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What would a Mormon White House look like?
If Mitt Romney is elected president, the White House will likely see some new traditions.
November 2nd, 2012
11:00 PM ET

What would a Mormon White House look like?

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Should Mitt Romney win the presidency next Tuesday, it will mark an historic first: a Mormon couple moving into the White House.

What would this mean and look like?

Would there be “dry” state dinners, since faithful Mormons don’t do alcohol? Would Secret Service tag along to sacred ceremonies only open to worthy church members? What book would a President Mitt Romney use to take his oath of office?

We can’t be absolutely sure about all the answers. But if the practices and homes of devout Mormons like the Romneys – not to mention his history as governor of Massachusetts – are any indication, we can begin to paint a picture of what a Romney-inhabited White House might look like.

First things first: About that oath

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe the Bible is the word of God. But they also believe this about the Book of Mormon, which is subtitled “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”

Given the importance of the Book of Mormon, this question seemed worth asking: Any chance Romney would place his hand on a Book of Mormon at his swearing-in ceremony?

“No, no way Romney would do that,” Jana Riess, a religion scholar, co-author of “Mormonism for Dummies,” and blogger for Religion News Service, wrote in an e-mail message. “I’m not aware of any Mormon who has sworn on the Book of Mormon instead of the Bible for national office. (I’m not aware of any local officials who have done this either.)”

Most likely, Romney would go back to the Bible he used in 2003 when he was sworn in as governor of Massachusetts – the same one his father, George Romney, reportedly used when he was sworn in as Michigan’s governor in the 1960s.

Beyond paint and fabric swatches

Having never been invited over for a meal, we can’t pretend to know anything about the Romney aesthetic when it comes to home decoration. But we wondered and asked about specific items that tend to hang in Mormon households.

Randall Balmer, an award-winning historian, author and chair of the Department of Religion at Dartmouth College, speculated that the Romneys – like plenty of Mormons – might display artwork featuring a depiction of Jesus and a photograph of LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson, considered a “prophet, seer and revelator” by members of the church.

Another possibility, said Riess, would be a photo of the Salt Lake Temple where Mitt and Ann Romney were married and “sealed” for eternity in a sacred ceremony in 1969.

Then there’s something commonly known as the “Proclamation on the Family,” which is often framed and displayed in homes – though rarely in upper-class households, said Joanna Brooks, author of “The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith.”

The proclamation features words set forth by LDS Church leadership in 1995, highlighting family and gender responsibilities. Among the points made: Marriage is between a man and woman; the primary responsibility of fathers is to oversee and provide for families; and mothers must first and foremost care for the children.

All of these items could show up in the White House, said Grant Bennett, an old Romney friend who spoke at the Republican National Convention and has known the Romney family since they met through church in 1978.

But he said, “the most quintessential Mormon item would be pictures of their family,” including those of ancestors, because “families are forever” and bound for eternity in the Mormon view.

Ann and Mitt Romney are surrounded by family before the October 22 presidential debate at Lynn University.

Bennett also suggested that a verse or two of Scripture that is particularly meaningful to the Romneys might be framed and on display.

If any of these things would hang in the White House, they would likely appear in the private quarters where first families are free to do what they please.

That doesn’t mean Romney wouldn’t be allowed to honor his faith in some way in the Oval Office, but decorative decisions in public rooms – the spaces visited on tours – are subject to committee discussions and advisers on historic preservation, explained Melissa Naulin, assistant curator in the Curator's Office of the White House Museum.

Can I get a cup of coffee? How about something stronger?

In accordance with a revelation received in 1833 by LDS Church founder Joseph Smith, something known as the “Word of Wisdom,” faithful Latter-day Saints abstain from coffee, tea and alcohol.

Does this mean a return to the days of “Lemonade Lucy,” the posthumous nickname given to the wife of Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th U.S. president, who banned alcohol from the White House?

No, said Cabinet members from Romney’s gubernatorial era and a current top aide. They said this health-related observance is not one the Romneys would impose on or expect of others.

“As governor, when Mitt Romney entertained at official functions in the evening, alcohol was served along with soft beverages,” said a senior aide who asked not to be identified in stories about religion.

