home
RSS
Liberty's choice of Romney leads to angry student response
Students at Liberty University bow in prayer during commencement in 2007. Current students were angered by the choice of Mitt Romney for the 2012 graduation speaker.
April 20th, 2012
06:16 PM ET

Liberty's choice of Romney leads to angry student response

By Laura Bernardini and Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Liberty University students and alumni are accusing the Christian school of violating its own teachings by asking Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whose adherents are called Mormons, to deliver its 2012 commencement address.

By Friday morning, more than 700 comments had been posted on the school's Facebook page about the Thursday announcement - a majority of them decidedly against the Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr.’s invitation, citing that the school had taught them Mormonism isn’t part of the Christian faith.

“I can’t support Romney and I am happy I decided not to walk (in the commencement) this year,” wrote student Josh Bergmann. “Liberty University should have gotten a Christian to speak not someone who practices a cult. Shame on you Liberty University.”

Janet Loeffler, a 53-year-old freshman at Liberty, expressed her anger at the decision when contacted by CNN. She also sent a copy of the page of the freshman textbook “The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics” which includes the passage, “Mormon doctrine stands in stark contrast to Jewish and Christian monotheism, which teaches that there is only one true God and that every other ‘God’ is a false god.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Loeffler’s daughter, Sarah Misch, 33, of Unionville, Virginia, who is also a student at the school said, “I am glad I am not graduating this year. I would not want to end my studies at a Christian university by being sent in to the world at commencement by a Mormon. We came to Liberty because of our faith in Jesus; not for political reasons.”

Holly Stanton Morgan, another student, posted to Facebook, “I am glad that my husband and I won’t be attending his commencement. Mormonism is not Christianity. My commencement is next year. Hopefully they choose more wisely.”

Mark DeMoss, a Liberty graduate, member of the Board of Trustees and a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, said on Friday, “We have had a Jewish commencement speaker, we have had a Catholic commencement speaker, and so, I think people are certainly entitled to their opinion. Social Media certainly provides an outlet for people’s opinions, but I think it is a great thing for the university.”

DeMoss also noted that the night before graduation is the annual Baccalaureate and that event will feature an evangelical Christian speaker.

Liberty University was founded as Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971 by the influential pastor and Moral Majority co-founder Jerry Falwell. He founded the school to be a Christian university for evangelical believers, according to Liberty’s website.

Today, Liberty brands itself as the largest evangelical university in the world, with 82,500 students enrolled either on campus or online.

Liberty University would not comment beyond the press release it sent out Thursday announcing Romney would speak. There will be 14,000 graduates for the May 12th ceremony. The University announced that it expected 34,000 guests.

Previous commencement speakers included previous Republican presidential candidates Sen. John McCain in 2006 and Ronald Reagan in 1980.

The relationship between Mormons and evangelicals has been tested as of late. With Romney as the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, many political commentators are asking whether the evangelical base, an important voting bloc to the GOP, will come out for Romney.

If those votes hinge on how evangelicals see Mormonism, Romney may need further outreach to the evangelical community. A recent Pew Research Center survey finds that nearly half (47%) of white evangelicals say that Mormonism is not a Christian religion. Sixty-six percent responded the Mormonism and their religion are “very or somewhat different.”

The charge of Mormonism as a cult is not a new one for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Michael Otterson, head of public affairs for the Church, wrote about the word in a 2011 column.

“As part of the rhetorical warfare that has come to characterize modern American political discourse, it was only a matter of time before someone once again used the term “cult” to describe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Otterson wrote. He went on to describe the word as a, “a neat, shorthand and rather lazy way of putting a whole group into a box.”

The nation’s largest evangelical denomination, the Southern Baptist Conference, lists the LDS Church as a cult. They specifically cite differences in theology surrounding salvation, baptism, belief in the Trinity, and marriage. A major sticking point between other Christian traditions and Mormons is the Book of Mormon, which Mormons believe is divinely inspired scripture and on par with the Bible. Other Christians do not recognize the Book of Mormon as scripture.

CNN reached out to a LDS church spokesman for further comment but they demurred, stating that the story was a political story.

A Romney spokesman did not respond to questions about the issue.

