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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. NYKnows

    No way. Romney's team has worked really hard to keep the religion thing out of the campaign, including the polygamy of his grandfather (5 wives). No way should Romney's religion become suddenly central to his life – of course, he will never occupy the White House, so the article is fantasy anyway, but no way, no way, no way.

    November 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Richelle

      sooo what did your grand father do? Should you be judged by your grandfathers actions? Wasn't Obamas grand father a polygamist too? Doesn't matter to me is hes christian muslim or chirstian mormon, we are all children of the world and need to learn to tolerate eachother if not embrace each other

      November 4, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  2. Meki60

    It could not be half as bad as the muslim we have now.

    November 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  3. Marty in MA

    enough with religion. Let's all grow up.

    November 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  4. Rinsewind

    Couldn't give a rat's patootie what religion Romney is. What I do care about is his position on the issues which is, unfortunately, very difficult to actually pin down.

    November 4, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Meli

      Exactly! Whoever I'm voting for, I'm voting because I agree or disagree with their positions on issues that matter, not what religion they are.

      November 4, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Meki60

      and you knew nothing about Obama's positiona and still don't except for EBT cards.

      November 4, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • MCR

      It is precisely because a persons views are hard to pin down that we use religion as one tool in predicting what that person actually believes, and therefore will do. You first have to decide for youself, however, whether you even believe they are sincere in their religious proclamations. No matter who you are, you have to tell a lot of lies to get elected, and any tool we can use, with any politician, to tell the list from the truth will help.

      November 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Richelle

      thats cute, just what does a rats patootie look like? Nice to have a laugh...as for positions, youve just been spinmeistered...by the Spin Meisters....as with al of us, ones positions on the issues changed from age 30 to 60, as we mature or become educated on an issue this also is a result.Shows hes teachable, but still going to clean up washington which is corrupt I know this personally, Ive seen it on the state level here in Calif. And as a poll worker, we'll watch like hawks, we have good locks and witness system I wish everyone did...

      November 4, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  5. truth be told

    A Mormon White House? Picture Glenn Beck on steroids with a sugar high. A vote for a Mormon is a vote for an anti – Christ

    November 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Meki60

      oh, and the muslim we have now is for Christ?

      November 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, please. You idiots with the Muslim fixation are pitiful. Truly pathetic.

      November 4, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Richelle

      Yes, Glenn on sugar would be radical! Don't worry we Mormon chirstians make love not war..nope,no horns no anti CHrist ! good grief

      November 4, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  6. Vanka

    Proposition 8 in California is just the tip of the Mormon fascist iceberg. The LDS Church spends huge sums of money in a number of states "cultivating" political offices, lobbying, supporting superPACS, and engaging in smear campaigns against candidates who are not in line with legislation the Church desires. For proof, do a little research on the recently disclosed private letters between the late Elder Loren C. Dunn (former Mission President in Sydney Australia, where he is universally despised). Dunn worked behind the scenes in Hawaii and California, funding and overseeing the establishment of non-profit "interfaith" groups as fronts for the Church to "cultivate political offices" (Dunn's words) and manipulate the political apparatus in the direction Church leaders desired. And Dunn's letters to the top LDS leaders reveal that they deliberately did these things to avoid the Church's name and reputation being associated with it!

    And as a well- connected leader in the Mormon Church, Mitt Romney stands to take his place among the elite "kings and queens, priests and priestesses" of the global Mormon kingdom!

    November 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Davester

      "Mormon fascist iceberg"? Sorry to see that religious bigotry is alive and well in America.

      November 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Richelle

      Never once have I heard any Mromon bishop or other leader tell us who to vote for, if fact when a lady here in calif recently was engaging in political talk in the foyer, the Bishop announced from the pulpit to keep politics OUT of church. Good grief, where do you get this stuff Vanka...isnt that Loren Dunn guy youre quoting dead? Havn't heard from him for years so thought he was....

      November 4, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • End the Secrecy

      Yes I agree Mormons do have a political agenda to legitimize their CULT.
      Obama aint great but at least he isn't a higher up in some cult!
      REPUBLICANS

      November 5, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • End the Secrecy

      Yes I agree Mormons do have a political agenda to legitimize their CULT.
      Obama aint great but at least he isn't a higher up in some cult!
      Republicans – no more cult candidates.
      No Hare Krishnas, No Scientologists in the White House.

      November 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  7. Nonvoter

    His religion is no more of a quackery than all the others out there. We now live in a stable, civilized society and religions fairy tales are no longer needed because we have laws. The notion of separation of church and state is clearly bogus and will be alive and flourishing for years to come in this ignorant country.