“There was always a healthy cup of coffee for anyone who wanted it,” said Renee Fry, a former Cabinet member.

“Cabinet dinner gatherings were not dry,” wrote Douglas Foy, who also served in Governor Romney’s Cabinet. “Although the governor and his wife did not partake – which the governor often joked about, since he sponsored the gatherings and paid for the wine!”

Storing – and refraining from – food

The LDS Church advises its members to store enough food to feed a family for a year.

Food storage is viewed as a practical measure, one that can come in handy during, say, a crippling superstorm, massive power outages or unforeseen financial hardships.

The practice is rooted in Mormon history. The church’s early pioneers, on their trek westward to what is now Utah, experienced great suffering and starvation. They also endured their share of persecution and couldn’t rely on the help of others. So having resources squirreled away became a collective comfort.

Any chance that the Romneys would institute White House food storage?

Not because they would need it for themselves or likely anyone else at the White House, but Riess said in these uncertain times, it could be a good lesson in preparedness to showcase to the nation.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see that,” she said.

Mitt Romney gathers donations in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Even if a family storing it doesn’t need the food, by having it available that family is poised to help others. Serving those less fortunate or in crisis is big in the LDS Church, and it is a part of another practice that may find its way into the White House if the Romneys move in.

The first Sunday of every month is Fast Sunday, when committed Mormons who are able forgo food and drink for about 24 hours. Coupled with prayer, it has spiritual meaning. It also serves to instill compassion for those who are in need, and to that end Mormons are encouraged to minimally donate what they would have spent on food to the church’s welfare fund.

Fast Sunday, or calls to fast at other times, can also bind Mormons together when they pray and fast for a common cause.

A Utah woman created buzz earlier this fall when an e-mail she sent out to friends and family, suggesting they fast to help Romney before the debates, began making the rounds in Mormon circles across the country. A new website, romneyfast.org, also the brainchild of private citizens – and not a church-sanctioned effort – asks people to fast and pray for Romney and his wife Ann this Sunday before America goes to the polls.

When he was governor of Massachusetts, and in general, Mitt and Ann Romney observed Fast Sunday and “always contributed very generously to the fast offering fund,” said Bennett, who held church leadership roles with Romney in the Boston area.

What’s more, Bennett said that when Romney served as their congregation's bishop – the equivalent of an unpaid pastor – it wasn’t uncommon for the two friends to fast more than once a month. At the time, Bennett was one of Romney's two counselors, or advisers.

“Occasionally he would invite me and the other counselor to join him in fasting on a weekday for a specific purpose,” Bennett wrote in an e-mail. “For example, one purpose would be to seek inspiration regarding an important decision, another purpose would be to express love, support and solidarity to someone who was ill or going through very difficult times.”

Whether Romney would maintain this observance from the nation’s highest office, we can’t know. But it looks like the White House kitchen staff may be in for a little downtime each month, if they’re lucky.

Honoring the Sabbath, going to church and other Mormon observances

Sunday is a holy day for active LDS Church members. It’s a time when Mormons attend their local congregation - it's known as a ward, which in Catholic-speak would be comparable to a parish - and worship with their families and community.

The ward closest to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and likely the one the Romneys would be assigned to, is the Washington D.C. 3rd Ward, which gathers in what Mormons call a “meetinghouse” or chapel on 16th Street NW. The Washington Post described this ward as consisting of mostly Democrats, half who are nonwhite (including plenty of Spanish speakers), and having openly gay members in its leadership.

Riess said while ward assignments are almost always determined geographically, sometimes there are exceptions. And the truth is there just isn’t any precedent for how this would be handled for a U.S. president.

With or without Romney, D.C. a surprising Mormon stronghold

How much of his Sundays a President Romney could set aside for his faith is obviously uncertain. We already know he’s been hard at work on the campaign trail, Sundays included – though the senior aide we spoke to said he makes efforts to get to church when he can.

One need only look at President Jimmy Carter, who went so far as to teach Sunday school at his local Baptist church, to see how a sitting president can make room for faith, said Balmer of Dartmouth, who counts among his many books “God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush.”

