With 'I'm a Mormon' campaign, church counters lily-white image
Ruth Williams passes out bulletins at the Third Ward in Washington, D.C., a diverse Mormon church.
November 2nd, 2011
11:32 AM ET

With 'I'm a Mormon' campaign, church counters lily-white image

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN) - The scene at a Mormon congregation here on a recent Sunday would surprise Americans who think of Mormons as young white missionaries in stiff white shirts, black ties and name tags.

Yes, there are white missionaries handing out bulletins at Washington’s Third Ward - what Mormons call their congregations - but there's also Ruth Williams, an elderly African-American woman, decked out in her Sunday best, doing the same.

White, black, Asian and Hispanic Mormons mingle before the service begins. As it gets under way, an African-American tween plays a video game on his smartphone in one pew as a 30-something white woman across the aisle taps away on her iPad.

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On this Sunday, the Sacrament - what Mormons call the remembrance of the Last Supper and what other Christians call Communion - is said in French, a nod to the area's burgeoning West African population.

It is not a special multicultural celebration Sunday. For this growing Mormon congregation in northeast Washington, it's just another weekend.

“It’s 30% Caucasian, 30% African-American, and the rest is a combination of first-generation immigrants from around the world,” says Bishop Robert Nelson, the lay leader of this congregation.

A diverse group of congregants from the Third Ward listens to a sermon.

Washington's Third Ward is a near mirror image of the diverse neighborhood it serves, jarring with the Mormon Church's image as a faith-based club for upper-class whites.

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And the Mormon Church, officially called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says the ward represents the diverse face of modern Mormonism, a message it has been trying to spread as part of a yearlong nationwide push to counter its lily-white image.

Since January, the LDS Church has spent millions on an "I'm a Mormon" advertising campaign that features television commercials, billboards and bus signs with Mormons from African-American, Asian, Latino and other ethnic backgrounds. Just last month, the campaign entered 11 new major media markets in Texas, Indiana, Nebraska, Washington, Georgia and Arizona, hitting cities like Atlanta, Denver and Phoenix.

(You won't be seeing the ads in Iowa, South Carolina or Florida. With Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, both Mormon, competing in the Republican presidential primaries, the church says it wants to steer clear of politics.)

The Mormon Church even used the ad campaign to launch a shot across the bow of the hit Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon," buying a digital "I'm a Mormon" billboard just down the street from the theater where the show is playing.

The musical satire, co-produced by the creators of the television show "South Park," shows earnest white American Mormon missionaries and their misadventures in proselytization in Africa.

But the billboard shows a very different face of Mormons. There is an African-American couple playing Frisbee on the beach, a Latino grandfather and granddaughter, a goateed motorcycle sculptor.

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An official church website, Mormon.org, lets those interested in the church search for Mormons from diverse ethnic backgrounds and features videos from the likes of black soul singer Gladys Knight and Brandon Flowers, frontman for the rock band The Killers.

"It's to say, 'We're like you,' " said Kathleen Flake, a religious scholar from Vanderbilt Divinity School. "It's an attempt to combat stereotypes so that absolutely people are more open to see the normalcy of Mormonism."

The LDS Church says its attempt at an image makeover is as much a reflection of demographic reality as it is a PR effort. While young white missionaries may still be Mormonism's public face in the United States, they are no longer fully representative of the Salt Lake City-based church.

“Our doctrine is we’re all sons and daughters of God," says Stephen Allen, managing director of the LDS Church's missionary department. "Skin color or anything else is not a significant issue to us.”

Video: Defining Mormonism

As head of global missions, Allen supervises the 52,000 19- to 25-year-old missionaries knocking on doors around the world.

He's also executive director of the “I’m a Mormon” campaign, which began in nine markets this year.

“In terms of targeting, we’re not specifically targeting or avoiding any particular group," Allen says. "We send our missionaries all over the world to anywhere people will listen.”

As the church’s efforts to win converts has expanded internationally, “following the American flag around the world,” as Flake puts it, the LDS Church has grown more diverse.

