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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. RJ

    Why is the focus on religion? The focus should be on whether or not the person elected can do the job, period. Are people this shallow?

    November 4, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Todd

      Shallow? You are talking about over looking peoples admitted belief in ridiculous fairly tales with the hope that they will then somehow make rational decisions on issues that affect this country and the entire world. You call it shallow. I call it an obvious sanity test.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Buck- WV

      Yes, people are this shallow. People like to use religion as a way to voice there racism and anger. They'll find a piece of scripture swing and turn it to fit there views and then go with it. It funny how so many claim God and religion but are some of the most hate filled angry people you'll ever meet. They may be able to lie to themselves but one day they'll be judged and then they'll see just how christian they really are.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • beckham

      That would be becaust this is the Belief Blog...it says right there at the top of the page...I believe the "who would make the best president" is a different blog!

      November 4, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Abinadi

      Well said, beckham. Duh, this is a "belief blog". So why are the nonbelievers here?

      November 4, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  2. saggyroy

    If you want to know what a Mormon White House would look like, you will have to wait til after Mitt starts WWIII to bring Jesus back, and then go to Missouri to see it.

    November 4, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  3. Mean Soklun

    Mitt Romney can be Committ Money

    November 4, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  4. gerome

    There will be no mormon white house. Stop fooling yourselves. You want to know who will win? Simple, just look at the amount of 'likes' Obama suporters get vs the amount Romney supporters get on the posts. It's almost 5 to 1. Here's a real unbiased poll for you. This race is not even close but ya'll have to keep it close to generate more viewers.

    November 4, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Chaseford

      Really? You think we should take a left-leaning website with left-leaning readers, and look at the amount of "likes" candidates get to see who will win the election? Brilliant.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  5. Bill

    Would it change it like Kwanzaa did?? Like Islam did?? John Kennedy was one of them"Catholics". My God, look what happened there.

    November 4, 2012 at 9:08 am |
  6. Kris

    First off, they'll have to add 10 bedrooms for all his wives.

    But worse, he'll have to pick a First Lady, and Second Lady, a Third Lady....and so on. This could be the toughest part of his term.

    November 4, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • AuggieDoggy

      At least they'll work and not mooch off the taxpayers, spending like Marie Antoinette and Louis the XVI occupying the French Palace now.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Tom Carson

      Your comment is so far off the reservation that it's hard to tell which candidate you mean. Romney's a Mormon, and obviously Mormons don't practice polygamy. (You know that, right? Surely you're not so ignorant that you think Mormons have multiple wives.)

      Islam obviously permits multiple wives, so are you going the other direction and calling Obama a Muslim? Even if he were secretly a Muslim and just pretending to be Christian for political expedience, he obviously wouldn't come out as a Muslim by marrying multiple wives while in office. Moreover, you mention 10 bedrooms for the wives, but Islam doesn't permit 10 wives for one man; it caps the number at four. So that still wouldn't make any sense either.

      Finally, you mention choosing a First Lady, but of course both candidates are already married. Michelle Obama and Ann Romney–perhaps you've heard of them, given that they've been in the news countless times. So there will already be a First Lady regardless of which candidate wins; neither one needs to choose a new First Lady.

      And before you ask: no, I'm neither a Mormon nor a Muslim. I'm just an educated American who believes in religious tolerance and voting for candidates based on the merits of their political positions, not private religious beliefs or disingenuous fear-mongering.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Callie

      Remember he has binders full of women to pick from for those jobs!

      November 4, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  7. Ben

    As if the white house didn't already have food storage for the president and his family. It just might not be kept at the white house.

    November 4, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  8. Rick

    If this particular Mormon gets into the White House, we are in BIG trouble. I'm a converted Mormon. I didn't vote for Romney. We need to leave religion private to the individual. I've seen a lot of people condemning and speaking lies of Mormons when they really have no clue.

