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January 24th, 2012
04:50 PM ET

Romney tax returns shine light on Mormon tithing

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Although many Americans may have wondered just how much money Mitt Romney makes and how much he pays in taxes in the lead-up to the release Tuesday of his tax documents, there was little suspense around how much he gives to his church.

That's because all Mormons in good standing with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are required to give 10% of their salaries as a tithe.

"Mormon children are expected to begin tithing from their very first allowance," says Terryl Givens, an expert on Mormonism at the University of Richmond. "And there's never any variation on the 10%, whether you're on welfare or you're a millionaire."

Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, gave even more to their church last year. Tax documents released Tuesday show they gave $2.6 million, more than 12% of the roughly $21 million they earned. The Romneys also gave $1.4 million last year in cash and stock to their family foundation, which heavily supports the LDS Church.

In 2010, the other year for which the Romneys released a federal tax return, they gave $1.5 million to the LDS church, 7% of their earnings, plus $900,000 to their family foundation, called the Tyler Foundation.

The Tyler Foundation gave $145,000 to the LDS church in 2010, so the Romneys' church donations average out to 10% over the last two years.

Unlike in most Christian traditions, in which the decision about whether to tithe is made individually by each church member, giving to the LDS Church is enforced. Participation in important ceremonies at Mormon temples is contingent on being paid up.

"For Mormons, tithing is an article of faith, not an economic principal," said Givens, who is Mormon. "Some critics see it as tying worthiness to an economic contribution."

He calls it "an important differentiator between devout Mormons and nominal Mormons."

A survey of American Mormons released earlier this month by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that eight in 10 say they tithe to the church.

Tithing dates back to the earliest Mormons, with the LDS Church's 19th century founder, Joseph Smith, drawing on the Bible's Old Testament as precedent for 10% church support. Smith also wrote about tithing in the Doctrine and Covenants, a Mormon holy book comprising Smith's revelations from God.

For early Mormons, tithing was as much practical as theological. As the early Mormon community journeyed from state to state across America, often on the run from persecution, tithing was an important way for the community to sustain itself.

"Early Mormons were outcasts from society and suffered extreme deprivation and they needed to take care of themselves and take care of the church on a day-to-day basis," Givens said. "To this day, Mormons are known for taking care of their own."

Today, tithing finances the administration of the Salt Lake City, Utah-based LDS Church, the construction of Mormon temples - which are rapidly proliferating as Mormonism grows worldwide - and the church-owned Brigham Young University.

Mormons are also encouraged to give separately to their local congregations and to a church humanitarian fund that goes to international relief projects. The church urges Mormons to fast on the first Sunday of each month and to donate the cost of the food they would typically eat to the humanitarian fund.

An informal 2011 survey by the National Association of Evangelicals found that most evangelical leaders on its 100-person board of directors don't believe the Bible requires tithing. Just 42% of the board members said that is true.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Money & Faith • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (1,579 Responses)
  1. Carriema1

    THE HELL WITH ROMNEY...this is so RIDICULOUS and frankly disturbing

    February 2, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Abinadi

      Why so angry?

      February 3, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  2. Carriema1

    I guess there is no more SEPERATION of CHURCH and STATE. CAN WE ADDRESS THAT ISSUE. Always trying to find a way to brainwash society. Is this really important

    February 2, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  3. Carriema1

    And no I have not seen one Black person in a mormon church, either they are too intelligent OR you do not welcome them. Having a church at the end dof my street and having family that is devoted to Mormonism, I can say it is more than likey the second option. LIARS, deceivers and manipulators, that take way to much from others to make themselves feel good.

    February 2, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Dave

      Guess you haven't been to my ward then.

      February 3, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  4. Carriema1

    Funny that all the "Mormons" are sitting here trying to "defend" how great they are, enuf of the brainwashing if you were so great you wouldnt have to RAMBLE on and on about what makes you so great. Your all pathetic and dilusional in your beliefs and should be ashamed of yourselves for calling yourselves a religion when most of you are crooked people.

    February 2, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • abinadi

      Carrie, what is your problem? You obviously don't even know any Mormons. Why so angry? Did you have a fight with a family member this morning?

      February 3, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Dave

      Wow, look who is rambling.

      February 3, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  5. zip

    The Mormon church is a cult. Pure and simple. And no true evangelical will vote for one.

