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May 1st, 2012
02:41 PM ET

House candidate and rising GOP star is black, female - and Mormon

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - To call Mia Love a minority is an understatement. She’s a black woman who won an upset primary race to become the Republican candidate in Utah’s 4th Congressional District. If elected, she’d be the first black Republican congresswoman in the House of Representatives.

Love, who has attracted lots of national Republican support, also stands out because of her religion: She’s a Mormon. The politician is a poster child for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ campaign to present a more diverse face to a historically very white church.

“There are a lot of people who have tried to define me as a person,” Love, a daughter of Haitian immigrants, told CNN’s Kyra Phillips in an interview Tuesday. “I’m not a victim, and I don’t allow anybody to put me in a box.”

Speaking from Salt Lake City, she said, “There may be some challenges. But ... I love this place and love the people that are here, and I represent their beliefs and values.”

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

Love is featured in a video series produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of its “I’m a Mormon” campaign, which aims to bring the faith of about 14 million members worldwide into the mainstream.

In the CNN interview, Love talked about how Mormonism would affect Mitt Romney’s candidacy more than her own, which is happening in the most Mormon state in the nation.

“You know I don’t think those are the issues that Americans really care about,” Love said when asked about the role of Romney’s religion in the presidential campaign. “I think Americans care about jobs, the economy; they care about the debt and deficit spending. … Being a Mormon is part of who he is as a person, and I don’t think it should deter from the issues.”

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Love’s “I’m a Mormon” video shows her working as the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, her current job.

“I am the mayor of Saratoga Springs and I love it,” she says in the video. “I get to make this life better for me and better for others.

“My friends from back home are always saying, ‘What are you doing in Utah?'” she says in the video, referring to her East Coast upbringing. “What they don’t know is that when I came here I felt accepted.”

Watch CNN Newsroom weekdays 9am to 3pm ET and weekends. For the latest from the CNN Newsroom click here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mormonism • Politics • TV-CNN Newsroom

soundoff (2,038 Responses)
  1. budshot

    Well, having just left Utah after 15 years (thankfully – what a hole), she can't be much worse that the nutcake Republicans in office there now. No doubt she is a true believer of her faith, and a good thing, too, because no Republican would ever get elected in Utah unless he or she was a Mormon. Utah is also tremendously racist in general but her religion might push her past that sad fact.

    But, as for me, I hope to never step a foot inside that nasty, ugly, bigoted, crazy, backward place again. It's a horrible, horrible place to live.

    May 1, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Kurt

      budshot: I've lived in Utah all my life (except two years spent in Africa - yes, on a Mormon mission). It rocks here! I don't have to lock my doors at night. Great skiing. Nice people. Good education. Good families. It isn't perfect, but I haven't met very many racist people or bigoted people. Maybe budshot should try to talk to some of the people he hates so much - they're probably not as bad as he thinks.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  2. mike

    tldr, and CNN your racism is showing.

    May 1, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  3. Joe

    A black woman mormon?? The mormon church said they were neutral in the war between mormon jesus and the devil, and therefore cursed with black skin. AND a republican? isn't that like being a jewish nazi??

    May 1, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      I believe the church has modified its teachings on that score. Whether or not such shifts tell us anything important about a religion 9or all of them for that matter) is another question, but I don't think that is current Mormon doctrine.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Frogz

      it is lol

      May 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Kurt

      I'm a Mormon. There is no doctrine on such things. Sure, maybe a hundred years ago someone speculated on stuff like that, but it isn't taught at church at never has been. We believe that we are all children of God, and equals in His eyes.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • K. Doe

      Kurt, is this still accurate: http://www.journalofdiscourses.org/volume-10/
      Volume 10 page 135

      May 1, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • K. Doe

      Kurt, or how about volume 7, page 134 last paragraph. Tell me this is an outdated text, please.
      http://www.journalofdiscourses.org/volume-7/

      May 1, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  4. Frogz

    Being mormon and black is contradictory considering mormons believe black people were turned black because they were neutral in the war between heaven and hell.

    May 1, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • William

      Yet, she is a Mormon in Utah. So you statement is rather bigoted.
      No mention of Nation of Islam and their belief that whites are devils who were put on the earth to corrupt blacks.
      Now if Obama were a Mormon you would be singing his praises.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      And poof, she vanished, having never been possible to begin with.

      (I don't think "Contradictory" means what you think it means.)

      May 1, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Frogz

      Actually I don't sing anyones praises, all the runners this time around are turds.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  5. LikeHorseMeatBetter

    The only people that make a big stink about race are liberals and Nazis!