    The one thing to keep in mind–the president's religion matters not one bit, what matters is his ability to do the job he was elected to do.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • AuggieDoggy

      As if a white-hating mooch and the window dressing of the whole disaster he's created will somehow make it better. We do, in some respects, hope Obama wins, to a degree. Just to show you idiots that blaming Bush is simply an excuse, always has been an excuse, always will be an excuse. Voting is the best revenge. Hate your country, want other people to pick your pockets too? Want to see us fail? Vote Obama (multiple times, at several polls, as dead, illegal felons and as angry disenfranchised voters. Oh I forgot – the suppressed voters don't count (e.g. Out of state, military et al) Dope.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Rick

      Auggie, you are seriously misinformed.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Todd

      It absolutely matters. I do not want someone in the White House leading this country who relies on magic underwear for protection and childish religious tales for guidance.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  9. Chalupa

    This is pure conjecture. The WH will be the WH. This is like saying JFK made it catholic or Obama made it Jeremiah Wright (maybe he did).

    November 4, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  10. Obama from KFC

    You'll an't seen nothing yet....in my second term the Rev Wright will be moving into the WH.

    Every day at 1600 Penn Ave is going to look like an angry Soul Train party!! Life on the Gov't Plantation is going to be good for you all.....

    Pull da the level for me on Tues! ....and I'll keep the free Gov't Cheese a flowing!

    All da best,

    Obo

    November 4, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • AuggieDoggy

      You hit the nail....... maybe if Romney wins, we'll see a fresh suit and nice tie every day.... someone who doesn't point fingers, make excuses, blames everyone around him for his personal failures, disasters, fiscal mismanagement/irresponsibility, catering to a selfish, self-indulgent spouse with deep taxpayers pockets to pick, and an empty Treasury looted of it's national treasure.
      "Don't boo, Vote! Vote! Voting is the best revenge!!! ;o)

      November 4, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Buck- WV

      What a angry racist you are. But im sure your claiming christian. What a joke. Funny how some of the most judgemental angry hate filled people claim that they're christians on sunday only. Lol

      November 4, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  11. Ken Harris

    Mr. Romney spoke the truth when he said during the debate that Obama never visited Israel. Obama said he did... but what Romney had in mind, and so should you, was that as President, Obama never visited Israel but he did visit neighboring Islamic states and even kissed the ring of the Saudi king, The Protector of Islam. That sent a very strong message throughout the Islamic world. A bad message for Israel. A bad message for real peace.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • AuggieDoggy

      Great insight. We, that silent majority the Left loves to excoriate every day, hope there's a lot of you out there.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  12. beckham

    Considering the article left out the fact that Romney believes he is a God embryo (believing God was once a man, therefore, man can become God) everyone pre-existed as a spirit baby, Jesus and Satan are literally our brothers, God is married and exists on or near the planet Kolob, baptisms for the dead, sacred temple garments as a reminder of purity, freemason secret rituals and symbols, secret hand shakes and sacred names they are given, not to share with anyone or to be talked about.....I'd say this article is pretty conservative!!!

    November 4, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Tom Carson

      Shame on everyone who's trying to make religion an issue in this campaign. I'm not a Mormon, and I don't personally know any Mormons, but I find it sickening that people keep attacking Romney for his religion. Is that because you're too uninformed to address Romney's stands on political issues? Or because you can't find any way to defend Obama's failure to improve the economy over the last four years?

      Enough with the religious intolerance and fear-mongering; let's try talking about legitimate issues for a change. Start with the fact that the Democrats have controlled the White House for the past four years and the House for the past six years, and during that time the economy has continually gotten worse for middle-class families. The average household income has dropped $4,000 during Obama's time in office, and median household income has plummeted to where it was in 1996. Americans can't afford four more years without a recovery.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Rick

      You need to get your facts corrected.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Todd

      Absolutely right. The discussion for the office of president should start with the question "Do you believe wearing magic under garments protects you from evil forces?" If the answer is YES, the interview is over. Real issues do not matter at that point. Shame on such weak minded individuals for having the audacity to ask for confidence to lead this country.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • beckham

      @Tom, last I checked this was called the Belief blog....where CNN covers different angles of ones BELIEF, hence, all the religion talk! I'm quite sure there is a "Who would make the better President" blog, somewhere else. Don't get me wrong, I'm not for Obama either, believe it or not, there are other choices out there, than just these 2 morons!