Not all Facebook comments were negative, though. Tom Johnson added, “Mitt Romney has been invited to give a motivational speech, not a religious sermon. His religious beliefs do not have anything to do with his ability to give a motivational speech at commencement.”

And Kathy Creech added, “I, for one, am pleased that the future President of the United States will be speaking there!”


soundoff (1,597 Responses)
  1. norma jean.

    Once again Mittr Romney is going where he is not wanted and doing whatever he pleases, no matter whom it affects. This speaking choice belongs to the school student body of this school. If they don't want him ...he should pass, and if he had any dignity he would!! This man is pushing himself into everyones sight to be elected and doesn't care who gets hurt if he gets what he wants . He's walking all over womens rights and now can't even have the pride to walk away from where hes not wanted .

    April 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • biologixco

      If he straps his poor dog to the roof for an 8 hour car trip it shows poor judgement.
      How is he going to treat the poor masses of the impoverished American people?
      Like dirt!
      VOTE NO ROMNEY 2012!

      April 20, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Holly in CA

      This puts Romney in an awkward position. He did not seek out this invitation to speak. He graciously accepted it and now comes the controversy. If he bows out he is showing he has no spine. Do we want a wimpy President or one who stands up and shows strength in the face of adversity?

      April 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • biologixco

      Yeah.
      We want a President that laughs at firing thousands of workers.
      Concern for the common man?
      Hah

      April 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Get a Brain!

      @Bioligixco- Get real. My dog rides in the back of my truck all the time in a dog kennel. What the hell is the difference if the dog is in the back of my truck or strapped to the top of the car. The kennel protects them. There are a lot of people who put their dogs in the back of their truck without a protective kennel. It does not hurt the dog, most dogs are just happy they didn't get left in the back yard. Stupid argument. I'm not going to vote for Romney because his dog rode in a kennel on top of the car. Really genius?

      April 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  2. biologixco

    There is an entire floor of a large building in Salt Lake City.
    Its the "War Room" that controls the mormon message leading up to the election.
    They have LDS monitors that are here to sprinkle wispy statements about mormons and refute and dispute anything that puts the LDS in a bad light.
    Will all you LDS monitors raise your hands please?
    Why do you think the mormons are running the "Im a Mormon" tv ad campaign?
    They have to sell themselves to a skeptical American voting electorate
    Good luck there.

    April 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Holly in CA

      This is false.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • biologixco

      Yeah right. (thats a common mormon 2 step, just call it a lie)
      AGAIN thats why the Mormons are running the "I'm a Mormon" tv ad campaign.
      TO CONTROL THE PERCEPTIONS OF MORMONS BY THE AVERAGE JOE
      Do you think Americans are stupid?

      April 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Holly in CA

      Some, like yourself, obviously are.

      April 20, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • biologixco

      Holly, me thinks you took one too many spin cycles in that Kolobian brainwasher

      April 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Holly in CA

      I can't understand why someone like you would hate a religion so much that you would make false clams regarding Mormonism online. You obviously have history with the Mormon church and got ticked off at something. Why else would you be creating these outlandish statements. I mean really. Anyone with half a brain can do a little research and find the basic doctrines of the Mormon church. Do you even know what Kolob is? You obviously have no clue and I wish you would show a little respect for a religion that has given so much to this country. The millions of dollars Mormons have given in humanitarian aid, the scores of Mormons who have served as Governors, in the Senate, House and other prominent government positions, should cause you to pause and think before you write horrendous absurdities.

      April 20, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
      • biologixco

        blah blah blah
        Americans don't need mormons to ride in on their "White Horse" to save us from the wickedness of our ways. We dont subscribe to your blasphemic book of mormon and We don't want your HIGH PRIEST Mitt Romney as our president. Get a clue.

        April 20, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Dandini

      So true... some such as yourself cannot be saved from their wickedness...

      April 21, 2012 at 12:18 am |
      • biologixco

        Typical moron mormon response. Believe me, IF I sought salvation I certainly wouldn't seek it through a false prophet like Joseph Smith nor in his blasphemous teachings of the book of mormoon

        April 21, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Fact Check

      That is right get your facts straight dude. Go Holly!