Romney faithfully showed up at church on Sundays while he was governor, unless an official function got in the way, Bennett said. And when Romney ran for U.S. Senate in 1994 against Ted Kennedy, Bennett – then the ward’s bishop – assigned Romney to teach the weekly adult Sunday school class.

“He was in church virtually every Sunday teaching this class throughout the campaign, only occasionally arranging for a substitute teacher,” his friend said.

Beyond church, Riess speculated about other observances Romney would uphold.

Mormons reserve Monday evenings for “family home evening,” a time when families pray, study and sing together.

Someone serving in church leadership, who didn’t want to be named because of the sensitivity of the subject matter, said he doubted the Romneys would observe family home evening since their kids are grown and gone. But Riess suspected that Romney and his wife, especially given the size of their brood – five sons; 18 grandchildren – and the likelihood that family would be passing through, would honor the Monday tradition in some way, even if it was just the two of them.

There’s also a practice in LDS Church wards in which men who hold the priesthood – which means the authority, for example, to perform baptisms and offer sacramental blessings – are partnered up to visit other congregation members, ideally once a month, as home teachers.

The LDS Church does not have paid clergy, and this is one way that volunteer ward pastors, or the bishops, can make sure members get personal attention and lessons as needed.

So could home teachers come knocking on the White House doors?

It’s possible, said Riess, though obviously there’d be background checks and no unannounced knockings.

But a U.S. president couldn’t possibly be expected to regularly home teach others, right?

Probably not. But Romney did step up as governor, Bennett said.

“He both had home teachers, and he was assigned as a home teacher, when he was governor,” Bennett said. “He and Ann would ensure they were available for their home teachers to visit, and he was faithful in doing his home teaching.”

And then there’s the big question: What about the temple?

Many non-Mormons falsely assume the large and often magnificent white LDS temples they see in their cities are where Latter-day Saints go for church. But Mormons gather for Sunday services in meetinghouses or chapels, which are usually plain, unimpressive structures.

The Washington D.C. Temple, not too far from the White House, is considered by Mormons to be a house of the Lord.

The 140 temples currently in operation across the globe are actually closed on Sundays. Mormons view their temples as houses of the Lord, as Riess explained in her book, and they are not places for run-of-the-mill worship. Temples, instead, are reserved for the most sacred rituals – the details of which are not to be discussed outside temple walls.

The temples are so sacred that the doors are not even open for all Mormons; only those deemed sufficiently worthy by local church leadership are granted a “temple recommend” or an entry card.

While sacred ceremonies or “ordinances” for the living – such as weddings, during which couples are “sealed” for eternity – happen inside, there are also rituals performed by living substitutes or proxies for those who have died. These rituals include baptisms, which have been at times a subject of controversy for the LDS Church.

Romney, who long served in church leadership, surely has a temple recommend. But does that mean he’d actually go to the Washington D.C. Temple, which sits about 10 miles north of the White House in Kensington, Maryland?

“If I were him, I’d probably just not go while I was president, if only out of courtesy to other patrons,” said our source in church leadership who didn’t want to be named. “It’s not like it’s some kind of ‘go often or you’ll go to hell’ thing. It’s just a standard part of being a committed Mormon, which you do if you can find the time.”

And a President Romney couldn’t go there, let alone anywhere else, without Secret Service. So if he wanted to go, would he be able to? Even Secret Service agents would be turned away from the temple without the right access card.

Not a problem, speculated Balmer of Dartmouth. He said finding qualified agents, if Romney hasn’t found them already, would be easy.

It’s well-known that the CIA, FBI and, by extension, he said he assumes, the Secret Service recruit at LDS Church-run Brigham Young University. All these agencies, Balmer said, are “looking for people who are good, loyal, patriotic Americans,” and many Latter-day Saints, who believe in the divinity of the U.S. Constitution, fit that bill.

So if it would be important for Romney and the first lady to go to the temple, it should be possible.

And Riess said, given Romney's level of faith and church involvement over the years, she can’t imagine that he wouldn’t want to go. Minimally, she pointed out, there’s bound to be a family member’s wedding or “temple sealing” he’d want to attend.