    May 1, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      And conservatives who have learned to filter their racism through an extra some intermediate label.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • William

      You are right. You only have to refer to the Liberal comments on here to prove your point. Ever notice the special treatment Liberals give Jews now a days? As for being racist, well the Tea Party was supposed to be, yet no proof at all. Just bigoted comments. Remember what Liberals said about Condi Rice? They seem top have a special hatred of Rep. West as well.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • George

      So you know all the non-liberals in the world?

      May 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  6. LikeHorseMeatBetter

    Ha!! Listen to all you ignorant fools as you realize you have been lied to by the MSM about mormons. "How can this be? Mormons are racists!!" Harry Reid is a Mormom (look it up) is he a racist? Oh wait he is a democrat so that cannot be right? LOL!!!! HA!!

    May 1, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Harbart

      Reid is all about money. He represents a state where ho-ing is legal. He's nothing but a worthless slave to moneyed interests.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • William

      So let me get this straight. Reid is a Mormon but personally crooked. This fine lady is a Mormon and a good person. Yet you claim all Mormons are like Reid. Rather bigoted arnt you? When Harry was running for office where was the Liberal outcry about him being a Mormon? No, the fact she is a conservative and a black woman is what has you worked up. The only thing worse, i guess to you, would be if she were a Jew.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  7. T'sah from Virginia

    As long as she is not an Alan West, I could listen to her!! it's when you get those CRAZY right black folks that has you question the entire party. Kudos to Kyla, whatever makes her happy!

    May 1, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • William

      West is a hero and a favorite of those racist tea party terrorists.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  8. typicalwhitemale

    The liberals are trying to put her into a box and act shocked that she could be black and be Mormon and be a Republican. Ironic that the ones always screaming about stereotyping are the ones who are stereotyping her and are shocked that she doesn't fit into thei pigeon hole. And, of course in true Democrat mentality, they try to inject race into it by making mention of Obama, and asking her how she feels about him. I'm glad she didn't take the bait.

    May 1, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • George

      Why isn't she telling everyone she's also a lesbian?

      May 1, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • William

      Well George, if she were a Liberal and crowed on about being gay then you would be singing hosannas to her name.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  9. LikeHorseMeatBetter

    Ha!! A Black, Female Mormon Republican! Looks like someone got a hold of her and kept her fr the liberal doctrines of handouts, play the victim and don't think for yourself- just follow along with the others.

    Good for her!!!

    May 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • William

      Amen.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  10. TonyInNYC

    I just hope she supports marriage equality.

    May 1, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  11. Jake

    This is wrong.. Mormonism is a fundamentally racist and degenerate cult. She should know that under her own bible with sufficient righteousness she can become white and be saved–this is what the book of moron says

    May 1, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Michael

      Jake, this is obsolete misinterpretation of scripture that has been officially condemned by the LDS Church, which repudiates all forms of racism, past and present.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • nairb247

      Care to back it up, because you are wrong. By the way check out what they really believe before hitting the anti stuff, because your comment couldn't be further from the truth.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • rokensRus

      Jake, she's just another black token. When she's no longer needed the republicans will throw her under the bus just like they've done to so many others like her.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • William

      Being a bigot in Liberal circles is something they feel pride in. It lets them vent the hatred out of there spleen while calling others nasty things.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  12. Mattyj

    Wait, female, black, Mormon, and conservative? It's like finding a chupacabra riding a unicorn while swinging an unobtainium sword!

    May 1, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • godoflunaticscreation

      No she just really really hates herself.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • t3chsupport

      I don't care how nice she is, I would be hard pressed not to vote for the chupacabra.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Harbart

      I expect she's one of those people who grew up so poor they become super-greedy when they get older.
      The Mormons are all about money and violating the seperation clause. She's not bad looking, though.
      Too bad she's crazy. I don't stick mine in anything crazy. That would be even more crazy.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Jeff

      I don't even undersand why her religion is an important political issue. What ever happened to Seperation of Church And State?

      May 1, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  13. Harbart

    Heroic? For being their s3x slave? You should write a book and put lots of pictures in it for the landed gentry.

    May 1, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Harbart

      This was supposed to go below. sry

      May 1, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  14. Mormon Expert

    She probably got pulled aside at the Mormon Church and was told "Joesph told me you need to run" because your the only black woman we could find to represent us

    May 1, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • nairb247

      I just got dumber for having read that.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • William

      Closed minded bigot. As if you were being funny?

      May 1, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  15. jeez

    First, I don't know why CNN is bringing up the Mormon issue.