      April 21, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Yes

      When I read comment by people like you then yes I would have to say I think Americans are stupid.

      April 21, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • RefuteBiologixco

      Biologixco has found the anti-mormon websites. Good job buddy. You do realize not everything you read on the internet is true right? You also realize these false statements you regurgitate have been around for years.

      April 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
      • biologixco

        The LDS goon squad is on to me

        April 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Mike Bennion

      In academia, one uses evidence to support assertions. You are obviously not an academic.

      April 22, 2012 at 3:29 am |
      • biologixco

        Gotcha.
        People know darn well the mormons are trying to control the "buzz" surrounding their candidate.
        Your secret is out of the bag, bub

        April 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Jerry_Falwell_sucks

      Maybe you can tell me what happened to Biggie and Tupac.

      April 23, 2012 at 1:16 am |
  3. Holly in CA

    Obama running for president in '08 was a big wake-up call for Democrats who held deep-rooted prejudices. Mitt Romney running will force Republican Evangelicals to come to grips with their prejudices and false notions regarding non-Protestant Christian religions like Mormons. Their choice...a Mormon or Obama. I'm guessing they'll do their research, seeing all the good the Mormon Church has done in the way of humanitarian aid and other programs, and vote against Obama.

    Decades of prejudices and bigotry are hard to undo.

    April 20, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Reggie from LA

      Holly, they won't research JACK.
      They won't think twice. They'll pass up the Christian who doesn't worship like Santorum...according to Santorum.
      Thank God Obama doesn't worship like Santorum. Thank God Obama doesn't worship like some of the speakers from Liberty who voiced their religious prejudices. It looks like the Holy Crusades. The thing their ancestors fled. They're it. By all that's reasonable they SHOULD vote for Obama, but by partisan birthright and prejudice, they'll use that as absolution to vote for Romney. All that posturing.

      April 20, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • O.S. Bird

      I think you make sense with your post, except I think that many of the far right will short out and not vote at all. I live in the bible belt and I often hear it said that not voting is the only option. I think it's pathetic and hilarious at the same time.

      April 21, 2012 at 12:21 am |
  4. packerfans

    Hey Christan , blind from the truth? Who is Book of Mormon?? Is it was first Columbus found America?? The People found America before 600 Bc, who they are?? why not you study the history the truth shall be free!! Who was building primid in south America? There was Egpty and Isreal in 600 Bc!!. Your pastor do not want you know the truth but his own words?? Read The America before Columbus by Dewey Farnsworth. Who want truth to know the history!!

    April 20, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  5. Larry L

    Religious articles certainly bring out a strange crowd... I'm amused to see the Mormons and Evangelicals arguing over who really believes in Jesus and who wears magic underwear etc. It's like watching ten monkeys trying to F#c& a football... amusing but eventually you get bored and move on to something productive.

    April 20, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • biologixco

      You might get bored, but America is quickly tuning in
      Whether you are Christian, or not, google the WHITE HORSE PROPHECY
      Mormon takeover of government means loss of rights for all.

      April 20, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
  6. tnfreethinker

    This is ridiculous! The US is going to be like the middle east or worse if we don't stop the insanity of religion.

    April 20, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Mr. Rob B

      I agree; this intolerance of Mormonism or any other religion is an embarrassment to the very principles America is supposed to stand for

      April 20, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Plain Ol' Dreamer

      tnfreethinker,,,,,, ,,,, ,, ,,.

      Religion(s) have been around since the 1st dawning of humanists! For one to simply delete religion from all humanisms' rather abundant measures of the religious is just plain foolery and idiocy and evne looney tunes!

      April 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      Mr. Rob B....or the intolerance of non-believers, as we are a secular nation.

      Of spiritual groups
      There are alot
      Who names the best?
      The state should not!

      April 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      Plain Ol...I know it's an ambitious goal, but the world would be a much better place.