“It would be a logistical problem,” she said. “But I’m pretty sure they’d find a way.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • DC • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (2,237 Responses)
  1. Yoder

    I think it's great by golly – I love the Tabernacle Choir and now we'll get to hear them more often. Also, maybe the polygamy? C'mon, you watched Big Love you know you want it!

    November 3, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      What exactly is wrong with polygamy?

      November 3, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Polygamy's fine if the participants are consenting adults and not cult-brainwashed children, imo.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Romnesia

      RL, as long as it is consensual between informed adults. Much of what the FLDS does indoctrinates underage girls, rejects the majority of boys, and in many cases live off welfare

      November 3, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I agree.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Patrice

      RL, defending polygamy – that's big of you. no that's bigamy haha!

      November 3, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • MCR

      First, The Mormon Church hasn't allowed polygamy for over 100 years. Second, for those eager to say its OK between consenting adults, you really need to think through some of the practical implications. Most societies which have allowed more than 2 people to marry, have allowed either polygamy OR polyandry, not both. In the modern world we aren't going to allow one and not the other. What we would be working with then is a man married to a woman married to another man who's married to another woman. The legal implications are enormous as theoretically the entire adult world could be married in a complex web. This is not likely to happen any time soon.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • mari

      You do realize that women living in a group will start to cycle together? One woman pms-ing is bad enough, imagine the drama! The mood swings, the emotional out of control tantrums, the constant b–tchiness, the drama, the drama, the DRAMA! No thanks!

      November 4, 2012 at 1:25 am |
  2. WOT

    The color of the White House does not change, it will still be white. Color , color , color, God made us all with RED blood. You people are on earth for just a short time, make the best of it by not seeing color but the heart. Man judge the outward but God judge the heart. The main ones who are so against the President will be the ones who suffer the most. The bumarang effect is always in order!

    November 3, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • yaa

      So...why will they suffer again? is it there? in your book...

      November 3, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Does your god do anything other than cause suffering?

      November 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Greg

      it's nice to know that even those confined to mental hospitals have access to the Internet.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Abinadi

      RL, keeping God's commandments does not bring suffering. It brings peace, prosperity, good health, and happiness. It is when we ignore God that we fall into war, poverty, disease, misery and pain.

      November 3, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Mary

      So Abinadi, then according to what you said your god lets innocent kids suffer and die for what other people might have done, just because they happened to be in the same flood zone? Wow, your god is really an azzhole. And I mean an AZZHOLE, and a pretty incompetent god too if he can't do his murdering selectively and punish the right people. Hey, even a human court does better than that...

      November 4, 2012 at 1:36 am |
  3. yaa

    I don't remember CNN running a story when Obama came into white house, or I missed it perhaps.

    November 3, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Why would you expect that? A protestant president is the norm – only one hasn't been a protestant so far.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Bret

      That's because CNN is full of liberal bigots. CNN please write a story what a black president would put on his walls? Does he eat Chicken and Watermelon? What kind of underwear does he wear. Does he pray to the East or West, or at all? Were is grandparents slaves, Does he drink or smoke? Look at all the articles on CNN. they are so biased, it's an Obamanation. Don't believe the CNN smear campaign. Go find the truth from the sources and Vote with your brain.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Bret. I don't know how you got that from the article. A protestant president is the norm – the only one that wasn't was a catholic. It seems to me that many people know little about mormonism outside the stereotypes. The GOP attacked it in the primary, Billy Graham called it a cult until recently. People are curious and CNN have a 24-hour news cycle to maintain.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  4. i haz a pregunta

    mitt romney is a robot, just like, only he's rich. he also has 2 extra wives hidden in his mansion cellar.

    November 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • yaa

      yeah right and he revealed this secret only to you...

      November 3, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Abinadi

      Tu eres loco.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  5. MsClipps

    i dont know i think its bad idea a moron in the whitehoue

    November 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Well we're f.ucked for this election because it's moron versus moron.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Moronism, a disease brought on by Romnesia and spread by Obamacare

      November 3, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Romnesia

      god's dunce. You don't seem to have grasped the concept of healthcare

      November 3, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Romnesia,,,

      Well then, what's 'your' definition of 'moronism'?