      November 4, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  13. Jake

    One man likes to get his hands dirty and the other prefers a manicure. 'Nuff said.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:39 am |
  14. Obama from KFC

    .........This article does not give me any credit for the first Muslum WH?? Whaz up with dat?

    –Obo

    November 4, 2012 at 8:36 am |
  15. theragamuffinfiles

    What an absurd piece of fluff this article is, glossing over or ignoring the many disturbing aspects of Mormonism – not the least being the ordained 2nd class status for women, the most absurd being the belief that Jesus Christ once lived in the U.S. Most troubling is that if "Mitt" is in the White House, "separation of church and state," one of the cornerstones of the U.S., will become a meaningless phrase. Above all, Romney's true dedication is to big money and his own ambition. P.S. Those items were not "gathered" for hurricane Sandy as the caption states – Romney's team purchased them for photo – ops to try and make a political rally look like something else. He will do anything and say anything to win.

    November 4, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Obama from KFC

      That's right!!! ...sneaky Romney giving out food to help those in need. I also heard he gives money to charity....just trying to look good I'm sure.

      I'm glad I have the vote to sheep like yourself who only see things my way. Thank you!!

      Cheers to life on the Gov't Plantation!!

      Love, Obo

      November 4, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Brian

      Dear Theragamuffinfiles, I do not understand where you get your information that Mormons treat women as second class citizens, I have a wonderful wife, three daughters and 2 sons, a mom, a sister and 3 fantastic women that work for me. I would not be in business without these wonderful women. I would not be on this planet without my beautiful mother, and my children would not be here without there awesome mother. We hold women in the highest esteem. Lets set the record straight. Thanks Brian

      November 4, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Rick

      Please show where it says Jesus lived in the US.
      Women are actually held to high esteem by the men and NOT second class anything. If anything the women rule the roost.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Callie

      Brian– maybe we would believe that Mormon men are truly taught that women are their equals if you had said that your wife works WITH you in your business and not FOR you.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  16. Brian

    I am really saddened by all the misinformation, inaccurate comments,negativity, and misconceptions about the church I belong to the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ( Mormons ) First of all we are not a cult, We love all people, We love God the Eternal Father and his Son Jesus Christ. We have over 14 million members all over the world. If you would like to know the truth about our religion go to http://www.LDS.org and / or Mormon.org. I would like to invite all people on this blog to read and study the Bible and Book of Mormon and get a truer perceptive of our religion. Thanks Brian

    November 4, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • kousa

      Sorry, but I will have to decline your invite. I believe Mormonism is a cult but if you are happy being a Mormon, so be it. I do not believe that Jesus Christ and the satan are brothers. I do not believe that black people are cursed anymore than any other group of people as a whole race. I can go on and on about the beliefs of Mormonism but I will not. And yes, I do know all about Mormonis. So please enjoy your faith but keep it to yourself. Fortunately, we will not have to concern ourselves with Mitt Romney being elected as president. It's not going to happen. God says, so.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • Jsmith

      Thanks for writing this, yes people like Kousa can choose willful ignorance - certainly their right - but I also find the ridiculous claims about our church shocking. What bothers me more, tho', is this whole thing CNN is doing making Latter-Day Saints look like we're from another planet. It's very disturbing and not a little partisan, but you have expect that here. I would have thought we got past that with Kennedy in 1960, but people love to hang on to their hatred and ignorance, I guess.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Martin

      Why don't you give everyone some of that magic underwear? Or do you have to go to Kolob to get more?

      November 4, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • beckham

      The Christian trinity is 1 in 3. One God, working in 3 ways. Mormon trinity is 3 in 1. 3 seperate beings working for One. BIG difference. A mormon relationship with Jesus is far different than a Christians relationship with Jesus. I don't need to follow my heart (as mormons are told to do) because the heart can decieve, I follow the Holy Bible (which, btw, warns about believing anything that has been added or taken away from) for my answers. Not some modern day "claimed" prophet. I believe the last living prophet was Jesus, and this is what separates true Christians from mormons. If you want people to take you seriously, quit giving them only "milk" and then directing them to the LDS website. Give them the meat of your religion right up front like a real Christian would....not lure them in with all your "We love everyone" fluff! Satan would say the same thing if he knew that's what would lure you to him!!!