    February 2, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • TheAJ

      So true!

      February 2, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Carriema1

      AGREED and this is ridiculous that it is being made this public and important. I have no faith in Romney in that he will be a good president. I feel like he wants to enter office to try and change religious issues. NO way, he is the anti christ per this and should not even be something discussed.

      February 2, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • ljm

      He doesn't need every evangelical. Just enough to win and so far it's working. Except for South Carolina where he would have won but Newt successfully tapped all of that pent-up ugly racial resentment through his shameless demagoguery. I mean these folks flew the Confederate flag over their capital until the year 2000.

      I live in the south and all yall Mormons don't have to worry. The only thing southern evangelicals resent more than Mormons is "uppity" black people. It's a very ugly thing but it's real. They resent having to be politically correct. They resent the view of them that northerners have. They resent Martin Luther King Day, Black History Month and more than anything they resent Obama. You go to any all-white evangelical function in the south and within an hour you will have heard at least one racist remark and probably the n-word.

      And don't feel left out because they don't want to let you use the Christian label. Being a Christian has nothing to do with labels. If they refuse to vote for Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon, they just plainly and simply are not Christians. They are bigots.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:09 am |
  6. viking76

    I love watching people argue about who has the best imaginary friend, carry on.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  7. scaredsilly

    Very dangerous and authoritative religion. Only recently allowed blacks in and still very oppressive towards women. Women must have many many children and obey their husbands, no matter what. Scary stuff, just my opinion

    February 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • William

      I'm a Mormon, and while I respect your opinion, I have to clarify that what you are saying is not true. African Americans have always been allowed to be members from the church's inception. Many of them were not allowed to have the priesthood until the 70s, but they were always allowed to be members and attend church meetings with us. I have many black friends, and I love them all dearly. I live in Utah Valley, the heart of "Mormonville," so to speak. I have yet to meet a racist Mormon. We teach love and kindness towards all people, regardless of skin color. As for being oppressive to women, that is just not so. We encourage women to marry and raise families (as we do men). We believe that motherhood is a sacred obligation, and that there is no higher calling. However, we do not discourage or keep women from pursuing careers. I have grown up with Mormon women as teachers, professors, lawyers, mayors, and politicians on every level. Women here are empowered and determined to become the best that they can be. And no one is forced to have many children. The church has taught that we should have children, but how many we have is between the husband and wife and God. Women are not forced to obey their husbands either. Marriage is a partnership, and each partner is equal. If anything, husbands feel obligated to obey their wives more because women are so strong-willed!
      I'm not expecting you to believe what I'm saying or trust me at all. I simply wish to share with you what my experience has been as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you wish to really know what Mormons are like, I recommend getting to know some.You may find yourself pleasantly surprised. There are a lot of rumors, misconceptions, and downright lies out there about us. I'm not implying we're a perfect people, far from it in fact. But we love God, we love our families, and our only desire is to be good citizens of the countries in which we live and to spread the joy and peace that the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring. We ARE Christians, and we strive to serve our fellow men and women every day. I challenge anyone who reads this to learn for yourselves what we truly believe.

      February 2, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Professor2

      Poor boy, you don't need to be "scared silly" of so called "Mormons". They don't bite or have horns! In fact, they are generally rather nice, pleasant people to be around. Most of them treat people people in a "Christ-like" way that embodies their belief that EVERYONE is, literally, a "child of God." You can falsely acuse them of not being Christians, based upon some "standard" you have created, but the true defination of a "Christian" is someone who believes in Christ. Hense the name "Christ-ian".... DUH! The name of their church is actually The Church of J

      February 2, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Professor2

      Poor boy, you don't need to be "scared silly" of so called "Mormons". They don't bite or have horns! In fact, they are generally rather nice, pleasant people to be around. Most of them treat people people in a "Christ-like" way that embodies their belief that EVERYONE is, literally, a "child of God." You can falsely acuse them of not being Christians, based upon some "standard" you have created, but the true defination of a "Christian" is someone who believes in Christ. Hense the name "Christ-ian".... DUH! The name of their church is actually The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints. They BELIEVE in Jesus Christ, they TEACH of Jesus Christ, they PREACH of Jesus Christ, and they LIVE their lives based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. THAT makes them "Christians" regardless of what you or other bigots say or believe.