      April 20, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
  7. Plain Ol' Dreamer

    Believe and do Dream
    written by Plain ol' Dreamer

    Generationed upon the cusps intentioned we go,
    Life unceasing thru seasonal snow!
    Cherished are all things Life,
    Barter man not for his souled one wife!
    Keep therein your mind's abatements,
    No shoveling needs tire of fruited constrainments
    .
    Live free or ever die trying to be,
    Drink freely the waters of many who see!
    Sup up that which contains much fruitedness,
    Of God and the godly humanists to due One to bless!
    Fractals of the derived impleasentries voidals of space,
    Make known therefore those willing to grace!

    Love all that one truly can without just malice,
    Seek God who lives ever inside you in His rented palace!
    God and His brethrens will ever be told,
    Humanisms never too proud or even too bold!
    Love your ownliness as you seek that which you yearn toward,
    Another Life after death is all the people's greatest reward!

    I am no Catholic! Should one who isn't never be? Catholocism is a bit wee of ritualized seances and adores the forms of humanists! So do the atheists and even the Christians love and adore the forms of humanties' figures! Leeches all of them who swoon to and to be figurines of beauty while not giving alms to the atrosciousness figures of humanists who have beautiful souls and hearts and minds! I am an ugliness beyond the ugly of uglier's ugliest! I am a vomit bag looking for a waste basket! May God find mercies upon my ugliness ways and meanings! Is this Life all there is? No After-death Life?

    April 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  8. Mr. Rob B

    Wow, these Liberty University alumni and students are just a bunch of ignorant intolerant haters. Good for Jerry Falwell for trying to introduce some tolerance to these pathetic boneheads

    April 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  9. biologixco

    Willard (MITT) Romney is an ELDER and HIGH PRIEST of the mormon LDS "church"
    He believes in the word of Joseph Smith and prays to Planet Kolob (google it)
    America, would YOU vote a cult leader into the most powerful position in the world?
    NO!
    Say NO to Romney2012~!

    April 20, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Mr. Rob B

      Haha, you are so delusional about Mormon beliefs.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
      • biologixco

        No, Im the sentinel.
        Here to warn anyone who will listen.
        Mormons hate me for just that reason...

        April 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Holly in CA

      Agreed. You are not understand Mormon beliefs. It's like you pulled a few false statements from a hate website or something.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • RefuteBiologixco

      Kids this is what you become when you drop out of HS. Uneducated like this poor man and willing to believe everything you read on the internet.

      April 21, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
      • biologixco

        Im a college grad, bub.
        You must work for the mormon goon squad

        April 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • RefuteBiologixco

      Yes we mormons pray to the Planet Kolob. ??? And if we pray hard enough we believe the Planet Kolob will spiral through the universe landing in Mitt Romney's hand giving us endless supplies of free oil so we can have free gasoline. Come on Biologixco. Get real. You have a screw loose dude!

      April 21, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
      • biologixco

        Refute Biologixco?
        Haw haw. What floor are you on in Salt Lake City?
        America is on to your game

        April 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Mike Bennion

      Dear Bio,

      Do you believe everything you google? If someone posted that the Moon was made of green cheese would the fact that you could google that statment make it true?

      April 22, 2012 at 3:33 am |
      • biologixco

        Im sure the mormoon church is working feverishly to rewrite history wherever it can.

        April 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Jerry_Falwell_sucks

      What sets your religion apart from a cult?

      And no, I don't support Romney.

      April 23, 2012 at 1:16 am |
      • biologixco

        You are mormon
        And a liar

        April 23, 2012 at 1:20 am |
  10. biologixco

    What kind of Christian would laugh at firing thousands of American workers?
    Making a joke of the plight of his fellow Americans?
    Answer: your mormon buddy MITT ROMNEY
    (no christian at all!)

    April 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  11. biologixco

    The $64,000 question is:
    DOES MITT ROMNEY WEAR THE MAGICAL UNDERWEAR?

    April 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      And so what if he does? You pray to some sky-fairy!

      April 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • biologixco

      Google: The White Horse Prophecy
      Read up on it.
      You'll see what difference it will make.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Holly in CA

      I assume you are referring to the sacred garments that Mormons wear underneath their clothing symbolizing commitments they have made in the holy temple. These garments are extremely sacred to those who wear them just as the robes of a priest, the habit of a nun, or the Jewish cap is sacred to those who wear them. They are not magic as you claim. They are sacred and represent sacred things. It is rude to belittle, make fun of, or ridicule the sacred clothing of a religion.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Why don't you read-up on the theory of evolution and get your head out of god's a.s.s.?