“We’re in most of the free world right now,” Allen says. "We have a presence in Russia and Ukraine and the Baltic countries. We have a growing presence in Africa ... Nigeria, Kenya … then we have, Japan, Korea, Taiwan. There are small congregations in India, and the church is growing in those places.”

The church's membership has doubled since 1988, to 14.1 million Mormons worldwide.  Six million Mormons live in the United States. Many of the church's members live in the American West and Northwest, in some of the whitest states in the country.

But like many other churches, there has been explosive growth in the LDS Church in Latin America. There are more than a million Mormons in both Mexico and Brazil. There are nearly a million Mormons in Asia and 300,000 in Africa, according to church statistics.

“This attempt to emphasize diversity and to emphasize a wide range of people who are Mormon does reflect, in a lot of ways, what’s been going on in reality for a while,” says Matthew Bowman, an editor at a Mormon studies journal called Dialogue.

Even in the United States, the perception of who Mormons are has changed.

“We’ve done a lot of research to see what people think of us and what their perception is,” Allen says. “Twenty-five or 30 years ago, if you said, ‘When you think of the word Mormon, what comes to mind?’ the answer would have been Mormon Tabernacle choir, polygamists, racists, the Osmonds [singers Donny and Marie].”

While that's less the case today, Allen says many people still don't know what a Mormon looks like - or don't know that there are Mormons from minority backgrounds.

A spokesman for the church said it doesn't keep statistics on members' race or ethnicity.

But “it’s no longer just a predominantly white church,” Allen says. “In our early history, you know, it was founded in upstate New York in the United States and was very much a white congregation, but today it’s very diverse.”

The complexion of the average Mormon ward reflects the neighborhood where the building resides. “Mormon wards are not self-selecting,” says Richard Bushman, a visiting professor at the School of Religion of Claremont Graduate University. “In Mormon congregations, they are just geographical boundaries, and wherever you live, you go to church.”

There is no church shopping. Congregants can’t go to another ward if they don’t like the music or the doughnuts at the social hour, as in many other faith traditions.

In Washington's Third Ward, two new converts who had recently been baptized were welcomed into the church on a recent Sunday. Both women were young African-Americans. The men who formed a circle around them and prayed over them were all white.

Unlike the ward, the church's global leadership in Salt Lake City is mostly white.

It was not until 1978 that African-Americans could serve in priesthood positions in the church, a prohibition that extended back to Mormon leader Brigham Young in the 1850s.

"When you see in that ad campaign Mormons, including African-Americans, they are trying to  communicate against that stereotype that Mormons are racist, there's no question about this," says Vanderbilt's Flake. "They are trying to say, 'That's not fair. That is not who we are. Even if we were, we are not now.' "

Allen says the "I'm a Mormon" campaign was designed to assist the small army of young Mormon missionaries out knocking on doors.

"Our feeling was anything we could do to help them was really important," he says. "And helping them means softening people’s hearts.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Jon Huntsman • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics • United States

soundoff (2,530 Responses)
  1. Joule

    I have not witnessed any evidence of the 'campaign' thus far in my town – Paradise, CA. There is a large Mormon presence here, with the widespread perception that members of the two Mormon temples here control the Town Hall. (The hospital, and at one time, nearly all of the doctors, were Adventists.) Of my neighbors, those who are Mormon have been, overall, the most appreciated by me. They have been kind, sometimes going out of their way to show their kindness. They have not pushed their religion on me. ... When I get any type of religious person showing up at my doorstep, I tell them "Thanks; but, I already have a religion." This generally seems to be the most effective way of handling the situation. ... When my son was of elementary school age, it seemed that the parents most concerned about their kids' educations were the Mormon ones. This led us to a brand-new multi-age Magnet school program that was part of our public district. I was invited to join a Book Club that was all Mormon women at the time - and me. I dubbed myself 'the token Jew.' I was so grateful to be in that Book Club and remained in it until a surgery threw me behind the 8-Ball in keeping up with reading. The women of the book club impressed the heck out of me by signing up for each of their respective nights to bring me a fully-cooked supper. I was, and am, very grateful for that. The only time I had experienced anything similar prior to that was when my then-husband was in the Navy. The actions of the Navy wives seemed very contrived however. The Mormon women have come across as extremely genuine, and I treasure that. I was 47 when I had that surgery. I will turn 58 this month. For only the third time in my life, I now am part of a group that places a concerted effort on reaching out to members and their families who are ill, recovering from an illness or surgery, or grieving. I get a huge kick out of just thinking that I am an Elk! NOT the thing for the Jewish girl from Dayton, Ohio. Thank goodness I'm not typical. I try to look at other people the same way, including Mormons. The Mormons I know personally do their darndest to be good people, not just give it lip service. I know there are some local people who blast them, as a group, whenever the topic arises. I stand up for the ones I know, locally and elsewhere. ... As for 'Diversity,' that word rubs me the wrong way, as does 'Tolerance.' I will refrain from jumping on a soap box and writing on those topics at this time. I could be up on the box quite a while!