      February 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Mark

      If I create a cult and call it "Congregation of the Holy Jesus Christ of Believers", and profess to believe in Jesus but claim he's an alien from Planet X, does that make me a Christian? Two answers:

      1 – Yes, that's what I label myself and my believers.
      2 – No, not by the standards of protestant/catholics or mormons.

      While I won't dispute the rights of Mormons to call themselves Christians, they are not the same as protestant/catholic Christians. We do not worship the same God as Mormons (let's not go into protestant/catholic for now eh). If you have evidence to prove otherwise, please do share. However what I've seen Mormons say so far in this column makes me believe otherwise.

      February 2, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  8. MormonGuy

    Christian, mormon, jew, cultist, whatever... I don't care what the heck you want to label me. It doesn't affect my life or beliefs at all. I call myself a Christian, Yes. If you don't think I am, that's your problem not mine.

    Here's what I believe, and you decide. I believe in Jesus Christ as the savior of the world, and my personal savior as well. I fully understand that it is by HIs grace I am saved. However I also realize that one who is touched by grace is changed. So people who go around sinning their guts out, and then "claim Jesus," are liars and are not saved. Because they don't know what grace means. The Grace of God means you are empowered to change; to cast off that sin. If you have no change of heart, you haven't accepted Jesus. Period.
    "Not everyone that saith unto me Lord, Lord will be accepted into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that doeth the will of the Father."

    Having said that, I realize that no one is going to be completely perfected in this life. It's a process. I don't think it's about which side you are on when you die, but which direction you are heading.

    Also, no I don't believe in the Trinity "3-in-1 God." It's not Biblical for one thing. I believe it to be entirely a man made idea. (That's my belief.) It was a creed that was voted upon (not revealed) by a council of men with purely political agendas.

    And yes I believe in continuing revelation. Because "God is the same God yesterday, today, and forever." "Surely the Lord God will do nothing save He revealeth His will unto the prophets."

    And finally, quite frankly I don't care what obscure, "scandalous" thing Joseph Smith or Brigham Young said or did in the past. Because it has little bearing on what the church is or does NOW. I do believe that Joseph and Brigham restored important truths and knowledge to the earth, but they weren't perfect. Sometimes the let their pride and their own ideas get mixed in. But Hello! They're human! duh! Has church policy changed... of course it has. The important thing is what the Church is NOW, what it has become, the hope and light it represents, and what I believe it will become in the future.

    So go ahead. Say what you want, Call me what you like. Trust me, I've heard it all before. "You can't kick Mormonism down, you can only kick it up!"

    February 2, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • Pilgrim1

      Yet again a "helpful" mormon has written a diatribe that helps prove that Mormon's aren't Christian.

      Just because you choose to label yourself Christian doesn't make it so. The beliefs that you espouse in your essay are well outside the extremes of Christian practice.

      You suggest that the early church councils were political. Absolutely, but the church is about the people not the building. You suggest that the "prophet" isn't motivated by politics. What makes you believe that? You are clearly missing the point.

      Again I invite readers to open the Bible and then got to Mormon.org. It won't take more than 5-10 minutes to find inconsistencies big enough to drive a car through. Of course the Mormon response is that the Bible needs correction through the prophet. Christian's however believe that Jesus Christ was the one perfect man, and as such his life needs no improvement.

      You can call yourself what you like, but remember that lying is a sin, and falsely representing God is blasphemy... the unforgivable sin!

      February 2, 2012 at 6:34 am |
    • Erik

      Pilgrim1

      Sorry, but you have failed to prove your point. People like you continue to chant that the LDS church is not a Christian church without given cause. You challenge people to go to Mormon.org then go to the Bible. Well I know the Bible well enough to know that as the Bible is, so is the gospel we espouse to, including not believe the God the Father, Christ and the Holy Ghost are "one substance". Sorry, it's just not in there.

      As others have pointed out, there are things we believe in that aren't fully explained in the Bible. But isn't that what Prophet's do? How would the Bible look without the writings of John or Paul.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • BasketBall

      Pilgrim1

      "Mormon" is a nickname for our church. The real name is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." Looking at the real name of our church, how are we not Christian? Here is a youtube video with leaders of our church testifying of Jesus Christ. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ddXNF29goo Can you honestly say that we do not believe in Christ?