      April 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
      • biologixco

        Why don't you go sit in the corner until you have a contribution to make here

        April 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Holly in CA
      "...They are sacred and represent sacred things. It is rude to belittle, make fun of, or ridicule the sacred clothing of a religion."

      It makes no sense these sacred things.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Mr. Rob B

      Haha, you are so delusional about Mormon beliefs. The question is: what kind of panties do you wear, Mr. Biologixo?

      April 20, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
      • biologixco

        Certainly NOT magic ones!

        April 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Holly in CA

      @ Voice of Reason...to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) these sacred garments represent covenants and promises made in holy temples. For someone not of our faith who has not been to the temple this would make no sense. It is not meant for unbelievers. These garments are meant to be a reminder to those who are of the Mormon faith. It saddens me that outsiders would be so incredibly inconsiderate of something so sacred to Mormons.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Holly in CA

      "@ Voice of Reason... It saddens me that outsiders would be so incredibly inconsiderate of something so sacred to Mormons."

      So, I'm an outsider? Me, a human being, an outsider. You are so freaking delusional and belong to some weird private club you cannot even begin to see your mental disorder. Seek help, quick!

      April 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  12. fekt

    Yet another reason why churches should be taxed. They clearly can't be relied upon to maintain a seperation between church and state. They regularly endorse candidates. They should be taxed and taxed hard.

    April 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      I would prefer them outlawed.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  13. Rob

    Sickening. Liberty university students are an Embarassment to the world. Take your ersatz Christianity and shove it.

    April 20, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Religion is an embarrassment to our species.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  14. biologixco

    Load the dog atop the car!
    Planet Kolob ain't too far
    Poor little pooch up top the roof?
    That's why mormons are so aloof!
    Like my little Romney spoof?
    Just say NO to Romney 2012!

    April 20, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  15. Holly in CA

    Here is a sampling of some of the hymns members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sing each Sunday. Why would Mormons sing of Christ if they were not Christians?

    "I Believe in Christ"
    "Christ the Lord is Risen Today"
    "Redeemer of Israel"
    "Guide Us O Thou Great Jehovah"
    "Jesus of Nazareth, Savior and King"
    "O Savior Thou That Wearest A Crown"
    "Jesus Lover Of My Soul"
    "I Know That My Redeemer Lives"
    "Savior Redeemer of My Soul"
    "The Lord is My Shepherd"
    "We'll Sing All Hail to Jesus' Name"

    April 20, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • biologixco

      Why would any Christian who believes that there is only ONE God and only ONE Word of God, subscribe to such blasphemic nonsense such as the book of mormon?
      Google: Joseph Smith, Planet Kolob, magic underwear (no foolin')

      April 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Janet Loeffler

      Wolves in sheeps clothing Biologixo! Mormons hijacked words and songs long used by traditional Christians, so they'd be accepted. In 1998, your own prophet said that you all don't worship the same Jesus we do. (Mormon prophet Gordon B. Hinckley quote, "The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak" (LDS Chruch News, June 20, 1998)

      April 20, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Rich in NJ

      Mormons believe in Jesus, but in a way that Christians think of Jesus. Mormons do not believe that Jesus is the one and only Son of God, that he exists as a part of the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The actual definition of "Christian" is not JUST whether you worship Jesus, but whether you understand Jesus according to the Nicene Creed, which ALL Christian denominations accept as true teaching.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Rich in NJ

      meant "NOT" in a way...

      April 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • TJPost

      Thank you for the list of hymnes, keep you chine up it's a tough crowd.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • bingham22

      biologixco
      "Why would any Christian who believes that there is only ONE God and only ONE Word of God, subscribe to such blasphemic nonsense such as the book of mormon?
      Google: Joseph Smith, Planet Kolob, magic underwear (no foolin')"

      Here is your answer: You pray, you ask God...not your preacher. God answers with an unmistakable witness that you could never deny even if someone held live coals to your feet, and bingo you have your answer. Try it sometime. There is a pattern as set down in the Bible.
      1) Desire to believe. 2) Ask in Faith believing that you will get an answer. 3) Act according the answer and your faith will build into an unshakable witness.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • budburgoonclark

      "If We Could Hie To Kolob" is also in The Mormon Hymnal.

