM refers to worldliness as the Satan's "church". Everyone else who believes in a God and practices the principles of his or her religion ot the best of his ability is part of the Church of the Lamb of God. Traditional Christian, Jew, Muslim, Native American, Pentacostla or Catholic or whatever, it does not matter. Each has elements of truth.

      You Mormons believe that in order to join the church you must believe the Roman road and you must also confess you believe Joseph Smith was a prophet. How many Catholic and Muslim are in the church now?

      August 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  20. Jeff S

    I am fourth generation mormon and my family has always tried to live the teachings of Jesus Christ. There have been no divorces for 4 generations. We are not rich, but I would say prosperous with no unemployment. Some of the 5th generation have diverged from the gospel and among those divorce, unemployment, drugs, and general unhappiness and misery is rampant. I can see in my own family the fruits of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am not saying the mormon religion is the only church that teaches the gospel. I am sure that there are families among other religions that have experienced the same fruits, but I am saying that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and anyone who adheres to those teachings will see fruits of happiness, prosperity, peace in their lives.

    August 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Jeff, I think that you are as.suming that people who appear to be happy actually are happy. It has been my experience that appearances are deceiving, that people sometimes put up a facade of happiness and contentment because they fear rejection - from their family, their church, their community, whatever - if they show how truly messed up they are.

      I'm not saying this applies to your family. I'm just saying that if you look past the surface, sometimes you'll be unpleasantly surprised by what you find.

      August 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
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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.