      February 2, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • TheAJ

      If you claim to be such a biblical heavy weight why can't you find the accepted doctrine of the trinity (yes, it's in there!) that every other Christian has found for over 2000 years? Here, go tell me what your "bible" says of 1 John 5:7 . The King James version says "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."

      I could go on and on, but why throw pearls before swine?

      February 2, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
  9. JEAN

    It is through the atonemen of Christ and by our works that we are able to return to our Heavenly Father. Before you open your mouth and say something about our religion,you might want to be sure you understand it and understand it's principles and teaching..We believe that Joseph Smith restored the gospel to the earth. We don't worship him,we do believe that Christ is our Savior and do read the Bible. We believe the Book of Mormom to be another testment of Christ. We do believe that the Temple is a sacred not secret place.

    February 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Glenn

      OK – so I used to think there was something to the Mormon religion based on its powerful commercials. Then I dug into the doctrine and oh my what I discovered was disturbing.
      1. The origin of this Book o' Mo is based on a belief that a submarine full of Jews landed in America (hence, a genetic link exists between Jews and the Navajo/and other Native Americans.
      2. The mormon God has his own planet called Kolob (where the H is that planet)?
      3. The Mormons do NOT believe in a trinity (not a Christian trinity) – it is impossible.
      4. The list goes on and on and on...Mormons should be fined for FALSE ADVERTISING

      February 1, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • rabbi samuel hurt

      Do Mormons adhere to the teachings of the prophets of old; do you keep the writen law, and what of the seventh commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery>? Howis polygamy justified when one is marred to another?

      February 2, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Abinadi

      Rabi, Mormons don't practice polygamy. That practice ended in my great grand fathers time, and, anyway, aren't you being a little hypocritical? How many wives did David have? How about Solomon?

      February 2, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Abinadi

      Glen, you should take a real hard look at your own church! You know, none of the protestant churches could possibly be the true church because they all apostatized from the Catholic church and can claim no authority (Isn't that why we call them protestants?) Christ founded his church on priesthood authority. Hebrews 5 says, " 4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
      5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee." Aaron was ordained to the priesthood by Moses, the prophet, and Moses received the priesthood from his father in law, Jethro. John 15:16 says: "16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit," Christ never intended that minsters and pastors run helter skelter preaching whatever they please and taking priesthood authority "unto themselves". He intended that his church be run by revelation administered by a prophet. Only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the organization of the original church and is administered by a prophet of God. It is the only church today that is administered by verifiable priesthood authority with most churches not even bothering with authority at all!

      February 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Carriema1

      You think it's christian becasue the name is Church of Jesus Christ...that doesn't make you a christian. Few christians have to go door to door and SELL their religion. Christians have a cross the signifies and acknowledges their fathers sacrifices and DEATH..You MORMONS choose to deny that and so how does that make you a christian if you choose not to accept or acknowledge what our savior has done for us...isn't that a little ODD. HMM doesn't sound very christian like to me...sounds like a cult. Stop coming to my door, if I was interested in you, I know where your "churches" without the crosses, representing the true religion, are.

      February 2, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Abinadi

      Carriema, you choose to remember the death of Christ. We choose to remember the resurrected, living Christ and so therefore we don't display the cross. Is that really so bad?

      February 3, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  10. JEAN

    the funds collected on Fast Sunday are for the needy at the local level. and are marked as Fast Offering. The Humanitarion fund is for area that need help after a disaster or likewise event.

    February 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • c

      Good works is a very tiny part of salvation and redemption. You can't use it to buy your way into Gods grace. that He gives without precondition.

      February 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  11. travelinpants

    Now, I believe in god but i cannot he lp bu t see ho w divided we all are who practi ce or belie ve in a crea tor. Al l i ca n sa y is, i a m gl ad th at my fa ith in Him is no t ba se d on a flim sy un de rs ta nding tha t was giv n to me by so me on e in my ch ur ch or my syna gogue.