      Bud, a retired organist who collects hymnals

      April 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Mike Bennion

      Dear Janet,

      President Gordon B. Hinckley, responding to a question regarding whether Latter-day Saints believe in the “traditional Christ,” stated:

      No I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the dispensation of the fullness of times.[1]

      President Hinckley is referring to the concept of Christ that has developed in the centuries since the Nicene Creed was formed—He is saying that we do not believe in non-Biblical creeds. This statement is quite correct: Latter-day Saints do not have some of the same beliefs about Christ that other Christian churches do. He is not saying that we do not believe in the Biblical Christ. In fact, the reason that Latter-day Saints do not accept these creeds is because they are non-Biblical. President Hinckley continued (with words usually omitted by critics):

      Am I Christian? Of course I am. I believe in Christ. I talk of Christ. I pray through Christ. I'm trying to follow Him and live His gospel in my life.

      Further statements

      Consider the following words by President Hinckley:

      Believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the greatest figure of time and eternity. Believe that His matchless life reached back before the world was formed. Believe that He was the Creator of the earth on which we live. Believe that He was Jehovah of the Old Testament, that He was the Messiah of the New Testament, that He died and was resurrected, that He visited the western continents and taught the people here, that He ushered in this final gospel dispensation, and that He lives, the living Son of the living God, our Savior and our Redeemer.[2] (emphasis added)

      In the statement above, there is no question that President Hinckley is professing belief in the Jesus Christ of the New Testament. Critics, however, ignore clear statements such as these, and instead look to justify their claims that Latter-day Saints are not Christian by mining the quotes of church leaders for phrases which seem to support their position.
      Altering quotes

      In order to strengthen their claim, critics sometimes even modify these quotes. Consider the use of President Hinckley’s quote in the critical Search for the Truth DVD. The critics have actually added a phrase to the quote:

      No I don't believe in the traditional Christ. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the dispensation of the Fullness of Times.[3](emphasis added)

      President Hinckley understood how the critics would attempt to portray Latter-day Saints with regard to their belief in Christ:

      As a Church we have critics, many of them. They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is some substance to what they say. Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation who saw before him the great God of the universe and His Beloved Son, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. They spoke to him. He spoke with Them. He testified openly, unequivocally, and unabashedly of that great vision. It was a vision of the Almighty and of the Redeemer of the world, glorious beyond our understanding but certain and unequivocating in the knowledge which it brought. It is out of that knowledge, rooted deep in the soil of modern revelation, that we, in the words of Nephi, “talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that [we and] our children may know to what source [we] may look for a remission of [our] sins” (2 Nephi 25:26).[4]

      President Hinckley was quite clear in his position regarding Christ:

      Are we Christians? Of course we are Christians. We believe in Christ. We worship Christ. We take upon ourselves in solemn covenant His holy name. The Church to which we belong carries His name. He is our Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer through whom came the great Atonement with salvation and eternal life.

      April 22, 2012 at 3:38 am |
  16. Janet Loeffler

    Great job in reporting. We noticed Liberty took down all the students postings. For a site that usually get 12-25 comments for any given post each day, to see well over 300 (98% negative), by 9 am this morning; it's no wonder they took it down, on both the University Site and the Liberty University Online site.

    April 20, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  17. biologixco

    Google: The White Horse Prophesy
    If Willard (MITT) Romney is elected President (God, forbid)
    And Harry Reid is re elected Senate Leader (God, help us)
    And mittyboy packs up the Supreme Court with mormons
    Doesn't this amount to a mormon takeover of government?
    Read the White Horse Prophesy.
    Think about it

    April 20, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Holly in CA

      The prophecy you refer to was written in the journal of James Burgess. It cannot be verified and and is found in no other source than this man's journal. The Mormon Church does not stand by this so-called prophecy and does not accept it as truth.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • biologixco

      Thats a LIE
      Your modern mormon contemporaries quietly bring up the White Horse Prophesy
      Glenn Beck was recently FIRED from Fox for just this reason.
      The LDS KNOWS its a radioactive subject
      LDS shills like you refute and dispute everytime its brought up

      April 20, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Jerry_Falwell_sucks

      This sounds just like happened when Kennedy was getting elected, except if you replace Mormon with Catholic.