    November 2, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • sunnyjsanders

      Wow!! Awesome!!!

      November 2, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Magic Mormon Underwear Man

      Once they divide and conquer your local government, they own you. 😉

      Having dozens of offspring helps their onslaught. It's basically still a war with the US for them.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • sunnyjsanders

      Magicmormon underwear man..why don't you face your personal problems rather than spewing your hatred and lies towards people who try very hard to do what they believe to be right. Shame on you.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Dr. Zeuss

      sjs, "what they believe to be right" is precisely the problem.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • sunnyjsanders

      It's not a problem. People should believe in goodness and then carry it out in service.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  2. julie bingham

    Mormons are just like any other faith. They have their doctrines., certain way of living, etc. Evidently the Mormon faith is satisfying alot of people's questions on spirituality because they do have over 14 million members. They are regular just like any other religion such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Catholics, Baptists, and so on. From my own experience from working with Mormons, as a whole they have high standards and good morals(but everyone makes mistakes, no matter what religion you are).

    November 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • James S

      Only about 1/3 of the Mormon church's 14 million members actually attend church (and that's a generous estimate). It looks like it's not satisfying the other 2/3 very well.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Magic Mormon Underwear Man

      Bishop Romney believes in celestial polygamy and he will be coming to take you as his wife in Mormon heaven. 😉

      They've already done it to millions of holocaust victims. Google "posthumous Mormon sealing" or "posthumous baptism".


      November 2, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • XenuRulerOfTheUniverse

      By that logic Transformers 3 should have won an academy award because it made $700,000,000. Numbers equals quality and correctness right? Having a large number believers doesn't make them any less crazy than everyone knows them to be. Of course they're not alone, but still crazy.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Dr. Zeuss

      They are regular? How do you know? Been checking their bowel movements?

      November 2, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  3. James S

    Mormons find out their church is true by praying and asking God, kind of like George W Bush prayed to find out if he should invade Iraq.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  4. Magic Mormon Underwear Man

    Find out more about Mitt Romney's beliefs, Google the following:

    "Mormon celestial polygamy"
    "the planet kolob" (Mormon males become planet rulers in heaven)
    "Mormon underwear"
    "posthumous Mormon sealing" (Marrying another man's wife through posthumous marriage.)
    "Mormon blood atonement"
    "posthumous baptism" (The Jews sued the Mormon church for secretly baptizing holocaust victims)
    "Mormon Insurrection" (The Mormon's war with the US Government)
    "Mountain Meadows Massacre"
    "Mormon 1978 Black people"

    ...enjoy 😉

    November 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • mormon.org

      ...or go to mormon.org to find the TRUTH about the LDS church

      November 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Magic Mormon Underwear Man

      You have to love all of the Mormon trolls assigned to proselytize and lie on these boards.

      Brainwashing is a power mechanism. 😉

      November 2, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • James S

      Going to mormon.org to get the truth about the Mormon church is like going to walmart.com to get the truth about Wal mart. Try mormonthink.com or wikipedia instead.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Kendall

      ...because everyone knows that what you read on the internet it true. If you want to know the truth do your own unbiased study of fact, not that manipulated by hatemongers and ignorance.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Raymond Takashi Swenson

      You can also go to lds.org, and see the materials that the Mormons use ot teach their own families. All of the LDS scriptures (including the King James Version of the Bible), the Sunday School lesson manuals (we are studying the New Testament this year), and sermons by Mormon leaders can be read and also viewed via streaming video. There are detailed books on Mormon history.