      November 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  6. Craig from Pa.

    I hear the "Twilight Zone" theme playing........

    November 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  7. longlee

    hello long lee from china we are happy that you want romney because of jesus and he is white. we want romney too because of our work. do not let obama the democrats win! please!!

    November 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • yaa

      Hi longlee , you were liberal Louis yesterday....why this desperation? sorry you are loosing the free bucks

      November 3, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  8. Albert Einstein

    The weekend before election and CNN is reminding us that Romney is Mormon. Too bad they do not discuss the poor quality of jobs people are finding in the public sector. How about focusing on Obama's energy secetary who said we need $ 8.00 gas. God help the middle class if we get biden/ obama for another 4 years. How about talking aboutAll the cooks that gave to Obama like Cozine who get a free pass. Have any of Obama's investments like Solandra been successful not one !!!!!

    November 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Einstein you are not. Anti-Einstein more like. Bain Capital had a 22% fail rate. The government backed ventures have a failure rate of about 4%. You lose credibility when you're posts are so inaccurate.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  9. Jagtech

    A Mormon Whitehouse... this will spell the end of the U.S.A.! Mormons only hire / associate with Mormons. No more government jobs or appointments for "normal" folks.

    November 3, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • helenolai

      You are a bigot.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Albert Einstein

      obama only starts to going to Church before elections and he olny goes to Israel when a Candidate never as president perhaps there is a reason some think he is a muslim . did you see the mocie 2016

      November 3, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Einstein you are not. Anti-Einstein more like. You lose credibility when you're posts are so inaccurate.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • suemac47

      We'll soon have the opportunity to see if what you say holds water, when Romney becomes President. Funny thing though, all the other Mormons currently holding office in our governmenthave all kinds of folks on their staff, associate with people of many faiths, and even have room in their hearts for people like you.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Gene

      Not only a bigot, but just plain wrong.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Stacie Litke

      Seriously? I have lived in a mormon community all my life and am not mormon, actually quite the opposite however I can tell you that your thinking is misinformative. I have never been treated differently because I am not a mormon however I have had neighbors show up to help cut wood, help dig holes, bring food when I or my family was sick...their tight family values have made it a very nice place to live and amazingly our area has very little divorce rate. Just because they have a certain " religion" does not make them any different than any other people. Mormons in general are very nice, polite and very helpful people to all around them, not just those in their church.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  10. farmwife1972

    You want a President that believes that Jesus came from outer space? You want a president that thinks there are three levels of heaven and that you can become a God? Do you want a president that they have secret ceremonies with no one leading them except a voice over an intercom? Do you want a president that believes that if you do good here on earth you can go to heaven on earth but not their heaven? Do want a president that believes that Lucifer is Jesus' brother? Do you want a president that believes in baptizing dead people and believing they will then be Mormans? Dig your heads out of the sand people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you want a president that believes there is a mother and father god? The name for their god is Elohim. It is fantastically interesting that people that are supposed to know about the Holy Bible do not research these things. I do not care that Billy Graham removed Mormanism from the cult list. They are a cult!!!!!!!!!!

    November 3, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Jesus came from outer space, Jesus came from god's ball sack.

      Either way you're getting a retard.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Mohammad eats Bacon

      I'd rather go with Romeny, then Obama and the Muslim background he hides.. not to mention the racial issues Obama's church preaches with Rev. Jeremiah Wright..but thats right, Obama claims he don't really know what his preacher believes.. (facepalm)

      November 3, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • helenolai

      You are a bigot.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Matt

      @Bacon. You seem really butthurt, dude. Like seriously, hatefully butthurt. Probably for these entire four years. That being the case, all I can say is after this week's elections, you aren't even going to want to consider sitting in a chair.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Racial issues? Oh yeah, the Mormon Church has none of those (SARCASM ALERT).