    November 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  8. Vanka

    Doctrine and Covenants 87:6
    "And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;"

    By the sword and bloodshed, an end of all nations, thence replaced by the Mormon Kingdom. That is the future Mitt Romney's radical religion foresees, and for which he has covenanted to give his life and all that he possesses. He will "lie for the Lord" to make it happen.

    November 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Davester

      You speak of things that your know very little of. Stop promoting fear and hostility toward the Mormon faith.

      November 4, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Ben

      Ummm. You don't understand that scripture very well, unless you honestly think Mormons can cause earthquakes. This is nothing less than an extension of the prophecies from the book of Revelations which prophesies the end of all things along with bloodshed, war, and famine. I can understand that you may fear what you don't understand, but it is unfortunate that you would try and propagate that ignorance onto other people. I guess haters gonna hate.

      November 4, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Richelle

      Vanka, I dont know how you took that is similar to what is in Isiaih or Revelation and turned it into That. And, no we dont take blood oaths......sigh where do you get this stuff? Just ask a normal person like me..a Methodist/Jewish gal who joined the Christian Mormon faith....dont read some book written by an person who got kicked out and has revenge on their mind...

      November 4, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • End the Secrecy

      Re: Ben
      Actually Mormons such as Romney will be able to make Earthquakes happen! With off-shore fracking/drilling we can create earthquakes.
      Money, Money Money is what most mormons are interested in...its in the faith of the leader Joseph Smith who himself was a known "treasure hunter".
      Don't protect the Mormon Cult under the Amendment for Freedom of Religion because CULTS DO NOT qualify as Real Religions but made up nonsense by mentally unbalanced persons.

      November 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Chad

      @Richelle

      What does a person have to do to get kicked out of a religion?

      November 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  9. Patsysd

    Thebeast. completly Agreed... Romeny WAS a bishop and although he may not currently serve, those belief system are instilled in him. Couple points to touch on: One, holding the priesthood and two, interracial marriages or 'intermarriage". While there is a written Book of Mormon and doctrines there also exist an unwritten yet known and spoken word of Mormons.

    1) if an active mormon chose to marry another individual outside of the faith is unacceptable as they would not be sealed eternally

    2) if my daughter married an active mormon in the Temple and i was not active or up to date on my vows and commitments, i could not attend my own child's wedding in the temple.

    3) an active Mormon marrying another Mormon of another heritage -The thoughts are, "we'll at least they're both Mormons" yet the preference is to stay within their own nationalities
    “We recommend that people marry those who are of the same racial background generally, and of somewhat the same economic and social and educational background (some of those are not an absolute necessity, but preferred), and above all, the same religious background, without question.” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Marriage and Divorce,” in 1976 Devotional Speeches of the Year [Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1977], p. 144)

    4) an active Mormon marrying an African American, Mormon or not. Is a No No! Remember, African Americans were not allowed into the a priesthood until 1978 as they were Not considered equal, worthy or were seen as less than.

    From 1849 to 1978, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) had a policy against ordaining black men to the priesthood, and forbidding black men and women from taking part in ceremonies in LDS temples. Associated with this policy were various statements by church leaders tying the policy to their view of scripture, and opining that black men and women had inherited the curse of Ham.

    Curse of Ham

    Noah damning Ham, 19th-century painting by Ivan Stepanovitch Ksenofontov
    The Curse of Ham is a misnomer [1][2][3] for the curse upon Canaan that was imposed by the biblical patriarch Noah. The relevant narrative occurs in the Book of Genesis and concerns Noah's drunkenness and the accompanying shameful act perpetrated by his son Ham the father of Canaan (Gen. 9:20–27).[4] The controversies raised by this story regarding the nature of Ham's transgression, and the question of why Noah cursed Canaan when Ham had sinned, have been debated for over two thousand years.[5] The story's original objective was to justify the subjection of the Canaanites to the Israelites,[6] but in later centuries, the narrative was interpreted by some Jews,[7] Christians and Muslims as a curse of, and explanation for, black skin.[8][9]

    Mitt Romney is nearly 66 yrs old and was born a Mormon, so for 30+,yrs with a belief system that African Americans are less than, as they are not worthy of holding the honor of priesthood. I have many friends that are Mormons and not one of them disagree with any statements i have made, as a matter of fact the information comes from them. Have any of them tried to recruit me into their religion, no, not,directly, yet Mormons know recruitment videos exist to this day on how 'to suggest in conversation' one to take a look at Lds. the truly devote believe there is only ONE true church.

    In the state of CA, proposition 8 was vastly opposed by the Mormon church whose followers make up about 2% of the population in the U.S, however over 70% of the funds raised to oppose the bill came from the mormon church and its followers?