      If you want to read ONLY anti-Mormon gossip, you might as well look for Ku Klux Klan web pages to learn about blacks.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Porter

      Or try talking to a real Mormon.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • TR6

      @mormon.org: “...or go to mormon.org to find the TRUTH about the LDS church”. That has all the “good truth” if you want the “real truth” look elsewhere

      November 2, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
  5. Dan Combs

    There was only 1 Christ, why not only 1 True church?

    November 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Dr. Zeuss

      I'm Brian. No, he's Brian. No, she is. And then there's the classic:


      November 2, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  6. James S

    This is the church's way of counteracting the incredible backlash from their dominant involvement in the Prop 8 campaign. It's also an effort to help get Mitt Romney elected, though they swear it isn't 🙂

    November 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Ozymandias71

      Yep. Prop H8 laid bare just how vicious and manipulative the LDS church can be, and to what ends that organization will go to enforce their dogma.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  7. Utah guy

    OK here is the truth about mormons. I am a minority. Born and Raised in UTAH. I am not LDS, i am agnostic to say the least. Mormons as individuals arent to bad, i personally have had alot of good friends that are mormon. They are definently different to say the least but not necessarily bad people. Now as a group is when they get dangerous, as a group they are very inclusive and bigoted to say the least. They also have this superiority issue, where basically if you are not LDS you are seen as an outsider. Their dominant culture here in Utah is inclusive and you dont fit in unless your lDS. If you ever came here you would see for your self. There is this sort of under toned rivalry an hatred in the state between mormons and non mormons. ITs a hard thing to explain unless you are here to see things your self. I personally do NOT want a LDS president, Utah has no seperation of church and state here. I do understand that this is a majority mormon state, but many individuals such as my self are here for family purposes. The church will sometimes throw their views at you. Its either you are on their side or your not.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Collin

      I'm a Utah mormon and I think I know what you mean. But from my perspective it sometimes seem like non-mormons exclude me. They often assume, it seems, like I won't be their friend because I'm a mormon. Maybe there's some blame for both sides? And some of it is just due to misunderstandings that get interpreted as insults and exclusion. Many mormons try to fix this problem. Some make it worse.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Tom

      I'm also a Utahn, and completely agree. If I get asked where I went on my mission one more time I will scream.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Utah guy

      I see where your coming from Collin, but i bet the people that act that way towards you do it only in the result of years of exclusion from mormons. When they receive this treatment they become very bitter and anti-mormon and refuse to hang out with any mormon people. I would know from first hand experience. Now i refuse to really associate with any mormons outside of work, they judge me to much. And are usually bigoted as a group together. You reap what you sow.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Dr. Zeuss

      Nah, Collin. It's not because of your religion. You just aren't cool.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • KeepinItReal

      I know what Collin is talking about. I felt like I was shunned by most of my non-mormon friends I grew up with once I decided to go on a mission for the church. From the other side their are some very bad tendencies among some of the Mormon population to huddle together and not leave their comfort zone. Having experienced membership in the church in 4 different states, 2 different countries, and many more congregations, I can tell you that it is a cultural problem, not a religious one. You will see this anywhere that there is a over-arching belief system, be it religion, politics, or what have you.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  8. Dan Combs

    If 1 color is an issue for you, consider all the colors of the rainbow including all races and colors. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a worldwide church and has not only members of color and race outside the US but also within the US. God is no respector of persons. The LDS church is a world wide church and includes and love's all of God's children. Are followers of Christ perfect, No. That is part of the Plan. Only one person was perfect, and that was Christ, if you believe in him. All disciples Christ, follow and strive to become as he is. Some are better than others and inherit attributes of Christ and some by the very nature are Christlike. This doesn't mean that goodness doesn't prevail in other people or religions, it just means we all have a lot to learn, especially those things we have in common. There is goodness in each one of us. Let's us seek to uphold the best with the best and not compare worst with worst and have holy envy for the best of the best in all of us.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Magic Mormon Underwear Man

      The global con job continues. Too bad those foreign folks can read the old english-only versions of the Book of Mormon that castigated people of color. 🙁

      November 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Dr. Zeuss

      Can you say, "token black person"???