      November 4, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • PevanB

      I agree with the other guy that the Mormons have some strange beliefs – BUT would you rather have a Mormon or the lying cheating l0ser muslim we have now? II'll be going mormon

      November 4, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Rick

      Planet Kolob is a METAPHOR (look up the definition).

      Magic underwear are actually white undergarments (not really underwear) meant to symbolize PURITY and rebirth, something of which I'm sure you know nothing about.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:12 am |
  17. T

    Such a fuss about a Mormon in the White House! Just as much upheaval when JFK, a Catholic (*gasp!*) was in the White House. Liberals who scorn Romney's religion forget so quickly their head honcho of the Senate, Harry Reid, is a Mormon too, yet they have NO problems with THAT, do they?

    November 4, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • truth be told

      Were you around in 1960 or did someone tell you what to believe?

      November 4, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • eniger

      I would much prefer having a Mormon in the White House than an Islamic determined to ruin our country.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • PevanB

      I was around in the 60's and there was this kind of "spiritual racism" back then too towards Kennedy. and you f00ls at CNN just perpetuate this kind of action. Do you even know any Mormons? I don't agree with what they believe but they strive to be good honest people. Unlike muslims that WILL lie and cheat to get what they want – Kind of like OBO who never did go to Israel and said he did among many other things – NOW there's a liar.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Tom Carson

      Great point, T. If Republicans attacked Harry Reid because he's a Mormon, Democrats would cry foul...and rightly so. There are legitimate reasons to vote for or against Romney and Obama, but their religious beliefs aren't one of them. And no, I'm not a Mormon; I'm just a tolerant American who wants to see an economic recovery and a comprehensive homeland security policy.

      On Election Day, please stand up for religious tolerance and vote for a candidate based on merit. Don't vote based on irrelevant fear-mongering rumors from people who aren't informed enough to address serious political issues, such as the continuing economic crisis.

      November 4, 2012 at 9:15 am |
  18. jman1869@aol.com

    No problem. We are all about diversity in America. Right CNN?

    November 4, 2012 at 7:35 am |
  19. tarura

    Mormon WH will look much better than a musIim WH

    November 4, 2012 at 7:24 am |
    • Mantra

      Barak Obama is a christian. Don't tell trivial lies here. Mormon is Mormon period!

      November 4, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • T

      INDEED! Rev. Wright's church has its seeds in Black Muslim faith (Nation of Islam) that even Malcolm X figured out was on the wrong path of piety....

      November 4, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      "A Muslim White House" is a code word for "a Black President".

      If you are going to be racist at least be honest about it.

      November 4, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • ZacJ

      I am Mormon and Barack Obama is not Muslim. You may not agree with some of the more progressive Christian churches but they are Christian none the less. If he were lying about his faith (and there is absolutely no evidence that he is) he'd more likely be secretly atheist or agnostic and just claiming religion because it is so politically expedient in this country.

      Furthermore, what if a Muslim ran for president? Would you honestly vote against him/her if you agreed with them more on actual policy? I disagree with many members of my own church and other christian churches on political issues and would therefore not vote for them for political office. Not because I think they are bad people but because when we vote for a president we aren't just giving a vote of confidence or validation in their personal lives or beliefs. We are instead actually voting for the political actions they will take with their elected office. Beyond that, I would hope that you'd recognize that Muslims are wonderful people for the most part and often are more sincere and consistent about their religious beliefs than many Christians.

      November 4, 2012 at 8:33 am |
  20. Ramon F. Herrera

    Some INFLUENTIAL Romney voters here:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsHi6_l1XzA&w=640&h=390]

    November 4, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • thebeast

      I can't believe these guys take themselves seriously...and probably all calling themselves Chirstians! Didn't Jesus love EVERYONE? Or did I miss the fine print that says Jesus only loved people with light skin. I wonder if they realize that Jesus came from an area of the world that had dark skin? Mmmm....

      November 4, 2012 at 2:22 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.