    This election expands outside of political parties of the red and the blue. why in the world would we elect a president whose fundamental beliefs systems do not see ALL people as equal? Every citizen has their right of choice pertaining to religion and freedom of speech. I do not condemn Mitt Romney on his faith nor the mormon church on their beliefs as that's all a part of freedom of choice. The question is,...is that specialized freedom of choice and underlying belief system right for the American People. Although many of the quotes are from many years ago, to this day It's an unspoken word and truth of many

    November 4, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Richelle

      welcome to 2012, your quoting an elderly mans personal opinion from 1976 is an non issue today.
      As for prop 8, the core of California (I live here in San Francisco) are the conservative Blacks, the conseervative Chinese and the conservative Hispanics.Their numbers, their beliefs drove prop 8

      November 4, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Patsysd

      Richelle, I stated that the writings were from many years ago, however those teachings still exist today, although not written, they are instilled. . Unwritten yet spoken. And 77% of the funding for the ban on prop 8 was in fact funded by the Mormon church

      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has mobilized followers to give an estimated 77% of donations to support
      California's proposed marriage ban.

      Californians Against Hate released figures Tuesday showing that $17.67 million was contributed by 59,000 Mormon families since August to groups like Yes on 8. Contributions in support of Prop. 8 total $22.88 million.
      Additionally, the group reports that Mormons have contributed $6.9 million to pass a a similar law,
      Proposition 102, in Arizona.

      November 4, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Sergio Roa Prado

      I Am a chilean citizen, an a LDS , my best friends are married in mixed way , there are changes in ours societies. The Church is a world church and a culturally mixed church. It is a pity if you are excomulgated of the Church....but you can return

      November 5, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
  10. Vanka

    The LDS Bible Dictionary states:

    "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on the earth, but is at the present limited to an ecclesiastical kingdom. During the millennial era, the kingdom of God will be both political and ecclesiastical (see Dan. 7:18, 22, 27; Rev. 11:15; JST Rev. 12:13, 7; D&C 65), and will have worldwide jurisdiction in political realms when the Lord has made a full end of all nations (D&C 87:6)."

    you must understand that the Mormon Church is infamous for hiding, twisting, spinning, and rewriting its history. For instance, Mormons are infamous for polygamy. At the threat of being disenfranchised for violating anti-polygamy laws, the Mormon "Prophet" publicly declared an end to polygamy in 1890. But secretly, he and his fellow "Prophets" continued to perform and participate in additional polygamist marriages for another 20 years, all the while testifying to US Congress that polygamous marriages had ended in 1890! They not only lied, they did so under oath and justified it "in the name of the Lord"!

    November 4, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Richelle

      Vanka..youre going to have to realize Polygamy is practiced by Muslims the majority religion in the world,,,,do you want to offend Obamas ancestors? ALso anciently it was practiced, it may not be practiced todays by modern people like you or I or mainstream Mormons, but history shows it was praciticed in the Old Testament regularly so what?
      As for the take over of the world I think Satan is already trying to do that......

      November 4, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  11. Jolly

    American president a Mommoh! Dont allow this to happen whether Obama is worthy of your vote or not. Beware and be warned

    November 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Richelle

      good grief...thats all I can say.....this reminds me of when I went to my private Methodist college in 1970s and as a mormon christian (the only one there) I was once asked if I had horns!

      November 4, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  12. everdene

    President Romney has already been a governor, like a few other Mormons before him. He has already hosted state dinners, and worshiped as an elected official. The answers to most of these questions are not controversial. In fact, with the slightest effort by any clear thinking individual, they are easily answered. The way the questions are posed in this article, however, shows that CNN and this writer are purposely being offensive toward Mormons.

    November 4, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  13. Meli

    Well, as a non-Mormon, I find that even thinking of publishing this article is offensive. Didn't we resolve this question in 1960, when it was asked about Catholics moving into the White House? If you're going to publish this kind of crap in 2012, why did we not see articles in 2008 asking if Barack Obama were elected if State Dinners would consist of fried chicken and watermelon?

    November 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • MCR

      You are comparing a factor of birth (race) to a personal choice (religion). All choices a person makes are a valid area for scruitiny in understanding how they will react to the world. That said, this is a fluff piece which is not remotely political. If you see a single criticism of Mormonism, please point it out. This is human interest, and maybe mildly educational to those who are ignorant about Mormonism.