    Second, for all the folks that claim (or even those who don't, but want to at least understand who are these people) to know mormons or their doctrine, attend their sunday services as a bystander (not as a person to explicitly raise conflict) and see what is real or not based on what you see. And yes, you can attend meetings at a mormon church which is NOT the same at mormon temples.

    Too many people make judgements on "fact" on the internet and the media on so many subjects and too lazy to interact with the people they judge (muslims, jews, liberals, conservatives, gays, lesbians, blacks, hispanics, whites, etc). People are too lazy to understand each and that is why everything is so jacked up these days. Get off your computer have some real human interaction...

    May 1, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Mormon Expert

      heres a fact, I've been to Mormon Church and its the most boring way to spend 3 hours. I'd rather be stuck in SL International for 3 hours watching headline news

      May 1, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Cannie

      Because Mormons believe their prophets words to be infallible, many mormons will try to steer you away from things that will expose what they really believe.
      The following is taken from the Journal of Discourses in the words of Brigham Young. Mormons cannot deny what he said because he was infallible as the mouthpiece of god. They will turn around and say that I'm taking the quotes out of context, but you can look them up yourself. I've listed the pages and the journal. Find out for yourself!

      roubling Quotes from the Second Prophet (leader) of the Mormon Church

      Brigham Young said your own blood must atone for some sins.

      "There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it . . . " (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 247; see also, vol. 4, p. 53-54, 219-220).

      Brigham Young said you must confess Joseph Smith as a prophet of God in order to be saved.

      "...and he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is Antichrist," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, p. 312).

      Brigham Young said his discourses are as good as Scripture.

      "I say now, when they [his discourses] are copied and approved by me they are as good Scripture as is couched in this Bible . . . " (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 264; see also p. 95).

      Brigham Young said he had never given any counsel that was wrong.

      "I am here to answer. I shall be on hand to answer when I am called upon, for all the counsel and for all the instruction that I have given to this people. If there is an Elder here, or any member of this Church, called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who can bring up the first idea, the first sentence that I have delivered to the people as counsel that is wrong, I really wish they would do it; but they cannot do it, for the simple reason that I have never given counsel that is wrong; this is the reason." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 16, p. 161).

      Brigham Young compared his sermons with scripture.

      "I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom...I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve. The people have the oracles of God continually." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 95).

      Brigham Young said you are damned if you deny polygamy.

      "Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 266). Also, "The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. 269).

      Brigham Young said you can't get to the highest heaven without Joseph Smith's consent.

      "...no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289).

      Brigham Young boasted.

      "What man or woman on earth, what spirit in the spirit-world can say truthfully that I ever gave a wrong word of counsel, or a word of advice that could not be sanctioned by the heavens? The success which has attended me in my presidency is owing to the blessings and mercy of the Almighty . . . " (Journal of Discourses, vol. 12, p. 127).

      Brigham Young said Jesus' birth was as natural as ours.

      "The birth of the Savior was as natural as the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood–was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115).

      Brigham Young said that God the Father and Mary 'do it.'

      "When the time came that His first-born, the Saviour, should come into the world and take a tabernacle, the Father came Himself and favoured that spirit with a tabernacle instead of letting any other man do it," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 218). "The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood - was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115). Note: the late Bruce McConkie who was a member of the First Council of the Seventy stated "There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events..." (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 742).

      Brigham Young said that Jesus was not begotten by the Holy Spirit.

      "I have given you a few leading items upon this subject, but a great deal more remains to be told. Now, remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 51).

      Brigham Young taught that Adam was God.

      "Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days! about whom holy men have written and spoken - He is our Father, and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 50).

      Brigham Young made a false prophecy?

      "In the days of Joseph [Smith] it was considered a great privilege to be permitted to speak to a member of Congress, but twenty-six years will not pass away before the Elders of this Church will be as much thought of as the kings on their thrones," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 40).

      Brigham Young comments about blacks

      "You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind....Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 290).

      "In our first settlement in Missouri, it was said by our enemies that we intended to tamper with the slaves, not that we had any idea of the kind, for such a thing never entered our minds. We knew that the children of Ham were to be the "servant of servants," and no power under heaven could hinder it, so long as the Lord would permit them to welter under the curse and those were known to be our religious views concerning them." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 172).

      "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110).

      Now if that last portion didn't strike you as unbelievably horrible, than imagine this....Mormons are taught to believe every word of their prophets as though they were the words of God: Unquestionable. And these are quotes from just one of their prophets.
      Now imagine the President of the USA being Mormon.....

      May 1, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • klreid

      I agree 100%

      May 1, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Chitown Jason

      Excellent post "jeez".

