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The making of Mitt Romney: A look at his faith journey
After an invocation by a Latter-day Saint at the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney accepted the nomination.
October 27th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

The making of Mitt Romney: A look at his faith journey

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story ran last year, as part of a series about the faith lives of the leading Republican presidential candidates. With the exception of an August interview done by CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger for her documentary “Romney Revealed: Family, Faith and the Road to Power,”  which airs  Sunday, October 28, and Saturday, November 3, at 8 p.m. ET on CNN, all other interviews were conducted in the fall of 2011. CNN has also profiled President Obama’s faith life during his time in the White House.

 (CNN) – A cop arrived at the roadside wreckage of a June 1968 head-on collision in southern France, took one quick look at the Citroën’s unresponsive driver and scrawled into the young man’s American passport, “Il est mort” - “He is dead.”

The man at the Citroën’s wheel was Mitt Romney, who may have appeared dead but was very much alive – as is his hope to become the next president of the United States.

Romney was serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the LDS Church, when tragedy struck. It was a time of turmoil both in France and in the United States. Protests against the Vietnam War raged on, as did French disdain for Americans. Robert Kennedy had recently been assassinated, as had Martin Luther King Jr. a couple months earlier. France was still reeling from a May marked by riots, student demonstrations and crippling worker strikes. FULL POST


Surprise Mormon announcement could open doors for more women missionaries
Now allowed to serve missions at 19, more young LDS Church women will likely take part.
October 9th, 2012
03:09 PM ET

Surprise Mormon announcement could open doors for more women missionaries

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Big news broke in the Mormon world this weekend, when the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a lowered minimum age requirement for missionary service, most notably for women.

Women can now go out in the field to serve their church at 19, instead of 21. Though this may not seem monumental to outsiders,  some Mormons say it's a game-changing moment that may rewrite women's futures and even influence broader dynamics within the LDS Church community.

“The narrative of young women has been that marriage trumps everything else as your most important spiritual pursuit,” explained Joanna Brooks, scholar, blogger and author of “The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith.” This shift “signals a reorganizing of expectations for women’s lives. … It changes the storyline.”

FULL POST

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mormonism • Women

Personal e-mail urging Mormons to fast and pray for Romney goes national
Though not sanctioned by the LDS Church, an email chain is asking Mormons to fast and pray for Mitt Romney before debates.
September 28th, 2012
11:18 AM ET

Personal e-mail urging Mormons to fast and pray for Romney goes national

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - A Utah woman unwittingly started a grassroots campaign when an e-mail she sent to her five children and a handful of friends urging a day of prayer and fasting for Mitt Romney started making the Mormon rounds.

Mona Williams, a Price, Utah, member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wrote last Sunday evening to tell people closest to her how frustrated she is with the state of the country.

“A lot of my frustration is because I feel I don’t know what to do to really make a change. Well, this time I do,” she wrote. “I am asking you to join me and my family on Sunday Sept. 30 by fasting and praying for Mitt Romney. That he will be blessed in the debates,” the first of which is next Wednesday.

FULL POST

- CNN Writer/Producer

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

Mormon blogger says he faces church slap-down, possible excommunication
The Mormon temple in Salt Lake City, where the church is headquartered.
September 24th, 2012
04:03 PM ET

Mormon blogger says he faces church slap-down, possible excommunication

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - A Mormon blogger in Florida typed his way into national headlines when he recently went public about facing possible disciplinary action from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

David Twede, who says he’s a fifth-generation Mormon, is the managing editor of MormonThink.com, an online publication that invites debate and open discussion about the LDS Church.

Late last week, The Daily Beast reported that after writing articles critical of GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Twede, 47, said he was called into church offices in Orlando, Florida, where he was “interrogated” and given “cease and desist” orders.

FULL POST

- CNN Writer/Producer

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

Romney speech touches on faith
August 30th, 2012
06:24 PM ET

Romney speech touches on faith

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Tampa, Florida (CNN) - In a few hours the spotlight will shine on Mitt Romney at the Tampa Bay Times Forum and in excerpts released of his acceptance speech the GOP presidential nominee is shedding light on his personal faith.

In the excerpts, Romney a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, plans to speak often of his faith although the excepts make no mention of the LDS Church or Mormonism by name.

But Romney, who has both led a Mormon congregation as a bishop and a regional group of churches as stake president, will speak to specific practices of his church and his experiences.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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

August 21st, 2012
05:31 PM ET

A look into Romney's religion

(CNN)–For many voters, getting to know Mitt Romney as a candidate also means sorting out facts from fiction about Mormonism.  CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.


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

My Take: Romney should take reporters to church more often

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

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

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

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

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

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

My Take: GOP's non-Protestant ticket changes meaning of 'values'
Paul Ryan, a Catholic, and Mitt Romney, a Mormon, make up the first non-Protestant ticket of a major party in recent U.S. history.
August 16th, 2012
09:24 AM ET

My Take: GOP's non-Protestant ticket changes meaning of 'values'

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

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

There has been a lot of conversation in recent years about the rise of racial and ethnic minorities in America. Census figures show that there are more minority births than white births, and the United States is on schedule to become a white-minority country by 2050 or so.

A parallel story is playing itself out in religion, where Protestants, who have traditionally predominated in the United States, now constitute a little more than half of American adults. But the story of the decline of the Protestant establishment is particularly stark in U.S. public life, where Protestant leaders are giving way to Catholics and Jews, Buddhists and Mormons.

Take the 2012 presidential election, which features in Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, the first non-Protestant ticket in recent U.S. history. Or the U.S. Supreme Court, which now boasts six Catholics, three Jews and zero Protestants.

The 112th U.S. Congress remains solidly Protestant, accounting for 56.8% of the members of the House and the Senate, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

But the hallowed halls of Congress are changing fast. There are now both Buddhists and Muslims in Congress. And Catholics, Jews and Mormons are better represented there than they are in the U.S. population as a whole.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

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

My Take: Obama is not a Muslim (and Romney is a Mormon)!
There are a lot of misconceptions about the religious faiths of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, according to a new Pew survey.
July 27th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

My Take: Obama is not a Muslim (and Romney is a Mormon)!

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

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Before I comment on a new survey on religion and the presidency, I want to say one thing: Barack Obama is not a Muslim. The U.S. president does not observe the Five Pillars of Islam. He does not worship in a mosque. He does not call himself a Muslim.

Why not? BECAUSE HE IS NOT A MUSLIM!

Also, Mitt Romney is not a Hindu. He does not believe in reincarnation. He does not worship the Hindu god Shiva. He does not self-identify as a Hindu. Why not? BECAUSE HE IS NOT A HINDU!

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Islam • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Obama • Politics • Polls • Uncategorized • United States

July 21st, 2012
09:02 AM ET

Romney strikes rare notes of faith in Aurora speech

By Eric Marrapodi and Halimah Abdullah, CNN

(CNN) - In a speech to a wounded nation, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney returned to his roots of faith in the face of a national tragedy.

It was a rare public expression of faith for the candidate who has kept much of his faith private.
Romney, who was the head of a Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints congregation in Boston, quoted heavily from the Bible and the Book of Mormon as he stood before a small crowd in New Hampshire.

"We can offer comfort to someone near us who is suffering or heavy laden," he said, a reference to the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus tells a crowd, "Come to me all ye who are heavy laden and I will give you rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Romney continued, "And we can mourn with those who mourn in Colorado." That phrase "mourn with those who mourn" is found in the New Testament and is also found in the Book of Mormon.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Crime • Mitt Romney • Politics

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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.

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