      November 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Meli

      @MCR–these questions were being asked in 1960 by people who thought electing John F. Kennedy, a Catholic, to the White House would mean State Dinners would consit of fish on Friday and the Vatican would make all the social policy decisions, in a clear attempt to convince voters not to elect him. In 2012 we have a reporter asking if a Mormon being elected to the White House would mean dry State Dinners for all the guests and Salt Lake City would make all the social policy decisions. What's the difference? Are we in 2012 or 1960?

      November 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • MCR

      Meli, I have no problem with any person asking about the influence of anyone's beliefs on their political office. I assume that one's religions beliefs, be they Baptist, Unitarian, Hindu or Mormon may have an impact on their leadership. This piece, however, does even touch on any substantial politics. There are to stories right now on this site on Obama's religion. Are those bigotry too? If we can't discuss the influence of culture and religion lets just drop anthropology from the university curriculum.

      November 4, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • End the Secrecy

      NO you can NOT compare LDS member in the White House with Catholics being in white house.
      Most US Catholics think for themselves. Catholicism is a REAL RELIGION. LDS IS A CULT!
      Therefore you can't predict that the same outcome for one will apply to Romney.
      Don't insult Catholics by comparing the cult to their church.

      DON"T TRUST A CULT with our white house!!

      November 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  14. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    In talking about a "dry" White House, the last time that happened was during the Hayes administration (and I truly believe old RB had a jug of hard cider hidden away from his wife).

    November 4, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  15. Truth

    It is high time we get a human being back into the White House.
    I'm sure the staff grow tired of chimps running around there all the time.

    November 4, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Equivoco

      "Chimps"??? Mister, you are a moron and a racist bigot.

      November 4, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Richelle

      I as a Mormon with black mormon friends call you out as a racist.....if I believed in reincarnation, I hope you come back Black and beautiful since you obviously have an ugly heart

      November 4, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  16. Paul Wilson

    Aside from all the nonsense I've seen here, I DO believe that Romney won't support Planned Parenthood (Mormons have big families) and will further cut funds to WNET. I'm voting for Obama. After all, he DID get Osama Bin Laden and other bearded fanatics blown away.

    November 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Actually

      No, the seals got Bin Laden and if Romney was president, now, he woukd have given the same order. Planned Parenthood deserves to lose government funding; why should taxpayers have to pay for other people's abortions?

      November 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • MCR

      @actually, how about if those of you who don't like abortion and/or birth control suck up the expenses for all the unwanted pregnancies. We can just add a box on the IRS forms that increases your tax rate and drops ours.

      November 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Richelle

      Heard a former nurse speak of her many years at Planned parenthood, the pressure they were given to push for a certain agenda, plus as a provider for medical services, never have we Ever had a woman sent to us from planned parenthood for a mammogram.That was a lie.

      November 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  17. Truth

    Considering we have a pack of wild chimp n1ggers in the White House now, I honestly cannot see how a human Mormon could be any worse.

    November 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • farmwife1972

      SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!! You bigoted person. I wold be ashamed to show my face anywhere. If you do not like it in this country under President Obama GET OUT! Go to the Cayman Islands with your buddy Romney after he get defeated on Tuesday. We do not need people like you here. Full of hate and racist.

      November 4, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  18. True Christian

    A Mormon in the white house would be very dangerous for American and the world. Americans simply will not let this happen.

    November 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Truth

      How in the world could a White Mormon be any worse than a kenyan muslim n1gger?

      November 4, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Actually

      @True Christian (?) I'm a "true Christian", also and a Mormon would NOT be dangerous to anybody. Stop prompting a lie if you really are a Christian.

      November 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Richelle

      that Truth person is awful example of humanity isnt he?(Has to be a man haha) Anyway, how would a Mormon...as I am one and not very scarey at all (I teach, Ive been in Mrs America, Ive played a nun in an Opera, Ive been in the army, I have a nice Jewish uncle, Methodist parents..AND most of all a great love for my Savior Jesus Christ.)...how exactly would a good man like Romney be dangerous for us and the world? We know a couple that bought their home, said hes thrifty, honest, and the media just lies, he'd also clean up Washington thats good right?

      November 4, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  19. lynn

    Obama had his wife's mother live with them in the White House - Mitt would have Ann's sister-wife move in.

    November 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • ShellyGirl

      You do realize how dumb you sound, right?

      November 4, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Richelle

      whats wrong lynn? what a silly notion!

      November 4, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  20. special religious panties

    A mormon nation ...god help us all!

    November 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Truth

      A huge improvement over muslims.

      November 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • lroy

      At least in a public sense, it should be no different than a Catholic White House, or a Baptist White House, or even a Muslim White House (which we have already).

      November 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Richelle

      good grief what rock have you been hiding under...or are you being funny?

      November 4, 2012 at 11:32 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.