      November 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Ozymandias71

      "The LDS church is a world wide church and includes and love's all of God's children." Then apparently, based on the LDS' involvement in California's Prop H8 campaign – you know, lies, misinformation, fear-mongering' we Gays and Lesbians are *not* 'God's children' worthy of love. That's nice. /eyeroll

      November 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  9. Tom

    Anyone who pretends that they "know" that any religion is true, is a person who is incapable of realizing that want and faith are not knowledge.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Collin

      You are saying that it is impossible to know if a religion is true? I think that is the same as saying "all religions are false." Isn't it? We'll I'll just have to respectfully disagree.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • J.W

      I don't know about that Colin. There are many things in our universe that we may never know, but that could be true. It is impossible to know everything.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Tom

      I am saying it is impossible to prove anything about how our existence came to be.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  10. Brad

    The Bible is interesting in its origins and interpretations, but I believe in Christ as the Word become flesh.

    Do Mormons believe that "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." and that "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

    Do Mormons confess that Christ "is God, begotten before all worlds from the being of the Father, and he is man, born in the world from the being of his mother - existing fully as God, and fully as man with a rational soul and a human body; equal to the Father in divinity, subordinate to the Father in humanity. "

    Do Mormons confess that "Eternal is the Father; eternal is the Son; eternal is the Spirit: And yet there are not three eternal beings, but one who is eternal; as there are not three uncreated and unlimited beings, but one who is uncreated and unlimited."

    November 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Dr. Zeuss

      Lots of people believe all kinds of cr@p. Show your evidence or stop spouting.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Naufiku H.

      So true. As much as Mormons say they are Christians its hard for me not to picture them as a cult if they don't believe in these fundamentals.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Raymond Takashi Swenson

      Mormons agree with almost all of what you recited. They do believe the Father is superior to the Son, but so do the Eastern Orthodox churches. Indeed, that is the basic reason for their schism from Rome. Besides, it was 200 years before these forumulas were adopted. Before that, Christians only had to believe in what the Bible says about God. And Mormons emphatically DO believe that!

      November 2, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • KeepinItReal

      I know where you got you're first two statements and yes, we believe them. I have read the New Testament a few times and I don't recall reading anything related to the third statement.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  11. Magic Mormon Underwear Man

    Think about it. Would you vote for a Catholic Bishop in public office?? 😉

    Even Catholic Bishops are wise enough to not even attempt running for public office. What does this make the Mormon church look like? Power hungry?

    November 2, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • KeepinItReal

      It's obvious you're just trolling on here but I have to say this: JFK. I fail to see your point.

      Yes, I know that he wasn't a Catholic bishop. Neither is Mitt Romney a clergyman in the Mormon church.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  12. ArtistLimited

    I live in Orem, Utah, which probably has the highest concentration of mormons of any single city in the world. Ive gotta say. . . I am starting to get really, really irritated by the mormons. I am not mormon myself, and I left the church a while ago. Every so often, they send missionaries to our house, asking my family if we have "ever heard of the mormon church", and if we are interested in their religion.

    Most of our neighbors are extremely self righteous, and act like they don't hear us when we say a simple "hello". When we do get into a friendly conversation, the mormons always manage to turn the discussion into a church related one. The rest of our relatives are mormon, and they avoid us simply because I am not of their religion.

    I find the mormon ads misleading. The vast, vast majority of mormons are white, and many mormons are racist, and bigoted. I can't wait to move out of utah.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • d

      If your neighbors aren't friendly, welcome to life in the U.S. In all the places I have lived in the U.S., my neighbors just stayed to themselves. I don't expect my neighbors to fill my emotional needs. Get a life with people who have something in common with you, and don't blame your neighbors for not providing you a social life.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Yeah

      I've heard a saying about Mormons. They're like fertilizer; spread them around, and they work really well, but bunched up together they really stink. Living in a place with not too many Mormons, I've found them to be nice, hard-working people with good values.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • ArtistLimited