      April 23, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  18. Voice of Reason

    All these little nuances to christianity and religion in general, all believing in some afterlife with some god. It is very disheartening to know that in the year 2012 with all the knowledge we have harvested from science (and ever changing) that people still debate over the nuances of something that isn't real (just in their minds). Do you realize how just plain stupid this is?

    April 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • biologixco

      Little nuances,
      Like praying to Joseph Smith?
      Like praying to Planet Kolob?
      Like wearing MAGIC UNDERWEAR? (google it)
      Get a clue...Its a cult.
      Its blasphemy...
      No "religion" involved here

      April 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      "Get a clue...Its a cult."

      As is every other religion.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  19. dnick47

    Romney is not a Christian, nor is any Mormon. A Christian believe that Jesus of Narareth is the Christ, the Son of the Living God and that He died and rose to life on the third day. Farther, Christians believe that Scripture ends with the Book of Revealation not with some fabled Book to Indians found by Joseph Smith in New York in the early 19th Century. Nope, Fawell is showing his real colors here by endorsing an Apostate/Anti-Christ.

    April 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Larry L

      Your book was written by men with an agenda... just like theirs. Every religion has a book and claims that book to be the truth. They all tell stories of miracles, prophecies, warnings and promises. All have a wonderful diety who is all-knowing and merciful. All have followers willing to die to prove their faith. All have caused violence and war at some level. I loved to read mythology as a child but not now...

      April 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Mr. Rob B

      Your comments demonstrate what an intolerant and ignorant human being you are, as is whatever church you represent. Get a clue, you loony ignoramus.

      April 20, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • A bible, a bible, we have a bible, we can have no more bible.

      You do realize that the Bible wasn't always one book. The catholic church took a bunch of books and compiled them and the result is the Bible. Please tell me you are educated enough to understand that. A group of men decided which books should be included or not included in the Bible. The individuals book included in the bible are written by prophets and apostles. These books are the record of God's dealings with the people in and around Jerusalem anciently. News flash there were people living on the American continent at the same time. News flash: they had prophets too, they knew about Jesus, their prophets wrote those thing down as well. The writing of those prophets was also compiled by a prophet named Mormon just as the individual books of the bible were compiled into one book. The result is the Book of Mormon-Another Testament of Jesus Christ. It is God's pattern. He calls prophets, reveals truth to them, and they write it down. He has always done this and always will. It is a pretty simple way to communicate to us humans. Are you uneducated enough to think that God's is incapable of having prophets write down more than what was included in the Bible. Don't quote me Revelation 22:18-19 either. Those verses refer to the book of revelation specifically not the whole bible. Those verses were written before the bible had even been compiled, remember.

      April 21, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  20. Holly in CA

    Mormons worship Jesus Christ as their Savior and Redeemer. We study the Bible and adhere to the teachings of Jesus. The name of our church is The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints. Mormons observe all Christian holidays, most importantly Christmas and Easter when we celebrate the birth and resurrection of Christ. If you were to enter any Mormon church you would find paintings of Christ throughout each building. It is unthinkable that these students have been taught such falsehoods regarding Mormons and their relationship to Jesus Christ.

    April 20, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      What does it really matter?

      April 20, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • dnick47

      Scripture ended with John's Book of Revealation not some free love epistle found in New York in the 19th Century. Also, God does not change but Joseph Smith sought to change God's teaching to conform to his free love beliefs and if Joseph was correct, Jesus would have taught that in Palastine around 30 AD but Jesus did not, so Joseph Smith and all his followers are, were and will be liars.

      April 20, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Mr. Rob B

      Good for you Holly for sticking up for your beliefs to the ignorance and intolerance of some of the idiotic boneheads who have commented on this article

      April 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
Advertisement
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.