      May 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • budshot

      I lived there for over 15 years. That's the only way to really get a handle on what it's like and what the religion is like.

      I will never step foot in Utah again and never vote for a Mormon no matter what party they're in, if that gives you any indication of my experiences there.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Judgewell

      @Cannie – I admit, all of those comments are confusing and, like you said, we don't know the context. I've heard some of them before. And it's true that we are taught if we do all we can to abide by the words of the prophet and apostles, that we'll be happy in this life and the life hereafter. We're also taught that the words of a living prophet are greater than and take precedence over the words of a dead prophet. Any member of the church that wholeheartedly embraces those remarks at face value should have their faith and standing seriously questioned. Look up what the current prophet Thomas Monson says. He just spoke a month ago.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • kimber

      Growing up, one of my best friends was Mormon. I attended tons of functions with her, including Sunday ward congregations. I have read Pearl of Great Price, D&C, and the Book of Mormon, all gifts from my friend(I am a non-practicing Catholic, by the way.....who really doesn't believe in any religion......). The older we got, the more racist my friend became, explaining to me, in detail, the church's view on the subject of race. This was about 20 years ago. I'm sure some of the outward expression of race views has changed, but I am doubtful that the inward feelings have. I chose to end my friendship with this person based on her views, when I finally understood that they were beliefs that she and her family, as well as her church family, held deeply. Oftentmes, there are reasons that things, ie "the Mormon church is racist" are repeated over and over-they are true.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • souptwins

      Cannie- So are you thinking it's appropriate to dig up quotes from religious leader from over 100 yrs ago? Wow– we could really have fun with that one. And what were people– lots of people saying about race just 50 yrs. ago? Time to get with the times! The LDS church just had one of their worldwide conferences in April. You might try looking up some quotes from that. A talk by Deiter Ucktdorf on not judging would be good one to start with. I'm sure it's available on the official website– with video even. Have fun!
      "

      May 1, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  16. sirha

    She is delusional, Where is Herman Cain. She wont reach far in this racist party. Am white is a lesson for her.

    May 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  17. Erik

    When is my heroic story of being a white male black panther going to be told on CNN?

    May 1, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Mtheumer

      "When is my heroic story of being a white male black panther going to be told on CNN? "

      When you grow up!

      May 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  18. Joe

    There's no such thing as a black Republican because you're not a true Republican unless Rush Limbaugh would want to live next door to you.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Harbart

      HA HA HA HA! Good one! 😀

      May 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  19. marty

    Someone should give this black woman a history lesson on the mormon religion, how black people was viewed upto the 1970's and still now, foolish blackwomen always want to belong to something. when will black people ever wakeup. why would you want to go into the camp of your enemy the very people who ordered your distruction.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Carlm

      I am not a mormon, but I can tell you the Mormons have played a big part in helping the Haitian poor in Haiti. The mormons travel any where in Haiti on their bike and everybody know who they are. They are well known for helping orphans also.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Spearwielder

      LOL. Myopic much?

      The same question could be asked of black people who choose to live in the US, or Mormons who choose to live in the US for that matter, or the poor who choose to vote for the corporatist Rs or Ds, or...you get the picture.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Look in the Mirror

      Your comment contradicts itself. You obviously view black women very negatively and throw them all in the same box. "always want to belong to something."

      May 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Kurt

      marty: I am a white Mormon in Utah. I spent two years in Africa, and love black people just as much as white people or Muslims or anyone else. There's really no difference between us. I know my church's history - my ancestors lived it and I've studied it all my life. The Church has never hated any race. That's just not part of our doctrines. Black-skinned people were usually not allowed into the Priesthood until 1978. But there was never any animosity there. The church never taught that other races were lesser. We believe we are all children of God. Brothers and sisters. Please stop spewing hate-filled language. We're not as bad as you think.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  20. griff griff

    She seems to be a very bright, articulate woman. But just like Richard Steele, J.C. Watts, and the few others in the GOP, she is just used for "bait." Apparently she did not pay too close attention to the election last year. Pres. Obama's skin color and perceived religion mattered. The only reason why Mitt's don't matter is because at least, he's white. She needs to know that they call a black, conservative, female, Morman the same thing they call all other Black folks. Anyone venture to guess what?? Ask Tiger Woods about it.. I hope she is successful in her run for the seat in Congress. I just do not want her to be used as some token.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Mtheumer

      Ask Michael Steele.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Lynn

      ask J.C. Watts...she's delusional and the only way she'll ever make it in is to sell her soul to the devil. Oops...the devil didn't want her. 99% of blacks do not think like Michael Steele, J.C Watts or this 'person' they found under a mormon rock.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:12 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.