      @ d

      And you completely missed my point. Mormons, especially in Utah cannot accept nonmormons. I am not asking my neighbors to be social. I am simply asking that mormons treat us like people. I lived in Korea, California, and other places, and people were far more accepting, and more respectful. That is my complaint.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Emory

      Wow! Sorry you hate the Mormons in Orem so much. I live in Orem (and I'm a Mormon) and I would happily say hello to you without being self-righteous or rude. I would even have you over for a cook-out if you were my neighbor, Mormon or not.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Yep

      "The vast majority of Mormons are racist and bigoted." Your blanket statement just summed up an entire religion. Get real.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • ArtistLimited

      @ d

      Nice. You are misquoting me to undermine my position. Let me repost my quote, so you get it right this time.

      "I find the mormon ads misleading. The vast, vast majority of mormons are white, and many mormons are racist, and bigoted"

      I said "many" mormons are racist and bigoted, not the "vast majority" of them. I said the "vast majority" of mormons are white.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • manaen

      The majority of Mormons IN UTAH are white as are the majority of non-Mormons in Utah. But Utah has only 13.5% of the world's Mormons. 8.5% of the world's Mormons are of black and growing faster than are Utah's Mormons. Given the worldwide distribution of the 14 million Mormons in the world - more than half are outside of Canada, US, and Mexico - it's likely that it's been a long time since the majority of us were white.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • ArtistLimited

      @ manaen

      And how many of these mormons are active? Oh, thats right. 4 million. Utah has the most active mormons at around a million, and the rest of the active mormons are white caucasians in english speaking countries. I am listed in the mormon records as a member of record, therefore, I would be part of your mormon population statistics, even though I do not consider myself a mormon. Mormonism is still vast majority white.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  13. nympha

    "If I accept you as a Christian, will you accept me as a Mormon?" Would you accept me as a Mormon if I reject Joseph Smith and all the LDS prophets as being prophets of God. If I do not believe in the Book of Mormon or the LDS Scriptures, baptisms for the dead, the temple endowments, the LDS gospel, would you accept me as a Mormon? The answer is obviously, you would not. In like manner, when Mormonism denies the Bible and every Christian doctrine do you think that Biblical Christians should accept Mormons as Christians? Again the answer is very obvious, no we will not. You cannot legitimately claim to be Christians when you refuse to accept what the Bible teaches and what a true Christian believes.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Jason

      This is how Jesus defined a Christian: "By this shall all men know ye are my disciples, if ye have love, one to another."

      November 2, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • James S

      Mormons believe in the Bible and in Jesus Christ. However, they also believe that the Mormon church is God's one and only true church, and that all other Christians are misled.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Bobby

      Who defines what a "true Christian" believes? Who has the ultimate authority in interpreting the Bible and applying its teachings to Christians? Who, other than God, can read the heart of another human being, and know their true devotion to Christ? "Judge not, lest ye be judged."

      November 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Tina

      You are so very right. If people did their research on the doctrine of the Mormon church, they would be very surprised and realize they are not Christian.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Iarere

      Every single doctrine of Mormonism can be backed up using the Bible. While you might not like that simple fact, it is true none-the-less.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • TR6

      @Iarere: “Every single doctrine of Mormonism can be backed up using the Bible.”
      And that part about Lucifer being the brother of Jesus? Or isn’t that “doctrine”

      November 2, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  14. Donna

    Oh brother

    November 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  15. nympha

    The god of the Mormons is not the God of the Bible. To the Mormons, Jesus is the firstborn son of an exalted "man" who became the god of this world. The man-god of Mormonism was made the god of this world because of his good works on another planet somewhere out in the universe. He "earned" godhood, and was thus appointed by a counsel of gods in the heavens to his high position as the god of planet Earth. The Mormon god of this world was a man, like all men, who became a god. This is what the celestial marriage and the temple vows are all about. LDS men, by doing their temple work, are striving for exaltation by which they, too, shall one day become gods. Their wives will be the mother goddesses of "their" world and with their husband will produce the population of their world. This is the Mormon doctrine of "eternal progression."
    The Mormon Jesus is the son of this man-god. The Mormon Jesus is the brother of Lucifer, and according to LDS teaching, he married several of the Marys of the New Testament. He is not, to the LDS church, "God incarnate" as the Bible plainly states.
    Mormons teach that Jesus Christ suffered for sin in the Garden of Gethsemane when He sweat "as it were" great drops of blood. Mormons totally avoid the Biblical teaching of Christ's atonement for sin which was accomplished on the Cross.
    "What Mormons Think of Christ" (LDS publication, pages 32-34):
    "Christians speak often of the blood of Christ and its cleansing power. Much is believed and taught on this subject, however, it is utter nonsense and so palpably false that to believe it is to lose one's salvation."
    It goes further to say that salvation is "conditional on faith, and repentance, and baptism and keeping the commands of God."