      November 3, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Mohammad eats Bacon

      they both do RL, but lets talk about both sides..CNN shouldn't be so prejudice either..it's 2012, CNN and Americans should wake up and not play sides.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  11. Rummy Pirate Times-Dispatch

    For 15 years, Romney had been in the business of creative destruction and wealth creation. But what about his claims of job creation? Though Bain Capital surely helped expand some companies that had created jobs, the layoffs and closures at other firms would lead Romney’s political opponents to say that he had amassed a fortune in part by putting people out of work. The lucrative deals that made Romney wealthy could exact a cost. Maximizing financial return to investors could mean slashing jobs, closing plants, and moving production overseas. It could also mean clashing with union workers, serving on the board of a company that ran afoul of federal laws, and loading up already struggling companies with debt.

    BAIN'S INVESTOR "SUCCESSES" WERE PRIMARILY CONTINGENT ON MASS LAY-OFFS OF WORKERS

    November 3, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      I concure with every word of your truthfulness writing

      November 3, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  12. notafanofmoroni

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Horse_Prophecy

    November 3, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Romnesia

      All religions have them; it doesn't make them a reliable prediction. You know how many times the world was scheduled to end and here we all still are.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  13. fitz

    Mormons do not associate with non-Mormons. They yank their blonde blue eyed clones away from other kids at about puberty. They make them go to morning Mormon classes in order to keep them from interacting with normal kids that might be non-Mormon or dark skinned. They are exclusionary in all aspects of their lives, but especially in their business dealings. As Romney has shown over and over again, they will lie and cheat just for the Almighty dollar.

    November 3, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      To be fair, Nazi Supermen are Our Superiors.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Mohammad eats Bacon

      wow, i didn't know Obama was Mormon.. he's lied and cheated for the last 4 years..hmmm

      November 3, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Postal

      Sheesh...what rock have you been living under?

      November 3, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • helenolai

      I have blonde hair, blue eyes, and I am Mormon. I am married to an Asian man and we have two children. So I can tell you right now that your assertions are false. There are many, many inter-racial couples in my church. I am friends with them. You are modern-day bigotry personified. I've heard it all before.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • vvaughn

      Hey Fitz. You couldn't be more wrong. I'm a faithful Mormon and we associate (including our kids) with anyone regardless of faith or belief. In fact, a core belief of our church (and all christianity) is to be kind and accepting of all people – and that means associating with them. Being born in raised in Florida (not Utah), most, if not all of my friends were not Mormons. Now, if a guy is a gang-member or a drug dealer, I'm gonna not want my kid to hang with them. But hey, I think even you'd agree with that.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Stacie Litke

      really? Just for a history lesson why dont you look up the Navajo reservation ( those would be native americans to you...kind of darker in skin and most definatly NOT blue eyes) and lookup their dominant religion? Yuppers...a vast majority of them are native american church ( traditional navajo ways) or MORMONS. What gives?? Sorry charlie that that is what is wrong with America. Know your facts before you spout your mouth. Makes you look rather ignorant. Jeesh and I am not even LDS...what the heck!!!

      November 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • AUTO101

      I have know Idea what your talking about Fitz. Most Mormons are not blond Blue eyed people. Now I have one girl that has white heir one has red heir. My wife is in the Military most of her friends are in the Army and some are Navy. Most of them are members because she does not like the smell of smoke and does not drink So Why sould you hange around people that get drunk and fight each other? Now I wen to Morning semmanary and All my friends were not Mormon I was the only one that was on our football team. As an Auto technician I work with a few Saintanists why should I hang out with them?

      November 3, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • mari

      Ummm, I have dark hair and blue eyes, my husband has dark hair and brown eyes, my oldest has dark hair and blue eyes, my next has dark hair, dark SKIN, and green eyes, my next has dark hair, very fair skin, and green eyes, and my youngest has very dark hair and green eyes.... and yes, all belong to my husband. We come from a nice mix of Spanish, Cherokee Indian, English, and German.... plus a few more I can't remember. My kids' best friends in the neighborhood are our next door neighbors' kids, and they are Asian and not Mormons. At school their best friends depend on the day, for the most part, but they have a good mix of different races in their classes and I would welcome most of them into my home (the few I wouldn't want coming around are caucasian) I'd say your assessment is kinda WRONG.