    February 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  12. travelinpants

    For those of you who think LDS is a christian organization, thi..nk a..gai..n. The LDS was founded by mr. smith where the 1st church was built upon the knowledge of knowing and acce pting Jesus as the lo ng aw ai ted me ss ia h of the Jew ish pe op le and se co nd th e gen ti le na ti on s wh o la te r beca me mod er n da y ch ris tia ns. I n my o p ion LDS/ Mor mons are a cult th a t fli rts wi th Judao Chris tian doc trine as a disgu ise

    February 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Matt

      The name of the LDS Church is "The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints. Of course we are Christian!! Anyone who says we are not are either ignorant of the facts or have an extreme bais that prevents them from accetpting the truth clearly. What they can and should say is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Christian Church, but differs in some doctrines from many other Christian Churches. Don't believe me? Find out for yourself. Go to http://www.mormon.org or http://www.lds.org

      February 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Pilgrim1

      OR..... They continue to say the the LDS organization is no more Christian than a Buddhist, or Muslim, or Hindu. Even if you can tell yourself enough lies to convince yourself, you cannot convince the body of Christ that you belong as a mormon.

      If you would spend the money that is spent on the LDS advertising campaign aimed at convincing us your are Christian on those who really need help, then maybe we would be more willing to talk. But since your whole message is a fabricated lie, there is no use in doing anything other than continually showing you the light!

      February 2, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • Professor2

      Sorry "pants", but your illogic is amazing. You apparently have NEVER really studied the history of the "Mormons" or you would surely know that their Church is based on Jesus Christ's appearing as a Resurrected Being to Joseph Smith and instructing him to organize His Church once again upon the earth. Perhaps you should sincerely read, study, ponder, and pray about their teachings before expounding on something about which you know next to nothing. Then, perhaps, we can have an intelligent dialogue... Get back once you have followed that admonition.

      February 2, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  13. Brian

    Once again a CNN broadcaster while trying to be thorough missed the mark at 1:50 into this interview. Maybe the outside world doesn't see the "Mormom's" as Christians because news anchors keep dropping the name Jesus Christ out of the name of the church. It it "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" not "The Church of Latter-day Saints". Get it right!

    February 1, 2012 at 6:18 am |
    • Pilgrim1

      How about just saying morons.... oh I mean Mormons.

      February 1, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • Chris

      Pilgrim, you've been above board on all your posts. Keep it clean, brother. 🙂

      @Eotei – So Mormons believe salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone? There's no works involved? Once saved, always saved? Can't lose it? Save by grace through fatih in Jesus Christ, that's it?

      February 1, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Joe T.

      Chris, when you look at Christianity as a whole, without rose-colored glasses, it makes as much sense as any other religious belief.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Pilgrim1

      @ Joe T. Which is why faith plays as much a part as reason.

      @Chris It's hard not to be crass when people can't even acknowledge that there own primary texts (scriptures) don't support the arguments they present.

      Somehow they believe in Jesus, but not that his life and ministry were 100% effective, thus they needed a 14 year old named Joseph Smith to correct the "errors" either in action or in interpretation of the work of Christ? Again, it only takes a little investigation to see through the sham.

      February 1, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Chris

      Joe, I find most people criticizing Christianity don't really know the history of the Bible, so I reject your statement that it is like any other religion.

      Pilgrim, it's frustrating, for certain. Just look at most of the statements atheists and others make on this blog. It's painfully clear that most people choose just to believe what they believe without much research, if any. We Christians get criticized for not thinking, but my experience is quite the opposite.

      February 1, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • c

      You're right. they should have left out "Latter Day" ; only God will determine who are the saints or sinner's. Not Joseph Smith, Brigham Young or his Morman only prophets and temple worshipper's.

      February 2, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • niner2

      Pilgrim1

      You really should check on your research because all you're doing is making a fool out of yourself with your false accusations. Being Christian means believing in Christ. If you were thoughtful and intelligent enough to read, you'd see we actually do believe in Christ. It says so in our REAL name. Honestly, you're not proving anything, in fact you're just affirming the fact that people are clearly uneducated when it comes to the truth about the Mormon religion.

      February 2, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  14. Bullet

    Why is it the Evangelical Preachers tell folks to donate their money to God but to mail it to their post office box?

    February 1, 2012 at 1:04 am |
  15. Eotei

    Btw, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints doesn't have secrets. It is not secret, it is sacred. Please calm down. No one is going to accomplish anything through arguing except get high blood pressure. Personally I think it's cute how diligent a person can be about the Church whether they be with or against it. It still shows you care, and I think that is so sweet whatwith all the war going on these days. Just to put things in perspective 🙂

    February 1, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • Bullet

      Is Joe Smith or Brigham Young the boss Hog of Mormonism?