    November 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Iarere

      Funny...the Bible never actually says "GOD Incarnate" it does however, teach quite clearly that God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Ghost are separate and distinct personages.
      The principle/teaching of the Trinity of GOD, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost being one being comes from the Nicene Council in which it was determine by MAN that since GOD was "unknowable" that his being must also be "unknowable" and hence they came up with that convoluted Schizophrenic concept.

      Every single Mormon Doctrince can be backed up using the Bible.
      Quite clearly our concept of Christianity is spot on.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  16. Tom

    I feel like I was brain washed as a child, being forced to sing children's hymns, which are nothing more than pure brainwash propaganda. "I hope they call me on a mission, when I have grown a foot or two" "Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, he knows the way"

    November 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Yep

      Great songs. Singing them in my head now...Thanks!

      November 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  17. Flooby

    ALL religion is a crock of sh!t

    November 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Dr. Zeuss

      Yeah, and amazing too that so many eat the contents of that crock, ignore the stench, and pretend that it tastes good.

      I'm waiting for that brave kid to come along and say "hey, the king is eating sh!t"...

      November 2, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  18. Magic Mormon Underwear Man

    Several Mormon posts have called him "Bishop Romney". I wonder if they will call him "Bishop Romney" or "President Romney" after he is elected.

    I think that epitomizes the problem with voting for "Bishop Romney". Or, any Bishop for that matter. 😉

    November 2, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • mormon.org

      those post are non-mormons.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Flooby

      Still Mitt, because he's not getting elected

      November 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Moe

      My grandma used to tell me how worried everyone was when Kennedy was running for president. How we would be pledging allegiance to the Pope and stuff like that. This is just the new sky is falling fear attempt.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Porter

      @Mormon Magic-Get a freaking life and stop spreading hate.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  19. Erin Van Schaack

    Step into any temple and check out their wall of fame. They usually have a huge wall full of past and present Bishops. See how many people of color you can find on that wall. The Mormon temple in Oakland, CA wall of bishops looks like a geriatric, caucasian man convention. If they are trying to prove diversity they need to work on diversifying their church leaders too. And don't get me started on you will not find a woman on any wall in the temple. Still second class citizens in their faith. I know they have a higher calling, motherhood. Right.

    November 2, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Sarah

      Erin I'm a recent convert to the LDS church and I disagree with statement of "diversifying their church leaders". Two of the three Bishops in our stake are Black and the other is Hispanic, I feel that our "church leaders" are diversified. And women are on the walls of the temple, the Relief Society Leadership is made entirely up of women and we speak at general conference, so I can't even begin to understand by what you meant by "second class citizens".

      November 2, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Kendall

      Erin, you are speaking untruths. There is no wall within the temple in Oakland or any other temple that has past Bishop's on them. You may find in the visitor's center, next to the temple, pictures of the leadership of the church including the Prophet and the 12 apostles. This is used as an introduction to the church for non-Mormons.

      I have been going to the Oakland temple for nearly 20 years and have never seen pictures as you refer. Just a hollow attempt to jump onto the Mormon bashing bandwagon through the pushing of propaganda.

      November 2, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  20. Craig

    Black with a lowercase "B" as opposed to Latino and Asian....or Brown and Yellow. LOVE CNN

    November 2, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Flooby

      'Black' isn't a proper noun, moron just like yellow and brown white and green. African would get the Capital A. Go back to school.

      November 2, 2011 at 5:32 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.