      November 4, 2012 at 1:36 am |
  14. Mohammad eats Bacon

    The goverment can not give any thing to someone without first taking from another..Obama = poor people getting poorer.

    November 3, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      Romney=rich beetches getting richer

      November 3, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Mohammad eats Bacon

      u Mad Dreamer..?? get a J.O.B

      November 3, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I think we can agree that both suck balls.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Mohammad eats Bacon

      agree RL, but i'm having to go with the man that will at least keep my family working..Obama's civil policies mean nothing if our economy fails. here's to hope for 2016

      November 3, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      I eat pig's feet and cow tongue and rocky mountain oysters,,,,, Care to join me?

      November 3, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Matt

      Serious question, Mohammad dude, what do you do for a living? Just curious. I'm also curious if you understand Romney's economic policy well enough to have an idea on how it would affect you and your job.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Great word.

      Well said. That's one of the biggest problems with the liberal movement. They don't understand that something doesn't come from nothing. They want to LITERALY enslave the working class to take care of them. They want to make SLAVES out of working men and women just like they did to the blacks hundreds of years ago. It's what they do. It's what poor, lazy people do. God bless Abraham Lincoln (Republican) for putting their disgusting habits to rest for a while. Let's see if we can keep it that way.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Answer

      Today's Republicans aren't the republicans of those long bygone days...

      November 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Matt

      @Greatword. Just so you can hear what you are saying. You are saying that the well-educated upper middle class (who slant liberal/dem, ie. those "liberal elietes" that Fox hates so much because of all their fancy thinking) are interested in enslaving the working class. Whereas the upper upper class (who slant conservative/repub) who are the heads of multinational corporations and control the majority of the decisions about sending jobs to China and such are looking out (???) for the working class. Think about who really benefits from the working class "enslavement" (or at least keeping them working in low wage jobs and barely educated. Don't break anything, just think about.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Matt

      @Answer. Yes. Today's Republicans would make Ronald Regan puke. If he were alive today he'd probably identify more with the Dem party than the Repub because of how overboard they've gone.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I think answer means a little bit further back than RayGun, the worst President since Eisenhower.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
  15. sally

    If by chance the Rummy Pirate gets in there, they would have to put away all the China and extend all the hallways and open areas to keep Rummy Pirates nose from running into things. His wooden nose will be so long, you could hang a year's worth of laundry on it.

    November 3, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  16. martin

    One day America will enter the Age of Reason with an Atheist in the White House. Theism sucks and it's time these tax free scams are ended.

    November 3, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      They could worship Ted Danson for all I care as long as they lower taxes and stay out of everybody's business.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Matt

      Seconded. That day cannot come too soon.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Matt

      The problem is that Religion, by it's very nature, CAN'T stay out of other people's business.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      One toke over the lies sweet Jesus, one toke over the lies. Pass it on down the joint sweet Jesus, pass it on down.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • SPW

      Atheist and Anti-theism are two different things

      November 3, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Andy

      Hmm. How do we get a hold of Ted Danson?

      November 3, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Mohammad eats Bacon

      what religion is No-bama..??

      November 3, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Matt

      No-bama??? Oh, I get it. It's a play on his name. Please tell me you came up with this cleverness all by yourself. That is comedy gold right there... Comedy gold.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Pleaz refrain from inzulting zie fuhrer Obama.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Matt

      Insinuating the Commander-in-Chief is a Nazi. Everybody says that Republican humor is an oxymoron.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Where did I say I was a Republican? Oh yeah, I didn't.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  17. Rational Libertarian

    It would be almost exactly identical to the ordinary White House, except a disembodied voice would continuously sing 'Lisa Harris smart smart smart, Martin Harris dumb dumb dumb. Dumb dumb dumb dumb.'

    November 3, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  18. Rose

    If your not Mormon and you have a child who marries a Mormon you can not enter the temple beyond the big doors to see them get married Now why is that.??????

    November 3, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Jace

      What do you care?

      November 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Abinadi

      Temples are not regular places of Sunday worship for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are quite different from the thousands of regular chapels or meetinghouses all over the world that are used for Sunday services.