      February 1, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • Pilgrim1

      If you don't have secrets, then post a play-by-play of the "Temple Endowment!"

      February 1, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • Erik

      Why don't you burn your Bible? Hopefully you have too much respect for God's word. Posting the Temple ceremonies what do no benefit to you. There is nothing secret about them, but they are sacred. If you do not understand the difference than you clearly do not understand God.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • TheAJ

      Wrong....who's splitting hairs now. Your so-called sacred is nothing less than cult-like secrecy. Trust me, learned that right from ex-mormons when I lived in Salt Lake City, Utah. There's nothing sacred about your cult rituals.

      And, for the record, just because you insist on putting "Jesus Christ" in the name of your cult doesn't make you any more Christian than if I put King of Persia in my name. I am not, can never be, and even if I tattoo it on my forehead would not be. Just like your cult!

      February 2, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  16. emmydogg

    I don't understand why we pay for religion through tax breaks, isn't there supposed to be a separation

    January 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Jack

      It is slightly non-sequitur, but you may be curious to know that the separation between religion and state was originally intended to keep the government from entering religion, not religion from entering the government. It is an interesting concept that deserves to be looked into and it perhaps answers your question in an offhand way.

      January 31, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  17. DrRGP

    That's "economic principle," not "economic principal," dummy.

    January 31, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  18. Pilgrim1

    Check out this interesting article. I realize that the organization who published it has an agenda, but don't focus so much on their words, but rather on the photocopied sections of primary Mormon texts and actual letters sent by the LDS church. They are in the addendum of the .pdf.

    http://irr.org/mit/pdfs/Skin-Color-&-LDS-Church.pdf

    January 31, 2012 at 4:17 am |
    • Eotei

      May I ask you something? What is the color white made of? Forgetting skin color right now, what colors are in white??

      Answer: White reflects everything. You can see how this represents purity and thus our kind and loving god. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is run by Heavenly Father, our God. He knows what he is doing, so there is no need to worry.

      February 1, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • Pilgrim1

      It's amazing how you help me prove my point! Thanks but it was already clear without your input!

      Folks, again just read for yourself!

      February 1, 2012 at 2:57 am |
    • Erik

      Is this anything new to Christian/Jewish religion? Why were the Isrealites to destroy all those in the land of Canaan? Why did Christ specifically teach the Jewish people, not intending to spread his gospel to the Samarian's? Why is the priesthood not given to women? There are things that we just don't understand, but never has any group by virtue of there skin color been denied the saving grace of the atonement, which is the most important step.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  19. Pilgrim1

    So I took your advice and went straight to the source: Mormon.org.

    It took only 2 minutes to find something that is contrary to orthodox Christian teaching! Read the last part about worthiness.... Christian's believe that none of us are "worthy" before God, but that Jesus' death and resurrection provide us with the redemption necessary to enter eternal life. This is foundational to every denomination within Christianity, except of course the Mormon Cult!

    Copied directly from Mormon.org:

    "What is the difference between attending church and the temple?

    Our churches are dedicated public places of worship where Mormons and visitors can meet to pray, study scripture, partake of the sacrament, and continue to learn their responsibilities as children of God. The temple is literally, as it has been throughout history, the "House of the Lord" (see 1 Kings 6:1, 37). The primary purpose of the temple is to provide a dedicated place where sacred ordinances needed for eternal life can be preformed. Because of its sacred nature, attendance in the temple is limited to Mormons who obey God's commandments and therefore are worthy to enter."

    January 31, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • CypressSteve

      So, essentially, you went to Mormon.org to find something that would validate your belief that Mormonism is somehow a "cult" and you believe you have found some amazing new fact or idea? And in just 2 minutes!

      Seriously, you really need to do your homework, and I would recommend spending more than 2 minutes on it. The Mormon concept of being saved by the grace of Jesus Christ is remarkably similar to that of "orthodox" Christianity (whatever that means, and by whoever gets to define such a thing). By "worthy," Mormons simply believe that you should live by the teachings of the church in order to fully understand the sacred nature of the commitments to provident living that one will make in the temple. They believe we all fall short of perfection and that Jesus Christ, through his grace, is the only means by which accounts can be brought into "balance" with God (thereby allowing us to return to live with God).