      Anyone, regardless of religion, may enter a Latter-day Saint meetinghouse and attend services. However, because of the sacredness of temples as “houses of the Lord,” only members of the Church, who are in good standing are allowed to enter the temples. A member must be observing the basic principles of the faith and attest to that fact to his or her local leaders once every two years in order to enter a temple.

      The sacredness of the temple anciently can be seen in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, Moses had the children of Israel carry with them the Tabernacle (a large, portable temple) as they wandered in the wilderness. King Solomon built and dedicated the great temple that was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. It was rebuilt and later substantially expanded, but again destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70. The great Western Wall can still be seen in Jerusalem today, and even after millennia, remains a sacred site for Jews. The New Testament gives an account of Jesus Christ clearing the temples when its sacredness was violated by people using its courts as a common market.

      Latter-day Saint temples are considered houses of God, a place of holiness and peace separate from the preoccupations of the world. They provide a place where Church members make formal promises and commitments to God. They are also the place where the highest sacraments of the faith occur — the marriage of couples and the “sealing” of families for eternity.

      (Download high-resolution version of this infographic.)

      Temples serve as the only place where ceremonies such as baptism and eternal marriage can be performed in behalf of those who have died — a practice that Latter-day Saints believe was followed in New Testament times but that later was lost.

      Temples point Latter-day Saints to Jesus Christ and their eventual life with Him, their Heavenly Father and their family members on the condition of faithfulness to Christ’s teachings.

      In a modern-day revelation, Joseph Smith received direction to build a temple in Kirtland, Ohio (dedicated in 1836). Later he was instructed to build a temple in Nauvoo, Illinois (1846). So important were temples to early Church members that within days after arriving in Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young selected the site of the Salt Lake Temple.

      There are 166 temples throughout the world either in operation, under construction or announced. (See temple list.)

      On most temples there is a golden statue of a man in flowing robes, with a long horn pressed to his lips. The statue depicts the angel Moroni, an ancient prophet and a central figure in the Book of Mormon. The statue is symbolic of the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • The Mighty Paw of Dog

      Because jace you moron she would like to see her kids get married. And why is it?

      November 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Jace

      You her kid Mighty?

      November 3, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Matt

      Looks like the non-runaround answer to your question is NO. You wouldn't be allowed to see your own child get married if you aren't a Mormon.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • The Mighty Paw of Dog

      What if I am? What's the big deal? What's being hidden?

      November 3, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Nancy

      My friend in LA was not allowed into the wedding of her youngest daughter. She married a morman as well. It's all Greek to me.
      I am more concerned with Myth's business background. He appears to be a Wall street raider. You know, the folks who brought down the US economy. Folks in the US are very uneducated about the economy.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • AUTO101

      My Mother, Father, and brother are all Mormon they were not able to see us married. Their was noting wrong with that they choose to be inactive or not worthy. You choose not to be a member that is your right to choose. They did atend the reception. the temple is for sacredness.

      November 3, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  19. Evangelical

    Let's agree that while Romney is not perfect, he is infinitely better than what we have right now.

    November 3, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • sally

      Not with lies like this:

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dnfed-DjKo&w=640&h=390]

      When an auto manufacturer (Chrysler) has to come out and say the candidate is lying and saying things about their corporate plans – it would have to be a pretty big lie for them to take a stand against him. Romney continues to lie.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Matt

      While we can't all agree on that, I think we can all agree that you are a very dedicated shill for Mr. Romney.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Romnesia

      Can't agree to that nonsense

      November 3, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • buzz

      Don't think that's the case, just your opinion

      November 3, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  20. Jace

    This is exactly the kind of crap mindless liberals lap up. Keep up with the insightful comments Matt, you tool.

    November 3, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Matt

      Can't compete with your cleverness, I'm afraid, Jace. Sorry to hear the whole Devry situation didn't pan out for you, BTW. Text me and I promise write you a glowing recommendation for ITT. Second time is a charm. Chin up!

      November 3, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Jace

      I don't even have your email, stupid!

      November 3, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
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About this blog

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