      To take a comment about worthiness so far out of context and extrapolate about the Mormon belief in the saving grace of Jesus Christ is silly on its face. It's time to stop calling a church of 15 million followers of Christ a "cult" of some sort. The Jesus Mormons believe in is the same as the one you believe in. The only difference is, faithful Mormons do not troll the internet looking for opportunities to belittle the beliefs of others by calling them "cults" and insisting that their Jesus is somehow superior to your Jesus. Sheesh!

      January 31, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • Pilgrim1

      The point is it only takes 2 minutes to prove that Mormon's aren't Christian. Spending more time on the site won't undo that proof!

      If you read my other posts you will see that there are plenty of other sources to back my assertions.

      Saying that Mormons are Christian is akin to saying that Muslims are Jews. They both purport to talk about God, but their underlying principles/faith is radically different.

      The Mormon propaganda machine is always in full swing, but it doesn't fool those who practice Christian faith!

      January 31, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • Chris

      I was always confused about Mormons until I finally sat down with an elderly lady who was a "devout Mormon". She clearly explained how Jesus was the god of this world and how she would die and go on to be the god of her own world. She would be equal to God. Her words, not mine. I don't understand why Mormons would want to identify themselves with Christianity considering that they are clearly not Christians. I don't even understand how that's an offensive statement to Mormons.

      January 31, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Stu

      Pilgrim, LDS people also believe that we are unworthy to enter into God's kingdom, but that through Chirst we can 1) overcome spiritual death (sin) and 2) overcome physical death through the resurrection. But that's not what the principle is here...we have to do OUR part to make sure we are worthy enough to take part in saving ordinances. There are certain ordinances that are key for us to return to our Heaven;y Father's presence. We believe in living clean, worthy lives so that we can enjoy all of the blessings that our Heavenly Father has for us–including entrance to His temples here on earth. Again, whether or not you want to say that we don't beleive in the same type of grace or salvation–that's not the point. The point is that we have a part in it. Living worthily and keeping the commandments is a big part.

      And why do you keep referring to our church as a "cult". What does that even mean and who taught you that?

      January 31, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Whut

      All religions are a cult... just because there are millions / billions of people buying into the delusion doesn't mean it's a valid belief.

      January 31, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Pilgrim1

      @Stu Thanks for proving my point for me. Anyone who knows Christian orthodoxy can see from your post that it is not Christian.

      We can't live clean lives worthy of redemption. Only through the healing of Jesus Christ can we enter the kingdom of Heaven!

      And why do we call it a cult? When an organization tells you lies (or half-truths) until you are behind the gate (the Temple) then it is a cult. If you wanted to be legit, you wouldn't be based on secrets and you wouldn't have excuses for why your "Secrets" are necessary.

      People don't be fooled. Research it for yourself if you don't believe me!

      January 31, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Chris

      Stu, that does prove the point Pilgrim is making. The Bible is very clear that we all fall short of God's glory and we don't earn salvation.

      January 31, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • skn

      Worthiness to enter a Mormon temple and worthiness to be saved in the Kingdom of God on your own merits are two completely and totally different concepts. Mormons do not believe they are worth to enter the Kingdom of God unless they do it through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.

      February 1, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Eotei

      That's talking about entering the temple, silly goose x))) sometimes you people are just so cute!

      February 1, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Erik

      I fail to see the difference you are alluding to.

      It is clear that you do not understand what it is to be worthy. As you stated yourself, no person is perfect, but all may enjoy the fruits of repentance. Our definition of worthiness is simple: you have gone through the process of repentance for those sins you have sommitted and are currently living according to the teachings and commandments of God.

      What you are doing is splitting hairs. Not even that. Placing error where there is none.

      February 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  20. don'tbesostupid

    Why is the fact that Romney gives 10% of his increase to the church, or the fact that he is wealthy such a problem for all these people? Everyone is sooo jealous and concerned with his success.... personally I would place my vote with someone who has made good business decisions and worked hard all his life, resulting in being blessed with wealth. Maybe someone like Romney who knows how to handle money and finances might just be able to do the same thing with a country's finances. If you have a problem with this, go vote for the guy who knows how to spend money instead.

    January 30, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • mak

      The fact is Mormon Church gives no choice to their members. It is not voluntary, is a must.

      January 30, 2012 at 10:25 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.